If you're looking for a portable heat source, you have several options at your disposal. Stoves that run on electricity, propane, or natural gas all have their place, but kerosene stoves have a lot going for them, too. Generally safer than gas heaters, they are also more economical and reliable. While some kerosene models rely on electricity to start them, others don't, making them a perfect choice for areas where power isn't an option.
Whether you want to heat a garage, RV, workshop or job site, kerosene heaters are a viable option. They are also handy to have on hand as a quick source of heat in an emergency. However, if you've ever shopped for one, you know that the various features and capabilities of kerosene heaters can be daunting. Plus there's the key question: how safe are these to use?
Kerosene can be purchased at gas stations or in cans at most department stores and hardware stores.
Construction and assembly
Whether on the construction site or in yourgarage, kerosene heaters can take a beating. As such, any heater you're considering should be durable enough to survive extended use. A robust, rust-resistant housing material such as steel is common here. The stove will also be easier to clean if it has a housing that can be taken apart quickly.
Essential parts such as wicks (found in all kerosene heaters) must be solidly constructed and made for your brand of heater; don't go with a generic fuse you picked up at your local hardware store.
While some light assembly may be required, most of these are usually pretty much ready to go right out of the box.
How long can it run on a full tank?
Fuel tank size is one consideration when determining how long a heater will last between fill-ups, but it's not the only one. The number of British thermal units (BTUs) and whether the output is adjustable will also determine how long a heater can run.
In addition to knowing how much fuel to have on hand, knowing how long a heater will run also takes safety issues into account. Bottom line: it's an important number, so keep that in mind when buying a heater.
Most kerosene heaters will run for 8 to 14 hours before needing to be refilled. Any heater you buy should be equipped with an easy to read fuel gauge so you can quickly see what the fuel level is.
The heat output of kerosene heaters is measured in BTUs. In general, the more BTUs a heater can produce, the more square feet of space you can heat (and the more fuel it uses). The number of BTUs per square foot varies from heater to heater.
In researching this product, we came across kerosene heaters rated for less than 400 square feet and heaters that can heat 6,500 square feet. Some stoves have adjustable thermostats, which you can use to more easily control the temperature in the room (and again, the amount of fuel you run through).
For your safety
The purest kerosene is 1-K kerosene, which contains 0.04% sulfur and can be burned without a chimney. 2-K, with up to 0.3% sulfur, gives off much more noxious fumes and should only be burned with a flue.
Weight and size
Some kerosene heaters weigh less than 30 pounds, while others weigh more than 100 pounds. And that's before you fill the tank.Heatersthose that are heavier (or physically larger) will be harder to move and harder to store when not in use.
Stoves designed with wheels or handles can make a heavy or bulky stove much more portable and easier to store.
The old days of lighting a kerosene heater with a match are pretty much behind us. Many stoves today have an ignition system of some sort, such as a starter button or an on/off switch. Some of these rely on electricity to start, which may limit their portability or their use in remote job sites. Other stoves with electric starters overcome this by having a battery start option.
It is therefore not surprising that safety is an important point of attention when it comes to heaters in general, but especially kerosene heaters. When comparing stoves, pay close attention to the safety features they offer, especially if you have small children or pets who may come into contact with it, come near it or use itindoors.
Some safety features to look out for are:
- A toggle switch. This will shut off the heater if it tips over or falls over.
- An overheating switch. If the heater gets too hot, this switch switches it on and off.
- Safety cages. These surround the heating elements to prevent little hands (or paws) from getting burned.
Kerosene heaters should only be used indoors for limited periods of time with regular breaks of fresh air between uses.
BestReviews Expert for home improvement and DIY
There are a number of things to be able to safely use a paraffin heaterBet Allen, BestReviews Home Improvement and DIY Expert, recommends you have on hand.
Carbon monoxide detector
Rooms with a kerosene heater require a carbon monoxide detector. Contractors or anyone using a portable kerosene heater should use a portable heatercarbon monoxide detector. Small detectors can hang in the room or on someone's clothing.
Every room where kerosene heaters are in use has onerookdetectoralso.
To minimize leaks and spills, Allen recommends using a quality siphon.
Nitrile coated gloves
Allen suggests wearing nitrile-coated gloves when refueling to protect your hands from spills.
