Propane vs Kerosene- Forced air Heaters

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by cmathison, Jan 27, 2005.

  1. cmathison

    cmathison New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    I am looking to purchase one of these popular portable bullet shape forced air heaters made by companies like Reddy, Dyna-Glo, Mr. Heater, etc. I currently want to use it to occasionally heat my garage for projects in the cold, but am thinking of the many other uses it may have such as a warm spot on the patio in cool weather or ice fishing. I understand the propane one needs a separate tank and the kerosene one has a built in tank. What are the pros and cons of propane vs kerosene? Does one emit more odor than the other? Can the propane heater be used indoors? Does one fuel type heater have better reliability than the other? With similar BTUS, which would have lower operating costs (fuel price)? Should I get one with adjustable heat levels, or one with a thermostat? So many questions! Thanks! Chuck
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    Messages:
    10,854
    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Location:
    Zone 7
    I have a 100,000 BTU Reddy that I use in my shop. I have made my own thermostat that I plug the pigtail into. I burn K1 kerosene. All these type units are extremely noisey! The odor is minimal using the K1. The portability is the biggest plus. I find the device most handy for thawing frozen lines under homes and in barns. For patio use, the catalytic heaters would be a better choice, but for rapidly heating a cold structure these heaters provide what is needed.
     

  3. cmathison

    cmathison New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Thanks!, I did not think about the noise factor. So, yours in right in your shop and you have little odor? I have been leaning toward the kerosene as I thought it would be more economical and portable with one contained unit, but have been warned by dealers that the kerosene models give off alot of odor.
     
  4. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    Messages:
    10,854
    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Location:
    Zone 7
    My shop is rather large and if it is cold I direct the output of the heater toward where I am working and I hardly notice the odor. The key to minimal odor is using the K1 kerosene. K1 is currently costing me $1.97 in small quantities. I too like the portability. I can take my generator and the heater and go to a mobile home that is frozen and I just direct the heater to the crawl space (all mobiles here are underpenned in some manner, code requirement) and in a brief time the plumbing has thawed. We only get down to the low teens F here however. I think you will enjoy your purchase.
     
  5. cmathison

    cmathison New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Thanks again, I will get the kerosene one. I can currently get a dyna glo at a local store here in wisconsin, 65,000 btu for $120.00, no thermostat though, I will see if I can find one with a thermostat for a little more. K1 sells for $1.99 here at our gas stations. I would assume I can always add a thermostat too. Thanks again, if you have any other thoughts, let me know, I appreciate the help! Chuck
     
  6. n9viw

    n9viw Jack O'Alltrades

    Messages:
    152
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Location:
    Midwest
    Personally, I'd have to vote for the propane. Both have a distinctive odor- that's the breaks when dealing with burning substances, it just depends on whether you find it offensive or not. But Agman, your K1 must be filtered differently. I recently bought 5gal of K1 at $2.50 a gallon, and I've never known any kero to burn without the stench of jet fuel!
    I'm using the OM's kero torpedo (don't recall the brand, and don't want to venture out in the cold to find it, besides it's old) in a drafty 1.5 garage built in the 50's, and when I come out, I may as well have been hanging around the terminals at O'hare for the stink that clings to me!
    I've plans to replace it with the 2-burner box stove, propped in the corner with the walls finished in concrete backer board. I've already got the wood, I much prefer that smell, and the noise (or lack thereof) and ambience will be greatly improved.
     
  7. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    700
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    SouthEastern Illinois
    It amazes me how people cope with odures.

    Like some people can't stand the smell of Kerosene and others can.

    I love Kerosene torpedo heaters, I had to replace a flywheel under my truck this winter, it was windy, rainy and VERY COLD, I was able to warm up our garage(tin roof, no insulation) to about 40 Degrees! and I like kerosene because it does not have to be pressurized like propane has to be. This was all with a 115,000btu heater I borrowed off my Grandpa.

    it IS nice to be warm.
     
  8. tiny

    tiny Member

    Messages:
    16
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    We have 2 reddy Kerosen heeter forced air both are on thermstats. Both do a get job. Also have the other Kerosen heaters The Round ones that we heat with and they are great the house is warm an the furnace does not run. But 1one thing to remember is to vent the area with fresh air. That is easy to do up a window a 1".
    We live in Wisconsin and it can get cold and very windy.
     
  9. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,808
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2003
    Location:
    Dysfunction Junction, SW PA
    we just got a bunch of those at the hardware store... ready heater makes a big one that burns different fuels its marked for kerosene, 1&2 diesel, 1&2 heat oil, and JP8 (jet fuel).
    who, in their right mind would dump JP8 in a heater ($$$$) I dunno... but we sold 4 already this week. we opened one to warm up the forklift, they are great (the 115Kbtu ones) we have a few old ones too, smaller that work good in the sheds.
    the propane ones SUCK the fuel and dont proform any better than the kero ones... and kero/diesel is cheaper.

    noisy is a relitive term... if your cold, you dont mind noise.
     
  10. cmathison

    cmathison New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    THanks to you and all who answered, you have been much help. chuck