- Comparison Chart: Best Kerosene Heaters 2020
- 1. Best Kerosene Heater: Dyna-Glo KFA180DGD
- 2. Best Kerosene Heater for Garage Use: Mr. Heater F270320
- 3. Most Efficient Indoor Kerosene Heater: Dura Heat DH2304S
- 4. Most Efficient Kerosene Heater Runner Up: Sengoku Heat Mate HMHC 2230
- 5. Best Small Kerosene Heater: Sengoku KeroHeat CTN-110
- 6. Best Kerosene Forced Air Heater: DuraHeat DFA75T
- 7. Best Portable Kerosene Heater: ProTemp Sun Stream
- 8. Best Portable Heater, Runner up: Kero-World Convection KW-12
- 9. Best Kerosene Heater for Home Use: Kero World KW-24G
- 10. Best Radiant Kerosene Heater: Dyna-Glo RMC-55R7
- A Complete Buying Guide for Kerosene Heaters
- How Does it Work?
- Using Kerosene Heater Indoors
- Comparison between Kerosene & Propane Heating System
- Final Thoughts
Hello, and welcome to my review of the 10 best Kerosene home heaters for 2020.
Home heating is an important part of comfortable, healthy modern living. It is no exaggeration to say that cold is not just uncomfortable, but actively dangerous. One of the most common, avoidable causes of death in colder climates is from exposure to the cold due to lack of proper heating.
Beyond the safety issues, however, being cold is just downright uncomfortable. Thus, people spend quite a bit of money on electricity for modern central heating and air systems. However, this isn’t always the best method.
Many times, a simple space heater targeted to a couple of rooms can handle the necessary heating needs for far less money. Further, in the event a power outage, an electric heater is little more than an expensive modern art piece.
This is where Kerosene space heaters come in.
Why do you need a kerosene heater?
If you live in a place where winters can provide extreme weather such as blizzard conditions, a kerosene heater could be an ideal solution. It will supplement your electric heater, bringing down your overall heating costs. It will also provide a ready source of home heat in the event of a power failure in extreme weather, keeping you safe.
Kerosene Heater Benefits
There are three primary benefits to an effective, modern kerosene heater.
- Reduced heating costs: The price of kerosene is very reasonable these days, and can help provide supplemental heating to an electric heater.
- Ease of use: Modern kerosene heaters are much easier to use than devices from older times, and can be used very safely in most cases.
- Consistent heating: As said before, a kerosene heater does not require connection to the electricity of the house, and can function during a power outage. This makes it invaluable in an emergency situation such as a blizzard or storm bringing down the power grid.
Let’s Get Started!
Now I will review the 10 kerosene heaters I feel are best representative of the market today. I chose these on a variety of factors. They are all reasonably affordable, and I did not rank them according to cost.
Rather, I rated them according to a combination of factors including ease of use, reliability, heating capacity, and reputation among other reviewers. So let’s have a look at the best portable kerosene heaters I’ve seen.
Comparison Chart: Best Kerosene Heaters 2020
|Product Name||BTUs||Heat||Tank Size||Work Time|
|Dyna-Glo Delux KFA180DGD||180,000||4200 Sq. Ft||13 Gallons||10 - 12 hrs|
|Mr. Heater F270320||125,000||3125 Sq. Ft||8.5 Gallons||15 Hrs|
|Dura Heat DH2304S||23,800||1000 Sq. Ft||1.9 Gallons||9 - 12 Hrs|
|Sengoku Heat Mate HMHC 2230||23,000||900 Sq. Ft||1.9 Gallons||12 Hrs|
|Sengoku KeroHeat CTN-110||10,000||1000 Sq. Ft||1.2 Gallons||14 Hrs|
|DuraHeat DFA75T||75,000||1800 Sq. Ft||-||-|
|ProTemp Sun Stream||70,000||1750 Sq. Ft||4.0 Gallons||7 Hrs|
|Kero-World Convection KW-12||10,500||450 Sq. Ft||1.1 Gallons||12 - 14 Hrs|
|Kero World KW-24G||23,000||1000 Sq. Ft||1.9 Gallons||12 Hrs|
|Dyna-Glo RMC-55R7||10,000||500 Sq. Ft||1.0 Gallons||13 Hrs|
1. Best Kerosene Heater: Dyna-Glo KFA180DGD
The Dyna-Glo KFA180DGD offers extreme reliability and top-notch performance to make it our best choice for 2020. It puts out a whopping 140,000 to 180,000 BTU of heating output, which is more than sufficient for a 4200 square feet space. This makes it ideal for heating larger areas, such as an open floor plan living room or a large garage area. With a 5-gallon fuel tank, you can run the heater for an impressive 10-12 hours. So, it isn’t going to shut down during the night while you’re asleep if you keep it fueled properly.
