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Old 09-23-2013, 06:14 PM   #41
fwillison
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of using kerosene heater in garage?

I have the Harbor Freight branded torpedo heater, 75K BTU, same as the ProCom at Northern Tools.
I use it in my 30x80 shop with 18 ft walls (rented). Heats it well and pretty fast.
I run diesel from the pump. I worried about diesel odor, but figured I'd give it a try with diesel to check. I didn't find any objectionable odor. Mind you, this is an auto shop and already smells a little of oil and fuel.
I have been impressed at how good it is. I crack the garage door a couple inches while it's running. Seems fine.
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:05 PM   #42
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of using kerosene heater in garage?

I use a Master 155,000 BTU torpedo Kerosene heater to heat my 34x34x12' garage.



My garage is really well insulated and rarely gets below 45F.

I like to turn on the heater about 15-20min. before I go out in the garage and work. After 15-20min the garage is warm enough to work in a t-shirt (72-75). I'll open the garage door an inch and crack the rear man door for ventilation when it's running.

My unit has a built in thermostat control that I set about half way, so it doesn't run constantly but it'll keep the temp around 68-72. My biggest complaint is the noise and moisture, but I'll tolerate that for the ability to work in a toasty garage when it's freezing outside.

Fewer and fewer places are carry Kerosene around me and last season Kerosene got up to $5/gal.

One of these days I'll upgrade to a proper ceiling mounted heater.
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:12 PM   #43
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of using kerosene heater in garage?

Used a 150k torpedo for years in my garage. Got tired of the kero smell, my god the noise, and spending days in the spring derusting tools from the condensation. I switched over to an gas furnace and love it. Set and forget.
Now days I use the torp heater outside, point it down the sidewalk and literally watch the snow go.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:36 PM   #44
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of using kerosene heater in garage?

Personally tried the salamanders and don't like them. Nice heat here in the frozen world but the fumes and stench are too much. I have a propane salamander which is much better from a stench angle. The last one and very best is just a radiant propane 30,000 Coleman that sits on top of the cylinder. Just move it where ever no electric necessary. Dials down to around 10K and up to heat the whole house in a pinch. The best part is if I am stuck doing something in the driveway outside in a snowbank I can stuff it next to me and pretend not to be cold. It's too bad they seem to be fading for the market as I don't see them around now, just the Reddy type. Something like this, I only paid $95 for mine.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI...ectorid=229466
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Old 12-11-2013, 08:44 PM   #45
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of using kerosene heater in garage?

It's hard to know what to think when some say there is no smell, others say there is a big smell, some say diesel is worse, others that it isn't. Confusing!

Will all kero heaters burn diesel, or only certain ones?
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Old 12-12-2013, 01:02 AM   #46
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of using kerosene heater in garage?

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It's hard to know what to think when some say there is no smell, others say there is a big smell, some say diesel is worse, others that it isn't. Confusing!

Will all kero heaters burn diesel, or only certain ones?
If it has a wick like the birdcage indoor type kero heaters, you CAN'T use diesel in those. For the forced air torpedo or radiant torpedo heaters, you can use diesel in those.

As far as smell, it must vary from person to person. I use diesel and it does not smell to me. I don't get watery eyes or headaches. Now a friend of mine ran kero in his torpedo, and the kero bothered me. Preference I guess.

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Old 12-12-2013, 09:30 AM   #47
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of using kerosene heater in garage?

Funny thing was I just ran my Protemp 70K BTU heater, I've had it for awhile but this time I ran it with Diesel and the diesel that's been it in now has been about a year and 4 months, I fired it up yesterday and it ran like normal the only smell you get is the first source of it firing up and shut down.
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:57 AM   #48
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of using kerosene heater in garage?

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Funny thing was I just ran my Protemp 70K BTU heater, I've had it for awhile but this time I ran it with Diesel and the diesel that's been it in now has been about a year and 4 months, I fired it up yesterday and it ran like normal the only smell you get is the first source of it firing up and shut down.
Same here, only smell I get is at initial start up. I always open the man door all the way, turn on my overhead exhaust fan and then turn my radiant torpedo heater on. It puffs abit of smoke and smells for about a minute but with the door open and the fan on, it disapates quickly. Shut the fan off, close the door to just a crack and it gets up to temp in no time with no smell.

