Kerosene Heaters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kerosene Heaters

Select The Correct Size Heater - Convection Heaters - Radiant Heaters

Photos of HeatersSite Index for all things Perfection

There are many excellent kerosene heaters available new, and  excellent used heaters can still be found at garage sales or on eBay...most simply need routine maintenance and a new wick to work perfectly. 

Be sure to read ALL of this page to see the differences between convection heaters and radiant heaters, plus recommendations for various heaters.  If I do not like a particular heater, it does not get my recommendation.  Others may like those heaters just fine.  I do not sell kerosene heaters and therefore have no "axe to grind" or profit to make from my recommendations.

Kerosene heaters have been used for over a century in complete safety.  I have talked to experts in the field, and no one has ever been able to find a single instance of a house fire blamed on a kerosene heater.  The same certainly cannot be said for electric space heaters!  Kerosene heaters also have UL approval, and they could not attain that rating if they were dangerous.

Kerosene heaters require no electricity to operate, and kerosene can be safely stored for years in proper containers.  The freedom of having a means of heating your home without having to go to town for fuel or depend upon others for your heat (the power grid and natural gas) is liberating - and provides a considerable amount of safety and security in your life.  Look at the advertisement for "Perfection Oil Heaters" from 1918.  There were more than 3,000,000 Perfection Oil Heaters in use in 1918!  The background of the ad shows people lined up in the snow to purchase coal. The first line in the advertisement is: "Perfection Oil Heaters saved the situation last winter."  What happened in 1917?  The great influenza pandemic after WW I.  People who had a Perfection Oil Heater did not have to line up with strangers to purchase coal...and catch the deadly flu that killed millions of people.  Those with a kerosene heater and a supply of kerosene could avoid crowds - and survive.  That message applies equally today.  With the current situation of "Homeland Security" being very unstable, with Muslim terrorists just waiting for the chance to release a biological or chemical attack on our cities, and all the warnings about a coming Avian flu pandemic, kerosene heaters could again save the day for those smart enough to have a kerosene heater and a supply of kerosene on hand.

 

SELECTING THE CORRECT SIZE HEATER FOR YOUR HOME

The design efficiency of almost all kerosene heaters occurs within a very limited heat range: your choice of heating from 90% to 100% of the maximum designed production. If a unit is rated at 22,300 BTUs, it will NOT operate efficiently at much below 20,000 BTUs. That is a lot of heat, so the choice of which model to purchase becomes critical to long term mental stability.   Generally, if you live in a temperate climate area, use a factor of 10.  If you live in an area that gets really cold, use a factor of 20.  Multiply that factor by the square footage of your home.  Let us say you have a 1000 square foot house.  In a temperate area, a 10,000 BTU/hr heater will heat that home on all but the coldest days of the year - 1000 x 10 = 10,000 BTU/hr required.   If you live in a very cold area, like the upper mid-West or Canada where the winter temperatures often fall into the teens or lower, then you need a 20,000 BTU/hr heater (1000 x 20 = 20,000 BTU/hr required). 

Of course you are never going to find a  heater with precisely the right heat output, but the idea is to come close.  And one (1) heater does not need to be used to equal the BTU's required.  In Canada, where it can get really cold, the best selling wicks are #9 and #24 - wicks for small radiant heaters with an output in the 8,000 BTU/hr range.  The reason is they have long experience with heating in cold weather, often off the grid, and know that using multiple small heaters separated as far as possible in the house results all areas receiving a relatively even heat.   When the temperature is in the 40's, only one of the heaters needs to be used to keep the house warm.  Using one 23,000 BTU/hr heater would mean overheating one room in the house while the rooms furthest away from the heater are still cool, and on warm days the large heater would have to be turned off, then on again, in an attempt to maintain an even heat.   There is more on this subject below, including list of wicks groups into sizes, and thus heat ranges which can be expected.

THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF KEROSENE HEATERS

Modern kerosene heaters have a dual combustion unit (catalytic converter) with up to 99.9% fuel efficiency. (Older kerosene heaters were of flame spreader design.) Once broken in, a kerosene heater produces virtually odor-free heating; only at start up and shut down do they produce fumes, and then only for a few minutes. A couple of windows opened for 5 minutes during that time takes care of the fumes, and then need only be cracked an inch or so during normal operation of the heater.

Kerosene heaters themselves can be classified into three distinctive subtypes: radiant, convection and omni-directional radiant.