A garage is often a major source of heating loss in a home, particularly in garages with a doorway leading into the house. The massive exit doors are not thermally sealed to the level of other doors, meaning that a garage gets VERY cold. Placing a powerful kerosene heating unit in the garage or a room adjacent to one can help with this.
With Dyna-Glo Kerosene Heater, you can switch between low and high settings for maximum comfort, control and saving fuel. The heater uses Spark Plug Ignition which is relatively safer and reliable as compared to glow plugs. What we really love about the KFA180DGD is its adjustable thermostat feature. Some heaters simply have a default heating capacity, while others have a very limited “range” of heats they can produce. The Dyna-Glo has a varied, useful comfort control system that allows you to customize its heat output. This feature is even more useful than it might seem to you. By adjusting the heating level, you can tailor the heater’s output to the size of the room at hand, thus preventing heat wastage. This is what makes kerosene heaters with thermostats a very cost-efficient option for maximum fuel savings.
The heater is equipped with ‘Dual Source Power Cord’ enables users to charge their devices, tools and mobile phones. You can adjust pressure and performance of the Dyna-Glo with help of pump screw and air pressure gauge. There is also a special gauge on the heater that shows you exactly about time and fuel left. The 10-inch flat-free tires make the heater easily portable from one place to another. When you want to move, you can grip the heater with ease using the ergonomic rear and back handles. The heater is extremely convenient with zero-down time due to anti-puncture tires. Due to the Integrated safety sensors, it is always safe and secure to use kerosene without overheating or flame-out risk.
All of the Dyna-Glo Air Heaters are compatible with different fuel types. However, it is best to use the manufacturer’s recommended fuel for clearer burns, least residue and long product life. With this nice kerosene heater, you do not need to worry about replacement of rubber drain plug. It comes equipped with construction grade steel drain plug with least chances of frequent replacement.
2. Best Kerosene Heater for Garage Use: Mr. Heater F270320
Let me expand on a previous point. Heat always travels towards cold, not the other way around; that’s just a law of physics, and we can’t get away from it. Since a garage isn’t thermally sealed the way the rest of a modern house is, this means it can “suck” the heat out of other rooms of the house through an adjoining door. Therefore, putting a powerful kerosene heater in your garage is a sensible idea. By putting an overpowered unit for a large space in the garage and leaving the adjoining door open can create a very nice and stabilising heating effect. Alternatively, a robust heater can make a garage more comfortable to be inside during cold weather.
The Mr. Heater F270320 is beast of a unit, putting out massive quantity of BTUs. It is air forced kerosene heater that is sufficient to heat a space up to 3,125 square feet with total of 125,000 BTUs. This makes it large enough to heat an open space equal to floor space of a good-sized house, given that a number of older homes can easily be under 2,000 square feet. That extra power might eat up fuel a bit, but with a beastly 8.5 gallon tank, it can run for a very reliable 15 hours in total.
Just like Dyna-Glo, this heater also comes equipped with an adjustable thermostat to control temperature according to your precise needs. With over-heat safety sensors, you can feel safe and secure while using the unit. This means that it will automatically switch off in overheating situation to protect surrounding environment.
With Mr. Heater, you get a large built-in fan that distributes heat evenly throughout the space. The power indicator light shows if the kerosene heater is switched ON or OFF. All this power and capacity does come at a cost, however. This unit is huge, and is mounted on large pneumatic tires with handlebars. This does make it easy to move out of the house to refuel it, but it also means it takes up a big amount of space. When you want to move or store it, you can pull the cord and push within cord storage compartment. For hassle-free purchase, the Mr. Heater comes with a solid one-year warranty from the manufacturer.
