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I first got the idea to use this kind of heating unit a year or so ago when I went into Ken Brown & Sons to buy some plumbing stuff. They’re a plumbing supply shop located here in Mid-City right smack in a residential neighborhood — one of those many weird juxtapositions I love about New Orleans. They were heating the place with a big unvented natural gas unit. I made a mental note.

Last week when the girl was illin’, I went back to Ken Brown’s with her in tow. I hardly recognized the place. It was getting back to its original pre-Katrina configuration. In any event, I purchased a HearthRite 10,000 BTU vent-free natural gas heater. The rep I was dealing with was very helpful. In fact I’d say he took pity on me, possibly because I had a cute baby girl strapped to my chest and seemed utterly clueless. He even went so far as to find me a passable base for the unit, cutting a hole in the metal to make it work, and throwing in some screws and a couple connectors at no extra charge.

Over the weekend I managed to get the base attached to the heater. Yeah, it’s supposed to be wall-mounted but we don’t really have a good place for that. I was going to hook it up but when I read the instructions I got intimidated and decided I’d call my plumber.

Then this morning I discussed it with my coffee klatsch (more about them at some future date) and they gave me the confidence to go ahead and do it myself. So here it is in all its glory.


I need to get a longer connector because current placement is not optimal. But all in all I’m pretty happy with the results. This thing is small but it puts out some serious heat.

Published inConsumerismOur House


  1. Looks like it will keep you toasty, but the girl might start sticking her hands in it when she crawls. It’s amazing how quickly half the things in your house start to look dangerous once the kids become mobile.

  2. Oh yeah. She’s already mobile enough that it’s a concern. And when she really starts crawling it will be a serious issue. But you know what they say: The burned hand teaches best. I like this so much better than the portable electric space heater we have.

  3. That reminds me of the gas heating vents in my great aunt’s house in Gentilly. Stick that in the wall and throw some iron work in front of it and you’ve got yourself a modernized version. I think that would be pretty cool.

  4. anthony anthony

    Ken Brown’s is precisely where it needs to be for New Orleans. We forget sometimes that this is a city. Of course, if the current Zoning had its way you wouldn’t have Ken Brown’s to kick around. It would be yet another double. And that’s why we need a zoning that recognizes the mosaic that is New Orleans rather than the current mess of zoning applied with a paint roller that is more suitable to Slidell.

  5. I’m with you 100% on that Anthony. Now that we’ve committed to having a serious plan, we need to make sure it’s done right. I hope you personally can get involved with that process, because I think you have a good perspective.

  6. anthony anthony

    I went to the district 4 planning meeting and met the guy working on the zoning code. I am hoping to get to the citywide economic development meeting (if I don’t have to work). But I am trying to write it all up in a way that won’t confuse the people working on the plan. Though I can make a point forcefully in person I generally make it more coherently in writing.

    (actually, the night after that master plan vote passed with the votes of the naive, a little tipsy from the Landrieu victory party, I dashed off an email asking where the office was so I could get to work on the plan. No response from that email yet.)

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