Garage Heat?


I'm getting ready to finish the inside of my garage here in Central Illinois. I want to be able to heat it comfortably to work in it during the winter. Figured I should think about heat before I do the wiring and drywalling. I first thought about using natural gas, but figured electric would be better when using chemicals and such. Just wondered what other people out there are using and what to avoid. Any advice?
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mgarvie wrote:

In most places natural gas is cheapest to run, but more expensive to install.
Most of the time the chemical concentration is not likely to be high enough to cause issues. If you want to be really careful you can get direct-vented gas heaters where the combustion air is drawn from outside and the exhaust is vented directly outside. This costs quite a bit more than a standard unit.
If your ceiling is high enough, you might want to consider a radiant heater. These are available in gas or electric, and have the advantage that they heat the objects in the room rather than the air. That way it makes you feel warm even if the air is cooler.
Lastly, you should certainly consider insulating the walls/ceiling, with vapour barrier on the inside. If you do insulate, you will also want to vent the attic area if it isn't already.
Chris
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Get a direct-vent gas unit if you're using lots of chemicals. If it's just occasional chemical use, get a gas-fired radiant heater, and turn it off when the chemicals are in the air.
The forced air is fine, too, but you'll find the floor and your tools will be warmer with radiant heat.
I just installed a forced air overhead furnace (unit heater) in my garage, and plan to install a small radiant electric heater over the bench, which should give me the best of both worlds.
Maurice
mgarvie wrote:

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mgarvie wrote:

Attached or stand along garage? How often do you plan on using it, once a month or five days a week? How comfortable do you need it?
I would suggest that radiant heat would be the best choice and electric is likely to be the cheapest to install. If you use it daily, then you would want gas as it will be cheaper to run.
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Electric quartz infrared is a good choice especially if you want fast heat but need it only infrequently. I have three 1600 watt units in my insulated 2-car garage. As a bonus, you get plenty of light along with the heat. The lamps put out both short and long-wave infrared so objects are heated rather than the air. Good for drying paint. I can leave the garage door open, in fact, and keep warm in the garage unless the wind is blowing. It's great for melting ice off the cars too.
Installation is easy. Just mount the units on standard electrical boxes high on a wall or ceiling where they can "see" the area you want to heat. They require 240 volt power. I've got mine wired through thermostats, but usually just switch them on when I'm in the garage and want heat.
The lamps are mounted in what look like light fixtures. They're available through electrical distributors. Lamp life is very long. I've never replaced a lamp in more than 15 years.
TKM
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Mini split heat pump?
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Thanks for some good ideas. I'll do some searching and reading about them all.
BTW, it's an attached single wide garage with a 10 foot ceiling. Too narrow for the F150 but big enough to hide from the family. The outside walls are brick so I need to insulate soon if I want to spend some time in it.
Thanks
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I've just purchased a unit heater (got it off ebay at a reasonable price) that runs on NG. For me, my electrical panel is about as loaded as I want it so I didn't really consider electrical. I've not installed it yet but when I do, I figure I'll run it to heat the garage then shut it off if I'm using any chems. Most chems that I use probably wouldn't ignite but I won't take the chance. I can then open the garage door when done and air it out and fire the unit back up if I need to. I'm putting a low setpoint thermostat on it to keep the garage at just above freezing to keep some things from being ruined by freezing temps. Cheers, cc
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So to cabbage onto this message, what are the thoughts on the propane tank mounted infrared heaters?
Thanks, Fred
mgarvie wrote:

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On Fri, 24 Nov 2006 09:24:46 -0500, Fred Wilson

That is what I have used in my shop for years. Shop is small and well insulated. I can usually turn it on, go back inside and drink a second cup of coffee then go out to the shop and generally turn it off after a half hour or so. I'm in the South, but it works well for those days that start off and finish up below freezing. I run through two or three 20lb tanks a winter, but don't use the shop every day.
Frank

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I personally have avoided the propane route as I tend to find any of it's odors pretty offensive. Secondly, I've heard it adds a lot of humidity to the air which is not good. Just what I've heard anyway. Cheers, cc
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Propane does not smell any more than natural gas, IMO, but some people do seem to be more sensitive to it than I am. As for adding humidity, yes, it can as propane does give off water when it burns. If the heated area is very dry, it is not a big deal, but in humid climates, it may be. If the heater is vented, none of this matter.
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