5 Best Space Heaters For A Power Outage | Build a Stash

If you have ever been without power in the middle of winter, you know the value of an emergency heater. What are the five best space heaters for a power outage?

With the number of extreme weather events occurring, from hurricanes to floods and everything in between, it is easy to recognize the need to be prepared. The last thing you want is for your family to suffer in the cold because you failed to purchase a space heater. Which space heater is best? What is the cost, and where is the best place to purchase one? Are they battery operated,, or do you have to keep some fuel on hand? As you can see, there are lots of questions.

The best space heaters for use in a power outage are as follows -

  • Best Overall: Mr. Heater Portable Big Buddy
  • Best Kerosene Small Area: Sengoku HeatMate
  • Best for Large Area: Dyna-Glo KFA50DGD Forced Air Heater.
  • Best for Medium-Sized Area: Kero World Indoor Heater
  • Best Dual Fuel - ProCom Vent Free Stove

You do not have to live in the northern part of the country to worry about the power grid failing. Just two short years ago, Texas suffered the most significant energy failure in its history when frigid temperatures bombarded the state. The loss of power left 4.5 million without heat, resulting in several deaths. So, regardless of where you live, blizzard country or not, you need to purchase an emergency heater you can use during a power outage.

This article will examine the five best space heaters for use during a power outage, and on the way, we hope to answer some questions.

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What Kind of Non-Electric Power Space Heaters are There?

If you run out of power during a storm or for some other reason, you have options. Primarily, there are four options.

Fireplace or Wood Stove

If you live in a colder climate, you may already know the value of having a wood-burning stove or a fireplace. The only drawback of these items is that you need a wood source and a readily accessible source of dry wood to burn. An open fire can provide your family with a means for cooking and staying warm should you need them. A word of caution here - many families fail to keep their fireplaces maintained, which adds to the possibility of a house fire if the creosote in the chimney happens to ignite. In addition, many birds or rodents build their nests inside chimneys with highly combustiblematters like grass and twigs.

Propane Space Heater

Propane is an excellent fuel for indoor and outdoor space heaters because they are portable and can be hooked up to propane tanks with a minimum fuss. Propane tends to burn more efficiently than other fuels and costs less than kerosene. Most space heaters have automatic shut-offs and safety features.

Kerosene

Kerosene is a highly combustible fuel that ignites quickly. It requires a wick, which lasts about a year, and uses radiant heat (sends heat in all directions) or convective (uses a fan to blow heat in one direction). The issue with kerosene is the smell, as it is a lot like gasoline, and if you are forced to refill the tank indoors, you and your family will be breathing some fumes that are probably not the best thing to be breathing in an enclosed space.

Natural Gas

Many homes without power still have access to gas as long as there is no electric ignition. While many HVAC systems have electronic thermostats, a separate wall-mounted unit hooked directly into the gas feed can help keep everyone warm. (The exact process is used when a fireplace is gas-powered). Natural gas is efficient, but this type of heater requires investment and some preplanning.

What are Some considerations Regarding Space Heaters?

Here are a few things worth taking into account when shopping for an emergency space heater

Price

Space heaters come in many forms and many different price ranges. If you are on a budget and it is only yourself, consider venturing to the local camp store and investing in a combination cookstove - heater. These simple units can be easily stored in an emergency pantry along with the propane canisters and used as needed. A good camping cookstove where you can prepare a meal can be an excellent addition to any emergency plan.

Space To be Heated

If you plan to grab sleeping bags, quilts, and various bedcoverings for a nice family slumber party in the living room, then you will need to purchase a big enough space heater to heat that whole area. With many homes having open floorplans, that heat can permeate the whole house, so you may need to plan to figure out a way to convert a spare bedroom with a door that can be shut. This also will lower the amount of space needed to be heated.

Fuel

If you live in a colder climate, you may want to consider installing a wood stove or a wall-mounted gas heater for use during a crisis. If you use it correctly, kerosene smells and is highly volatile, but it is an excellent fuel source for space heaters. (One helpful suggestion is to keep raw kerosene away from your family. We recommend refilling heaters outside so that if it catches fire, they won’t consume the house).

Wood is a fuel that can be used to heat your home. It will require you to have a tiny bit of dry lumber around, even if you only plan on using the stove or fireplace in an emergency. Plan accordingly. Buying lumber or logs when you need them from the local store may not be possible, but many preppers have a couple of of boxes of chimney logs that they can use in a pinch if regular wood around you is unsuitable for use.

What are the Five Best Space Heaters for A Power Outage?

Here are our selections for the best space heaters for the money on the market today. Depending on the the area you need to heat, there are several different models to choose from.

Best Overall: Mr. Heater Portable Big Buddy

The folks at Mr. Heater make the most popular space heater in America. Powered by a propane tank, the unit has easy hookup and can produce enough heat to warm about 450 square feet. (basically a large living room). There are three heat settings, low, medium, or high, 4,000, 9,000, or 18,000 BTUs per hour. The best thing about this heater is its portability - it can be carried anywhere. So if you decide to camp in the neighbor's family room because they need help, you can quickly come to the rescue.

The wire front helps keep flammable items away (although you should still be careful). In addition, BB (Big Buddy) has a safety mechanism that automatically shuts the unit off if it tips over or is jiggled, so you can rest comfortably knowing that you aren’t going to burn the house down accidentally. In addition, there are no matches required. The unit has an internal striker that ignites with the twist of a button.

