DuraHeat DH2304 Kerosene Heater Review

The DuraHeat DH2304 is a 23,000 BTU Convection Kerosene Heater that can heat up to 930 sq. ft. The DH2304 has a 1.9 gallon internal fuel tank that provides enough fuel to burn 9 – 12 hours depending on the wick height setting. Many people find that the DuraHeat DH2304 Kerosene Heater is an excellent choice for alternative heating in homes that use expensive heating methods such as electric heat. The DuraHeat DH2304 Kerosene Heater also provides a good choice for back up heating during winter power outages such as those caused by ice storms. A severe ice storm in many cases can cause enough damage to the power lines that some people will go for days or even a week without power. The DuraHeat DH2304 Kerosene Heater can provide the heat you need to remain comfortable in your home and avoid costly damage from having your pipes freeze. The DuraHeat DH2304 Kerosene Heater is much handier than a wood stove as it does not have to be fixed in place taking up room when not in use and the fuel for it can be stored in a couple of five gallon jugs vs. a woodpile in the yard and another woodpile under cover to keep an ample supply of dry wood. You also do not have to worry about cleaning the ashes out of a DuraHeat DH2304 Kerosene Heater and the hazards associated with the disposal of ashes.

To use a DuraHeat DH2304 Kerosene Heater for heating you will need to buy the heater, a five gallon blue plastic container for kerosene, and a siphon pump for transferring the fuel. Many people make the mistake of buying a battery operated pump thinking it will be easier but when you do the reliability suffers with troubles like dead batteries when you need them and even failure of the pump. The siphon pump is easy to use with just a couple of squeezes to start the flow then when the heater is full unscrewing the cap to break the siphon and stop the flow. Never overfill the heater it can be dangerous and cause a risk of fire, if you overfill the heater reverse the siphon pump and pump the excess back out before lighting the DuraHeat DH2304 Kerosene Heater. You should also keep a couple of spare wicks on hand that will fit your heater and a couple of spare igniters as well. The DuraHeat DH2304 Kerosene Heater’s automatic ignition system uses 2 “C-cell” batteries for easy lighting but the heater can be lit with a match as well.

The fuel selection is very important and only 1-K Kerosene should be used in a DuraHeat DH2304 Kerosene Heater. Never use a fuel other than 1-K Kerosene! The DuraHeat DH2304 Kerosene Heater manual states the fuel should be clear but in the US 1-K Kerosene has a red dye added because fuels that are used for purposes other than motor vehicle fuel are dyed red showing the road taxes have not been paid on the fuel. The dye in the 1-K Kerosene does not present a problem when used in the DuraHeat DH2304 Kerosene Heater except for staining of the components. Kerosene is available in three different ways for sale. The first and most expensive is in sealed metal containers, which offers the highest purity fuel at the highest cost. The next would be from a dealer which buys it in a 55 gallon drum and dispenses the fuel out of the drum, the price will be lower and quality may vary somewhat. The last method and the cheapest is purchasing kerosene from a dealer that has large underground storage tanks and dispenses fuel from a pump. With the underground tank there is an added risk of water contamination but this is easily averted by tilting the container and drawing fuel from the bottom of the container into a clear container where the water will separate and the fuel can be put back into the original container for use with only a small occasional loss which is disposed of.

To operate the DuraHeat DH2304 Kerosene Heater it is as simple as filling the heater with fuel, then waiting 60 minutes for the wick to soak up the fuel. Once the wait is over you simply turn the knob all the way up, open the door above the knob, and push the ignition lever while watching through the door for ignition. Once the wick ignites, release the igniter lever and move the burner knob from side to side to make sure the burner is positioned properly on top of the wick adjuster. After 5 – 7 minutes adjust the height of the wick using the knob so the burner flame is set at the correct level per the manual. Too high a flame produces smoke and soot, while too low a flame can produce carbon monoxide and odors. The first time you use the DuraHeat DH2304 Kerosene Heater you should light it outside or in a well vented area as oils used in the fabrication of the metal parts burn off and produce odors. In use you will find the DuraHeat DH2304 Kerosene Heater to be very clean burning with a slight odor when first lit or, when it is shut off. You need to maintain a clear area around the heater and you should have a carbon monoxide detector in the home. The heater has an automatic safety device that automatically shuts the heater off if it tips over and a large wire guard to prevent contact with the hot surfaces of the heater. Properly used you will find the DuraHeat DH2304 Kerosene Heater to be a safe economical way to heat your home.

