Best Kerosene Heater Reviews (Guide 2017)

Kerosene heaters are a great heating solution if you don’t want to rely on electricity to warm up your house. They are portable, easy to use, and using them can drastically lower your electricity bills.

This kind of heaters is gaining popularity among people who want to travel, or who have garages or workshops which aren’t connected to the electricity grid. They are also a great way of heating in an emergency situation because besides the heat they also produce a lot of light.

The following article will teach you how to find the best kerosene heater for your home, how to use it safely, and which are the advantages and disadvantages of using kerosene or propane heaters.

Our comprehensive kerosene heater reviews will show you the pros and cons of the best-selling models in 2017, so you’ll be able to make an informed decision about which model will suit you best.

kerosene heater reviews
  • Sengoku CV-2230
  • Heating area: 1000 sq ft
  • BTUs: 23,000
  • Fuel tank capacity: 1.9 gallons
  • Run time: 10-12 hours
  • Ignition: automatic push-button
  • Dimensions: 18.8 x 18.8 x 27
  • Other: Automatic Safety Shutoff, Fuel Gauge, 360 Degree of convection heat
top kerosene heaters
  • Sengoku CTN-110
  • Heating area: 380 sq ft
  • BTUs: 10,000
  • Fuel tank capacity: 1.2 gallons
  • Run time: 14 hours
  • Ignition: automatic
  • Dimensions: 19.7 x 18.5 x 12.2
  • Other: automatic shut off switch, tip over switch, safety protected guard, EZ flame adjuster
best kerosene heater
  • Dura Heat DH2304
  • Heating area: 1000 sq ft
  • BTUs: 23,000
  • Fuel tank capacity: 1.9 gallons
  • Run time: 12 hours
  • Ignition: electric
  • Dimensions: 18.8 x 18.8 x 27
  • Other: Automatic Shutoff, Fuel Gauge, Tip-Over Safety Switch, dial heat control, 360 Degree of convection heat
best rated kerosene heaters
  • Dyna-Glo RMC-95C6B
  • Heating area: 1000 sq ft
  • BTUs: 23,000
  • Fuel tank capacity: 1.9 gallons
  • Run time: 8-12 hours
  • Ignition: automatic
  • Dimensions: 17.5 x 17.5 x 27
  • Other: 360 Degree of convection heat, UL certified, safety tip switch
best indoor portable kerosene heater
  • Kero World KW-24G
  • Heating area: 1000 sq ft
  • BTUs: 23,000
  • Fuel tank capacity: 1.9 gallons
  • Run time: 12 hours
  • Ignition: automatic
  • Dimensions: 18 x 18 x 22.2
  • Other: 360 Degree of convection heat, automatic safety shutoff
good small kerosene heater for home use
  • Mr. Heater MH175KTR
  • Heating area: 4250 sq ft
  • BTUs: 175,000
  • Fuel tank capacity: 14 gallons
  • Run time: 10 hours
  • Ignition: automatic
  • Dimensions: 18 x 40.2 x 22
  • Other: adjustable thermostat, no-flame and over-heat safety sensors with auto shut-off, power indicator light, CSA Certified

Top 6 Kerosene Heaters

Dura Heat DH2304 Indoor Kerosene Heater

best kerosene heaterThis is one of the best rated kerosene heaters in our list. It has a heating capacity of 23,000 BTU, which should be enough for warming up a room of up to 1,000 square feet or even more if your home is properly insulated.

The heater is designed to project heat in a 360-degree radius, so the room’s temperature will rise quickly and it will become even after a short period of time. The heater is very efficient and will consume about 2 gallons of kerosene in 12 hours.

This model is easy to assemble and to operate, and the carry handle will help you move it around where you want. It’s better to light the unit outside and then carry it in and place it where you want because some smoke is produced at the ignition and it can smell bad.

Pros

  • Very Little Odor – This unit will run without making your whole home smelling like kerosene unless you spill some when you fill its tank.
  • Easy To Light – This unit is very easy to light, so you won’t have any problems in that regard.

Cons

  • Bad Filling Tool – Using the squeeze pump the unit comes with is a bad idea, and you’ll most likely spill some kerosene. It might be a better idea to buy a long funnel and use that instead.
  • Ignition System Can Be Faulty – Some customers complained that the units they received had faulty ignition systems, so you might end up lighting the heater manually.

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Sengoku CV-2230 Portable Kerosene Heater

kerosene heater reviewsThis is a great kerosene space heater because it can produce 23,000 BTU of heat, enough to warm up an area of up to 1,000 square feet. The heater has a 1.9-gallon fuel tank which should last about 10 – 12 hours of continuous use, depending on the length of the wick exposed.

