How did you get into heaters?
What he got after we came back from overseas was working for Coonara and that's where he learned about wood. And then he started his business with John Woodhouse, the original designer of the wood heater, the Conara. Originally was an Arrow wood stove from America, but called them Conara Here in Australia,
He went into business with Mike and the first year we sold 5000 Arrow Heaters, which people knew as Coorara. Coonara became a very recognised brand in Australia even hough the product was actually Arrow wood stove heaters. And we did that from 1986 till 1997.
Around that time wood heaters were going out of fashion, and people didn’t want to use them due to concerns about pollution. Gas was so much cleaner. So we switched to gas heaters. Our first gas heaters were approved in August 1996.
Our First Gas Log Heater
We started with the one speed heater. The efficiency was good. Originally, we didn't always install the condensate pump with the humidifier. It used to be an optional extra. But sometimes people did not get rid of that condensate properly. And it used to give problems. Since then we made all heaters standard with the automatic humidification so there was no more problems with the drainage.
It was always very important that the fluing was done correctly. We had to learn, the installers had to learn, the salespeople in the shops had to learn; it's was important to know what type of flu, how long the flu can be, making sure that there was no water trap in the flu. So installation was a learning process in the first few years. But we've now been around for a long time. It’s not a problem anymore as most installers know how to install flues.
In 2001 to 2002, we did an interim changeover from a one to a three fan speed gas heater. And then in May 2002, we were ready with the new control board to go to the three fan speed or individual burner control. And we are still currently using that same system.
A three fan speed individual burner control
We have three fan speed individual burner control, so you can run the front burner, or the back burner, or both burners, which gives you three heat settings. The fan is controlled by the heat in the firebox. So the more heat you have in the firebox, the more heat you can transfer out with the fan, and that is controlled automatically.
For the 1200 and 1500, our high end larger liner type gas heaters, they only have one burner, but they have a modulating gas valve meaning if you turn the gas up or down with that one burner that will still give you heat control and fan speed control. It uses a different control system.