Make sure you have oneFire extinguisheron site when using a paraffin heater.
Petroleum heater prices
Kerosene heaters start around$ 100and can easily rise in the$300 to $400reach or more. Also consider the amount of kerosene you plan to use, as well as any additional expenses such as batteries.
The majority you will find are in the$200 to $300reach.
More expensive models tend to be more powerful, have a higher BTU output, and more advanced features, such as an adjustable thermostat or wheels for better portability.
Kerosene does not explode, but it is still flammable and should be used with caution. Gasoline can explode and should never be used in a kerosene heater.
- You should not fill the fuel tank of your kerosene heater more than 90 percent, especially if you store the kerosene in a cold room. Kerosene expands as it heats up, which can lead to a dangerous overflow.
- If you use dyed kerosene in your heater, stock up on fuses. The dye in the kerosene can foul a wick much faster than undyed kerosene.
- Never use a can that has been usedpetrolto transport or store kerosene. Even small amounts of gas can produce harmful or even deadly fumes.
- To minimize the kerosene smell, never let the fuel level of the heater run so low that the heater stops working. Turn off the heater and refill it before it reaches this point.
- Use a siphon pump to transfer fuel from the kerosene canister to the heater tank. Not only is this easier than trying to fill it by hand, but it also prevents spills.
- When you store your kerosene heater during the summer months, you should do some preventative maintenance so that it is in top condition for the next season. Drain the tank and properly dispose of the kerosene (it will get stale over time). Clean the stove and replace the wick if necessary. Store it in a dry, dust-free room.
- Recessed controls on a kerosene heater hold up better on a job site or rough handling than controls that protrude too far from the heater housing.
- A heater equipped with straps is easier to move and store in tight spaces.
- If you plan to use the heater primarily at a job site, look for one with larger controls. These will be easier to manipulate if you have gloves on.
- If your kerosene heater will be used frequently, buy a carbon monoxide detector to get close to it just to be on the safe side.
- While kerosene heaters run on other fuels, such as diesel or fuel oil, such fuels can produce higher amounts of soot and toxic fumes and should be avoided, especially for indoor use.
CSA certification is a US accredited testing certification. Kerosene stoves that have this certification are likely to be of higher quality than those that do not.
Q. Are kerosene heaters safe to use indoors?
A.Kerosene heaters can be used indoors if you take proper precautions. The first: make sure you only use kerosene in the heater, preferably non-dyed 1-K kerosene. Even the purest kerosene can still produce toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, so make sure the area you use it in is well ventilated. To do this, open a door that leads to the rest of the building or open a window if the room is super insulated. Place a carbon monoxide detector nearby (but not too close). Be sure to check your manual before using a heater indoors for additional safety warnings.
Q. What is the difference between convection and radiant heaters?
A.Usually circular, convection heaters use fans to circulate hot air and heat an entire room. These are best used to heat closed spaces where people gather for extended periods of time.
Radiant heaterswork by transferring heat directly to people or objects. These heaters - usually rectangular or tubular - are best used when people are in the heater's field of view. Radiant heaters provide heat without having to heat up a complete room.
Q. What is the safest way to fill a kerosene heater?
A.First turn off the heating and let it cool down. When the heater has cooled down completely, take it outside and fill it there. You can use a siphon to limit spills and never fill the stove near an open flame, such as a lighter or lighted cigarette.
- Best Overall. DeLonghi HMP1500.
- Best Smart. Govee H7130.
- Best Value. Lasko 754200.
- Best Fan Heater. Vornado AVH10.
- Honeywell HCE840B.
What are the most efficient heaters? If you're looking for a heater that won't use much power and helps cut costs on energy bills, your best bet is a halogen heater, a convection heater or an oil-filled radiator, particularly if they have effective thermostat controls.What is the most energy-efficient heater for home? ›
Heat pumps (including reverse cycle air-conditioners) are the most energy-efficient combined heating and cooling system you can buy. Central heating options include ducted air and in-slab floor heating. Space heaters can use electricity, gas or wood.What time of year is best to buy a heater? ›
Spring or the end of summer/fall is the ideal time to shop around for a new model. Most people will be concentrating on their heating and cooling systems in summer and winter. Thanks to the milder temperatures that spring and fall bring, you'll find discounted prices, and better weather for installation.What type of heater uses the least electricity? ›
Electric infrared heater
Similar to how the sun warms us when we're outdoors, radiant heat warms people and objects in a room, not the air in between. Since none of the warmth is wasted on heating empty space, an electric infrared heater is one of the most energy-efficient models.