This unit has an easy to use ignition mechanism. The ignition is controlled with the push of a button, so it’s simple and very effective.

The heater has safety grills around it, a safety feature that prevents you from touching the hottest parts of the unit, and it also has an automatic shut-off safety.

Pros

  • Great Heating Capacity – This heater has a great heating capacity and will produce a good amount of heat. Make sure the place you’re using it in is well ventilated, or else the flame will consume all the oxygen in the room.
  • Very Bright – This heater produces a lot of light, which is a good thing if you’re buying it as an emergency heater. Without electricity, having a lot of light is important.

Cons

  • Unreliable Handle – If you buy this model, you should not attempt to pick it up using the handle it comes with, especially if you filled it with kerosene. The handle and the heater are not well connected, and this could lead to accidents.
  • Needs Frequent Cleaning – All kerosene heaters need to be cleaned once a week if you want them to work properly for a long time. However, this heater’s wick needs cleaning at least 2 or 3 times a week if you use it 24/7, otherwise it will produce a strong kerosene smell.

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Sengoku CTN-110 Portable Radiant Kerosene Heater

top kerosene heatersThis small kerosene heater produces 10,000 BTU of heat which should warm up areas of up to 400 square feet.

Unlike most kerosene heaters that rely on convection and radiation to heat a room, with convection distributing most of the heat around the room, this unit relies on radiation to produce the heat. This is great if you want to use it garages, workshops, or rooms which are not well insulated, because the heat will act on the objects around the heater directly, without having to warm up the air.

You’ll feel the warmth as soon as you start the heater, but only if you stay within its range. If you’re not in the heater’s range, you’ll have to wait for a longer time for the heat to affect the surrounding air, more than it takes a conventional kerosene heater using convection.

Pros

  • Radiation Heating – Radiation heating is great if you want to feel the heat quickly, or if you have to warm up an area with a lot of heat leaks or lacking insulation.
  • Quiet – This unit doesn’t have an internal or external fan, so you’ll barely notice it running. The only noise you’ll hear is the occasional one made by the kerosene as it changes position.

Cons

  • Good For Smaller Areas – This heater only produces about 10,000 BTU so it won’t be able to provide warmth for a very large area.
  • Takes Longer To Heat – This model uses radiation heating, so it will need more time to bring the temperature in a room at an even level.

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Dyna-Glo RMC-95C6B Indoor Kerosene Convection Heater

best rated kerosene heatersThis kerosene heater for indoor use produces 23,000 BTU of heat and distributes it in a 360-degree radius. The wide angle of heat distribution will make the room’s temperature to rise quickly and reach an even level very fast.

The kerosene heater uses a 1.9-gallon tank which should last between 8 – 12 hours, depending on the height and intensity of the flames. The heat it produces can be distributed over a surface of up to 1,000 square feet, depending on the insulation and the heat leaks present in your home.

The heater has a manual shut-off knob and a tip-over safety. The tip-over safety will turn the unit off if it’s bumped into or knocked over, so it lowers the risk of accidentally starting a fire.

Pros

  • Safe Heating – This model has a tip-over safety feature, which makes operating it safer than other models. The manual shut-off knob also helps, as you don’t have to wait for a long time for the flame to extinguish.
  • UL Certified – Having a UL certification means that the unit has been tested by an independent laboratory and it has been rated safe for indoor use.

Cons

  • Bad Handle – Not only does this heater’s handle come out of its holes every once in a while, but the handle also falls near the fire so it can get pretty warm to the touch.
  • Bad Quality Control – This heater’s manufacturer should improve its quality control. Sometimes units are delivered without all the necessary hardware. Other times, the screws are missing. This is clearly a quality control issue.

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Kero World KW-24G Portable Kerosene Heater

best indoor portable kerosene heaterThis is a good kerosene heater for home use, capable of producing 23,000 BTU of heat which should be enough for heating a surface of up to 1,500 square feet.

The heater uses an incorporated matchless ignition system and the batteries needed to power this system are included in the package. The heater is surrounded completely by a protective grill for increased safety.

This model’s kerosene tank has a capacity of 1.9 gallons. The kerosene tank should last for up to 12 hours of continuous use, depending on the heat intensity. The heater is easy to assemble and the process is really fast if you’re following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Pros

  • Good Heat Output – This unit has a great heat output, and even though it’s rated to produce the same amount of heat like other models on the market, it seems to deliver warmth over a larger surface.
  • Quick Heat – This unit doesn’t need a lot of time to warm up a place. You’ll be able to feel the warm air it produces right after you start it, and the room’s temperature will rise fast.

