Every owner of a kerosene heater came across a weird smell and odor at least once.
It isn’t anything unusual and you don’t have to be scared or frustrated about it – I’ve been through it a lot of times already.
The real reason why kerosene heaters start producing odor is chemistry related and has a lot to do with molecules (I will simplify it later in the article).
Now, let’s talk about the things you can do to completely remove any bad smell.
How To Stop Kerosene Heater From Smelling (9 WORKING TIPS)
1. Clean-aged kerosene
As with many other things, kerosene starts smelling after being stored for a long time – especially if not done properly.
You might have heard “money-saving” tips to save old kerosene. While it can still burn, I don’t recommend it because it will produce an irritating smell.
In my opinion, you should always use new and fresh kerosene.
If you’re planning to use old kerosene, you should at least filter it to reduce the smell.
Suggested: Take a look at how to safely use kerosene heater indoors.
2. Change the wick level
If the wick is turned too low, you’ll notice a kerosene smell because it isn’t being burned properly.
What works best for most people is adjusting the wick height to half an inch above the top of the burner. Still, you should check the user manual to see the recommended height.
3. Burn outdoors
After storing your kerosene heater over the summer, it collected a lot of dust and dirt inside of it.
To avoid the weird smell, you should take your kerosene heater outside and burn it for at least 15 minutes before taking it back in.
In this way, you burn all the dust and dirt that produces the smell.
4. Use only K-1
If you’re not familiar with kerosene, there are two different grades: 1-K and 2-K.
1-K is the most quality kerosene on the market with a maximum of 0.04% sulfur, while 2-K has slightly lower quality.
1-K kerosene is also the purest and it has a different smell than the other grade.
Kerosene heaters are usually compared to propane heaters.
5. Stabilize the burner
Sometimes when the burner isn’t stabilized, it can produce a lot of smoke that’s followed by a weird smell.
You should always check if your burner is in a line with everything else and you have to make sure it isn’t easily moveable.
6. Clean the oil tank monthly
When your heater isn’t cleaned for a while, it will produce the smell no matter what type of kerosene you’re using.
Even if you always use fresh kerosene, it will still smell because the fuel tank wasn’t cleaned.
You should pour water into your reservoir until it’s clean – you can even use a bit of detergent to remove all remaining debris.
7. Replace the wick
Heater’s wick can over time become “old” and you might need to clean it or completely replace it.
Trimming the wick is also helpful and it can be enough to remove debris and dust, however, you should consider buying a completely new wick.
8. Adjust the exhaust cover
When your venting cover is missing, it won’t let your kerosene heater operate properly.
Oxygen will escape and it won’t mix completely with the gaseous phase which will drain more fuel and waste it instead of using it efficiently.
Not only that, but it will decide whether your heater produces an unusual scent.
Make sure your vent cap is covered completely.
9. Buy a new kerosene heater
Sometimes when your kerosene heater is very old (or just poor quality), any trick that you try won’t be effective in the long run.
It might be time to look for a new kerosene heater that has all the features you need and that’s made from a high-quality material that won’t start producing weird smells any time soon.
If you’re interested in the best kerosene heater on the market – you should take a look at Sengoku Kerosene Heater.
Why Does My Kerosene Heater Smell?
Kerosene requires oxygen to be burnt because it’s higher carbon petroleum.
Although it might sound simple, carbon requires an exact number of molecules of oxygen to be split properly and to produce heat while burning.
The biggest problem here is that the amount of carbon rises after burning for a couple of months (or years) while oxygen starts lacking.
Because of this, petroleum vapor starts causing odor and weird smells.
In an open space, you won’t ever feel a kerosene heater smelling, but in a closed space (such as your home), you might start noticing odors.
If you’re not a fan of your kerosene heater, we recommend taking a look at the most energy-efficient space heaters.
Download this FREE cheat sheet to find 28 tricks that can help you save on your electricity and heating bill each month.Click here to get a FREE Cheat-Sheat
7 Best Bathroom Heaters Worth Buying
Before jumping into the top 7 models, let’s first talk about important things to consider before making a purchase.
10 Best Propane Heaters This Year
Looking for a best propane heater? Our recommendation is Mr. Heater F232000. And looking at our list, you'll notice we love Mr. Heater brand!