Non-electric Heat Options

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Forum topic by OleGrump posted 01-01-2018 04:32 PM 747 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View OleGrump's profile


566 posts in 1117 days

01-01-2018 04:32 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Here in Mid-Maryland, electricity costs just about treble in the Winter. Therefore, I am looking into non-electric options for providing heat in the garage workshop. Yes, ideally, I would have a wood stove, but this would involve a LOT of retrofitting the space, and would make it more difficult for the wife to park her vehicle in the garage. (Which she does, occasionally) As far as actual woodworking itself, I’ll be keeping power tool use to a bare minimum and work mostly with hand tools during these months. The treadle scroll saw should help keep me warm….LOL.
SO, I’ve been looking into some other alternatives, like propane. I would appreciate hearing input from other members of the Group as to what has and/or has not worked for them.

Thank you in advance for any information you may be able to provide on the subject.

-- OleGrump

10 replies so far

View Fresch's profile


489 posts in 2693 days

#1 posted 01-01-2018 04:35 PM

How much money are you going to spend?

View Carloz's profile


1147 posts in 1363 days

#2 posted 01-01-2018 04:49 PM

Get some solar panels.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6241 posts in 3265 days

#3 posted 01-01-2018 04:56 PM

Of the last three shops I had, all were equipped with LP furnaces. t has generally been well less than $1000 excluding any LP tank costs. I strongly suggest if you choose to g with LP, make it a vented furnace as opposed to the unvented heaters. They generate so much moisture it can be a real problem with not on;y your tools, but maybe the building. I had one for one day in a garage. Ran it that one day and found water dripping from the roofing deck. The ceiling was insulated but no vapor barrier. I took it out that day and gave it to Goodwill. Back to the furnaces. My last shop was 24×32x8, and fairly well insulated. The furnace was a 45K BTU ceiling hung unit. The most gas I ever burned in it (detached building) was 150 gallons over the entire winter (NW Ohio), so I considered it fairly reasonable to heat. This was 50° when I wasn’t in there, and 65° most of the time when I was. My current shop is 30×32x10, and I put the same kind of heater in it, one size larger (60K btu). I haven’t had an entire winter to heat yet, so no cost/usage info. these furnaces are generally a tad over 80% efficient, bring the shop up to temps quickly, and are relatively maintenance free. Also, they are so easy to install (hang, vent, plumb, and turn on) you can do that part yourself.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View LittleShaver's profile


674 posts in 1391 days

#4 posted 01-01-2018 05:03 PM

I’ve been considering an LP heater for my shop. Fred, can you recommend a brand?

-- Sawdust Maker

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2429 posts in 935 days

#5 posted 01-01-2018 05:08 PM

yeah – do you have a budget in mind to offset the heat source ?
I have a friend in S. Georgia that is doing quite well in his business and
converted over to ceiling mounted propane infrared heaters. I have no idea how much
he has invested in it, but, it is very efficient (to him) and warms the large shop quite well.
and no floor or wall space is lost.

Mr. Heater Propane Heater – 100,000 BTU, Model# F191925 $550.00 at Northern Tool


-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View Thalweg's profile


103 posts in 4178 days

#6 posted 01-01-2018 05:13 PM

I’ve got one of the ventless versions in my shop, however, I’m able to run it off of natural gas. I haven’t had any of the problems with moisture that Fred mentioned, but I’m in Wyoming with very dry air. The humidity in Maryland may be considerably higher, so I could see how that could be a problem. The only issue I’ve had with the ventless is some fumes which seems to be caused by dust entering the heater. It’s especially bad if I’ve been doing a lot of sanding. So, periodically I have to take the front off of the heater and blow out the burners. I try to do that every month or two as a matter of routine. That fixes the problem pretty well.

View a1Jim's profile


118065 posts in 4349 days

#7 posted 01-01-2018 05:31 PM

Many people use wood stoves some mounted on shelves up high enough to maintain floor space but feed wood into and burn their scapes, of course, there’s natural gas if that’s available and higher tech are ventless heat/ac if you have that kind of budget, they are very efficient and low cost to run. plus there are theses for others thinking about what shop heat to use.



View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12176 posts in 4201 days

#8 posted 01-01-2018 06:35 PM

Pro Comm heater. Mine heats a 36X26 w/10’ ceiling shop quite adequately.
Avail. for propane or natural gas.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6241 posts in 3265 days

#9 posted 01-01-2018 06:42 PM

I ve been considering an LP heater for my shop. Fred, can you recommend a brand?

- LittleShaver

The last 2 I bought were Sterling Garage Guy heaters. The first one because it was the only one at the time that could be installed as “direct vent” (outside air for combustion). Now most of them have kits to allow that, and I think most f the brands are probably good. I looked at the Modine Hot Dawg and the Beacon Morris (at Menards, a little cheaper) and I still like the Sterling better..even though it’s a little more expensive. Sterling and Beacon Morris are owned by the same parent company, so they may share some internal stuff, but they look very different on the outside. I bought mine on line at Little Green house.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View GR8HUNTER's profile


7551 posts in 1484 days

#10 posted 01-01-2018 07:00 PM

i had this one worked really well BUT is slower to warm up from 33 degrees TO 70

then switched to this style :

which i really love

1- quick heating ( about 1 hour from 33f to 70f)
2- cheap (100.00)
3-works off 20 lbs. or 100 lbs tank
4- faily quite for a salamander ( can still talk over it )


-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

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