Toyotomi DC-100, aka Kero Sun, Toyostove, a unique combination of radiant and convection. Toyotomi no longer exports heaters. There was nothing sacred about their heaters, and many other excellent heaters are readily available. "Double Clean" was their registered trademark, a marketing tool, not some magical technological breakthrough.

Both radiant and convection kerosene heaters use a circular wick to transport fuel via capillary action from the tank to the burner unit, sometimes called a catalytic converter. That burner unit is the heart of the heater.

The wick height must be adjusted correctly for clean burning, and it the same for both convection and radiant heaters.

A radiant heater has the catalytic converter encased in a glass cylinder (usually), with a half circle of reflective polished stainless steel behind it. The burner glows red and reflects infrared heat waves directly to things (like people) - almost instant heat output. Radiant heaters do produce some convective heat, but that is ancillary to their primary design. Radiants are usually rated at 10,000 BTUs or less and project that heat forward only; therefore, they may be placed against a wall or window.

Convective heaters heat the air, which then heats the environment. The burner unit is encased in a steel sleeve, not glass. Convective heaters are generally rated at 20,000 BTUs or more and radiate heat in all directions. They need at least three feet of clearance all around from combustible materials, or your home could become uncomfortably hot.

One reason for knowing the differences between radiant and convective units is because radiant heaters provide heat to people in their path very quickly, whereas with a convection heater, people must wait for the air itself to be heated.  BTU/hr output is directly related to fuel consumption: radiants use only half the fuel of convective heaters but put out only half the heat. 

Another design feature which is unique is the focused heat from a radiant heater.  Objects feel the warmth almost immediately, so while the air temperature in a room can be still be cool, the people in that room are warm.  The heat from a radiant heater can feel wonderful to people with arthritis, for example.  But just as people feel that heat output almost immediately, so do plants.  If you need a heater for a greenhouse, use a convection heater...a radiant heater with a glass chimney can burn the plants, but radiant heaters with a metal catalytic converter do not have that intense radiated heat.

As most kerosene heaters have one optimum position for efficient operation, choosing the proper size heater for the space to be heated is important: there is no low or medium heat position, just "high" as the most efficient for the particular design. Sorry. Open windows to regulate the household temperature.  That is why two radiant heaters spaced in different areas of the house are more versatile and provide more even heat than a single large convection heater...one or the other, or both radiant kerosene heaters can be used as needed.

 Toyotomi  WC 105

Corona from Manning

Dyna-Glo from Northern

CONVECTION HEATERS

These heaters are generally characterized by their circular tower design and safety grillwork. Heat is distributed omni directionally, so they should be placed at least 3 feet from any combustible surface -- often the middle of a room. The Perfection (patented before 1849) and the Aladdin Blue Flame were the first widely distributed kerosene heaters, but most of the units available now are visual clones of the Toyotomi (Toyostove or Kero-Sun) model WC-105. These units are 99.9% efficient with only a few fumes at start up and shut down. They can be used as a primary heat source. Most of the units now have an electric (battery powered) igniter, so they are extremely easy to use.

There are a few problems with using a convection heater.  Most new convection heaters are large - the heat output is over 22,000 BTUs. And they don't adjust down much, either. With an outside temperature of 45 F and an inside temperature of 65 F, a Toyotomi WC 105 will drive the temperature in our large home up to 75 F within 2 hours (set on "low"!!!), and then must be shut down for 6 hours or so until needed again.  I now use the WC-105 to heat my uninsulated shop in the winter, and for that purpose it is magnificent.  People with large homes in really cold country would find these heaters perfectly safe and capable of heating their entire home quite easily, but one part of the house may be quite warm while areas away from the heater are too cool.  Those with small homes or not living in the north would have more versatility using two smaller heaters (usually radiant heaters) placed in different areas of the house.

Small (10,000 BTU) convection heaters used to be common, and can often be found at flea markets, on eBay, etc. Make sure they are in good condition, and you must know the make and model number precisely.  With that information, you can then find which wick fits the heater.  Wick size is directly proportional to heat output, as the capillary action of the wick determines the amount of fuel burned...the smaller the wick, the less fuel is burned, and the heat output is lower. 

The small diameter wicks are from 2 to 2 15/16" in diameter, and are numbers 4, 4A, 4B, 6, 7, 12, 19, 24, 25, 30,  31, 34A, 37, 38, 39, 41, 42 and 42A. 

