Kerosene Q&A

Kerosene Q&A

Kerosene heaters can be a great space-heating alternative (as long as you have a reliable kerosene supplier in the North Fork). But how much do you know about the fuel, or the equipment it powers?

Here are some kerosene and kerosene heater basics to get you started.

  1. What kind of kerosene can I use for my heater? K-1 is the only grade of kerosene suitable for indoor use; lesser quality fuels will cause safety and efficiency problems.
  2. How should kerosene be stored? Store kerosene in a cool, dark, dry place away from the living areas and away from heat sources. Only store kerosene in a new, clean, sealed container; plastic milk containers, jugs, and gasoline cans are unsafe and will contaminate the fuel, which can cause problems with your wick.
  3. How long will stored kerosene last? The longest we recommend storing kerosene is six months. Over time, kerosene breaks down and absorbs water, which can make it a breeding ground for bacteria and mold that can cause wick-clogging sludge – not to mention health problems.
  4. What causes a bad smell in kerosene? Bad odor is most often caused by low quality fuel. Many impurities can’t be completely burned in your portable heater, so they collect on the wick and harden causing odor problems.
  5. Why won’t my kerosene heater light?
    • Make sure your heater is filled with quality kerosene, and that the wick has been soaked for at least an hour before attempting to light it.
    • When you push the “ignite” button, the igniter should move into position above the wick surface and glow a bright orange. The igniter should not touch the wick; if it does it will not light, since only the kerosene vapors just above the top surface of the wick will ignite.
    • If the igniter doesn’t glow, check the batteries. Use non-alkaline replacement batteries; alkaline batteries deliver too strong of an initial jolt and may damage the igniter.
  6. Why won’t my kerosene heater shut down? If the wick won’t drop, it is most likely due to tar and carbon build-up caused by burning the wick too low or using contaminated kerosene. A hard, thickened wick is more difficult to raise and lower between the wick adjuster and the primary air tube. Water contamination can also cause the cotton fibers in the wick to swell. In both the above cases, the wick should be replaced.

Looking for reliable kerosene delivery in East End LI and North Fork LI? Burt’s Reliable has you covered. Contact us today to learn more!