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Chimney Crickett
Propane or Kerosene Emergency Heating

I wonder if anyone has had any positive experiences with portable propane or kerosene emergency heating equipment during the winter months when there is loss of power and the house is without heat.

I am looking for perferably a portable propane appliance to tide me over for a day or two until heat can be restored.

Any responses would be appreciated.

Re: Propane or Kerosene Emergency Heating

What you want is a forced air space heater (AKA a Salamander). I have used these units to provide temporary heat during construction when the HVAC units haven't been installed or hooked up. They work well, but like most things can be a fire hazard if not maintained or used properly.

Kerosene fired units have a smell to them, they have additives to lessen the odor, but dealing with kerosene can be messy (spillage), especially in a furnished house.

Propane is cleaner, kept the propane tank outside, and run the supply line in to the heater. A 25-pound propane cylinder (same type a BBQ runs on) will last for a few days.

A. Spruce
Re: Propane or Kerosene Emergency Heating

The problem with the typical space heater is that it's forced air, meaning that electricity is necessary to drive the fan that blows the heat from the unit. There are tank mounted radiant heaters that work extremely well, however it is unwise to use flame type heaters in an enclosed space as carbon monoxide, a highly toxic and odorless gas, will build up pretty quickly.

Not saying not to use one, merely pointing out that it should be used with extreme caution and diligence.

Re: Propane or Kerosene Emergency Heating

I agree with A.Spruce ... you might consider a wood stove or a wood burning fireplace. These would be perfect and you would have the opportunity to be able to use them regularly for enjoyment and supplementing your heating which would reduce your energy costs.

Chimney Crickett
Re: Propane or Kerosene Emergency Heating

Thanks everyone for answering my post.

In reviewing the responses, I remain concerned about the CO and other flame byproducts.

After exploring many sites that carry heaters, like Northern Tool, I've decided to go for a direct vent appliance.

Direct vent heaters vent the CO out a small hole in the side of the house, while drawing in cool air using an outer sleeve.

They need no electric to run.

I also have the option of going into a brick chimney that runs up the center of the house.

Your responses have been greatly appreciated.

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