If you live in the far North, you are probably using a heater with a large diameter wick during the day for maximum heat output. The large diameter wicks are from 4 1/8" to 4 3/4" in diameter, and are numbers 3, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3X, 5, 5A, 5B, 5C, 5X,  8, 13, 14, 18, 20, 21, 23, 28, 29, 32, 33 and 40. 

Medium diameter wicks would be a good choice for nighttime heaters in the far North and daytime heaters in more moderate climes.  Medium diameter wick numbers are 1, 2, 7, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 22, 26, 27, 34, 35 and 36.

So, when you purchase a heater for a specific purpose, check the "All Heaters" list by wick number to see what size wick that heater uses, and compare that with the lists above of comparative wick diameters.

As the buyer of a heater, you have your choice from thousands of different models.  Choose wisely.  A heater that has been used can be easily cleaned and rebuilt, whereas a heater that has been abused is not a good investment.  You also have your choice of not buying heaters that take certain wicks:  try to avoid heaters that take wicks #15 or 16, 20, 20A, 20B because the wicks are expensive and not available at times.  Wick #16-2P and #45 and above are no longer manufactured.

The list alphabetical list of heater wicks is a convenient way to find the precise wick for your heater.   I have the wicks in stock for immediate delivery at my Wick Shop.

Most new convection heaters are large and heavy, and the requirement of being placed in the center of a room means they must be moved at times -- like outside for refueling, or merely aside when not in use. I solved that problem by mounting the wheels, axles and tongue assembly from a discarded child's wagon (courtesy of the local county disposal site) onto a piece of 3/4" plywood measuring 18" x 24." The heater fits on the flat surface of the cart and can be easily towed instead of being carried. Building a cart is easy.

Most convection heaters have a fuel tank of about 2 gallons in capacity and will burn for 9 to 12 hours on one filling. The prices range from $125 to about $220, generally, and wicks cost from $10 to $40 each, depending upon where you purchase them and the design of the wick. Plan on purchasing at least 4 spare wicks, just for the sake of safety.

The Corona model #23-DK is an excellent, quality heater now found only on eBay.

The KeroHeat Model CV-2230 is a Heat Mate convection heater, a good heater which takes unpinned wick #8.  These heaters also have the model numbers HMHC-2230, KH-250 or Mega 230 when sold by various vendors.  All are recommended because they are all the same.  An owner's manual can be downloaded at http://www.sengokula.com/manuel.htm .

 CV-2230 = HMHc-2230 = KH-250 = Mega 230 = CV-23K the same heater with different decals.  Wick #8 for this heater is here.

The KeroHeat CV-23K is now on sale at NorthernTool for $109.99.  http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200612643_200612643  (8.23.2014)

The DuraHeat DH2300, the KeroHeat CV-2300 and the Dyna Glo CV2300 (RMC95C3 & C4 & 2301 to -4, also sold by Wal Mart,) are one in the same - whatever the name or model number, they are all identical heaters made by Dyna Glo, and are not recommended by me when compared to the Heat Mate CV-2230.  This heater uses a pinned wick and some people have told me they sent them back as defective:  That may be a small percentage of all Dyna Glo heaters sold, but nobody has told me they had to send a Heat Mate 2230 back because it was defective.  Look at the image of a DynaGlo to see the distinctive "feet"  and igniter lever - an easy way to determine if a convection heater is a DynaGlo or a Heat Mate convection heater.  Wick #3C for this heater is here.

Quite a few people have asked me what I think of the Kero-Sun Omni 105 convection heater.  Actually, the KeroSun Omni 105 cannot be considered as "a" heater, but rather a syndrome of heaters which look remarkably similar on the exterior.  The early Omni 105 models E, F, G, H and I are highly recommended, as they take pinless wicks and were of very high quality.  The later models J, K, L, M and N require a pinned wick. They are no longer imported into the US. As such, Omni 105's encountered are usually used.   I would recommend an Omni 105 over the Heat Mate and Dyna-Glo convection heaters if it were in good condition and the price was right. 

FIXING A LOOSE CARRY HANDLE ON A CONVECTION HEATER (See Regular Maintenance)

RADIANT HEATERS         

Radiant kerosene heaters project their heat in one direction, so they may be placed against a wall, and they generally produce less than 10,000 BTUs. For small apartments or homes, radiant heaters are the obvious choice, as they don't need to be in the middle of cramped living space, and their heat output is not overpowering. This allows continuous burning (and therefore eliminating the constant shut off and restart that would be necessary for larger units -- the major source of fumes from kerosene heaters) with the same or with less overall fuel consumption. Choose a radiant kerosene heater to fit your particular application, based upon your room design and the design of the heater itself.

