Can I Use Kerosene In A Diesel Heater: Know The Facts!

Are you puzzled about whether to use kerosene or diesel in your heater? With each fuel type having its properties and considerations, this choice can become quite complex. In this article, we’ll navigate through the nuances of using both these fuels, discussing everything from safety precautions to efficiency factors.

Let’s dive into the fascinating world of fuels and heating!

Key Takeaways

  • Both kerosene and diesel can be used as alternative fuels in a heater, but proper mixing techniques and safety precautions must be followed.
  • Using diesel in a heater offers benefits such as higher BTU output and better lubrication for the fuel pump, but it may also result in issues with viscosity and burning temperatures.
  • Proper ventilation, choosing the right heater, following manufacturer guidelines, and storing fuel safely are important safety measures when using kerosene or diesel in a heater.
  • Understanding the differences between kerosene and diesel fuels is crucial for safe usage. Kerosene burns cleaner with fewer impurities, while diesel has a higher energy density. Consider these differences when deciding on the best fuel option for your heater.

Can You Use Diesel in a Kerosene Heater?

Yes, diesel can be used as a reliable and safe alternative to burning kerosene in a heater.

Similarities between diesel and kerosene

Diesel and kerosene are remarkably similar in many ways, primarily due to their chemical compositions as hydrocarbons. Both fuels fall under the same distillate category of petroleum products, produced during crude oil refinement.

This shared production process results in comparable physical properties such as color and smell. These fuel types exhibit similar energy outputs as they do contain a high amount of BTUs (British Thermal Units), making them both efficient choices for heating applications.

Additionally, diesel and kerosene feature identical flash points – the lowest temperature at which vapors will ignite when exposed to an ignition source – thus bearing equivalent flammability risks.

It’s this similarity that makes it generally safe and possible to use diesel as an alternative fuel option in a kerosene heater if mixed correctly with another suitable substance or vice versa.

Proper mixing techniques

To ensure proper combustion and efficient operation, it is essential to mix diesel fuel with another suitable substance when using it in a kerosene heater. Here are some proper mixing techniques to follow:

  1. Use a fuel stabilizer: Adding a fuel stabilizer can help improve the stability and performance of the mixed fuel. It prevents the fuel from breaking down over time and reduces the risk of clogs or malfunctions.
  2. Use recommended additives: There are specific additives available in the market that help optimize the burning characteristics of diesel in kerosene heaters. These additives can improve ignition, reduce soot formation, and enhance overall efficiency.
  3. Follow manufacturer guidelines: Different kerosene heater models may have varying recommendations for mixing diesel with another substance. Always consult the manufacturer’s instructions or user manual for specific guidance on using diesel in their heaters.
  4. Mixing ratios: The recommended ratio for mixing diesel with another substance, such as kerosene or an approved additive, can vary depending on factors like temperature and altitude. Generally, a common ratio is 80% diesel and 20% kerosene/additive, but it is crucial to check manufacturer recommendations or seek professional advice for your specific situation.
  5. Thoroughly mix the fuel: Ensure that the diesel and other substances are thoroughly mixed before adding them to the heater’s fuel tank. This can be achieved by gently shaking or stirring the mixture in a separate container until well combined.
  • “Can Diesel Be Used In A Kerosene Heater?” – Green Garage Blog
  • “Diesel Fuel for Home Heating” – Energy & Technology Magazine
  • “The Diesel Fuel Dilemma: Tackling Low-Sulfur Methanol Risks” – Reliable Plant Magazine

Safety precautions

Using kerosene or diesel in a heater can be dangerous if proper safety precautions are not followed. Here are some important safety measures to consider:

  1. Choose the right heater: Make sure your heater is specifically designed to run on kerosene or diesel fuel. Using the wrong type of fuel can cause malfunctions and increase the risk of accidents.
  2. Ventilation: Always use your heater in a well-ventilated area. Proper ventilation helps prevent the buildup of harmful fumes, such as carbon monoxide. Open windows or use fans to ensure adequate air circulation.
  3. Never leave unattended: Never leave your heater unattended, especially when it is running. Accidents can happen quickly, and it’s crucial to monitor the heater continuously for any signs of malfunction or overheating.
  4. Keep flammable materials away: Keep all flammable materials, such as paper, fabrics, and liquids, at a safe distance from the heater. Inadvertently placing these items too close to the heat source can lead to fires.
  5. Use approved containers: Store kerosene or diesel fuel in approved containers specifically designed for flammable liquids. Do not use gasoline cans as substitutes, as they may not be suitable for storing these fuels safely.
  6. Avoid overfilling: Do not overfill the fuel tank of your heater. Overfilling can lead to spills and increase the risk of fire hazards.
  7. Regular maintenance: Regularly inspect and maintain your heater according to manufacturer instructions. This includes cleaning filters, checking for leaks, and ensuring proper functioning of all components.
  8. Be cautious with refueling: When refueling, turn off the heater and allow it to cool down before adding more fuel. This helps prevent accidental ignition due to hot surfaces or sparks.
  9. Store fuel safely: Store kerosene or diesel fuel in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight and sources of heat. Keep it out of reach of children and animals.
  10. Emergency preparedness: Have a fire extinguisher nearby when using a kerosene or diesel heater. Familiarize yourself with its operation so that you can quickly respond to any potential fire incidents.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Diesel in a Heater

Using diesel in a heater offers several benefits, such as higher BTU output and better lubrication for the fuel pump. However, there are also potential drawbacks to consider, including issues with viscosity and burning temperatures.

Higher BTU output

Using diesel in a heater can provide the benefit of a higher BTU (British Thermal Unit) output. BTUs measure the amount of heat that a fuel can produce, so a higher BTU output means that the heater will generate more heat.

This is especially useful in colder climates or larger spaces where you need to quickly and efficiently warm up an area. Diesel fuel typically has a higher energy density than kerosene, resulting in a greater heating capacity.

By using diesel, you can enjoy increased warmth and comfort from your heater.

Better lubrication for fuel pump

Using diesel in a kerosene heater can actually provide better lubrication for the fuel pump. Diesel has a higher viscosity compared to kerosene, which means that it provides more lubrication to the moving parts of the fuel pump.

This can help extend the lifespan of your heater and prevent any potential issues with the fuel system. However, it is important to note that using diesel in a kerosene heater may also result in some challenges.

Diesel has higher burning temperatures and different combustion characteristics compared to kerosene, which could affect the efficiency and performance of your heater. Additionally, you need to ensure proper mixing techniques when using diesel in a kerosene heater to avoid any potential safety hazards or damage to your equipment.

Potential issues with viscosity and burning temperatures

One potential issue with using diesel in a kerosene heater is the difference in viscosity and burning temperatures between the two fuels. Diesel fuel tends to be thicker and has a higher flash point compared to kerosene.

This means that it may not burn as efficiently in a kerosene heater, leading to incomplete combustion and potentially causing problems with soot buildup or clogged burner nozzles.

Additionally, the higher viscosity of diesel fuel can affect its ability to flow properly through the heater’s fuel lines and nozzle system. This could result in poor atomization of the fuel and an uneven flame, reducing the overall heating efficiency.

To address these issues, it is important to mix the diesel thoroughly with another suitable substance such as #1 or #2 grade kerosene before using it in a kerosene heater. This helps lower the viscosity while also adjusting for any differences in burning temperatures, ensuring optimal performance.

It’s worth noting that not all heaters are designed to accommodate both diesel and kerosene fuels interchangeably. Always refer to your specific heater manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines regarding acceptable fuel types for safe usage.

Using Kerosene in a Heater

When using kerosene in a heater, it is crucial to understand the differences between kerosene and diesel fuels and follow safe usage and storage practices. Find out how to properly maintain your kerosene heater for optimal performance and longevity.

Discover all you need to know about using kerosene in a heater here.

Differences between kerosene and diesel

Kerosene and diesel are both common fuels used in heaters, but they do have some differences. One key difference is their composition. Kerosene is a lighter fuel that burns cleaner than diesel because it has fewer impurities.

On the other hand, diesel is denser and contains more carbon molecules, which gives it a higher energy density. Another difference lies in their burning temperatures. Diesel requires higher temperatures to ignite compared to kerosene, making it less suitable for certain types of heaters.

Additionally, kerosene tends to have a lower sulfur content than diesel, resulting in less odor when burned. These variations should be taken into account when deciding which fuel to use in your heater.

