Reviews

The Best Kerosene Heaters: Portable and Powerful Ways to Keep Warm

If you want to beat the cold without adding a penny to your electric bill, check out our roundup of the best kerosene heaters available on the market.

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BY Miguel de Guzman / LAST UPDATED ON July 1, 2021

Among portable heating devices, kerosene heaters are fast becoming the preferred choice for keeping warm. Not only are they more efficient than other heat sources, but they also produce more heat, require less ventilation, and use kerosene as a fuel source, which is both cheap and readily available. In terms of heat distribution and output, they handily beat heaters that use other kinds of fuel, making them ideal for large spaces such as factories, warehouses, and construction sites.

 

If you're looking for reliable, instant heat for your home, office, or camping and hiking trips, check out the review below where we give a roundup of the best kerosene heaters available on the market and discuss the key features to look for.

Best Overall
Dyna-Glo Kerosene Forced Air Heater
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Summary
Summary

It can heat large areas, is safe to use both indoors and outdoors, and offers enough capacity to run for 14 hours.

Pros
Pros
  • Heats areas up to 1,200 square feet in size and delivers 50,000 BTUs of heating power
  • Features an aluminum exterior and an industrial motor that’ll last a long time
Cons
Cons
  • Has trouble lighting after extensive usage
  • Some complaints about unresponsive customer service
Best Overall
Dyna-Glo Kerosene Forced Air Heater
Best Value
Kero World Indoor Kerosene Heater
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Summary
Summary

This affordable heater delivers 23,000 BTUs of heating power and can heat spaces up to 1,000 square feet. It’ll run for up to 12 hours with its 1.9-gallon fuel tank.

Pros
Pros
  • Easy to use, featuring a push-button ignition, a central knob heat adjuster, an automatic shut-off feature that activates when the unit tips over
  • 360-degree protective steel cage
Cons
Cons
  • It will have trouble heating large spaces
  • Some users have complained that the wick leaked out a strong kerosene smell after a few hours of use.
Best Value
Kero World Indoor Kerosene Heater
Honorable Mention
Dura Heat Indoor Kerosene Heater
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Summary
Summary

With powerful heat from 23,800 BTUs of output, it can run from eight to 12 hours on a single tank of fuel. Projects its heat in a 360-degree radius.

Pros
Pros
  • Uses a no-lift heat chamber that minimizes odors, making it a great choice for small spaces
  • Protective grille surrounds the exterior
Cons
Cons
  • Does not allow you to manually light with a match or long lighter
Honorable Mention
Dura Heat Indoor Kerosene Heater
The Best Kerosene Heaters
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Benefits of Kerosene Heaters

  • Powerful source of heat. Kerosene heaters can provide up to 135,000 BTUs per gallon of fuel. That's significantly higher than propane heaters, which only provide up to 91,800 BTUs per gallon.
  • Low cost of fuel. Kerosene only costs about $2.25 per gallon, which is about $0.75 less than the average cost of propane at $3 per gallon. It is also significantly lower than electric heat.
  • Kerosene has a long lifespan. When stored properly, kerosene can last a very long time. In plastic containers, kerosene can last about a year. In metal containers, kerosene can last up to 10 years. It should always be stored in a cool, dry place.

Types of Kerosene Heaters

Portable

Most kerosene heaters are portable to some extent—some more so than others. Kerosene heaters made for indoor environments will typically weigh in the range of 15 to 30 pounds and have handles that allow them to be transported. Large kerosene heaters made for spaces such as warehouses and factories, on the other hand, will be fitted with wheels for easy portability. 

Convective

Convective kerosene heaters are meant for heating large and well-ventilated areas. They're typically cylindrical in shape and have a grille in place to protect the exterior surface. The heater's design consists of a fuel tank, wick, and combustion chamber. The wick absorbs the fuel and feeds it to the combustion chamber to produce warm air. Since convective heaters don't have replaceable fuel tanks, refueling will typically require the use of a siphon pump.  

Radiant

Radiant heaters are boxy in shape and are designed for small spaces. Like convective heaters, they use a wick and combustion chamber—but unlike convective heaters, they use a reflector to direct heat outward. Many radiant heater options have replaceable fuel tanks to make refueling as simple as swapping out the tank, but some do not and will need the use of a siphon pump.

Top Brands

Dyna-Glo

Dyna Glo is a trusted company that manufactures a range of home and commercial grade heaters for all purposes, including kerosene heaters, gas forced air heaters, gas radiant heaters, and natural gas heaters. The company also manufactures an impressive range of grills and smokers.

Remington

Remington is a division of Pinnacle Climate Technologies, a manufacturer of heating, cooling, and ventilation devices founded in 2015. Remington products are known all over the world for their reliability and innovation, and one of the most popular is the Remington 80,000 BTU Kerosene Heater.

