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A dry run with the kerosene heater

January 1st, 2018 at 12:55 am

Having a 3-day weekend is blissful.

Yesterday we got some unexpected snow so I just stayed home and rather enjoyed it.

This morning I ran out early to do my errands so I could clear my plate for the afternoon to try out (finally) my new kerosene heater.

Disappointing performance
I filled it (outside) with just a small mishap. As I pulled the plastic ring on the 5-gallon container of kerosene, which I got from Tractor Supply, the kerosene splattered up onto my hand. But using the hand pump siphon to transfer the fuel from the container to the heater was easy, otherwise.

Then when I pushed on the ignition starter, nothing happened. The heater comes with 2 batteries for the auto ignition start. I ran out to Walgreens for new batteries and with them installed, the heater started right up.

After letting it burn a few minutes outside and adjusting the flame/wick, I carefully carried the heater inside after lighting it, moving it from just outside the garage door to inside my basement, about 12 steps.

I had turned my oil-burning furnace off when I started the kerosene heater. I noted the time and temperature inside the house at that point. It was 60 degrees indoors at about 4:30 pm.

I called my cousin J. to discuss the heater operation and over the course of the next 45 minutes (still on the phone with J.) I noted with some excitement that the heater had increased the temperature upstairs from 60 to 62 degrees. But when I finally hung up from talking to J. I checked my thermostat again and was very disappointed to see, at about 5:30 pm, that the temperature had dropped back DOWN by 1 degree, to 61 degrees.

It appears the kerosene heater was operating near the limits of its heating capabilities. I should note that it's been exceptionally cold today, and that the temps outside were about 9 degrees when all this was taking place.

I gave it until 6 pm to see if there would be any improvement in temps, but got impatient (and rather chilly) by 6 pm, when I shut it off, removed the 2 batteries so they wouldn't be affected by the cold, waited 15 minutes for it to cool down, and then carried it back out to my garage.

Everyone was telling me i should be "toasty warm" with this little thing so yes, I'm disappointed. I plan to give it another go tomorrow during the daytime, but we're expecting a high of only 14 degrees, so I kind of doubt it will perform much better.

Hmmm. Not to say it still wouldn't do what I want it to do, keep the pipes from freezing during a power outage, but it may not be enough to keep me comfortably warm in the house during such an outage. I might consider getting a second heater to also position in the basement, but on the other side. It's not a big house: 1650 square feet, so maybe on exceptionally cold nights like this, it might require more BTUs.

I might also do another test drive when outdoor temps are say, 20 degrees, or about 10 degrees warmer, and/or maybe set the furnace to 65 and then see if the kerosene heater can at least hold indoor temps steady, or increase them a little.

Eye, eye, eye
Saw my ophthalmologist last Thursday. It was something I was impatient to do as I have very dry eyes and felt I was ready for a prescription. He gave me a bunch of over the counter samples as well as some samples for Xiidra, a new competitor to Restasis which is about as effective but works much more quickly than Restasis does.

However, I walked out of there not immediately realizing he'd failed to give me the written prescription for my vision, and when I went to the frame shop and then returned to doc office, he was with another patient, so since I'd already been there for 2.5 hours, I asked them to just mail it to me.

I can't wait to get new glasses as the ones I've had now for about 5 years I never liked, even from the start, they were not especially cheap (got at BJs) and now they're all scratched up and at work I get a neck ache from tilting my head up so I can read out of the very bottom portion of the progressive lenses.

The frame shop I visited after doc visit is having a "special" in January where you get the frames and lenses for $350, which is rather better than what I paid last time, but I do want to make sure I can get frames I like this time.

Feeling the Pressure
I've decided to sell a pressure cooker I've had for over 23 years which I rarely used. Mainly because it was taking up a lot of room in a kitchen cabinet. It's a shame, but I just never use the thing and the technology is such that I wouldn't feel safe using it without having to read the directions all over again, and I just want to keep things simple.

I posted the Manttra cooker with its many accessory dishes that nest inside the cooker for just $10 on Facebook and have several responses already, with one person who's supposed to show up here tomorrow morning. They'd be traveling some distance, so I'm a bit skeptical they'll show. It retails for about $60 new.

For security reasons, I'll have it and show it to them in the garage.

My new bank is offering me a $10 Amazon gift card if I use my ATM/debit card 5 times during the month of January. I never use it as a debit card because you don't have any of the protection you have against fraud that you do have with a credit card. But I'll do it for a gift card. I tried to use it twice today and it was declined both times, so I'll have to call the bank to see what I'm doing wrong.

2 Responses to “A dry run with the kerosene heater”

  1. jokeabee Says:

    We had a kerosene heater when I was growing up. We only used it to heat the room we were in, though. Mostly it was kept in the living room and we would all spend time in the living room since it was the warmest room in the house. At night my parents would put it at the bottom of the stairs and some of the heat would waft upwards. All this to say that one unit might not be enough to heat an entire house comfortably, but can make a single room extremely toasty. I hope you can figure out a good solution with it.

  2. frugaltexan75 Says:

    I had a kerosene heater - it was very warm in the immediate area around it ... but not much outside of it.

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