Electric Garage Heat

I wanted to tap the vast experience here if I may on an electric garage heater for my home. I have a 960 square foot insulated pole barn with 11' ceilings that I want to add some heat to for winter projects. I don't have access to gas so I want to use electricity, I have 250 volt single phase available, can run up to a 30 amp device without running into problems.
First I know that I probably need 480 volts to get adequate heat, or an actual 240 volt furnace, but I have what I have both power and funds wise. I've looked at the Dayton G73 hanging unit, Any experiences with this unit?I know that it's probably under powered for what I have to heat, but I'm not planning to keep the pole barn heated all the time, just weekends when I plan to work there. And I do have a propane salamander that I can get the building up to temperature with pretty quickly, but it's too loud to use all day for me.
Or any comments on this another unit that might be better?
Thanks, Brian
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You don't need 480 volt, but my guess is that you'll need considerably more amperage, than 30, for the spot heating you're trying to do. Google electric heat loss calculator, and figure the btuh you'll need, then compare that figure to the largest output electric heater you can use. Personally, I think you'd be better off trying to do this with bottled gas, or even oil.

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Don't waste your money. The heater is a mere 17,000 Btu. In really cold weather my propane heater that puts out twice that is not sufficient for my garage that is half your space.
And I do have a propane salamander that I can

There are smaller propane powered heaters and furnaces. You can use the salamander to get things up to temperature and a smaller quite unit to maintain the heat. Use that 30A electric for power tools and use cheaper propane for heat.
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diablo wrote:

You didn't mention if this is in Minnesota or North Carolina and what "some heat" is and what the "projects" might be.
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Very good points George, it's south western Ohio, specifically 40 miles east of Cincinnati. Maybe will expect temperatures as low as 22 to 25 degrees fahrenheit in January and February. And what I would hope to accomplish is a temperature of around 50 to 55 degrees fahrenheit, I'm trying to be realistic with what resources that I have. The projects will be mechanical work and no paint or other chemicals that would require a high ambient temperature.
Thanks, Brian
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Brian-
As per Claude..... a wood stove is the way to go. Great for intermittent use.
A medium sized stove will easily put out about 2x the btu/hr (kilowatts) of an electric heater than would consume your entire current electrial supply to the barn....save for electrical power for tools & lights. Heat with fuel (wood, propane, kerosene)
I have a buddy who lives & works in SoCal high desert (Hesperia). His "shop" (about 30 x 50, uninsulated) is heated with a free standing wood stove, about in the center of the shop & vented thru the roof.
It doesn't really heat the all the air in the shop but throws off enough radiant heat that it is possible to work without massively heavy clothing. Average winter lows, just below freezing. Average winter highs, ~60 but the temp drops fast in the afternoon into night.
Is your barn at all insulated?
Another alternative would be a kerosene heater.
http://cincinnati.craigslist.org/search/sss?query=kerosene+heater&minAsk=min&maxAsk=max
lots of heaters to choose from....for $50 to $100, you're done! get one to try...if its not enough, get another one
You'd have to run the numbers, kerosene is probably more than wood pellets but a pellet stove isn't cheap unless you can find a good used one on CL. All depends on the duty cycle.
you need radiant heat........
cheers Bob
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diablo wrote:

Radiant/infrared is likely the best bet since you don't need even temps and just want to keep you warm.
For electric you can get something along the lines of this:
http://www.northernsafety.com/Products/300-26281+01/Fostoria-Portable-Electric-Infrared-Heater.html
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In 1990, I lived in a building that had only electric heat, in western part of NY State. Everyone told me electric is far more expensive, so I kept the heat down and lived in one room. My first bill was fine, about $26. But it was estmated. So, I went out to read the meter. Find out the actual bill is several hunded dollars.
You may find it a lot cheaper for your temporary spot heat, to use a double burner infared heater, on a gas grill bottle of propane. Or have a propane tank put outside, and use wall heaters. Please also consider a wood burning stove.
That said, it sounds like you need fast heat, for relatively short periods of time. If electric is your only option, possibly a ceramic heater or two with fan forced hot air would be the ticket. Those come in 110 volt. Not sure about 220 volt models.
--
Christopher A. Young
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"diablo" wrote

