The design and functionality of home heating systems have gone a long way. We’ve been relying more on electrical devices since the early days of lodge-burning. If you hear about the kerosene heater, you might be able to place it in a gray area.
And maybe you’re a little skeptical about it. Today’s article is here to remove all your doubts. We will tell you more about the main benefits of using a kerosene heater.
Find out what features you should look for in such a device and how to take care of it. Learn more about what makes such a heater efficient and how to identify the one that best meets your needs.
We have also prepared a meticulous selection of the best kerosene heaters to make it all better. We’ve got some home-warming ideas coming up, so get cozy and keep reading.
How Does It Work?
If you’re curious about the science behind a kerosene heater, you should know it works like a kerosene lamp. The main components are fiberglass or a cotton wick, a burner, and a kerosene tank (usually made of font).
The lit wick draws kerosene from the tank by capillary action. When the fuel is heated, it turns into a gas. This gas burns and heats, either through convection or radiation. The design of the burner unit improves proper oxygenation and flame distribution.
Your kerosene heater also features an adjustment mechanism. This way, you can control how high the flames are, by changing the length of the exposed wick. To put out the fire, the mechanism will completely retract the wick into the chamber underneath the burner.
Some more modern versions of the kerosene heater can also be fitted with a fan. Powered by electricity, it pushes out the heated air.
However, most heaters are not electrically based. They have an igniter that operates on batteries or is piezoelectric, so you don’t need matches. Now, what kind of features should you look for when you’re trying to choose the best kerosene heater for your needs?
Main Features To Look For In The Best Kerosene Heaters
Choosing a heating appliance should be a well-informed decision. You know, this way, you make a wise investment and you get the performance you need. Below, you’ll find the main features you need to consider when you’re planning to buy a kerosene heater. Hope this short guide will shed some light on your uncertainties.
Coverage Area & BTUs
As with other heaters, the BTU of the kerosene heater is a performance indicator. The number of BTUs reflects the amount of energy generated in an hour.
As you can imagine, a higher BTU indicates more heat in your space. However, you should not assume that a heater with a very high rating is best suited to your space.
On the contrary, getting a heater that is too powerful for a small area can lead to problems. Overheating, odor, and carbon monoxide release, increased costs are just a few of them. Start by measuring the room where you plan to use the kerosene heaters as a thumb rule.
Depending on the surface you want to heat up, you can search for an appropriate BTU model. The good news is that most products mention the average area in which they deliver their best performance.
You will see a note on the description of the item for both the BTU and the coverage area. You can use an online calculator or do the math yourself if you want to double-check.
Once you measure the width and length of your room, you multiply it to the surface of the sq ft. Then multiply this number by 28, for a rough estimate of the BTU needed for your room.
For example, in a room that is approximately 200 square feet, you need a kerosene heater with approximately 5600 BTUs. Avoid getting a BTU model too high compared to the needs of your space.
You know, this way, you’re not going to have the heater working incorrectly, burning too much fuel. In addition, overheating or excessive use can lead to the release of more carbon monoxide.
This can easily become a health and safety hazard in small, poorly ventilated areas.
It’s always good to save some free space in your work area or home. That’s why you need to find kerosene heaters that occupy the least space possible. You’ll find a number of shapes and sizes among the available models.
Round, square, or cylinder-like heaters will vary in size depending on their performance. Models designed for warehouses or garages are considerably larger than versions intended for home use. Keep in mind, too, how often you plan to move the heater.
Smaller heaters are more portable and easier to store during the hot season. Large kerosene heaters force you to install it in a fixed location and not move them or transport them to another location.
There are a few factors that influence the amount of time a kerosene heater can run. You should consider them when choosing your model to get the best results.
First of all, the size of the tank affects the quantity of fuel stored. The more fuel you consume, the longer your heater will provide warmth. Also, having a thermostat included allows for finer room temperature control.
The heater can stop or reduce the flame as soon as the temperature of the room reaches the desired level. The time of combustion also varies depending on the average temperature of the environment.