The DuraHeat DH2304 Kerosene Heater will require periodic maintenance which the manual covers well. One of the things you will have to do is a dry burn when the wick gets a build up of carbon on it. Dry burning restores the wick to new condition by burning off the carbon. Another is cleaning the wick assembly. These will be the common maintenance items that you have to perform to keep your DuraHeat DH2304 Kerosene Heater running properly, these steps are covered in the manual quite well and they are not difficult. At some point during use the wick may become damaged from water in the fuel or, no longer respond to dry burns. When this happens the wick requires replacement with a new wick. Use only the wick brands and model numbers specified in the manual for your DuraHeat DH2304 Kerosene Heater. The replacement you will find is quite easy requiring only a flat screwdriver, pliers, and a plastic bag to accomplish. The wick the DuraHeat DH2304 Kerosene Heater uses is one of the easiest wicks to replace as it locates using 3 pins on the wick avoiding time consuming measurements.

You will find the DuraHeat DH2304 Kerosene Heater to be an excellent choice for saving money as well as a backup heating source in the event of an emergency heating need.

You can check out and purchase the DuraHeat DH2304 Kerosene Heater at Walmart, Lowe’s, and Home Depot.

If you have any questions or, comments please post them below, I will reply.

Comments

    • Redwood says

      Hi Randy,
      There will be some variation on the lowest level that can be attained.
      Basically there is a minimum flame height for clean burning and if you go below that the heater will produce soot, smells, and CO gas. Due to slight variations in the unit, fuels, atmospheric conditions the low setting will have variations and it is not listed.

      Redwood

  1. Steve Miller says

    Is it possible to save fuel by burning at a lower level? I will be using this unit (only) to heat a van during cold weather when trying to make sure that equipment inside my van doesn’t freeze. I don’t suppose it’s too hard to heat a standard size van. I am also curious about two other things:

    How much does the kerosene generally cost?….and

    Is the an automatic safety device that shuts the unit down if it produces to much carbon monoxide or other chemicals harmful to humans? I DO NOT WANT THIS! I cannot have the unit shut off during the night, allowing equipment in my van to freeze. Any info would be helpful. Thank you!

    Steve Miller

    • Redwood says

      Hi Steve,

      I’m going to say I’m more than a little fearful of your using a large kerosene heater in this application.

      1.) The DuraHeat DH2304 is designed to heat over 7,000 cu ft of space so unless you have a tractor trailer for a van you are into severe overkill.
      2.) The kerosene heater requires clearance between the heater and combustibles to prevent fire which in the confines of a van is next to impossible to attain.
      3.) The heater does not have a shut off device for CO gas but when operating at a low level improperly burning the level of soot produced would certainly have you washing the soot off the windows in the morning. Also CO gas is a flammable gas and at elevated levels fire or explosion may result. Also your customers may not want soot stained, smelling carpets installed.
      4.) You have more than a few flammable glues and solvents you also store in the van which will be too close to the heater.

      I would encourage you to find other means to heat your van.
      Possibly a small electric heater you can plug in at night that has smaller clearances to combustible items, is designed for a smaller space, and only blows hot air out of it so there is not a fire hazard.
      Parking in a heated garage at night, or setting up heat in the van using a block heater and auxiliary heater in the van.

      Hopefully I’ve succeeded in talking you out of your plan,
      Redwood

  2. Kirby Zicafoose says

    Hi. Do you have a suggestion for a heater that could be used to keep an unattended cabin from freezing up in the event of a power outage? The cabin is uninhabited much of the time – a weekend place in the country with no neighbor to check in, and where the power occasionally goes down in a storm, etc. My sense is that most kerosene heaters require some adjustment upon ignition, so I’m assuming they don’t typically come with an auto-ignition that kicks in at a preset temperature. Any models out there that do have auto-ignition? Any suggestions you have will be appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Kirby

    • Redwood says

      Hi Kirby,

      I’m afraid I don’t really have a good answer for you as almost every back up heating system I can think of would require some sort of human intervention or, electrical power to bring it into action. Kerosene heaters such as this would require you to both light it and refill it after 8-12 hours of operation.

      The suggestions I can offer would be back up power either in the form of a backup battery powered interruptible power supply that is large enough to provide power through the outage, or a standby generator with automatic starting and auto transfer. Neither of these would be inexpensive and given the fact that this is a cabin outages may be prolonged making batteries unfeasible and generator fuel a concern. Using the same fuel for the generator as you use for heat may lessen this as a concern, diesel if you use kerosene or, fuel oil, LP or, natural gas are all possible fuels for a generator.