Brian, considering finances and area, a longer term cheaper solution if you can spare off the space (needs 3 ft clearance all around) is a pot bellied stove, vented at an angle to the outside. This presumes you have the time to start the fire up in the morning and let the heat rise for 2 hours or so before working out there. I wouldnt suggest it except you say it's not paint or chemical projects. This would likely give the best heat value for the dollar in your situation.
Augment this then with a good radient heater (they look a bit like a satillite dish) aimed at the main work area but 10 feet or so back. I've got a great one from Japan, where the insulation is not as good as USA but it's plenty cold.
I just broke it out for the sunroom addition. It's about 2.5 ft tall, dish is around 15 inches across. Like a fan, it can ocellate or be set to steady. Caution note on steady, this thing throws a lot of heat so needs to be well back but it's directional so you can aim it to a safe point. It will run off a standard outlet. You'd spot heat where you are from several feet back, and provide accessory heat from the wood burner stove for overall ambient temps.
I think these 2 solutions in combination are within your finances and would work?
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"cshenk" wrote

Hey Brian, I just finished reading the thread and you'll see almost all of us mention a wood burner and many combine it with a radient heat device. You mentioned that the place is insulated already (unlike my garage, which still needs that done, a project we are slowly working on).
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diablo wrote:

It will never warm up with that. You are better off to put in a wood stove if you are only going to heat occasionally.
--
Claude Hopper :)

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diablo wrote:

An air heater like the salamander is not good for this type of intermittent heating application. You need a radiant heat source, and an electric one to cover that kind of area will require a lot more power than you have available. The best option to look at is an LP fueled long tube radiant heater. You'll see this type of heater running over the register area in places like Depot and Lowe's with big doors nearby letting in blasts of cold air.
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wrote:

I'm a fan of infrared bulbs. Not sure of your location, but the warm red light works good in northern Ohio and Tennessee. Much more efficient than trying to heat with electrical resistance. Another option is installing a small iron stove, fed with wood or pellets, but you will need some kind of chimney.
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A friend of mine made a rig for his pot bellied wood stove. He put a bucket on a higher shelft, and ran a length of flex hose, and a valve. So he could drip oil into the wood stove. Mixed oil with kerosene, and let the metal shavings and such settle out. He was rather successful. Others have had such a stove get away from them, and burn them out. So, a very slow dribble of oil is what's needed. There's a lot more various details than what I just wrote.
I've also known people to soak firewood in a bucket of old crank case oil. Works nicely for wood like willow, which dry and leave nearly nothing. Very porous, and holds a lot of oil.
--
Christopher A. Young
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Hi there taking the sq rt of 960 is about 30 x30 do you need all this space and can you install an temporary ceiling at about 8ft? I have seen where people have sectioned off there work area and only heat a portion which makes it more economical to achieve.
Sal

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Check out quartz infrared heat. Here's one type: http://www.rewci.com/hainouelhewa.html but you can get various wattages and either 120 or 240 volt versions.
I have three 1200 watt units mounted on the ceiling in my insulated 2-car garage (northern Ohio). Switching them on gives instant heat since long wave infrared heats things (like people) and not the air. Usually, I only turn one unit on unless I'm working in the whole garage or want to do something like melt the ice and snow off the cars quickly.
You can use the halogen lighting lamps or the quartz infrared lamps which last longer and have less light output. Heat output is related to watts and both types generate infrared. A bonus is that you get a substantial amount of light out of either type.
Installation is simple. Just mount the fixtures on a standard outlet box and leave some distance (a few feet) between the fixture and any object that would be damaged if it gets too hot.
TKM
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buffalo ny: 1,000w gives you 3,415 btu's. record the temperatures and weather. plug in some cheap used portable electric heaters up to the limit of the available wattage. monitor their performance in your use. use a couple of window fans to circulate the heat. that's all there is. you only get about 5,000 btu's from each 1500 watt heater. if 30 amps at 250v is only 7500 watts of heat it's like 25,612 btu, the equivalent of 5 little heaters. since electricity is usually considered efficient 100 percent to heat, give or take a blower. [note your building construction and use determines its heating safety requirements. example if there's vehicles or gasoline or a combustible barn you don't run salamander open flame heaters, open pilot flame natural gas or open pilot LP gas heaters either.] if the heaters pass the test thru the coldest weather conditions, the digital pyrex food thermometer in your plastic water glass will show you the water temperature range in its resettable hi/lo memory. other test options: ceiling fan and remote transmitter temperature sensor. -b
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suggest start by sealing and insulating garage, a old friend, a mechanic used a surplus engine which he put outside, added a generator, ran the radiator lines inside the garage. with electric engine fan.
this got him heat in the winter, and a emergency generator out of mostly stuff laying around. he used the engines 12 volt alternator for charging batteries too
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