The company is run by Enerco, a leading resource in heating products, both residential and commercial. Since 1957 (Mr. Heater since 1984), they have been offering heaters, so, they have been around quite some time. Their catalog is filled with lots of space heaters to choose from and depending on the amount of surface area you need to heat; there are plenty of options. Due to recent supply chain problems, the folks at Mr. Heater have had to redesign their heater to eliminate the fan. If you want a space heater to blow air out, you will need to look for a refurbished unit or purchase a used one.

Features

  • Heats a good amount of area (up to 450 sq. ft).
  • Three heat settings
  • Tip over safety switch
  • Works with Larger propane tank with hose and adapter
  • Burns efficiently, with minimal smell
  • Made in the USA
  • Internal Igniter

Pros

  • The company has been producing quality heaters for a long time
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • To get forced air you might have to purchase a different unit
  • It has a slight hum to let you know its working

For more information, visit the manufacturer’s website or check today’s price on Amazon.

Best Kerosene for Small Area or Single Room: Sengoku HeatMate

This Japanese maker of space heaters has been in the game for many years. They make a quality product that can quickly heat a room and keep your family safe. This unit can heat up to 380 sq ft, with a 1 ½ gallon fuel tank that has enough capacity to last 14 hours on one full tank. The unit has the standard safety features, like a tip-over safety switch, front grill, and multiple power adjustments.

Features

  • Heats a reasonable amount for a smaller area (380 sq ft;).
  • Three heat settings
  • Tip over safety switch
  • Works with a larger kerosene tank that lasts 14 hours
  • Burns efficiently, minimal minor odor
  • Internal Igniter with push button start

Pros

  • The company has been producing quality heaters for a long time
  • Less expensive than other brands

Cons

  • To get forced air you might have to purchase a different unit
  • Kerosene is more expensive than propane

For more information, check out the manufacturer’s website or check out today’s price on Amazon.

Best for Large Area: Dyna-Glo KFA50DGD Forced Air Heater.

Dyna Glow is a company under the umbrella of GHP, which has an excellent history of making fireplace inserts and barbeque accessories. This is one of the top kerosene heaters and features a narrow-tube design with a forced air motor capable of heating large rooms. We love the easy-to-read fuel gauge, and the glove-friendly fuel cap. At 50,000 BTUs, the space heater warms up to 12,000 sq. ft.,  and is more than enough for an entire house, barn, or town’s emergency shelter like a gymnasium or meeting hall. (This is the kind of unit you might see warming up the home teams benches on the football field)

Features

  • It heats a vast area - can be used for commercial applications.
  • Five-gallon tank holds a lot - burn for several days on one tank.
  • Three heat settings
  • Convenient carrying handle (26 lbs). - I recommend purchasing of cart.
  • Burns efficiently, with minimal smell
  • Internal Igniter

Pros

  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Noisy, probably not practical for a small home or room
  • Made in China

For more information, see the manufacturer’s website or check out today’s price on Amazon.

Best for Medium-Sized Area: Kero World Indoor Kerosene Heater

This radiant heater produces 12,000 btus, to heat about 400 sq. ft for about 12 hours on one tankful. The best thing about this heater is that it warms quickly without an open exposed flame and the curved back area can put out significant heat in every direction.

There are as many safety features, as you might expect, with a push-button start and tip-over auto-stop. The unit is portable, weighing only 20 lbs without fuel, so it is transportable. An excellent broad base allows it to be set on the floor or coffee table with ease. The removable tank allows you to refill kerosene away from the heat source, which is a plus and helps to prevent accidental fires since the fuel is highly flammable.

Kero World is a division of World Marketing based out of Pennsylvania. The company specializes in many heating fixtures from fireplace inserts, stoves, and all kinds of electric, propane, and kerosene heaterse. Their Kero World division has been making heaters since 1982. This is a company that doesn’t get caught up in trying to do too much (although you can find almost anything heater related in their product line). This particular space heater might be a tad more expensive than comparable units, but the unit is built to last and should last over multiple winters.

Features

  • It heats a regular room-sized area.
  • Multiple heat settings
  • Versatile use - floor or table (any heater should be monitored)
  • Internal Igniter
  • Made in USA
  • Removable tank

Pros

  • Reasonably priced
  • Light enough to be very portable

Cons

  • Not as cheap as it used to be - but then nothing is, right?

For more information, please see the manufacturer's website or check out today’s price on Amazon.

Best Dual Fuel - ProCom Vent Free Stove- 25,000 BTU

Many families in colder climates know the value of a heating stove. The versatility of either a wood-burning stove or one that operates off of propane or gas can go a long way to helping keep your family warm and fed. The look of this unit is sleek and elegant enough to be a significant fixture in any room. It is lightweight, weighing only 50 lbs, so it can be transported. It heats up to 1,000 sq ft, and best of all, can use dual fuels either hooked up to the natural gas line or a tank of propane. The entire unit is ventless and burns with 98% efficiency. It is also designed with a built-in thermostat to shut off when the room reaches the desired temperature and then back on when heat is needed.

Pro Cam has two plants inside the US and has been producing all kinds of heaters for both residential and commercial applications since 1996. Their catalog has plenty of options in case you need something bigger.

Features

  • It heats a regular room-sized area.
  • Multiple heat settings with a remote
  • This is an excellent addition to any room
  • Internal Igniter
  • Made in USA - Bowling Green, Ky.
  • Dual Fuel, either gas and propane

Pros

  • The company has been producing quality heaters since ‘96
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Heavier than other models
  • More Expensive than more portable models

For more information, see the manufacturer’s website or check out Today’s Price on Amazon.

About THE AUTHOR

Mark Walker

Mark Walker

I have over a decade of experience in food and beverage management, including a ServSafe food safety qualification. As part of this qualification, I have been professionally trained in safe food storage.

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