Mr. Buddy heaters are a popular choice for people looking to stay warm during winter. Buddy heaters quickly and efficiently provide heat during cold weather. This heater’s portability is one reason behind its popularity, and it can also save you money. However, there are different schools of thought on leaving Mr heater on all night.
Keep reading to learn more about Mr buddy heater’s outdoor use.
Is it safe to sleep with a buddy heater on?
No. Since a Buddy Heater uses an open flame as a heat source, you should never leave it unsupervised. If you have to leave a room, turn the heater off to avoid accidents. Never sleep with a Mr. Buddy heater.
You can use your Buddy heater to heat you overnight. It has a built-in low oxygen sensor that will turn off the heater if it detects any gas. It will also turn off if it gets tipped over.
Can you sleep with a Mr. Buddy heater in a tent?
You can use a Buddy Heater to heat your tent while sleeping, but it is not recommended. Likewise, leaving your Mr buddy heater unsupervised is not advisable.
Even with its built-in safety features such as the oxygen depletion sensor and accidental tip-over switch, they can fail malfunction, leading to serious injury or death.
Do Mr. Buddy’s heaters have a carbon monoxide detector?
Yes. The Mr. Buddy heater has a low oxygen sensor that shuts it off automatically. This is a safety feature to keep carbon monoxide from being produced due to too little oxygen in the air.
Can you sleep with a Mr buddy heater outdoors?
Using a Mr Buddy outdoors without any confines is the same as using a bonfire or a fire pit. It’s doable but you have to be really careful to avoid any incidences.
While many people sleep with a Mr. Buddy Heater on, it is not recommended. This is because a Buddy Heater has an open flame. So, it’s safer to be awake to supervise any heat source with an open flame.
Most models have automatic shut-off features if the heater accidentally tips over, but you can never be too safe. Sleeping with a Buddy Heater is especially precarious if you have pets or kids.
If you want to use the Buddy Heater as a night-time heat source, heat your tent before sleep, shut off the heater, and burrow in blankets. If it gets too cold at night, you can wake up and run the heater for a few minutes before turning it off. To help you stay warm throughout the night, you can put hot water bottles in your sleeping bag.
Top safety tips to always consider when using a Mr buddy heaters
Here are some tips to help you use Mr buddy’s heater safely;
Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector
Every RV needs a carbon monoxide detector. If you have a large RV, you need a carbon monoxide detector in the living space and bedroom. You can purchase battery-powered detectors or DC-power CO2 detectors that hard-wire into your RV power system. Perform regular safety checks on all detectors in your RV.
Avoid Flammable Objects, Too
The Consumer Product Safety Commission calls it the “three-foot rule,” and it’s pretty simple: Avoid placing a space heater within three feet of anything flammable. Some manuals list curtains, papers, furniture, pillows, and bedding as objects to stay away from.
The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers recommends further precautions, including keeping flammable materials like paint and matches far away. If there’s a slight risk of a pillow or another flammable object falling, such as in an earthquake, set the space heater somewhere the object won’t land on it.
Place the Heater on the Floor
It may be tempting to place your space heater somewhere, so it blows right in your face. Please do not set it on a shelf, a stool, or a wooden workbench in the basement. Keep it off the rug, too, and definitely off your bed. While these scenarios might appear safe, they increase the risk of the heater falling, tipping over, or otherwise overheating, which could start a fire.
Focus on Routine Maintenance
When using a fuel-based heater, staying on top of maintenance is crucial. First, check the wick of your heater every week and clean it according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Then, go for a professional inspection every two years. The technician will clean out your heater and identify any faults or damage.
Ensure Testing Laboratory recognizes your Heating Unit
If not operated properly, fuel heaters can pose a huge fire risk. To avoid any damage, make sure your heater is safe to operate and is recognized by a reliable laboratory.
Crack a Window
You must have proper ventilation for the efficient and safe operation of any propane-powered heat source or flame. For example, crack a window when using a Buddy Heater. It may seem counterintuitive to crack a window when it’s cold outside, but you need to do it to ensure your heater is running safely.
Use Your Nose
You can’t smell carbon monoxide, but you can smell melting plastic and smoke. So if your Buddy Heater is emitting a funny odor, don’t use it until a professional can check it out.
You can smell propane, too. Don’t ignite any flame or spark if you smell propane at all. Evacuate immediately, turn off the outside propane knob, and call a professional.
Check for Leaks Regularly
You should check for propane leaks every time you use your Buddy Heater and change the propane canister. You can detect propane leaks by filling a spray bottle with soapy water and spraying it on your propane connections. If you see bubbles forming around a connection, you leak. You can also smell around the heater for propane, but double-check with the soapy water trick.
Clear the Area Around and on Top
The Buddy Heaters heat with an open flame, and the area around the heater can get very warm. Without proper care, you risk melting or burning nearby objects or lighting them on fire.
Before turning your Buddy Heater on, clear the area above and around it. Remove any objects that could ignite or melt, and be sure nothing is hanging above it (like coats or decorations) that could ignite.
