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Posted: 1/14/2015 11:07:28 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/17/2015 12:56:56 PM EST by widerstehe]
Just wondering your thoughts. We have a small to medium sized home, with decent windows and doors, and okay insulation.

House is oil heat using baseboards. But some rooms, and the basement, are colder than others and we use electric space heaters there. But electricity pricing is through the roof ($355 bill last month) and I'm thinking about kerosene. I'd like to heat the basement, with some residual heat making its way upstairs. I also like the thought of having emergency heat should the power be out.

Tractor supply has Kerosene heaters for $109 right now with good reviews. Kerosene is not available at gas stations around here, so I'd be stuck with the K-1 in a can at $40 for 5 gallons.

I added a poll basically just to draw attention to the thread, so please elaborate on your answers here.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 11:12:36 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/14/2015 11:18:18 AM EST by JavaHiGH]
I bought one last year and use it in the living room when the temperature gets sub 20 degrees. Its a good sized room with vaulted ceilings and it will get it up to 78 within a couple of hours. Only problem is that is where the thermostat is so the rest of the house can get chilly. It never runs more than a couple of hours.

I also use it in the garage during the winter while working on projects. It will heat a freezing garage to comfortable in an hour or so.



ETA: Tractor supply is where I got mine.

http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/redstonetrade%3B-indoor-portable-kerosene-convection-heater-23000-btu

I wouldn't let it run unattended.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 11:19:18 AM EST
^^^ Yes that's the one I'm thinking about.

Is it hard to find and/or change out the replacement wicks?
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 11:22:23 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By widerstehe:
^^^ Yes that's the one I'm thinking about.

Is it hard to find and/or change out the replacement wicks?
View Quote
I have that same one. I've never changed the wicks but have seen videos on youtube on how to do it - looks simple enough. Tractor supply has the wicks as does Home Depot, I believe. My wick has lasted 3 years now but I only use it a few times a year to heat up my garage to load ammo in there.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 11:25:46 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/14/2015 11:28:24 AM EST by Giltweasel]
We used it as primary heat when we were in the smaller house and propane costs were high. Kerosene had been on par with premium gasoline for a long time, but not anymore. Most places here now want $4+ up to or over $5 a gallon from the pump.

That's not as high as the ripoff jugs for sale in the stores, but it's still too high to make sense economically for anything other than "keep our regular house furnace from running 100% of the time" super cold days.

ETA: On Sunday I replaced the wick in my RMC-95C4 which is essentially the same model posted above. It's not difficult, if a little bit fiddly, getting the pins to line up with the sleeve holes while putting it back in the adjuster.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 11:27:02 AM EST
I have a Mr Heat for my shop. Every time i use it, it gives me a headache.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 11:27:40 AM EST
Where in NY?
IIRC some places do not allow them or Kerosene sales.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 11:27:57 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/14/2015 11:28:50 AM EST by Avidrook]
If you're not careful and you don't clean it often, you and everything you own will smell like kerosene


ETA: I have one for emergencies only


Link Posted: 1/14/2015 11:29:06 AM EST
I have one of those. The darn thing keeps falling apart inside and making thick black clouds of smelly suit when this happens. I use it in the outbuilding, and it is better than nothing. Not sure if it is more economical than an electric space heater, but it surely works faster. Kerosine and Diesel prices have not come down yet, and are still like $4/gal here.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 11:29:32 AM EST
Haven't changed it yet. I put maybe 4 tanks of kerosene through it last year and dry burnt it at the end of the season.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 11:30:02 AM EST
They work well, but tend to coat ceilings and walls with soot over time.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 11:36:57 AM EST
Not all kerosene is equal. The stuff in stores is typically the cleanest/purest and wont smell at all. Good stuff in bulk that is from suppliers and sellers that know how to transport and store it has no smell either. If you get a place that has used the tanks for diesel or lower grade K, it will have crap in it that makes it smell.

