Are Kerosene Heaters Outdated?

Kerosene Heaters or Paraffin Heater is an unvented, portable, and a device fueled with kerosene for heating your room space. These are a supplemental source of heat and used in case of an emergency whenever there’s a power outage in Australia and the US. It is typically a primary heat source in Japan, along with other nations.

These heaters generate 3.3- 6.8 kw. They gain popularity due to economic reasons. There were several reasons why kerosene heaters are considered hazardous, like combustion gases being released, kerosene odor, fire hazards, and others. However, modern kerosene heater manufacturers claim that the old-style units are outdated, and their modern versions have a minimal similarity. The new versions comply with the safety standards that are nationally recognized and approved models. With kerosene being the operating fuel of this heating device is considered to be less expensive, and its portability is an added feature. They are deemed efficient as well. The temperatures are maintained to one’s comfort while switching off the central thermostat to maintain the heat in a room. This is an alternative heat source, and so is cost-efficient.

However, the kerosene heaters, be old or new versions, do not void any of the safety hazards associated with it. So, keeping the safety measures, this appliance can be used according to one’s convenience and comfort.


  • GASES RELEASED DURING COMBUSTION- Since these devices are unvented, the combustion gases get released directly into the air within the room or space around. These combustion gases include carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide at low levels. If the device is not maintained correctly and not appropriately fueled, there is a high chance of more pollutants being released into the air. This is due to improper combustion. This is risky for people using and living in that space. Carbon monoxide in excess can result in asphyxiation resulting in death. Soot is another factor that can be high in this device with the burning of kerosene.
  • FIRE HAZARDS- The risk of burns and fires is more with this device. Flammable vapors present due to open flame can result in a fire hazard if not careful. An explosion can also occur if any contaminated fuel or inappropriate/poor performance is used in the device. Improper filling of fuel can result in catching of fire onto the spills. So, care has to be maintained while refilling.
  • INCORRECT FUEL- The manufacturer recommends the use of a type of kerosene in these devices. So improper fuel can result in too much soot, explosion risk, and other issues. Some fuels have a mix of gasoline or petrol. It is best to avoid them.
  • MOISTURE ISSUES- These devices are unvented, and hence water vapor is produced. These can create problems of moisture in sealed residences. Therefore, outdoor venting is better.


Kerosene Heaters are not outdated but not used as much as electric heaters. These are used as an alternate source of heat in some countries and as a primary source in other nations. Modern versions have taken the place of the old devices that are compliant to safety standards. These devices need lots of safety precautions and maintenance. This is when the device is safe to use. The safety hazards associated with it as mentioned above. So precautions also should be taken accordingly when using this device like a carbon monoxide detection, smoke detector, and appropriate maintenance and others to avoid the unlikely.