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Heating The Shop

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mcoak

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#1
I am in the process of finishing my shop. Finished size will be 15 ft x 30 ft with a 9 foot ceiling. Walls will be R29 and ceiling R42.
One of my open questions is how to heat. My options are propane or electric. Looking for a 500 gallon propane tank and not finding one locally.

The walls are open now but the electricians will be coming in a month. So I need to make a decision and get the hardware lined up.

Thanks,
Mitch


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oldboy1950

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#2
this is probably too late but a heated slab with lots of insulation underneath .
my electrician heats his shop with electric- hydronic which is basically a very efficient electric hot water heater with no tank.
he circulates the water through pex tubing in the slab.
Dan
 

Holescreek

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#3
My shop area is 24'x28'x8' and ive used a single 220v electric heater called " the hot one" for around 25 years in SW Ohio. I start it when I take the dog out in the morning then 30 or 40 minutes later the room has gone from 35 to 60 degrees. A lot depends on the type of weather you get in your area. My heater gets shut off when I'm done for the day, about 4 hours later.
 

Mark in Indiana

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#4
If I spent more time in the shop during the winter, I'd probably have a ceiling mount, forces air, natural gas heater. It's likely the most economic way to go, for a heater installation in an already built garage. But when I have to be out there, I just run a couple of propane heaters (with a window cracked open). Not as comfortable as the house, but it takes the edge away from the cold.
 

gr8legs

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#5
We have natural gas available so I put in a ceiling forced air heater of about 100KBTU for our 24 x 24 x 9' shop space. I put it in a corner to optimize air circulation.

Enough BTUs to bring the temperature up really fast when needed - and the AC power feed for the heater is connected to the lighting circuit so no lights- no heat and no likelihood of leaving the heater on over a weekend. Warm and toasty in the shop is a good thing!

If you don't have natural gas available, propane is the best option - much cheaper than electric for heating. We looked into a propane tank for our standby generator and if you shop around several propane suppliers will rent you a tank for $50-$75 a year, even with minimal propane gallonage. It didn't make sense to buy a tank if rental was so cheap. Definitely check with all available propane suppliers.

Stu
 

kvt

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#6
I live in a warm area so I just use a small propane heater, Designed for inside usage. But one that I have seen and is what I want if I build a separate shop is oil fired. It uses waste engine oil, cooking oil, atf, etc. Filters it then pressurizes it and heat is good, It is like a forced air heater but uses the waste oils for fuel. I have been around some in Alaska, and have seen some in other places, and even found plans for one on line at one time. I know in AK, it heated an auto hobby shop that is bigger than most mechanics shops, and even with the doors open in the middle of winter it got nice and toasty in there. Some times to hot. But if you and your friends change your own oils, or you make a deal with the local shop, it is cheap heat.
 

fastback

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#7
My shop is 14 x 20, and I use a ceiling hung 5000 watt 220 volt heater. It does the job, but I find the cost a bit high. I have R16 in the walls and 9 inch fiberglass bats in the ceiling. My floor (concrete) has a vapor barrier but no insulation. I think that is where I went wrong. The floor tends to get very cold. While the heating of shop is very good our electric rates are relatively high. If my shop was larger and I had a bit more room I would probably have gone to a pellet stove set up with a wall thermometer.

One of the heating problems is when the heat is off for a long period the tools and machines get cold and takes some time to rewarm, this tends to waste heating energy.

Paul
 

mcoak

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#8
Thanks to everyone for their responses. Too late to install a heated slab in the garage. :chunky: Looking at energy costs in my area propane is less expensive than electric. All of the propane suppliers in my area have very poor online reviews. That's one of the main reasons I am even considering electricity. I'm reluctant to lease a propane tank since that locks me into a single supplier.

Does anyone have experience with ceiling mounted propane fired radiant heaters?

I won't be in the shop much during the week. I do want to keep the shop warm enough to prevent condensation on the machines. And I'll turn the heat up on weekends when I'm in the shop.

Mitch
 

GA Gyro

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#9
The type of heat you use... depends on the weather.

If it were me... I would look into what is called 'dual-fuel'. A furnace (nat gas or propane), with a HP attached.
The controller has a set-point (outdoor temp) above and the HP runs, below and the gas furnace runs. One can get a thermostat that does the controller function.