Also, the way you run the heater affects how well it eliminates the smell. If you adjust the wick low to save fuel, the heater will run almost twice as long, but it's also putting out more soot and smell. I don't know if CO output is affected as I have no way to measure it, but I wouldn't be surprised if there is a higher output with a lower wick setting. Perhaps it's just a matter of running longer allows for a greater buildup.

You have to run the heater high, preferably at the recommended setting. That keeps the housing hot and doesn't allow the soot to build up as much. Same thing goes for the condition of your wick. If it's old and doesn't give an even flame, you're putting more smoke and soot into the air. A new or clean wick with a full even flame is the way to run them.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 11:37:39 AM EST
I used them for years when I had no furnace, keep the wicks clean, let them 'burn off' outside at least once a week,
white water K1 kero, add some of that wick cleaner stuff to the kero if you want and yes, with common sense, they are very
useful and a source of local heat...the joy of standing over one of the big ones after being frozen outdoors is one everyone
should experience at least once. I speak of the radiant ones, not the Salamder types which I would not recommend for using
in one's house.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 11:39:28 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Gilly:
They work well, but tend to coat ceilings and walls with soot over time.
View Quote

I never had this issue in 20 years, clean wicks and proper adjustment will prevent this.
I will say this however, I really don't miss heating with them as my sole source of heat.
They are a lot of work.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 11:40:54 AM EST
I keep one along with 3 five gallon jugs of kero and a spare wick. It' main purpose is as a backup in case my electric is out and if my generator don't work. I have backups for my backups

I also use it in the winter to heat the garage if I'm working on something.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 11:47:59 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/14/2015 11:49:26 AM EST by Giltweasel]
I use a 23,000 BTU RMC-95C4 as posted from TSC. And I have a 10,000BTU model like this:



The 10k heater burns up to 12 hours on less fuel, but it takes longer to heat the same space(obviously). It is good for maintaining heat in the back part of my current house which is an addition and not connected to the central air.

I bought Kerosene this year at $4.19/gal, which is over the point at which it makes sense to use it as the primary source, but it's adequate for supplemental heat in the cold part of the house.

I've had the two heaters for 10 years now. I've replaced wicks three times on each of them in that 10 years. This is significantly different from the heaters I've seen in use before that. Essentially the same model heater, but the users had to replace the wick every year if not sooner.

I believe I'm getting unusually long life from my wicks because I use good fuel, I clean the wicks regularly, I use a bit of denatured alcohol(just an ounce or two, depending on the heater) in the tanks to help with condensation or water issues on my stored fuel, and I avoid burning through to empty(which I'm convinced causes premature wick death).

I will always have a heater or two and 10 or so gallons of K in storage as a backup. It works regardless of power and in a pinch I could use stove oil, heating oil, or even diesel. Essentially they will work the same except having to deal with different impurities/contaminants/additives.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 11:50:41 AM EST
Get a convection model, the radiant ones are more finicky.

Keep the wick clean, change it when it's time and light and extinguish outside and it will treat you well.

The people that often complain about the smell of them either light them inside, don't maintain the wick, or burn it lower than recommend for an efficient burn.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 11:51:16 AM EST
I have had my 23,000 btu kero heater for 2 years now. It has worked well in my outdoor shop. K1 is a little pricey around here,$4.99 to $5.12 from the pump. Around $40.00/5 gal. in the store containers.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 11:55:18 AM EST
They're great for garage use and emergencies. If I had to have it inside, I'd light it outside first to cut down on the smell. Once mine gets good and hot it seems to burn cleaner.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 11:57:51 AM EST
poll failure