      Another possibility that probably is advisable for any unattended building is an alarm system that will provide notification to you of power outages, and low temperature in the building. Even with power the heating system may have a failure and this would let you know a problem exists. Of course if the cabin is too far away for you to travel to it in a timely manner you will need to have someone local that can deal with the problem for you.

      I hope these suggestion are helpful to you,
      Thanks for posting your comments,
      Redwood

    • Redwood says

      Hi Alejandro,
      I cant say for certain what the difference is except that it is an older model and the specifications are the same.
      I’m sure the changes involve safety components I do not have the information available to me. When the model was dropped so was the information.
      Redwood

  3. David says

    I purchased a DH2304 for heating my garage when I work during cold temperatures. Didn’t use it frequently, but thankful I had bought it when our heat pump failed recently. It has kept our 2,000 square foot home comfortable when overnight temps dropped into the teens. It actually becames too warm at times when daytime temps reach the forties.

    I generally agree with your review. My DH2304 has a listed fuel capacity of 1.67 gallons which easily lasts 9 hours, but I don’t believe 12 hours is possible. I don’t want to try that either while heating the home as that much time may approach the the dry burn period thereby causing carbon monoxide & higher levels of soot. I also don’t agree that kerosene is economical, particularly for long term use. Packaged 1-K kerosene sells for $7 – $10 per gallon in my region, depending on package size (locally, a 5 gallon can at Home Depot sells for $42). I haven’t found a distributor that dispenses from 55 gallon drums. K-1 at the pump sells for $3.299, so even at that price, my cost is approximately $.61 per hour. I do use an additive with a vanilla scent to combat moisture & reduce odor; that works well.

    • Redwood says

      Hi David,

      They are indeed a great backup heating unit to have when the main heating unit for your home can’t operate due to either problems with the unit or, something like an ice storm knocks out power for an extended period of time. Your heat pump failure could have been very costly if the pipes in your home had frozen while the heating was out of service.

      You are right the economy of the unit is dependent on the energy costs for kerosene and whatever energy runs your heating system. In my case the electric baseboard with $0.27 kw/hr was pretty steep and the kerosene was lower than it is now. When you look at alternative fuels the energy costs of each always has to be weighed as the energy costs fluctuate. Right now my kerosene heater is a back up heating method waiting to be used in an outage where it will save the day.

      Redwood

  4. Frank says

    I am about to purchase a DH2304 for heat in our our football tailgating canopy which is 10′X10′ and has the clip on sides to block wind and such. How well do you think it’ll work in this application? Also, how long should we let it cool after running for 4-5 hours before packing it up to put inside our vehicle while we are in the stadium?

    • Redwood says

      Hi Frank,
      I have some real concerns about using this heater in the application you are discussing.
      This Caution out of the manual for the DH 2304 spells disaster.

      The unit is EXTREMELY HOT while in operation.
      Due to high surface temperatures, keep
      children, clothing, furniture, and other
      combustible objects at least 36” away from top
      and front area.

      Once you place that 3′ safety radius in a 10′ X 10′ tent what have you got left?

      I’d find something else to use,
      Redwood

  5. Eli says

    Adjusting the heater for a better burn.
    Hello,
    I recently purchased the Dura Heat 2304 from home depot, and wonder if there is a relatively standard troubleshooting guide to fixing a low burning wick. I have put just over 10 gallons through the heater, and while the first few gallons went smoothly, since then the flame does not seem to reach beyond the inner metal flange the requisite 1/2 inch. It also creates more odor, and does not seem as hot. I dry burned the unit after one week (as per the instructions) although the wick looked and felt soft. The adjustment for the wick is and has always needed to be fully up. (Anything else causes the flame to flicker and to be hidden in the burner unit.) I have jiggled the burner assembly as directed, but it always has seemed to be seated properly. I have always used 1-k kerosene, and although I guess there could be some water or other contamination, I don’t have a high index of suspicion for that. I wrote to the manufacturer via their website (with a promised 48 hour response) but have received no reply. I will call the number on the heater before I return the unit to Home Depot. I have seen this problem noted in a few of the Home Depot reviews, including one person who claimed it occurred with 3 of them. (No one has addressed a fix, though.) Still, it is not a common problem; the overwhelming majority of reviewers give the heater very high marks. Perhaps it is a wick adjustment issue? Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks.
    Eli

