Cheapest Method Of Heating A Log Cabin

Diesel Heater for cabin

During the winter months, I used to heat my garden log cabin using an electric heater. Unfortunately, electric heaters are pretty damn expensive to run. Now I use a small diesel heater which works out to be much cheaper than electricity and a portable gas heater.

What Is A Diesel Heater

A diesel heater is a type of heating system that uses diesel fuel to generate heat. It consists of a combustion chamber where diesel fuel is burned, a heat exchanger where the heat from the combustion process is transferred to the surrounding air, and a fan is used to distribute the heated air.

What Type Of Diesel Heater Is Best For a Log Cabin

The type of diesel heater I use to heat my cabin is often called a ‘cheap Chinese diesel heater’. The best prices can usually be found on Amazon and eBay

There are two main types of cheap Chinese diesel heaters:

1) All In One Diesel Heater

As the name suggests, this type of diesel heater is a single unit that houses everything: diesel fuel tank, fuel pump, controls, and heater. The All-in-One diesel heater is very easy to set up. Most only require the exhaust and air intake to be connected, and then you’re good to go. I think that the All-in-One Diesel Heater is best suited for log cabins.

All In One Diesel Heater

2) Diesel Heater With A Separate Fuel Tank And Heater

Having a separate fuel tank and heater is better suited when trying to install the diesel heater in a vehicle or where space is limited. Because the fuel tank and heater are separate, the setup is slightly more complex than that of an all-in-one heater.

Diesel Heater With Separate Fuel Tank and Heater

How To Install A Diesel Heater In A Log Cabin

Setting up a diesel heater is fairly straightforward. It shouldn’t take more than half an hour to get the heater up and running. I’ve created a separate guide explaining how to initially set up a diesel heater

Heater Outside The Cabin

There are a couple of reasons I think it is best to have the heater outside the cabin, with the hot air outlet entering the cabin through a hole in the cabin wall.

  1. Noise – Diesel heaters are fairly quiet, about the same as an electric fan heater on low setting. However, the fuel pump on a diesel heater makes a constant clicking sound, which soon gets on your nerves. 

  2. Exhaust – Obviously, the exhaust pipe of the diesel heater has to go outside. Otherwise, you’ll soon be pushing up daisies. But, I don’t fully trust something that has the words ‘cheap’ and ‘Chinese’ associated with it. I therefore have my diesel heater outside, just in case not all the exhaust is being emitted out through the exhaust pipe.

If you do decide, to keep the heater outside it will need to be kept under some sort of shelter to protect it from the elements. The shelter should have good air ventilation, so the unit itself doesn’t get too hot.

Fuel For A Diesel Heater

Diesel heaters use the standard diesel that can be purchased from most filling stations. The good news is that as a domestic heater, it is perfectly legal to use red diesel which is about half the price of diesel found at filling stations.

Where Can I Buy Red Diesel

I’ve found it quite difficult to get hold of red diesel. There are only two places local to me that sell red diesel and both of them have minimum order amounts, which are way above what I need for a small diesel heater.

If I want red diesel I have to travel about 50 miles to a supplier. Which ends up costing more than I save.

To find a red diesel supplier, type ‘red diesel near me‘ into Google

How Much Does A Diesel Heater Cost To Run

I reckon that it costs me about £0.25 per hour to heat my 5 meters by 4 meters log cabin on a cold day using diesel from the filling station.

Red diesel is nearly half the price of the diesel from filling stations and so costs about £0.14 per hour, which is a really good price.

Using electricity to heat my log cabin on a cold day costs about £0.60 per hour.

Diesel in the UK currently costs about £1.50 per litre at the petrol station

Electricity in the UK currently costs about £0.28 per kilowatt hour


Conclusion: Cheapest Method Of Heating A Log Cabin

Heating a log cabin with a diesel heater is considerably cheaper than using electricity. The cost of a cheap diesel heater is more than a cheap electric heater, but in the long run the diesel heater will soon start saving you money.


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