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Posted: 1/6/2011 6:35:46 AM EDT
Hi Guys –

I’m thinking about buying a kerosene heater as a backup. I’ve got a propane furnace, a pellet stove that will operate on a 12 battery. I’d like to expand that a little bit and have something that I can use without power. The house is 2200 sq ft, but in a pinch, I can block off the upstairs and we can heat only the downstairs (about 800 square feet). I’ve done some research on various brands. I’m curious what other people are using (experiences/good or bad). Since these have an active flame, do you have a window cracked open for fresh air to keep from getting to much carbon monoxide built up?

I was looking at this one:
Kerosene heater - northern tool

The only thing I didn’t like is it needed batteries for the igniter, not a show stopper, but a pizo electric type ignition would be better (if that exists). The price is pretty good too.

Thanks for the help.
Link Posted: 1/6/2011 6:41:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/6/2011 6:45:01 AM EDT by wshbrngr]
Originally Posted By 64Impala:
Hi Guys –

I’m thinking about buying a kerosene heater as a backup. I’ve got a propane furnace, a pellet stove that will operate on a 12 battery. I’d like to expand that a little bit and have something that I can use without power. The house is 2200 sq ft, but in a pinch, I can block off the upstairs and we can heat only the downstairs (about 800 square feet). I’ve done some research on various brands. I’m curious what other people are using (experiences/good or bad). Since these have an active flame, do you have a window cracked open for fresh air to keep from getting to much carbon monoxide built up?

I was looking at this one:
Kerosene heater - northern tool

The only thing I didn’t like is it needed batteries for the igniter, not a show stopper, but a pizo electric type ignition would be better (if that exists). The price is pretty good too.

Thanks for the help.

I have an old Aladdin heater, the electric igniter is broken, but I just light it with a bic BBQ (long) lighter with no problems.
Our house is pretty drafty, but it is still a good idea to buy a couple of battery operated CO detectors. (Ones with a digital read-out are better)


Link Posted: 1/6/2011 7:02:10 AM EDT
LOL, I got both of mine used, for free, in the mid '90s.
Kero-suns.
Have always lit them with a lighter.
I light them outside, let them run 5 minutes or so, then bring them in to heat.
I take them back out to shutdown.
No odor, no soot, no issues.
Link Posted: 1/6/2011 7:10:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/6/2011 7:20:55 AM EDT by dablues]
I think you'd be happy with it. I have one of the radiant reflector type (10,000 BTU) and they are a lot more fussy, the flame height has to be fiddled with for the first 15 minutes to get it just right. Too high it's smokey, too low it's smelly.


The guru of kerosene, TJ, says the tower types are a lot more forgiving.

I was surprised at the electronic ignition and how well it works. Instead of the old style heater wire glow plug, mine uses some electronics that makes a big fat buzzing electric arc. It gets the wick going instantly.

In any case, I lit my old unit by hand for years. Word of caution, don't use kitchen matches, because if the head of the match breaks off, now you have a rock hard clinker stuck in the wick mechanism.

Also, first time you use it, or if you burn it completely dry, fill it and let it sit at least a half hour to allow the fuel to travel up the wick, an hour is what the book recommends.

ETA: the mandatory link to the Kerosene Store for wicks, globes, and FAQs www.milesstair.com Lots of good info.
Link Posted: 1/6/2011 8:15:18 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/6/2011 8:47:39 AM EDT
I have this model. I bought it from the same place.

We used it for a backup heat source in our old house, and it worked well when the power went out in various snowstorms.

If I recall, there is an access door that will allow you to manually light the wick if necessary, so the batteries should not be an option.

My wife used this when I was called up for duty during a bad snowstorm last year. The power had gone out at our house, and she was quite warm with this unit. She was also able to bring water to a boil ontop of the unit, but the directions state not to do this.

This was one of my best prep buys for the following reasons:
- It was inexpensive compared to the return on value
- It worked when needed / It is low tech (de-bugged) technology
- Ease of operation

This thing was a life-saver.
Link Posted: 1/6/2011 9:42:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 64Impala:
Hi Guys –

I’m thinking about buying a kerosene heater as a backup. I’ve got a propane furnace, a pellet stove that will operate on a 12 battery. I’d like to expand that a little bit and have something that I can use without power. The house is 2200 sq ft, but in a pinch, I can block off the upstairs and we can heat only the downstairs (about 800 square feet). I’ve done some research on various brands. I’m curious what other people are using (experiences/good or bad). Since these have an active flame, do you have a window cracked open for fresh air to keep from getting to much carbon monoxide built up?

