Why Is My Dyna Glo Heater Blowing Smoke?

A Dyna Glo heater helps maintain comfortable temperatures in your home during colder seasons. But sometimes, you may notice that it is blowing smoke. Why does this happen? We researched the topic to help you unearth and resolve the problem.

You can expect your new Dyna Glo heater to blow smoke when you light it for the first time as it burns the oils used during its manufacturing. Other reasons why the Dyna Glo heater may blow smoke include a dirty burner, incomplete combustion, the wrong fuel, and the heater having a defective wick.

Smoke coming from your Dyna Glo heater does not always imply that the heater has an acute problem. So, you don't have to call in an HVAC expert as soon as you notice the smoke. Instead, try diagnosing it first. Please keep reading to find out how to do this. We'll also tackle other heater-related queries.

Diagnosing A Dyna Glo Heater That Is Blowing Smoke

Black kerosene heater in a white background composition. - Why Is My Dyna Glo Heater Blowing Smoke?

We all want the benefits of having a heater to help keep our homes warm without enduring smoke. Furthermore, the smoke from a kerosene-powered heater can contain high carbon monoxide quantities, which may be fatal if inhaled.

Compared to kerosene-powered heaters, it is not common for Dyna Glo heaters that burn natural gas or propane to blow smoke. But the presence of smoke in either circumstance implies something is wrong.

Here are some reasons why your Dyna Glo Heater may be blowing smoke and what you can do about it.

Burning Oils Used In Manufacturing

It is not uncommon for a new heater to blow smoke the first time you light it. So, do not be alarmed when this happens. The smoke is caused by the heater burning oils used during manufacturing. And these oils are meant to protect the burner from rusting.

While you cannot avoid this incident, you can ease the discomfort by lighting your portable Dyna Glo heater for the first time outside to let the smoke disperse quickly.

But if it is windy, you are better off lighting the heater in the garage, porch, or another well-aerated space. Not lighting the heater outside when it is not calm or windless minimizes the risk of the heater starting a fire.

Dirty Burner

Your heater's burner can gather dust when it is not in use. Smoke from the combustion of the accumulated dirt and debris may blow out when you light it at the onset of the heating period.

To avoid this, clean the burner before lighting the heater. You can use compressed air to get rid of the dirt. The compressed air you use shouldn't exceed 30 PSI to avoid damaging the burner's pilot assembly. You can also use a vacuum in the blow position to clean the burner.

Alternatively, you can disassemble the burner assembly and brush off the debris. This method may be more practical for a kerosene-powered heater whose holes within the burner cylinder may be plugged with soot.

The smoke from lighting a heater with a dirty burner often dissipates quickly - once the debris are wholly burnt.

Incomplete Combustion

Heaters that burn kerosene to generate heat energy require a sufficient amount of oxygen for complete combustion to occur. So, the heater may blow smoke if you use it to zonal heat a small room or an inadequately ventilated room.

Although natural gas and propane heaters burn cleaner than kerosene heaters, they may still produce smoke if there is insufficient oxygen to complete the combustion process. 

Typically, when there is incomplete combustion, the smoke will be sooty-black. 

Ensure you use your portable Dyna Glo heater in a well-aerated space to facilitate proper combustion. Also, ensure that the burner sits level over the wick to facilitate adequate combustion - you can use the burner knob to adjust its position until it is placed rightly.

Additionally, it is prudent to shield the heater from drafty doors and windows since incomplete combustion can also result from inadequate burning time and poor mixing of the air and fuel. These circumstances may be prevalent in a windy space.

Wrong Fuel 

Dyna Glo recommends using water-clear or red-dyed 1-K kerosene on your heater since it offers cleaner burns. Using other fuels in place of the 1-K kerosene can cause the heater to blow smoke.

That said, some Dyna Glo kerosene heaters are CSA certified for multi-fuel use. Therefore, you can run them on other fuels, such as number 1 and 2 heating oil, JP8/Jet A fuel, or number 1 and 2 diesel. But there may be soot when these fuels don't burn cleanly.

Please note that the fuel you use should be of good quality. Do not use old kerosene to run your heater - kerosene degenerates with time. Therefore, using old kerosene can result in smoke.