Safe usage and storage practices

Safe usage and storage practices are crucial when using kerosene or diesel in a heater. Here are some important guidelines to follow:

  1. Store the fuel properly: Always store kerosene or diesel in approved containers specifically designed for flammable liquids. These containers should be made of metal or HDPE plastic and have a tight-fitting cap.
  2. Keep away from heat sources: Store the fuel containers in a cool, well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight and any open flames or heat sources. Avoid storing them near electrical appliances or combustible materials.
  3. Use in well-ventilated areas: When using a kerosene or diesel heater indoors, ensure proper ventilation by opening windows or doors to allow fresh air circulation. This helps prevent the buildup of harmful fumes and carbon monoxide.
  4. Follow manufacturer’s instructions: Read and understand the user manual provided with your heater before use. Adhere to the recommended fuel types and mixing ratios suggested by the manufacturer for safe operation.
  5. Avoid overfilling: Do not overfill the heater’s fuel tank beyond its recommended capacity, as this can lead to spills and increase the risk of fire hazards.
  6. Keep away from children and pets: Store fuel containers out of reach from children and pets to prevent accidental ingestion or exposure.
  7. Use caution during refueling: When refueling your heater, turn it off and wait for it to cool down completely before adding more fuel to avoid potential burns or fires caused by hot surfaces.
  8. Regular maintenance checks: Perform routine maintenance checks on your kerosene or diesel heater to ensure it is in proper working condition. This includes inspecting for leaks, cleaning filters, and checking the condition of hoses and connections.

Proper maintenance of kerosene heaters

Proper maintenance is essential to ensure the safe and efficient operation of your kerosene heater. Here are some key maintenance tips to keep in mind:

  1. Clean the heater regularly: Dust, dirt, and debris can accumulate on the heater’s components, affecting its performance. Regularly clean the exterior and interior parts using a soft cloth or brush.
  2. Check the wick: The wick is an important component of a kerosene heater as it helps regulate the flame. Inspect the wick for any signs of wear or damage, such as fraying or discoloration. Replace the wick if necessary to maintain optimal performance.
  3. Monitor fuel levels: Keep an eye on the fuel level in your kerosene heater’s tank. Refill it when necessary, ensuring that you use clean, high-quality kerosene or a suitable kerosene-diesel mix.
  4. Inspect and clean the fuel filter: Over time, sediment and impurities can accumulate in the fuel filter, restricting fuel flow and impacting performance. Regularly inspect and clean or replace the fuel filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  5. Check for leaks: Before using your kerosene heater, inspect all connections and fittings for any signs of leaks. A leak can be dangerous as it increases the risk of fire hazards or carbon monoxide poisoning.
  6. Store properly: When not in use, store your kerosene heater in a dry and well-ventilated area away from flammable materials. Make sure to follow manufacturer guidelines for safe storage.
  7. Schedule professional maintenance: To ensure optimal performance and safety, consider scheduling regular professional maintenance for your kerosene heater. A qualified technician can inspect and service your unit as needed.


1. Can I use kerosene or diesel fuel interchangeably in a heater?

No, it is important to only use the specific type of fuel recommended by the manufacturer for your heater. Kerosene and diesel have different properties and using the wrong fuel can result in poor performance, damage to your heater, and potential safety hazards.

2. What are the potential risks of using incorrect fuel in a heater?

Using incorrect fuel in a heater can cause incomplete combustion, leading to the production of harmful carbon monoxide gas. It can also result in clogged filters, nozzle blockages, increased smoke output, and decreased efficiency of your heating system.

3. How do I determine which type of fuel my heater requires?

Always refer to your heater’s manual or consult with the manufacturer to determine which type of fuel is suitable for your specific model. Using the wrong type of fuel can void warranties and potentially damage your equipment.

4. Are there any alternatives if I don’t have access to kerosene or diesel?

If you don’t have access to kerosene or diesel for your heater, it is best not to try alternative fuels that were not specifically recommended by the manufacturer. Instead, consider exploring other heating options such as electric heaters or seeking professional advice on alternative heating solutions for your specific situation.


In conclusion, understanding the differences between using kerosene and diesel in a heater is crucial for safe and efficient heating. While diesel can be used as an alternative fuel, proper mixing techniques and safety precautions must be followed to avoid any potential issues.

Ultimately, it’s important to consider the specific requirements of your heater and ensure you use the appropriate fuel to maximize its performance while prioritizing safety. Stay informed and make educated choices when it comes to using kerosene or diesel in your heater.

Source URLs

Kerosene Heaters Q&A

What You Need to Know about Kerosene Heaters

Can You Use Diesel in a Kerosene Heater? (How To Mix)