I was looking at this one:
Kerosene heater - northern tool

The only thing I didn’t like is it needed batteries for the igniter, not a show stopper, but a pizo electric type ignition would be better (if that exists). The price is pretty good too.

Thanks for the help.

I have that model and it works great. I would use it in the winter time to heat a drafty rental unit. It will run for about 12 hours on a full tank and the flame adjusted properly. I never cracked a window and didn't have soot issues. If you take care of the wick, buy the right fuel, and maintain flame height it works great.

Batteries aren't necessary. You can extend the wick and light it with a lighter or a match. You won't find a piezo igniter. If you throw a lit match into kerosene it will be extinguished. A little spark isn't going to get kerosene vapors to ignite.

FYI. These heaters will start to go on sale at Lowes and HD in a month or two. The Buddy propane heaters will also start to go on sale then.
Link Posted: 1/6/2011 9:51:29 AM EDT
The 2230 is good, it has a un-pinned wick, and you can pick up wick replacements at Walmart. I just fell into a used one on Craigs list, and fortunately for me it was rated very high. I would encourage you to read this, and you will be in good shape when it comes to using, servicing, and storing your heater.
Link Posted: 1/6/2011 10:02:15 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/6/2011 10:25:31 AM EDT
I've got a 23,000 btu tower type convection kero heater. My house is 1454 sq ft, made in 1994 with modest insulation. At -20 F the kero heater will keep my home quite liveable. If I place it in the living end of the house, that end is 70+ degrees, while the bedrooms are cooler (55). At night I move it down near the bedrooms and they end up warmer. The heater is great. The limitations are air flow. Long hallways and the like limit airflow without powered fans, so rooms some distance and a lot of walls away from the heater get cool.

Fro
Link Posted: 1/6/2011 2:13:58 PM EDT
I have two of those........I love them.....Only downfall is the caryhandle bends easily. Lite outside and let run for 10 mins before you bring it in.....shut it off outside too and there are minimal fumes
Link Posted: 1/6/2011 3:38:56 PM EDT
Outstanding. Thanks a ton for the replies. I also saw from reviews that the handle is the weak point, especially carrying it around when full from inside/outside during start ups. Worse comes to worse, I can jury rig a handle out of my shop. I'll be purchasing tomorrow along with some spare wicks and I can cross that item off my prep list.

Does anyone put PRI-G or other stabalizer in their LTS kerosene?. I'm just buying the stuff from the local HW store (clear) and figured it would keep pretty long if I don't open up the containers.

thanks again

Link Posted: 1/6/2011 4:28:17 PM EDT
I will be checking out my Lowes around late Feb to early March for discounted heaters. I want one as a backup myself.
Link Posted: 1/6/2011 5:18:41 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 64Impala:
Outstanding. Thanks a ton for the replies. I also saw from reviews that the handle is the weak point, especially carrying it around when full from inside/outside during start ups. Worse comes to worse, I can jury rig a handle out of my shop. I'll be purchasing tomorrow along with some spare wicks and I can cross that item off my prep list.

Does anyone put PRI-G or other stabalizer in their LTS kerosene?. I'm just buying the stuff from the local HW store (clear) and figured it would keep pretty long if I don't open up the containers.

thanks again



Don't do ANYTHING to your kero!

Put it away in a sealed container and it'll prolly last longer than you.

Link Posted: 1/6/2011 5:46:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/6/2011 5:52:45 PM EDT by fundummy]
I've got a Dyna Glow 23,000 btu ( like the one you've mentioned ).

Also I've recently purchased a Heat Mate radiant heater 10,000 btu.


1K ( red dyed ) kerosene here runs about 3.70 a gallon ... 5 gallon cans of clear 1K is available for about 40 bucks.

The Dyna glow works just fine, also it would be easier to heat rations on, if need be.
Holds about 2 gallons, and runs roughly 10 - 12 hours.

The Heat Mate holds 1 gallon and runs about 12 hours. This one would be my preference for inside use... it seems to burn cleaner than the Dyna Glow tower.
It also burns 1/2 the fuel at about 1/2 the heat.

