Domestic Kerosene Oil

1.6m UK households* use kerosene (heating oil) in homes not connected to the gas network As Featured By
Boiler Juice: as featured by Which?
Boiler Juice: as featured by the BBC
Boiler Juice: as featured by Money Saving Expert

What is kerosene?

Kerosene is a type of oil, that is the UK's most common heating fuel for homes not connected to the main gas network. As well as being an extremely versatile oil with many uses, there are a number of reasons why it's the most popular choice for off-grid homes using oil-fired boilers.

  • Kerosene is a non-corrosive fuel, meaning it's far less dangerous than other types of fuel
  • It can be stored for years, provided it is kept safe (consider outdoor storage to reduce the chances of accidental spills near the home)

In the UK, kerosene is often known as heating oil or paraffin. However, it can also be referred to as kerosine, 28 second oil, fuel oil and lamp oil.

Kerosene oil is light in colour, a thin and clear liquid with a density of around 0.81 g/cm3 (gram per cubic centimetre). Colour dye is often used to identify kerosene against gas oil.

Kerosene barrel

Did you know?

1,084,200 barrels of kerosene oil are used worldwide every single day**

The benefits of using kerosene for home heating

Cheaper than gas

Not only is kerosene cheap to produce, but low prices have helped heating oil become cheaper than gas, officially making kerosene the cheapest way to heat your home***.

Choice of suppliers

There are hundreds of UK heating oil suppliers, making it easier for you to compare local prices and find a great deal.

Increased safety

With a clean burn and a low risk of carbon monoxide emission, kerosene is one of the safest fuels available.

More environmentally friendly

Due to the lack of fumes produced, kerosene is considered more environmentally friendly than wood or coal. Additionally, grouped orders reduce CO2 emissions from delivery tankers.

Greater heat efficiency

The estimated efficiency level of domestic kerosene is 90%, compared to 77% for gas and 31% for electricity. This means more heat is released compared to other energy sources.

What else is kerosene used for?

There are two grades of kero oil; class 1 (lighter) can be used in lanterns whereas class 2 (heavier) has uses for domestic heating oil. This adds to the versatility of the oil. See below for some popular uses.

Oil lamp

One of the original uses was as a source of light within oil lamps. Backpackers still use kerosene now for lamps and liquid stoves.

Cleaning liquid

Acting as a cleaning liquid, it can be used on bike chains or rims to remove lubricant.


The high flash point of kerosene makes it the safer option in entertainment. Useful for firebreathing!

Jet A1 kero

Kerosene is a safer component in Jet A1 Kero. Compared to gasoline, it's less prone to freezing and doesn't burn too quickly at high temperatures.

The history of kerosene

In the 19th century, kerosene was a vital commodity of light from oil lamps. It was extracted from coal, oil shale and wood. After the introduction of electricity, which become widely available in the UK during the 1920s and quickly became the most popular source of light, the use of oil lamps dwindled.

Later in the 20th century, millions of UK homes were connected to natural gas to heat homes. These developments for light and home heating have led kerosene to become more commonly associated with rural home heating.

How is kerosene made?

Petroleum, latin for rock oil, is a natural oil found beneath the earth's surface. After being obtained through drilling, it is separated via the process of fractional distillation.

Using high temperatures, the petroleum is broken down into a variety of fuels. This includes; butane & propane, petrol, kerosene, diesel, fuel oil and lubricating oil. The kerosene is then extracted and delivered as home heating oil.

Fractional distillation

Why buy kerosene from BoilerJuice?

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We're the UK's #1 independent heating oil provider, with over 1,000,000 orders

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This results in suppliers competing for your order, making it cheaper for you!

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