Dura Heat 

Dura Heat is a top brand of World Marketing of America, Inc. The company has been specializing in heating products for over 35 years, with over 12,000 North American retail partners. In addition to kerosene heaters, Dura Heat also produces electric heaters, natural gas radiant heaters, forced air heaters, and more.

Kerosene Heater Pricing

  • Under $125: You'll find many heaters in this price range that are great for heating small rooms. Their power and the life of their fuel tanks won't do much for a large space but will be sufficient for a small area.
  • $125 to $175: Most kerosene heaters available on the market will fall in this price range. They'll typically be strong enough to heat small to medium-sized spaces, but some will be able to handle much larger areas.
  • $175 and up: Kerosene heaters in this price range are marked with a premium price for good reason. They'll provide the highest quality heat, and some will even have the ability to heat entire homes.

Key Features

Heating Capacity

In terms of heating and fuel consumption, kerosene heaters are among the most efficient, beating even electricity in this regard. One of the most important things to consider before purchasing a kerosene heater is its heating capacity. Some, typically the more portable ones, are designed for small areas, while others can be used for large spaces or even provide heat for an entire house.

Run Time

A kerosene heater's efficiency translates to longer run times, too, but not all devices are made equal. Depending on how you use your heater, one feature to look out for is the run time, especially if you intend to use it for camping trips or the like. There are great options on the market that can warm up a sizable area and last up to 12 hours on one tank of fuel.

Weight

Weight is another thing to consider when choosing a heater. If you intend to use it for camping, fishing, or hiking trips, you’ll need it to be portable enough to lug around or stow away in the trunk. The bigger the area a kerosene heater can heat up, the less portable it will be, but there are kerosene heaters on the market made with portability in mind that can provide a good amount of heating power.

Other Considerations

  • BTUs. BTUs, which stands for British thermal units, is the measure of energy used by heating and air-conditioning devices. The BTU rating of a device can tell you how powerful it will be. Of course, the higher the BTU rating of a heater, the bigger the area it can cover. Since 1 square foot needs around 20 BTUs to heat it, you can make a rough estimate of how many BTUs you'll need by multiplying the square footage of the area by 20.
  • Tank size. The size of a kerosene heater's tank, which is typically measured in gallons or liters, is directly proportional to how long it can operate. If you need your heater to last for a while, or even overnight, you'll need one with a big enough tank. For most people, a heater with a 2-gallon tank is sufficient to heat a small area for around four to five hours.
  • Warranty. Another thing to consider when choosing a heater is the type of warranty included. The best kerosene heaters will typically come with a one-year warranty or a refund offer for buyers not satisfied with the product. To avoid buyer's remorse and be assured of the quality, aim to buy a brand that gives a similar offer.

Best Kerosene Heaters Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Dyna-Glo Kerosene Forced Air Heater

The Dyna-Glo Kerosene Forced Air Heater is an excellent all-around kerosene heater. It can heat large areas, it’s safe to use both indoors and outdoors, and it offers enough capacity to run for an impressive 14 hours. This kerosene heater can meet every need—it heats areas up to 1,200 square feet and delivers 50,000 BTUs of heating power. Built to be tough and sturdy, this heater features an aluminum exterior and an industrial motor that’ll last a long time. An exterior display shows you how much fuel you have left and how much runtime you’ll get, and you can also monitor PSI and performance. An easy-lift carrying handle makes this kerosene heater perfectly portable too.

Best Value
Kero World Indoor Kerosene Heater

Although this is one of the smallest kerosene heaters on the market, you'll be surprised by what this unit can do. This kerosene heater by Kero World is rated at 23,000 BTUs, which is strong enough to heat up to 1,000 square feet of space. It can last up to 12 hours with its 1.9-gallon tank and is fitted with a 360-degree steel grille to prevent damage. It weighs only 20 pounds and has a convenient carrying handle that makes it easy to move around. The push-button ignition system means you won't have to mess around with matches and open flames. You can also control the heat output from a central knob, and best of all, it comes with a limited two-year warranty, so you know you're getting a product that will last.

Best Indoor
Dura Heat Indoor Kerosene Heater

Not all kerosene heaters are ideal for use in your home, but the Dura Heat Indoor Kerosene Heater is a fantastic pick for indoor use. Made from steel and designed to be portable, it delivers powerful heat with 23,800 BTUs of output, and it can heat an area up to 1,000 square feet. A 300-square-foot space will heat up in about 30 minutes. The electronic ignition system enables you to start the unit without electricity, and a fuel gauge will help you monitor the kerosene supply. A protective grille surrounds the exterior of this kerosene heater, preventing you or any kids or pets from getting burned. It also comes with a safety shut-off feature in case the unit gets tipped over.

