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by Hunter Kissam April 19, 2022 3 min read

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Martin direct vent heaters are some of the best heating options for off-grid living or for staying warm during an outage. The 2021 winter storm in Texas, killing 246 people, serves as a reminder of how much we take heating for granted.

Well, Martin heaters don’t need electricity to operate and they can keep your space warm year-round if you follow these tips. Let’s talk about how to choose the right system and get the most out of it!

Determining the Size Allowance

Of course, square footage is an important factor, and we’ll get to that in a bit. However, an often-overlooked factor is how much space you have on your wall, as this can be a limiting factor for your purchase.

Remember, these are direct vent heaters, meaning that they’ll need to connect directly to a natural gas or propane tank. For this reason, you’ll need enough space on your wall inside and enough room for a tank directly outside.

Martin heaters come in roughly the same height (around 22 inches or 57 cm) across the board, which shouldn’t be a problem. However, you’ll need a wall space wide enough to accompany between 30 and 66 cm (12 to 26 inches) with 3 feet away from the edge of the building and 6 to 12 inches away from window frames. This can be challenging if you have a specific room in mind, but it’s important to determine how much room you have for a new heater.

Determine Your Power Needs

Heat is measured in British thermal units or BTUs. To determine the BTUs you need in your home or cabin, you’ll need to determine the square footage of the space you want to heat. A small, one-room cabin may only need 8,000 BTUs to comfortably heat the building, especially with proper installation and limited wall space.

However, a building with multiple rooms and limited heating sources can pose several challenges. Generally speaking, 8,000 BTUs will only be enough for 200 square feet at most. For any room or building larger than 10x20 feet, you’ll need at least a 12,000 BTU unit.

For larger cabins or for heating multiple rooms (of any size), you’ll need a 20,000 BTU unit, which is the largest size. If you don’t have the wall space, then you may need two separate heaters.

Getting the Most Out of Your Martin Heater

First, buy the largest system your wall space can afford. It’s better to have the extra heating capacity and not use it than to have to upgrade your system later on.

Second, make sure your cabin or home is properly insulated, including around door frames and window frames. Seal any cracks you find with an insulative caulk and use a stopper beneath your door to prevent any leaks.

Lastly, when you install the Martin heater ensure that your system’s valves are secure and free from leaks. Martin heaters operate at over 80% efficiency, so ensure that you’re getting the most out of your system.

Stay Warm

Now that you know how to get the most out of your Martin heater, choose the right model for your needs and stay warm throughout the year! If you have the right one and you install it correctly, then you won’t have to worry. Stay up to date with our latest off-grid living tips and feel free to shop with us for free shipping and our price match guarantee!


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Hunter Kissam
Hunter Kissam

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