6 Best Natural Gas Heaters For Homes Reviews 2020

Natural gas heaters for homes are one of the popular solutions to the chilly winter weather. Robust, cost-effective, and easy to maintain, the natural gas space heaters can help you warm even large spaces quickly and efficiently.

Selecting the best natural gas heater for your home can, however, be a challenge. Since the heaters come in a wide range of styles, shapes, and designs, you can easily get overwhelmed.

This guide reviews some of the best natural gas heaters to pick from and after that discusses several considerations to help you select the right unit for your needs.

Best Natural Gas Heaters For Homes Reviews 2020

Last update on 2020-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. Rinnai RUC98iN Ultra Series Natural Gas Tankless Water Heater

Rinnai RUC98iN Ultra Series Indoor Natural Gas...
  • INDOOR installation only. Fuel Type: NATURAL GAS.
  • Concentric or PVC venting option
  • Up to 0.96 Energy Factor/Up to 0.92 Uniform Energy Factor
  • The space-saving design allows Indoor Installation type
  • Ultra low NOx emissions
  • 199,000 max BTU

Last update on 2020-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Rinnai RUC98iN Ultra Series is an indoor heater that uses propane or natural gas. The 26-inch tall, 10-inch thick and 61.7-pound heater features a slim, compact design. It has a gunmetal tray exterior with controls, including a power button and water & gas temperature controls, located on the lower lip of the front panel. The front panel also features a digital display.

Other key features of the RUC98iN include the ability to control the temperature of the water coming out. Additionally, you can lock the temperature button to prevent unauthorized access. Concentric or twin-pipe PVC provide venting. 

The RUC98iN uses an electric ignition. When in idle mode, it draws just 2watts of electricity. In full operation, however, it consumes up to 64 watts. The power requirement is even higher during winter when the unit needs at least 144watts to keep its parts from freezing. The Rinnai comes with a 12-year warranty on the heat exchanger and 5-year warranty on parts. 

Pros

  • 15,200-199,000 BTU
  • Concentric or PVC venting
  • Up to 0.96 Energy Factor
  • Ultra-low NOx emissions

Cons  

  • Installation costs over $2,000

2. Mr. Heater 30,000 BTU MHVFB30NGT Natural Gas Heater Vent Free

Mr. Heater 30,000 BTU Vent Free Blue Flame Natural...
  • 30,000 BTU Natural Gas heater to heat spaces up to 1000 square feet
  • Blue flame burner for even convection heat. Maximum Elevation (Ft)-4500. Fuel Consumption/Burn Rate (Gal/Hr)- .030 MCF
  • Automatic low oxygen shut-off system (ODS). CSA Certified
  • Operating this heater at altitudes over 4,500 FT above sea level could cause pilot/ODS to shutdown the heater.included.Theromostat, legs and wall mounting hardware
  • Fuel Type:Natural Gas.Not for use in bathrooms, bedrooms, or recreational vehicles

Last update on 2020-10-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

A vent-free portable heater that needs no external power, the 30,000 BTU MHVFB30NGT from Mr. Heater would be another value-for-money buy. The heater can be mounted either on the wall or the floor. It comes with both a wall bracket and stable feet so you can choose the best installation option. 

The MHVFB30NGT is a blue flame (convection) heater. The main difference between convection heaters and infrared (radiant) heaters is the way the heat travels. In convectional heating, the heat warms the space, and objects feel/absorb heat from the surrounding air. In radiant heaters, the heat warms objects and objects radiate heat back to the surrounding air.

The MHVFB30NGT boasts several innovative features, including battery-powered electronic ignition, variable heat output, and automatic low oxygen shutoff. It is designed for spaces up to 750 square feet and altitudes up to a maximum of 4,500-feet above sea level

Pros

  • Vent-free portable design
  • Up to 30,000 BTU heat output
  • Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS)
  • Batteries included

Cons 

  • Doesn’t work in high altitude areas

3. Dyna-Glo BF30NMDG 30,000 BTU Vent-Free Natural Gas Wall Heater

Dyna-Glo BF30NMDG 30,000 BTU Natural Gas Blue...
  • Natural Gas Ready (Fuel conversion not permitted); Blue Flame Technology works by convecting heat to warm the air the same way as a central heating system
  • Up to 30,000 BTU's/hr heats up to 1,000 sq. ft.; LOW-MED-HI variable control knob offers the most customizable heat settings
  • No electricity required allows for reliable back-up heating incase of an emergency situation
  • Separately sold optional fan (WHF100) improves the amount of square footage the heat reaches in a quiet, yet powerful way; Separately sold optional base legs (WBL100) allows for stable floor mounting
  • 1 Year Warranty

Last update on 2020-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re looking for a supplemental heating source, the Dyna-Glo BF30NMDG should also be on your list. A 30,000 BTU natural gas blue flame heater that blends seamlessly into any home’s interior, the BF30NMDG is dependable, economical, safe, and convenient. 