Another approach would be an invertor drive mini-split...
 

Cobra

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#10
Little different climate but I have been very happy with overhead (doesn't take up floor space) natural gas.
I have two 75 KBTU units for the forward and back of the space. Keep the garage at about 10C minimum and just use the forward heater when I am in the shop. Very seldom need both at the same time.
 

tpic402

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#11
I am in the process of finishing my shop. Finished size will be 15 ft x 30 ft with a 9 foot ceiling. Walls will be R29 and ceiling R42.
One of my open questions is how to heat. My options are propane or electric. Looking for a 500 gallon propane tank and not finding one locally.

The walls are open now but the electricians will be coming in a month. So I need to make a decision and get the hardware lined up.

Thanks,
Mitch


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I used the 500 watt farenheat hanging electric heater very happy ,
leave on all time on low. Shop 24×14×9. Insulated . I considered propane but the coat of heater and tank would take long time to pay for itself.
 

Brain Coral

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#12
Hello Mitch :)

I have a shop that is 26'x 36' with a 10'6" ceiling that I heat with electric baseboard heaters. My walls are R-20 and ceiling is R-40 insulated. My heaters will automatically come on at 5* celsius during the colder parts of the year and I have no problems with any machinery rusting, whatsoever. We have brutal winters up here, and I only use my shop on weekends as well... My electric bill goes from $90.00 a month in the summer, to around $160.00 in the winter... Oh, I must add, that my shop is below my living quarters and this cost is for heating my entire house...

IMGP1292.jpg

Brian
 

mcoak

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#13
Thanks to everyone for their responses.

The shop walls will be R29 and the ceiling R42. My location is in the zone 5 area of West Virginia, the past few winters have been colder than usual. I am leaning toward a propane Modine Hot Dawg. If I were to use electric heat it would probably require a separate service to the garage. The power company quoted $2800 for that, if I dig the trench, build the transformer pad and run in the conduit.
 

Thumper

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#14
My shop is 25 x 50 and I originally installed a natural gas 40,000 BTU ceiling mounted heater. This worked well for winter heat in southern Ontario.
Our summers do get hot sometimes so I decided I needed something to cool off the shop.
I tried a window A/C unit but that was noisy and didn't work all that well.
I ended up getting a 18,000 BTU Ductless Heat Pump. $1200 on ebay. Installed it myself then paid licensed A/C guy $200 to charge it with gas and check it over. Extremely efficient. Maximum draw is 10 A @ 220 V. I use it summer and winter and never turn on the gas heat.
 

rmack898

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#15
My shop is 40x40 with 12' ceiling. I have one 20' propane fired infrared tube heater and that keeps the shop nice and warm all winter. I keep it at 50* when I'm not out there and crank it up to 68* when I'm working. I'll burn about 400 gallons for an average winter and I'm on the Jersey coast and it does get cold here.
 

Falcon67

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#16
We're more concerned with cool here than heat, but I get a lot of mileage out of my Dayton G73 5kW heater. Even in cold - that's 20s here - I can warm 960 sq/ft to a workable temp in about an hour. It's mounted to the ceiling and swivels so I can point it where I need it. In the 12x24 work room, it'll keep that space in the 70s when set just below LO on the thermostat. The shop has an 8' ceiling and is R13 in all directions.

Hanging in front of the Hispanic Heritage Sliding Door.
Inside27.jpg

I have a turbo propane heater that I just had to have (was on sale for $99) and I haven't used it once in 2 years. I also have a dual burner Mr. Heater that mounts on a 20~40lb cylinder - haven't used it since I insulated the building back in 2011.

If you go with propane, I'd look at a 45K BTU vented ceiling mount type unit.
 