"Tony Sun" radiant heater. Unusual design with a bottom fuel tank. This particular heater is not recommended.

Note: NEVER use a radiant heater with a glass chimney to heat a greenhouse!  Radiant heaters with a metal chimney are fine, as the radiated heat is not as intense.  The intense radiant heat from a glass chimney radiant will burn the plants. 

The design of most radiant heaters allows for the convenient removal of the fuel tank for refilling, and the quality of the units is such that they could be the primary heat source for small homes or apartments. In larger homes, several radiant heaters placed in different rooms (or as far apart as possible) should provide enough heat for comfort. And dual units allow one to be cooled down for refueling while another is still operating; redundancy equals safety. Most of the radiant heaters will operate for 12 to 15 hours on one filling (approximately 1 gallon) of the fuel tank.

My personal prejudices on radiant heaters centers on the quality (and price) of the heater and the shape of the reflector. I have an inexpensive, Chinese made Heat Mate HMHR-1101, a Toyostove RCA-87, a Corona SX-2E, a Sharp-Pechka HSR-70F, two Aladdin Tropic's, an Everglow P-E12 and an Aladdin TR2000. The Heat Mate is the only radiant heater of the bunch which is still currently manufactured at an affordable price.

Those with arthritis will appreciate the focused heat from a radiant heater - it warms you directly, and that includes your stiff arthritic joints, relieving pain and swelling.

The instructions that come with kerosene heaters warn not to burn them at night unattended. For my opinion on this, read Burning Kerosene Heaters at Night.

The Corona SX-2E is unique is that it has a very deep parabolic reflector, approximately 9" deep and 11" wide. It is ideally suited for heating a long, narrow room if the heater is placed at one end, as it projects focused radiant heat much better than other radiant heaters with a shallow reflector.  The Corona has a small diameter wick with clips and the wick has a notch for the igniter, so it is not adjustable at all and is almost impossible to light with a match. However, the very high quality of the Corona itself overcomes my built in prejudices about the wick. If the D cell batteries that power the igniter are replaced every year or two, the wick ignites easily.  The Corona is also unique in that it has a very tall, narrow catalytic converter.  Combining a small diameter wick with a tall catalytic converter means the Corona burns exceptionally clean without any adjustments required. Sometimes available from Manning Service, and can be found on eBay.  I also stock Corona heater wicks at my Wick Shop.

The Newest Radiant Heater - and Recommended UNTIL NOW, January, 2013

Introduced in October, 2009, this is a new slim line radiant from Heat Mate.  This heater is an evolution of many features of the Corona SX-2E (including an unpinned wick!), with the tall catalytic converter for extra-clean burning.  These small  heaters are quite fuel efficient and extremely useful.  This heater is sold under a variety of model names, all ending in -110:  MGN-110, CTN-110, HMN-110, under such names as Kero Heat and Heat Mate.  Many of the parts are made in Japan and the quality is high.  I have wicks in stock for this heater.

From reports I have received from my customers the newest batch of -110 heaters have several problems based on cheap OEM wicks.  I can no longer recommend them unless the wick is replaced.  With one of my wicks they burn well, but not with the cheap, thin wicks supplied with the heater.

[1.4.2014. Miles thanks for the info on your site about changing the cheap wick on the ctn-110,it made a world of difference in startup and shutdown of the odor. My mom was so impressed that i ordered her a ctn-110 and one of your fine wicks, Thanks Again G. Sparks, KY]

[Note dated August 23, 2014:  The CTN-110 is now on sale from NorthernTool for $99.99.  http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200442151_200442151 ]

The Heat Mate HMHR 1101 actually burns cleaner (after adjusting the wick height and centering the central air pillar wick gap) than the RCA-87, as the catalytic converter is taller, thus having more surface area to properly burn the hydrocarbons (kerosene) brought up via the wick. The approximately 7" deep, 14" wide reflector is typical of most kerosene radiant  heaters, and works well in a typical square room. The Heat Mate HMHR 1101 uses unpinned wicks, so wicks can be trimmed 1/4" and readjusted higher several times, so wicks last longer in use compared to pinned wicks.  [Note: Some unpinned wicks can be trimmed, depending upon the length.]  I have used a Heat Mate HMHR 1101 for 6 winters now as our primary heat source.  Update Dec. 23, 2009:  Several readers have told me of problems with smoking with their new HMHR 1101.  That is far fewer complaints than I have heard from owners of DynaGlo radiant heaters, though. 

