STRETCHING KERO FOR HEAT : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

OK, HERE IS A QUESTION: If I am heating two smallish rooms with a kero heater, and it burns 1.9 gal per fillup, (the rest of the house being closed off with plastic and blankets)will I have to run the heater CONSTANTLY to maintain decent temps inside, or can the thing be turned off for an hour or 2 at a time to prolong my supplies??? How much fuel does everyone think I need for a month? I am in WI and the post from Lt Dan about the DCFS he works at having coal for a month is disconcerting, as I have only (roughly) stocked enough kero for about 2 weeks. I don't want to have my garage catch fire or explode from all the stocks of gas, kero, and propane!!!

-- Jess

-- Jess (, December 22, 1999


I replied about your heat question on TB2000, but I'd be careful about keeping a lot of fuel in the garage. If you think you have to, be sure to have plenty of ventilation -- its the fumes that ignite.

If you do have a propane leak, I sure hope I don't live near you.

-- Gary S. (, December 22, 1999.

Your kerosene use will be proportional to the temperature difference between the outside temperature and the "comfortable" temperature inside your room.

At full output most kero heaters likely will put out more heat than is necessary to maintain your comfort. I imagine you will turn the wick down if you can or cycle the unit on and off to keep the room from overheating. So the answer to your first question is Yes, you can certainly turn things down or cycle it to maintain your comfort and conserve kero.

Nobody can tell you how much kerosene you will use or how long it will last without knowing the heat loss of the rooms. The heat loss can be estimated if you know the method of construction, degree of insulation, the degree of "sealing" or air infiltration, and an assumed average outside temperature or the "degree days." This is all raison de etre for a mechanical engineer who likely would want to see the setup prior to making a mathematical "model" and preparing the calculations.

A good trial you can do and a way to check your preparations is to run your heater overnight or for a day in the condition you plan to use it and determine by weighing or measuring out how much kerosene you use. (Kero weighs about 7.5 lbs per gallon) You'll want to have your house or apartment heat turned off during this trial, of course. Try to simulate the conditions as you might find them during an actual situation. (This may be hard since you may be in an apartment surrounded by similar but heated apartments which will tend to shield you from heat loss. This may or may not be what you will have in a "situation.")

With this information and an estimate of the average overnight or duration outside temperature, you can figure you used this much kero per hour for this much temperature difference. To consider a greater temperature differential as you might find in the dead of winter you can proportion your rate of use upwards to simulate the colder outside temperature.

Then it's just a matter of comparing your estimated winter rate of use against what you can keep on hand.

Hope this helps and sorry I can't give you a better answer, Best regards,

-- Joe (, December 22, 1999.

You do have a battery powered carbon monoxide detector don't you??



The Dog

-- The Dog (, December 23, 1999.

"to maintain decent temps inside" and what might that be? If you are talking 35-40 F. fine. If you are hoping for 50-60 F. it's time to buy better sleeping bags, wool watch caps, gloves, scarves, silf underwear, sleep socks, etc. Most heat loss in a room is via the window. Stapling a blanket over the window and filling the space between the blanket and the glass with sofa pillows or styrofoam packing peanuts is a good place to start.

-- Ken Seger (, December 25, 1999.

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