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How Do You Heat Your Shop?


pariah223
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I recently moved into a house that has a 1 car garage (about 250 sq feet). Its a pretty small space and is fully insulated and everything but the ceiling is sheetrocked and taped. It currently has no heat in it and i have been using a kerosene heater to keep it warm when im working in there. I want to move to a better heating system that is less toxic and can be left on low when im not using the space. I am thinking of either getting a propane tank and a vent free heater, or going with a dayton g73 electric heater. Was just looking to get some insight from everyone here. I live in NY so i have pretty cold winters, but not completely brutal. Thanks!

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I use a radiator like this. Don't mind the price, I just grabbed the first image off of Amazon, you can find them for much cheaper. I'll admid that I never saw a heater like this when I lived in the US, but, then again, we didn't really need heaters where I'm from.

When the weather turns cold, I switch the thing on on a low power setting and it stays on until the end of next spring. During the day I tend to crank the power a bit more to stay warm cuz I hates being cold. I have a decent sized workshop with marginal insulation and it still seems to do just fine.

It's not the ideal situation, but it sounds much better than what you've got and it doesn't cost the earth to run.

Cheers

Buter

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I have never seen one of these... What exactly is the oil filled feature. Its still an electric heater right?

Yes, it is an electric heater. The heating elements are inside the cavities, which are full of low viscosity oil. The idea is that the elements heat the oil, and the oil retains the heat. The built in thermostat switches the elements off when they get up to temperature. As the oil stays hot, the heater still gives out heat, so the thermostat doesn't have to switch the elements on again for quite a while. This means the heater is much more efficient, and much more economical to run.

It also has the huge advantage that you can use it in a dusty environment such as a woodworking shop without the fear of combustion. Most other types of electric heaters (and even more so, kerosene or gas heaters) can ignite dust easily. I have two of these in my workshop. I have them both on the highest setting for 20 minutes, then turn one off and the other one to low. That keeps me as snug as a bug in a rug :D

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... It also has the huge advantage that you can use it in a dusty environment such as a woodworking shop without the fear of combustion. Most other types of electric heaters (and even more so, kerosene or gas heaters) can ignite dust easily. ...

Not having an open flame or red hot coil is a very important consideration in a shop environment. Not only is dust a concern, but igniting vapors from spilled solvents, lacquers, etc is an issue too.

And just a word on portable gas and kerosene heaters, just don't do it! Carbon monoxide is an odorless killer and kills thousands every year. Even those vent-less heaters can be very dangerous. They rely on ultra efficient combustion to be "safe", but the potential for failure is high and the risk is deadly. Gum up the air intake just a little and that ultra efficiency goes in the dumper very quickly.

Oil filled radiant heaters are your very best option for portable heat in a shop environment.

Edited by Quarter
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And just a word on portable gas and kerosene heaters, just don't do it! Carbon monoxide is an odorless killer and kills thousands every year. Even those vent-less heaters can be very dangerous. They rely on ultra efficient combustion to be "safe", but the potential for failure is high and the risk is deadly. Gum up the air intake just a little and that ultra efficiency goes in the dumper very quickly.

Hey I use those open flame gas heaters in my fish house and spear house. They work fine.

In my shop I just have an electric heater I plug in the wall and leave on low all winter low and medium when I am in there. It works good considering the winters in Minnesota. I'm not sure on what kind of heater it is though. I will get back with that later.

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Hey I use those open flame gas heaters in my fish house and spear house. They work fine.

That may be,but the potential for disaster is much less with the oil filled heaters.Especially considering the type of stuff most people do in their garages.

My mother bought a few some years back.I was dubious at first,but her house was always warm and there are no fumes or open sparks...

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As the oil stays hot, the heater still gives out heat, so the thermostat doesn't have to switch the elements on again for quite a while. This means the heater is much more efficient, and much more economical to run.

Electricity is converted to heat with 100% efficiency ie all electric heating is equal, (bar heat pumps) how that heat is distributed (radiant, convection, fan) is the important part.

Trying to 'store' heat is always bad idea, not using the electricity in the first place is a better idea..

/electrician/appliance tech./chronic energy efficiency nazi speil

i have one of those oil filled radiators too. i use it to help keep the propane bill down. it actualy does a nice job.

Gas heating is more expensive than electric in your neck of the woods????

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Gas heating is more expensive than electric in your neck of the woods????

I don't see gas as that inexpensive.When I lived in a gas heated home the propane cost $200 every 3 months in the winter,so about $65 a month...Electrically heating the same square footage with a good efficient unit is about the same these days..I know the gas fanboys want everyone to use it for everything,but considering most power plants in this neck of the woods use gas to create the steam that in turn creates the electricity,you are still using gas

"Storing heat is a bad idea"?Well,isn't that what insulation does?The whole purpose is to keep the heat stored inside rather than letting it escape so quickly.

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wood can be a pita to ya go to bed its nice and warm and wake up in the morning to a cold house then run off to work and its even colder when you get home.

and yes electicity is cheaper than propane here. but my main heat is propane.

We have never had a problem with ours, fill it at night and it's still burning in the morning then fill it at night again. One of my neighbors heats his shop with a little wood stove and he burns his scraps and saw dust.

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I have one of the 220 volt electric heaters. It has a blower which runs when it's on and the coil never gets red hot. It heats my 2 1/2 car garage in about 15 minutes. Don't know what it costs to run, but it works well. Bought it at Granger.com

Tried the smaller ones, they just don't do the job. The small electrics would heat it, but it took over an hour until it was comfortable, and the tools never really warmed up. ice cold table saw, etc.

-John

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Forgot to add...

Another trick of mine is having the clothes dryer in the workshop with the outlet plumbed into a bucket to collect moisture instead of discharging to the outside.. When you are drying clothes, it not only makes the wifey happy that you're helping with the laundry, it supplies you with an abundance of moist, warm air. This alone could heat a decent shop whilst drying a big load.

Just beware of the effects of very humid air on your lovely kiln dried wood.

B

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Dude

This little island has already been completely shut down by snow this year. All of my tough guy friends were bringing laundry over just to hang out in my sauna, drink beer and play darts.

Of course, the women folk all thought we were doing something productive...

B

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