View Full Version : Guys with kerosene heaters - in here


bochnak
11-04-2008, 01:06 PM
So I won't be able to trench a natural gas line and hang a heater this fall.

I bought a forced air kerosene heater for this winter.

I noticed in the past that certain types of kerosene stink more than others.

Does burning this fuel create water vapor? Carbon monoxide?

Please add your general thought/concerns.

Thanks.

malibu101
11-04-2008, 01:36 PM
I have had a 55K Reddy Heater for at least 10 years and I've used it alot.
It is very noisy. My 2-car kinda drafty garage has never had a problem with the smell. Yes, you can smell it a little but if it's a working shop or garage the smell is nothing. I've always run kero. I once tried house fuel oil-It ran and burned fine but with a noticeable smell. CO2, the same as smell, There is enough leaky, drafty holes that everything works well.
Water- I've heard that burning kero releases water vapor. That is probably true, but the biggest problem I see is when objects go through the dewpoint temp. They, of course, get covered with condensation.
Other than the noise, and now the price of kero, I have no problem and actually like the torpedo heater for my purpose. I do change the filters in the heater every season too.

PS- Why is gas so much cheaper than kero? Where I live gas is ~$2.30 BUT kero is $3.99. And this is at more than one station. ????????

PAToyota
11-04-2008, 01:40 PM
I bought a forced air kerosene heater for this winter.

I noticed in the past that certain types of kerosene stink more than others. YES

Does burning this fuel create water vapor? Carbon monoxide? YES

Please add your general thought/concerns. SEE ABOVE

Thanks.

:D ........

bochnak
11-04-2008, 02:15 PM
Thanks for the comments. I scored an All Pro (same as reddy) 60k BTU barely used on ebay for $36! I have to drive about 30 min to pick it up.

Northstar9126
11-04-2008, 03:48 PM
Why didn't you go with a propane or oil heater? Vented to the outside you get away from condensation problems, noise and smell of a salamander heater

Charles (in GA)
11-04-2008, 04:30 PM
Its not the CO2 they might put out that is dangerous, its the CO (Carbon Monoxide), and yes they do put it out. I have an 85K BTU heater of the Reddy Heater type, made by Koening I think, today it would be rated at 110K BTU for the same size unit. You must have fresh air coming in if you are using in a ordinary garage. Crack the door up a couple of inches, prop an outside man door open a couple of inches, crack open a couple of windows, but keep some ventilation in there. If you notice any kind of headache, shut it off, and get to fresh air right away. If the garage is attached to the house, use lots of ventilation to keep the CO from getting in the house.

I use K1 fuel now that I have to buy it. DON'T use diesel, it stinks! previously, for years, I used Jet A, it burns very clean and with little odor, and I didn't have tank or inlet screen problems from contaminated fuel, and this was "sump" fuel from the bottom of the truck.

The forced air heaters, aside from ruining your hearing, do not burn clean, hence the smell from unburned hydrocarbons and other stuff in the fuel, and as a result of the poor burn, produce CO. Wick type kerosene type heaters burn very clean and produce very little of CO or smell.

CO is odorless, and colorless. It binds to your red blood cells, and prevents oxygen from being absorbed into the red blood cells.. It takes hours to work out of your system, and not amount of oxygen will speed up the process.

Charles

bochnak
11-05-2008, 09:21 AM
Why didn't you go with a propane or oil heater? Vented to the outside you get away from condensation problems, noise and smell of a salamander heater

I have a 60k BTU natural gas heater. I won’t be able to hang it and run the line/vent this fall due to other projects.

In fact, I only plan to have 1 “garage night” a week for 2 hours. So, the kero heater will suite me just fine till next year.

bochnak
11-05-2008, 09:21 AM
Charles,

Good info. Thanks.

MoparFreek
11-05-2008, 09:47 AM
I have the 170k BTU Reddy Pro and the biggest problem with it for me is the noise..

bochnak
11-05-2008, 10:33 AM
I have the 170k BTU Reddy Pro and the biggest problem with it for me is the noise..

