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Author Topic: Shop Heaters?  (Read 2308 times)
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donpearsall
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« on: January 14, 2017, 12:36:44 PM »

I finally have a garage with space to work on my projects. It is a 3.5 stall garage, about 1000 sqft with 9' ceilings. I am in the process of insulating and drywalling it now. I am in the Spokane, WA area where it has been from 0F to 30F the last few months so I need to heat the space to at least 55F.

What is the best way to heat it? I can't spend a lot of $ doing it. I would also like to avoid propane heaters. So that leaves natural gas or electric. Can anyone recommend a permanently installed heater for this size space?

Thanks,
Don
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2017, 12:42:09 PM »

Get a used clothes dryer. Or two!  cheers
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2017, 12:55:10 PM »

Don, you don't want to hear me talk about heating our garage - 'cause we have a propane unit heater that hangs from the ceiling.  Propane is our backup fuel anyway - non big deal to run a line to it.

But what we have is different - a water-to-air heat exchanger hung directly in the air path from the output of the propane unit.  And that exchanger has its own fan/control/thermostat so I set it to blow before the propane 'stat calls for heat.  And through that heat exchanger flows the hot water return from our house to the outdoor wood boiler - usually at 150+ or so.  Stripping off a few more BTUs is no big deal - and things are warm enhough to melt the snow overnight.  And if I want it 55F to work - click the fan controller up to 55 and wait a half hour.  Viola!

But I bet you don't heat with wood, do you?

Might I ask your aversion to propane?
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2017, 01:37:24 PM »

Hanging heaters are available for gas or electric... at reasonable prices... in your area you probably don't need air conditioning
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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2017, 02:25:59 PM »

I have a heater that I bought at a small airport. works extremely well.  Reznor is the manufacturer.  Uses fuel oil or kerosene.  It will need a chimney.

Joe
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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2017, 02:54:40 PM »

Over here in the Spud-highlands it gets farking cold at 6k ft & I heat the shop with free jet-A & used oil in a home built burner. The jet-a is sump fuel from Pocatello airport that can't be recycled back into the fuel farm. Waste oil companies charge to take this away, I do it for nothing that saves them money & get about 300 gallons over a 12 month period. I also get about 150 gallons of 100LL that I run in the plow truck, the front end loader & the jet boat, also free.
A lot of the locals bring me their used oil plus I have a supply of hydraulic oil from an elevator company.
Having the Caribou National Forrest at my back door I used to burn wood in a double stack barrel burner & drip used oil onto that. Then I converted over to just oil by putting a small 4" stainless bowl in the bottom to keep the heat that sits right under a 1-1/2" pipe connected to a blower. My jet-a comes down a 1/4" stainless tube inside that & I regulate it with a T valve. The waste oil comes down the 1-1/2 pipe with the air from a separate tank with a 1/2" gate valve. I start it on jet-a to get the bowl red hot then turn on the waste oil & I can run either or both fuels & turn the heat up or down with the valves. Some of the used oil is dirty & builds up a carbon crust in the bowl that needs to be cleaned out but that's easy enough. It costs me less than $20 / month to run the blower 24-7, that's some cheap heat right there people! By the way, I live in the shop with the Streamliner.
A quick lube place said they would give me 500 gallons of used ATF but I never took them up on it, I have enough now.
  Sid.  
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wobblywalrus
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2017, 11:46:58 PM »

Any open flame or orange hot coil in a garage type work place is a safety issue.  Heaters where these are external and the heat is conducted into the shop by water are safest.  This is a little oil radiator heater I use.  There are no open flames or hot coils.  They would be effective at heating up a big space if it is well insulated and the heater is left on all night so it can get the shop warm.


* Oil Heater.JPG (408.6 KB, 1440x1080 - viewed 63 times.)
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wobblywalrus
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« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2017, 12:28:15 AM »

Don, I forgot an important detail about heating.  The shed is where I work.  It has 2x6 walls and roof with double insulation and double pane windows.  It has a single bike bench since I can only work on one bike at a time.  Tools, shop supplies I use every day, and the Triumpfs are in this heated area.  The boat, trailers, Yamahas, and other stuff that does not need to be heated are in an adjacent storage area.

This is an idea I did not invent.  Pole barns are real popular here.  Eventually a lot of the owners get tired of paying the heat bill and they partition the barn into a work and storage area.     
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wobblywalrus
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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2017, 11:24:04 AM »

It is 20 degreez now at 8 AM and it was that inside the shed at 7 when I went in to start work.  I forgot to leave the heater on.  The chain lube refused to wake up and squirt out of the can.  This fork leg is hard to remove from the triple clamp.  The aluminum tree shrinks more when cold than the steel leg.

This is something we do not always think about.  The clearances we build to and work with are set up for 68 degrees.  Any shop should be at that when we walk in in the morning to start work.

Any practical solution might involve a reduction in work space air volume, insulation, and an affordable heat system that can on 24 hours a day when it is eskimo weather.  My favorite solution is to move to Hawaii.  It seems like a better idea every year. 


* cold shop.JPG (404.33 KB, 1440x1080 - viewed 74 times.)
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« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2017, 11:39:56 AM »

It is 20 degreez now at 8 AM and it was that inside the shed at 7 when I went in to start work.  I forgot to leave the heater on.  The chain lube refused to wake up and squirt out of the can.  This fork leg is hard to remove from the triple clamp.  The aluminum tree shrinks more when cold than the steel leg.

This is something we do not always think about.  The clearances we build to and work with are set up for 68 degrees.  Any shop should be at that when we walk in in the morning to start work.

Any practical solution might involve a reduction in work space air volume, insulation, and an affordable heat system that can on 24 hours a day when it is eskimo weather.  My favorite solution is to move to Hawaii.  It seems like a better idea every year. 

...or Arizona.  wink

Regards, Neil  Tucson, AZ
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donpearsall
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« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2017, 01:33:24 PM »

Thanks for the great suggestions all! I especially like the moving to Hawaii one. But then again, there are no salt flats over there.

Jon, to answer your propane question: I did not want to use propane because I have no room for a large tank, and having to refill the small BBQ tanks all the time would be a hassle. I have not done the calculations, but I think heating with natural gas would be less expensive than propane or electric (in my area).

Thanks
Don
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« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2017, 04:08:17 PM »

Whatever you use for heat hang a couple of fire extinguishers in handy areas just in case. If you don't keep the temperature  at a reasonable level during off hours your tools and work are going to sweat and rust.
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wobblywalrus
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« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2017, 04:48:58 PM »

Don, I asked a guy that knows a lot more than me.  He said a natural gas forced air system works best.  It works even better if the furnace intake is in the top of the barn and the furnace outlet is down low.  This way it recirculates hot air and this keeps costs down.  Also, he recommended an exhaust fan feature for cooling the building in the summer or to get rid of exhaust smoke.  He said the furnace should be located so the flame part draws cool air in from the outside and if you spill gasoline on the inside of the barn it will not suck up the fumes and cause a big fire.  He also said to buy a quality unit with a good seal between the furnace flues and the air that blows across them.  A heat exchanger is what I think he said.  A bit of what he said I could not understand.  Tossing logs on a fire or turning the knob on a little space heater is my expertise.
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« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2017, 08:11:55 PM »

$8.50 per million btu of Ng in Spokane sounds pretty cheap. Wish we had Ng in Port Angeles, Wa.
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« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2017, 09:49:17 AM »

Modine Shop Dawg heater . Now is the time to run the gas line. cheers
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