Managing Humidity When Using A Ventless Propane Heater
Whether you want to heat a single area in your house such as a garage or need a reliable source of heat for a tiny home, a ventless propane heater is a good choice. Although there are many benefits to using a propane heater, such as inexpensive fuel and portability, these appliances are well known for causing excessive humidity in the air. Here's a brief explanation of why this happens and what you can do to keep humidity at an acceptable level.
What Causes the Excess Moisture?
When propane burns, several by-products are produced, including water vapor, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide. Normally, these byproducts would be channeled outside the home through a vent or flue. However, a ventless propane heater does not use these types of outlets, so the by-products are released into the home. The water vapor produced by the heater builds up in the air, leading to excess humidity in the area.
The optimum humidity in your home should be between 35 and 45 percent, depending on the season. Anything higher than that would make life in your home very uncomfortable in addition to encouraging bacteria and mold to grow in the walls, doors, floors, and other places in the home.
Ideas for Managing Humidity
The easiest way to keep humidity at an acceptable level is to run a dehumidifier each time you turn on your ventless propane heater. This appliance easily removes moisture from the air. They come in a variety of sizes from portable to whole-house systems, so you can choose the option that best fits your needs.
Another option is to install a small ceiling or wall exhaust fan that will draw excess moisture outside the home. Unlike a dehumidifier, an exhaust fan will generally get rid of all of the byproducts produced by the ventless propane heater, including the carbon monoxide that may be harmful to your health.
If you're using the heater in an area where there is no electricity available or you want to save money on your energy bill, there are natural ways to reduce humidity:
- Crack open a window. Be aware that you'll be letting out some of the heat too.
- Make your own desiccant—material that absorbs moisture—by making small pillows out of a combination of muslin cloth and vinyl and filling them with silica gel. Place them in strategic places throughout the room. Be certain to use silica gel that changes color when the crystals are too full of water so you know when you need to dry them out.
- Place a few moisture-absorbing indoor plants such as Peace Lily and English Ivy in the room. These plants will suck the extra water out of the air, making them a low-maintenance option for keeping the humidity in your home at an acceptable level.
For more ideas on managing humidity in your home when using a ventless propane heater or assistance with heating installation or repairing your unit, contact a heating contractor in your area.