3. Most Efficient Indoor Kerosene Heater: Dura Heat DH2304S
The Dura Heat DH2304S gets my vote for most efficient portable indoor Kerosene Heater. This device is a reliable little go-to, with a modest fuel and heating capacity, but a very efficient thermal convection system. It offers a perfect 360-degree cage design to emit heat in all directions. You can use this heater indoors as well as outdoors with safety. It is small yet highly portable and powerful when compared to other kerosene products in our top list.
This unit can generate 23,000 BTUs of heat and offers a fuel capacity of just under 2 gallons. It is really cost-effective device in terms of fuel to heat ratio, providing up to 12 hours of operation time. With this portable device, you can heat up an indoor space of about 900-1000 square feet. It is also very useful in emergency backup situations where you need an alternative source of heat.
For user safety, the DH2304S is surrounded with round protective grill from all directions. It uses a drip tray at bottom to avoid fuel leakage inside the room. Just like other good models, it also features auto-shut down functionality. What we really love about this unit is its overall built-quality and odorless operation. The no-lift heat chamber ensures to generate least amount of smell, when you turn on the heater. With exceptional quality, it burns clean and warms up the room in minimal time.
4. Most Efficient Kerosene Heater Runner Up: Sengoku Heat Mate HMHC 2230
The Sengoku HMHC 2230 is an excellent runner up in the cost-efficiency department. When you look at its design, you will notice that it looks much similar to the Dura Heat. It carries a BTU rating of 23,000 BTU, just as the Dura offers, an identical fuel capacity, and same operating time. With this much heating power, it can easily warm up a room of 900 square feet area. On a full tank capacity of 1.9 gallons, you can keep the heater running for approximately 12 hours.
The only reason that I have made HMHC 2230 a runner up to the Dura Heat is that there are numerous reports that the handle is a bit flimsy, and the wick has more reports of needing to be replaced after several months of use. These negative factors impact its portability and overall cost efficiency, so it loses out slightly to our top rated unit based on what I’ve learned. However, it is still an excellent choice for a portable kerosene heater.
For your peace of mind, the Sengoku unit comes with 2 years manufacturer warranty. It uses a Japanese Quality design but the product itself is made in China. Just like other top heaters in our list, Sengoku offers good safety features such as safety grills and auto shut off. For user’s convenience, the unit shows the fuels level on a gauge and fast starts with push-button ignition.
5. Best Small Kerosene Heater: Sengoku KeroHeat CTN-110
Another Sengoku product, the KeroHeat CTN-110 is the one that I consider the best small kerosene heater on the market right now. It is not only small & portable but quite budget-friendly as well. Remember that small term used is only relative. It is far smaller than the big wheel-mounted beast (Dyna-Glo KFA180DGD ), we discussed earlier, but it is still 20 inches tall and weighs about 20 pounds. That said, it is one of the most compact kerosene heaters I’ve reviewed so far, and I quite like it.
Besides this, it has a very high efficiency of 10,000 BTU to 23000 BTU, with a 1.2 gallon tank and an impressive maximum runtime of 14 hours. This on paper makes it more efficient than any of the other efficient choices. However, it struggles to heat very large spaces because it lacks an internal fan, so the heat does not distribute as evenly.
The KeroHeat CTN-110 is also very portable for a kerosene heater, but it does make using it a bit more work, which is a knock against its efficiency in my book. Efficiency is about more than fuel to heat ratios, it’s also about the amount of effort one needs to put in to heat a decent sized space.
That being said, it does not require chimney or electrical power to operate. This is why, it is an excellent option for emergency or temporary heating needs. For user’s convenience, the unit comes with a manual siphon pump to empty its tank easily when you want to relocate or store it. When you will unbox the heater, you will see the four “c” batteries are also included with it.
With Sengoku products, user’s safety is top priority. For these reasons, this model comes equipped with automatic shut off feature to switch off when too hot. There is also a front protection grill for consumer safety. The automatic ignition and easy flame adjuster are also some of the great features we love about this heater.
6. Best Kerosene Forced Air Heater: DuraHeat DFA75T
The DuraHeat DFA75T is my choice for best Kerosene Force Air Heater.
Rated at an impressive 75000 BTU, this machine can heat a space of just under 2000 sq fate with ease. The powerful fan forces air out in a strong rush, meaning the heat doesn’t just radiate in one place, but travels a good distance.
