Catalytic gas heater: varieties, recommendations for selection + review of the best brands

Alexey Dedyulin
Checked by a specialist: Alexey Dedyulin
Author: Alina Zlobina
Last update: August 2019

With the approach of the cold, thinking about buying a device for heating a room with minimal fuel consumption? You have heard that a catalytic gas heater is compact and quite efficient, but, unlike most gas appliances, is absolutely safe. Is this really so? Agree, buying an expensive "pig in a poke" is not included in your plans.

We will help you deal with this type of heaters - in our publication we will talk about the design features and the principles of operation of catalytic devices. Consider how they provide high heat efficiency and provide recommendations for choosing the appropriate model. And also pay attention to the best manufacturers who received the most positive reviews from customers.

The device and principle of operation of such heaters

Catalytic type heaters are able to warm up the apartment until they turn on central heating, heat a small country house for the weekend, help not freeze in the garage and solve a number of other issues related to space heating. Most models are very compact: they can be easily taken to the cottage or on a hike, always staying warm even outside the house.

But the purchase of such a heater should be approached with particular care, having previously understood the design features and operating principles of the devices.

Gas cylinder catalytic heater
Catalytic heaters can operate not only on a liquefied gas cylinder, but also on gas, which is supplied through a centralized gas supply system. It depends on the technical capabilities of a particular model.

The catalytic heater generates heat as a result of fuel mixture oxidationentering the catalyst is a catalytic plate.

Due to the absence of a direct flame, no harmful combustion products are formed during its operation. Fuel consumption is minimal.

Catalyst plate in gas heater
Heat in catalytic devices is produced by a chemical reaction that starts on the surface of the catalyst. Gas is supplied to the plate through many small holes, after which the oxidation process begins

Standard designs consist of:

  • control panels;
  • a catalyst;
  • steel case;
  • mixing chamber;
  • diffuser.

Some models are equipped with special tubular electric heaters, which serve as an additional heat source.

The main working detail on which the operation of such heating appliances is based is catalyst plate. It is made of fiberglass mesh with a layer of palladium or platinum.

As additional structural elements, there may be a built-in device for ignition, a thermostat, automatic shutdown.

The principle of operation of a catalytic heater is radically different from those for which other gas appliances work. In standard schemes, thermal energy is released after ignition of the fuel entering the burner.

A room heating system with a catalytic device looks different:

  1. When you turn on the surface of the catalyst is gradually heated and reaches a temperature of 200-500 ° C, depending on the selected mode.
  2. At the same time, the air-fuel liquid is heated in the mixing chamber.
  3. Vapors of liquefied gas enter a hot catalytic panel.
  4. Under the influence of the catalyst, a chemical reaction is launched that provides flameless combustion.

Despite their compact size, the devices produce a rather impressive amount of heat, which is enough to heat a large area.

The principle of catalytic combustion
During catalytic combustion, the fuel mixture completely burns out: no carbon monoxide is emitted into the room, and the oxygen level remains unchanged.

Most often, small building objects, garages, country houses, farm buildings, tents, greenhouses, temporary buildings are heated with devices. It is not recommended to use them for continuous heating of residential premises, unless during construction or repair, when the main heating system has not yet been connected.

The main types of designs

By type of connection distinguish between structures that are connected to a cylinder with a propane-butane mixture or to a centralized gas pipeline. What is used for gas hose.

Models of catalytic heaters vary in type of construction. The most common option is a monolithic design, in which a container designed for liquefied gas is placed inside the housing. The volume of such a cylinder is not more than 27 cubic meters.

In the second possible modification, there is no casing: only a plate impregnated with catalysts. Such heaters are very compact, they can be taken with you on hiking trips and trips to heat vehicles or tents.

Some installations are completed special CO2 sensorscontrolling the level of gas in the room. If the values ​​increase to critical levels, an automatic system is activated that instantly shuts off the fuel supply.

The device can be conventional or infrared. AT infrared gas catalytic heaters applied ceramic panel. They are also equipped with a reflector located on the inner surface. It provides localized localized exposure and allows you to quickly reach a comfortable thermal range.

Infrared Catalytic Heater
Installations operating due to infrared radiation are used in residential buildings and in open areas.In the process of obtaining thermal energy, low-frequency waves are involved, which are absolutely safe for health.

Devices with an infrared emitter heat surrounding objects without spending extra energy on heating the air. However, heating small rooms with them, especially with an area of ​​less than 10 m², is not recommended. Due to their high performance, they can be used outdoors to efficiently heat summer verandas and other open spaces.

We wrote about varieties of infrared emitters and the rules for choosing the best option in this article.

Conventional Catalytic Heaters warm air, but not surrounding objects. Among them there are miniature portable devices and fairly large-sized installations, reminiscent of the appearance of a large boiler.

An example of the simplest design without housing
Manufacturers produce plants in a variety of design options. There are models in the form of a reflector, fireplace, floor speakers on casters. Some equipment is additionally equipped with a hob for cooking in camping conditions.

The average performance of gas heaters is about 2900 watts. Power models, additionally equipped with a fan and heating element, reaches 4900 watts. The heating area depends on the power of the device.