The Heat Mate HMHR 1101, KeroHeat CT-1101 and the KeroHeat CT-1101 (Canada) are identical because they are the HMHR 1101 with a different decal.  The KeroWorld RF1140 is the same heater with an electric fan to distribute the heat.

Wick #1X for the -1101 is here.

The CT-1101 (or clone) is a recommended heater.

 

Heat Mate at left, Dyna Glo on the right. Note oval face plate on the Dyna Glo

Notice the difference in the appearance of the heaters above.  The Heat Mate on the left has a flat front with a vertical sliding shut-off switch to the left of the wick raising knob.  The Heat Mate is recommended because it is an excellent heater.  The Dyna Glo heater on the right has a distinctive oval face plate. 

The Dyna Glo RMC55R can be found with a wide variety of names, such as KeroWorld CT-1104, and sometimes even with a Wal Mart label.   I don't care what the decal says - if it  has an oval face plate it is a Dyna Glo.  I recommend the Heat Mate instead of the Dyna Glo - they cost the same, so why not get the superior heater?

Wick #1X for the Dyna Glo radiant is here.

OMNI-DIRECTIONAL RADIANT  HEATERS

The Sengoku OR-78 OMNI-Radiant kerosene heater:  Early models were not recommended, but the latest incarnation is pretty good with the qualifiers below.  Notice the height between the top of the catalytic converter and the fuel tank in the image above?  That is a long way for the wick to suck fuel to the top - capillary action has its limits.  It is best if this heater is lighted on a full tank of fuel.  There is still the problem with the design:  the OR-77/78 was designed to use parts from the side-tank Heat Mate HMHR 1101.  The sump from the Heat Mate was actually welded into the bottom of the fuel tank, so the wick does not reach the bottom of the font.  I commented on this to Sengoku back in 2002 and nothing was changed (see comment below).  Always light this heater with a full tank of fuel! 

The DuraHeat DH1050 is the latest attempt at making a DC-100 "on the cheap."  This heater suffers many of the problems of the OR-77/78 series, including a very long fuel lift, so it is best to always start this heater burning on a full tank of fuel.   The new Kero Heat HMN-110 is a superior heater in my opinion.  I have wicks available for this heater for immediate delivery.

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Used radiant heaters which are excellent include the Aladdin Tropic, EverGlo P-E2, and too many others to mention.  The Aladdin Tropic, EverGlo P-E2 and Sharp-Pechka are excellent little radiant heaters for use in a motor home or travel trailer, as they are all metal.  That's right...even the catalytic converter chimney is metal, yet they are a radiant!  The Tropic is round, not rectangular as are almost all other radiant heaters.  They have a bottom fuel tank rather than the usual radiant drop-in tank, so there is no open sump to spill when being moved in a motor home or trailer.  Best of all, their low heat output of 7,800 Btu is sized correctly for the smaller areas encountered in motor homes or travel trailers.  These heaters also do not have an insulated top plate, so they can be used for heating water and rudimentary cooking.  Finding one of these heaters is not easy, but they can be found at times on eBay or garage sales, Saturday markets, etc.

Size matters!  Radiant heaters have handles near the top of each side - they are designed to be carried.  The Corona SX-2E is only 16" wide - a dream to carry.  The Heat Mate HMHR 1101 is 20" wide - still easy to carry.  Toyotomi likes to make them large - the RCA-87 is a full 24" wide: just try to carry one through a door frame without barking your knuckles!

The instructions that come with kerosene heaters warn not to burn them at night unattended. For more information on this, read Burning Kerosene Heaters at Night.

NOTE:  All of the heaters mentioned above have an electric start mechanism using batteries (usually two "D" size) to ignite the wick by heating a coil in what appears to be a flashlight bulb without the glass globe.  Sometimes the heating coil will fail, but replacement is easy (push it in and twist 1/4 turn) and I have them in stock at all times.  If the electric start system fails, DO NOT use a kitchen match to ignite the wick!  Kitchen matches are too short (2 1/8"), and they have the nasty tendency of the head falling off - right into the space where the catalytic converter must seat firmly for proper combustion.  Available at almost every grocery store are bamboo skewers, and a pack of one hundred 12" long skewers costs less than $1.30.  Just light one end of a bamboo skewer, raise the catalytic converter and light the wick.  Blow out the skewer, rub off the charred end, and it can be used dozens of times...a single pack of skewers will last for years.  Bamboo skewers can also be used to light the stoves listed below.