Depending on the climate and thermostat settings, the heater can burn more.
As we said before, a larger tank is equal to a higher running time for your heater. That’s a plus if you’re planning to use it on a daily basis.
Otherwise, a small tank could do a job well enough for you. Keep in mind that you also need enough storage space for a large tank. And, of course, a large tank gets a lot heavier when it’s full, so consider that if you’re planning on transporting your heater.
The main advantage of a kerosene heater with a high tank capacity is that you don’t have to refill it too often. However, make sure you empty it completely before you store it away, in order to reduce any risks.
Safety & Comfort Features
Extra safety features can ease your mind when using a kerosene heater. This applies whether you have a child running around the house or you want a warm but secure working space.
Wheels and handles
Wheels and handles are essential for the safe transport of your heater. They’re a great plus when you move your device to another location, not straining your back.
Electrical ignition system
The electrical ignition system adds to your convenience. Having to press a button instead of searching for a lighter or match is by far an advantage. And your hands are going to be safe from burns, as you don’t have to get close to the burning wick.
Overheat protection is such a feature, which also contributes to the longevity of the heater. Turns the unit off if the temperature exceeds a specific value.
The thermostat and the automatic turn-off option ensure that your heater is working properly. A temperature knob gives you more manual control of the level of heat produced.
Fuel tank and fuel gauge
The kerosene heater with a fuel gauge makes refilling easier and safer. You will certainly appreciate a reduction in the risk of spilling any flammable substances. Also, having a precise idea of the remaining running time will allow you to use it for indoor use wisely. The LCD display can also provide valuable information. It can show the temperature of the room, the heater, or even flag any malfunctions.
Proper ventilation equals no risks of carbon monoxide intoxication. If possible, check for models that include an internal fan. Always place your heater close to a window or a place that favors ventilation. Consider installing a carbon monoxide detector in your space as well. This way, you ensure that the quality of the air meets the standards of health.
This is the manufacturer’s promise that the product you are buying will work well and last for at least a year or more. Most kerosene heaters come with a one-year warranty. If you’re planning to rarely use your unit, consider a two-year model. This way, you get more time to test it, and if there’s a malfunction, you know you’ve got coverage.
Top 11 Best Kerosene Heaters in 2021
1. Sengoku HeatMate HMN-110 Portable Radiant Kerosene Heater
This box-shaped Sengoku kerosene heater is ideal for anyone who needs kerosene heaters for indoor heating up to 380 square feet of indoor space.
They could be either inside the home or in buildings such as a garage or a workshop. It is also suitable when you need an emergency heating solution if your main heating source fails. The indoor use of the heater is very simple provided that you follow the relevant safety features for the indoor use of kerosene.
Batteries are included which allow you to easily start the heater using an electronic ignition and, once it is lit, you have the means to adjust the heat level to a high or low setting depending on your needs.
Safety features include an automatic shut-off switch if carbon monoxide levels increase and also a switch off if the heater is accidentally knocked over. The fuel tank holds 1.2 gallons of kerosene, which should be enough to keep the heater working for up to 14 hours, although this will depend on the heat chosen.
2. Dyna-Glo RMC-95C6 Indoor Kerosene Convection Heater
Although you’d be forgiven for thinking that this kerosene heater looks more like a bird cage, the Dyna-Glo RMC-95C6 is very much like kerosene heaters for indoor that can heat indoor areas, and some of the larger ones.
It is capable of heating up to 1,000 square feet, covering all rooms, garages and workshops. This heater is also the perfect solution to any situation where emergency heating is required. There is nothing complicated about using this heater, although the instruction book is not well written.
It lights easily, however, by pressing the start button for the battery-powered electronic ignition.
Once it is on, the selection of the heat level in the room is achieved by means of a large dial that adjusts the wick.
There is a welcome and useful fuel gauge to help you track fuel depletion. For safety features, the heater has a carbon monoxide detector, and should the levels rise above a safe level, the heater will be switched off. In the event of a heater being knocked over, there is also a safety cut-off.
