Kerosene heaters are incredibly popular, especially in areas where gas and electric heating may not be readily available. For instance, they make an excellent space heating choice for garages and basements.
They are also a practical choice when going camping. As long as you bring along enough kerosene, you’re guaranteed uninterrupted heating throughout your trip.
When shopping for one, we recommend that you pick the quietest possible option for noise-free heating. Fortunately, there are many quiet kerosene heaters to consider.
Read on to find out some great models to look at and learn what other factors to consider when shopping for the quietest kerosene heater.
Before we get to the buying process, considerations, and tips, the following are six excellent and impressively quiet kerosene heaters to look at. These heaters excel in many areas, including capacity, efficiency, and safety. Above all, they are virtually noise-free.
How Do Kerosene Heaters Work
Also known as paraffin heaters, kerosene heaters operate like a large kerosene lamp. A circular wick made from fiberglass or cotton is integrated into a burner unit mounted above a kerosene tank. Most of the heaters use 1-K kerosene.
The wick draws kerosene from the tank via capillary action. When lit, the heat gasifies the kerosene liquid (turns it into gas). The gas is then burned to release the required heating energy. This energy is distributed throughout the room via convection. Controlling the level of heat is as simple as adjusting the amount of wick exposed.
Although many kerosene heaters rely exclusively on natural convection to distribute heat throughout the intended space, a few advanced models feature an electric-powered fan to aid in the heat distribution. The fan system ensures faster and more thorough distribution of heat. The heat can also reach longer distances.
A few modern kerosene heaters also feature a thermostat-controlled operation that helps keep track of indoor temperatures and automatically adjusts the heat output accordingly to maintain optimal indoor temperatures.
Nearly all small kerosene heaters utilize battery-operated piezoelectric ignition, which eliminates the need for matches. Match sticks can still be used, though, if the piezoelectric ignition fails.
Benefits of Kerosene Heaters
Kerosene heaters are advantageous in many ways over other space heating options. The following are some of the standout benefits.
- Convenience: Kerosene heaters are incredibly convenient. They don’t require electricity to operate, can be used during blackouts, and are portable and practical.
- Plenty of heat: Kerosene heaters are some of the most potent heat sources. They can produce up to 135,000 BTU of heat at maximum settings, compared to only about 91,000 BTU for propane heaters.
- Lower fuel costs: Kerosene is cheaper than gas and electricity. It costs $70 less to operate a kerosene heater than an electric heater during the heating season. Kerosene is also about $0.16 cheaper than propane per gallon.
- Long shelf life: Kerosene can last very long, especially when stored properly. Even in a plastic container, the fuel can last a year. However, when stored in a metal container, it can last up to 10 years.
Cons of Kerosene Heaters
Despite the many advantages, however, kerosene heaters also come with a few challenges you need to keep. These include;
- Odors during operation: When refilling the kerosene tank, there’s a chance that the fuel can vaporize, creating a gas that smells. This odor can also occur during the first few seconds after the stove is ignited.
- Maintenance: Kerosene heaters require routine maintenance. The wicks need regular replacement. The tank should also be cleaned at least once a week, and tar or other leftover deposits of the wicks burned off.
- Safety hazards: There are three high-risk safety hazards associated with kerosene heaters –combustion gases, fire hazards, and incorrect fuel. Combustion gases such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide, which are poisonous, are typically released into the room, creating a significant risk.
Safety Precautions When Using a Kerosene Heater
We’ve already mentioned that safety hazards are one of the major challenges of kerosene heaters. If you decide to buy the heater anyway, consider the following safety precautions;
- Check the wick at least once weekly for the entire heating season and clean/change it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Unless expressly indicated, never use fuels other than 1-K kerosene in your kerosene heater. These fuels, e.g., gasoline, can start a fire or explode.
- Keep kerosene heaters several feet away from furniture, curtains, papers, clothes, bedding, and other combustible material.
- Avoid flammable solvents such as aerosol sprays, gasoline containers, and lacquers in the room where a kerosene heater is being used.
- Keep the heater away from babies and pets. Investing in a safety cage designed to keep small children and pets at a distance is recommended.
Kerosene vs. Propane Heaters
The two are some of the most popular fuels when shopping for a heater that doesn’t use electricity. So, which is better?
The answer is – it depends. Kerosene heaters, for instance, are more powerful than their propane counterparts. They are rated from 75,000 BTU, while propane heaters are rated from around 18,000 BTU. Therefore, the most efficient kerosene heaters will keep you warmer.
