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Heater not working right

My desa ventless heater is putting out a very bad odor and is putting a very bad smokey film on anything around it. The heater is about 2 yrs. old.

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Re: heater not working right

If you burn candles it will cause this problem.Also you need to clean the dust out of burner and pilot burner. ACE HARDWARD WHEELERSBURG, OHIO T CHAPMAN

Posted on Feb 07, 2008

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I would really like to help you determine what you have. However, the model number you listed is not a DESA model number. I think you may have listed the Serial Number instead. DESA/Vanguard/Comfort Glow wall heater model numbers start with 2 to 3 letters then 4 to 5 numbers.

However, to visually tell if it's Vent-free (Vent-less) look for a round hole for a vent pipe connection and/or look at the manufacture's data plate on the side or rear of the heater. It will tell you whether it's Vented or Vent-free. If it doesn't have a 3' round hole for a vent pipe, it's Vent-free.

Hope this helped you and thanks for choosing FixYa.

Sep 08, 2011 | Heaters

2 Answers

I have a blueflame probane heater ventless and when burning it has a slight smell. Is that normal for this ventless heater.

It depends on what it smells like. Initially, when the unit is installed it should be burned on HIGH for 45 minutes to an hour. Doings that, burns off all the oils and seasons the heater. Sort of like seasoning a cast iron skillet. After that, the newness odors should be gone. It's normal to get a whiff of gas when the burner lights or turns off. It should dissipate rather quickly.

Although Vent-free (ventless) heaters are very safe to use and are 99.5% efficient, their one drawback is that pick up strong household odors, like strong cleaning products, carpet shampoos, new paint or stain odors, strong cooking odors, etc and make them worse. That's why it's always best not to use the heater during or after painting, for at least 2 weeks. Although your nose may not detect the paint odor, the heater can and will make it worse. Also, always use your range's exhaust hood when cooking. Hopefully, it's the vented type and not one of do nothing recycling hoods.

Also, thoroughly cleaning the heater inside and out , at least once a season, will go along way in reducing odors and maintaining the longevity of your heater.

One other caution, do not burn scented candles and operate the heater at the same time. Scented candles soot anyway, but adding the warm moist, comfortable heat from the vent-free heater, will cause them to soot 50 times worse. Trust me, it's not the heater, it's the scented candles sooting.

Hope this helped explain some of the things that you asked about and more. If I can be of further help, please ask me through the Leave a Comment link.

Apr 22, 2011 | Procom MN300HGB Heater

1 Answer

Can I modify my model #RSE5LP Glo-Warm heater from a ventless to a vented one?

Because the heater you have is rated by Underwriters Laboratory (UL) it cannot be modified. Sorry.

Jan 14, 2010 | Desa International Blower Glow Warm Wall...

1 Answer

Pilot light goes out when I turn the the dial to "On"

Hi no thermocoples are made to be exchanged never come across that in 30 years of gas fitting

Nov 16, 2009 | Rinnai Desa Vent-Free Infrared Gas Heater:...

1 Answer


the heater makes use of a millivolt generator which generates a small dc voltage (500-750mv) that is applied to the pilot valve of your main gas valve. when you light your pilot, the flame bathes the generator with a flame. after a delay you release the pilot button. if the generator is working, the pilot valve will stay lit. if the generator is not working the flame will go out as soon as you release the pilot button. change the generator.

Oct 13, 2009 | Desa International Heaters

1 Answer

Desa TD 104 Patio Gas heater

Sounds like you may not be getting enough gas up to the main burner. Bugs, such as spiders, love to make homes out of the main supply lines. Does your pilot light burn blue, and strong? If not, it may need to be cleared of the obstruction. Also, when opening the the gas tank valve, are you opening it slowly?

Feb 08, 2009 | Desa International TD104 Patio Heater

1 Answer

New heater blower fan is obnoxiously loud.

if it makes a kind of grinding noise then the internal brushes for the motor are going bad, if it rattles and vibrates a lot then the fan blades have been knocked out of balance.

Jan 30, 2009 | Desa International GWP20T GLOWARM Wall...

4 Answers

Comfort glo propane ventless heater won't light

I have several of these heaters in my rent houses and love them. The most problem I have is not being able to ignite the pilot with the user control igniter. Remove the screws that hold the front cover in place along with the front cover. Hold the pilot control down and ignite with a lighter. Keep the pilot engaged until thermocouple is warm enough to keep pilot gas flowing. If it will light this way then you need to blow out the pilot orifice. It seems that every year I have to go in after the summer season when the heater is off and clean the pilot/orifice lines with high pressure air. I believe spiders/bugs/dust block pilot orifice when it is not in use. You can also tell that orifice is blocked when you don't get a good blue pilot flame with pressure behind it allowing the flame to submerse the thermocouple. If the the thermocouple is not getting enought heat it will turn pilot gas off for safety reasons.

Nov 16, 2008 | Desa International GWP20T GLOWARM Wall...

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