3. Sengoku KeroHeat CV-23K Portable Convection Kerosene Heater
This is one of the kerosene heaters for indoor capable of heating small to medium indoor rooms, which includes garages and larger workshops up to 1,000 sq ft.
It can also come to the rescue if you need an emergency heat source, either at home, in an office, or even in commercial properties such as a store or small warehouse.
Since it can be used in a number of different scenarios, safety is of paramount importance, especially as there is a potential for several people to be in the vicinity of the heater. The most important feature is the auto-cut if carbon monoxide levels increase.
If someone kicks the heater over, it will shut down as well. Finally, the heater has a protective cage to prevent anyone (especially children) from touching hot parts near the wick. It’s very easy to operate the heater, simply pressing the electronic ignition starter button to get the heater up and running.
Once this has been done, the heat can be adjusted using the side control dial.
4. Mr. Heater MH125KTR Forced Air Kerosene Heater
We now come to those kerosene heaters for indoor designed for larger indoor areas, and our first candidate is Mr. Heater, who pumps out an impressive 125,000 BTUs.
At that level, an area of more than 3,100 square feet can be heated, which means that larger workshops, small factory units, and many medium and large warehouses could all be heated.
With a kerosene fuel tank capacity of 8.5 gallons, it can produce heat for up to 9 hours and therefore heat commercial and industrial premises for 1 or 2 working days. It can also be moved from building to building due to the fact that it sits on a wheeled frame that allows it to be moved easily.
The only requirement is that the room or building should have a power outlet. It’s as easy to operate this kerosene heater as it gets. One press of the electronic ignition switch will be enough to start it, and then you can adjust the heat output using the thermostat dial.
5. Pro-Temp PT-125T-KFA Kerosene Forced Air Heater
If you’re looking for a forced air kerosene heater that can heat up a large area, then this Pro-Temp offer is certainly worth considering.
The output of 125,00 BTUs along with the electric fan blowing that hot air into the building means that it will heat up an area of up to 3,100 sq ft. This gives it the potential to heat up a number of different types of industrial and commercial premises to a full kerosene tank for up to 10 hours.
Like most heaters of this type, it has an electronic ignition, so you can start it right away. The thermostat dial allows you to select the desired level of heat and adjust it as needed. One great feature is the LED display that lets you see what the temperature is like. This display may also be used for diagnostic purposes, should the heater ever develop a fault.
Moving a heater of this size is not usually easy, but with a strong metal frame, it can be rolled from location to location with a minimum of effort. Another convenient feature is the fuel gauge that lets you see when the kerosene tank needs to be refilled.
6. Dyna-Glo Delux Forced Air Heater
Our final kerosene heater for indoor is the one from Dyna-Glo that produces the highest heat output of any one we’ve been looking at.
At 135,000 BTUs, this dyna glo heater can heat up to 3,200 feet, giving you plenty of options as to where it could be used. As far as the options are concerned, this heater also gives two in terms of heat output.
You have the higher of 135,000 that we just mentioned, but you can also set it at 95,000 BTUs. This means that you can lower the dyna glo heat if those in the vicinity start to feel that the area is getting too hot.
The lower setting also reduces fuel consumption, which is why this heater can give you up to 14 hours of running time on a full 10-gallon kerosene fuel tank. You can track fuel indoor use using a fuel gauge located at the base of the heater.
The wheeled base has both the front and the rear handle, which means moving the heater around is very easy.
7. Heatstar By Enerco F170250 Forced Air Kerosene Heater HS50K
A larger area requires a more powerful heating unit. Heatstar By Enerco F170250 Forced Air Kerosene Heater HS50K, 50K may be your answer. Recommended for indoor use in well-ventilated areas, this kerosene heater for indoor can produce up to 50,000 BTU per hour.
This 50,000 BTU Forced Air Kerosene heater by Heatstar is suitable for use in a garage or on the jobsite. With jobsite ready dual powder coated tubular steel handles, pneumatic rubber tires, and a split upper shell built for maintenance, you can expect your Heatstar Forced Air Kerosene Heater to last a long time and provide dependable service.
