Kerosene Stoves and Heater Facts

Q. What is the main advantage to using kerosene?
A. The best reason to use kerosene is that it is so easy to store the fuel. There is no other fossil fuel that can be stored so easily and safely.

Q. Why is kerosene so economical?
A. It is relatively inexpensive to purchase a kerosene appliance. Other forms of cooking and heating require a large infrastructure to support them. In addition, kerosene burns much more efficiently than other fuels.

Q. Is kerosene dangerous?
A. Like any form of heating, there is danger involved. An improperly built stove or heater could leak kerosene. However, a natural gas forced air furnace could also have leaks. The main safety concern is venting properly, and keeping material at least three feet away.

In the past, kerosene stoves or heaters could be tipped over and the kerosene could spill out and cause a fire. Nowadays, many stoves and heaters have built in safety devices that shut off the flame and stop the flow of kerosene. Today's heaters and stoves are much safer than those of even twenty years ago.

The way to keep kerosene safe is to simply follow the precautions. You can vent the appliance, and put it on a stable and level heat-resistant surface. If you do this, it makes kerosene very safe to use.

Q. Do a lot of people use kerosene stoves and heaters?
A. Worldwide use of kerosene is great. In Japan, and many other third world countries, kerosene is the fuel of choice. The reason is that it is less expensive to use and it works well. If a natural gas or electric grid is not installed, then kerosene is most likely the best choice. Still, if you have a grid, it costs thousands of dollars for central heating and air due to the furnace and ducting cost.

In the United States, it makes perfect sense to use a kerosene heater or stove as a backup disaster preparedness item. It is very likely that, in a disaster, the electrical and natural gas lines will not operate as desired. And, as a surprise to some, you will need a way to cook your food storage and keep the home warm.