Differences from gasoline and multi-fuel models

Gas appliances are the most common, but not the only kind of catalytic equipment. Heating plants can work on other types of fuel.

Depending on this criterion, three more types of devices are distinguished:

  1. Petrol. Devices with an integrated fuel tank connected to a catalytic cartridge. The gasoline vapors in them fall into the cartridge and undergo oxidation when interacting with the catalyst. Mobility and modest size contribute to the special popularity of gasoline heaters among outdoor enthusiasts, hunters, fishermen.
  2. On technical alcohol. Designs with a special internal compartment in which a container with alcohol or dry fuel is placed. Represented by small-sized models weighing no more than 1.5-2 kg. They are used exclusively in the field: they heat up tents, dry clothes, warm food and drink.
  3. Multi-fuel. Universal heaters that work with any available type of fuel, both gaseous and liquid. They are characterized by a rather limited power - 500-1200 watts.

In addition to the external characteristics, there are no significant differences between gas, gasoline and multi-fuel heaters of a catalytic type. All of them work on the principle of catalytic combustion and have a similar internal structure.

Multi-fuel type catalytic heater
The main advantages of gasoline and multi-fuel models are mobility, compact dimensions, and a relatively affordable price. With regard to technical and operational parameters, gas installations are an order of magnitude superior to them.

Gas appliances are easier to maintain, have high performance, and are designed for a wide range of applications.

Gasoline devices are a little more difficult to operate. To ensure efficient and trouble-free operation, you need to refuel them with gasoline of the highest degree of purification.

Pros and cons of catalytic devices

Like any type of equipment, catalytic heaters have a number of advantages and disadvantages that must be considered when choosing.

Devices have many positive aspects:

  • compact and light weight - the dimensions and convenient design of most models make it easy to move and install devices, portable options fit without problems into the trunk of a car or a small travel bag;
  • environmental friendliness - due to the fact that the heaters do not emit harmful combustion products and unpleasant odors, a healthy microclimate is preserved in the room, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is completely absent;
  • safety - the absence of a flame during operation eliminates the possibility of a fire, the device can be used without fear in a house, in a tent, in a warehouse, in an industrial workshop;
  • profitability - working at full power, the devices consume 100-300 g of fuel per hour, in many models the performance can be adjusted;
  • fuel availability - the cylinder can be easily purchased or gas up at any gas station;
  • simplicity of device - the design is devoid of complex mechanisms, everything is arranged as simple and clear as possible.

But there are negative nuances. The most significant minus is limited life. Although marketers claim that the plate can work up to 8 years, in practice, according to a number of users, the terms do not exceed 2500 hours, which is associated with the gradual burnout of the catalyst during the heating process.

Defective catalyst
Under the condition of round-the-clock use of the device, the catalyst resource will be exhausted after about 5 months of operation. The feasibility of replacing a failed plate is doubtful: it will cost 2/3 of the price of a new device.

The second drawback is serious dependence on the quality of the fuel mixture. Poorly cleaned fuel affects heating efficiency and shortens equipment life, quickly rendering it unusable.

Many consumers attribute shortcomings high cost catalytic gas appliances. On average, a heater of this type with a power of 2900 watts costs about 11,000 rubles.

Heater safety precautions
Catalytic equipment is undesirable to put in bedrooms, rooms with high humidity, next to flammable objects. It is forbidden to dry wet shoes and clothes on it.

Despite the safety of the catalytic equipment, during use it is necessary to adhere to the operating rules recommended by the manufacturer.

We also recommend watching safe operation tips bottled gas in the apartment.

Choosing the optimal heater

Choosing a suitable heater, it is necessary to take into account many nuances, evaluate the convenience of design, functionality, additional features and a complete set of the model you like. Consider the main criteria for the right choice.

Criterion No. 1 - place and conditions of use

The first step is to decide on the goals for which you plan to buy a catalytic device. The optimal type of design and the set of characteristics necessary in this case depends on where and in what conditions the device will be used.

Compact portable tent heater
For working outdoors, small portable devices are designed that easily fit in a backpack and are independent of communications

The main indicators should be selected taking into account the conditions of the upcoming operation, the parameters of the heated object. It is necessary to take into account the estimated frequency of use, heating area, preview the reviews of real customers about the model.

So, for space heating, you should buy larger-sized heaters with sufficient power and automatic safety sensors. If the device will need to be frequently rearranged, it is better to choose a mobile design on wheels.

Criterion No. 2 - technical characteristics

One of the main parameters of the heater is power. To choose a device with the correct performance, you should perform preliminary calculations, consult with the seller, carefully study the instructions. The technical documentation should indicate what area the capacity of a particular model is designed for.

In addition, it is necessary to pay attention to such characteristics:

  • gas consumption - how much fuel is required for operation, is the device economical;
  • sizes - what is the width, length and height of the device, is there enough room in the room to provide free space around it (1.5 m in the front, 0.2 m in the back and sides);
  • type of management - mechanical or electronic;
  • weight and volume of provided cylinder - Is the device too heavy, how much will it be difficult to move and install.

