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Why kerosene heater is popular?
Kerosene heater produces less pollution
How to choose kerosene heater wick?
Safety of using kerosene heater

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How to choose a kerosene heater

There are mainly 3 types of kerosene heater in the market: convection, radiant and forced-air.

Convection kerosene heater

Convection kerosene heaters burn by using wicks. The wick feeds kerosene from the bottom to the flame at the top. Heat is distributed in all directions around the heater. It is why typical convection kerosene heaters are usually circular. It is suggested to place it away from furniture and all flammable items. In order to distribute heat evenly in the room, the ideal place to put it is the middle of the room.

Convection kerosene heaters are the cheapest in price among those 3 types of kerosene heater, and have a moderate amount of heat output.

Radiant kerosene heater

Radiant kerosene heater use wick as convection kerosene heater, but heat is distributed only from the front side. Typical radiant kerosene heater is usually designed as a 3-sided rectangular fire-proof case. The 2 sides and the back are not hot. Therefore you may operate it near furniture and walls, which make it more convenient to use.

Radiant kerosene heaters are generally pricey than convection kerosene heaters. Heat output is also lower than it.

Forced-air kerosene heater

Forced-air kerosene heaters do not use wicks. In fact it works like a jet engine. Kerosenespray is pumped into the burning chamber and then it is ignited with a spark. Air is forced into the burning chamber and then blown into the room.

Forced-air kerosene heaters are of the highest efficiency and produce the highest heat output, and of course it cost the highest.

The following table compares the properties of those 3 types of kerosene heater.

Convection kerosene heater Radiant kerosene heater Forced-air kerosene heater
Heat output *** * *****
Convenient to use *** ***** *****
Low in price ***** *** *
Safe to use *** **** *****

Basic Guide in the Proper Use of Kerosene Heaters

Portable kerosene heaters are used in the United States as an emergency source of light and heat during a power outage. In some countries, the devices are used as the main source of heat. In Japan where there is no insulation or central heating, kerosene heaters are used for heat during the bitter winter. It is more energy efficient because the kerosene heater can be used to heat a cold room without the expense of heating the entire home. Newer models of kerosene heaters with additional safety features are available at our store.

Basic guide in using kerosene heater

  • Use 1-K grade kerosene never gasoline to avoid an explosion. You can buy kerosene from the nearby gas station but you need to have a blue plastic container to differentiate it from red gasoline containers.

  • Use a siphon pump to transfer kerosene from the container to the heater's tank.

  • Before you fill the heater's tank, make sure that it is turned off and properly cooled particularly when you have used it recently. There are heaters with removable tanks which you can easily bring outside so that you don't breathe the kerosene fumes and prevent you from spilling kerosene on the kitchen floor.

  • The heater tank should have an indicator on the outside so look for it before you start pumping and before you reach the top of the fill line. Pull the siphon upward and let its contents drain into the tank. Set the siphon aside to drain the extra kerosene and store it carefully for the next time you use it.

  • After refilling the heater tank, you should store the remaining kerosene in a well ventilated closet that is safe from the elements.

  • A carbon monoxide detector is a safety device since the kerosene heater produces small amounts of carbon monoxide. You also need to have the room well ventilated; a window should be opened near the heater.

  • Never sleep with the kerosene heater on. Your best option is to heat the room before you go to sleep. If you still feel cold, use an electric blanket or a hot water bottle. You can set the time on the kerosene heater for before you wake up.

  • Always make sure to use your kerosene heater according to the manufacturer's instructions. There are also maintenance procedures that have to be followed to ensure safety and cleanliness. Always ensure safe operation to minimize pollutants.

    Kerosene Heater - An Alternative Source of Heat during Power Outage

    A kerosene heater can be an alternative source of heat during winter that is cost effective and energy efficient. Power outages usually happen during severe snowstorms which prevent you from using your central heating system. A portable kerosene heater can provide you with heat but you should be mindful of safe operating procedures. There are manufacturer's instructions that should help in reducing the risks of fire from using kerosene heaters.

    The importance of using 1-K kerosene

    Kerosene is different from gasoline. Make sure that the kerosene you buy is not contaminated with gasoline or other volatile fuels. Even a small amount of gasoline that is mixed with kerosene can substantially increase the risks of fire or explosion. Make sure to buy 1-K kerosene from a reliable dealer since grades other than 1-K can lead into the increase of pollutants like carbon monoxide. There are different grades of kerosene that look the same and it is important that the grade used is certified to be 1-K.

    How to reduce the exposure to pollutants

    The kerosene heater should never be refueled inside the home. Most heaters have the removable tank which you can bring outside for refilling. Make sure that the heater is not hot and it is away from combustible materials. Turn the heater off and ensure that is cold in case you have used it recently. Reduce your exposure to pollutants by following the manufacturer's instructions. Exposure to small amounts of carbon monoxide or nitrogen dioxide is harmful for those with respiratory and health problems. For safety operation:

  • Ensure that the room is well ventilated. Open a window near the kerosene heater to allow fresh air to dilute the pollutants. If the home is new and tight and has been winterized, open the window by at least an inch. Ventilation is critical whether you are using a kerosene heater or a conventional heating device.

  • The wick should be set at a proper level and in good operating condition after a maintenance procedure suggested by the manufacturer.

  • In case of uncontrolled flare-up, do not attempt to carry the heater as it might make the fire worse. The kerosene heater usually has a manual shut-off switch which has to be turned off.

  • Recent advances in the manufacture of kerosene heaters make use of electricity to power a fan and force the heated air out to make heating faster. Thermostats are installed to control operation while a battery-operated igniter is used to light up the heater without the need for matches.