Cons

  • Some Odor – This unit will produce some kerosene odor even if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use only 1K-grade kerosene, especially when at the ignition and when you’re shutting it down. That’s why it would be best to turn the unit on and off outside the home.
  • Color May Vary – The color of the heater is presented as being gray, but some units can be delivered in other colors. Some customers have even received the body painted in one color and the top in another.

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Mr. Heater MH175KTR

good small kerosene heater for home useThis is one of the top kerosene heaters, but unfortunately, you can’t use it inside a home. The heater produces an astonishing 175,000 BTU of heat and its fans will distribute the warm air over a surface of up to 4.250 square feet.

If you need a heating solution for a construction site, on a farm, or in any other situation when you need to keep the cold air at bay while you’re working outside, this is the model for you. You can use this model in enclosed locations as long as you have a very good ventilation and the surface is large.

This heater uses a 13.9-gallon tank and the fuel should be enough for up to ten hours of continuous use.

Pros

  • High Portability – This unit has large wheels under it, so you’ll be able to move it around with ease even in rough terrain. The handle behind it makes it easy to steer around obstacles.
  • Thermostat – This unit uses a built-in thermostat, so once you’ve found the right temperature for the area you’re trying to warm up, you’ll be able to keep that temperature at a constant level.

Cons

  • Uses Electricity – This kerosene heater needs to be connected to an 115 Volt alternative current outlet.
  • Cannot Be Used Indoors – This unit cannot be used indoors, as it’s very powerful and it will suck all the oxygen in the air to provide the heat. Another reason you can’t use it indoors is the high level of emissions.

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How Do Kerosene Heaters Work?

If you’re looking to buy a kerosene heater, we must first address what is kerosene, and how it works.

Kerosene heaters provide a good heating solution for people who want to provide warmth to spaces which aren’t connected to the electricity grid, like a workshop or a garage, or who want to have a portable heating source that doesn’t need electricity.

Kerosene heatershow kerosene heaters work have a circular wick made out of cotton or fiberglass in their center, mounted on top of a kerosene-filled tank. The wick is imbibed with kerosene and draws more through a capillary action when it needs to.

When the wick is lit, the kerosene is almost instantly transformed into a gas. As the gas burns, it heats the surrounding air molecules through convection and all the objects in its range through radiation.

The kerosene heater is specially designed to allow the wick to be properly oxygenated, so the flames are distributed in a specific pattern, which varies according to the model and manufacturer. The flame’s height can be controlled by lowering or raising the wick inside the burner. When the wick is fully retracted in a cavity below the burner, the flame is snuffed out and the heater is extinguished.

Most kerosene heaters don’t need electricity to run, but some use electricity to facilitate the ignition and to power a small fan which blows the hot air further into the room. However, the majority of kerosene heaters use batteries to power the ignition system, or they use a piezo-electric ignitor. If the ignition system somehow fails, you can still start the heater manually.

The amount of heat produced is closely related to the exposed surface of the wick. A longer wick will provide more kerosene for burning, so the amount of heat produced will be higher. The amount of heat is also related to the kerosene’s quality. If dust or debris contaminate the kerosene, some of the capillary tubes of the wick will be clogged, lowering the amount of kerosene provided for burning, in turn lowering the amount of heat produced.

How to Choose the Best Kerosene Heater?

kerosene heater buying guide

Choosing the best kerosene heater is not too difficult as long as you know what to look for. Here are some guidelines that will help with your search.

  • Heater Type

    There are two types of kerosene heaters, and each one of them has different advantages and disadvantages, so choosing the best indoor kerosene heater is up to your preferences.

    Convective Kerosene Heaters – Convective kerosene heaters are usually used for heating a larger surface. They heat the air molecules in front of them and then distribute them around the room in a 360-degree radius, so you will feel the warmth they produce pretty quickly. These heaters use an open flame to warm up the air molecules in front of them. When the air is warmed, it’s density is lowered, so it rises above the cold air which is pushed at the same level with the flame, and the process is repeated. A fan is usually used for helping to spread the warm air over larger surfaces.

    Radiant Kerosene Heaters – Radiant kerosene heaters are usually used to warm up smaller surfaces, so they’re better suited to heat single rooms instead of entire floors. They use radiation to heat the objects in their range directly, without warming up the air molecules surrounding them. Once the objects in their range accumulate enough heat they start radiating it, warming up the surrounding air. This is a great way to heat rooms without proper insulation, or with a lot of heat leaks like windows or doors. Some models have a detachable kerosene tank, so you can simply take it out and move it somewhere else, and store it safely for the next season.