It is important to check the equipment and its compatibility with the equipment. The standard set includes gearbox, gas hose, sometimes a cylinder. If any of the elements does not fit into the device, it is necessary to purchase suitable adapters.

High Performance Indoor Heater
The assortment of catalytic heaters includes models with different performance ranges. Devices with a capacity of up to 2.9 kW are able to heat an area of ​​30-35 m². Power of about 4 kW is suitable for rooms up to 60 m². There are also low-power devices that heat up no more than 12 m². Their performance is about 1.2 kW

It is desirable that the heater be equipped with additional design and functionality.

The main additions and features are as follows:

  • automatic power adjustment in several modes;
  • a horizontal position sensor that turns off the device during a sharp mechanical impact, skew, tipping over;
  • system for monitoring the level of carbon dioxide in the room;
  • infrared heating;
  • piezo ignition;
  • electric turbofan;
  • overpressure relief valve.

For greater convenience in use, it is worth choosing a device with wheels for free movement, handles, dummy legs installed in different positions.

Overview of the best manufacturers

An extensive range of catalytic heaters is represented by various import and domestic brands. Consider several manufacturers whose products are recognized by consumers as the best in this field.

No. 1 - reliable and functional Bartolini devices

The heating equipment of the Italian brand Bartolini is most in demand on the market. The company produces quite powerful devices with a capacity of 2900 to 4200 watts, operating on liquefied gas.

The main emphasis in production is on the independence of equipment from the availability of communications.

Bartolini heater with integrated cylinder
Almost all of the presented models are equipped with gas cylinders built into the body, have several power modes with the possibility of step adjustment, and are offered in different configurations. The operation of devices is based on the conversion of thermal energy into infrared radiation

Heaters of the Italian manufacturer can be purchased at a price of 11 to 18 thousand rubles. They are distinguished by good quality, reliability, economical fuel consumption.

Most of them have CO2 monitoring sensors and rollover shutdown systems. Among buyers, the model is especially in demand Bartolini pullover k.

No. 2 - compact and economical models from Campingaz

The next most popular company is Campingaz. This French company produces efficient and safe gas heaters for residential, warehouse, retail and industrial premises. Special attention is paid to portable equipment that provides a comfortable stay in nature.

Compact model of Campingaz brand
Campingaz heaters are characterized by small dimensions, stylish modern design, long working life. They are equipped with reliable sensors-analyzers that guarantee the safe operation of the device

The devices of the brand provide excellent heat transfer, have European quality certificates. Their production involves new technologies of fuel economy.

The average cost of products is 11 thousand rubles. The best representative of the assortment is considered Campingaz cr 5000 turbo.

No. 3 - comfortable and safe heaters of the Kovea brand

The Korean company Kovea offers customers gas heaters of various designs. Mostly these are compact portable models of low power, operating on the basis of infrared radiation.

Kovea brand heater
The main difference between Kovea heaters is the simplicity of the device, compactness and light weight.They are very convenient to use, but are designed for heating a small area. They are mainly used outdoors, on hikes, in small garages and utility rooms.

The Korean manufacturer practically does not use plastic elements in the design of his devices, which further increases the safety of operation. The average price of products is 5-8 thousand rubles.

No. 4 - inexpensive and hardy heaters from Argo

The low cost version of the catalytic heater is offered by the domestic manufacturer Argo. The gas heat generator of this company is designed for heating industrial premises, garages, verandas with normal air circulation. Farmers often use it in greenhouses, sheds.

Catalytic heater Argo
The device runs on gas supplied through a special hose from a 5-15 liter cylinder. With a capacity of 2900 W, 250 g / h of fuel is consumed. Despite the minimum percentage of carbon dioxide emissions, the device must not be operated in poorly ventilated rooms.

With not too large dimensions, the weight of the device is 6.7 kg. There are no wheels in it, so moving it over long distances is quite difficult. But for stationary use, it is quite suitable. The approximate cost of the device is 2000 rubles.

Does the catalytic version of the device seem unreasonably expensive as a temporary heater for a summer residence? We recommend that you familiarize yourself with others gas appliancessuitable for heating temporary accommodation.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Recommendations for the selection of devices, the main structural differences of the models:

Feasibility, pros and cons of using a catalytic heater in the following video:

The process of applying the catalyst to the surface of the plate at home:

How catalytic combustion occurs - a visual experiment in the following video:

Catalytic gas heat generators are an excellent option for temporary heating of various rooms, heating garages, tents, greenhouses. They are completely safe: in the process of their work harmful combustion products and unpleasant odors are not emitted..

A large selection of sizes and designs makes it easy to choose a device, both for stationary use, and one that you can easily take with you on the road. When choosing a catalytic heater, you need to focus on the operational characteristics of the room, individual requirements, financial capabilities. It is also important to give preference to reliable manufacturers with a positive reputation in the market.

Do you use a gas heater with a catalytic plate and want to share your opinion on the advisability of buying such a device with other users? Tell us about the pros and cons identified during operation, add unique photos of your heater model in the comment block below.

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