Are Diesel Heaters Safe? A Complete Guide
Red heater

If you have been thinking of buying a heater, then chances are you might be overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available.

While electric heaters look modern and come with a plethora of features, the price tag is often quite hefty. And let’s not even talk about the running costs.

You are left with either gas heaters or the less popular diesel air heater. Depending on where you live, gas prices can vary, and it can be quite dangerous to use a gas heater. You may start a fire or get CO poisoning if you are not careful. This makes them questionable to opt for as well.

But what about the latter option? Are diesel heaters safe to use, or are they just as bad? Don’t worry, because this guide will cover everything you need to know to make an informed buying decision. Let’s get started!

Are Diesel Heaters Safe?

Contrary to popular belief, modern diesel heaters are quite safe to use. Even though they may not always come with fancy digital equipment, the chances of ending up in a sticky situation with them are slim. An alternative name for them is air heaters.

Because diesel does not catch fire easily, it is unlikely that a diesel heater would cause a potential fire. This also makes them less likely to produce carbon monoxide gas in comparison to gas heaters.

Therefore in terms of safety, diesel heaters can be a good option to choose from.

What Can Go Wrong in a Heater?

Diesel Engine

So, we’ve talked about diesel heaters and their safety, but why does the question even matter? After all, exactly what can go wrong in a heater anyway?

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas produced by burning fuel. Even though it is unlikely in the case of diesel heaters, it can be an issue for gas-fueled ones.

A buildup of carbon monoxide can lead to death if left untreated. To reduce this risk, do not leave your heater unattended. Carbon monoxide buildup can happen primarily if the heater is used in a small and confined place with no windows and vents.

However, this is unlikely if ventilation is taken care of. Keeping your doors or windows open is a good way to start. As long as the air keeps circulating, you don’t have a lot to worry about.

If you are still paranoid and want to take safety a step further, then consider investing in a carbon monoxide detector. Essentially, these are sensors that automatically detect CO levels and will alert you if they are high.

Fire

It is almost impossible to avoid the dangers of fire when working with heating appliances. Fires are known to start commonly when dealing with gas heaters.

This is because they give off a lot of heat, and if you have a flammable item next to them, there is a high chance of it catching fire.

However, if the proper safety guidelines are kept in check, then there are little to no risks. For starters, you should make sure to never leave the heater unattended or any flammable items near it.

Explosion

If you aren’t careful, a gas heater could explode. This happens when too much pressure builds up inside the tank, causing it to blow up. Gas heaters can also explode when someone tries to use one without turning it off first.

These explosions happen very quickly and can be fatal. Most of the time, the cause is leaving the heater unattended or the valve open even after you’ve turned the heater off.

The best precaution here is the obvious one: be attentive. Don’t leave the heater unattended and make sure the valve is always closed. While the issue is not likely to happen with diesel heaters, gas heaters are comparatively at a much higher risk.

Due to this reason, most gas-providing companies make use of an additive known as mercaptan, which adds a smell to the otherwise odorless gas. Therefore, if you smell something out of the ordinary, open windows and make sure there is no gas leakage.

Electric Shock

Issues related to electric shocks can be quite common and dangerous when using electric heaters. In this regard as well, diesel and gas heaters are better options.

If you hear buzzing sounds coming from the electric heater while it’s running, then chances are there is something shorting out inside.

This could damage the wiring or cause your heater to overheat if the temperature is too high. We advise you to immediately turn off the heater and contact a professional who can repair the problem.

If the problem is not taken care of, then it could very well cause an electrical shock, which can be fatal.

Precautions to Take When Using a Heater

As we discussed above, a lot of issues can go wrong when using heaters. However, with the proper precautions, the risks are minimal. In a nutshell, keep the following precautions in mind:

  • Ensure that the heater is running at low temperatures
  • If a heater is left unattended, then ensure that it is turned off immediately after use
  • Never leave a heater plugged in unattended
  • Do not place a heater near flammable materials
  • Keep children away from the heater
  • Only use a heater if it is appropriate for the size of the space being heated
  • Check the manufacturer’s instructions before you start the installation of the unit
  • Consider investing in a CO detector

Why Should You Get an Air Heater?

Male Foreman for Installing Stretch Ceilings with Air Heater

It’s clear that diesel heaters are safe to use. But safety alone isn’t the only aspect to consider when buying a heater unit. What makes a diesel heater worth buying anyway?

Performance

Perhaps the main advantage of using a diesel heater is its efficiency. Diesel heaters are commonly used in industrial environments, and that’s not a coincidence.

They can work well even if it is cold outside and at high altitudes all while being extremely fuel efficient.

Variable Temperature

In comparison to standard LPG heaters, modern diesel heaters come with digital features. This allows them to control combustion and temperature along with airflow.

These heaters are more than capable of keeping the indoor temperature of a home stable.

Fuel Efficiency

As we mentioned earlier, diesel heaters are fuel efficient and provide a better heating experience than most other options.

Most models will consume around 0.10-0.5 liters of diesel per hour.

Different Usage

Unlike LPG heaters, the installation process for diesel heaters is much faster and easier. They are not only suited for indoor rooms, but they also work extremely well on vehicles such as vans and buses.

If you are thinking of investing in a heater for your caravan, a diesel-powered heater could be the way to go.

Chinese Diesel Heaters Vs German Diesel Heaters

In the world of diesel heaters, you essentially have two options. Either go with Chinese diesel heaters or their counterparts from Germany.

Both options make use of a combustion chamber and are extremely good for indoor heating. The decision comes down to quality.

Among the two giants, Chinese heaters are more cost-efficient and function quite well. However, German ones are known to last. Mainly, German heaters are made with higher quality materials, which gives them a definite edge over Chinese heaters.

Although the combustion process is similar in both, you’d find a significant change in the dry heat and overall experience when using the German ones. Nevertheless, compared to a propane heater, both Chinese and German diesel heaters are much better.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Diesel Heater

If you do not have a heater or if yours is not working well, then consider buying a new model. You could go for a cheap diesel heater or an expensive one.

While it can be confusing at first, taking into account the following factors can help you reach a decision.

Size of the Room

When determining the size of your heater, you should measure how many square feet of space your room takes up.

If you end up getting a larger heater, it would simply be a waste of money since they cost much more. Likewise, a smaller heater would not be as efficient.

Temperature

An additional feature to consider is the temperature at which you plan on keeping your house. You should aim to maintain indoor temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you live in a colder place, then consider investing in a larger diesel heater and vice versa.

Conclusion

So, are diesel heaters safe? While at first glance diesel heaters seem extremely dangerous to use, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Not only are diesel heaters safer than other alternatives, but their fuel consumption is also less. They can heat your apartment or vehicle in absolutely no time.

Additionally, since diesel fuel is relatively cheaper, diesel heaters are much less expensive to use. Unlike propane heaters, they do not give off wet heat, making them optimal for daily usage.

If you are looking to buy a diesel heater, you can either go for Chinese diesel heaters or their counterparts from Germany. The choice is up to you.

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