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9 Best Kerosene Heaters For Indoor Use - Reviewed and Rated 2021
Do you want to be warm during the cold winter months? Do you also want to avoid paying steep electric bills? You can have the best of both worlds by getting a kerosene heater.
These little units are incredibly affordable because they run on kerosene fuel, which is much cheaper than running a heater off electricity. While there are some concerns about their safety when used indoors, as long as you make sure to observe it and turn the unit off when not in use, you won’t have anything to worry about.
With a little bit of time and measurements of the space you want to warm, you can find the best kerosene heater for indoor use.
In a Rush? Here’s our winner..
Editor’s Choice: Dura Heat DH2304S
For the best all-around kerosene heater, look no further than the Dura Heat DH2304S. This model comes in a small, lamp-sized package that means it can fit into any room with ease. Even better, it comes with 23,800 BTUs of power, all emitted in a full radius of heating, so your room is nice and toasty.
It also sidesteps the issue of kerosene odor with its unique no-lift design, reducing the time you expose its fuel to the surrounding air. If you don’t want to read the rest of this article but still want a good heater, buy this model.
Dura Heat DH2304S
Long heating time
Safety conscious design
Customizable power output
Autoignition heating system
1.9-gallon tank capacity
Manual lighting option included
Sengoku HeatMate OR77
Highly efficient fuel usage
Quality construction material
Compact and lightweight
1.2-gallon fuel capacity
Easy-to-read fuel gauges
10,000 BTUs per hour
Dura Heat DFA50
Runtime tracking of fuel
Well-written instruction manual
Easy to service
Attached easy-grip handle
50,000 BTU output
High-capacity sealed fan motor
Lightweight and portable design
Removable tank for easy filling
Designed for easy wick adjustments and proper burning
10,000 BTUs of heat
New and improved ignition system
High-performance wick and burner adjuster
Mr. Heater F270270
Provides instant heat
Large glove-friendly controls
Great safety features
6-function LED diagnostics
Durable and rugged construction
Thermostat is built-in
9 Best Kerosene Heater For Indoor Uses - Reviews
- 17.5” x 17.5” x 26.75”
- Autoignition heating system
- Manual lighting option included
- 1.9-gallon tank capacity
- 15-minute assembly time
This unit is the best kerosene heater you can get on the market. With over 23,000 BTUs of power, it’ll warm up any room. It’s also easy to get started as it comes with an autoignition system that removes the work of lighting the wick each time you need it to start.
The set-up wasn’t an issue either. I put the whole unit together in just 15 minutes, with only a quick reference to the instructions. I particularly appreciated that you can still manually ignite the heater by merely opening a side door.
Other features of this heater include a safety-focused design. It has a grill grate surrounding all the unit’s heated elements, so kids and pets won’t be able to burn themselves accidentally. Use this heater when you go camping, or keep it in the emergency cabinet for power outages.
The power output is customizable, so you can set the heat to the perfect level while conserving fuel. You won’t need to worry too much about that, as the unit boasts 8-12 hours of heating time off a single tank. It’s almost the perfect unit.
- Long heating time
- Safety conscious design
- Customizable power output
- Emitted light can be distracting
Who Should Get This?
This kerosene heater is for everyone. With long heating times, a safety-focused design, and a suite of other features, it’ll satisfy just about anyone.
- 1.2-gallon fuel capacity
- Easy-to-read fuel gauges
- Fast push-button start
- 10,000 BTUs per hour
- Automatic shut-off feature
The Sengoku HeatMate OR77 is an attractively priced model that still provides the heating power you need.
It emits heat at a rate of 10,000 BTUs per hour, meaning it’ll cover a decent-sized room. More importantly, despite having an only 1.2-gallon tank, it’s able to heat for more than 12 hours, which is an impressive fuel efficiency that can save you money on kerosene refills.
It’s also easy to gauge how much kerosene is left, with visible fuel trackers that ensure you won’t be surprised when it shuts off.
You can rest easy with this unit because it automatically turns off, preventing potential fires from unattended units. I also appreciated the solid metal construction, which felt sturdy and durable enough for the long-haul.
