Garage heating for safety and economy

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Forum topic by kevinw posted 03-03-2010 08:29 PM 5381 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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199 posts in 5031 days

03-03-2010 08:29 PM

Topic tags/keywords: heat gas electric garage comfort winter

Any opinions on how to heat my garage with the least trouble and cost? I want to do more in the winter, but it is just too cold most of the time. It is an attached garage, but has no furnace vents.

-- Kevin, Blue Springs, MO

25 replies so far

View spaids's profile


699 posts in 4985 days

#1 posted 03-03-2010 08:32 PM

Me too. Winter shuts me down.

-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

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132 posts in 4527 days

#2 posted 03-03-2010 08:43 PM

Are you looking to heat it 24/7 or just while you work?

-- Alex

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Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 5113 days

#3 posted 03-03-2010 08:50 PM

Kevin, I am not sure how large your garage is but I have about 350 sq ft in my shop and run 2 1500 watt space heaters. They keep it comfortable enough for me to work in short sleeves and be able to put a finish on my projects but the temperature rarely dips below 10 degrees F here in Kentucky. One of the heaters is a radiant type and I just leave it on. I turn the other one on high about an hour before I go into the shop.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View NewPickeringWdWrkr's profile


338 posts in 4305 days

#4 posted 03-03-2010 08:50 PM

I have a similar problem. I’ve seen some posts where others have put up 220V heating etc., but I couldn’t afford to do that myself. I have yet to wire my garage to the level I want. I also have a project that I have a deadline on, so this is what I did. It’s not great, but I can get to the point where I can apply some finishes.

I first replaced the 4 door seals around the garage door. HD sells them and for a single car garage, I spent about 150 bucks. I got the good seals (double walled stripping). I also got an oscilating parabolic heater (900 watts on high). That alone will if placed close will warm your immediate area, but if you have higher ceilings, it will still feel cold because there’s no air circulation to bring the warmer air back down. I put an old oscilating fan up high to bring the warmer air back down (but set to not oscilate).

It’s not perfect, and I can’t run the heater on high at the same time as my DC + 1 power tool (the breaker gets tripped), but it keeps me going until I can afford to upgrade.

I’d be interested in hearing other innovative ideas that have been thought of as well.

-- Mike - Antero's Urban Wood Designs

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5849 posts in 4877 days

#5 posted 03-03-2010 08:57 PM

I or we here in the UK use mostly a wet sealed radiator system where the water is circulated round the house from room to room and back to the boiler .Adding a few extra radiators in each shop was my answer. I currently have this system extended from my house in the wood shop and am imminently about to add a few rad’s to my engineers shop which is the size of a single car garage(although I have it stacked with machines .I have mine on 24/7 and find no rust whatsoever Good luck whatever you eventually decide upon let us know if it worked out good. Kindest regards Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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162 posts in 4335 days

#6 posted 03-03-2010 09:00 PM

Options that I have used include the portable ventless gas heater supplied by propane tanks ( no so good on the safety side since you have an open flame, but it will generate tons of heat) I have used one when it is pretty cold, though it can introduce a lot of moisture in the air. second 120 volt quartz radiant heater – obviously much less heat output, and will tie up one circuit ( I have used one – it keeps you somewhat warm so long as you are within a few feet of it – but if you have any other tool on the same circuit, it may trip the breaker, and it warms you, not the surrounding air) , third the oil filled radiator – it doesn’t generate much heat at all and takes lots of time. fourth, the portable 120 volt fan based space heater – even less heat than number 2, and takes a long time to raise the air temp a little, fifth, which I just got a few weeks ago – 220 volt heater. I bought the Farenheat , though it is also sold under the Dayton name, It gets most of my 2 car garage warm very quickly. Downside is cost, and running a 30 amp 240 volt line, though you have the option to set it up to run on a 20 amp line by changing some pins in the heater. Options I looked at by didn’t pursue include a direct vent, totally enclosed flame propane heater – much safer than the cheap portable one I had, though more expensive to install, and the 120 volt 20 amp hard wired baseboard units – again much safer than the portables, but does require a dedicated circuit or 2. I also put in a cheap laminate floor that I got from Sam’s, the cold concrete really makes me feel much colder, and the laminate floor helped a lot.