Well, hopefully the 60k is MUCH quieter that the one you have.

buening
11-05-2008, 11:34 AM
Not to derail the discussion, but what are peoples experiences with the convection (wick-type) kerosene heaters compared to the forced air heaters...in terms of heating? Does it take forever for the wick-type heaters to heat the garage up? I'm in the market for a kerosene heater for my 20'x20' garage and am considering the wick type due to the noise and less fumes. I don't want to buy it if it takes a few hours for it to finally warm up the garage.

kbs2244
11-05-2008, 12:18 PM
The wick type are just as deadly.
They are just slower and quieter to do it.
They are still un-vented.
So, still huge amounts of moisture and CO.
Lots of condensation and therefore rust.
If you have to use them (and I do) open a window.

MoparFreek
11-05-2008, 12:35 PM
If your garage is insulated really well the wick type may be ok, I think at most they are 23k BTU.

buening
11-05-2008, 01:52 PM
I will be insulating the garage this weekend, and there are no windows or small doors with the exception of the big door.

Northstar9126
11-05-2008, 02:03 PM
I have the 170k BTU Reddy Pro and the biggest problem with it for me is the noise..

That is the size that I have. Roars like a jet engine. Works fine in my pole barn when I am working out there as I can point it at where I am working. Just don't get it too close to anything you want the paint to stay on.

Torque1st
11-05-2008, 03:00 PM
I have a wick type heater. I forget the BTU rating but the smell is obnoxious. Use only in a WELL ventilated area, -but that kind of defeats the purpose... :(

They stink even if you buy the expensive deodorized fuel at the store.

Fresh fuel makes less odor than last years stale fuel.

ANY hydrocarbon fuel makes water vapor when it burns with oxygen from the air.

Even burning hydrogen fuel creates water vapor.

HydroCARBON fuel of any type can create carbon MONoxide and they all make large quantities of carbon DIoxide. Both are deadly in different ways.

JebNY
11-05-2008, 07:02 PM
I have a wick type heater. I forget the BTU rating but the smell is obnoxious.

Not sure what style or vintage heater you have, but it shouldn't be all that obnoxious, if they are burning correctly. And they should not put out much CO, but do put out a lot of CO2 and moisture and will use up O2 if it is a real tight shop. If it is that smelly I would see if there is something wrong. During a multi day power outage I loaned mine to some friends that did have any back up heat source and they used it in there living room for most of a week. They didn't burn it at night and refueled in the garage but didn't have a problem with odor. It does have a small odor when first starting and when you shut down but nothing serious.

I have a 100K BTU oil furnace, but I'm to cheap to burn the expensive oil (last time I filled the tank, oil was under $1). My mode for several years, to make my remaining oil last is use a KeroSun like heater for localize heating if it is a short/small project. Larger/longer project I turn on the furnace for 20 minutes or so to get the place up to temperature and the kero heater will maintain for a minimum of kerosene usage. The kero heater will bring up the whole shop area 12'X30' well insulated in about 2-3 hours by it's self if it isn't to bitter cold to start with.

Jeb

Torque1st
11-06-2008, 07:27 AM
There is nothing wrong with the heater, the smell is just nasty.

MisterCMK
11-06-2008, 01:57 PM
I have a 55k BTU Reddy heater that I burn #2 diesel in it. When the heater first pops off you can smell the diesel, but after that I don't really notice it that much or it doesn't bother me much. I have the overhead door cracked about 2 or 3 inches. I usually use the big heater to get the garage up to a reasonable temp and then use my dual head sunflower heater on a propane tank to maintain the temp.

warrent
11-06-2008, 03:14 PM
I have a wick type heater. I forget the BTU rating but the smell is obnoxious. Use only in a WELL ventilated area, -but that kind of defeats the purpose... :(

They stink even if you buy the expensive deodorized fuel at the store.

Fresh fuel makes less odor than last years stale fuel.



