Authorities are warning that old gas heaters can produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

Homes with either a Vulcan Heritage or a Pyrox Heritage gas heater are being urged not to use them until they are tested by a qualified gasfitter.

Victoria’s Director of Energy Safety, Paul Fearon, says both the Pyrox and Vulcan brands of the Heritage heater produce high levels of carbon monoxide under certain conditions.

“If the house is well sealed and the heater is operating at the same time as a kitchen or bathroom exhaust fan, carbon monoxide from the heater can be drawn into living areas,” he said.

“The manufacturer Climate Technologies has a program in place to test every household with one of these heaters.”

Open flue heaters, like the Vulcan Heritage or Pyrox Heritage space heater, are old technology and not necessarily compatible with many new or renovated homes with less ventilation.

As a result, and in addition to the testing and replacement program now in place, all Vulcan Heritage or Pyrox Heritage space heaters have been withdrawn from sale and their manufacturer has ceased production.

“This is a timely reminder that everyone should have indoor gas appliances, especially heaters, checked by a qualified gasfitter every two years,” Mr Fearon said.

Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has a program in place to have all Vulcan Heritage gas space heaters or Pyrox Heritage gas space heater in their properties tested.

Private homeowners can contact the manufacturer Climate Technologies to arrange for a test of the heater and the installation environment by a qualified gasfitter (to be appointed by Climate Technologies). Climate Technologies will provide a $150 rebate towards the cost of this test.