    • Redwood says

      Hi Eli,
      I suspect that with the dry burn not improving the combustion you might have had fuel contaminated with water go through the heater. This typically causes an area of the wick not to burn properly. You will need to soak up any water inside the tank of the unit and change the wick to restore proper operation. I recommend avoiding drawing fuel from the bottom of the can when filling the unit to avoid future water contamination.
      Redwood

  6. Eli says

    OK. Does that mean there usually will be a mostly intact ring of good burning wick, with some spotty areas of poor burning wick/flame? I ask because the whole ring burns too low with the flame below the flange. Slightly depressing the igniting mechanism lifts the burner up and seems to improve the flame appearance. That is why I wonder if the wick is just not set high enough. I will draw some of the fuel from the bottom of the blue tank to see if there is any oil/water level to suggest water contamination, although, as you said, the contamination could have happened in a previous fill. If the type of low flame I am describing is characteristic of water contamination so be it, but is there a typical appearance of a wick that has had water pass through it? Thanks for your advice.
    Eli

    • Redwood says

      Hi Eli,
      Usually if water has contaminated the wick the flame will be spotty, unless the water got to pretty much all of it evenly.
      Something is obviously going on with the wick either it isn’t coming up high enough or, water contamination.
      The burner would have to be disassembled to see what is going on.
      Tilting the burner by pressing the igniter will always change the flame appearance and make it taller, It will also make smoke.
      Redwood

  7. Guy Strem says

    I have a Duraheat 2304 that doesn’t have a lot of hours on it, but smokes so bad I thought I was going to burn my house down. The unit lights fine, but the flame is too high – and according to the owners manual, that will make it smoke. I can NOT turn down the wick height though – it’s at its lowest setting and still smokes. Took it apart and cleaned some carbon flakes out of the way, and checked the top of the wick. Overall it seems pretty soft to the touch and does not seem very stiff at all. Cleaned the entire inside of the unit (a few times now….) and it still smokes. It’s in like new condition and I’m getting ready to throw it in the trash.

    Any ideas or help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Guy

    • Redwood says

      Hi Guy,
      I would start checking the fuel reservoir for water contamination and pumping out as much of the fuel as you can. To do this I would elevate the heater then place something under the side opposite the fill cap to tilt the fuel towards the fill cap side of the tank. Use the transfer pump/siphon to take as much fuel out of the tank as you can, place the fuel into a clear container where you can see any water that separates to the bottom. Once the tank has been drained down as far as possible shine a light into the tank opening and look for any water contamination in the remaining fuel. If any water is/was present in the removed fuel or, the remaining fuel in the tank change the wick. If water was present make sure that you also completely remove any water remaining in the fuel tank of the heater.

      Water contamination of the fuel will effectively instantly kill any portion of the wick that it contacts causing that section of the wick to repel fuel. Once any section of the wick has been killed the unit will smoke regardless of the wick height and appearance of the flame. Water contaminated fuel can be recovered by allowing the water time to separate to the bottom, and carefully pouring the fuel off the top. You can guard against future contamination by tilting the fuel container away from the opening and having the transfer pump/siphon draw fuel from the uphill side of the container until the container is nearly empty when you can shine a light into the container and inspect the remaining fuel for water contamination.

      If there was no indication of water contamination of the fuel, and while the fuel tank has been drained, perform the “Clean Burn Procedure” on the heater. You indicated there was carbon present which you had “Removed,” the clean burn is the only effective way to remove carbon. Make sure that you place the heater outside when you do this procedure, turn the wick to maximum height, allow the heater to burn until it goes out from running out of fuel, then wait 30 minutes before relighting the heater, and allow it to burn out a second time. Refill the heater and wait 30 minutes before relighting.

      If water contamination was not the problem I suspect that you may have actually been setting the flame too low, which will cause smoking and a carbon buildup. The instructions should really include color photographs to show the flame at the proper height as the line drawings are difficult to properly understand. You are probably better off looking down from above to see the flame extending 1/2″ out past the top disc of the burner.

      I hope this helps you get the smoking under control,
      Redwood

  8. Matt says

    Hello,
    I just purchased a DuraHeat 2304 a week ago along with some of the bottled 1k from home depot. It seems to be working fine but like a review above I cannot get the flame much higher than the 1/2″. I am not sure it even is within that range, I guess it comes out around the side of the disc and maybe a 1/4 inch above it. The wick is ALWAYS maxed out since I light it until I turn it off, I never have to back it off. It does NOT emit any odor other than when I first light it and turn it off. Also I am wondering if the flame should burn quietly kind of like a candle or not. Mine makes a “flickering” sound if that makes sense.
    Thank you for your help.

