Can A Kerosene Heater Be Used Indoors?

safe kerosene heating massachusettsKerosene heaters can provide a potent source of heat – but they require special considerations when it comes to using them in your Massachusetts home or work space.

Kerosene Heating Basics

Don’t know much about kerosene heaters? Here are the basics.

  • A kerosene heater operates much like a kerosene lamp you might use for camping: a fiberglass or cotton wick is integrated within a burner, which is mounted above a kerosene-filled tank. The kerosene is drawn by capillary action from a tank into the wick, which is then lit.
  • K-1 is the only grade of kerosene suitable for indoor use; lesser quality fuels will cause safety and efficiency problems.
  • Kerosene should only be stored:
    • in a cool, dark, dry place away from the living areas and away from heat sources;
    • in a new, clean, sealed container (plastic milk containers, jugs, and gasoline cans are unsafe and will contaminate the fuel, which can cause problems with your wick)
    • for a maximum of six months; over time, kerosene breaks down and absorbs water, which can make it a breeding ground for bacteria and mold that can cause wick-clogging sludge – not to mention health problems.

Using A Kerosene Heater Indoors Safely

If you have a kerosene space heater and want to use it safely indoors, please keep in mind the following kerosene safety tips:

  • Be vigilant about the risks linked to using these heaters; follow all kerosene safety guidelines and kerosene heater ratings.
  • A kerosene heater produces carbon monoxide, just as many other appliances do. Some kerosene heaters emit more carbon monoxide than others, however; always have the heater frequently serviced and clean to keep the levels safe, and be sure to test your carbon monoxide alarms before heating season.
  • The room where a kerosene heater is being used must be adequately vented. Leave doors open if possible and do not use a kerosene heater in a room without doors or windows. A filter can be used for lowering the carbon monoxide emissions.
  • Keep kerosene heaters a safe distance away from anything flammable, including linen, furniture, curtains, etc. Never place anything on top of a kerosene heater when it’s operating.
  • If a kerosene heater runs out of fuel while in operation, let it cool before addressing the issue.
  • Never blend fuel tupes – it could damage the heater and pose a safety risk.
  • Keep children away from kerosene heaters; children should always be supervised when a kerosene heater is operating in the room.

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