Even a good kerosene heater that does not emit a strong odor or smoke will still give off a faint gaseous odor when you enter the garage. You need to be careful in using this equipment. In this article, I’ll give you some kerosene heaters for garage tips and the best heaters you can use.
For the safe operation of a kerosene heater in a garage, adequate ventilation is essential. Oxygen is consumed when you burn kerosene. This process also produces carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, and other poisonous gases. So, you have to be careful when using a kerosene heater.
Safety should be your first concern when using it in your garage. You should not mix kerosene with gasoline in a container. Don’t use a gasoline container to pour in kerosene that you bought from the store. It is also safer to store kerosene in the garage instead of keeping it inside your house.
Read on to learn more about kerosene heaters for garages, how to use them safely, and the best kerosene heaters available in the market.
Kerosene Heater for Garage
To safely operate a kerosene heater inside your garage, you should ensure adequate ventilation in the place. When you burn kerosene, it consumes oxygen. The burning process also produces harmful gases, such as:
- Carbon monoxide,
- Carbon dioxide,
- Sulfur dioxide, and
- Nitrogen oxide.
These gases are all detrimental to your respiratory system.
Ensure Safety While Operating a Kerosene Heater
You need to ensure your safety while operating a kerosene heater. First of all, don’t mix kerosene with gasoline. You cannot use an empty gasoline container to store kerosene. When you arrive from the store, the safest place to store kerosene is in your garage, not inside your house.
Regularly Check the Heater
It is unsafe to leave the kerosene heater unattended. There should be someone who should regularly check up on it while it is turned on. This heater can produce high amounts of carbon monoxide and soot if it runs out of oxygen. Carbon monoxide poisoning or asphyxiation is possible if you are not careful in using it.
Avoid Using Old Stock of Kerosene
It is not good to use old stock of kerosene. Old fuel lying in storage usually absorbs moisture and breaks down. If you use this fuel for your kerosene heater, its performance will be adversely affected. Old fuel may also damage the internal parts of the heater. This could pose some danger in its operation.
Use of Kerosene Heaters on the Rise
But don’t be too alarmed. It is alright to use a kerosene heater for your garage – as long as you adhere to its safety operations. They say that there is an ongoing increase in the sales of portable kerosene heaters due to the dramatic rise in home heating costs.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission or CPSC estimated that in 1974, the sales of portable kerosene heaters were only about 3,500 units. But in 1982, that record considerably increased to about 4.5 million units. The CPSC estimates that the number of kerosene heaters being used today can reach as high as 9 million units.
The new generations of portable kerosene heaters are safer to use. They come with the following:
- Automatic extinguishing devices,
- Battery-powered ignition systems,
- Level indicators,
- Protective metal grill,
- Lift-out fuel canisters,
- Fuel gauges,
- Carrying handles,
- Wider bases, and
- Stylish finishes.
That means it’s a lot safer to use kerosene heaters today than it was many years ago.
Dangers of Operting a Kerosene Heater
Safety officials still want you to exercise safety precautions. They feel that kerosene heaters are not hazard-free. According to them, kerosene heaters present hazards that are not present in other types of heaters. So, what are the dangers of operating a kerosene heater?
1. Indoor Air Pollution
In burning kerosene, especially in an enclosed space, you face the hazard of breathing polluted air. Burning kerosene produces pollutants like:
- Carbon dioxide,
- Sulfur dioxide, and
- Nitrogen oxide.
If you breathe these gaseous substances, you are endangering your health.
These toxic gases are hazardous to pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, persons suffering from cardiovascular diseases, asthmatics, and the elderly. But these hazards can be mitigated by following common-sense safety precautions.
2. Fire or Explosion
A kerosene heater can cause fire or even an explosion if you are not careful in using it. If you turn it on while it is close to curtains, furniture, or other combustible materials, you run the risk of starting a fire.
You can also cause an explosion if you accidentally ignite kerosene when filling the heater’s tank. This is possible if you light the heater in the presence of combustible gases. The tank could also explode if you use the wrong type of fuel.
If you use a kerosene heater in a small enclosed space with no adequate ventilation, you will reduce the amount of oxygen in that space. Burning kerosene, as already mentioned, consumes oxygen in the air.
After a while, the oxygen level of that space will reach a dangerous level. This will cause the incomplete combustion of kerosene. In this situation, the emission of carbon monoxide is possible. This gas is odorless and colorless, and very dangerous to your health. If you breathe this gas in sufficient concentration, it will kill you without warning.
A kerosene heater can cause burns if you come in direct contact with any of its parts. So, you should keep a safe distance from a kerosene heater while it is burning fuel. Tell your children not to get near a kerosene heater while it is operating. You should also prevent pets from going near this heater.
