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Old 10-31-2007, 01:38 PM   #1
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Best heater for shop?

Lets say you're lucky enough to have an enclosed shop/barn that you can fit your AS into and work on it in the winter. But no one wants to be out in a freezing shop handling cold tools in the middle of winter. So what's the best sort of heater to use to heat such a large area to make it comfortable enough to work in?

Any recomendations?
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Old 10-31-2007, 01:52 PM   #2
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Wood stove?
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Old 10-31-2007, 01:53 PM   #3
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When I put an addition on my 2 car garage, I took the old furnace I had in my condo when I replaced it and put it into my garage, running a gas line out there. It's a detached garage, so I had to run a gas line out there.

Could it run on LP? I think so. I'm not a real big fan of electric forced air heat. In the end, I wired my natural gas furnace to the circuits in the garage and built my own plenum, connecting the flexible ductwork to it, with what I bought from Menards/Home Depot. My biggest cost was the gas line to the garage.

I was recently in some guys shop/garage and he had radiant heat put into the floor. It was really, really nice. Even in my garage, I could get it up to 90 degrees in below zero temps outside, but my slab is always bone cold...not an issuse with the radiant heat. I don't think the radiant heat is electric in the slab, but steam/hot water.

Either way you go, I think flame is your friend, be it forced air or hot water heat.

Too bad my garage is too small for my Airstream....it's a warm cozy place in the winter!
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Old 10-31-2007, 02:09 PM   #4
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hi stef

given where you live and the temp range, there are lots of options...

mostly it's about btu-s, safety, comfort and cost in that order...

the comfort issue is what we notice most (after 4king over the cash), since floors (feet), tools(hands), trailers and other objects inside the space get cold too...

-a wood stove/pellet stove, properly vented would be nice and reasonably effective...

also good for fireside chats and refreshments.

-a portable patio stove (gas) could work and again multi task outside for the after hours party! but i'm joking here...

-2-3 wired electric baseboard heaters would also work. that is ALL i used to head my house in the northwet (it was only 1 step above a barn)...

IF you really are pouring a floor (which i doubt) radiant floor would be nice...

the cheapest, most bang/btu, safest approach would be what the commerical shops use...

like this...

Fahrenheat Ceiling-Mount Industrial Heater — 7500 Watt, Model# HUH724SA | Heaters | Northern Tool + Equipment

these get up to speed fast and heat LARGE open spaces well. can be had in gas, oil or 'lectric

a used one can be found IF you watch for auctions and shop closing sales...

a big blower is a real plus since MOVING the hot air around is important in an open shop area...

i would avoid ANY portable gas, kerosene, electric, radiant, catalytic, oil filled, ceramic whatever heater....

they simply do NOT have adequate btu capacity and really are fire hazards in a shop setting...

oh and did i 'forget to turn it off?'...

the great thing about overhead industrial shop heaters (along with the capacity) is they are OUT of the way...

all sorts of accidents are just waiting to happen in a shop setting....

here is a link with a spectrum of ideas, some better than others...

got to the garage/shop page...

patio heaters

cheers
2air'
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Old 10-31-2007, 03:15 PM   #5
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I guess one other important consideration is that we do not have gas out here in the boonies. We'll be looking for an electric heater of some sort.
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Old 10-31-2007, 03:22 PM   #6
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Another consideration when talking cost is insulation. It may be cheaper in the long run to put insulation up to hold the heat in so you aren't trying to heat the whole outdoors ~ probably not as big of a deal where you are, but humongous here...

Check a Habitat for Humanity store - they usually have insulation (and all sorts of new & some used building materials) for 1/2 price of Homey D. Sometimes they have heaters too...really deep discounts if they have what you need. And it supports a good cause ~

Shari
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Old 10-31-2007, 03:26 PM   #7
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I ran into code issues.