  • Portability

    Portability is one of the advantages of having a kerosene heater. However, some models need electricity besides the kerosene in order to work, so their portability is limited.

    You will be able to find features like wheels, casters, and handles in a good portable kerosene heater.

  • Safety Features

    Every modern kerosene heater has some safety features, but some have more than others. Here is a list with the safety feature’s you’re most likely to find in a kerosene heater, and what each of them does.

    Overheat Protection – As you can probably tell from its name, the overheat protection will make sure the heater is turned off if it gets too hot. This is not just a way of lowering the fire hazard, but it’s also a great way of prolonging the life of the kerosene heater.

    Tip-over Safety – The tip-over safety is a very good safety feature to have, so make sure you look after it when you’re shopping for a kerosene heater. The tip-over safety will turn the heater off if somebody or something bumps into it, or if the heater leans over and falls. This is a great way of lowering the heater’s fire hazard potential, and it can be very useful for people who have pets in their households.

    Additional Safety – If you want to be sure nothing goes amiss with your kerosene heater, you can either buy a carbon monoxide detector or an oxygen level sensor. Basically, both of them do the same thing, they only do it in different ways. The carbon monoxide detector measures the air and lets you know if the carbon monoxide levels are too high so you can turn off the heater, while the oxygen level sensor measures the oxygen level in the air and lets you know if it gets too low, so you can turn the heater off.

  • Replacing The Fuel

    Replacing the fuel can be one of the most annoying things you can do if you have a kerosene heater. If the kerosene keeps spilling when you try using the pump or funnel the heater comes with, try buying a long necked funnel and using that instead. It might save you some trouble.

Kerosene Heater Safety Tips

Kerosene heaters use a live flame to produce the heat, so they are a potential fire hazard. Always use the following safety tips and the ones you can find in your model’s instruction manual if you want to use them correctly.

  1. kerosene heater safety tipsMake sure you always use 1K-grade kerosene, and that it’s water clear, without dust or debris floating in it. Dust and debris can accumulate and block the capillary tubes in the wick, making the heater less efficient.
  2. Never use gasoline as a fuel for your kerosene heater. This can lead to serious injury and damage to your propriety, even if you use it in very small amounts.
  3. Always make sure you store the kerosene in clean containers. If the same container was used for storing gasoline, avoid using it, or clean it very well before you store the kerosene. Kerosene containers are usually coded blue, while the gasoline containers are coded red.
  4. Make sure that every time you refill the kerosene tank you don’t mix it up with gasoline, or pour gasoline instead of kerosene. If you don’t know where to buy kerosene for heater, keep in mind that most filling stations have separate filling islands for kerosene, especially for this purpose.
  5. Always make sure you purchase the kerosene from a licensed supplier. This will ensure the fact that the kerosene you’re buying is actually 1K-grade. Other grade kerosene can release a high level of pollutants in the air and can be bad for your heath. Even if the kerosene looks water-clear, you can’t tell which grade it is just by looking at it.
  6. Always make sure that the heater is turned off and it’s cool to the touch before you start filling it. Filling the kerosene heater should always be done outside, or in a well-ventilated area. Never fill the kerosene tank above its maximum level marked on it.
  7. The space above the maximum mark is supposed to be there, allowing the gas to expand without exiting the tank.
  8. Never place the kerosene heater near flammable objects, and in high circulated areas where people could bump into it. Never place the heater in front of doors or exits.

Kerosene Heater Maintenance and Storage

Kerosene heaters are simple to care for, and you will be able to do most of the maintenance yourself, without having to call on a professional’s help. Here are some maintenance and storage tips if you want to use your heater for a long time.

  • kerosene heater maintenanceEvery kerosene heater has a small reservoir on the bottom where the fuel is kept in order for it to work. But if you use the kerosene heater, and not all the fuel inside the small reservoir is consumed, you need to take it somewhere outside or in a well-ventilated space and put it back into the large fuel tank you use for storing kerosene. Unless you do this, the kerosene will start evaporating when the flame is not burning. You need to make sure the heater is cool before you do this.
  • Never use gasoline as a fuel for your kerosene heater. Even a small amount of gasoline mixed with the kerosene can lead to serious injuries or damage of your propriety.
  • Make sure you store the kerosene away from the gasoline and have a way of differentiating them.
  • Make sure your kerosene is stored in an adequate container. Never use rusted containers or tanks which were previously used for storing gasoline for this. If you want to reuse an old container for storing kerosene, make sure you clean it well in advance.
  • Always make sure the kerosene you use to power the heater doesn’t have dust or debris floating through it. These particles can clog the capillary tubes in the wick, lowering the heater’s efficiency.
  • If your heater uses fiberglass wicks, you should place the heater outside and let it burn until it runs out of fuel at least one a week, if you run it 24/7. This will allow all the leftover deposits and the tar accumulated to burn off.
  • If your heater uses a cotton wick, you don’t need to let it burn all the fuel of you want to clean it. All you need to do is turn the heater off, wait for it to cool, and wipe the wick with a clean paper towel removing any residue.
  • Even if you take remember to clean the wick on a weekly basis, you will still need to buy a new one from time to time. The best way to do it is buying the wick from the heater’s manufacturer, looking for the right one for your specific model. If that’s not an option, you can buy generic wicks, as long as they’re made from the same material.