Tankless water heaters are often touted as the best available for their longevity. They typically last up to 20 years, though many tankless units can make it up to 25 years. Proper maintenance every year will ensure these models last much longer.What type of heater puts out the most heat? ›
Radiant heaters are best if you want to heat an area very quickly. On the other hand, if you want to warm an entire room in your home, a convection heater is the better choice. If you're looking for a heater that can stand up to everyday use and abuse, combination heaters are tough to beat.What is the best heater that doesn t use a lot of electricity? ›
Reverse cycle split system air conditioners (A.K.A heat pumps) – the most energy efficient electric heater. 5 and 6 star reverse cycle units can be even cheaper to run than gas heaters, producing just one-fifth of the greenhouse gas emissions that a standard electric heater creates.Which heaters use the most electricity? ›
|Type||Average Hourly Electricity Consumption (kWh)||Total Consumption (kWh)|
|Panel or Convection||1.9||513|
According to ENERGY STAR, setting your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) when you're home is the ideal balance of comfort and energy efficiency. So why is 68 degrees the magic number?
As a general rule, the recommended heater temperature at night is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. A thermostat setting of around 65 degrees is actually better for your health.What is the most efficient heater technology? ›
Sealed combustion heaters are much safer to operate than other types of space heaters, and operate more efficiently because they do not draw in the heated air from the room and exhaust it to the outdoors. They are also less likely to backdraft and adversely affect indoor air quality.What is the most fuel efficient heater? ›
|Energy Efficient Heater:||#1 Dr Heater DR968||#2 DeLonghi KH390715|
|Heating Capacity:||1,500 W / 5,000 BTU||1,500 W / 5,000 BTU|
|Supplemental Heating Area:||Up to 1,000 sq ft||Up to 1,000 sq ft|
|Efficiency Booster:||Auto Energy Savings||Thermostat + Quiet|
|Max. Cost Per Hour:||$0.20 per hour||$0.20 per hour|
Furnace. In general, furnaces are the most efficient of the heating systems, especially if you have natural gas.What heater doesn t use much power? ›
Infrared quartz model space heaters will be the most energy efficient. Other types of space heaters that are less efficient include ceramic models, oil-filled radiators, and convection models.What is the cheapest way to heat a room with electricity? ›
The cheapest way to get a quick blast of heat in a room
In that case, an electric heater is a good option to give you heat temporarily. Electric heaters consist of oil heaters and fan heaters. If you are investing in an electric heater, be mindful of how powerful it is and how much it costs to run.
Natural gas is likely to prove the cheapest way to heat a home if you have this heating option available to you where you live. Although prices have risen, natural gas is the least costly form of space heating. This is followed by electricity, propane, and heating oil, from the next cheapest to the most expensive.How many years should a heater last? ›
A well-maintained furnace can last at least 15 to 20 years, but completing annual maintenance and being diligent with repairs can extend its life even longer.What is the best heater for large spaces? ›
|Space Heater for Large Room||Power||Warranty|
|Dr Infrared Space Heater for Large Room||1500 Watts||1 Year|
|PELONIS Space Heater for Large Room||1500 Watts||1 Year|
|Heat Storm Space Heater for Large Room||1500 Watts||1 Year|
|De'Longhi Space Heater for Large Room||1500 Watts||3 Years|
1500 watts will heat spaces up to about 150 square feet and can help you stay warm and toasty in a medium-sized room, office, kitchen, or modest-sized living room.