Your selection(s) may be greatly influenced by how much area you need to heat. ETA and how much fuel you want to store.
Running 24/7 fuel cost adds up pretty fast - especially if you are burning canned 1K.

I have run my Dyna Glow on low sulfur diesel ( LSD ), although it's a little sooty, you could get by in a pinch. I understand many people run diesel in them everyday, mostly in garages and shops.
I haven't run LSD in the little Heat Mate yet...
Due to the glass cased catalytic converter on the Heat Mate, running diesel may be problematic, due to sooty carbon buildup.

Replacement wicks for both are about 12 bucks each... I've got 3 spares for each.

Safety wise, I suggest at least one battery powered CO detector ( preferably one with a digital read out )...
I'm not sure, but I believe this Kidde is the ONLY battery powered CO detector with digital read out.... I just picked one up for 27 bucks at Wally World.
Also, I keep an ABC fire extinguisher handy.


Link Posted: 1/6/2011 5:58:28 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/6/2011 6:07:56 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Waldo:
Originally Posted By fundummy:.

.. 5 gallon cans of clear 1K is available for about 40 bucks.


Wow, 5 gallons of clear K1 runs about 17-18 bux at the pump here.



I wish I could find a K1 pump. All I can find at a pump is dyed (doesn't burn as clean, smells more). I've been having to buy the 5 gallon ($40) K1 cans from Lowes too.
Link Posted: 1/6/2011 6:08:12 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Waldo:
Originally Posted By fundummy:.

.. 5 gallon cans of clear 1K is available for about 40 bucks.


Wow, 5 gallons of clear K1 runs about 17-18 bux at the pump here.



Yep ... red dyed at the pump it's 3.70.
Lowes, Tractor, and HD sells clear 1K for about 40 bucks for a 5 gallon can.... I've seen it as high as 55 bucks A CAN !

With the price of oil approaching 100 bucks a barrel, one would be wise to stockpile some now, before it goes higher.
Link Posted: 1/6/2011 7:00:45 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/6/2011 8:13:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/6/2011 10:34:09 PM EDT by fundummy]
Another 10K btu radiant heater.


It has the glass cased catalytic converter, runs 12 hours on one gallon, and would be able to heat rations on top.
I'd probably modify the top to enable surface contact heat transfer to a skillet or a pan.
BTW, those glass cased converters are cleanable. They have two long bolts ( pins if you will ) that are removable.
The converter is nothing more than a pair of perforated metal cylinders.

I haven't checked it out, but it looks good on paper....

More info on the Amazon link ( 4.5 star customer rating ) -> http://www.amazon.com/Sengoku-HeatMate-Omni-Radiant-Portable-Kerosene/dp/B00076S36U/ref=sr_1_2?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1294376422&sr=1-2

eta: 2 is one, and 1 is none... double your fun. Triple your unsecured debt - before the dollar is worth a dime.
Link Posted: 1/7/2011 12:01:33 PM EDT
Originally Posted By fundummy:
Originally Posted By Waldo:
Originally Posted By fundummy:.

.. 5 gallon cans of clear 1K is available for about 40 bucks.


Wow, 5 gallons of clear K1 runs about 17-18 bux at the pump here.



Yep ... red dyed at the pump it's 3.70.
Lowes, Tractor, and HD sells clear 1K for about 40 bucks for a 5 gallon can.... I've seen it as high as 55 bucks A CAN !

With the price of oil approaching 100 bucks a barrel, one would be wise to stockpile some now, before it goes higher.


With some help from VA hometown forum, I found out that Sheetz has K1 in my area. A trip earlier today got me several 5 gallon jugs of sweet, clear, non taxed K1 goodness. No more 5 gallon cans from Lowes for me.

