In this kerosene heater review I will show some examples of kerosene room heaters that I use in my house. I will describe the features, and offer tips to help with choosing what type to buy.
Indoor Kerosene Heater
Here is an example of an indoor kerosene heater. This is a very typical design where the control panel provides push buttons, and a display. The unit is very stable, so can’t easily be knocked over.
Due to the earthquake problem in Japan, Japanese kerosene heaters are fitted with a sensitive tilt sensor which shuts off the burner if the unit experiences shaking. In fact, simply turning the unit too quickly to direct the air flow in another direction can trip the sensor.
On the sides are grab handles to allow carrying of the heater to another room. With a full tank of kerosene though, this size of heater is a bit heavy to move between rooms. But the advantage of this size unit is that they are quieter than the small kerosene heaters.
Here is a close-up of the control panel:
The LCD display shows the current temperature on the left, and the target temperature on the right in degrees Celsius. Presumably, this would be in Fahrenheit for the US and Canadian markets. The power bar indicates, you guessed it … the power of the flame in the burner.
As the target temperature is reached, the power backs off, so less fuel is used. To adjust the target temperature, you simply press the +/- buttons. The blue light indicates normal operation (in ECO mode), or green indicates full power mode. Any warnings are alerted by a bleeper and a red light (such as the fuel level getting low).
It can take up to 3 minutes for the heater to start, but there is an idle mode that allows for a rapid re-start at the cost of a small amount of kerosene being continuously burned by a pilot flame.
Also, the unit will switch off after 3 hours, but it alerts you to this with bleeps, so you can press the timer button to extend the operation for a further 3 hours.
This unit has a timer to automatically start the unit at your pre-set time. Also it has a child-lock feature, and an air ionizer function.
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The flap on the top conceals the kerosene fuel tank.
You can see that the fuel tank has convenient carrying handles.
Refilling the tank. Here, we are using an electric pump that automatically stops pumping when the tank is full.
Another kind of pump is hand operated but is a pain to use, and then you look at the level window to see when the tank is full.
Small Kerosene Heater
Here is an example of a small kerosene heater which is cheaper than the larger model, but still effective at heating a room.
As I mentioned before, this kind of heater will be more noisy than the larger units, and it has a smaller tank requiring more frequent refills.
Even though this is a different brand. you can see that the control panel is very similar to the Corona kerosene heater above.
Forced Air Kerosene Heater
Here is a close-up photo of the blower of the forced air kerosene heater. A fan draws air in via a rear grill and blows the air over a combustion chamber where the kerosene is burning.
On the back of the unit is the room temperature sensor, a dust filter over the air inlet, and a spacer to ensure adequate clearance between the unit and a wall.
Kerosene Home Heater
When using a kerosene heater indoors you should remember that it is burning kerosene, so will be consuming oxygen from the air in the room. Also, the unit may puff out some smoke when it first starts up. So always ensure that the room that you are operating it in has adequate ventilation.
In Japan, many older houses were built for summer weather so they have plenty of air gaps around the wooden frames of doors and windows. But western homes can be well sealed, lacking air bricks or window vents.
What is the best kerosene heater?
So what is the best kerosene heater? In my opinion it is one in the style of the examples that I have given above. The alternative type radiates heat, but I recommend the forced air variety.
If you expect to move the heater from room to room often, I would go for a small portable kerosene forced air heater, but for the best duration between refills of the tank, and quietest operation, I would go for a larger model.
Well, I hope you found my kerosene heater review page useful – Andy