The Definitive Diesel Torpedo Heater Guide

The Definitive Diesel Torpedo Heater Guide

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A diesel torpedo heater is one of a few options if you are searching for a larger forced-air heater.

With a diesel heater, fuel is readily available and easy to access, the efficiency is high and the fuel source has fewer safety issues than some other torpedo heater fuel sources.

The beauty is you are able to purchase multi fuel torpedo heaters which include diesel as a fuel source. These are great for versatility.

However, you will need to be aware of some of the cons that come with diesel fuel such as storage of fuel and the cost compared to other fuel sources. Read on for more details on diesel torpedo heaters and their pros and cons or check out our general guide to torpedo heaters.

The Definitive Diesel Torpedo Heater Guide

The DuraHeat DFA75T is a good place to start if you are looking for a diesel torpedo heater. This particular unit is multi-fuel so not only can it run on diesel it can run on other variations suchK-1 kerosene, #1 and #2 fuel oil and diesel, JP-8 and Jet-A fuels.

Dura Heat DFA50 50K BTU Kero Forced Air Heater with Carrying Handle,White/Black
213 Reviews
Dura Heat DFA50 50K BTU Kero Forced Air Heater with Carrying Handle,White/Black
  • Multi-fuel capable - tested with K-1...
  • One-touch electronic start
  • "Runtime" fuel gauges
  • Fuse protected electrical system
  • High capacity sealed fan motor; Heavy duty...

What is a diesel torpedo heater?

The Definitive Diesel Torpedo Heater GuideTorpedo heaters are used as heat source units that work by generating heat from the combustion of fuel.

A fan inside the unit then pushes the heated air out, causing the unit to heat up space around it.

Torpedo heaters are also known as salamander heaters, salamander furnaces or torpedo furnaces.

Referred to as forced-air or convection heaters, these units are generally used in places such as construction sites, warehouses, sporting events, and workshops.

What is important to know is that torpedo heaters can only be used in well-ventilated areas.

Without good ventilation, the heater can be hazardous to human health as well as the property around the unit.

A great advantage of torpedo or salamander furnaces is the fact that they are portable, meaning you can transport them to areas where heating systems are impossible to install otherwise.

What are torpedo heaters good for?

As mentioned above, these heating units are portable and thus very convenient for providing heat in areas where no other heating systems are present.

Torpedo heaters are most commonly used as a heat source for workers and to enhance worksite comfort.

Even though salamander heaters were invented quite early in 1915s, they only became popular in 1940s-50s as a way to keep workers comfortable and able to work during winter.

As soon as the fan is turned on, the burner is ignited and the unit starts to generate heat.

What is great about torpedo heaters is that they remain cool to touch, even while running, so they are very easy to move around the place to find the best position.

These heaters were designed to heat up outdoor spaces such as construction sites and events, as well as very well ventilated spaces such as workshops, warehouses, etc.

Using a torpedo unit indoors can cause a great threat to our health and safety, so it is recommended not to use these heaters in enclosed spaces.

Best Torpedo HeaterWhat torpedo heater options are available?

The production of torpedo heaters has evolved greatly since 1950s.

Today we have several different models of heating units used for the purpose of heating large outdoor spaces.

Thanks to today’s technology, the market is able to offer a variety of torpedo heaters which differ in the way they are fueled.

Therefore, torpedo heater units can be fueled by natural gas, propane, kerosene, diesel or electric, as well as multi-fueled, but we will get to that later.

Kerosene torpedo heaters

Heaters running on kerosene are the most commonly used heating units for a number of reasons.

However, as with any product, there are always pros and cons one must consider prior to making a purchase.

Kerosene heaters release more energy than propane ones and thus create far more heat for the same amount of fuel.

That is one for the plus side but what comes to such effective heat generating, a negative consequence is the odor kerosene releases through combustion.

Therefore, a kerosene torpedo heater can only be used outdoors because it generates large amounts of carbon monoxide that is hazardous to human health.

It is important to know that kerosene heaters come in different grades which you must be familiar with in order to use the units correctly, so make sure you pay attention to that.

Altogether, kerosene heaters produce a lot of heat but they have a strong odor and aren’t environmentally friendly.

Propane torpedo heaters

Propane heaters, on the other hand, are more environmentally friendly, which is what many users want to hear.

Propane is a by-product of natural gas and it is also known as LP gas or LPG.