It comes with a siphon pump so you can recover any unused kerosene for future use. Also included are batteries to run the autoignition system. As a result of all this, I was able to get this unit up and running quickly, without the need for any extra purchases or hidden costs.
Altogether, this portable well-sized heater is ideal for supplemental heating and power outage situations.
- Highly efficient fuel usage
- Quality construction material
- Compact and lightweight
- Not that much cheaper than more powerful models
Who Should Get This?
You should get this model if you’re looking for a well-constructed, lightweight, and fuel-efficient heater at a lower-than-average price point.
- Attached easy-grip handle
- Multi-fuel capable function
- Fuse protected electrical system
- 50,000 BTU output
- High-capacity sealed fan motor
For larger non-airtight spaces like garages, you’ll need a more powerful heater. The Dura Heat DFA50 is one model that will perform as you need it to, with an output of 50,000 BTUs.
While kerosene fuel tends to produce the least smell, you can still go with other fuel options for reasons of price and convenience. It works with fuel oil, diesel, and JP-8 and Jet-A fuels, which should give you a lot of options to work with.
I also liked how easy it is to pop open the back of this unit and service damaged or malfunctioning parts.
Several displays are built-in, including a fuel gauge that will tell you the runtime remaining as well as a digital diagnostic system, and a temperature indicator.
I wasn’t as happy with the fact that it needs electricity to run all its functions, as that kind of takes away from the whole purpose of kerosene acting as an alternative heating option.
Still, I was satisfied with this package overall and would heartily recommend it.
- Runtime tracking of fuel
- Well-written instruction manual
- Easy to service
- Shoots flame when turned on
- Discovery SUP system
- 10,000 BTUs of heat
- New and improved ignition system
- High-performance wick and burner adjuster
- Covers 380 ft2
The Sengoku Heatmate is perfectly suited for smaller spaces that you need to be warmed up. While it only has 10,000 BTUs of heating power, this should be sufficient to cover a relatively small 380 ft2 radius.
Due to its lower power design, the unit is relatively lightweight, coming at just 27 lbs. This makes it perfect for carrying around, so no matter which room you go into, you can appreciate the kerosene warmth.
Unique to this model is a high-performance wick that is built to last. It works in concert with a burner adjuster that tweaks the heat to just the right amount. This wick is also easy to adjust, with a lever built-in to the device. The burner settings are fine-tuned to minimize the possibility of any improper burning positions.
The tank is removable as well, so filling up is a breeze. It can run for 12 hours per filling, perfect for a long and drab wintry day.
If it weren’t for the space limitations, this unit would be a total all-star.
- Lightweight and portable design
- Removable tank for easy filling
- Designed for easy wick adjustments and proper burning
- Only suitable for a smaller area
Who Should Get This?
This one’s for those who have a small room that needs heating. Stay away from this unit if you have a larger space.
- 6-function LED diagnostics
- Durable and rugged construction
- Heavy-duty high output fan
- Lighted on/off switch
- Thermostat is built-in
Whether used in a garage, outside, or an indoor room, Mr. Heater F270270 heater is an excellent option for quickly warming up an area.
It comes equipped with fully enclosed, high-output motors that run strong and long. The controls are also big and chunky so that you can use them with ease, even through gloves.
The unit is capable of running at extremely low temperatures. No matter the conditions, it starts running. Once it starts, it heats up near-instantaneously. You should be feeling cozy within minutes.
Another great aspect of this unit is its set of safety features. It uses high-limit safety switches and photo CAD cells that shut off the heater in any conditions deemed to be unsafe.
It’s also capable of tracking the local temperature, providing you with a thermostat that you can check while adjusting the heat. If any issues crop up, the LED diagnostics can give you insight into exactly what needs to be fixed.
Unfortunately, due to its high power settings and relatively small tank, it’ll quickly burn through kerosene. It’s only able to heat for 6 hours, so make sure you have refills on hand.
