Three Questions To Ask When Buying A Kerosene Heater

A good kerosene heater can keep you warm even during the coldest times of the year.

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Cold weather getting you down? A kerosene space heater will warm up your workspace.Photo by Натали Хмельницкая on Unsplash

Working in a warehouse or shop, cleaning out a barn and sitting in a deer blind on a frigid day have something in common—all provide the opportunity to get way colder than you prefer. But misery and frostbitten fingers don’t have to be the end results of such activities. A good kerosene heater can warm you up even when you think you’re nearing the freezing point, and both indoor and outdoor models are available. To make a good selection, ask yourself three questions—where the heater will be used, how much space needs to be heated and what safety features should be included.

Where Will You Use It?

small kerosene heater
This small kerosene heater is made for indoor use.Dyna-Glo

You can't take a big, powerful outdoor kerosene heater/blower, turn it on in your living room and expect to survive the experience unscathed. Likewise, a tiny indoor unit isn't going to do you a bit of good if you're cleaning out a large, open warehouse in sub-zero weather. For outdoor uses and well-ventilated open spaces, get a unit made specially for that purpose and you'll be more satisfied with it in the long run. If you will be using your heater indoors, make sure the model you purchase is designed for that use. Some kerosene heaters are made for both indoor and outdoor use, so are quite versatile.

How Much Space?

Pro-Temp 80,000 BTU Kerosene
This outdoor kerosene/diesel heater will warm up to 2,000 square feet.Pro-Temp

Kerosene heaters come in all sizes, and there's a good reason for that—cold spaces do, too! The size of heater you need is greatly affected by how large of an area you need to heat. If you just want to warm up your living room a little more without sending your natural gas bill through the roof, a small indoor unit might be perfect for you. But if you have several thousand square feet of barn, shop or warehouse to heat, a large, industrial-type heater that blows hot air a great distance is going to be your best bet. When shopping for a kerosene heater, look for information on how much space a particular heater is designed to warm before making a decision.

What Safety Features?

Sengoku KeroHeat
This indoor/outdoor model’s safety features include an automatic shutoff switch, a tip-over switch and safety guards around the heating unit.Sengoku

Since kerosene heaters involve burning fuel creating flames, they can be somewhat dangerous if not handled properly. Guidelines like placing heaters on a flat, hard surface and making sure they are not too close to flammable objects or materials should always be heeded. Most kerosene heaters also have a number of built-in safety feature to make using them less dangerous. Features to look for include one-touch shutoff, automatic safety shutoff, a tip-over switch that shuts the unit down if it is knocked over, and protective safety grills around heating units. Remember, safety is of utmost importance, so don't overlook these factors when making a selection.