Heat for shop

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Forum topic by GrumpyGolfGuy posted 05-16-2020 11:47 PM 391 views 1 time favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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62 posts in 98 days

05-16-2020 11:47 PM

I got the green light from my wife to convert our single car garage to a wood shop for me. I figure it’ll take me most of the summer to get it done and ready for winter here in Michigan. My question for all you who have shops that require heat thru the winter, what do you use? My main concern is saw dust in the air getting to the furnace burners, you know open flame and such?
I am only in the planning stages at this point, so I have a bit of time before I’ll need heat.


9 replies so far

View Woodmaster1's profile


1499 posts in 3389 days

#1 posted 05-17-2020 12:41 AM

I have a bigmaxx 50,000btu natural gas heater hanging from the ceiling. Cost me around $ 120 a year to heat. No issues with the dust.

View Foghorn's profile


526 posts in 188 days

#2 posted 05-17-2020 12:56 AM

I like the Modine Hot Dawg. Plenty of fully enclosed ones out there but it’s one of the more affordable ones.

-- Darrel

View becikeja's profile


1122 posts in 3615 days

#3 posted 05-17-2020 01:09 AM

I used this in a 3 car garage and it worked great. At the min setting kept the shop between 35 and 40 when I wasn’t using it, and easily got it up to 65-70 when I was.

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View BattleRidge's profile


150 posts in 1018 days

#4 posted 05-17-2020 02:41 AM

I have a 30’ x 40’ x 10’h pole building style shop and use the 80,000 BTU Mr Heater Big Maxx heater (converted to propane). It has performed well and I have had no problems what-so-ever. I am in Ohio and at the present I have a metal ceiling with no insulation, 1/2” insulation on the walls and three insulated garage doors and the heater warms and maintains the shop well, though with better insulation am sure it would do much better. With 80,000 BTU’s I generally figure it uses about 1 gallon of propane for each hour it is in operation. I have had no problem with sawdust or other issues with the heater.

-- ~Art~

View WoodenDreams's profile


1091 posts in 713 days

#5 posted 05-17-2020 05:46 AM

You should also include plans to catch the wading dust with a good Air Filtration Unit. Also will help save your lungs from the dust.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6307 posts in 3295 days

#6 posted 05-17-2020 10:58 AM

I’ve had the gas forced air heaters in my last 2 shops and the current. The first 2 I opted for direct vent furnaces, one was a wall furnace the second a ceiling hung unit. I went with direct vent (draws outside air in for combustion) because I wanted the combustion chamber sealed from the dust. They served me well, and I never had a problem with either after using the wall unit for about 7 years (then we moved) and the ceiling hung one for about 5 years (moved again). The current setup is a little larger shop and I selected a ceiling hung (Modine type) again. But this time I went without the direct vent function. After 3 years I still haven’t had any problems. My concern was fire/explosion and the like, but more what the dust would do if it settled on the electronics….so far that hasn’t been a problem. I do get a little smell the first time it’s fired each year from the dust coating on the heat exchanger tubes…very short lived and not a problem.

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

View controlfreak's profile


926 posts in 403 days

#7 posted 05-17-2020 11:31 AM

I have a 10’x16’ shop and am almost done insulating the walls. Ceiling (roof) is next. I wanted a mini split system but they start at about $1000. I ended up with a 5000 watt heater hanging from the ceiling and cutting a hole in the wall for a window air conditioner. Right now I just turn both off when I am not out there. Later after insulation is done I hope to keep from freezing in winter (I always wonder if glue is goes bad if frozen). I also want to keep the AC on a dehumidify setting in the summer to keep rust at bay.

View ibewjon's profile


1748 posts in 3595 days

#8 posted 05-17-2020 12:23 PM

I have a 16×22 sq ft shop with a 10’ ceiling. 6” insulation in the wall, 10” in the ceiling, which is an important factor in your heat system. I started with a 4 kw in the wall electric heater, which blows the heat out at a low level instead of at the ceiling. I recently added a mini split heat pump / ac. The important part here is the efficiency rating. Mine is 28 for the air, and 14 for the heat. It is efficient as a heat pump down to about 10 degrees BELOW zero. How long are you staying where you are? If a couple years, probably not worth the investment, but if you are staying there, the savings on the electric bill will pay for the mini. I cool for 25 cents a day, no window unit can come close. I heat for about the price of natural gas. There are some diy minis out there, but I don’t know the efficiency rating.

View farmfromkansas's profile


209 posts in 416 days

#9 posted 05-26-2020 12:58 AM

I worked in a cabinet shop that used overhead gas heaters. Blew them out with compressed air once a year. Fire inspector did not say a thing about them. I heat with a outside wood burner. Gets rid of scraps and put sawdust in boxes to burn.

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