How to Light a Kerosene Heater?

Lighting a kerosene heater is not the most complicated task in the world but it does have its tricks and know-how. Additionally, there are a couple of different ways to do it. To make sure that you’re prepared for the task you’ll need to know how to light a kerosene heater manually as well as with an automatic ignition system.

So, how do you light a kerosene heater? Let’s go over the whole process step-by-step.

First – the fuel

This sounds simple but different models kerosene heaters actually require different types of kerosene. Most portable kerosene heaters will use 1-K kerosene which is a well-refined type of kerosene that’s odorless and burns clean. However, some models will require other types of kerosene so it’s important to always read through the heater’s manual and get the exact kind of kerosene you need.

After you’ve acquired the appropriate fuel, simply open the fuel cap off the base of the heater and fill it up. Keep an eye on the fuel gauge the whole time and make sure you don’t overfill the heater. Also, for safety’s sake, it’s a good idea to do this outdoors.

After you’ve filled the heater put the tank’s cap back on and leave the heater off for about an hour. This is important because you want the wick to get well-soaked in kerosene before you turn the heater on. After at least an hour has passed, you can start the heater.

Using an automatic ignition system

Most kerosene heaters can be turned on with the flip of a switch. Or, well – several switches.

First, you’ll need to press the automatic ignition lever at the base of the heater down. This activates the internal igniter close enough to the wick so that it can catch the rising kerosene fumes. After that, you need to adjust the ring of the flames to a height of half an inch (1.3 cm). To that, just rotate the wick knob in the appropriate direction and observe the flames rise through the small window next to the burn chamber.

Hitting the right height for the flames is vital since too high can cause the heater to generate too much smoke and soot. Too low, on the other hand, can lead to an accidental fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.

When you’re ready to turn the heater off, rotate the wick knob as far left as possible to lower the wick and – without releasing the wick knob – push the turn-off button. After that, carefully release the wick knob so that it can return to its neutral position on its own.

Manually lighting a kerosene heater with a match

To do that you’ll need to first open the door of the body of the heater. On most models, it’s located right above the wick knob and it swings outwards. Then, lift the burn chamber behind the door to expose the wick and light a match. Put the lit match beneath the burn chamber and onto the wick.

Don’t reach too far inside the heater – just enough to light the wick and but no much that you burn yourself afterward. Once you’ve lit the wick, adjust the flame height to half an inch as you would with an automatic ignition system. Then, close the door of the heater – and that should be it. Remember to check on the flame’s height every hour or so to make sure that everything’s in order.

To turn off the heater, follow the same process detailed in the section above.

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