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08-03-2009, 10:10 PM #1
If anyone has a kerosene heater, I have questions!
We recently moved into a 1940s cottage and I do not trust that it's current gas heating system is going to do a very good job. We are planning on having to suppliment with some other type of heat. We own a kerosene heater that was in my parents home for many years. They may have used it once. They only purchased it because they were caught in the ice storm of 1994 with no electricity and no heat and they never wanted to go through that again.
It is still in very good condition, it looks like new. It is similar in style to this, but it is taller and skinnier. Off the top of my head I don't know how many BTUs it has. It's out in my storage building right now so I can't just look at it and see.
My dh and I have never, ever used one of these things and we are completely clueless as to how they work and what the saftey procautions are. I have several questions and I feel like some of them are silly as can be, but we don't know and we want to be safe so I have to ask.
1. Can these safely be used inside a home with all the windows closed or do windows need to opened a crack to let the air ventilate? In the dead of winter, it seems like that would be counter productive...
2. Can they safely be used on carpet or do that have to be set on a hard surface?
3. How long do those little tanks of kerosene usually last?
4. Is this something that should be turned off at night when everyone is sleeping? How much supervision do they need?
I'm sure there are more things that I need to know, so if you can answer any of those questions or offer any advice about something I left out, *please* go ahead and share. I'm really hoping to learn as much about these heaters as I can.
Last edited by MamaTreadler; 08-03-2009 at 10:11 PM.
08-04-2009, 08:53 AM #2
while I did use one in an emergency once, I don't like them.
Tony worked it and took care of it so I don't have alot of hands on with it, but they scare me. Just a fire hazard to me. I hate, hate the smell of it also.
be sure to fire it up outside first and burn off the smell and all before bringing into the house to light up to use.
I had mine on carpet wtih no problem, but later I did buy a metal square mat to go under it.
We used for power outages also...but since I hate them, I did decide to buy a propane fireplace. I have a 100 lb. tank outside, ran in the propane and bought a nice fireplace. I got nice look, wonderful heat at cheap price and security for outages. no elec. to light it. So I won but it was about $1200 to do that but soooo worth it to me.
The heaters can throw black smoke in the house also.
Use as a primary source of heat. No I would not. It is not a primary heater to be used all season long in my book. but then again, biased cause I hate them...HA HA
leave on at night and sleep. yes I did cause it was freezing when power went out but I slept with one eye open..HA HA
Just search on the internet and it will tell you all about the safety precautions and all that. buy good grade kerosene for it definitely.
08-04-2009, 09:30 AM #3
- Rep Power
Check with the insurance agent of your homeowners policy. You may find the insurance rating of a kerosene heater isn't allowed for use with your policy, or you have to increase your coverage in order to use it.
The quality of the air, using a kerosene heater, isn't healthy for someone with a breathing problem/condition. You need to have ventilation (cold air coming into the house) for a fresh air exchange. ANY open-flame heating device consumes a lot of air, so most kerosene heaters suggest keeping a window cracked open when you are running them.
You also chance the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning or asphyxiation from kerosene heaters, danger of burns if you touch it, fires if something flamable comes into contact with it, or knocking over if there are children or pets in the home. Make sure you have a working Carbon Monoxide Detector in your home if you use one. You will want to keep it close to the floor near the kerosene heater because Carbon Monoxide travels close to the floor. I'd also suggest an appropriate fire extinguisher near-by.
A safer option...http://www.solarcomfortheat.com/
We use a Solar Comfort by Sun Cloud Infrared heating system as our primary source for heating our small (3-year old) home (we only heat the living/dining/kitchen area and have another Sun Cloud to warm the master bath when we are in there).
Late last winter we purchased a Watt-a-Meter to check how much it cost to run - after 543 hours it cost us .02 cents an hour, so the Sun Cloud is economical, and a very comfortable heat.
The Sun Cloud is approved for zero clearance (you can safely place it next to curtains/furniture, and it has an A-1 INSURANCE rating. This highest safety rating means lowest possible insurance costs. You could toss a blanket over it and it wouldn't catch on fire. Safe to use around children and pets. It looks like an oak side table on wheels, so you can easily move it. The heat is provided by 6 infrared lamps - NO flames, fuel, wood, or messy clean-up.
The comfort is also different than any other type of "space" heater or furnace we've used. The Sun Cloud doesn't dry or pollute the air. It's just as warm on the sofa as it is at the dining room table - both are quite a distance from the Sun Cloud. This isn't your typical space heater that people use to warm their toes under a desk.
The Sun Cloud works most efficiently if there is a minimum of 40% relative humidity in the room/s, so we also use a large humidifier for the 3-room area. The Sun Cloud is designed to operate for maximum efficiency up to 70-72°F range, although we never warm our home above 65°F. Sweaters are less expensive than electricity....
The only time we use our whole house furnace is when we have overnight company and have to heat 2 more bedrooms, or when we leave for several days. We use our furnace no more than 7-10 days per winter.
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08-04-2009, 09:46 AM #4
- Rep Power
We use one to supplement our propane heat on those occasional Artic Blasts we get each winter.
ITA with burning the wick outside and if you use it for awhile (for us every 2- 5 gallon containers of kerosene) burn the wick again outside. It helps make it not "stink" as much and helps you cut back on the possibility of the black smoke (which most causes of it is from either having the wick down too low or high from my own personal experiences).
The smell is not horrible when it is burning- but it does give off a smell when it gets low and when you start it. I usually have one of my oil diffusers going away to cut back on the smell. If it gets too hot we will open the door and let some cool fresh air in.
The only time we would keep one burning at night is if the power was out. Otherwise we shut it off and if your house is cold during winter nights, I would suggest electric blankets to help keep you warm at night (that is what we use when it's REALLY cold outside!)
08-04-2009, 09:49 AM #5
you know steelergal made a great point.
keep it for emergencies and use elect. blankets.
they also have a mattress pad that plugs in. no elec. blankets, just heats the mattress pad under you and you get tons of warmth!!!
08-05-2009, 01:30 AM #6
- Rep Power
I don't like kerosene heaters.......... I had to use them to heat my house when I lived in Japan. They don't put heaters in there home...... We carried them from room to room..........Like someone else said check the internet to answer some of your questions........
08-05-2009, 02:00 AM #7
- Rep Power
They give my husband massive headaches.
I second the mattress heating pads, they work wonderfully. We had one for years and I really want another one. If prices go down after the holidays I'm getting one again.
We did really well keeping our home warm using portable oil radiators and covering the windows with plastic and blankets. It made a very small rise in our electric bill. I closed off rooms not in use during the day and used 1 heater for the living space of the house (and took advantage of the ovens heat by baking a lot). At night I would pull it into the back hallway (until I found a second one at wal-mart for $27 so I had one for each section of the house) and open the bedroom doors for the heat to get to all of us and used flannel sheets and warm blankets. We were able to stretch an oil tank through the cold months just by keeping our home thermostat at a temperature just above freezing (for our pipes and to heat the hot water tank) and by using an oil filled radiator.
Last edited by pollypurebred39; 08-05-2009 at 02:04 AM.
08-05-2009, 11:55 PM #8
- Rep Power
Just want to add, if you do use one indoors, don't set it on carpet. It's easy to spill kerosene while filling the heater, so you don't want that on your carpet. We have one and have used it when our electric went out, we are total electric. It's nice to have in an emergency. Also if you have a ceiling fan I suggest leaving it on while using the heater. It helps circulate the heat.
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