View TheDane's profile (online now)


6024 posts in 4954 days

#7 posted 03-03-2010 09:05 PM

I solved my problem with a Fahrenheat Unit Heater (see: I turn it on about 15 minutes before I start work in the shop, and it cycles on/off to maintain temp of about 62 degrees. Seems to have only added about $12 to the monthly electric bill.

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

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 5019 days

#8 posted 03-03-2010 09:35 PM

are all your walls insulated? what about the door? Just making sure that is done should help to keep the temperatures more moderate year round. Telling us that will also help people answer how much heater you will likely need.

View kevinw's profile


199 posts in 5031 days

#9 posted 03-03-2010 09:39 PM

To answer a couple of questions:

Walls are insulated and closed in with drywall as is ceiling. Split level home so space between ceiling and upstairs floors are also insulated. I just want to heat it when I am working out there. Moderate winter days it is 50-55 out there, which isn’t too bad and is OK for gluing. Bitter days it gets below 50 which isn’t good for gluing or comfort at all.

-- Kevin, Blue Springs, MO

View mikethetermite's profile


602 posts in 4558 days

#10 posted 03-03-2010 09:49 PM

I have a 750 sf shop. I use an electric heater sold by Grainger. I keep it turned down, then back up just before I’m going to work in the shop. Here is a link to Grainger. This one should work just fine, and not add much to your electric bill.

-- Mike The Termite ~~~~~ Working safely may get old, but so do those who practice it.

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Craftsman on the lake

3887 posts in 4729 days

#11 posted 03-03-2010 10:00 PM

Procom ventless gas heater .If you use propane instead of LP gas the moisture problem is nonexistent. I heat a 25×25 shop (insulated) atop my garage and it’s cost effective and works well. After a half hour I work in my shirtsleeves. I live in Maine, winters usually 0-30 degrees F. during the winter. Third winter now and no issues. The heater costs me about $160, more to hook up of course from the gas man. The flame or moister are non issues. It does a great job. Try and search for procom.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Bret's profile


166 posts in 4786 days

#12 posted 03-03-2010 11:26 PM

I just got one of these heaters from Lee Valley and hooked it up last weekend. It’s fantastic. Won’t heat the whole space (I use one bay of a 3-bay garage as my shop) but it easily heats the immediate work area and keeps me in shirt sleeves and comfortable. I haven’t used it in the heart of winter, but it seems like it’ll keep up on all but the coldest days—maybe not appropriate for gluing or finishing, but for construction, sure.,43456,43465&p=44590

-- Woodworking is easy as 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510...

View Padre's profile


930 posts in 4780 days

#13 posted 03-04-2010 12:21 AM

I use a Hot Dawg, and I absolutely love it. Small hole in the side of the garage, and zippo, you’re done.

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

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51457 posts in 4772 days

#14 posted 03-04-2010 12:49 AM

I use a Hot Dawg too. Its been great. Mine vents out the side of the shop. I ran a cold air intake to it also. Keeps the temp a cozy what ever you need.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

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96 posts in 4345 days

#15 posted 03-04-2010 05:48 AM

I just insulated and heated my 400 sq foot shop. I had to build and addition to house my 50,000 BTU forced air furnace. I my main concern was fumes and saw dust getting into the unit and causing a fire. I spent about $2,000 for the whole job, which includes; insulation, door, building materials, furnace, ducts work, components, plastic, and labor. It wasn’t cheap, but I couldn’t afford 4-6 months of down time.

-- You can't stand apart unless you're prepared to stand alone. Alex, Cleveland

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