- Provides instant heat
- Large glove-friendly controls
- Great safety features
- Burns through kerosene fast
Who Should Get This?
The forced air heater is an ideal choice for anyone who needs the warmth to circulate powerfully and quickly throughout an open or enclosed space.
- 175,000 BTU output
- Covers 4,375 ft2
- 14-gallon fuel tank
- No-flame and over-heat safety sensors
- Oversized pneumatic tires
If you are in the market for BTU output and BTU output alone, then the F270370 might be the one for you. It’s equipped with a heater capable of hitting a staggering 175,000 BTUs, making it ideal for heating an entire house or other similarly large space – it’ll cover over 4,000 ft2.
Unlike other high-power models, it can run for a long time, clocking in at 10 hours on its 14-gallon fuel tank.
For the price, you’re also getting some advanced features, like continuous ignition to keep the flame going regardless of the conditions outside, and a set of tires and easy-lift handles to make moving this large unit slightly easier.
I also noticed and appreciated the easy-off access panel, which let me quickly look at the parts and tweak them as needed. I like how this unit has a thermostat, allowing for exact desired temperature outputs.
Although you might expect a longer set-up time given this model’s size and power, it only takes a few minutes to put together. It further comes equipped with no-flame and over-heat safety sensors that will automatically shut off the unit if anything goes awry.
- Impressive runtime given the size
- Quick assembly time
- Great for whole-house heating
- Short warranty period
Who Should Get This?
If you need the raw power to heat an entire home, then this model may be for you. Just be ready for the massive heat it’ll produce.
- Adjustable heat settings
- Wick is pre-installed
- K1 kerosene compatible
- Included grated safety barrier
- Heats 400 ft2
This unit’s big selling point is its mind-boggling fuel efficiency.
It produces 14 hours of heat for just 1 gallon of kerosene. This is easily the cheapest model I’ve seen to run, and it still covers a decently large 400 ft2.
I noticed some small oddities, like the flame adjustment changing regarding the fuel level, meaning I had to keep an eye on it, so it didn’t start burning with odor. It also has to be fully shut off to refuel, which tends to fill the room with unhealthy kerosene fumes.
I wasn’t too impressed with the build, as it gives off the impression of a bunch of thin materials put together without concern for a quality feel. The auto-ignition also wasn’t very effective, and I regularly had to light the wick manually. These seem to be tradeoffs made in exchange for its fuel efficiency.
Despite this, some reviews say that this unit can last up to 12 years before running into issues, making this package overall a fantastic value for the relatively low price you’re going to pay for it.
- Ridiculous fuel efficiency
- Long lifespan of use
- Heat output is warm and comfortable
- Poor performing autoignition
Who Should Get This?
If you’re willing to accept slightly lower build quality, you’ll find a heater that performs efficiently and for the long-haul.
- Drip tray built-in
- No electricity needed
- 23,000 BTU heat output
- Easy install safety cage
- Heats 1,075 ft2
Convection heaters operate differently when compared to radiant heaters. They rely on an internal system to draw in cold air from the floor before emitting now warm air in the same space.
But just because their mechanism of action is different doesn’t mean that they have any performance issues. They function just as well, which you’ll discover when you feel the 23,000 BTUs in any room. You can also bring it outside if you want as it doesn’t need any electrical outlets to run.
It also comes decked out with a safety cage to prevent accidental burns. That’s about all you’ll need to attach, as it’s otherwise ready to go once you take it out of the box.
Because it’s so light, weighing in at 20 lbs., it’s easy to pick up and adjust settings like heat output. Be careful, though, because the hotter it runs, the more kerosene you’ll need.
Despite its relatively low cost, it comes backed with a 2-year warranty that should keep you comfortable with running it 24/7 during power outages.
Although I wish there were some extra features to spice up the package, I’m satisfied with what I got.
- Easy to use right out of the box
- Solid 2-year warranty
- Simple to light and adjust
- Not too many extra features
Who Should Get This?
Get this unit if you want convection-style heating at a reasonable price, with strong performance and reliable manufacturer backing and support.