Again, what should you do when you have a kerosene heater for your garage? Ensure that you have proper ventilation. Note that burning of kerosene, poisonous gases, such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide are produced.
Tips on How to Safely Use Kerosene Heaters
A well-built kerosene heater will not emit any strong odor or smoke while it is running. However, you may still smell a faint scent of kerosene as soon as you enter the garage.
Typically, during the first few minutes after you turn it on, you will smell a strong odor of kerosene coming from the kerosene heater. So, you should observe proper safety precautions when using a kerosene heater:
1. Ensure Adequate Ventilation
Make sure that there is adequate ventilation in your garage before turning on the kerosene heater. There should also be a source of fresh air the entire time that the heater is being used. This means you should open a window or a door while the heater is turned on.
The kerosene heater should preferably be located near a window or a door. This ensures a constant supply of fresh air in the room. Thus, you can avoid the buildup of harmful gases.
2. Avoid Sleeping While a Kerosene Heater Is on
A kerosene heater that is burning fuel to keep you warm must not be left unattended. You need always to keep an eye on the heater while it is operating. Never go it without someone watching it at all times.
3. Use the Correct Type of Kerosene
The recommended fuel that can be safely used for kerosene heaters is 1-K grade kerosene. This kerosene grade has lesser sulfur content. 2-K is another type of kerosene, but it has higher sulfur content.
Kerosene with higher sulfur content adversely affects fuel wicking. It also increases the emission of sulfur dioxide. So, if you use 2-K kerosene, you will spend more time maintaining the wick, aside from the pollution that it can cause.
Don’t use a substitute fuel like camp stove fuel or gasoline. They could start an explosion or a fire if used inside a kerosene heater.
4. Check the Wick Regularly
Inspect the wick of the kerosene heater regularly, like every week or every two weeks. You need to see if it is dirty or if it is already spent. Maintain it according to the instructions of the manufacturer.
5. Don’t Use the Heater If there are Flammable Solvents Around
Don’t turn the kerosene heater on if there are flammable solvents around. You should remember that this heater has an open flame that constantly burns. That can quickly build up into a fire or an explosion if gasoline fumes, lacquers, or aerosol sprays are present in the room.
6. Don’t Move a Lighted Kerosene Heater
If the kerosene heater is already turned on, don’t transfer it to another place you want to heat. The whole unit is hot. Just carrying its handle may cause burns on your hands. If you’re going to move the heater, turn it off first. Let it cool down before transferring it to another location.
7. Place the Heater Away from Combustible Materials
Always operate a kerosene heater away from materials that can easily catch fire. Don’t operate it near combustible materials, including:
- Wooden cabinets,
- Piles of old newspaper,
- Clothes, etc.
8. Don’t Allow Children to Operate or Go Near a Kerosene Heater
Never allow your kids to turn on or go near a kerosene heater. Set up your heater so that even pets can’t go near it while it is turned on.
9. Don’t Refuel a Kerosene Heater While It Is Hot
If the heater runs out of kerosene while operating, don’t try to refuel it right away. Wait until the whole unit cools down before refueling it.
10. Only Use the Safest Kerosene Heater That You Can Afford
Buy and use a heater that has been adequately tested and included in the Underwriters’ Laboratories list of standard 647. The nameplate of the heater should bear this listing.
Five Best Kerosene Heater for Garage
To help you decide on what kerosene heater to buy, I will now give you my best five picks of kerosene heaters:
1. Remington REM-80T-KFA-O
This kerosene heater has a rated capacity of 80,000 Btu. You can use it to heat a maximum of 2,000 square feet. It also features a 5-point safety system.
2. Mr. Heater MH75KTR
This heater comes with high-grade, fully enclosed motors. It also comes with easy-to-use controls ensuring its safe operation.
3. Sengoku KeroHeat
This is a portable radiant kerosene heater with a rated capacity of 10,000 BTU. You can use it to heat your garage continuously for a maximum of 14 hours. It has a 1.2-gallon fuel tank.
4. Mr. Heater
This unit is a forced-air kerosene heater with a rated capacity of 175,000 BTU. The heaters produced by this company are long-lasting and reliable. This company also prioritizes consumer safety. Its heaters are fully enclosed with glove-friendly controls.
5. Dura Heat DH2304S
This is an indoor kerosene heater with a rated capacity of 23,800 BTU. The heater inside the unit not only generates heat but light as well. So, you can use it even when there is a power outage in your place.
Conclusion: Kerosene Heater for Garage
When using a kerosene heater, you need to be very careful. If you use it inside a garage or in your home, you should ensure adequate ventilation in the place. When you burn kerosene, you consume oxygen.
Burning kerosene also produces toxic gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide. These gases harm your respiratory system. So, when using a kerosene heater, you need to follow specific safety regulations. Using the best kerosene heater, you can afford will also mean a lot for your family’s safety.