Not sure why you say they stink so much. Only time you get a little odor is when you shut them down. Just have to make sure they are adjusted properly.,
I have been running 2 32k BTU for the last ten years in my un-insulated 21/2 car garage. Once it gets up to 50 degrees I shut one off. If below 0 degrees usually do not go in the garage because takes for ever to heat up. Insulated the door and ceiling last year and one heater now will cook you out after a couple of hours. Five gallons of kerosene will last me a week now.

danv
11-06-2008, 06:47 PM
I have a 35,000BTU oil heater that we used to use in our cottage to heat it. I am placing it in my recently insulated 24x24 second garage and was planning to use it for a shop and storage for the winter. The heater when used on the cottage was never an issue for fumes or humidity but it was vented through a chimney. I installed a chimney that would support me using a wood stove in the future if the oil burner gives out or if it starts to get to be cost prohibitive in the future. I installed a CO detector just to be on the safe side. I plan to vent exhaust of vehicles i will be working on outside but you never know and since CO is odourless and colourless it it always a potential danger.

stinkythings.com
11-06-2008, 10:15 PM
I think Danv has the right idea. It seems more and more we read about someone being killed by CO. Deadly shit ! If you plan on using any type of Kero heat source I would install a Co detector.
Clean the air filter on your jet type heater every season, especially if you are using it in a dusty environment. I used to fix kerosene heaters, you can't believe the shit that people do to these things.

Torque1st
11-06-2008, 11:26 PM
Not sure why you say they stink so much. Only time you get a little odor is when you shut them down. Just have to make sure they are adjusted properly.,
I have been running 2 32k BTU for the last ten years in my un-insulated 21/2 car garage. Once it gets up to 50 degrees I shut one off. If below 0 degrees usually do not go in the garage because takes for ever to heat up. Insulated the door and ceiling last year and one heater now will cook you out after a couple of hours. Five gallons of kerosene will last me a week now.

Your nose "forgets" the smell after a few minutes, -but leave the room for a few minutes to "reset" your nose then come back in and you will smell it. Breathing hydrocarbon fumes is not good for your liver or other living parts. I have been around other Kerosene heaters besides my own and they all stink.

nissan_crawler
11-07-2008, 03:50 AM
I'll second that they all stink.

However, there is a way to help that. We burned diesel in ours and ran 4 gallons diesel to 1 gallon gas. It didn't gel, and burned nice and clean. They ran for years that way with no issue. They also start very easily.

jsaw
11-07-2008, 12:53 PM
last winter, in my 150,000 btu forced air heater I ran 60% K-1 kerosene with 40% waste cooking oil. no where near as much smell, but does make the shop smell like a bakery.

bochnak
11-07-2008, 01:34 PM
Turned out my co-worker lived 1mi away from the seller, and picked it up for me. Saved me 1.5hrs. A gas station nearby has kero for 3.29/gal.

It was in the 70's all week until today = 45. Brrrr.

danv
11-08-2008, 10:08 PM
The oil heater i was using in my garage is an older type. It is attached to a chimney and the kerosene flows into the burn pot and burns and the smoke vents out the chimney. The unit heats up and has a small blower on it that helps move warm air aroung the room. I was interested to try and mix used vegetable oil with the kerosene. Has anyone got one of the older type burner and tried the mix. If so what is a good mix. If used vegetable oil is used is the unit harder to start next time used. Does this cause more creosote to build in the chimney. Dan V

bochnak
12-18-2008, 08:20 AM
I was in the garage last night for a little over an hour. It was 15° outside, 20° in the garage. The temp reached 45° with this heater. Towards the end, condensation was forming everywhere, especially on the cinder blocks walls! I knew this would happen, and can't wait till' next year when I trench the gas line.

Lloydthumper
12-18-2008, 10:52 AM
I think that being careful is a must with any type of unvented heater kero,propane,natural gas etc. Electric is good but expensive with a garage especially one that is un insulated such as mine is 30x40x12 a 55k reddy heater will knock the chill off after about an hour. What I want to do for my house and garage is to go to an outside wood water boiler but they are expensive as well.