Saturday, August 22, 2009


Heat the House

Small portable Coleman PROPANE heater.
Referred to as a catalytic heater. That means it burns at such low temperatures that it’s safe to operate indoors without a flame. We still feel it is safe to open a window a little bit ($75 outdoor store). Burns up to 7 hours on one 16 oz propane canister. This won’t heat a home, but rather a room or tent.

Kerosene heater
We encourage the use of a kerosene heater. Some people have fireplaces or wood burning stoves which are great. We have adapted our solutions to our needs. For heat we have selected a kerosene heater (about $100 from Home Depot). I am not advocating one brand over another.
When there is no power; the furnace doesn’t work, even if you have natural gas (it takes electricity to operate the starter as well as run the blower). It smells a little when you light it and when you turn it off. Kerosene fuel (1-K fuel) is much safer than gas. The inside air is not contaminated as it burns, but you must crack the window ¼ inch because it uses oxygen. Fuel storage should be outside-cold does not hurt it. Remember to refuel outside as well.
It can be stored for years, best in a plastic blue container (red is for gasoline). Some people recommend using a fuel additive to increase storage life. The five gallon metal containers from Home Depot work fine for short term storage 3 to 12 months.
Some recommend buying a heater that can double as a cooking surface. I have other ways to cook, but having a product that can do multiple tasks only makes sense.
Some say about 50 gallons would suffice through a winter. It all depends on usage. Keep in mind local ordinances when considering how much to store.
Finally, keep your paper work that deals with maintenance of your heater with your important papers and don’t forget to periodically dry burn your wick. Consider buying a battery operated pump to siphon from fuel container into the heater – you will thank yourself every time you fill. Make sure you buy a pump specifically designed for pumping fuel, not water! Above all, like all heating devices, never leave it unattended or run empty.

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