    • Redwood says

      Hi Matt,
      I’m not entirely sure you are measuring the flame height correctly. The flickering sound is usually a sign of sections of the wick not staying constantly burning, a flame that is too high, or fuel starvation caused by low fuel, a wick compromised by water (almost impossible if you are buying the expensive canned fuel) or, a wick with a severe carbon build up in need of a dry burn. The flame should be steady and quiet.

      Hope this helps,
      Redwood

  9. Matt says

    Thanks Redwood,
    I am measuring the flame by the picture in the manual. It comes up from the wick and out and barely around the disc. I couldn’t get it higher than this if I tried. I have seen you tube reviews and people backing down a rather large silent flame after lighting it. My wick adjuster is all the way up from lighting and stays there. If I turn it down just slightly it will start to go out. The fuel tank always with least 1/2 tank or more full. There is not soot staining the heater from a high flame and no smells at all.
    Anyway I am doing a dry burn now, it lights fast but the manual recommends dry burning after your first week of burning so I hope this helps. I did switch over to bulk clear 1k kero from a local dealer and burned a gallon of that with no smells at all and the same flame and noise as the expensive stuff.
    Thanks again for the timely response.
    Matt

  10. tim says

    I recently purchased a Duraheat kerosene model #2304 heater. I’m a bit uncomfortable with moving the unit as the handle periodically slips out from the side of the cage. I could probably rig it with some wire for a temporary fix but was wondering if any of you have come up with a more permanent solution. thanks. Tim

    • Redwood says

      Hi Tim,
      I wish it was designed with something on the backside that would lock it in place securely but since there is no means of access that can’t be done. The best solution I have come up with is to bend the ends of the handle inwards to increase the pressure holding it in place. You aren’t moving the heater while it is lit are you? If you are you shouldn’t be!
      Redwood

      • tim says

        Thanks Redwood. It’s my understanding the heater should be lit outside and then brought into the home a few minutes after it is lit to reduce initial emissions into the home. Then, when putting the flame out, the heater is supposed to be first taken out of the home and brought outside. If this is true, I need to carry the heater (carefully) while its lit. i may be wrong…is it okay to light and extinguish the flame inside my home?
        Tim

        • Redwood says

          Hi Tim,
          I believe the manual states that the heater should be refilled outdoors, and to place it outside when conducting a dry burn, but does not say light it outdoors. The tip over shut off is quite sensitive and in most cases would shut the heater off when it is being moved, as well as the obvious danger of burns while carrying it and the possibility of dropping the heater and possibly having it turn over when dropped.

          There is a small amount of fumes emitted on start up and shutting down, which can be controlled with a little bit of ventilation.

          Redwood

  11. jennifer madonna says

    I had to buy automotive diesel fuel for mine cause our town ran out of kerosene. it seems to be running okay. But its 7 degrees and we had no choice. I hope I will be ok.

    • Redwood says

      Hi Jennifer,
      I’m not sure of the possible ramifications of using diesel fuel in a kerosene heater, but every kerosene heater I have ever seen stressed very heavily the importance of using “Only K-1 Clear Kerosene.” Hopefully the consequences aren’t anything more than soot, and aren’t health or safety related.

      Personally I’d recommend shutting it off, emptying the fuel out of it, replacing the wick, and refilling it with K-1 Kerosene when it becomes available again.

      Redwood

    • jennifer madonna says

      I have a new problem. Now the heater is no longer heating the room.Why? It’s full of diesel as before, and now it isn’t heating at all. You can feel the heat from the fact that it is lit; but that’s all. Why?

      It ran great at first, and now nothing. It’s about as good as having a big candle in the house.

      Is it because it’s only 1 degree outside?????

        • Redwood says

          Hi Jennifer,
          The outside temperature of 1 degree, the ceiling fan, and the fuel being used all has a bearing on the ability of the kerosene heater’s ability to heat your home. I’ll stand by my original advice to get the heater operating on the proper fuel.
          Redwood

  12. Danners says

    Can’t shut off heater. It’s DH 2304 old one but well maintained. I have kerosene in it still but can’t get the spring lever to trip & shut off. Anything suggestions??

    • Redwood says

      Hi Danners,
      It sounds like you have a carbon buildup on the wick preventing it from moving freely. I’d suggest taking the heater outside and performing a dry burn on it. If that doesn’t help then replace the wick.
      Hope this helps,
      Redwood

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