- Fan-forced heater operation
- 175,000 BTU output
- Torpedo heater design
- Flame-out fuel cut
- High-temperature limit shutoff
Kerosene heaters are often limited in their use, entirely dependent on a particular fuel source. The ProTemp 170,000 BTU Diesel/Kerosene Heater gets around this barrier by offering a system that can run on all kinds of fuel, ranging from #1 and 2 diesel fuel to #1 and 2 fuel oil.
However, the convenience doesn’t stop there, as this relatively large torpedo-shaped unit is easy to carry around. With easy-lift handles for low-effort pickup and an extension cord wrapping to bundle up the plug easily, you can bring it around using minimal effort.
Owing to its 175,000 BTU output, it’s capable of heating a massive area of 4,300 ft2, so your whole house can be nice and toasty.
It’s also exceptionally safe, with high-temperature limit shut-offs that stop it from burning too strong, a flame-out fuel cut to prevent gas leakage, and a thermocouple to monitor temperatures with accuracy.
This model’s only issue is its high price. While it is very powerful and has impressive features, the cost is still rather steep, especially compared to other kerosene heaters on this list. If you can get past this, you’ll be satisfied.
- Easy to move around
- Heats a massive area
- Full set of safety features
- High cost for what you get
Who Should Get This?
You should pick up this unit if you’re looking for a powerful heater that’s capable of running on all kinds of fuel sources.
How to Choose the Best Kerosene Heater For Indoor Use?
Given how many kerosene heaters are on the market, it can be challenging to choose a single one. Thankfully, being spoiled for choice has its perks, and you can sort through the long list of heaters to find the exact one that will meet all your needs.
However, the question remains, what exactly should you be on the lookout for when buying one of these units?
For most heaters, electrical energy efficiency isn’t a concern as the unit typically runs off its own fuel source. What’s more important to factor in is how fast it’ll burn through fuel.
One way to check this figure is to look through kerosene heater reviews for other user impressions of the model. This can give you realistic insight into usage.
Failing that, you can try looking at product descriptions to see how many BTUs any given heater emits. Measure your room for the square footage to find out how many BTUs you need. The range of this strength output directly ties into how much fuel will be used, and you can usually assume that higher heat means more fuel burning.
One gallon of kerosene produces 135,000 BTUs, and you can use this figure to figure out the real cost of running the unit.
Find out how long it can run off of a full tank. You can then reverse-calculate the fuel cost for 1 tank by looking at its gallon capacity and determining how much it will cost to refill it continually.
Another aspect of kerosene heaters that is important to their operation is how they are lit.
Most units nowadays run on auto-ignition systems, meaning you just have to click a button or flip a switch to start the flame. This is usually safer than manual lighting and more convenient.
On the other hand, you may find one that needs manual lighting. In this case, you have to make sure you have lighters or matches nearby. The one upside of a manual lighting system is that you can typically light it with more gas output control, minimizing the released fumes.
You will also want to consider the size and dimensions of the model. Determine how much space you have in your room to put the heater before buying it.
The size of the area it’s heating is also important. Kerosene heaters typically cover large radiuses, but you still want to check the exact square footage heated before committing to a purchase.
Intuitively it makes sense that kerosene heaters run off kerosene. However, some models have multiple fuel-type compatibilities. This might be important for you if you occasionally use other fuel sources, either because of price or convenience.
Regardless, it’s critical that you use the right type of fuel as otherwise, the heater can catch fire or explode.
Final Verdict: Our Top Choice
Of all the kerosene heaters for indoor use on this list, the Dura Heat DH2304S still stands out as the best in class.
It’s got a solid 23,000 BTUs power rating that makes it perfect for mid-sized to large rooms. It’s easy to carry around, with a lamp-shaped design and easy to use, from its easy set-up to its autoignition wick.
Even more importantly, it’s exceedingly safe. You can adjust heating settings to be comfortable and well-suited for whatever room you’re in, and it comes equipped with a safety grill grate to prevent contact with its heated elements. You should buy this unit if you’re in the market for a kerosene heater.
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