I had an overhead natural gas heater in my garage. The town inspectors said that it had to go because it wasn't rated for residential use. The inspectors
don't like to see open flames where their is going to be lawnmowers, gasoline, cars. I am planning a barn that will house my trailer. I want an attached room
that can be heated by a woodstove. The trailer and garden tractors will be in a non heated vented main section. Heated garages have a tendancy to rust cars and I would rather have the propane using trailer in a vented area anyway. If I wanted to heat a garage I would think about electric. Probably more expensive to run, but in my opinion safer. Some of my neighbors pump hot water from their outdoor incinerator to their garage as well as their house.
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Old 10-31-2007, 03:37 PM   #8
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barn heater

Stephanie,

I built a 36X34 timber frame barn. The barn has three bays 34ft long and 12 ft wide. The barn also has an up stairs that is 24X22. One of the bays is open to the rafters.

I use a small radiant heater upstairs in the woodshop. This heater is perfect because I stay in one place for some time.

Downstairs where the vehicles are parked, I use a torpedo heater. I find this heater better down stairs because it heats the surrounding air and generally heats up the entire barn. I like this better down stairs because I tend to be walking around working on the boats or the trailer.

I power both heaters off propane. I have even been known to take the 30lb bottles off the trailer and use them on the torpedo heater.

The torpedo heater makes a lot of noise and burns propane at a greater rate. One of my winter projects is to put disk brakes on the airstream. I'm kind of looking forward to the project because I know I won't be cold using the torpedo heater.

I hope this helps you in your decisions. BTW, the barn is not insulated at all, and there is sufficient air movement between the outside and inside that I'm not worried about carbon monoxide.

Mark
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Old 10-31-2007, 03:38 PM   #9
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You can get an electric-fired kerosene heater, also known as a salamander. They have wheels, a handle, a fuel tank and a cord. They crank out 50+ thousand btu's. If they run out of fuel, they, of course, turn off. Like if you forget to turn it off. And they are inexpensive.
Reddy Heater R50BT - 50,000 btu Low Pressure Kerosene Forced Air Heater with Thermostat - Reddy Heater R50BT - Every Generator - Genertaors, Portable Generators, Water Pumps, Space Heaters, Home Generators, Generator Transfer Stations, and more!
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Old 10-31-2007, 03:56 PM   #10
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Shop Heat

The best and most $ is in slab radiant water heat. You can always set a LP tank outside or go with a outdoor wood boiler (very green). The next best would be infrared radiant heat, either tube or spot heaters depending on shop size. The theory behind infrared is it heats the objects then the objects heat the air. So you and the tools feel comfy. Home Depot stores use IR heaters in the front to heat the checkout lines.

Above all insulate.

Enjoy your shop!
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Old 10-31-2007, 04:27 PM   #11
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Just like in the A/S or house, be aware of the hazard that may exist from Carbon Monoxide if you are using a fuel fired (propane, kerosine, etc) heater indoors.
2air posted some very good safety comments above. Be safe, whatever you do.
Dave
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Old 10-31-2007, 04:34 PM   #12
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I've got about $20 invested

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
... We'll be looking for an electric heater of some sort.
Most of my shop work, in cold weather, is woodworking and I only use heat when the glue might freeze before drying.

My solution was to recycle two old wall heaters, and one space heater. The left-hand heater came from the house I grew up in when my dad converted to central; the middle heater was purchased at a recycled appliance store for $5, and my FIL gave me the right-hand heater.

The whole conglomeration puts out 7500 watts of heat, and plugs in to my stick welder's power outlet.

I guess you might need a "Ford" sign in YOUR garage, though.

Tom
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Old 10-31-2007, 05:40 PM   #13
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nice job towW!

(even with the chevy sign)

it's interesting that both 'dads' in this case had nearly equal size units to contribute....

there are common threads in every generation...

and i agree md'dave electric overhead is safer...

i think stef has a big ol' hydroelectric plant near by too!

or is in nuc-lee-ar?

cheers
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Old 10-31-2007, 06:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bedfords
The best and most $ is in slab radiant water heat.
I agree with bedfords. Radiant heat is wonderful, even set at 60. I have it in Colorado and it keeps everything constant. Add a space heater for those short visits.
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