no Pie option

(so those that don't know, can't see results w/o skewing 'em)
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 12:02:59 PM EST
Seems like the per gallon price that you listed might make it pretty expensive to run. Maybe spend a bit more on the heater itself and get one made for regular indoor use, one those gas or electric radiant jobs might be nice.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 12:13:09 PM EST
Used kero heaters for 50 yrs. Do the maintenance on them and they'll last a long time. One thing to watch out for is carbon monoxide poisoning. Typical sign is headaches. CO is heavier than air. Battery operated CO detector worth the bucks but don't place it too close to the heater. Lowe's and Home Depot have the wick cleaners/odor control additive which sort of works. Open the place up once in awhile to air out. I use the oil type scent controls that plug into the outlets to help with any odor from shutting down the heater or the like. I NEVER sleep with the heater on because of the CO.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 12:20:07 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By stalag17:
Used kero heaters for 50 yrs. Do the maintenance on them and they'll last a long time. One thing to watch out for is carbon monoxide poisoning. Typical sign is headaches. CO is heavier than air. Battery operated CO detector worth the bucks but don't place it too close to the heater. Lowe's and Home Depot have the wick cleaners/odor control additive which sort of works. Open the place up once in awhile to air out. I use the oil type scent controls that plug into the outlets to help with any odor from shutting down the heater or the like. I NEVER sleep with the heater on because of the CO.
View Quote


False, CO evenly disperses through the air.

You should crack a window 1" while running the heater, many people sleep with them with no problem, but it takes a little foresight.

They are less safe in newer houses because they are air tight. My older house has drafty windows, an open dog door, and I crack a window when using it. The CO alarm has never gone off even running it 24 hours when we were broke and younger.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 12:23:53 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By motoguzzi:
Where in NY?
IIRC some places do not allow them or Kerosene sales.
View Quote


Upstate. No local codes against it.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 12:27:13 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By RED_5:
poll failure

no Pie option

(so those that don't know, can't see results w/o skewing 'em)
View Quote


Click on "Vote" without making a selection.

Link Posted: 1/14/2015 12:29:35 PM EST
Picked up two of those for supplemental heat. They work great for that. But, at $4.57 per gallon, I'm glad they aren't my primary heart source.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 12:37:16 PM EST
They are very safe if you're not an idiot.

They are not very economical if you don't have K1 for sale at a gas station/depot.

Properly working, CO is NOT a concern. I have used an MSA gas monitor to measure my small home, 0 PPM.

You are dumb if you use one without a CO detector, smoke detector and decent fire extinguisher present.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 12:40:11 PM EST
They stink
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 12:40:56 PM EST
I use one in my garage, and really like it. I've abused the hell out of it and it keeps chugging along.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 12:42:38 PM EST
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 12:47:30 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Gilly:
They work well, but tend to coat ceilings and walls with soot over time.
View Quote


This. Used one for one winter in Ohio and that was it. It smoked a lot until it warmed up (even tried changing wicks), so we finally began starting it in the garage and then bringing it inside once it stopped smoking. Everything was great until I went out to check on it one day after a couple minutes of it warning up and the top had flames coming out of it about 2 feet. That was it. We never used it again and will never have another. I'll stick with wood stoves.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 1:05:57 PM EST
Yea, kero isn't getting easier or cheaper to buy, hasn't in years. The initial outlay is worse for wood but you'll make it back with time.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 1:14:03 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By widerstehe:


Click on "Vote" without making a selection.

View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By widerstehe:
Originally Posted By RED_5:
poll failure

no Pie option

(so those that don't know, can't see results w/o skewing 'em)


Click on "Vote" without making a selection.




that's NOT how we do things around here



non-voted
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 1:31:43 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SamBram:
They're great for garage use and emergencies. If I had to have it inside, I'd light it outside first to cut down on the smell. Once mine gets good and hot it seems to burn cleaner.
View Quote

All of the ones I have ever seen goes out if they are lightly nudged, how do you light outside
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 1:46:59 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/14/2015 1:48:15 PM EST by batmanacw]
I am sitting 5 ft from a great kerosene heater right now. They make a great back up heat source. There has to be an oil supply place in your area that will have pump k1.

If you follow the instructions on burning a wick clean you can keep a wick running like new for years. The Kerosun/Toyotomi heater next to me is probably the 15 year old original. Burned it out two days ago.

