What Is a Salamander Heater?


The Salamander Heater has been providing heat for outside workers in multiple areas of the world for over 50 years and can be operated by gas or an electric output (depending on which type you have). Whether you are a construction employee or just enjoy the outdoors, the Salamander heater can come in handy.

The Salamander Heater

  • According to Absoluteastronomy.com, "a salamander heater is any of a variety of portable forced-air or convection heaters, often kerosene fueled, used in ventilated areas for worksite comfort." They are generally found at construction sites and have been referred to by other names such as "torpedo furnaces," "salamander furnaces" and "salamander."

Origin of Name

  • For the Spanish and Portuguese (Chilean), a traditional wood-burning stove is referred to as a "salamandra." This name reportedly came from a legend that the salamander could withstand fire, which probably derived from instances where a type of salamander which lived in dead logs would emerge when the log was thrown on a fire.


  • W. L. Scheu of Scheu Manufacturing Company (a leading producer of temporary portable space heating equipment) was credited as the inventor of the Salamander heater in the early 1940s. The heater was named after the amphibian who can change colors to match its environment (it is unknown why they gave it that name). The innovative Salamander heater was invented to be a portable device that could provide warmth for construction workers in chilly weather. The heater gained national recognition in the 1940s and began making sales in Europe during the 1950s.


  • Salamander heaters function by pushing cold air though a hot flame by a fan that is installed in the device. With the requirement of ventilation, they typically work well in not only construction sites, but also in garages, workshops and big warehouse areas. They provide warmth instantaneously and are gas-powered (although there are now electric types available for use). Depending on which unit you get, they can use kerosene, natural gas or propane gas.


  • Condensation can become an issue while using a Salamander heater because of the gas that is used. It also produces instant quantities of heat, which promotes rapid condensation. Adequate ventilation is needed for a forced air heater that burns fuel during operation. It is essential to follow the venting instructions that come with your heater.

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