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Kerosene vs propane bed bug heaters: safety and efficacy

by Dr. Michael R. Linford
June 29, 2018

Kerosene used in insect erradication produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide and less heat than propane bed bug heaters.

A client posed a solid question the other day: why use our Titan 450 propane heater costing more than $5000 when, for the same BTU, a kerosene heater can be had for about $500? Several reasons.

1. Kerosene heaters are highly flammable

2. Kerosene heaters are not ductable. This means you have to operate them within the structure being heated.

3. Kerosene heaters produce high amounts of carbon monoxide when ignited and producing heat. This often leads to a dangerous level of carbon monoxide in the treatment area.

4. The flame extends beyond the barrel of the heater. I know of at least four fires which have been reported over the past 6 years that completed destroyed the structures with people trying to heat with kerosene heaters.

5. The airflow/cfm is so poor that it is almost impossible to get heat to the most distant part of the structure or rooms being treated. This requires more heaters to reach temperatures lethal to insects which produces even greater levels of carbon monoxide and additional exposure to potential fire damage.

I was treating some apartments in Las Vegas and the company went to the rental yard and got some kerosene torpedo heaters. I put them on a table blowing through a window. The flame singed the outside of the structure, the window frame and the screen. There is no way to control the temperature on these types of heaters.

Titan 450Titan 800
output513,000+ BTU990,000+ BTU
8-hour treatment areamore than 2,000 sqftmore than 3,000 sqft
power7A 120V7A 120V
air flowup to 4,000 cfmmore than 5,000 cfm
propane tank5 or 10 gal or larger25 gal and larger
dimensions43”L x 23”W x 29”H50”L x 27”W x 30”H
weight100 lbs140 lbs
fuel use~1.4 gal/hr2-4 gal/hr

I have designed the Titan 800 and Titan 450 propane heaters to be able to optimally and efficaciously accomplish an eradication of the target pest. These heaters:

1. Have a thermostat to control the temperature and a valve to control the fuel flow. The Titan 800 has a longer barrel which increases air pressure and reduces the potential for flame-out.

2. The Titan 800 produces more than 5000 cfm and can force air up three to four stories from the outside of the structure.

3. The Titan 800 and Titan 450 never need to be operated inside the structure as they can be ducted to deliver hot air from outside the structure into the treatment area.

4. Treatments are done in an open system, meaning that fresh air from outside the structure is typically heated and introduced into the structure, and then the heated air exits the structure. This limits the amount of carbon monoxide that can remain in the structure at any given time. The Titan 800 produces 11 ppm (parts per million) of carbon monoxide after 8 hours of heating. OSHA has set a limit of 50 ppm as safe.

5. The Titan 800 and Titan 450 are prescribed by doctors to out gas VOCs, chemical compounds, and eliminate micro-organisms for chemically-sensitive patients and asthmatics.

6. The Titan 800 and Titan 450 have been involved in tens of millions of treatments over the 30 years since I developed this technology—all treated without a single fire.

7. The Titan 800 and Titan 450 can be used for disinfection, drying, and deodorization of dog urine, cat urine, toilet overflow, and cigarette smoke.

8. The basic form of the Titan 800 and Titan 450 has been around for 30 years and some of these original heaters are still being used by some of my clients.

9. The Titan 800 and Titan 450 come with technical support and analysis 24/7.

Dr. Mike

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