I only get out in the garage at home on the weekends in the winter so it puffs like that after a week of sitting. If I start it up several times in the same day, it doesn't puff or smell when it first starts up.

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Old 12-12-2013, 10:00 AM   #49
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of using kerosene heater in garage?

The only reason why I ended up putting diesel in it was because at the time diesel was cheaper then the untaxed kero, but at least the station near me does not put the red die in it.

The think the last time I check the kero was selling for $4.65
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:52 AM   #50
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of using kerosene heater in garage?

Some of the smell or lack thereof comes from chemicals that you are using at the time that the heater is running. If you are using chemicals while the heater is running, some of the chemicals will get sucked into the burner. The combo can be unpleasant.

I grew up working in an unheated and VERY drafty barn or outside in bad weather. It was miserable.

I then finally got a garage and bought a torpedo heater. I thought it was awesome to actually be working in a warm space.

Then, I built a shop building and installed a vented Mr. Heater. My shop building is a long way from my house so I use the shop building at my house to work in...and it has only so-so insulation. I use a torpedo heater and a tower wick type kerosene heater to heat it.

I now hate the ventfree heaters. They put a lot of moisture into the air which condenses on the cold tools and equipment. If I'm not doing anything with chemicals, the smell and odor isn't bad. However, if I use any chemicals at all, the smell is bad.

Once you go to a vented heater, you'll never willingly go back.

Unvented heat is better than no heat...but vented heat is the best by far.
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Old 12-12-2013, 11:02 AM   #51
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of using kerosene heater in garage?

I have a vented shop heater and a floor kerosene unit. Both make more noise then I care for. I want a large wood stove.
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Old 12-12-2013, 11:32 AM   #52
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of using kerosene heater in garage?

Anyone experienced with the Pros and cons of running a kerosene type heater vs one that runs on propane? Is propane worse for co2 and co?
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:55 PM   #53
Stuart in MN
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of using kerosene heater in garage?

I used to have a kerosene Reddy heater. Bought it brand new and used it in an uninsulated and drafty garage so there was plenty of ventilation, but I only ran it three or four times - the smell was terrible and my eyes started watering after a few minutes, plus there was condensation all over everything in the garage.
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Old 12-12-2013, 07:01 PM   #54
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of using kerosene heater in garage?

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Last spring I purchased a new 70,000 btu Reddy Heater on clearance from Sears. The Reddy brand has been discontinued, but for around $50 I figured I'd be ok to be without a warranty. Anyway, I have not used the heater yet and have been doing some research here and on the internet on the pros and cons of using kerosene forced air heaters.

I haven't found too much information besides keeping some air flow in the garage and that kerosene burns cleaner than diesel in these heaters. The manual states that this model is 99.9% efficient at burning the fuel, etc. Do most people find that to be true that don't smell like kerosene after working around these heaters? Will keeping the the garage door opened even more than recommended help with the stink? What can I do to reduce the smell?

Another problem I've read about is the added moisture these heaters introduce. Should I really be concerned about all my tools rusting, etc.? The cold winter air is usually dry so is it really a big deal?

I guess I just want to hear from some people that use this kind of heater and what they do when they run them. I plan on using kerosene out of the pump at the local gas station. As this unit is brand new, I would consider just selling it if all I hear is negative. I'll be using it in a 2 car garage about 18'x24'x9'. I plan to use occassionally when I need to work on the cars in the dead of winter. I've used electric heaters in the past, but the small ones I have take a long time to bring the temp up...basically need to start running them hours before I plan to work in there. Thanks for any help you can provide.
Go to Walmart they have an additive that you can add to the kerosene and it will elimanate the smell, dont rember what its called but about 5 yrs ago my furnace went out in the mid of winter and all I had was 3 kerosene heaters to run in the house but I knew the smell would be bad and it would make all the clothes and furniture in the house smell like kerosene, so I went to walmart and found an additive to put in the kerosene, was apprehensive at first but worked great and know one who came over knew that I was running kerosene heaters till they saw me fill it up and asked what it was i was using..
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Old 12-12-2013, 07:30 PM   #55
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of using kerosene heater in garage?

