Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Dura Heat Convection Kerosene Heater.
What! My God Jack don’t you know how
dangerous those things are?
Hold on, calm down, let’s take a look at this concern.
We now live in a society where they put, “do not iron clothes while wearing them” as a warning label on irons. Think about that for a moment please. Oven doors have a warning not to stand on them and use them as a step ladder, (yes really). So do you think if Kerosene Heaters were the death machines some claim them to be any company would be in business selling them today.
That said safety is a concern which is one reason I like this model. If you bump it hard or if it gets tipped over, it will shut itself off. It also has a great heat cage to prevent accidental burns.
What about CO2 you fool, we will all die!
Please take a breath and let me ask you, when exactly was the last time you heard, “Kerosene heater kills family of four”? Anyyyyyyway, yes CO2 is produced when burning any organic fuel, but here are basic rules for using a heater like this.
- Do not use in a small closed in room
- Always make sure your wick is in good condition
- Don’t burn the fame too high, if it is smoking it is way too high
- Crack a window or two just a bit to allow circulation
Number 4 likely isn’t needed with modern heaters but it is such a cheap insurance policy there is no reason not to do so. By simply doing the above these heaters are safe and hundreds of thousands of people are using them all the time.
That said my primary use for them was always outbuildings, shops and sheds and they are fantastic for that. But when we lived in Pennsylvania and the electric heat went out they saved our bacon, and two heated our entire 2200 square foot home to comfortable levels with one up and one down stairs.
What makes this great is they produce deep heat and radiate it 360 degrees. If you live in a truly cold climate bang for the buck this is YOUR BEST BET FOR BACK UP HEAT if you don’t have a wood stove or a fireplace insert.
There is one big concern that to me makes something like the Big Buddy Propane Heater a better option, and that is kerosene availability. Now you can generally get prepackaged cans from hardware and specialty stores for about 8 dollars a gallon just about anywhere, but that is not economical. These things burn about 1 gallon per 4-6 hours. So do that math over a week!
Now where we lived in PA every gas station had K1 at the pump for about the price of gas and diesel. Here in Dallas – Fort Worth it is hard to find more than a few places with kerosene and it seems there are less each year. So in short I recommend kerosene heaters for colder states with wide availability of fuel at fair prices. I recommend propane for back up heat for many southern states because you can get cheap propane everywhere.
Again though bang for the buck if you have kerosene available these heaters heat far more efficiently then propane portable heaters, they are easy to maintain and safe if used properly. If your primary heating solution is electric, let me simply say whether it is the Dura Heat Kerosene Heater or the Big Buddy Propane Heater, get at lest one or two of these into your winter preps if you don’t have a solution already.
The alternative is that one day it is say 12 degrees outside, an ice storm takes out power and you and your family have 3 days or more of shivering to look forward to.
I do want to be clear I have not used this particular model. I switched to propane back in 2004 when we returned to Texas due to fuel availability. We actually gave our two kerosene heaters to neighbors in Pennsylvania when we left.
To find a heater to recommend what I did was intensively research safety, service and customer satisfaction and found this one to be the best currently available. With a price of only 176 bucks with free shipping, I simply think in this area the Dura Heat Kerosene Heater is the best value currently on the market. Let me say though, they are all good. No one makes a mondern heater that kills people in todays lawyer infused society and stays in business. This is just the one I would buy if I were in the market for one.
Final note, fireplaces are great, but they don’t heat homes very efficiently, they at best warm one room. I am not putting them down, I love fireplaces but they send 85% of their heat up the chimney and out into the sky. Don’t think simply having a fireplace is a complete back up for cold weather grid down scenarios.
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