If you suspect the heater has old fuel, empty it and replace it with fresh, good-quality fuel. You may need to light the heater from outside and let all the kerosene in the wick burn, then see whether the smoke dissipates.

It is ideal to empty the heater's tank of all the fuel and dry-burn the wick at the end of the heating season to ensure that it will be in good condition for use in the next heating season.

Defective Wick

The wick in a kerosene-powered heater absorbs and delivers fuel to the heater's combustion chamber for burning. But the combustion process generates carbon and tar that accumulate on the wick's end.

If you fail to perform regular wick maintenance to eliminate the carbon and tar, there may be soot and smoke production as the heater runs.

Using bad fuel also affects the condition of the wick. So, it is prudent to replace the fuel in the heater's tank every time you clean the wick to eliminate any chances that water or other liquids may have contaminated the fuel.

Sometimes the wick may be in good condition but wrongly positioned, resulting in a smoke generation. Here, it is best to use the wick adjuster knob and keep turning it as you lower it until it stops generating smoke.

Cleaning the wick after using your heater for the first week and then regularly cleaning it after using two tankfuls of fuel or weekly during the heating season is ideal. You may need to clean the wick more often when using red-colored kerosene instead of clear kerosene.

How To Tell If Your Heater's Wick Needs Maintenance

Large kerosene heater for stores


Watch out for these signs, as they may imply that it is time to maintain your heater's wick:

  • The wick is stiff and difficult to ignite
  • Adjusting the wick upwards or downwards becomes problematic
  • The wick fails to drop fully when you shut off your heater
  • It takes a long time for the heater to move from ignition to normal burning
  • There is a strong odor when you use your heater

How To Clean A Kerosene Heater's Wick

Old kerosene warming stove.


Refer to your heater's user manual to identify the type of wick that your heater has.

If your heater has a fiberglass top wick, you clean it via dry burning. Dry-burning is whereby you let the heater burn until it runs out of kerosene and extinguishes itself.

It is best to monitor the process and turn the wick to a maximum when the flame starts to burn out for the best cleaning experience. Once done, wait for the wick to cool, then inspect the wick for hard parts. You may need to repeat the procedure if the wick does not feel smooth to the touch.

Please note that dry-burning the wick will produce a strong odor. Therefore, performing this exercise outside or in a well-ventilated room is ideal.

But if your heater has a cotton wick, you must trim the top 1/2 inch to clean it. 

Sometimes cleaning the wick may not resolve the problem. In that case, it is best to replace the wick to restore the heater's proper functionality. Please ensure that you choose a good-quality replacement wick since cheap generic wicks can cause your heater to generate a lot of smoke.

See this Dyna Glo replacement wick on Amazon.

How To Replace A Kerosene Heater's Wick

Red flame of oil heater. Kerosene heater; oil stove.

The actual steps you take when replacing your Dyna Glo's kerosene heater's wick will depend on its type and model. Furthermore, the type of wick your heater has will also influence the procedure you should follow.

You can refer to this visual guide as a starting point to replace the wick in your Dyna Glo kerosene heater. For your safety, please ensure that you burn dry all the kerosene in the heater and the wick, then leave the heater for some time to cool before you begin the exercise.

If you carry out all the steps above but your heater still blows smoke, it may need specialized attention. Contact the nearest Dyna Glo service center and ask them to examine your heater to restore its functionality as soon as possible.

To Wrap Up

kerosene heater; Oil Stove.

A new Dyna Glo heater blows smoke as it burns the oil used in its manufacturing process and is present on the burner. Also, the heater can blow smoke when you start it at the beginning of the heating season if the burner is dirty. In both instances, the smoke dissipates after a little while.

Other reasons your Dyna Glo heater may blow smoke include a wrong fuel-air mix that results in incomplete combustion, the wrong fuel, and the heater having a defective wick. Each of these instances requires intervention to remedy.

We hope this article has provided you with relevant information to help you understand and resolve the smoke problem in your heater. Contact the nearest Dyna Glo service center for professional assistance if the issue persists.

Before you go, consider skimming our other posts:

How Much Kerosene Does A Heater Use?

Can You Use A Kerosene Torpedo Heater Indoors?

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