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Discussion Starter #1
My back up plan for heat was to use a vent less propane heater from my ice shack in my home. Since so many people here recommend kerosene heaters I decided to give one a try. I bought a used one from a friend (Aladdin temp-rite 15)

When I tried to light it produced tons of smoke and would go out after a few minutes. I did some reading and came to the conclusion there was water in the fuel tank and tar on the wick(the water was from condensation from sitting for years, the tar was from trying to burn fuel with water in it) I completely took it apart, cleaned and dried it and burned the tar of the wick. After that it burns very well with a minor smell(I hope if I replace the wick the smell may be even less).

This morning it around 0 with strong winds and we shut off the furnace and lit the kerosene heater. At it's warmest the outside temp got up to 13f with strong winds. We closed off several doors so we are heating about 600 square feet(the building has high ceilings, no insulation in the walls and 6 inches of fiberglass in the roof) All day it kept the living room warm enough to be in there with short sleeves on and the rest of the heated area comfortable with a long sleeve shirt on.

Right now I am attempting to cook fried potatoes on top of it and the kids are sitting in front of it enjoying the heat. For keeping the house warm I think it works really well. For cooking the heat it puts out the top is equivalent to our stove on medium low heat, the potatoes will cook but it is taking much longer than it would on the stove. It throws some light but if you are more than a couple feet away from it you probably couldn't read by it(plus the light is red)

It is also nice and portable so I can bring it anywhere I need heat and not have to worry about propane tanks and hoses. This one also has a removable interior fuel tank which allows the tank to be removed, filled and reinstalled without having to shut the heater off. I can see that being a handy ability if I ever need to rely on it for a long-ish power outage.

If the weather was colder we would block off a couple more doors and put blankets over the windows so it was only heating 300 square feet.

Finding kerosene at a reasonable price. The hardware stores in the area sell it but it is $20 for 2 1/2 gallons. After calling around 5 stations I found one that sold it at the pump for $4 a gallon, although I am not quite sure they if they sell kerosene or home heating fuel, I'll find out next time I go to town.

I now regret not measuring how much fuel I put in it this morning so I don't have any idea how quickly or slowly it burns through it.

Since I still have the old wick in it I tried running it on diesel yesterday, it ran just fine on it but it produced much more smell. In an emergency I would run it on diesel but would prefer not to.

All in all if anyone is looking into getting a kerosene heater I would recommend getting one. If you do you should also keep a spare wick around in case yours gets fouled.
 

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Miles Stair has a kerosene heater shop online. He can get wicks for almost any heater and they are good quality. He has loads of good info on his site.

I would suggest a carbon monoxide alarm. I have set mine off a few times when running the heater. A cracked window usually remedies the problem.
 

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Since I still have the old wick in it I tried running it on diesel yesterday, it ran just fine on it but it produced much more smell. In an emergency I would run it on diesel but would prefer not to.

All in all if anyone is looking into getting a kerosene heater I would recommend getting one. If you do you should also keep a spare wick around in case yours gets fouled.
Good luck getting the stink out of that wick...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Miles Stair has a kerosene heater shop online. He can get wicks for almost any heater and they are good quality. He has loads of good info on his site.

I would suggest a carbon monoxide alarm. I have set mine off a few times when running the heater. A cracked window usually remedies the problem.
His site is where I did a lot of my reading and is where I intend to order a new wick. We do have CO alarms. I am pretty sure the house leaks enough that I don't have to worry about cracking a window. Although in a tighter built home it would be necessary.
 

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I am running it right now a kerosene, very little smell.
Would be less if the wick was properly cleaned and you had not introduced diesel to the mix.

I love my kerosene heater. Only reason I use the smaller propane heaters so much is because they are adjustable to put out less heat. Not getting out the kerosene heater unless it is 0deg or below as it gets too hot too fast.

I found that so long as I start and shut it down outside - I get almost no kero smell inside while using it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Would be less if the wick was properly cleaned and you had not introduced diesel to the mix.

I love my kerosene heater. Only reason I use the smaller propane heaters so much is because they are adjustable to put out less heat. Not getting out the kerosene heater unless it is 0deg or below as it gets too hot too fast.

I found that so long as I start and shut it down outside - I get almost no kero smell inside while using it.
You may be right some of the smell may be from the diesel, but I figure the water and rust in the wick damaged it already so I really should order a new one, and I now know that it can run on diesel if necessary.

You are right about the high heat output. When I originally was looking at it I was going to pass on it because it is only 15,000 btu and I was thinking I wanted a 25,000-32,000btu one. After experimenting with this one I am glad it isn't any bigger than it is. If I need more heat I think I would be better off with two of them this size rather than one big one. That way I could light only one when not much heat is called for and if more heat is necessary I can light two but on opposite ends of the living area to keep the heat more even. Also by having two I would have a back up and could use one in the main house and one in a work area or basement or shed or fish shack, or even loan one out to a family member if they really needed it.
 

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You may be right some of the smell may be from the diesel, but I figure the water and rust in the wick damaged it already so I really should order a new one, and I now know that it can run on diesel if necessary.

You are right about the high heat output. When I originally was looking at it I was going to pass on it because it is only 15,000 btu and I was thinking I wanted a 25,000-32,000btu one. After experimenting with this one I am glad it isn't any bigger than it is. If I need more heat I think I would be better off with two of them this size rather than one big one. That way I could light only one when not much heat is called for and if more heat is necessary I can light two but on opposite ends of the living area to keep the heat more even. Also by having two I would have a back up and could use one in the main house and one in a work area or basement or shed or fish shack, or even loan one out to a family member if they really needed it.
I have the one that is I think 29,000 btu and for my size space it is exactly as you described. Too much...