Link Posted: 1/8/2011 7:58:45 AM EDT
I have the sengoku that fundummy linked above. I've been very pleased with it.
Link Posted: 2/2/2011 6:18:02 AM EDT

I have a 275 gallon tank of K1 that feeds two Monitor heaters and our Monitor on demand hot water system. One 275 gallon tank lasts us 4 years. We use wood in the Kitchen and home for heat and the K1 is just a back up when we are out of town or if he drops below -10. I was thinking K1 costs could go up quite a bit, but because we only use it as a back up for heat and for the hot water, its still a savings over that 4 year period.

http://www.monitorproducts.com/

Link Posted: 2/2/2011 7:38:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By LaserStain:

I have a 275 gallon tank of K1 that feeds two Monitor heaters and our Monitor on demand hot water system. One 275 gallon tank lasts us 4 years. We use wood in the Kitchen and home for heat and the K1 is just a back up when we are out of town or if he drops below -10. I was thinking K1 costs could go up quite a bit, but because we only use it as a back up for heat and for the hot water, its still a savings over that 4 year period.

http://www.monitorproducts.com/



That is interesting.
Link Posted: 2/2/2011 8:42:47 AM EDT
Do the fumes rise or sink? Just crack two windows and you're good?
Link Posted: 2/2/2011 9:55:07 AM EDT
Originally Posted By dtgman227:
Originally Posted By Waldo:
Originally Posted By fundummy:.

.. 5 gallon cans of clear 1K is available for about 40 bucks.


Wow, 5 gallons of clear K1 runs about 17-18 bux at the pump here.



I wish I could find a K1 pump. All I can find at a pump is dyed (doesn't burn as clean, smells more). I've been having to buy the 5 gallon ($40) K1 cans from Lowes too.


That Lowes K1 is actually mineral spirits. Mix it 50/50 with pump K1 and you will still not get a lot of smell and it will save you a lot of money. I just did a big thread on this.
Link Posted: 2/2/2011 9:56:24 AM EDT
Originally Posted By bogomil:
Do the fumes rise or sink? Just crack two windows and you're good?


no reason to crack windows unless the heater is doing bad things.
Link Posted: 2/2/2011 10:26:23 AM EDT
Originally Posted By batmanacw:
Originally Posted By bogomil:
Do the fumes rise or sink? Just crack two windows and you're good?


no reason to crack windows unless the heater is doing bad things.


I've read a few places that it's good to crack a window, so I typically stay on the safe side.
Link Posted: 2/2/2011 10:31:56 AM EDT
Originally Posted By dtgman227:
Originally Posted By batmanacw:
Originally Posted By bogomil:
Do the fumes rise or sink? Just crack two windows and you're good?


no reason to crack windows unless the heater is doing bad things.


I've read a few places that it's good to crack a window, so I typically stay on the safe side.


did you read that from a reputable source or just folks who don't know what they are talking about? I wouldn't waste the heat up here in the frozen north. Do what you like, but it is not required.
Link Posted: 2/2/2011 10:44:40 AM EDT
Originally Posted By batmanacw:
Originally Posted By dtgman227:
Originally Posted By batmanacw:
Originally Posted By bogomil:
Do the fumes rise or sink? Just crack two windows and you're good?


no reason to crack windows unless the heater is doing bad things.


I've read a few places that it's good to crack a window, so I typically stay on the safe side.


did you read that from a reputable source or just folks who don't know what they are talking about? I wouldn't waste the heat up here in the frozen north. Do what you like, but it is not required.


Thanks.
Link Posted: 2/2/2011 10:45:22 AM EDT
Originally Posted By batmanacw:
Originally Posted By dtgman227:
Originally Posted By batmanacw:
Originally Posted By bogomil:
Do the fumes rise or sink? Just crack two windows and you're good?


no reason to crack windows unless the heater is doing bad things.


I've read a few places that it's good to crack a window, so I typically stay on the safe side.


did you read that from a reputable source or just folks who don't know what they are talking about? I wouldn't waste the heat up here in the frozen north. Do what you like, but it is not required.


Link, another
Link Posted: 2/2/2011 10:52:27 AM EDT
Originally Posted By dtgman227:
Originally Posted By batmanacw:
Originally Posted By dtgman227:
Originally Posted By batmanacw:
Originally Posted By bogomil:
Do the fumes rise or sink? Just crack two windows and you're good?


no reason to crack windows unless the heater is doing bad things.


I've read a few places that it's good to crack a window, so I typically stay on the safe side.


did you read that from a reputable source or just folks who don't know what they are talking about? I wouldn't waste the heat up here in the frozen north. Do what you like, but it is not required.


Link, another


That is interesting, but still unnecessary. I get the idea of cracking a window at night because there is not air transfer from opening doors and movement, but during the day the act of opening a door and closing it moves a lot of air in and out. Up here, I would loose half of the btu's the heater put out with a 1" crack in a window. Maybe 1/4" would be okay.
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