DuraHeat is a great torpedo heater to use in an open plan area, as it will circulate the heat through several rooms more readily than an equally powerful heater that doesn’t use forced air.
With a hefty fuel capacity and easy to read fuel gauges, DuraHeat is easy to use and won’t run low during the night.
7. Best Portable Kerosene Heater: ProTemp Sun Stream
The ProTemp Sun Stream is my personal choice for best portable kerosene heater.
Let me be clear, this radiant unit is not as efficient as some. It runs for about 7 hours on a full tank of 4 gallons of fuel, making it one of the least efficient I’ve reviewed.
However, it is relatively compact, has a rugged easy-carry handle, and a strong force-air fan system to move heat around with a 70,000 BTU rating.
This makes ProTemp a very good kerosene heater if you need to quickly heat several rooms on short notice.
I would personally recommend it as an “emergency” unit rather than a supplemental heater intended to reduce overall heating costs in winter.
8. Best Portable Heater, Runner up: Kero-World Convection KW-12
The Kero World is a compact lightweight design as far as kerosene heaters go, weighing in at only 12 pounds.
It has a decent heating capacity at 10,500 BTU, and on a 1.1 gallon tank will still provide 10-12 hours of heating, which is quite efficient. This makes it reasonably good as a choice to move from room to room as needed.
Where KW-12 loses out slightly to the SunTemp design is that it is not force air, but rather a radiant convection design. This, coupled with its lower thermal output, means it can only heat a space of about 400-500 sq feet reliably.
This is still useful, and it is far more fuel efficient. I would recommend this as an alternative kerosene heating system, compared to the Sun Stream’s more situational use.
9. Best Kerosene Heater for Home Use: Kero World KW-24G
When it comes to overall home use, the Kero World KW-24G is the best kerosene heater I’ve reviewed.
It has a strong heating rating of 23,000 BTU, which coupled with its radiant convection heating design, means it can steadily warm a room of up to 1000 sq. feet.
The 1.9 gallon fuel tank can heat a room for up to 12 hours, meaning its reasonably cost and fuel efficient compared to other models we’ve looked at.
Kero World is moderately portable, meaning it can be moved from upstairs to downstairs in multi-story homes without too much difficulty.
These combinations of factors put it in my category for best kerosene heater for home use overall.
10. Best Radiant Kerosene Heater: Dyna-Glo RMC-55R7
Perhaps you don’t need to heat a space quite that large, however.
For smaller homes, with spaces of only 500 or so sq. feet that need heating, the Dyna Glo RMC-557 is one of the best radiant heaters out there.
It is very fuel efficient, providing approximately 10,000 BTU for up to 14 hours on a 1 gallon fuel tank.
It is not quite as portable as other designs, making it more suited to sitting in a central heating location, but the fuel efficiency makes it a wise choice.
A Complete Buying Guide for Kerosene Heaters
There are many important factors that you need to consider before buying a good kerosene heater. A unit for home, garage or shop must be good enough in context of health and safety concerns. You may need to note down your precise requirements for type, brand, features, safety, fuel and storage.
Picking up the Right Type and Model
When choosing kerosene heaters, you will find two main types that are currently available in the market. These are called convection and radiant heaters. The convection type is normally circular in shape and disperses heat in 360° manner. These units can help to warm an entire room in a short period of time. You can find its fuel tank at bottom of the unit. Its wick at center absorbs kerosene, which is later burnt using ignition or manual method.
When it comes to convection kerosene heaters, these are usually larger in size and focused on greater coverage area. You can find them positioned in big homes, garages and shops to keep them warm and comfortable. These heaters emit heat in all directions but usually towards bottom and top direction. While using a convection heater, it can generate noise and considerable amount of heat. For these reasons, it is best recommended to place your heater in an open area or well-ventilated location.
As compared to convection units, the radiant heaters are relatively smaller in size. They do not carry enough fire power to warm up an entire house floor. Due to size, these heaters are portable and lightweight as compared to convection. Their heat is usually focused on nearby objects. With these products, you get a removable fuel tank that is easy to fill and relocate whenever required.
These days most kerosene heaters come with battery-based ignition system, which is a safe way to start your unit. However, it is also possible to fire it up manually using match stick. It is always recommended to turn on your heater using ignition system to avoid burn risk or accidental fire damage.