However, propane heaters have more settings, whereas kerosene heaters typically have one or two settings. So, you get more control with propane heaters. It’s also worth noting that propane is cleaner-burning than kerosene. Propane is also easier to find.
Finally, something most people love to use for comparison purposes is operating costs. Here, kerosene is a slightly better option. Currently, kerosene costs about $2.64/gallon compared to $2.80/gallon for propane.
Quietest Kerosene Heater
1. Mr. Heater F270385 MH210KTR Contractor 210,000 BTU Forced-Air Heater
- 210,000-BTU forced-air kerosene heater for up to 5,250 square feet
- 14-gallon fuel tank provides up to 8 hours of heat; adjustable thermostat
- High-output fan; no-flame and over-heat safety sensors with auto shut-off
- Power indicator light; cord storage; oversized tires for smooth transport
- Measures approximately 18 by 40-1/5 by 22 inches; 1-year limited warranty
Whether you’re shopping for a powerful heater for the garage, job site, or other domestic uses, this unit from Mr. Heater is one of the very best you can find.
It’s characterized by high-output, fully enclosed motors, and glove-friendly controls, making it ideal for large applications involving up to 5,250 square feet of space. When full, the 13.4-gallon tank runs for 8.5 straight hours.
The unit is very easy to lift, though, thanks in part to the side lift handles. Troubleshooting Diagnostics with LED indicator, overheat protection, and continuous ignition are the other key highlights of the 210, BTU kerosene heater.
Although primarily designed for use with kerosene fuel, the heater also runs on diesel 1 & 2, home heating oil, and JP-8. The heavy-duty construction guarantees long life.
- Powerful 120,000 BTU heater
- Adjustable thermostat
- Rubber tires for mobility
- Steel handles included
- CSA certified
- 1-year warranty
- Expensive at over $400
- Not for use in living spaces
2. Pro-Temp 45,000 BTU Kerosene/Diesel Forced Air Torpedo Heater
- 45000 btu heat output
- Heating Area 1125 sq. ft
- Operates 14 hours on full 5-gallon tank
- Built-in air pressure gauge
- Power on/off switch
The 45,000 BTU Pro Temp PT-45-KFA is another powerful kerosene heater that you can use in multiple applications, including the garage, shop, barn, and other hard to heat areas.
It uses either kerosene or diesel, though it’s primarily marked for kerosene use. The forced-air Torpedo Heater features Pro-Temp’s rigorously tested cold-start system and advanced safety features for ultimate convenience.
It uses a 5-gallon tank that runs for 14 straight hours on a single refill. The manufacturer recommends it for areas up to 1,125 square feet. Other features we like about the heater include the built-in fuel gauge and powerful fan operation (170 CFM).
This heater is built with durable parts for long useful life. It features a handle at the top for easy mobility and comes with a 1-year manufacturer warranty.
- Incredible 45,000 BTU output
- Heats up to 1,125 square feet
- Versatile, flexible use
- Uses kerosene or diesel
- 1-year warranty
- Built-in air pressure gauge
- Replacement parts hard to find
- It’s fairly pricey
3. Dura Heat DFA50 50,000 BTU Kerosene Forced Air Heater
- Multi-fuel capable - tested with K-1 kerosene, #1 and #2 fuel oil and diesel, JP-8 and Jet-A fuels
- One-touch electronic start
- "Runtime" fuel gauges
- Fuse protected electrical system
- High capacity sealed fan motor; Heavy duty ignitor
The Dura Heat multi-fuel forced-air heater is the perfect choice for cold weather working conditions.
It provides instant heat where you need it and can be invaluable in domestic or even smaller commercial applications such as construction sites, agricultural areas, warehouses, garages, and equipment barns.
Its key features include the multi-fuel capability and Ready-Start-Go one-touch electronic ignition. It works with K-1 kerosene, #1 and #1 fuel oil and diesel, JP-8 ad Jet-A fuels. A runtime fuel gauge that tells you how much fuel is left, digital diagnostics function, and temperature indicator highlight features.
This heater is recommended for spaces up to 1,200 square feet and pumps an incredible 50,000 BTU into the room. The electrical system is fuse-protected for safety.