The vent-free heater cuts heating bills by warming only occupied areas. For increased comfort, you have the option to adjust the settings to your desired temperatures manually. A built-in ODS immediately shuts down the unit whenever low oxygen levels are detected. This means the heater will also shut down when carbon monoxide is detected. 

The product ships with the necessary hardware and bracket for wall mounting. You’ll also find a battery-assisted igniter, complete with the required batteries. The BF30NMDG is designed for spaces up to 1,000 square feet and burns with 99.9% efficiency. Separately sold legs provide the alternative for floor mounting. 

Pros

  • Blue flame burns with 99.9% efficiency 
  • Designed for spaces up to 1,000 square feet
  • Variable output control
  • One (1) year warranty

Cons

  • Base legs sold separately

4. Rinnai V65IN 6.6 GPM Indoor Low NOx Tankless Water Heater

Sale
Rinnai V65IN Tankless Water Heater, Large,...
  • V65iN HE High Efficiency Tankless Hot Water Heater - Natural Gas: Indoor Installation Only
  • Up to 6.5 GPM hot water flow rate (varies by groundwater temp)
  • Control-R 2.0 mobile app features timers and schedules throughout the day and allows you to remotely put the system into vacation mode.
  • Endless hot water for your entire home
  • Residential Factory Warranty - 120 months (heat exchanger), 12 months (labor), 60 months (parts)

Last update on 2020-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Finally, the Rinnai V65IN is another wonderful option when shopping for a natural gas heater. The Energy Star Qualified heater, which has an Energy Factor of 0.82 for natural gas and propane, boasts multiple useful features. These include home leak detection that shuts off the water supply to limit property damage and enhanced scale detection to prevent long-term damage to the unit. 

The heater has a mobile app downloadable from both the Android and iOS app store. Among other things, the app features timers and allows you to schedule the heater for the next 24 hours. The V65IN also features a temperature lock that prevents accidental, unauthorized changes to water temperature. Digital controllers, temperature controllers, and anti-frost protection are other notable features.

The Rinnai V65IN is backed by a residential factory warranty of 120 months (10 years) for the exchanger, 60 months (5 years) for other parts, and 12 months (1 year) for labor. 

Pros

  • Up to 6.5 GPM hot water flow rate
  • Mobile app for convenient control
  • 10-year warranty on heat exchanger
  • Energy Star Qualified 

Cons

  • Installation components not included

5. Mr. Heater #MH40NG 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Garage Heater

Mr. Heater F272800 40,000 BTU Natural Gas Garage...
  • Efficient, cost effective infrared heat
  • For use in buildings with 12 to 15 ft ceilings
  • Clearances: Top - 36", Sides & Back - 30", Below - 68"
  • Heats up to 1000 sq. ft.
  • No electricity required, Maintenance free; no moving parts

Last update on 2020-10-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The #MH40NG is an indoor natural gas heater that provides plenty of heat even during a power outage. It consists of a thermostat for comfort control. But, you still need sufficient clearance to avoid any safety hazards. The recommended clearance is 34 inches from the ceiling, 30 inches from the sides, and 30 inches from the back of the heater.

The #MH40NG comes with mounting hardware, including brackets, to simplify the installation process. It is designed for spaces up to 1,000 square feet and produces efficient infrared heat that quickly disperses throughout the room via radiation. Remember that infrared heat doesn’t heat air. Instead, it heats items on its path and the objects then release heat to the surrounding space.

The heater is CSA Certified and produces instant, clean, and odor-free heat. It comes with a 1-year limited manufacturer warranty. If you want other options check the best natural gas garage heaters.