Using Kerosene Heater at Home, Garage, Shop or Workplace
The use of kerosene heater is usually considered safe due to non-reactive properties of kerosene. When compared to other fuels such as gasoline, the kerosene is difficult to ignite and usually remains stable for years. The heater can generate an unpleasant odor when used for the first time. It may be due to partial burnt fuel, paint smell or improper wick placement in the unit. However, this smell normally goes away after repeated use or when you become familiar about using the heater properly.
In those cases when you do not notice any unpleasant smell or gases, it means that you have picked a high-quality kerosene heater. It is important to read user manual properly when using your product for the first time. There are few gases generated in small quantities during its operation. These gases mainly include carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. You can expect higher percentage of these gases and soot if the heater is poorly maintained, adjusted and fueled. There must be complete combustion of fuel to generate minimal emissions and ensuring long life of unit.
Carbon Monoxide is a lethal and odorless gas, so you must buy carbon monoxide detector to get alert for any danger. Most of the good kerosene units in the market come with fuel gauge to let you know precise level of fuel. It is important to monitor these levels, so that you can refuel the heater before it empties.
Not all kerosene heaters are easy to move and relocate, so it is best to keep your heater tank up properly for nonstop operation. It is also very important to place the unit at good ventilated place. Proper air passage can ensure that you generate lower amount of gases due to complete fuel combustion. You also get efficient and effective heating results due to good ventilation.
Kerosene heaters are best-suited for larger rooms, garages and shops. If you are planning to get a unit to heat a small room, you may need to re-think about your decision. However, these are the best option for emergency and power-outage circumstances.
When buying kerosene heaters, it is critical to check out all the safety features offered in a specific model. Majority of the popular brands provide excellent safety mechanisms to ensure user’s wellbeing. You must not compromise on safety ever by opting for a cheap or budgeted model. Some of the popular safety systems include overheat protection and anti-tip protection.
The overheat protection ensures that your heater will turn itself off automatically if it gets too much hot. This helps protect your environment as well as the unit itself. Things can melt down and your heater can malfunction if the temperature get too much high. It can also result in emission of harmful gases as well as abrupt fire risk. In order to avoid all these dangers, the overheat protection is of prime importance.
If you have pets or children at home, then anti-tip switch is a must have feature. Although, kerosene heaters are heavy and is unlikely to get knocked over but still this is a nice feature. The safety switch can prevent fuel leakage if your unit tilts.
The removable fuel tank is another nice feature that can help you refuel the tank without moving the unit. It provides convenience to store kerosene heater easily after removing the fuel tank. In this way, the unit becomes highly portable with trimmed down weight. You can also avoid fuel spillage by filling the tank outside your home.
Type and Quality of Fuel
Not all kerosene heaters are compatible with different types of fuels. The high-end products such as Dyna-Glo uses 1-K kerosene, Jet A, JP-8, Diesel and Fuel oil, etc. However, the relatively smaller models such as Dura Heat are only capable of using 1-K Kerosene. It is always recommended to use the right type of gradient and quality of fuel advised by the manufacturer. Using unreliable fuel can shorten life span of your heater and may disrupt its routine function. You may also need to replace and clean parts such as wick more frequently due to poor fuel quality. When you want to store fuel, always make sure to use a clean and zero-contaminated container.
If kerosene is burnt in unventilated space, it creates significant amount of moisture. The homes which are have fully sealed due to weather conditions and storms can cause the unventilated heater to generate double percentage of moisture. For these reasons, it is best to use your unit in proper ventilated space.
Before you purchase a heater, you need to review its dimensions and overall size. It is because you need to store it when not in use. You may also need to store fuel separately or along with the unit. So, it’s important that you consider both these storage space requirements before making a final choice.
For safety reasons, it’s best to store your heater and fuel in a safe location. A place with least humidity and lower temperature is good to preserve fuel. As mentioned earlier, kerosene is stable so it won’t create any risk of fire or explosion in safe environment.
