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Garage Workshop HEating

2781 Views 12 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  SnowyRiver
I am planning on adding heat to my workshop before winter sets in. I have a radiant heater now that does little to warm up the 2-1/2+ Garage (I get only 1-1/4 of it). I am looking at adding a 60 BTU Modine Hot Dawg forced air heater. I hope a secondary advantage would be by keeping the garage at a fairly low temperature at all times I can help retard rust from settling in (constant temperature can help prevent large condensation from forming). Any suggestions?
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I've had a Hot Dawg for the last 2 years and love it, would recommend it to any one. It has a wall mounted thermostat, set it and forget it. ;-) Mine uses outdoor air for combustion so no chance dust problems.
Sounds good. I did a review of a 28,000 btu gas heater that costs about $150 and heats my shop very nicely. Lots of comments to the review from others too. You might be interested.
From building homes, I had an HVAC contact and we heated 2 of my shops. No I don't have 2 shops, but we did the one in kansas City with a heat pump that got me AC since I only had electric at that home, no gas. That set me back $2500 but it was a 1200sqft shop with 10ft ceilings. When I moved to St Louis, I called him up and asked what he had for used units for a 500sqft shop. He didn't have any used, but bought a bunch of 75kBTU apartment style furnaces that can be ceiling mounted. The previous owner had already run propane to my garage, so that wasn't too big of deal to install, just some black pipe. Called a local heating guy out and paid him $75 to check my install and it was worth every penny to not to have to file the insurance claim I would have had to file. I used the wrong type of shutoff valve, that would have been a disaster. All of that set me back $750, but I have no ac now
I had a Hot Dawg 45,000 btu, propane, when I lived in Maine. Shop was 24×18 and it did a good job of heating. I set the thermostat on 45 at night, to keep everything from freezing then on about 62 during the day.
If I was going to do any finishing or working with highly flammable stuff, I would run the heat up higher then shut if off until I was done. Bought mine from a green house supply in New Jersey and they had great customer service.
You didn't state whether or not the shop was insulated.
Over in the uk we have a wet system which is very poular here.We have heating radiators filled with hot water pumped round the house with a radiator or two in each room as desired. I added a few more to my workshop and they all run from the central heating gas boiler in the house .So this is safe because no gas is in the workshop or any of the rooms it's very warm and toasty in winter when I need my workshop to stop getting too desponadant and keep myself going Alistair
A large gas unit It does nicely for a shop with a 14' ceiling it takes a while to heat but it's mostly insulated.
Close off the 1 1/4 part of the garage for your shop and insulate it will. I closed up the windows and put a good insulated garage door in. I have a 220 electric heater and ceiling fan to move the heat off the ceiling. Once the 14' X 21' shop area heats up, which does not take very long the unit hardly runs. I do not know where you live but it cannot get much colder than Iowa. Just another options.

God Bless
The garage is insulated. It measures 22' depth x 26.5' width x 10.5' height. I can't shut off the shop portion, since I use my wife's side (her car) when I finish and need extra room. My shop is in Michigan, so the forced air heat is needed. Can anyone tell me the how to calculate the correct BTU requirement? And thanks to all for all the helpful hints… to John Gray… you said "uses outdoor air for combustion so no chance dust problems"... do you have a model number of the Hot Dawg HEater you used.
On the thought of cold air return. My HVAC guy said just to filter the return end. I went ahead and made it where there are 3 filters for the cold air return. His thoughts for not using the attic or outside air for return is to save on fuel costs. Using the shop air for return air means it's already heated. Using the attic or outside air it has to heat that air again and I'm sure in Michigan the air can be cold.
Your supplier should have a calculator for the proper model.

Be sure to factor in height and go on cubic footage, not just square footage.

I was thinking you might be at the threshold for a 75,000BTU unit, but you should check with your supplier.

I run a 75,000 BTU Modine and love it. I was having problems with running the "salamander" type propane heater in the shop. Everything would get condensate on it and rust. After scrubbing everything down for the 3rd time I figure enough is enough and jumped on a ceiling mounted unit that vents outside.

The venting is the problem with combustion in the shop. If you run a heater in the shop that burns propane or natural gas, it loads the room with moisture that would be vented outside on a normal furnace.
I think you would do well with Modine. I have one too and its been great. The only down side is it uses a blower so if the shop gets dusty you cant do any finish work until things settle down a bit. I generally keep the temp at 50 degrees when I am not in there and raise it to about 60 when I am working in there. It feels good especially when its -20 outside. I am all insulated like you are and it holds the heat well. If you look at the Modine website it will list the units that are designed for various square footage so its no problem finding the right size. I found the one with the square footage and then went one size larger. No problems with condensation or rust on the tools.
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