Garage heater suggestions?

RolandG

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With workshop heating I worry about dust, humidity, and fire risk. The last thing I want is to blow fine dust into the air and onto my work, or worse, into my lungs. Any naked flame is going to create water vapour, which is going to end up as rust on my tools. The only solution I can find is an electrical infra red heater. Not particularly environmentally friendly, but warms me up when it’s really cold.

The other thing, which is really useful for avoiding condensation, is the chest freezer. It also means that there’s always a clear surface to put something down on.
 

captain_jack

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This is funny timing, I just saw a segment last night on Ask This Old House asking the same thing:



They put in a gas fired infrared heater for all the same reasons folks have already mentioned on this thread about dust and moving air.
 

Beakybird

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I read recently that breathing propane can be dangerous. If you don't have proper ventilation, go for an electric heater. If it's just to keep yourself warm while you practice, it shouldn't be too expensive.
 

Jim_in_PA

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I will caution against using unvented propane/NG heaters in the workshop if you can actually still buy them in your area. (they are no longer permitted in some jurisdictions) The reason is more about the excessive amount of humidity/water vapor they produce, although anything that burns will certainly also create some level of "stuff" in the air. Vented gas units can be pretty efficient and are one popular solution for heat in shop spaces. Personally, I prefer mini-splits for this, but I live in an area where they are super efficient and don't mind the extra up-front cost.
 

Milspec

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Those units that hang from the ceiling are great for workshop spaces. Not sure how big yours is, but there are some small ones. They can often be found surplus.
https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200577749_200577749?cm_mmc=Google-pla&utm_source=Google_PLA&utm_medium=Heaters & Stoves + Fireplaces > Natural Gas Heaters > Overhead Natural Gas Garage Heaters&utm_campaign=Mr. Heater&utm_content=27457&gclid=Cj0KCQiAt8WOBhDbARIsANQLp96xYQPyDzdOC8scEKkG2CjHI59hSeH-nxnt_ti17F-n7RbxKpVWdGQaAsl0EALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

The nice thing about these type is they heat up the space fast. So you dont have to heat your space continuously.

I still get flashbacks to my days working as a prison guard for the State. Some rotations were spent up on the wall in guard towers built around 1907 with leaky single pane windows that you would stuff with paper towels to keet the snow out and hanging from the ceiling was one of those heaters (Big Dawg brand). It would be about a foot above your head in a 6x6x8 space. When it kicked on it would burn the hair off your head. There was so much air leakage in the uninsulated tower that it would cycle every 3 minutes and when you heard the burner kick on you had to move to the wall to keep from getting burned.

....good times.
 

Jim622

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Those units that hang from the ceiling are great for workshop spaces. Not sure how big yours is, but there are some small ones. They can often be found surplus.
https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200577749_200577749?cm_mmc=Google-pla&utm_source=Google_PLA&utm_medium=Heaters & Stoves + Fireplaces > Natural Gas Heaters > Overhead Natural Gas Garage Heaters&utm_campaign=Mr. Heater&utm_content=27457&gclid=Cj0KCQiAt8WOBhDbARIsANQLp96xYQPyDzdOC8scEKkG2CjHI59hSeH-nxnt_ti17F-n7RbxKpVWdGQaAsl0EALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

The nice thing about these type is they heat up the space fast. So you dont have to heat your space continuously.

It always seemed to me ceiling units should not work well since heat rises.
 

JL_LI

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I don’t like the idea of combustion heaters not fully vented outside in an enclosed space. Are electric heaters an option? Dyson makes heaters that circulate the warm air pretty well.
 

Recce

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I put an HVAC unit like for a motel room in the back wall of my garage. Works well. Heats easily. I live in Alabama and actually summer cooling was more important to me. I also insulated the walls and ceiling. Putting a burning non vented propane or kerosene heater in my garage didn’t interest me at all.
 

schmee

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It always seemed to me ceiling units should not work well since heat rises.
Yeah, but they blow down, or actually wherever you want and put out a lot.

Those gas fired infrared are pretty good in low ceilings, but you gotta have them lower with more directed radiant heat.
 

CapnCrunch

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I will caution against using unvented propane/NG heaters in the workshop if you can actually still buy them in your area. (they are no longer permitted in some jurisdictions) The reason is more about the excessive amount of humidity/water vapor they produce, although anything that burns will certainly also create some level of "stuff" in the air. Vented gas units can be pretty efficient and are one popular solution for heat in shop spaces. Personally, I prefer mini-splits for this, but I live in an area where they are super efficient and don't mind the extra up-front cost.

I put a mini split in my shop too. Then I liked the space so much that I turned the shop into my music studio/man cave with TV, fridge, ping pong table, acoustic drums, Keyboard, walls of guitars and the PA......

I'm working on designing a shop to build this spring/summer. It'll get a heat pump/mini-split also.
 

Jim_in_PA

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I'm missing the minisplit that I put in the shop at our old property in a very major way...my temporary shop is unconditioned and uninsulated. And that bites big time, for both comfort and condensation issues with whacky weather if I have to open the big door on a warm day following cold ones. The new shop building when it goes up will once again have the minisplit for comfortable working conditions as well as to once again eliminate condensation/rust challenges that I never had before in more than two decades of woodworking!
 

natec

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@CapnCrunch are you on the eastside or westside of the cascades?

I'm in Portland, and was curious if you've had any trouble with the outside temp being too low for your mini split to work?
 

gregulator450

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I don't know the brand (I can go look in a bit) but I have one propane heater that I keep in my shop and a 1600 watt electric radiant heater. The propane unit will take either the small Coleman style bottles (which don't last very long) or I can connect it to a barbeque tank (which does). I think there is enough air exchange in my three car garage/shop that I don't worry too much about carbon monoxide but I don't run it for long periods of time.

It was fairly inexpensive, I had the barbie tanks anyway and it seems to keep my backside warm while I'm standing at the bench. If I was starting over I would build a real shop with real heat and real insulation....

Is that the Buddy Heater?
 

CapnCrunch

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@CapnCrunch are you on the eastside or westside of the cascades?

I'm in Portland, and was curious if you've had any trouble with the outside temp being too low for your mini split to work?

We're on the Peninsula, West of Seattle. Heat pumps/Mini splits work great down to about 20 deg. F as long as they are sized correctly, and actually they say they work down to about 0. I haven't tested that in practice though. We've had them as our primary heat source in the last two houses we've lived in, and I would never have a house (in a similar climate) without one now. We usually don't "need" AC, but man it has been nice at times, which is an additional plus.
 

Freeman Keller

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Is that the Buddy Heater?

It is. I have nothing to compare it to, but it seems to work pretty well. It goes thru the little Coleman bottles pretty fast but using a standard propane barbeque bottle and the lower heat setting seems to last. I do worry about fumes, I don't leave it on for a long time. I probably should add a CO sensor in the garage.
 

lariat 99

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So much electricity do these mini splits consume. I was thinking of putting one in the garage for the same reasons.
 

lariat 99

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So much electricity do these mini splits consume. I was thinking of putting one in the garage for the same reasons.
 




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