FOMOGO

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#17
In a space that small I would go with something like a 35k direct vent wall mount propane heater. They terminate directly behind the heater on the exterior wall and also provide make up air from the same location. Doesn't take up much space and fairly efficient. I ran an add in the wanted section of Craigs List and found a 500 gal. tank for $300. Mike
 

GK1918

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#18
I'm in the same boat Mitch, construction started, adding on 15x30 8ft high. The main shop is 35 x 50 with 16ft
ceiling. This was a bear to heat then this Jan. the oil fired furnace took dump. My boy installed a new one,
smaller with a tiny little Becket. Fuel tank is a standard 275 gal. This is like 4 to 1 (old furnace used 4
tanks to this one's 1 tank. Instant heat & and its left on 24 / 7. What can I say. I would not go electric
electric is killer round here. Propane our locals usually will supply the "pig" they call it to buy their
propane. But with oil deals can be found your choice. Electric and natural gas you are locked
in. But oil there were times we ran out usually in storms when the oil guys were out straight, and
we just would go to gas station for 5 gal of diesel. Back to the new shop, there will be a service door
into the main shop so the ceiling fan should blow some heat in the addition. This will be well insulated
so my Kerosun heater should do (uses 1 gal 3 days on low). The street enterance will have A/C
office, not needed here yet but will be there; when we get global warming. My boy should have
it all built this coming week. How in hell to move machines is the next feat. All these are 3-4-5 ton
heavy weights .
good luck sam
 

GK1918

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#19
Fridays workout. Saturday framed and sided.

20150619_102710_resized.jpg
 

WalterC

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#20
Living down south here, we don't get as cold as you guys up north. We do have particularly cold periods where I use a little 750 watt elect heater to keep the shop at 50-60 degrees- other times, the older 42" big screen TV at 600 watts puts off a lot of heat and (watching the tool man Taylor, DVD's and so on- or just listening) keeps the shop warm enough.
 

mcoak

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#21
Hi Everyone,

It's been quite a while since I last posted. For heating/ac I decided to go with a Mitsu mini-split. I insulated the walls with R23 Roxul. The main hold up now is getting an electrician to wire the shop. One came out and did a day's work then didn't show up again. :frown 2: Hoped to have the shop up and running by now. Here are a few pictures of the work done this summer.

shop1.jpg shop2.jpg shop3.jpg shop4.jpg shop5.jpg shop6.jpg
 

FOMOGO

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#22
Shop is looking good. Seems to take for ever, but eventually it gets there. I'll do your wiring if you'll do my sheet rock.:) Cheers, Mike
 

mcoak

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#23
The way things are going it will be next spring before the shop is done. How long have you been working on yours?
Mitch
 

FOMOGO

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#24
This is the second year, but we are gone for 4 1/2 months in the winter. Hopefully I will get all the siding and trim done before we leave at the end of November. Got slowed down by wet weather, necessary work on my rentals, and my Dad's health issues among other things. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, just hope it's not a train coming the other way. :grin: Mike
 

6mmBR

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#25
Thanks to everyone for their responses.

The shop walls will be R29 and the ceiling R42. My location is in the zone 5 area of West Virginia, the past few winters have been colder than usual. I am leaning toward a propane Modine Hot Dawg. If I were to use electric heat it would probably require a separate service to the garage. The power company quoted $2800 for that, if I dig the trench, build the transformer pad and run in the conduit.
I have a Hot Dawg and it works great. My garage is 20' x 24' x 8.5' high and it warms it up to 80 F if you want that. I keep it on just under 50 F so nothing will freeze in the garage when I'm not out there. I live SW of Chicago, and our winters can be pretty brutal. I can work out there in shorts and a tank top if I want to, or dress normally and keep it lower. In the summer I have a 12,000 BTU (1 ton) window unit that does the job nicely.
 

bpratl

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#26
My shop is small, 10' x 28', is well insulated and attached to the back on my garage. I originally used a no vent 30k BTU propane heated but I found that it put so much moisture in the air that I was getting a lot of surface rust on all my equipment and hand tools so I had to remove it and install electric heaters. No more RUST but expensive to run. Bob
 

mcoak

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#27
Finally found an electrician! Spoke with the electrical company and decided to with an underground service. Time to start that 270' trench.

shop7.jpg
 

mcoak

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#28
Got a start on the trench. The shale/clay mix makes for slow progress. My dog inspected and approved the work.

shop8.jpg shop9.jpg shop10.jpg
 

raven7usa

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#29
Looks good. Can't beat canine approved.
 

middle.road

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#30
Isn't using a backhoe cheating? :grin:
I do believe that your shop is better insulated than my home.
That looks like it will be very comfortable indeed.
 
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