Which Is Safer: A Kerosene or a Propane Heater?

Kerosene heaters are also called paraffin heaters. Most people use kerosene heaters when there is a power blackout in their areas. Kerosene heaters exist in two types; convective heater and radiant heater. The convective heater is designed with the oil tank below the wick, while the radiant heater has a reflector, combustion chamber and a wick.

Propane heaters use gas that has been compressed to liquid for heating. Propane heaters use limited fuel but ignites more and continuously. Propane has other compounds, which include butane and propylene. Both kerosene and propane negatively affect the environment by pollution.

Comparison between the kerosene heater and the propane heater

which is safer a kerosene or a propane heater
source: https://www.homesdeck.com/

Kerosene heaters usually release a large amount of carbon (iv) oxide to the environment. When used in a poorly ventilated room, suffocation can occur quickly. Kerosene use by the kerosene heaters is highly flammable and poses great fire burning danger. Therefore, they must be carefully stored away from fire and also away from children.

Propane heaters, on the other hand, use propane which is considered a clean gas. It releases less carbon monoxide compared to a kerosene heater. In terms of flammability, propane gas is less inflammable compared to kerosene fuel but once liquid is exposed to fire, it explodes. Henceforth, the dangers posed by kerosene fuel are much more than those of propane.

It is safer to use propane than kerosene fuel. Despite propane being safer than kerosene, both affect the environment. Firstly, both heaters release carbon monoxide into the environment. When the gas emitted is inhaled, it poses a danger to the health of an individual. Secondly, both gases can lead to suffocation if used in a poorly ventilated room.

Moreover, both gases can cause severe burns and explosions if not carefully handled. Propane and kerosene pollute the environment. Despite the similarities, both gases vary from each other. For instance, kerosene is available in all places, unlike propane. Finally, kerosene fuel is much cheaper than propane.

Steps on how to use a kerosene heater

Steps on how to use a kerosene heater

Step 1: Add fuel to the kerosene heater

Buy the required kerosene oil that the manufacturer has recommended. Choose the correct oil cap for your kerosene heater and place it on the kerosene heater.  Follow the manufacturer’s instruction and carefully pour kerosene into the kerosene heater. Ensure that you fill your kerosene outside.

Step 2: Check the fuel meter after adding the kerosene to avoid overfilling

After adding the required kerosene fuel to the kerosene heater, check the kerosene meter if the kerosene is added to reach the maximum level. When it has overflowed, ensure that you drain some until you get the appropriate level.

Step 3: Leave the kerosene heater for approximately 20 to 30 minutes before lighting

Leaving the kerosene heater to sit for some minutes enables the heater wick to absorb more kerosene fuel. Inspect the kerosene wick and ensure it is properly inserted and adequately soaked. Light the kerosene oil using a matchbox or an igniter.

Step 4: Adjust the wick flame until the correct level of the flame is obtained

Move the kerosene flame either clockwise or anticlockwise direction until the correct height of the flame has been obtained. Too much wick flame releases a lot of smoke, therefore, polluting the environment, while low wick flame poses dangers associated with fire.

Step 5: Use the kerosene heater safely and carefully

When using the kerosene heater, ensure you practice safety measures. A kerosene heater can easily cause fire outbreak and even suffocation if improperly used.

Step 6: Put off the kerosene heater

After finishing using the kerosene heaters, slowly twist your wick to the “off” position while holding it in place. Release the wick after pressing the shut-off button. Ensure that the kerosene heater is completely shut down. To reuse the kerosene heater again, wait for some minutes for the kerosene heater to cool. Relight the kerosene heater while repeating the above steps.

Steps on how to use a propane heater

Steps on how to use a propane heater

Propane heaters are hazardous and usually impose great danger to both the user and the environment. Therefore, handling propane heaters require one to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Step 1: Take a propane heater that you will use

Firstly, choose a propane heater that satisfies your user’s needs. Consider choosing either the large propane heaters or small propane heaters.

Step 2: Get the propane heater outside the house

Lighting the propane heater inside the house can suffocate since it will release more carbon (iv) oxide, overpowering the available oxygen. If you want to use the propane heater in the house, ensure that the house has enough ventilation to let more oxygen into the room.

Step 3: Inspect the state propane heater’s regulator

Ensure that the regulator is installed correctly and is in good condition. If it is worn out or torn, replace it before lighting the propane heater.

Step 4: Pull the heater valve cap and engage the heater to the fuel tank

Remove the valve cap from the tank and push the regulator of the heater into the valve. Close the tanks and tighten them to prevent the heater from falling.

Step 5: Twist the regulator knob slowly until the “marked” position is reached

Open the valve and try moving it slowly until the maximum point is reached. Try regulating the propane heat regulator while following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 6: Light the propane heater using a matchstick or igniter

Light your matchstick and put it in front of the mesh screen found on the regulator.

Step 7: Use the propane heater carefully

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions while using the propane heater to prevent burns and suffocation.

Step 8: Shut down the propane heater while following the correct process

Twist the propane regulator to the off position and then shut down the propane valve. The heater will be completely shut down. Leave the propane heater to sit for around 15 to 25 minutes to cool down completely. Store the heater in a dry and cool place away from fires.


Kerosene heaters and propane heaters vary from each other. Propane has been considered the safest in terms of carbon monoxide emission. Propane emits less carbon monoxide to the environment, unlike kerosene. Therefore, propane poses less danger than kerosene. From the article, you can now understand how to use both heaters while following the simple process above.

Ultimately, use whatever fuel is available to you, but I would much rather depend on propane than kerosene.

Leave a Comment