When it comes to maintenance of kerosene heaters, you will need to take good care of wick. There are two types of wicks, fiber glass and cotton which come installed in the units. The fiber glass wicks are easy to maintain as compared to cotton wicks. In order to clean fiber glass, you need to place your heater outdoors and let the fuel burn out. After that, you can see tar and few deposits on wick which can be burnt off as well. This process needs to be performed once a week for heaters that keep running 24 hours per day. For cotton wicks, you must never dry off the unit completely. Just use a paper towel to wipe down wick sides and top to clear any residue deposit. The old-fashioned cotton wicks are more prone to replacement after certain period of time as compared to modern fiber glass wicks.
How Does it Work?
The heater works more like a big kerosene lamp. You can either light it up manually or use the built-in ignition system. Nowadays, most of the kerosene heaters come with ignition system that either uses battery or electricity to initiate the process. A unit works by using wick that is made up of fiber glass or cotton at center of the heater. When you push the wick upward, it sucks kerosene fuel (1-k) from the fuel tank. After ignition, the wick converts kerosene into vapors by evaporating it. This gas is then mixed with oxygen to burn and generate clean heat. You can adjust the wick upwards and downwards using the adjustable system on the heater. When you wish to switch it off, just pull the wick downwards to its original position and its flame will extinguish.
The intensity of the flame can be increased or decreased using the circular knob. It is best to keep it on half inch flame just above the wick. If you increase the flame to maximum, you are at risk of generating more carbon monoxide. On the other hand, keeping the flame below the wick can cause extra soot that may need cleaning. There is a fuel gauge on heater which indicates the amount of fuel left inside the tank. It is best practice to use colorless (clear water) kerosene inside heater for best results. Each manufacturer usually recommends the type and quality of fuels compatible with their units.
Overtime, Kerosene heaters have upgraded themselves and integrated special features for user’s convenience and safety. Some of the modern products come with thermostat function that can help to control and moderate temperature of the room. They also feature auto shut off function to avoid overheating. A powerful kerosene heater is capable enough to heat an entire house floor. Majority of the customers use them in garages, shops and homes. They are also perfect solution for emergency situations and disperse heat in the form of radiation or convection.
Using Kerosene Heater Indoors
It is important to follow few precautionary steps when using kerosene heaters indoors.
Always use the prescribed grade of kerosene from a dealer. The 1-k Grade kerosene is usually recommended by majority of trusted manufacturers. If you use other types of fuel, you are at risk of releasing more pollutants in your air space as result of burn operation. You must confirm from the seller about grade and quality of kerosene before buying it.
Never use an already used container for other fuels to store kerosene. Even a small contamination of other fuels such as gasoline or other volatile chemicals can increase the risks of fire or explosion. When fueling your heater, always do it with caution. If your unit is hot or turned on, you must never try to pour gasoline inside the tank. First, let it cool down and then start filling its chamber. You must also observe fuel gauge to avoid spills or overfilling kerosene. It is best recommended to do all this process outside home to avert any risk or damage.
The kerosene heater must be placed at a good ventilated location. You should avoid placing your unit near furniture, curtains, garments or any objects that are likely to catch fire if become too hot. In the same way, the heater should be placed away from pathways to protect from getting knocked over due to sudden collision. When using the heater, you can keep the door open to pass on the heat to other rooms in your home. It also reduces your exposure to pollutants such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. If you want to keep doors closed, you can still open a small window partially to allow fresh air to enter the atmosphere.
When buying any kerosene heater online, you should also add couple of other safety items to your shopping cart. These include carbon monoxide detector, fire extinguisher and smoke detector. All these items assure your safety and protect from various health hazards. To confirm all these items are working, you should keep testing them from time to time.
Comparison between Kerosene & Propane Heating System
When looking for best portable heaters for garage or workplace, you may have come across both kerosene and propane heaters. These two types of heaters are equally popular among consumers and carry their own pros and cons due to unique fuel types.
As compared to kerosene heaters, the propane units cost more in terms of fuel however produce less emissions and burn clean. The propane gas is also unstable and more volatile to catch fire as compared to liquid kerosene. It can escape in atmosphere and inhaled by users which makes it more dangerous than kerosene. Just like kerosene, you can easily buy propane from hardware stores and filling stations across the country.
Kerosene is cheaper and more affordable as compared to propane. It also generates better quantity of heat per gallon and provides better value for the money. For all these reasons, most consumers prefer kerosene over propane to fulfill their heating needs at garages, homes and shops, etc.