I own 8, including a couple antiques.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 2:41:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/14/2015 2:44:30 PM EST by ma96782]
I live in the Pac NW and elec. rates aren't really that high. But as an experiment, I used an indoor Kero heater for one season.

Having to go down and pick up Kero (10 gals at a time) costs gas money. Not to mention, the time spent. The savings were not really all there.....more like a wash. Kero at the time was selling at about $5 a gal. (red stuff). Then, speaking of a wash.....the white walls of my home had black soot on them that I had to clean off. My fault though, I lit the heater off inside. People will tell you to light it off outside and carry the heater inside. Anyway, IMHO, it was not worth it.

Now a days, the heater has been assigned to duty in my un-heated/un-insulated garage. I use it when I'm working on the car during the winter time.

Aloha, Mark

PS...........more info on Kerosene Heating..........

http://www.milesstair.com/
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 2:53:58 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By tango1978:

All of the ones I have ever seen goes out if they are lightly nudged, how do you light outside
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By tango1978:
Originally Posted By SamBram:
They're great for garage use and emergencies. If I had to have it inside, I'd light it outside first to cut down on the smell. Once mine gets good and hot it seems to burn cleaner.

All of the ones I have ever seen goes out if they are lightly nudged, how do you light outside
Both of mine (Dyna-Glo) need to be tilted fairly significantly before they go out. As long as you walk slow and smooth, it is fine.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 3:04:37 PM EST
ost for answers

I've been thinking of buying one of these for an unheated shop.
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 3:05:37 PM EST
BTW....you said that you have oil heating.

So???? With the price of crude in the dump.........where is YOUR CONSUMER SAVINGS?

Aloha, Mark
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 4:08:40 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ma96782:
BTW....you said that you have oil heating.

So???? With the price of crude in the dump.........where is YOUR CONSUMER SAVINGS?

Aloha, Mark
View Quote



The savings in oil has been eaten up by the sky high price of electric recently.

$355 last month
Link Posted: 1/14/2015 4:11:27 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/14/2015 4:13:27 PM EST by DenJ]
Originally Posted By nickman54:
I have a Mr Heat for my shop. Every time i use it, it gives me a headache.
View Quote



Then it is producing CO and you should discard it. That is a significant safety hazard
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 11:52:12 AM EST
Okay, so I got one.

At first, I thought it was the cat's ass. Started up easy, no problem. Warmed up my basement like 10 degrees in an hour.

I ran it about 4 or 5 hours. Topped off the tank, and went to use it again today (2 days later).

Holy fucking black smoke. Brought the thing outside to try and figure out what's wrong. Lots of Orange Flame, not the small yellow flame it's supposed to have.

I did nothing different. Same fuel. The wick must have gone bad or something (but in 2 days of sitting?)

What the fuck?
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 11:57:29 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/17/2015 11:57:48 AM EST by WhirlyGirl45]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By widerstehe:
Okay, so I got one.

At first, I thought it was the cat's ass. Started up easy, no problem. Warmed up my basement like 10 degrees in an hour.

I ran it about 4 or 5 hours. Topped off the tank, and went to use it again today (2 days later).

Holy fucking black smoke. Brought the thing outside to try and figure out what's wrong. Lots of Orange Flame, not the small yellow flame it's supposed to have.

I did nothing different. Same fuel. The wick must have gone bad or something (but in 2 days of sitting?)

What the fuck?
View Quote

Is the core(heating element) sitting properly in its channel/slot? is the height correct?
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 12:04:24 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By WhirlyGirl45:

Is the core(heating element) sitting properly in its channel/slot? is the height correct?
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By WhirlyGirl45:
Originally Posted By widerstehe:
Okay, so I got one.

At first, I thought it was the cat's ass. Started up easy, no problem. Warmed up my basement like 10 degrees in an hour.

I ran it about 4 or 5 hours. Topped off the tank, and went to use it again today (2 days later).