Please remember that all kerosene heaters need regular maintenance.

Why have kerosene heaters at all?  First, they operate without the use of electricity, so your house can be warm and livable even if the electric power goes out during a winter storm.  Second, kerosene itself can be stored in large quantities for a long time, so you are not at the mercy of a utility grid in a prolonged crisis.  In actual use for heating a home, a gallon of kerosene will provide about the same heat output as a wheelbarrow load of wood!  If everything went to heck in a hand basket, a hundred gallons of kerosene and a good radiant heater would keep you safe in your home over a winter without attracting attention, and that should be enough to keep your family alive.  If you are interested in preparations for emergency situations, please visit my other web site, www.EndTimesReport.com.

A MOST UNUSUAL KEROSENE HEATER

From the 1940's through the 1960's, "Sports Heater Company" of Denver produced little kerosene heaters to heat engine blocks during cold weather.  The auto motor heaters were sold under a wide variety of names, but I suspect Bunsen in Denver actually made them all.  Used properly, these little heaters can be used to heat a greenhouse, pump house or small building. 

Over time, the instructions for how to use these heaters became lost, but the auto motor heaters themselves can often be found at garage sales and on eBay.  So, I give you the original instructions that came with the heaters.  Instead of scanning the 6 point type on the instructions, I have typed them...at least they will be readable.

 

ANOTHER UNUSUAL HEATER

The British greenhouse heater shown (left) has been made virtually unchanged since 1906.  It uses two, 1" wide flat lamp wicks to produce about 2,000 BTU.  This heater is NOT for indoor use.  This heater can be used to keep well pump houses from freezing, and if placed inside a sturdy hardware hardware cloth cage with a secure access door, can be used as a poultry house warmer to keep their water from freezing. Available delivered airmail for about $50.00 USD from Norfolk Products, 55 Wilbury Way, Hitchin, Hertforshire SG4-OTW, England (UK). E-mail  laurencenicholls@btconnect.com

 

 

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Review of the new HMN-110

I love this heater!! It is everything you said it was. Clean burning, and very easy to operate. I loved it so much I purchased another one. I believe these 2 units will adequately serve my needs for back-up and supplemental heat. I have recommended the HMN-110 to several of my friends. I don't believe anyone will be disappointed with this heater as long as they use a good quality kerosene. I am burning K-1 clear in my heaters and it is virtually odorless. In case you post this on your site under customer testimonials I get my kerosene from WilcoHess in Charlotesville, VA or Sheetz stations in the Central VA and Northern VA area. This fuel has proved to be very adequate.

Thanks again for recommending this awesome heater.  Scott R. Central VA

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Comment from a visitor, dated Feb. 17, 2004

You have know idea how much I have saved this winter on gas bills!!! We have a very, very cold winter this year. A lot of temps below 10 degrees at night. My bills would have been a killer. I bet I would of had $250.00 to $300.00 per month. I used about $80.00 in kero and my gas bill ran about $28.00!!!!!!! So I got off so cheap. I would not have tried Kero heaters if not for reading your site. And both selections of heater I made on the basis of your recommendation and have been "more than pleased." Big thumbs up to you. And my house has been WARM!!!!!! Something it has never been since I built it five years ago. It was always a big battle over the thermostats. I would turn it down and my wife would turn it up!!!!!! Now we are both happy and WARM!!!!!

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Comment from a reader about the Sengoku OR-77, dated August 8, 2008

My blood turned to ice when you talked about the wick not reaching the bottom of the fuel tank. Immediately i take apart my OR-77, sure enough when the wick is at the optimal burning height, there is about 1cm of space between the bottom of the wick, and the bottom of the sump! So i put some fuel in and let it burn 'empty' without lowering the wick. there is exactly 770ml (appx 1/5th gallon) of unburned fuel in the bottom of the sump that the wick could not reach... how utterly depressing.