Besides being more environmentally friendly, propane gas is an odorless and colorless gas.

The fact that it releases no odor is both positive in negative, and here’s why.

Everyone likes a heater that doesn’t smell bad, there’s no doubt in that.

However, since the propane gas has no odor and no color, it is impossible to feel it building up in the air.

Large amounts of the gas are bad for our health but because they can’t smell or see it, people are often unaware of LP gas build up around them.

It is important to become aware of the leaking gas in time so that the negative consequences can be avoided.

Therefore, to solve this issue manufacturers add additional substances to give the gas some color and make it recognizable for safety reasons.

Propane gas produces less energy than kerosene gas and it is a bit more expensive.

But, on the plus side, LP gas can be found more easily than kerosene because it is commonly used for fueling gas BBQs.

The Definitive Diesel Torpedo Heater Guide

Diesel torpedo heater

Diesel-fueled torpedo heaters are commonly used for two good reasons.

As a fuel source, diesel is cheaper and more accessible than both kerosene and propane gases.

As with any other heater, when using a diesel-fueled unit you must be aware of the dangers of the gas.

These units should only be used in spaces with proper ventilation to prevent the gas from building up to the point of posing a threat to our health.

Diesel produces a fair amount of energy so you will be getting quite good results for the money you put in.

A diesel forced air heater is capable of heating up large spaces in general, while the specific number of square feet the unit can heat up depends on the type of the heater and the manufacturer.

In general, diesel is chosen more commonly by torpedo heater users than kerosene, as it is more environmentally friendly, even though it produces less energy than the above-mentioned gas.

As long as space has a proper ventilation, diesel is a great fuel choice for a torpedo heater.

We will get into details of pros and cons of diesel torpedo heaters below.

Multi-fueled torpedo heaters

Last but not the least, there is the multi-fueled heater option many people are interested in.

Thanks to technologies of our age, new models have been made with features that we have never seen before.

Such are the multi-fueled torpedo heater models which, as the name itself suggests, can run on different types of fuel.

This means the user has more fuel sources available and they can change things up every now and then, depending on what kind of results they want from the heater in specific situations.

These units are more convenient because of the fuel prices and fuel availability but also because you can adjust the heater to suit the needs of different spaces.

For example, when you need more heat, you can use kerosene fuel to generate more energy, while when in need of less heat, you can switch to propane or diesel fuel to be more cost-effective and environmentally friendly.

However, with multi-fueled heater models, the dangers of hazardous gas affecting our health are doubled. Therefore, make sure you strictly follow the instructions when using one of these units.

The Definitive Diesel Torpedo Heater Guide

Why choose a diesel torpedo heater

With plenty of choices on the market today, choosing the right heater is not the easiest task.

There are plenty of reasons why you should go for a diesel-fueled heater unit, but before we get into the benefits, you first must consider whether this type of heaters will suit your needs.

As you have read above, other options you have available include kerosene, propane and multi-fueled heaters.

You can decide whether a diesel-fueled heater is a good choice for you based on how large is the space you need to heat up.

Diesel heaters produce a good amount of energy but kerosene heaters produce even more.

If you need a heater for an averagely sized space

(nothing over 2000 square feet), a diesel-fueled unit will do the job just right.

Whereas, if you need larger spaces heated, kerosene fuel might be a better choice.

Diesel-fueled torpedo heaters feature plenty of benefits in terms of cost-effectiveness and fuel consumption.

These units burn the fuel efficiently and convert most of it into heat, meaning there is little to no loss of energy at all.

Diesel-fueled heaters are a very versatile type of torpedo heaters, as there are plenty of different models to choose from.

These units should be completely maintenance free, which is a great benefit as you don’t have to put a lot of work into them.

This, however, depends on the manufacturer and the quality of the heater.

If the heater you purchase is of great quality, you don’t have to worry about maintenance and breakdowns at all.

Another benefit of choosing a diesel-fueled torpedo heater is the fact that the gas is always available. Diesel fuel is very common nowadays and you don’t have to worry about going empty on your reserves.

This fuel has a higher energy content than propane (LP gas) and it is also much safer to use and store than propane.

Of course, as with any other fuel, there are certain safety rules you must follow in order to prevent any harmful consequences.

Diesel torpedo heaters are portable but before transportation you must remove all fuel to prevent potential spills and leakage.

As long as you stick to all the safety rules and regulations, there is no need to worry when using a diesel torpedo heater.