Pros

  • Efficient, cost-effective heating
  • Heats up to 1,000 square feet
  • Maintenance free
  • Adjustable thermostat included

Cons

  • No remote control
  • No blower included

6. AZ Patio Heaters Natural Gas Patio Heater

Hiland NG-WSS Tall Natural Gas Patio Heater,...
  • Hiland 87-Inch tall natural gas patio heater
  • Stainless Steel finish
  • Gas type: Natural gas
  • Heat output: 41,000 BTU's
  • All AZ Patio Heaters products include a one year warranty against manufacturer defects. We are one of the only suppliers in the US to maintain a complete line of replacements parts and a full service repair center

Last update on 2020-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This AZ is another wonderful choice for homeowners shopping for a portable natural gas heater, albeit for the patio. It’s not recommended for indoor use. The 85-inch tall stainless steel-finished heater puts out up to 41,000 BTU and comes with a variable control system, making it an ideal choice for those chilly evenings.

The heater boasts integrated ignition, ground fixtures, anti-tilt safety devices, and a thermocouple. You’ll also find a burner cover in the package.

AZ products are both CSA approved and ETL certified. The products are also backed by a one (1) year warranty against manufacturer defects. The best part is that the company maintains a complete line of replacement parts and has a full-service repair center. AZ offers 24/7 customer service.

Pros

  • Stainless steel finish for durability
  • Output of at least 41,000 BTU
  • Variable control
  • One (1) year warranty

Cons 

  • Natural gas hose not included

Best Natural Gas Heaters For Homes Buying Guide

So, now that you know about some of the best natural gas heaters for homes, it’s time to learn how to pick the right one. The following points should help you make the right choice. 

What is a Natural Gas Heater?

A natural gas heater is any space heater that uses natural gas as the sole source of fuel. Space heaters are any devices used to add heat to a single small area. They’re often contrasted with central heating which involves the heating of several connected spaces such as the rooms in a house. 

Natural gas, meanwhile, is a fossil fuel. It is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon (hydrogen and carbon compound). Natural gas consists mainly of methane, but may also include other alkanes as well as varying amounts of carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen, and helium.

How Does a Natural Gas Heater Work?

warming a hand using natural gas heaters for homes

A natural gas heater has two main components; the gas valve and heat exchanger. The gas valve is connected to a thermostat. When the thermostat signals that indoor temperatures have dropped below the desired level, the gas valve is opened automatically. 

Opening of the gas valve allows gas to flow through a gas pipeline to the heater. Meanwhile, cool air blown into the heater by the fan passes through a filter and is sent to the heat exchanger, which is made of a network of metal tubes. 

When the natural gas and cool air mix, the gas ignites, producing hot air. The primary role of the exchanger is to preserve heat resulting from the ignition. 

The hot air is then blown out of the heating chamber and into your rooms using an induced fan. When the desired indoor temperature is reached, the thermostat gives a signal, and the gas valve shuts. 

Advantages of Natural Gas Heaters Over Electric Heaters

Natural gas heaters aren’t faultless. However, they are also some of the best space heaters you can buy. The benefits of natural gas heaters for homes over electric heaters for homes include;

  • Reliable energy supply: Unlike electric heaters, natural gas heaters aren’t affected by weather. Even when there’s a massive storm outside that threatens to disrupt electricity supply, you don’t have to worry about it affecting your gas supply. 
  • Instant heat: As soon as the natural gas heater is turned ON, the heat begins to flow into your home. As such, there’s no waiting for your home to warm up. 
  • Cleaner burning: Unlike wood and coal-burning stoves, natural gas heaters don’t leave behind smoke, ash, or odors. For this reason, natural gas heaters are not only easier to clean and maintain but also friendly for the environment.
  • Compartmentalize your heating: Newer, modern natural gas heaters allow you to zone your home so that you can enjoy compartmentalized heating. Compartmentalized heating saves both energy and money.
  • Low carbon emission: Compared to oil and coal, natural gas produces very low carbon emissions. Studies show that natural gas produces 70% fewer carbon emissions than coal. 

Types of Natural Gas Heaters

There are many ways to categorize natural gas heaters for homes. Here, we’ll only look at the three main categories;

  • Conventional vs. Condensing Furnaces

There’s a new technology in natural gas heating known as condensing furnaces. A condensing heater works like a conventional furnace but has an improved heat exchanger. Whereas in traditional exchangers the air is heated once and the water vapor left behind disposed, a condensing heater re-uses this water vapor. 