- Powerful 50,000 BTU heater
- Ideal for up to 1,200 square feet
- Multi-fuel capable
- Piggy-back power cord included
- Plugs into 120V outlet
- Heavy-duty sealed motor
- It gets scorching on the surface
- Warranty is a bit restrictive
4. HeatFast HF125K Portable home Forced air Kerosene/Diesel Heater
- HEAT FOR YOUR JOBSITE: Keep your jobsite, barn, construction site, workshop, or anywhere else warm with this wheeled, forced-air torpedo heater; Rugged construction allows space heater to be used in winter and freezing temperatures as cold as -4 F; CSA certified
- HIGH-OUTPUT HEAT: Provides up to 125, 000 BTUs of heat to spaces up to 3, 125 square feet in size; Dimensions (L x W x H): 35. 2 x 21. 5 x 26. 4 inches; Weight: 53. 8 pounds
- MULTIPLE FUEL OPTIONS: Can use different fuels to generate heat, including kerosene, diesel, home heating oil, and jet fuel (WARNING: DO NOT USE GASOLINE)
- LONG-RUNNING: Runs for up to 11 hours with a full tank of fuel; fuel tank holds up to 10. 6 gallons
- EASY TO USE: Adjust temperature with convenient thermostat controls with LED readout; Easy to fill with easy-pour titled fuel fill; Safe operation with 5-star safety system, SMART diagnostics digital readout, and built-in air pressure gauge
- Included components: 1 forced air heater, user's manual
Another very powerful heater on the list, the HF125K, is a 125,000 BTU forced-air kerosene heater designed for job sites, barns, and other commercial-grade applications.
An integrated thermostat allows you to adjust temperatures conveniently while durable wheels ensure effortless mobility.
This high output Torpedo heater provides strong, dependable heat for areas up to 3,125 square feet (almost the size of a typical home).
It has been tested to sub-zero temperatures to ensure that it’s ready for trying winter conditions. It’s also field-tested for multiple other fuels, including diesel, home heating oil, and jet fuel. However, the use of Gasoline is strictly prohibited.
The 10.6-gallon tank allows the heater to operate for up to 11 straight hours on a single refill. A digital diagnostics readout provides error codes for easy troubleshooting.
- 125,000 Btu output
- Uses different fuels
- Long run time (11 hours)
- Thermostat control with LED readout
- Bulky at over 50 pounds
- Costs over $300
5. Pro-Temp PT-220T-SDR Silent Kerosene/Diesel Forced Air Heater
- Versatile great for construction sites, workshops, farms or garages
- Tough steel construction
- Reliable thermostat-controlled
- Silent drive technology for half the noise of a comparable heater
- 1-year limited warranty
- Heating coverage:- 5500 square feet
Finally, this Model PT-220T-SDR heater from Pro-Temp is a powerful, high-output heater that provides 220,000 BTU, the highest on this list.
This makes it the perfect heating solution for large applications, up to 5,500 square feet. You may also want to know that it moves the heat at 685 CFM – which is simply unmatched.
What’s surprising, however, is the heater is very quiet. It uses Silent Drive technology to deliver massive amounts of heat while producing 50% less noise than the standard kerosene heater. It’s also very efficient. Indeed, it uses 46% less fuel compared to similarly-rated conventional forced-air heaters.
The tough steel construction makes this heater an ideal pick for worksites and garages. It features a reliable thermostat for convenient temperature control and is backed by a 1-year limited manufacturer warranty.
- Extremely powerful at 220 BTU output
- Ideal for spaces up to 5,500 square feet
- Impressive heat distribution at 685 CFM
- Versatile, durable construction
- Silent Drive technology for quiet operation
- Comes with a 1-year warranty
- No remote control
- The parts can get burning hot
Kerosene heaters are versatile space heaters that can be used in ways other heaters can’t. Unlike conventional heaters, they can be used indoors or outdoors, without much trouble. Propane heaters, for instance, cannot be used indoors unless the label indicates so.
Kerosene heaters are also very portable. You can easily carry them from one location to the next, use the same kerosene heater in the garage at home, bring it to the barn, and even use it in the cabin. The same heater can also help you during your camping trips. This flexibility isn’t possible with natural gas and electric heaters.
It’s also worth mentioning that kerosene heaters don’t need electricity. This means that you can use the heaters even in remote areas without electricity connection. You can also rely on the heaters for emergencies when there’s a power outage in your home.
Kerosene heaters can be a thoughtful investment even if you already have electric space heaters for your home. Since they don’t need electricity to run, you can use the heaters during power outrages or situations where electric power isn’t available, such as on road trips.
If you can get a very quiet model, you can even use it in some home areas, such as the basement, for supplemental heating.
Just make sure to find the right size (capacity) unit for your needs. Fortunately, kerosene heaters are incredibly powerful. Also, ensure to follow the abovementioned safety precautions to prevent unwanted incidents.