To sum it up, the benefits of choosing this type of heater include effective fuel combustion and heat conversion, versatility, little to no maintenance and available fuel.

Things to consider with diesel torpedo heaters

As with any product, there are certain things you must keep in mind when making a purchase.

When it comes to diesel torpedo heaters, the first thing you must consider is the price.

These units can be quite pricey, depending on the manufacturer and the quality of each one.

The fuel costs, on the other hand, are still lower than the costs of kerosene fuel but with the way things are, it doesn’t seem like the price of diesel fuel is going to get any lower.

Next, you should be aware that fumes from this gas are hazardous to human health.

Because the gas can build up and cause serious consequences, these units should not be used in enclosed spaces without good ventilation.

However, no matter how dangerous the gas is, as long as you follow the safety instructions the unit is good to go.

Even though most of these units are portable, some are quite bulky and heavy to move, which might come as an issue to some users.

Again, depending on the manufacturer, some of these units may be quite noisy, which you must consider if you are going to place them in a work dedicated area.

However, some of these heaters make as much noise as an air conditioner, which isn’t that big of a deal.

It is important to know that diesel fuel will go off in sunlight so make sure the unit is always protected and don’t let the sunlight get to it unless the unit is made of a material that’s meant to stop the sunlight from affecting the fuel.

Last but not least, diesel propane heaters can often create an unpleasant odor so keep that in mind when making your purchase.

2 Good Torpedo Heater Options

Dura Heat Portable Forced Air Heater DFA752

Dura Heat DFA50 50K BTU Kero Forced Air Heater with Carrying Handle,White/Black
213 Reviews
Dura Heat DFA50 50K BTU Kero Forced Air Heater with Carrying Handle,White/Black
  • Multi-fuel capable - tested with K-1...
  • One-touch electronic start
  • "Runtime" fuel gauges
  • Fuse protected electrical system
  • High capacity sealed fan motor; Heavy duty...

The first on our list is a portable torpedo heater from Dura Heat. With 50 000 BTU, this torpedo heater can heat up areas of up to 1200 square feet.

This unit is mainly fueled by kerosene but it was tested with different fuel types and thus can function as a multi-fuel unit.

The fuels that are safe to be used with this unit include K-1 kerosene, #1 and #2 fuel oil, JP-8 and Jet-a fuels and diesel fuel.

This Dura Heat forced air heater includes several great features such as the heavy-duty ceramic igniter, the one-touch electronic start ignition, a fuse protected electronic system as well as a “runtime†fuel gauge and a high capacity sealed fan motor.

The unit is manually controlled and requires a 120 V grounded outlet, making it a perfect heater choice for temporary heating needs.

Pro-Temp Kerosene Forced Air Heater

Pro-Temp PT-70T-KFA 70,000 BTU Forced Air Kerosene Heater, Red/Black
  • 70000 btu heat output
  • Heating Area 1875 sq. ft.
  • Operates 9-hour on full 5-gallon tank
  • Built-in thermostat
  • Power on/off switch

The Definitive Diesel Torpedo Heater GuideThis heater model from Pro-Temp is a more professional choice of heating solution with the ability to heat up larger areas.

With 70 000 BTU, this is a portable outdoor area heater that also functions as a multi-fueled unit.

The tank of the heater is permanently attached to the heater, which makes the unit easily portable and thus more convenient.

The Pro-Temp kerosene forced air heater can heat up to 1700 square feet and operate full 9 hours on a full 5-gallon tank.

The fuels that work with this unit include kerosene, JP8, Jet-A fuel, #1 and #2 fuel oil as well as #1 and #2 diesel fuel.

This torpedo heater is perfect for construction sites and well-ventilated workshops, warehouses, and large garages.

Great features that come with this unit are a convenient power on/off switch and a built-in thermostat that makes it easier to control the heat that the unit puts out.


When we put it all together, we can conclude that forced air torpedo heaters are a very convenient and effective heating solution for work sites and similar areas.

Depending on the size and the structure of the space, you may want to consider choosing one of the four different types of torpedo heaters available.

Each type of forced air heaters has its own pros and cons and, depending on your situation, some heaters are going to suit you better than others.

Make sure to consider all the benefits and possible negative aspects of each type of heater prior to making a purchase.

Do you own a torpedo heater? If so, let us know which criteria you focused on while you were making your decision on which type of heater to purchase!

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