Rather than drain out the vapor, a condensing furnace features a second heat exchanger that condenses the water vapor, and re-heats it. The resulting warm vapor is then added to the warm air from the primary heat exchanger. Condensing furnaces are, therefore, more efficient than conventional furnaces. 

  • Updraft vs. Downdraft Heaters

In updraft (also known as up-flow) heaters, cool air enters through the bottom of the heater while heated (warm) air exits through ductwork at the top of the unit. Updraft heaters are popular in the traditional one or two-bedroom homes, especially those with basements. And they’re better in areas with warmer weather. For other options check the best heaters for basements.

In downdraft (or downflow) heaters, heat enters from the top and exits at the bottom of the unit. Downdraft natural gas heaters work best when installed on the main floor of the home. Since warm air rises, they are also better with ductwork that uses floor vents. 

  • Flued vs. Unflued Heating Units

Finally, you can also choose flued or unflued heaters. A flue is a pipe that carries exhaust gases from your heater to the outdoors. Flued heaters have these pipes while unflued models don’t have the pipes. 

Unflued gas heaters are portable, cheaper, kinder on the environment, and feature more safety features. It’s worth noting that they come with many regulatory restrictions and create many risks, including carbon monoxide poisoning and indoor condensation, which can promote mold growth. Flued models solve the ventilation issues and are thus safer for use at home. But, they’re less portable, more expensive, and more challenging to clean and maintain.

How Much Does it Cost to Install and Run a Natural Gas Heater?

  • Purchase Costs: Depending on the type, size, and many other factors, a natural gas heater can cost anywhere between $300 and $2,500. Flued heaters generally cost $1,200 to $2,200 while unflued models cost $400 to $1,200.
  • Installation Costs: Installation costs vary even more. Factors that will determine the final installation cost include; type of heater, size of the heater, type of home, and your state. What you need to remember, however, is that installation costs are always higher than purchase costs. Often, you’ll pay around twice the purchase price for the installation. 
  • Running Costs: Finally, with regards to running the appliance, the first thing you need to know is that gas energy is measured in Mega-Joules (MJ). A standard natural gas heater uses anywhere between 5-25MJ/hour. Unflued heaters, being less powerful tend to use around 10MJ/hour at maximum output. Flued models, meanwhile, often use 20MJ+/hour at maximum output.

One (1) MJ is equivalent 947.817BTU, which equals to 0.28kWh. Therefore, an 18MJ gas heater is comparable to a 17,000BTU or 5kWh electric heater. It costs 86 cents/hour to run an 18MJ heater. Since it costs about $1.40/hour to run a 5kW electric heater, you can see that a natural gas heater would save you 56 cents/hour. 

Natural Gas Heater Risks and Safety Tips

A natural gas heater can cause several safety issues and health concerns. Faulty natural gas heaters for homes, for instance, produce carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless, but very poisonous gas. The following maintenance and safety tips should help you prevent any safety risks;

  • Consider vented heaters: A vented natural gas heater features a duct connecting to the exhaust valve of the heater and emptying outside the house. As such, they are a lot safer. If you decide to buy a vent-free gas heater, however, make sure it has an oxygen depletion sensor (ODS). An oxygen depletion sensor cuts gas supply when too little oxygen is detected in the room. 
  • Check for standard safety features: These include fully sealed combustion, 100% outdoor air, prominent UL listing, quality build, and modern components. 
  • Ensure proper, professional installation: Never attempt a DIY when dealing with natural gas heaters. Instead, hire a licensed, experienced professional to handle the entire installation process. 
  • Ensure proper maintenance: Keep an eye out for leaks, faulty seals, damaged venting, and any other malfunction signs. Whenever you detect or suspect a problem, call an HVAC professional to diagnose and fix the problem. More importantly, schedule annual professional inspections to catch potential issues early. 

Wrap Up

Natural gas heaters for homes are an affordable space heating option during the chilly season. They guarantee a reliable energy supply, instant heat, and energy/cost efficiency. They’re also more environmentally friendly than coal and wood-burning heaters. If you decide to buy one, make sure to pick the right type and size for your space. Also, ensure to properly maintain the unit and observe best practices to prevent burning, carbon monoxide poisoning, and other safety risks.