Is it Safe to Use a Kerosene Heater Indoors?

Last updated on November 4th, 2021 at 05:43 am

You might have heard about the kerosene heater that is among the best battery operated heaters for camping. Here, the question always arises if is it safe to use the kerosene heater indoors? Well, in this blog, continue reading to find out. 

What is a Kerosene Heater?

A kerosene heater, as you can guess from its name works by using kerosene as fuel. A wick, usually made out of cotton or fiberglass is placed on the burner which is directly attached to the fuel tank. The tank is made which is filled with kerosene oil to keep the heater working.

With the help of the capillary effect, the kerosene is being pulled. When the heater is lit, it produces gas that helps to warm the surrounding air.

There are certain units that depend upon electricity for the warm air throw however, the latest models come with thermostat technology that does not offer a match to light the heater. They are installed with an ignition system that is operated through batteries so you can also call them battery operated portable heaters. These are the perfect choices to be battery powered tent heaters.

Read More: Best safe tent heaters for camping

It is further categorized into different types that include

Types of Kerosene Heater for Indoor Use

It totally relies on how you plan to use the heater. Before making a final decision, make sure you have knowledge about the types that add up to


The convective kerosene heater uses the process of convection to warm the room. The cooler air is pulled in the heater while the warm air which is less dense is released. They are known for the quiet operation which they conduct during the distribution of air.


This type of heater is ideal for small places as their heating method is outwards that warms the objects as well as the place. You can place the radiant heater in either sitting areas or in small rooms. 

kerosene heaters

Forced Air

The force air kerosene heaters are best for outdoors like for events, open venues, and even safe in the tents. The working of such heaters is similar to the furnace where the air is forced to throw at a specific place. The pullback for such heaters is they are quite loud.

Portable Heater

A large amount of portable kerosene heater indoors is portable to some extent. The small kerosene heaters are rendered to be carried from one place to another so they possess handles. They normally weigh between 12 to 30 pounds however, the large units have wheels for hassle-free maneuver. 

Since it could be hazardous, here are some safety measures that you should take.

Safety Precautions for Kerosene Heater

In order to ensure safety while using kerosene heaters, make sure you are

  • Cleaning the unit on regular basis.
  • Try to avoid using the heater near drapes, sofas, furniture, flammable or combustible fuel.
  • Place the heater where there is less or no movement to avoid burns.
  • Never try to move an operating heater.
  • Do not leave the kerosene heater unattended.
  • Maintain or provide a proper ventilation system in the vicinity of the heater. 

Apart from that, it is better to have hands on to the unit. Here is a user guide for newbies.


How to use a Kerosene Heater?

While using this best kerosene heater for indoor use, safety is the key as the improper environment or use could be hazardous. This is because of the carbon monoxide that is being produced. It is recommended to go through the user manuals thoroughly.

Another key is maintaining the health of your unit. Make sure to clean it on a regular basis to improve its durability. In case you did not get it right, here it is explained step by step.

Step 1: For a standard kerosene heater, start to fill the fuel tank. 

Step 2: Leave the heater for an hour so that the wick can soak the fuel properly. 

Step 3: Lookout if your heater has an automatic ignition system and then press the button to light it. 

Step 4: In case it does not have the auto-ignition, you have to lift the burner chamber and light the kerosene heater wick with the matchstick.

Step 5: Make sure while using the kerosene heater indoors the proper ventilation system as it consumes oxygen and produces carbon monoxide.

Read More: Best Portable Car Heaters

How to replace Kerosene Heater wick?

It is easy to replace the kerosene heater wick. You just need to follow these steps

  1. Cross-check if the fuel tank is empty and the wick is dry burned.
  2. Remove the screws from the battery and remove the batteries as well.
  3. Now, remove the cabinet base, wig nuts, and the adjuster assembly.
  4. Uncover the wick lid and remove the remaining wick.
  5. Place and install the new wick.
  6. Lower down the adjuster back on the base and put everything back the way it was. 


How long does a wick last in a kerosene heater?

The time period is not specified for that but it is recommended to replace the wick of the kerosene heater every year. This helps to clean the air and keep it smoke-free. The wick works by soaking up the fuel, if the heater is maintained properly like cleaning and stuff then, the wick can last for a year maximum. 

What does that mean if a Kerosene heater produces smoke?

When you lit the heater and it begins to produce smoke then you must have dry burn the wick. The dry burning kerosene heater wick is actually the process of cleaning the heater in which the wick and the kerosene need to burn completely. This method burns the deposits of carbon on the wick that happens due to contaminated kerosene which causes smoke.

What is the BTU of a standard kerosene heater?

The heat that a kerosene heater emits is measured in BTU (British Thermal Unit). On average, the standard kerosene heater is capable of generating 75000 BTU every gallon. However, there are some smaller models that provide an output that ranges between 11000 and 25000 BTU.

Is it safe to use a kerosene heater indoors?

Kerosene heaters produce fumes while burning and need a proper ventilation system where ever the heater is placed. In case you are using a kerosene heater indoors, make sure the proper ventilation of the air as it produces carbon monoxide which is dangerous for humans. Also, take care of the size of the unit you are using. It must not be larger than the space.

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