If I could go back in time and redo that purchase - I would have got a pair of the smaller ones and do exactly as you describe above. :thumb:


I keep a couple of spare wicks for mine but if properly adjusted they last a long time. Loaning one of these heaters out to someone not familiar with their use is likely to be 'rough' on the wick and it may not be in as good a shape when returned as if YOU had been the person using it. When adjusted 'properly' the smell is very minimal and the wick buildup is almost non-existent. That takes a bit of practice to figure out.

We had a power outage a few years back and it was in the 20's outside. My kerosene heater got it up near 80 inside here in short order. No doubt most of my neighbors were freezing their butts off while I was having to strip down to underwear and no shirt due to the heat. LOL!

These kero heaters are awesome for fixing stuff like soups, chili, mac-n-cheese, etc. type dishes with. Similar to a slowcooker cranked up semi-high.


Commend you for actually using your stuff before you may need it. :thumb:
 

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Good on you for practicing. Too many wait until something is needed to discover they have no clue and/or are missing something necessary.
 

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I have two kerosene heaters and a 50 gallon drum of kerosene as my backup heat sources. Here's a couple of tips that I've learned:

1. Don't remove the tank, refill it, and reinstall it with the unit on. That's an accident waiting to happen.

2. Buy a Mr. Funnel AF1CB Fuel Filter which will remove every drop of water from the kerosene whenever you refill your tank. It really, really, really helps it burn cleaner and with less smell.

3. Start it outside and let it run for a few minutes outside and shut it off outside. That's when the smells happen. I overcame my fear of carrying around a lit kerosene heater quickly.

4. Never store it with fuel in it. Let it run out of fuel and let the wick burn dry and shut itself off.

5. If you've ever had water in your wick, get a new one. New wicks are cheap and you should probably replace it every couple of years anyway. Keep the old wicks to be used in an emergency.
 

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Keeping a room warm is alot easier than getting it warm. Remember that next test.

I recently put some dry gas and pine smelling kerosene stuff in my wick heater. It made a big dif in the smoke and smell. Didnt really smell like pine or kerosene, bot much smell at all. This heater use to belch black smoke before. I use only kerosene from the pump in it. I pay $3.08 a gal.
 

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I think kerosene heaters are an excellent option for alternative heat. I've used them off and on for 30 years. A little smell, sure, but it beats being cold!
We heat with wood but occasionally have been caught short (or wet) and put one of our kero heaters into service.
I've had one of the bigger round units and the smaller removable tank ones for many years. About 3 years ago I came across a deal at a yard sale for one each big and small, NIB, for $30 each. I didn't need them but couldn't pass them up. So, now i have backups to my back ups in addition to my multiple propane backups and ton of coal backup. I abhor a cold house!

Kero stores well, also. I've got an 80 gallon storage capacity and sitting about 60gal right now. Use Pri-D stabilizer and have had no problems. My kero is about 4 years old now. We have several kero lamps/lanterns also so its multiple use.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

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Long ago I used kerosene to heat my living room/kitchen with the bedroom door closed. So one evening I topped off the heater with some fuel I'd bought that day before going to bed and the next morning everything was coated with a fine black dust, it even got in the cabinets.

Turns out that a truck driver had topped off the local store's kerosene tank with diesel by mistake. The mixture burned all night, what a mess.
 

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Kerosene works, but propane is safer, cleaner and more efficient.
I got my big buddy propane heater on sale for about $100.00

Same exact price as what I got my big kerosene heater on sale for.

The kerosene heater will roast you plumb up out of this house in less than an hour or so.

The Big buddy heater on high takes several hours to heat the same space to where it is just tolerable. (assuming both are used starting with a cold house and about the same outside temps)

I do love the propane heaters but when it is really cold and I want to roast the place out - Kerosene is the winner for me. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Kerosene works, but propane is safer, cleaner and more efficient.
I don't agree with the safer and more efficient. It is cleaner.

As far as safety, kerosene isn't under pressure and it won't vent to atmosphere and create and explosive mixture.

When it comes to efficiency, I can get 30 pounds of propane for about $0.85 a pound and kerosene for $4 a gallon(I think I am way over paying for kerosene at that price) Per dollar I can get 34,000 btu from kerosene and 24,000 of propane.

Kerosene can easily be transferred from container to container to use as needed. Propane is much more difficult. Containers for storing kerosene are much cheaper than containers for propane.

I can use heating fuel, jet fuel, or any type of diesel if I run out of kerosene and another fuel is available. The only common alternative for propane is natural gas and that is difficult to store and transfer if you don't have it connected to your home.

I have a propane heater as a back up for my house but I think this kerosene heater has a lot of value as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Good on you for practicing. Too many wait until something is needed to discover they have no clue and/or are missing something necessary.

I try to test and even incorporate all of my preps in my day-to-day life. As you say it is real easy to have parts for a project or prep only to realize you are missing something and have to make several trips to town to get what you need. In that case if a person just bought the material and called it good without testing it they would find it unusable when needed. Also by using preps on a regular basis you learn what works, what doesn't and what you need to change.
 

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Grilled cheese sandwiches with ham (bacon is too messy to cook on top of a kerosene heater).

If you have a cat, add vertical (or horizontal) wires to the safety wires so it is a grid the cat's tail can't drift through. Otherwise, you'll have singed tails or worse because cats love the heat of a kerosene heater. Might have to do this if you have a dog, too.

The battery operated pump thingies to fill the heater tank from the container of kerosene are nice. A second one in case it breaks/wears out. A squeeze version is cheaper, but they take longer. A second tank for the kerosene heater is nice, too.
 

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Propane is clean and nice but very few people can move it from container to container like K1. You may even have a huge 500gal propane tank in your back yard but inless you have a wet line in the tank (many dont) or power to run your furnace/stove its next to useless.

Kerosene you can pump or pour your self.
 
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