Electrical, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), oil or biomass heating might be better options. If you only need to heat one room at a time, an energy-efficient heater could work out cheaper than some forms of central heating.What is the safest way to heat a room? ›
The safest way to heat your home is to use a central heating system powered by electricity. Electrical heating systems are some of the most precise and safe heating systems you can use because of their power source. Gas-powered appliances have the potential to leak toxic carbon monoxide, which can be fatal over time.Is it cheaper to leave heater on all night? ›
Not only is it okay to leave the heater on all night, it can save you money. Here's the secret: Set the temperature of your home at least eight degrees lower for the eight hours or so that you sleep at night. Every degree you lower the thermostat can net you an estimated 1% off your heating bill.How many times a day should your heater run? ›
Your furnace may need to run two to three times an hour to maintain your desired temperature if your home has average insulation. If your furnace runs longer or shorter than average, it doesn't necessarily mean your furnace has a problem.Is it expensive to leave the heater on all day? ›
In fact, leaving your heat on all day can actually cost you much more than turning it off every now and then. Heat tends to diffuse, so the high heat in your home will diffuse to areas of low heat outside the home during the winter. So even when you have your furnace on, your home is always losing a little bit of heat.What temperature is too cold for a house? ›
What Temperature is Too Cold for a House? While everyone has a different tolerance to cold, ideal winter heat settings should generally be at or above 63 °F (17 °C). Excessive cold (anything below 62 °F or 16 °C) in your home can actually raise your blood pressure as your blood “thickens” in the chilly temperatures.Why does my house feel cold at 73? ›
Your house could be cold due to an old air filter, a faulty furnace, improper insulation, or leaky ductwork. The simple fixes, like replacing an air filter, are relatively easy to complete. However, if the heater itself needs repairs, it's best to call in a professional to take a look and determine the problem.What is the cheapest temperature to keep your house in summer? ›
Every season has an ideal thermostat temperature and for summer the U.S. Department of Energy suggests that when home, 78 degrees is the sweet spot between staying cool and keeping your energy bill low. Give your air conditioner and energy bill a break by setting your thermostat to 88 degrees when away.Does turning the heat on and off raise the bill? ›
A viewer asked us to verify whether turning your heat on and off is more cost effective than leaving it running steady. Our researchers asked AC and Heating experts. They agree you should not turn your system off completely—then it'll have to work extra hard to reheat the house and it'll end up costing you.What should I set my thermostat to in winter to save money? ›
You can easily save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to around 68°F while you're awake and setting it lower while you're asleep or away from home.
The Energy Saving Trust recommends heating your home to between 18 to 21 degrees celsius during winter. And The World Health Organisation (WHO) suggests 18 degrees is the ideal temperature for healthy and well-dressed people. Both agree this is also the ideal temperature for sleeping.Which company is best for electric heater? ›
An oil-filled radiator will be best if you want your entire room to be heated in an even manner. For other types of heaters, it will depend on the size of the room and its capacity. Radiant and convection heaters are moderately priced and their price varies largely on the basis of features.What is better than baseboard heaters? ›
Ductless heat pumps/mini split systems are one of the top alternatives to baseboard heaters if you're looking for the energy efficiency of electric heat but want to avoid the drawbacks listed above. A ductless mini split provides all the benefits of zoned climate control, and doesn't require ductwork.Are any electric heaters better than others? ›
Electric heaters are 100% efficient at point of use as they convert every watt of electricity taken from the wall into usable heat, meaning there's zero waste. In this sense, all electric heaters do in fact have the same efficiency.What is the best heater to heat a whole room? ›
- $90 at Amazon. Vornado VH2 Whole Room Heater. Best overall space heater. ...
- $31 at Amazon. Lasko Ceramic Heater 754200. Best budget space heater. ...
- $43 at Amazon. Honeywell HHF360V. Best space heater for bedrooms. ...
- $449 at Amazon. Dyson HP01 Pure Hot + Cool. ...
- $120 at Amazon. DeLonghi Ceramic Tower Heater.
Gas heaters produce more heat when compared to electric heaters in the same amount of time.What is the downside of baseboard heating? ›
Baseboard Heater Cons
Expensive to operate: Expect higher utility bills than with forced air through an HVAC system. Safety hazard: Electric baseboard heaters can get extremely hot. Without proper maintenance and care, they can become a fire hazard. To prevent fire, keep furniture and curtains at least six inches away.
Space heaters use less energy than central heating systems because they only have to heat a single space instead of the whole house. This is especially true of newer models, which are designed to be more energy efficient than older ones.Are infrared heaters better than baseboard heaters? ›
Infrared heaters are also actually "healthier" than other heaters since they do not reduce humidity or oxygen content in the room. Other heaters can dry out your sinuses and skin, as well as cause static electricity.