Use Oxygen Sensors
It is recommended that only approved unvented gas heaters be used. Approved heaters will have Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS) pilots, which shut off gas flow when oxygen levels in the space drop to 18.5% or lower. For reference, normal air levels linger around 21%.
Use Appropriate Spaces
Again, a professional installer would be able to determine the proper heating unit for your space; their knowledge is invaluable. It is strongly recommended by the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association (GAMA) not to use a heater that is too large for any given space.
As these are only supposed to be used for supplemental heat, they are not to be used for more than four hours and are not to be used in small, unventilated spaces such as bathrooms or bedrooms.
Mr. Buddy Heater’s Deaths
There are no reports of RV carbon monoxide deaths explicitly linked to Mr. Heater’s brand Buddy Heaters. However, in a semi-recent story out of Kennewick, Washington, a man, and his dog died from carbon monoxide poisoning while cooking on a Mr. Heater outdoor heater inside a van.
Further details about this case reveal that the van-dweller was using a heater that isn’t indoor safe and had been altered to remove fail-safes. This van-dweller removed automatic safety shut-off switches and used an outdoor heater inside his van, which may have contributed to the poisoning and death.
As such, there are no confirmed Mr buddy heater deaths caused by poor heater design.
Mr. Buddy Heater Warnings
Even with careful maintenance and followed recommendations for safe usage, Unvented gas heaters pose several threats. Here are the main hazards of using a gas heater;
The most obvious drawback to these heaters is the danger of fire. Heaters cause 43% of house fires in the United States. Improper installation, positioning, and maintenance are the most common reasons these heaters create housefires. However, these heaters can still be a fire danger in smaller spaces if placed directly on carpets or rugs, too close to a wall, located near combustibles such as furniture, fabrics, and paper.
Allowing them to run for too long or running them unsupervised, especially with pets or children, are also dangerous causes of house fires.
These appliances also create unwanted levels of humidity and condensation. This condensation directly results from the heater’s efficiency and the creation of methane that is released into the room.
Because there is no vent to collect the water vapors produced in creating heat, the water vapor moves into the open space. Adding too much humidity to an area can result in the following:
- Wooden furniture may warp and rot.
- Paint and wallpaper may begin to bubble and peel.
- Mold may grow within the plaster.
- Severe health problems for homeowners, especially those who have allergies or asthma.
- The heater’s efficiency has to be reduced from 99% to 90% (via improved ventilation) to reduce water vapor in the air.
Gas Heaters and Gas Emissions
Natural gas and propane heaters significantly impact indoor air quality and, as a result, can become a severe health concern. Ventilation is needed to remove pollutants such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. Unvented gas heaters do not have this option, though, which makes them dangerous and falsely boosts their heating efficiency.
According to the National Fuel Gas Code, one air change per hour (ACH) would mean that a room that measures 10×20 feet would see a 25% reduction in the efficiency of a 3,800 Btu/hr unit.
Since air changes are less likely to happen with an unvented heater, they are seen as more efficient than they should be and are more dangerous.
Carbon dioxide, while not considered toxic, poses several health risks. For example, increased carbon dioxide exposure causes headaches, dizziness, restlessness, tiredness, elevated blood pressure, asphyxia, and in severe cases, convulsions and coma.
Carbon monoxide, at low levels, causes long-term health issues. At higher levels, it is toxic and potentially fatal. Carbon monoxide is a non-irritating, odorless, colorless, and unnoticeable gas. Therefore, only carbon monoxide deters can detect it.
Carbon monoxide is the most often lethal form of gas and is known to cause organ damage, permanent brain damage, and death. Approximately two hundred people are killed by carbon monoxide produced by unvented fuel-burning heaters.
Nitrogen dioxide can affect immune systems while raising susceptibility to respiratory infections, even when people are only exposed at minimal levels.
Because some nitrogen oxide is always produced in a flame, it is credited with increasing asthma, cough, sore throat, even nausea, and vertigo. In addition, long-term effects of exposure to this gas can be chronic lung diseases such as emphysema.
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When gas doesn’t burn completely, some carbon molecules become soot, proof of carbon monoxide in space. In addition, methyl mercaptan is added to the mixture if the unvented gas heater uses natural gas. It causes that sulfuric rotten egg smell that allows you to notice the leak.
When methyl mercaptan burns, it creates sulfur dioxide that can irritate the eyes and the respiratory tract. In addition to this, a visible residue is left on the walls, showing evidence of pollutants coating the area.
Brown and yellow residues are effects of pollutants from the heater reacting to tobacco smoke, pet dander, or polyurethanes found in furniture and carpeting.
Gray residues are effects of those same pollutants interacting with chemical formulations and wax of the non-organic air fresheners.
Black residues are the apparent sign of soot caused by the incomplete burn in the heater itself but are also often caused by the incomplete burn by debris collected on the outside or top of the heater, such as lint, dust, and so on.
While unvented gas heaters appear economical and efficient, these qualities are just a facade resulting from improper ventilation.
You should never leave the heater unsupervised. Use a carbon monoxide detector to increase safe usage, supervise your heater, check for leaks, and keep it away from flammable objects. Lastly, do not use the heater in an unvented or confined space.