Kerosene heaters use no electricity and are therefore very portable and energy efficient. Such heaters have uses in emergency situations as well as casual use indoors or out. When used on a patio, a kerosene heater can warm many individuals for an extended period of time.
Advantages of Kerosene
It is possible to safely store kerosene for extended period of time in a safe manner. A small amount of kerosene goes a long way when use in an appropriate heater. For example, one gallon of kerosene fuel can replace a whole stack of wood in terms of heat output. When the heater is set properly, kerosene burns cleanly without smell or smoke. It can be readily used in an enclosed environment such as a patio with an overhang. Such heaters allow for greater independence in outdoor heating as well as less of a reliance on coal and wood.
Pure Kerosene Heaters
These kinds of heaters have a catalytic converter which results in very clean burning. With just under 100% burning efficiency, these pure heaters are clean enough to use around the family. When using a kerosene heater for the first time, it must be “broken in”. For the first several hours of use, the heater will produce almost no odor. It is only when the heater is turned on or off will it produce a mild odor, but only for a couple minutes or so.
Kerosene heaters operate most efficiently near their rated BTU level. When buying a kerosene space heater, make sure that the BTU rating is suitable for your heating needs. Higher BTU ratings result in more powerful heating. Try not to run the heater far under its rating, or the fuel will not efficiently combust.
The kerosene heater uses a fiberglass wick which soaks up kerosene and transports it through the capillaries to the top where it is burned. The burning takes place in the catalytic converter which is oriented at the top of the unit. After a week’s time of constant burning, these fiberglass wicks must be replaced. Radiant-style heaters have a reflective glass dish which radiates heat onto a specific location.
Convection style heaters are designed to heat the air, not specific locations. Instead of a glass case, these heaters use a steel one. This “all direction” heat is ideal for warming the air in an entire room. For safety reasons, convection kerosene heaters should be kept 3 feet from any objects or materials. Convection heaters start up a lot faster than their radiant counterparts.