K1 Grade kerosene is a clean-burning fuel oil for stoves, space heaters and lamps. It was one of the first concentrated fossil fuels ever produced, and played a vital role during the 1800s in American homes. Its usefulness diminished when electric lighting and more sophisticated heating systems developed. However, in many third-world countries, homes still depend on it for basic needs like cooking, heat and lighting. Even in developed countries, kerosene appliances offer cost-effective, energy-saving solutions – like this modern space heater:
- Because kerosene heaters and lamps only need a match or spark to ignite, they work without any electric connections. Most appliances can be adjusted manually, which might limit their convenience, but this guarantees that they’ll work when you need them. They are also very handy in power outages.
- Kerosene wicks smoke when they are new, and need time to burn-in. After this, they burn so cleanly that you can use them in living spaces. You must, however, ventilate the area well, because carbon monoxide accumulates in a closed room.
- No special additives are required to preserve kerosene, so it can be stored in an approved, sealed plastic or metal container. The shelf life varies from one to five years, depending on storage conditions. If it’s stored in a place where the temperature fluctuates, or a very cold area, condensation may occur inside the container. This can affect the wicks and interfere with fuel flow.
- Evaporation is slow, so kerosene doesn’t fill the air with the same volatile fumes as gas. If you follow the ventilation, tank-refilling and placement guidelines, kerosene is safe for use in the home.