How to Light a Kerosene Heater (Step by Step Instructions)

Not sure how to light a kerosene heater? 

Here are step-by-step instructions for lighting your heater, including how to light the wick manually, and video tutorials as well.

How to Light a Kerosene Heater (Igniter)

This video shows how to light a Kero-World KC2404 heater. See our picks for the best portable kerosene heater here.

1. Read Instructions Manual

Always read the instruction manual before lighting your kerosene heater.  Make sure it is assembled properly.

2. Fill Tank with Kerosene

The heater should be COOL when you fill it. Never fill a kerosene heater while it is still warm.

3. Open Hatch

Open the little window so you can see what is going on.

4. Adjust Wick

The wick is cylindrical and made out of cotton or fiberglass.  It dips into the fuel tank and soaks up kerosene. There is usually a knob that adjusts the wick length.  Use this to turn your wick to the very top.

Also read: How to replace a kerosene heater wick

5. Press Igniter

Hold the igniter until the wick is completely lit.  (See below for instructions on how to light the wick manually.)

6. Stabilize Burner

Once the wick is lit, close the burner.  You’ll need to move it back and forth a bit to make sure it is properly seated.  If it isn’t seated correctly, the heater will make a nasty smoke and smell bad.

7. Close Hatch and Watch

You’ll need to keep an eye on the flame for at least 10 minutes.  The flame will start to change height and get higher.  As it does, you’ll need to use the knob to reduce the wick height.

Adjust the wick height, so the flame is ½ inch above the top of the burner.  If the flame gets too high, you could have carbon monoxide gas and bad smells.  If the flame is too low, you will get soot and bad smells.

Read: Why does a kerosene heater smell?

How to Light Kerosene Heater Manually

  1. Set up heater
  2. Open hatch
  3. Turn up wick to high
  4. Manually lift up burner
  5. Use a long lighter or match to light the wick
  6. Put burner back down
  7. Check that the burner is stable
  8. Close hatch
  9. Watch and adjust wick as necessary

Kerosene Heater Not Lighting?

The biggest causes of a kerosene heater not lighting are bad fuel and dirty wicks.

Also Read:

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