Portable Kerosene Heater Benefits

Using a kerosene heater has a lot of benefits. Here is a list with some of the benefits of the kerosene heating system

  1. Very Efficient – Kerosene heaters are efficient, no doubt about it. More than 99% of the kerosene they burn is transformed into heat, the rest of it evaporating shortly before the wick catches light.
  2. Zonal Heating – Kerosene heaters have a high heating capacity, so you can use them to warm up a large area, not just a single room. If your house is well insulated and not very large, you could actually use a kerosene heater to warm up all of it.
  3. Supplemental Heating – You can use kerosene heaters as a supplemental heat source with great results. If your home has a colder area or a colder room, you don’t have to turn the central heating up. A kerosene heater will provide all the warmth necessary to make the colder areas of your house comfortable during the coldest periods of the winter.
  4. Cheap Fuel Source – Kerosene is one of the cheapest fuels used in heating. The cost of running a kerosene heater is lower than those of electrical or propane heaters.
  5. Great Value – Kerosene heaters don’t cost too much, and the fuel they use is cheap. These facts, combined with the high heating capacity, give the kerosene heaters a very good value for their money.
  6. Portability – Kerosene heaters are usually small, and they don’t need electricity to run. This makes them easy to move around the house when you leave from one room to another, and they can also be used for heating in workshops or garages with great results.
  7. Can Lower Your Heating Bills – Using the kerosene heater as a supplemental heat source can lower your heating bills. Instead of setting the central heating system at the value you’re used to, you can set it at a temperature 10 degrees lower and use a kerosene heater. This can lower your overall heating bills by up to 30%.

Kerosene vs Propane Heaters

Both kerosene and propane heaters are a good heating solution if you don’t want your heating system to rely on electricity, but both have advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of them

kerosene vs propane heatersBoth kerosene and propane heaters are portable, which is an advantage for both of them. However, propane heaters need to be connected through a hose to a propane tank at all times, whereas kerosene heaters have a built-in kerosene tank on their bottom. Only a few propane heaters are designed to integrate their propane tank, but all the kerosene heaters have this design. When it comes to portability, kerosene heaters are the better option.

Propane burns cleaner than kerosene, so propane heaters, especially those designed to work indoors, produce low amounts of by-products, such as carbon monoxide. Kerosene, including the 1K-grade kerosene recommended for heater use, will produce higher amounts of carbon monoxide when they work.

Propane is a gas, whereas kerosene is a liquid which becomes a gas at ignition. This is an advantage of propane because it’s a gas heavier than air and it can be compressed into tanks. The disadvantage of being a gas is that a small leak in the container can lead to all the gas exiting it.

Kerosene is a liquid, and it has to be stored into bulkier containers. Kerosene doesn’t leak as easily as propane, but it can evaporate in the surrounding air.

Kerosene burns hotter than propane, so more heat will be produced by burning a gallon of kerosene than of propane. The liquid fuel is also cheaper than the gas, so it will be cheaper to run a kerosene heater than a propane one.

Unlike propane heaters which have to be serviced by a professional at certain periods of time, kerosene heaters are usually easy to clean and their maintenance can be done by the owner.

Conclusion

Kerosene heaters have been around for decades and they’re still around because they offer an effective way of heating when you don’t want to rely on electricity. They can be used in garages, houses, RVs, trailers, workshops, or you can take them with you when you go to a hunting or a fishing cabin.

Kerosene heaters are cheap to run and their maintenance is easy enough to do by yourself, so you don’t need to spend money to have them checked over by a professional.

However, kerosene heaters use a flame to produce heat, so they represent a potential fire hazard. You will be able to find valuable advice on how to use a kerosene heater safely in the previous article, but you should make sure you read the manufacturer’s indications as well before you use a unit.

We hope that after reading our kerosene heater reviews you know which is the best kerosene heater for you, but you can check out our other buying guides if you couldn’t decide on a model.

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