Outback RV Owners Forum: Infrared Vs. Blue Flame Propane Heater - Outback RV Owners Forum

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Infrared Vs. Blue Flame Propane Heater anyone with experience?

#1 User is offline   Moosegut 

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 06:21 AM

I'm researching a propane heater as a heat source. I have electric baseboard heat in my cottage in PA and I want to install a propane heater so when I get there in the cold months I can just flick the switch to get things going. It is REALLY cold when we get there. The water is turned off and the lines drained in October and it goes back on in April, so it's really a three season cottage but we'll use it year round. The baseboard heat does fine but it takes a long time to heat up. Plus, you'll find my dead body in the Spring if the electricity goes out. :cold:

After reading, I get sold on the infrared and then I read some more about the blue flame. I get sold on the blue flame and then I read more about the infrared. It's a vicious circle. The future portends a vent free gas stove, but for now the heater is my option.

It's a small cottage - less than 800 square feet I want to heat - so a 26,000 to 30,000 BTU heater will heat the whole cottage. I'll let the heat waft up the stairs for the bedrooms. Any pros or cons either way from those who've used either type?

Scott
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#2 User is offline   GarethsDad 

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 06:42 AM

I work for a Plumbing and Heating contractor and my findings are that the infrared is more of a directional heat as you need to be in front of or near the red zone to feel the heat and that it does not heat out side of that zone vary well. The blue flame type of heaters will heat the side of the room that it is installed on then warm the ceiling then start to convect to the intire room. We install more of the blue flame type of heaters in garages and will heat up a two bay garage in about 20 minutes. James
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#3 User is offline   bill_pfaff 

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 08:59 AM

I'm with James.

Infrared is interesting but it pretty much works only if you are immobile and sitting directly in line with it. Kind of like the mirrors on a tractor trailer. If you can't see the mirrors he can't see you. If you can't see the infrared element it can't heat you.

It doesn't really heat the air so I don't think your idea of letting the heat migrate upstairs is going to work.

My 2 cents.
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#4 User is offline   Ghosty 

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 09:00 AM

View PostGarethsDad, on Nov 8 2007, 04:42 AM, said:

I work for a Plumbing and Heating contractor and my findings are that the infrared is more of a directional heat as you need to be in front of or near the red zone to feel the heat and that it does not heat out side of that zone vary well. The blue flame type of heaters will heat the side of the room that it is installed on then warm the ceiling then start to convect to the intire room. We install more of the blue flame type of heaters in garages and will heat up a two bay garage in about 20 minutes. James


X2

Infrared is more of a Direct Fire wepaon (so to speak) -- you need to be in front of it to reap its greatest benefits...

With the Blue Flame its more of an AREA type heater -- thats what I would go with

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#5 User is offline   Doxie-Doglover-Too 

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 09:39 AM

I worked in Propane for several years and we have used the SR30 for last 5 years in our home. My kitchen range is propane and so we piped the heater with it ( with it's own shut off of course). We have the blower on it too. I set it by the dining table and have the ceiling fan on above the table in reverse. The heater has thermostat. WE HAVE LOVED THIS METHOD OF HEAT for the last 5 years, it's fast and when you are cold, it's like standing in front of a fireplace. It does fantastic job of heating the two rooms (dining and living rooms).We recently had central heat/air installed and will now use the propane heater only if we have power outage. Even without the blower, it's puts out nice heat.
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#6 User is offline   map guy 

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 07:14 PM

Infrared is a object heating system. Example I experienced was shop workstations with overhead IR heaters -worked ok if you stayed in one place for awhile.

The blue flame is an area heater. Currently have a Big Buddy heater for emergency power outages and cold weather RV boondock camping during awake hours.

The blue flame type heaters do have the risk of oxygen depletion due to their vent-less design. Be aware of this - use a CO monitor and a unit with low oxygen shut down system. Low oxy shut down system does increase the cost but in cold/very cold weather we tend to eliminate any source that could be acting as a vent. These type heaters work better when a fan is used to circulate air due to the way they heat that causes a large temperature stratification differential between floor and ceiling temperature. Using a fan helps moderate the temperature differential between the floor and ceiling.

IMO forget about the IR heater for this application as it won't give you the desired effects.

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#7 User is offline   Sayonara 

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 09:49 PM

View Postmap guy, on Nov 8 2007, 07:14 PM, said:

IMO forget about the IR heater for this application as it won't give you the desired effects.