You can’t go wrong with a high performance fully enclosed motor and large glove friendly controls. This device effortlessly heats up a large space quickly, heating up 1,200 square feet and powered by a factory mounted thermostat.
With a high limit safety switch and a picture CAD cell to shut the device down in hazardous situations, you can use this heater with confidence and focus on the task at hand. This kerosene heater has all of the flexibility and safety features needed for the jobsite.
It’s going to be of great help to you on construction sites or in the areas where repairs are taking place. In a shorter time, the powerful hot air flow proves to be useful in drying surfaces.
8. L.B. White CP125CK Tradesman K125 Portable Forced Air Kerosene Heater, 125,000 BTU
The L.B. White CP125CK Tradesman K125 Heater will sweep your feet away with its performance. Producing up to 125,000 BTU per hour ensures that you are warm and able to work comfortably on cold days.
Ideal for large areas, this forced air heater has a sturdy construction, designed to last. Built-in handles and wheels make transport a (warm) breeze.
Such a feature really comes in handy, given the considerable weight of the device. Leave aside any worry about an unexpected fuel shortage. The fuel gauge will let you know the running time left at any moment.
The temperature is no longer a wild guess thanks to the LCD display. You’ll also get to know about any issues through the error codes shown.
9. Dura Heat DH2304S 23,800 BTU Indoor Kerosene Heater
Spread the heat with the Dura Heat DH2304S Indoor Kerosene Heater all around. Thanks to this powerful unit, enjoy up to 12 hours of high performance. Made of durable materials with a sturdy design, this heater can reach up to 23,800 BTUs.
The design of this model meets both the warmth and safety features. Protective grills surround the surfaces that are getting very hot. The device projects hot air on a 360-degree radius for faster, more efficient heating. Power outages or emergency situations are no longer a matter of concern.
Relax with heat and light, but with no smell. You can say goodbye to the intense startup smells thanks to the no-lift heat chamber.
10. DeWalt F340675 DXH75KT Kerosene Heater, 75K BTU,Yellow
Ergonomic and powerful, the DeWalt DXH75KT Kerosene Heater will instantly catch your attention. This device has a handle on top and recessed controls for easy transport. A pop of color on the base and up to 75.000 BTUs make this a great addition to your workshop or construction area.
Use it for up to 11 hours and then store it with ease wherever you need it. Don’t underestimate its power, put it at a safe distance from flammable materials.
11. STANLEY ST-80T-KFA Kerosene/Diesel Forced Air Heater
See the silver linen on the cold winter days. The STANLEY ST-80T-KFA Kerosene/Diesel Forced Air Heater is the key to intense warmth. With a high output of 80,000 BTUs, this unit can heat up to 2,000 square feet. Rely on this for assistance in construction sites or workshops with appropriate ventilation. Use the built-in handle to transport this durable, top kerosene heater.
Considerations Before Buying Kerosene Heaters
Kerosene Health and Safety Risks
If kerosene is used properly, it should not pose any health or safety issues, but given that it is a fuel, it still presents a number of risks that you should be aware of.
It is also important that you understand how to mitigate these risks so that you and all others who may be close to your kerosene heater are safe at all times. There are four health concerns related to kerosene.
The first concerns swallowing or ingesting it, the second concerns inhaling any fumes it emits, and the third concerns potential skin problems if you accidentally come into contact with it. The fourth is one that applies to many fuels that are used as heat sources, not just kerosene, and that is carbon monoxide poisoning.
Swallowing or Ingesting
If ingested, kerosene can be fatal, and we trust that you will never intentionally swallow kerosene, so we will include this section with regard to young children who are the most likely victims.
Given that for a child, kerosene in a small container may be mistaken for something they can drink, it is vital that you keep kerosene well away from any area that a child may have access to.
While not as dangerous as ingesting, the amount of time you breathe in the air that has kerosene fumes should be kept to a minimum. If you breathe in too many kerosene fumes, it may cause nausea or dizziness, and there may be a secondary risk if this happens in an industrial facility.