Holy fucking black smoke. Brought the thing outside to try and figure out what's wrong. Lots of Orange Flame, not the small yellow flame it's supposed to have.

I did nothing different. Same fuel. The wick must have gone bad or something (but in 2 days of sitting?)

What the fuck?

Is the core(heating element) sitting properly in its channel/slot? is the height correct?


Yup, you are getting oxygen from somewhere, if the chimney isn't sitting in the channel it will pour out black smoke. After lighting I will always open the little door and give it a little twist.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 12:06:17 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By sitdwnandhngon:


Yup, you are getting oxygen from somewhere, if the chimney isn't sitting in the channel it will pour out black smoke. After lighting I will always open the little door and give it a little twist.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By sitdwnandhngon:
Originally Posted By WhirlyGirl45:
Originally Posted By widerstehe:
Okay, so I got one.

At first, I thought it was the cat's ass. Started up easy, no problem. Warmed up my basement like 10 degrees in an hour.

I ran it about 4 or 5 hours. Topped off the tank, and went to use it again today (2 days later).

Holy fucking black smoke. Brought the thing outside to try and figure out what's wrong. Lots of Orange Flame, not the small yellow flame it's supposed to have.

I did nothing different. Same fuel. The wick must have gone bad or something (but in 2 days of sitting?)

What the fuck?

Is the core(heating element) sitting properly in its channel/slot? is the height correct?


Yup, you are getting oxygen from somewhere, if the chimney isn't sitting in the channel it will pour out black smoke. After lighting I will always open the little door and give it a little twist.

Yep, just jiggle the little handle thingy around, back and forth to 'feel' it sitting properly.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 12:07:59 PM EST
They suck. Can you get a ventless propane or natural gas stove installed? Much better option for a more permanent solution. Only good thing about a kerosene heater is portability.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 12:10:09 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By kentucky_smith:
They suck. Can you get a ventless propane or natural gas stove installed? Much better option for a more permanent solution. Only good thing about a kerosene heater is portability.
View Quote

Nope, they are time consuming and persnickety (spelling) to operate but they do not suck.
Are there other, easier to use sources of heat? you betcha. Getting back to the emergency heat issue however,
They excel at that.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 12:18:04 PM EST
I do not use unvented burning devices in living quarters. Carbon monoxide is a killer.

If you really want a backup heat source, see if there are propane or natural gas (if you have it) units that you can mount on an exterior wall and vent to the outside.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 12:21:53 PM EST
I would bet anyone that doesn't like them has used them wrong in the past.

I had a friend come over once and I had mine cranking, I usually fire it up first thing in the morning to take the chill off while I get a fire going.

He couldn't believe that it didn't stink of kero inside. I told him to stick his face right over it and try to get a whiff.

You just have to maintain them and burn them at the correct flame height, the efficiency is pretty amazing.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 12:24:53 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By sitdwnandhngon:
I would bet anyone that doesn't like them has used them wrong in the past.

I had a friend come over once and I had mine cranking, I usually fire it up first thing in the morning to take the chill off while I get a fire going.

He couldn't believe that it didn't stink of kero inside. I told him to stick his face right over it and try to get a whiff.

You just have to maintain them and burn them at the correct flame height, the efficiency is pretty amazing.
View Quote

They are not for morons or the lazy...putting them close to drapes, sofas etc, not getting the whole burning off thing,
not keeping wicks clean etc....I keep mine for emergency use, I don't miss running one as my primary heat source.
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 12:26:17 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By sitdwnandhngon:
I would bet anyone that doesn't like them has used them wrong in the past.

I had a friend come over once and I had mine cranking, I usually fire it up first thing in the morning to take the chill off while I get a fire going.

He couldn't believe that it didn't stink of kero inside. I told him to stick his face right over it and try to get a whiff.

You just have to maintain them and burn them at the correct flame height, the efficiency is pretty amazing.
View Quote


The only time I can smell mine is when I start and stop it. When it's going, I can't smell it at all.
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