1 lamp will give about 5 hours of light per 1 gallon of kerosene fuel per month. 1 kerosene heater will provide about 12 hours per day on 1 gallons a day or 7 gallons a week. Once we get into winter I’ll do a test and see if these are good numbers for heating my house.
So if I need two Kerosene lamps to be lit for a min. of 5 hours per day for a year. That is about 24 gallons of kerosene per year for lamps. You will need the lamps less in summer but more in winter. Now the cost of 1 gallon of Kerosene is about $11.00 per gallon so 2 lamps for a year would cost about $264.00 for a year. I check what Lowe’s is selling kerosene at $11.00, but I get a 10% discount as a Vet so it’s $238. 00 per year. You might get a better price buying kerosene in bulk 5 gallon containers but let’s use $11.00 a gallon for planning your shopping list. For me I could use my 2 kerosene lamps, 5 hours a day for about $20.00 per month. I live in a cheap electricity state and I’m pretty sure that $20.00 is about even cost I pay for light each month. Yes, electricity is more convenient and gives off better light when you have it but a couple of kerosene lamps might make a good back up source of light.
Kerosene heaters are great for heating a large space. Kerosene heaters do give off carbon monoxide and will eat oxygen in a small room so you will want to place the heater where it can heat several rooms, open a window about an inch for ventilation and never run a kerosene heater while you are asleep. Now based on running the heater 12 hours per day you will need about 1 gallons a day or 7 gallons per week to run your heater. I don’t think I would have to run the heater for 12 hours in a day to keep my house warm as my home is well insulated and I have warm clothes I don’t mind dressing layers. But let’s say the experts are correct and I need the heater for 12 hours everyday for heat 6 months of the year. I’m going to test my heater and see how much kerosene is needed per day and per week and see exactly how much fuel is needed to keep the house warm during the winter.
I focused on propane for heating and cooking only and figured I need about 2-3 gallons of propane per day and that did not include using propane for lights. The total cost per month using propane was at least $120.00 per month not counting the cost of a small tank or using propane for lights.
I’m not knocking any fuel or saying kerosene is perfect for a prepper. But kerosene is darn nice choice as a fuel and you get a lot of heat and light for a relatively small cost. We don’t know what fuel will be best in the future but I do know most everything in the US army ran on JP-8 which is kerosene so you might be able to trade with soldiers. Yes soldier’s will trade with the population. When I was stationed in Germany doing field training, we often traded MRE’s for home cooked food and other stuff with the civilians. I don’t think the US military has many things that run on propane.
I know I was quite surprised on how far a little kerosene will go if you have a couple of lamps and a kerosene heater. Based on the cost factor alone, I’ll be adding more kerosene to my fuel stash as it has a good “bang for the buck”. Plus having multiple types of fuel you can use I figure is a big deal. Wood, butane, propane and now storing kerosene gives me flexibility to react and buy what is available or cheap.
Obama’s EPA is on a “Green Agenda” bender and I can say that Obama is keeping his promise of energy prices must skyrocket in cost for his agenda what ever it is he has planned. It is happening now, so you must have backups to your backups. A mix of a small gas generator, Solar energy for charging batteries and small electronics or lights. A big kerosene heater and a few lamps and add a little propane stove ans solar oven. This type of energy set up will give you a lot of flexibility and I didn’t even touch on using a wood stove because a wood stove needs to be installed properly to be safe and that is kind of expensive. You can get a kerosene stove at a yard sale and fuel at your local hardware store and it is ready to use without meeting a city code.
Last but not least, I can use my propane exclusively for cooking and the kerosene for most of the lighting and heat for the house. No need to spend over a $1000.00 for a wood stove and installation or get permits and deal with winter burn bans on fireplaces.