Long-term exposure to kerosene fumes can lead to damage to the kidneys and blood clots that can negatively affect the health of your heart or brain.
We hope you are already aware that you should prevent your skin from coming into contact with kerosene as much as possible. If this should happen, wash it off as soon as possible. If you’re not at risk of skin irritation, and another issue that often occurs is eye irritation due to someone rubbing their eyes with unwashed hands that have kerosene on them.
Carbon Monoxide Risks
Whether you are using kerosene or another type of fuel heater, such as propane, there is a risk that the amount of carbon monoxide (CO) produced as part of the fuel burning process will increase to a hazardous level.
This can be especially risky in small, enclosed spaces, without ventilation. Since carbon monoxide is toxic, there is a clear risk to life if someone is in the room as these levels of CO increase.
For this reason, all fuel-burning heaters must have a CO level detection system that switches the heater off if they detect an increase in CO levels. Always check for this when you buy a heater and never try to tamper with any safety features cut-off switches it has.
Storing Kerosene Fuel Safely
A lot of health and safety risks can be avoided by using common sense at all times, but there is another way to eliminate many of them, especially when it comes to ingestion, and that is by storing kerosene correctly.
First, if possible, it should be kept away from the house, making it ideal for a garage, a workshop or a garden shed. If you’ve got a lockable cupboard in any of these locations, that’s even better.
In addition, always store it in a container that has been designated as safe for storing kerosene. You should also clearly mark any container so that no one can be in any doubt as to what is inside it.
The final point that we want to make about storing kerosene is that you should really only do this for a maximum of two to three months. After that time, kerosene tends to break down, absorb water, and is prone to bacteria and mold.
Ideally, you should only buy enough kerosene that is needed for a few weeks or so, rather than store it in large quantities to last the whole winter.
Storing a Kerosene Heater Safely
It’s fair to say that depending on where you live, there’ll be times of the year when you don’t need any heating, including any kerosene heater that you may have.
For many types of heaters, such as electric baseboard, ceramic or infrared heaters, simply turn them off and forget about them. However, this is not the case when it comes to kerosene heaters.
With a kerosene heater, it is recommended that it be stored away during periods when it is not needed. This prevents any potential fire hazards in relation to unused kerosene fuel that may still be present in the fuel tank.
You should preferably ensure that all the fuel has been used before the heater is stored. Apart from the safety aspect of this, after three months, unused fuel will begin to degrade.
The next time you try to light the heater, there’s a potential that this older fuel could damage it.
Assessing Where to Locate Your Kerosene heater
In the case of smaller indoor kerosene heaters, you should determine where you’re going to locate it and make sure it’s not anywhere that someone is likely to fall over it.
Don’t place it where it could be knocked over, like adjacent to a door. You’re also going to want to keep it a reasonable distance from things like drapes or fabric furniture.
Larger kerosene heaters that you may be planning to use in commercial or industrial buildings will require a power source. Make sure that the power cable can run from the outlet to the heater without creating a danger for a trip.
As larger kerosene heaters can be moved using their wheeled frame, you may need to evaluate this for any location where the heater could potentially be moved to.
We hope that our review of the best kerosene heaters indoors has been useful and that our buyer’s guide has helped answer some of the questions you may have had.
At this point, we usually select a single product that we believe is our #1, but when we look at three small and three large kerosene heaters, we’re going to pick one out of each type. For smaller kerosene heaters suitable for domestic and office indoor use, we have chosen the Dyna-Glo RMC-95C6b indoor kerosene convection heater.
It is a compact heater that produces 23,000 BTUs, which is impressive in size. It is capable of heating up to 1,000 sq ft areas so that even larger offices or workshops could be heated. The full tank lasts up to 12 hours, so you’ll get at least 1-2 days of indoor use, and it’s light enough to move easily to another location if needed. We have selected the Dyna-Glo Delux Forced Air Heater for larger kerosene heaters.
While many of the specifications in terms of heat output, area and time were similar to the others, the fact that this gives you an option to reduce the heat output gives you the edge.