Most Versatile
Remington 80,000 BTU Kerosene Heater

The Remington 80,000 BTU Kerosene Heater can supply instant heat. The device is built tough. It has a rugged steel construction and a handle for easy portability, as well as an 80,000 BTU capacity for heating large spaces. Unlike other heaters on the market, this can run on multiple fuel types, including kerosene, #1 and #2 diesel fuel, JP8/Jet A fuel, and #1 and #2 fuel oil. The heavy-duty unit heats spaces up to 2,000 square feet for approximately 10 hours on one fuel tank. It comes with a slew of safety features such as an automatic shut-off feature when temperatures get too high, a flameout protection feature, a circuit breaker, and more. The heater is backed up by a one-year limited warranty, so you know it's built to last.

Best Premium
Dyna-Glo Indoor Kerosene Convection Heater

If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line kerosene heater, the Dyna-Glo Indoor Kerosene Convection Heater is a perfect pick. It delivers up to 23,000 BTUs per hour and can heat areas up to 1,000 square feet in size. There’s no electricity required to operate this kerosene heater, so you’ll be free from paying energy costs to run this effective, efficient heater. It can help you slash your heating bills by warming up only the areas of your home that you’re actually using. It burns with 99.9p ercent efficiency, and it takes just the push of one button to operate. Use this kerosene heater for everyday zone heating, in cold areas like basements or workshops, or as a supplement to your current heating system.

Honorable Mention
Mr. Heater F270270 Forced-Air Kerosene Heater

The Mr. Heater F270270 Forced-Air Kerosene Heater is one of the most powerful kerosene heaters on the market. This product features 175,000 BTUs and can heat a large room up to 4,375 square feet. The 14-gallon fuel tank provides up to ten hours of heat. This heater is equipped with high limit safety switches and photo CAD cells to shut off in unsafe conditions. Mr. Heater is a reputable company that performs factory tests on all of its products. This kerosene heater can be assembled within five minutes out of the box. A 115-volt AC outlet is required for use, but this product will operate even at extremely low temperatures. A one-year limited warranty is included with each purchase. This heater comes with a convenient carrying handle and a set of wheels for easy transportation by one person.

Honorable Mention
DeWalt Kerosene Heater

The DeWalt F340675 Kerosene Heater is an extremely durable option. This forced air kerosene heater has a comfortable heavy-duty handle for easy portability. This product even comes with a thermostat, specifically designed to keep the knobs and valves from getting damaged if the machine tips over. The DeWalt kerosene heater is meant to be used outdoors and should not be used indoors. At 75,000 BTUs, it has enough power to keep you warm while working at a job site or while outdoors at a campsite. This heater functions extremely well, even in the most extreme freezing temperatures. It only has a tank size of 6 gallons, so be sure to have a stock of kerosene available for refueling if you plan on using this heater overnight.

Honorable Mention
Pro-Temp PT-175T-KFA Kerosene Heater

The Pro-Temp Kerosene Heater is a great option if you need to warm up a large area. There is an easy-grip heavy-duty handle located on the top of this heater. It features 175,000 BTUs and can heat up a space as large as 4,300 square feet. In addition to kerosene, the Pro-Temp heater can operate with diesel fuel. The built-in thermostat can easily be adjusted using the large knob on the side of the heater. It is easy to monitor the heater using the easy-to-read fuel and pressure gauges. It has a large 13-gallon tank that can provide up to 9.5 hours of heat for large spaces such as factories, warehouses, or construction sites. A one-year limited warranty is provided by Pro-Temp with each purchase of this kerosene heater.

Tips

  • If you intend to use your heater indoors, make sure to keep it more than a few feet away from anything combustible, such as furniture, curtains, and bedding. 
  • If you're planning to take a long trip, especially if it's somewhere cold, make sure to bring extra fuel. You don't want to run out of heat at the most inconvenient moment. Kerosene is easy to purchase—it's available at most petrol stations, construction supply retailers, and home improvement stores. 
  • Before purchasing a kerosene heater, make sure it's designed to be used where you need it. Some kerosene heaters are designed for outdoor use only, while some can be used indoors and outdoors. 
  • Always store kerosene away from hot temperatures. Kerosene can last a long time if stored properly—up to 10 years in a metal container and up to a year in a plastic one.
  • If you will be using it outdoors, make sure your kerosene heater can withstand extremely cold temperatures, particularly if you will be using it on long overnight trips.

FAQs

Q: Are kerosene heaters safe to use indoors?

This depends on the type of kerosene heater. Some are designed for both indoors and outdoors, while some are designed for outdoor use only. Check the fine print or the manufacturer's instructions before using a kerosene heater indoors.

Q: Are kerosene heaters safe to breathe?

Kerosene heaters can sometimes produce dangerously high amounts of soot and carbon monoxide. Follow all safety precautions and instructions included with your heater to avoid asphyxiation or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Q: How can I use a kerosene heater?

Kerosene heaters can easily be used to heat small rooms or areas of your home. They can also be used outdoors on job sites or while camping. Make sure to follow all instructions included with your heater for proper use.

Final Thoughts

For a high-quality kerosene heater, consider the Dyna-Glo Kerosene Forced Air Heater which can run for 14 hours, or the Kero World Indoor Kerosene Heater, a budget-friendly option.