The stuff I used was kero-klean they have it in Holly, Cinnamon & vanilla smells.
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Old 12-12-2013, 07:33 PM   #56
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of using kerosene heater in garage?

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Originally Posted by subarub4 View Post
Funny thing was I just ran my Protemp 70K BTU heater, I've had it for awhile but this time I ran it with Diesel and the diesel that's been it in now has been about a year and 4 months, I fired it up yesterday and it ran like normal the only smell you get is the first source of it firing up and shut down.

The new diesel shouldn't stink much at all being clear the last year or so. I worked around tractor trailers for many years and the difference when they switched to the clear stuff was astounding. When you look at them sitting there at -20 in a row all you see nowdays is the steam rising. Same goes for summer. No more black / brown smoke billowing up. It should make a big difference for you guys running those in the confined areas.
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Old 12-12-2013, 07:35 PM   #57
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The new diesel shouldn't stink much at all being clear the last year or so. I worked around tractor trailers for many years and the difference when they switched to the clear stuff was astounding. When you look at them sitting there at -20 in a row all you see nowdays is the steam rising. Same goes for summer. No more black / brown smoke billowing up. It should make a big difference for you guys running those in the confined areas.

yeah the ULS diesel right? I think the Kero was something like 400ppm I forgot.. when I finally use my fuel up I will have to check but I do remember the Diesel being much less in sulfur content.

I do see trucks with black smoke, maybe the DPF is clogged?

without getting off topic I work a a large place that deal with diesel trucks and we have this one hard to start truck, you have to end up cycling the truck about 5 times to finally get it to start..

If you try to start it normal by waiting for the wait to start light to go off, you just get white clouds of smoke.. it's getting fuel.. SO after cycling a few times and hearing the brake vacuum pump slow down the truck will fire up with a gray/black smoke mix then run normal.

Last edited by subarub4; 12-12-2013 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:23 PM   #58
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of using kerosene heater in garage?

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Anyone experienced with the Pros and cons of running a kerosene type heater vs one that runs on propane? Is propane worse for co2 and co?
I have used them both and hated the kerosene stinkers. Propane was a lot better and the radiant hood reddi type like I have now seems to work head and shoulders better than the torpedo for what i do. The heat just seems to be dispersed so much better. The other thing is having to use an electric cord. The Redi style can be dragged anywhere with no problem like working on some cursed outdoor misery like a tractor. As for output mine is 10 ,20 , 45000 BTU or so they say and I really like to fire it up with everything it's got and then afterwards cut it down to 10K idle pointed towards me afterwards. I even can lay it down on it's side and shoot most of the heat under a car if i have to live down there like I did the other day. It's no substitute for a sunny day but makes everything suck a whole lot less. It won't take the place of a nice big heated garage but for me with no space to keep a permanent heater it's a good alternative.
The last best use is if the power goes out as it often does here. That will easily heat my whole house good enough to get by. The big issue being it has to be run off a barbecue bottle or larger. This is a pic of the one I have. They seem to no longer make them and they are getting hard to find.
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:32 PM   #59
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of using kerosene heater in garage?

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Originally Posted by Shawzaw View Post
Go to Walmart they have an additive that you can add to the kerosene and it will elimanate the smell, dont rember what its called but about 5 yrs ago my furnace went out in the mid of winter and all I had was 3 kerosene heaters to run in the house but I knew the smell would be bad and it would make all the clothes and furniture in the house smell like kerosene, so I went to walmart and found an additive to put in the kerosene, was apprehensive at first but worked great and know one who came over knew that I was running kerosene heaters till they saw me fill it up and asked what it was i was using..
That is alcohol based (methanol). It will not actually cause the smell to get worse in a torpedo heater, but is ok with a wick heater.
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:18 PM   #60
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Default Re: Pros and Cons of using kerosene heater in garage?

Around here I run my torpedo heater with jet fuel which I get at the local airport. It is about $4.00 a gallon and is a lot cleaner burning than the stuff you buy at home depo or your local farm supply. Jet fuel is kerosene that has supposedly been filtered to a higher level. There are a lot of farmers that run jet fuel in there old kerosene hobby tractors so I would not be worried about running it in a heater.
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