    How to Avoid Risks and Health Hazards when using a Kerosene Heater

    Kerosene is widely known as a safe and cost effective fuel for households; however, in developed countries, its popularity has been significantly superseded by electrification. It is estimated though that around 500 million households still use kerosene for lighting as well as cooking all over the world. A kerosene heater is considered the best alternative in the absence of electricity although it can also be used to supplement the central heating system to save on energy costs.

    Types of portable kerosene heaters

    Convection kerosene heater - is characterized by its circular shape with a fuel tank that is located below the wick and combustion chamber. The wick absorbs the fuel and delivers it to the combustion chamber. Since convection heaters are capable of circulating warm air upwards and outwards in all directions, they can efficiently provide heat to large rooms. On the other hand, it is not suggested to use a kerosene heater inside a small, closed area like a bedroom. It is also important to ensure that refueling is held outdoors since the convection kerosene heater does not have a removable fuel tank. Refueling is done through a siphon pump which for safety reasons must be done outdoors.

    Radiant kerosene heater - unlike the convection kerosene heater that is designed for large areas, the radiant heater is best used for small area. A radiant heater can be distinguished through its rectangular shape although it works in the same way as the convection heater with a wick and combustion chamber. In order to increase the flow of warm air, reflectors or electric fans are used. Most radiant heaters have a removable fuel tank that can be carried outdoors for refueling.

    How to deal with the hazards of kerosene

    The real danger in a kerosene heater is misuse in areas where there is no adequate ventilation. It is also important to ensure that you are using the right grade of kerosene for household use. The American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) defines two grades of kerosene as acceptable for household use, 1-K and 2-K. Kerosene fuel 1-K has low sulfur content and is safe to use for flue-less appliances like a portable kerosene heater while the 2-K is more suitable for flued appliances. Different grades of kerosene look the same and it is important to ensure that the 1-K kerosene fuel is not mixed with gasoline or any volatile fuels and solvents. Never use a substitute fuel in the absence of kerosene because some fuels can start a fire.

    A well designed kerosene heater won't emit any smoke or strong odors during its operation but you need to keep an eye on the fuel gauge since there is a strong odor when it runs out of fuel. It is also critical to ensure that there is adequate ventilation to avoid any health hazards from its major pollutants. Since you won't be able to keep track of your kerosene heater while you are sleeping, experts strongly urge that the central heating system be used during bedtime. It is also important to follow manufacturer's instructions regarding safety standards and proper use.

    Adopting Common Sense Safety Precautions in the Use of Kerosene Heater

    The three main functions of kerosene for a household are for cooking, lighting and heating. Although the use of kerosene is not widespread in developed countries due to the convenience and availability of electricity, a kerosene heater can be an efficient substitute for the central heating system during a power outage. Kerosene is also a cost effective fuel for cooking making it a better choice for households in many developing countries where the cost of electricity or LPG is prohibitive. In several highly populated areas, kerosene is primarily used for lighting because electricity is usually unavailable.

    How to choose a kerosene heater for the home

    There are different models of kerosene heaters in the market but the choice will depend on how cold it is in the area where you live, how much space you need to heat and the amount of insulation that your home has. A convective heater is designed for large areas and two or three units of kerosene heaters can adequately provide heat to a home when the temperature stays above the freeing point. A well designed model from reliable manufacturers will also minimize the safety hazards associated with kerosene fuel. However, it is important to remember that a kerosene heater will always have a faint a kerosene odor when it is turned on or off. But as long as you ensure that there is proper source of fresh air like an open window or door, the kerosene heater can be considered as relatively safe.

    The importance of proper maintenance for the kerosene heater

    When you buy a kerosene heater, it is usually accompanied by manufacturer's instructions on proper and safe usage. During the winter season when there is essentially greater need for the kerosene heater, the wick must be checked every week and cleaned whenever it is dirty. If the wick is worn out, replace it according to manufacturer's instructions. In order to reduce any fire hazards, it is important to wipe kerosene spillages when refueling. Since kerosene heaters have consistent open flame, it is suggested not to use the heating device in rooms where there are flammable substances like solvents, gasoline, kerosene containers and aerosol sprays. Always go through the owner's manuals and make sure to follow all the safety guidelines and maintenance requirements.

    Safety procedures in handling kerosene fuel

    A large convective heater that will operate for at least 15 hours a day will require approximately 14 gallons of fuel per week. In order to avoid frequent trips to the kerosene dealers, you will require 3 five-gallon containers every week. It makes sense to buy an adequate amount of fuel for the kerosene heater which can be kept in the garage or an outside storage shed. Make sure though that the fuel you are buying is 1-K grade kerosene to avoid any health risks from pollutants. Since refueling of convective heaters is usually done with a siphon pump, make sure to follow instructions and fill out only 90% of the fuel tank to prevent overflowing when the cold kerosene expands in the tank as it warms to room temperature.

    LEARN more about kerosene heater

    Why kerosene heater is popular?
    Do you know many people use kerosene heaters at home or workshop, even in the area where electricity is supplied adequately? The reasons for this are: ... read more

    Kerosene heater produces less pollution
    We are using huge amount of energy provided by electricity nowadays. It seems electricity is a clean and efficient energy source. In fact, it doesn't! ... read more

    How to choose kerosene heater wick
    Kerosene heater wick is an important factory affects the quality of heat that your kerosene heater produces. There are many types of kerosene heater wicks available in the market. Some kerosene heaters can evens handle more than one type of kerosene heater wick. ... read more

    Safety of using kerosene heater
    Kerosene heater is a very convenient supplementary source to the heating system at your home, especially during a very long and cold winter or electricity outage. When you are using kerosene heater, it is important to take certain measures to ensure safety. ... read more

    Koresene Heater produces high quality heat. It warms your room in an efficient way.

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