Heating a garage cheaply and safely

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Forum topic by Wiley posted 02-23-2010 07:17 PM 10848 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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71 posts in 4036 days

02-23-2010 07:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question heating garage

My shop is currently located in my garage, and here in Denver that means that it’s generally about 38 degrees in there when I wake up. I’m currently using an electric heater, but it uses enough electricity that I have to make sure I turn it off before I turn on my shop vac or it blows the fuse. I happen to have a spare tank of propane and I was thinking of getting some sort of propane heater, but they all seem to be $100+. Given the number of tiny wood scraps I end up with, I’m tempted to try to build some sort of tiny franklin stove to use as a boost on particularly cold days, but I wanted to see if anyone here had any particularly creative solutions to wintertime garage heating.

-- "When you lose the power to laugh, you lose the power to think straight" - Inherit the Wind

17 replies so far

View lumberdustjohn's profile


1263 posts in 4172 days

#1 posted 02-23-2010 07:57 PM

I use a standard house propane furnace. 90 plus.
Keep the temp about 50 unless I plan on being in there for a while.
I then jack her up to 58.

-- Safety first because someone needs you.

View mikedrums's profile


102 posts in 4041 days

#2 posted 02-23-2010 08:00 PM

I have one of those round Kerosene and I’m sweating in an hour.

View b2rtch's profile


4921 posts in 4053 days

#3 posted 02-23-2010 08:34 PM

I have a propane space heater, it works very well but it burns one tank/day. Quite expensive.
Look in the review , someone review a propane heater sold by northern tools ,he was very happy with it.

-- Bert

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 4074 days

#4 posted 02-23-2010 08:35 PM

I have a Kero-Sun space heater which works quite well but I’m not crazy about the smell or the price of kerosene. I also have two electric quartz heaters that are very convenient, but cost quite a bit to use.

Luckily, I’m in a place where overnight temps below 40* are uncommon. – lol

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View TheDane's profile


5938 posts in 4668 days

#5 posted 02-23-2010 09:26 PM

I went with a 240-volt unit heater (see:

First full-month electric bill arrived today … I have been running my heater a couple of evenings a week for an hour or two, and about 5 to 6 hours each Saturday and Sunday. This bill is up $11.21 when compared to the previous month and the same period last year.

My garage is well-insulated, and I try to keep the temp at about 60 to 62 degrees. If it gets any warmer than that, I start to ge uncomfortable wearing sweatshirt and jeans.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View wiswood2's profile


1138 posts in 4701 days

#6 posted 02-23-2010 09:35 PM

My shop is attached to the garage, It is 20×24. I hung a reznor heater in the garage and put a bonnet on it and put a 8 in. pipe thru the wall to the shop caint get any dust in the burners that way, works great I have it on a thermast and I set it at 40 when not in there. Chuck

-- Chuck, wiswood2

View NathanAllen's profile


376 posts in 4149 days

#7 posted 02-23-2010 09:42 PM

Wall mounted direct vent natural gas. Comfortable, cheap, quiet and doesn’t deplete oxygen or release fumes.

View Padre's profile


930 posts in 4494 days

#8 posted 02-23-2010 09:59 PM

I use a HotDawg and love it.

-- Chip ----------- 6:8

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4891 days

#9 posted 10-23-2010 05:31 PM

I use a HotDawg too and love it. Been using it for 3 1/2 years and it works perfectly. Check the link below and also do a search for HotDawg there’s lots of information there. There are several options for the heater mine is a model that uses outside air for combustion, no worry about dust.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View fredf's profile


495 posts in 4715 days

#10 posted 10-24-2010 07:23 AM

wood is nice but check with your insurance company, many wont insure

-- Fred, Springfield, Ma

View SteveVo's profile


3 posts in 3272 days

#11 posted 03-22-2012 09:21 AM

Propane heaters are good, but they pose a fire risk, because there is a chance it may just explode if overused. You can try using designer radiators. They are quite affordable, and they come in all sizes, in which one may fit your bill perfectly.


View MoshupTrail's profile


304 posts in 3486 days

#12 posted 03-22-2012 10:23 AM

I chose a wood burning stove. BUT, that requires some kind of chimney and THAT is expensive. I bought a used stove making the project cheaper. It costs nothing to operate, IF you a plentiful supply of wood and I have tons of red oak that was blown down by a hurricane. It gets rid of small wood scraps and it’s nice to look at.

Wood Stove

Because my shop is in a “garage”, I had to place my stove on a platform at least 16” high. But that actually makes loading and tending easier.

-- Some problems are best solved with an optimistic approach. Optimism shines a light on alternatives that are otherwise not visible.

View Tennessee's profile


2936 posts in 3519 days

#13 posted 03-23-2012 06:45 PM

When I lived in the Poconos I put in a double barrel stove. Way cheaper than a true wood stove and goes forever. had to put in a triplewall chimmey, but it was not that expensive. The double takes up a little room, but you can put in quite large logs which will burn slow for a long time. I simply shut my intake on the front when I got ready to spray, and did my spraying at the end of the session, so I could ventilate things while spraying, before I left. All the stuff in the shop was still warm from the hours of heat, so 10-12 minutes of spraying with the vent system on didn’t cool off the room that much when I shut it all down. Did that for 12 years till I got smart and moved to SE Tennessee!

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View BlankMan's profile


1491 posts in 4358 days

#14 posted 03-23-2012 07:12 PM

I have a Vermont Casting Aspen wood stove in my basement shop that doesn’t take up much space and heats nicely. It doesn’t get below 50° in the basement but it’s still too cold to work comfortably in the winter. When it gets really cold around here like around 0° I use it as auxiliary heat for the house by keeping it stoked and getting the basement up to the low 80’s. Heat rises, does a good job and even prevents the boiler from running.

My insurance does have a separate higher deductible for any damage that would be caused by it, but still insured.

And my fuel is always free. And any mistakes no where to be found. :-D

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View KMT's profile


603 posts in 3667 days

#15 posted 03-23-2012 08:19 PM

I use a wood stove primarily but when I work out of town I have a 2000watt 220v electric that keeps it quite nice. The trick is lots of insulation. R50 in the attic and R28 walls. Home built Shop doors that are R20 rated. Electric is fine if you are well insulated.

-- - Martin

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