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Small indoor back up heaters: propane or kerosene???
#1
Would like to get a back up heater for winter power outages because I only have a heat pump and electric space heaters.

The two options I've seen so far are the Buddy Propane heaters that can run off 1lb or (larger) propane bottles or a kerosene heater.

Any suggestions... about 1100 sqf that I can zone off to heat.


My first thoughts were kero seemed cheaper:

For kero:

http://www.acehardware.com/product/index...p=12226112

http://www.tractorsupply.com/redstone-tr...tu-3070559


And for propane: 1 larger or 2 of the smaller units:

2 x small
http://www.tractorsupply.com/mr-heater-r...ed-1000306

larger

http://www.tractorsupply.com/mr-heater-r...us-2133493
The Muffin Man, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2082.
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#2
Just my thoughts but the "buddy" is a better choice.

No smell when burning
Infrared heat feels more comfortable
LP gas is better stored than kerosene
More portable so more chance to use it elsewhere.. camping etc

I would suggest you get the adapter for the large tanks and some extra propane on the ready because they do use a fair amount of fuel. Depending on how often and for how long you use them

ETA I did not realize the 1st kerosene heater you linked was infrared also
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#3
bpgood1;33631 Wrote:Just my thoughts but the "buddy" is a better choice.

...No smell when burning

A properly functioning kero heater will only have a whiff on startup, and no odor during operation.

Kero stores fine if you have a good-sealing airtight container.

kero is much cheaper per BTU than propane, by about 40% last time I checked.
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#4
RandomTask;33773 Wrote:
bpgood1;33631 Wrote:Just my thoughts but the "buddy" is a better choice.

...No smell when burning

A properly functioning kero heater will only have a whiff on startup, and no odor during operation.

Kero stores fine if you have a good-sealing airtight container.

kero is much cheaper per BTU than propane, by about 40% last time I checked.

I don't have a whole lot of experience with kero, but I have known several people who used them. ALL of them smelled, and not just a "whiff" on startup. Granted, it's possible that my limited experience with them means I've hit the ones that aren't properly functioning/maintained, but it seems unlikely.
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#5
My experience is that the Buddy is a great heater. As someone who is exceptionally sensitive to the smell of Kerosene I get migraines when a Kero heater is used, not so with propane. Just my $0.02 and worth everything that you've paid for it.Big Grin
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#6
I chose kerosene because I have oil heat, if I absolutely have to I can use the heating oil from the 400 gallon tank in the basement to fuel the portable heater.
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#7
ivwarrior;33777 Wrote:I don't have a whole lot of experience with kero, but I have known several people who used them. ALL of them smelled, and not just a "whiff" on startup. Granted, it's possible that my limited experience with them means I've hit the ones that aren't properly functioning/maintained, but it seems unlikely.

We used a kero heater in two rooms of our house for a decade and a half, so I'm very familiar with them. They will only smell if the wick is improperly adjusted, or fouled with deposits. I got a steal on a vent-free gas fireplace for the family room and switched to that mainly because it could be mounted in the built-in bookcase and save space; plus I like the ambiance of an open flame. I also wanted to have a separate option in case I ran out of kerosene at an inconvenient moment.
We still use kero in another room.
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#8
ivwarrior;33777 Wrote:
RandomTask;33773 Wrote:A properly functioning kero heater will only have a whiff on startup, and no odor during operation.

Kero stores fine if you have a good-sealing airtight container.

kero is much cheaper per BTU than propane, by about 40% last time I checked.

I don't have a whole lot of experience with kero, but I have known several people who used them. ALL of them smelled, and not just a "whiff" on startup. Granted, it's possible that my limited experience with them means I've hit the ones that aren't properly functioning/maintained, but it seems unlikely.

I used kero for years to cut down on heating bills, not because of emergencies. Kero does have a small smell that with frequent use seems to be non existent, it's just that you get used to it. They do make aromatic additives to help the smell change to something more pleasant.

That said, you will get stronger fumes from a kero heater if you don't burn off the wick from time to time. For this you take the heater outside and allow the tank to burn completely dry.


billamj;33886 Wrote:My experience is that the Buddy is a great heater. As someone who is exceptionally sensitive to the smell of Kerosene I get migraines when a Kero heater is used, not so with propane. Just my $0.02 and worth everything that you've paid for it.Big Grin

I use one of these now, in emergencies only though, Mr Big Buddy. Works great has a couple different output settings. I seem to remember the instructions saying if you use the 20 lb bottles to run a line from outside to the heater to keep it from exploding if there were any leaks in the bottle area. Personally I've never done that and it's been fine. I just stretch the line so the bottle is as far away from the heater as possible. I also keep the heater on a TV type table when being used. The link below has a good review of the Mr Buddy heater.

http://www.tacticalintelligence.net/blog...-buddy.htm

Quote:For the most part, this heater is safe to use indoors. Even though the heater comes with a low-oxygen sensor that will shut the unit off if the sensor is activated, I would still recommend using a Carbon Monoxide alarm in the area where you are running this heater.
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#9
Unless your storing a lot of Kerosene, the thing to remember is that you won't be able to get it any easier than gas in an emergency since you need electric to pump the pumps.

If maintained, they do burn cleanly. Burning them off (as mentioned) does help to keep the smell down. They do throw a good bit of heat, got to give them that much.

The Buddy Heaters are really popular in the camping world for those that like to camp late into the season and want a bit more heat in their campers. For a small unit, the put out some good heat. And you do have the option of hooking to a larger tank. Advantage to these also is that you can move it to another area if you need to heat another room.



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#10
I grew up in a house that used kerosene heaters. I do recall some odor, but have an even more vivid memory of walls and drapes turned completely black over the years from the soot that they give off. Id never use one again.

I picked up the big buddy propane heater yesterday. Does a fairly nice job of heating up smaller areas, just make sure you get the hose attachment so you can use a 20 lb tank with it.
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