Map Guy

X2
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#8 User is offline   N7OQ 

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 10:14 PM

IR only heats the things it is directed at and will not heat the air around it. I would think a blue flame would be much better.
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#9 User is offline   Moosegut 

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 05:41 AM

Figured I'd give an update. I decided to go with a small vent free gas stove. I did a lot of searching and every review I read about the Procom/Charmglow (same manufacturer) stove was a rave. So, rather than spend $250.00 on a heater that I would later replace with a gas stove, I figured I might as well spend $300.00 for a gas stove that I could use for as long as I want and then replace it with a higher end stove down the road.

I was going to buy from Northern Tool where the price was $299.00 - but shipping was $125.00. Found the same stove at Home Depot for $299.00 - shipping included. Then, I checked local stores and found ONE a few towns over. In the store it was $236.00 so I raced over to buy it. Seems they are flying off the shelves as every local store I called said they had 6 or 8 or 5, but they were all sold out.

I installed it the last week of November and love it. Heats the whole cottage and it actually looks very nice. I don't know that I'll have to replace it for a $1500.00 jobby. We'll see. It went down to 15 degrees over night on Friday and on Saturday morning I was nice and toasty sitting in front of it reading the paper, drinking my coffee.

If anyone needs some heat with a little ambiance for a rec room or someplace, I highly recommend it. It says it will heat up to 1000 square feet. It heated the cottage and it's about 750 square feet. The kitchen and bathroom at the far end were not toasty - until I started up a fan to circulate the air down to them.

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#10 User is offline   Sayonara 

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 08:09 AM

Very nice and sounds like you made a good choice! how is the moisture buildup in the cottage? i heard the vent free units expell a lot of moisture into the room.
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#11 User is offline   'Ohana 

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 08:17 AM

The stove looks good and I wish you all the luck. We changed from a wood type stove to a gas one a couple of years ago and really like having to just flip the switch and have instant heat thumbright .

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#12 User is offline   Moosegut 

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 09:37 AM

View PostSayonara, on Dec 12 2007, 08:09 AM, said:

Very nice and sounds like you made a good choice! how is the moisture buildup in the cottage? i heard the vent free units expell a lot of moisture into the room.

I didn't see any problems with condensation, though I know with vent-free it can be a problem and they suggest opening vents or windows. This cottage was built at the turn of the century and the wind whistles through in so many places that moisture build up is the least of my concerns. :wacko: I made a conscious decision though, not to clamp down on the gaps - for that very reason. I know, I'm losing heat but I feel more comfortable knowing that I don't have to worry about moisture or oxygen depletion. I'll only be using it for several weekends through the winter.
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#13 User is offline   Sayonara 

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 11:34 AM

Just a Moderators Moderator note.... (yes its a self-given title, someone needs to moderate the moderators)

Can we put this in our Home Improvement section?
DT - Me, DW (13 Years and HS Sweetheart), DD (7), DD (6), DD (3), DS (1) and Marley (Cockapoo)
2009 Astoria 3772 39' DP - Cummins / Allison / Freightliner
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#14 User is offline   Oregon_Camper 

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 01:13 PM

View PostSayonara, on Dec 12 2007, 08:34 AM, said:

Just a Moderators Moderator note.... (yes its a self-given title, someone needs to moderate the moderators)

Can we put this in our Home Improvement section?


Oh...we get to make up our own titles now....let me see??? :dunno:

#15 User is offline   Lou 

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 10:31 PM

View Postmap guy, on 08 November 2007 - 08:14 PM, said:

Infrared is a object heating system. Example I experienced was shop workstations with overhead IR heaters -worked ok if you stayed in one place for awhile.

The blue flame is an area heater. Currently have a Big Buddy heater for emergency power outages and cold weather RV boondock camping during awake hours.

The blue flame type heaters do have the risk of oxygen depletion due to their vent-less design. Be aware of this - use a CO monitor and a unit with low oxygen shut down system. Low oxy shut down system does increase the cost but in cold/very cold weather we tend to eliminate any source that could be acting as a vent. These type heaters work better when a fan is used to circulate air due to the way they heat that causes a large temperature stratification differential between floor and ceiling temperature. Using a fan helps moderate the temperature differential between the floor and ceiling.

IMO forget about the IR heater for this application as it won't give you the desired effects.

Map Guy


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