We review 19 unflued gas heaters, priced from $499 to $1299.
Unflued gas heaters deliver quick, efficient and comparatively cheap warmth — and lots of it.
They’re not for every home and every room. They release emissions that can trouble asthmatics or people with certain allergies. This also means you’re not allowed to use them in bedrooms, bathrooms and other small or badly ventilated areas. See Before you buy.
Through our rigorous testing, we reveal which heaters:
- heat up spaces quickly
- distribute heat evenly
- are the easiest to use
- use the least standby energy, and
- are the safest.
On this page:
For more information on Heating and cooling, see Household.
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Unflued gas heaters come with a capacity of up to 25MJ/h (megajoules per hour), which is equivalent to more than 6kW of electric heating — the same as you’d get from three 2kW electric heaters. And while they're a lot more expensive to buy than portable electric heaters, they’re cheaper to run.
Unflued gas heaters are very efficient, with about 90% of the energy content of the gas being transformed into heat. They also produce only a quarter to a third of the carbon dioxide of an equivalent electric heater (unless you get your electricity from renewable sources).
CHOICE tests are different. We buy the products we test — no freebies from manufacturers. Companies can't buy ads on our site and our work is funded by people like you.
Before you buy
Measure the room you want to heat, and check with a local installer whether the climate in your area is considered 'mild', 'cool', 'cold', or 'very cold'.
- Look for a heater with a capacity that matches size and climate, and that can be legally operated in your room. The maximum capacity legally allowed for thermostat models is 0.4 MJ/h per m3 of room space. So, for example, a 25 MJ/h model requires a room of at least 62.5m3, or 26m2 with a 2.4m high ceiling. Models without a thermostat require twice that room size.
Brands and models tested
19 models, including four newly tested.
- Companion Supaheat Comp732
- Everdure Brigadier
- Everdure Commander (A)
- Everdure Crusader (A)
- Everdure Lancer
- Paloma PG-311FN (A)
- Paloma PG-511FRN (A)
- # Paloma PJC-W13FN
- # Paloma PJC-W18FN
- # Paloma PJC-W25FN
- Paloma PG-711FRN (A)
- # Rinnai Avenger 25
- Rinnai Avenger 25 Plus
- Rinnai Capella 18 Plus
- Rinnai Dynamo 15
- Rinnai Enduro 13
- Rinnai Galaxie 212
- Rinnai Granada 252
- Rinnai Titan 151
# Newly tested. (A) Discontinued.
How we test
Heating time Our testers check how long the heaters (on their maximum heat and fan settings) take to increase the test room’s temperature by 5°C and 10°C from a starting temperature of 8°C. The outside temperature is maintained at 8°C.
Heat distribution They also measure how evenly the room was heated.
Safety With this type of heater, safety aspects are very important, so the testers carry out a range of standard gas and electrical safety tests and measure surface temperatures.
Ease of use They assess how easy the controls are to use, how clearly the controls are marked and how easy it is to clean and change the filter. They also look at portability, programming the timer and using the remote control.
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