It heats. It cooks. It makes Mama happy. Having a way to heat your house without electricity is important even if you live in a region with moderate weather. Sure, having a wood burning stove and several cords of wood out back is the ideal we all strive for. But it’s not attainable for many people, especially those who live in subdivisions or counties with restrictions against owning wood burning stoves. Even in areas where you can get a wood burning stove, after you factor the cost of the stove plus professional installation you’re looking at upwards of $5,000.
So, what should the aspiring prepper do to keep his home warm when there’s no power? Geting your hands on a kerosene heater should be at the top of your list. They’re efficient and easy to use. When there’s no electricity and you’ve run out of the canisters of propane for your propane heater because the propane is sold out, kerosene is the way to go. Especially if your foresee being without power for an indeterminate period of time. In fact, many people still heat their homes with kerosene. Historically, it’s been a cheaper way to heat, it is safe to store and it lasts a long time.
Sure, I’ve got a Mr. Buddy propane heater. It’s fantastic, too. When my wife and I did our most recent three-day “No Power” test to see what worked and what didn’t, the Mr. Buddy was perfect for heating up the bedroom and the attached bathroom (which made getting out of the shower much more comfortable for Mama). But it’s way too small to heat a large portion of your house. That’s where the kerosene heaters really shine.
One of the cool things about the larger kerosene heaters is that you can use these to cook on, too. They’re sold under several brand names but all appear to be made by the same company. Or they used to be, anyway: Toyotomi– the company that made the Toyostove and Kero-sun heaters– are what most of today’s 23,000 BTU kerosene heaters are modeled after.
Mine (featured in the picture) does not have the lighted globe. It just heats the house and can be used for cooking, which is fine by me as I’ve got both kerosene and LED lamps and lanterns for light.
I’ll probably pick up another one of these at some point, just because they’re so neat. I have a Coleman propane camp stove and a Stovetec rocket stove, too. This kerosene heater is my backup for cooking if something ever happens to the Coleman stove while the rocket stove would be my “stove of last resort” since it must be used outside.
For your first kerosene heater, get one like mine since it puts out 23,000 BTUs. You can buy them from Amazon if it’s post-season and your local stores aren’t stocking them. Otherwise, Walmart, Home Depot and Lowes should carry them. (They do sell out quickly though… so get yours before you need it!) When I first started researching these heaters, people told me they could heat an 1800 square foot house. I question whether you could heat that large of a house with only one of these.
I think a better estimate is around 1,000 square feet, depending upon how well the insulation is in the area you’re heating. So, if you’ve got a big house, plan on buying at least two or else you’ll need to partition off your living area. (Which may be a good idea anyway if obtaining kerosene or venturing outside becomes difficult in a disaster scenario).
I haven’t used mine overnight yet. In fact, I’m a little afraid to go to sleep with a kerosene heater burning. (You need to always keep a window cracked open when using one of these at all times, regardless).
10,000 BTU Kerosene Heaters Aren’t Quite As Thirsty
My plan is to also buy one of the Sengoku CTN-110 KeroHeat 10,000 BTU Portable Radiant Kerosene Heaters, too. They’re a smaller unit and they’re less thirsty, which will probably work better when the wife and I are in the same room (like our home office) and we don’t want to overheat. The 23,000 BTU heaters don’t have much in the way of moderating the amount of heat they put out. I’ve read (but haven’t confirmed yet) that these 10,000 BTU heaters use up about 3/4 of a gallon of kerosene in a nine hour period, whereas the 23,000 BTU use 1-2 gallons. I’ve personally only ran mine for short periods of time so I can’t confirm how long it’ll run.