I called Sengoku about this and it took about 15 min (me being very persistent) before they finally 'got' that there was almost a LITER of fuel in the bottom of the tank even after dry burning the wick. They were actually pretty cool about it, after all they are not the engineers. I tried to get a phone# for an engineer, but they dont have a design representative in the USA (and i dont know japanese). They said they will transfer this problem to japan.

In the meantime, as a fix i cut the bottom part of a new wick out, and put it in the bottom of the sump. This transfers fuel to the burning wick. When it burns dry there is now only 150ml of fuel in the tank that the SUMP cannot reach. That gives about TWO MORE HOURS than before of burn time before running the wick dry!

This may be a fix for those who are stuck with this heater.

The OR-77 is a beautiful machine. It burns clean and radiates heat in every direction! Its lightweight and easy to manage. Everything about it seems designed well exept for this one problem.

Thanks for your awesome webpage!
-Fred H., Arizona

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A question from a visitor to this site, dated October 21, 2004

I just checked on kerosene and it is about $2.50 per gallon in a 55 gal drum, $3.05 if you buy a gallon at a time. Doesn't look to reasonable. Thanks, Bill A.

Answer:

It is absolutely true that the price of kerosene is more than double what it was last year. Last month I had my tanks topped off, and it cost me $2.04 per gallon. A year ago the price was $1.05 per gallon, delivered, with a 100 gallon minimum. Last winter we heated the house for less than $300.00, and this year would be double that. In some parts of the country, kerosene is much less expensive than in Oregon. But everywhere, electricity and natural gas are up in price quite a bit as well.

Our Corona SX-2e will burn 3/4 of a gallon of kerosene per 12 hours of use, but because the radiant aspect heats the walls and furniture, the heater need not be on all the time as the residual heat keeps the house warm for a long time. Because the heater is at full heat output within minutes of being lit, people are warmed by the radiant heat immediately, then the convection heat produced heats the air and the whole house warms up. Therefore, we need not burn the heater at night except on extremely cold nights when the temperature drops below freezing. On the coldest nights of the winter, we can heat the house up to 70 F in the morning with only an hour of burning a convection heater, then a radiant heater will maintain that heat throughout the day.

The cost of electricity here is $0.06 per KWH, plus a $33.00 per month meter charge. Natural gas is not available. Those who heat with electricity often see electric utility bills of $200 to $300 per month. Even at the inflated price of kerosene in this winter of 2005, our monthly heating costs during the coldest months should not exceed $60.00 per month...considerably less than the cost of heating with electricity.

The heat output obtained from a gallon of kerosene burned in an efficient kerosene heater is approximately the same as a wheelbarrow full of wood. Firewood is over $200 per cord, so unless firewood can be obtained for free, heating with kerosene space heaters is less expensive than heating with a wood stove.

The cost savings of heating with kerosene space heaters used to be phenomenal, but the high price of kerosene this year has definitely cut into the tremendous advantage available in previous years. Because of the war in Iraq and the unsettled conditions in the oil fields of Nigeria, this winter of 2004/2005 will see unheard of prices for kerosene. But the price of oil, now approaching $58 per barrel, will also be reflected in increased costs for electricity, and natural gas is already priced at an all time high.

This may well be a winter when mixing heating sources could be advantageous. On days when the temperature is moderate, heat the house quickly in the morning with a kerosene heater, then perhaps maintain the heat during the day with a small electric space heater. Reading the electric meter and keeping a record of those readings will let you know when the point is reached when using an electric heater in no longer cost effective.

Everyone will pay more for heating their homes this winter. Kerosene space heaters are still very cost effective when compared to other methods of home heating, plus they have the advantage of providing heat when the electricity is out. And electricity WILL go out this winter, either from storms or from terrorist actions. When that happens, a kerosene space heater could keep your house warm and prevent all the plumbing from freezing, resulting in a huge bill to replace broken pipes, frozen and cracked toilets and water heaters, etc. Plus, you can stay safely at home when others must go to a public shelter and get sick from the crowded conditions!

Miles

 

 

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Economic Benefits of Kerosene Heaters

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Flame Spreader Heaters and Lamps -
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KEROSENE HEATERS MADE IN THE NETHERLANDS

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Butterfly A-822, 22 wick
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Butterfly #2487, 16 wick stove Butterfly #2412 Pressure Stove; instructions for virtually any pressure stove.

Butterfly #2418 Double Burner Stove; good with any gravity flow stove.

Butterfly #2421 Oven for Kerosene Stoves

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THE Best Heavy Duty Cook Stove.

 
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