How do you heat your Garage shop?

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Forum topic by AndyMc posted 12-18-2014 01:13 AM 2306 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 2621 days

12-18-2014 01:13 AM

I realize this question has been asked many, many times, but I live in a somewhat “warm climate” (read- SF Bay Area). For the most part, we rarely go below say 40. That , I’m not afraid to say, is cold to me :) What types of heaters to you all use? Space, electric, propane, natural? My garage is ‘mostly insulated’. I lean toward, inexpensive & easy, but not afraid of spending a few bucks, if it makes me more comfortable.

-- "Get busy livin' or get busy dying" Shawshank

21 replies so far

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3056 days

#1 posted 12-18-2014 01:21 AM

I use a 220volt electric. Bought about 2 years ago on E-bay for less than $100 shipped to my house. Welded a small roll-around base and I have it on a 25ft extension cord so I can move it around and have it pointed towards me near the area I’m working in. If I crank it up to “Hi” and leave it run. it will get my 24 X 36ft shop up to over 70degrees in about an hour.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

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Jim Finn

2877 posts in 3971 days

#2 posted 12-18-2014 02:24 AM This is what I use here in Texas. It is a bit colder here than in the bay area. ( I lived in Sunnyvale for a few years.)

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

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Joseph Jossem

492 posts in 3318 days

#3 posted 12-18-2014 02:39 AM

I have had to put on a sweater in the mornings here hits lows 70s does that count!

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21381 posts in 2906 days

#4 posted 12-18-2014 03:05 AM

I use a 1500 watt ceramic heater with a blower most of the time. I keep it set on the lowest setting all the time. Keeps it around 40 in there. Then I turn it up about 30 min. before I want to work. When it gets really cold I will plug in a second one, but then I start to have problems with breakers. Have to remember to turn off the heater before turn on major tools or else pop. In Mo it gets down to 0° several times each year. I usually avoid those times.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View bigblockyeti's profile


7185 posts in 2770 days

#5 posted 12-18-2014 03:16 AM

I use a 40000 btu natural gas Dayton heater in my shop, much like the one pictured, only a little smaller. Keeps the floor clear and require no preparation like a wood stove would, despite the fact that’s what I’d rather have.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View Jimthecarver's profile


1124 posts in 4835 days

#6 posted 12-18-2014 03:30 AM

I use a pellet stove….they are super.

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View Heywood's profile


46 posts in 2497 days

#7 posted 12-18-2014 03:41 AM

Radiant in floor heating. I keep it set at 58 and I warm up pretty quick once I get busy.

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1699 posts in 3636 days

#8 posted 12-18-2014 04:16 AM

I have 50,000 btu bigmaxx heater so far it has done a great job. The coldest it has been is 25. December 27 it is going to be 9 degrees, that should be a good test.

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2769 posts in 3039 days

#9 posted 12-18-2014 12:30 PM

A lot depends on the size of your work area, are all the energy sources you listed already hooked up and available, where and what type of finishing do you do, and do you use your shop daily?

My area is a 24×28 attached garage space fairly well insulated, in MO where it can get below 0°. I use a small 120V 1500w ceramic heater plugged into a real Lux thermostat for good temp control. I leave it set on 63° all the time, and I’m usually in there an hour or 2 a day at the least. If you use the shop daily and it’s fairly well insulated keeping things warmed up is about the same cost as heating up/cooling down, and heating everything up quickly takes a lot more heater (a lot more $’s up front). I mention finishing because I don’t want an open flame anywhere in a room where I’m using solvent finishes with explosive vapors – this includes solvent poly brushed or wiped on – on bigger projects.

View buildingmonkey's profile


242 posts in 2597 days

#10 posted 12-18-2014 12:44 PM

I have a 50,000 btu furnace I got from my local hvac guy. He took it out of a house they added onto so it wasn’t big enough anymore. It is in the corner of the building, and 3 years ago I put a new AC in the house and put the old one on the shop. Nice to have heat AND cool in your shop.

-- Jim from Kansas

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908 posts in 2953 days

#11 posted 12-18-2014 12:46 PM

I just fart a lot.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

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7185 posts in 2770 days

#12 posted 12-18-2014 12:59 PM

Best heat source there is!

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

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4883 posts in 3562 days

#13 posted 12-18-2014 01:35 PM

Like Jim, I am in central Texas, I use this Stanley heater to warm my stand alone shop.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 3419 days

#14 posted 12-18-2014 01:51 PM

Does body heat count? My shop was down around 35 the other day, and felt cold. Every time I have to open the garage door to get the snow blower out, the temperature plummets. I have a nice lined hoodie from LL Bean that I will wear for the first 10 minutes or so. Once I get to some hand tool work or moving lumber around, I sometimes warm up enough to get by without it.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Lazyman's profile


6915 posts in 2437 days

#15 posted 12-18-2014 02:29 PM

I friend of mine loaned me a Soleus 12,000 BTU portable A/C with heater function. It runs on standard 110v outlet. I borrowed it for use in my uninsulated garage during the Texas summer but I have found that the heater is great for the cool days too. For heat, this one acts as a heat pump, basically running backwards. I also bought a 1500 watt shop space heater that I have hanging over my bench for those really cold days to make a warmer spot.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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