ANOTHER Shop Heat Question

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Sorry to dump another one on the group, but it's colder than (take your pick) here in PA, but I want to do some WW!!
I was in the Borg today, and saw a keroscene heater - $114. The box says it can be used in the garage, shop, family room, basement, etc. So, can I take it that it doesn't put out CO2, or if it does, it's a limited amount, and isn't harmful? Do they give off an odor?. My shop (garage) is not air tight, there's some fresh air coming in, so I have some ventilation.
What I really worry about is a dust fire - the flame or spark in the heater ignites dust in the air and I turn into a crispy critter, not to mention my house...
Does anyone use one of these? Any thoughts or help would be appreciated.
Nick B
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Nope, but I know someone who has an gas fired infrared heating tube ( Radiant heat) in his 24' x 26' shop and it is always comfy and warm in there. Even when it is - 30 celcius. All told I think it cost him $1000 cdn. but would be worth it. When I build my garage I will be putting one in. Is cheaper on gas than a real furnace, so he tells me, and it vents directly out the garage wall. No fumes, no worries about fire. I was there a couple of times in the winter last year when it was in the triple digits below zero and when he fired it up the whole space was toasty warm in about 10 minutes.
John V

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Nick,
I doubt you would generate that much dust in the air to ignite it but here's what I did when my shop was in the garage. I would light the kero heater and leave it on for about 30 min which would bring the garage up to around 50 deg when it was 0 outside. I have leakage around the doors too but it stayed comfortable for about 2 hours. Take a coffee break, relight it and shortly it's back up to the comfy level.
Kerosene does give off moisture so be sure your cast iron is protected.
Bob S.

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wrote:

There is some safety concerns with CO and fire. They will give an odor if you let them go dry while burning. An electric heater is safer and I say the extra cost in running it is worth it. You can also use an infrared lamp.
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Nick Bozovich wrote:

I can imagine. It's 12 F here in Virginia. Last week it was 65 F. This sucks, Beavis.

I would take any claim that it doesn't give off CO (carbon monoxide) with a great deal of suspicion, and buy a carbon monoxide detector to be safe. Usually they say something about needing a source of fresh air. It's also my experience that drafts (say from walking by) can momentarily screw up combustion, causing the emission of lovely black soot until the flame settles back down.
Personally, I *hate* kerosene heaters. They *definitely* give off an odor, and that odor gives me a headache. I have the same reaction to diesel gasoline fumes too. Getting spilled fuel on my clothes makes for a miserable day.
Spilled fuel, now *there's* something to worry about. Liquid fuel, open flame. I was constantly worried about somehow knocking the heater over and starting a conflagration.
I dumped my kero heater after about two days. (I got it free, so all I had to buy was a fuel can and some kerosene.) I bought one of those Mr. Heater 9,000/15,000 BTU propane heaters at Lowe's. It was the only portable propane heater they had that was rated for being run indoors, unvented. I do smell some fumes from *that* too, but they don't bother me nearly as much. The thing is (supposedly) safe to run inside a tent. My fuel tank sits outside, and I turn the gas off when I'm not using the heater, so the chances of a mishap are IMHO much reduced compared to liquid fuel.

That's a big can o' worms. The doom and gloom people will tell you how dangerous that is, and the "I throw cigarettes into puddles of gas" people will tell you how unlikely it is that a dust explosion will ever happen.
Personally, I'm in the latter camp. I'm not much worried about developing a high enough concentration of dust to cause an explosion. That's my personal decision though, and is not meant to be taken as advice. Make up your own mind.
Anyway, on the subject of heat generally, I say go for it! This is my first year with heat in the shop. It's horribly wasteful of me to spend money heating this uninsulated, leaky thing, but it sure is nice being able to continue to work.
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I use a kero 60,000 btu "bullet" type in my shop (garage). I like the fact that it is self-contained and quite portable (no propane tank and hose to wrestle with). It does throw off a rather nasty "poof" at start-up and shut-down so I always open one of the doors an inch or two while it's running (low clearance doors so a little at the bottom opens more than ample space at the top). Leads to some heat loss but this unit more than makes up for it to the point where I have to shut it off after a few minutes unless it is really cold outside. The "serious" heat extends out only about 18" from the front, the unit itself is wrapped in a steel shroud that is never hot to the touch. The internal fan is forceful enough to keep most dust away from the flame and I have never had an problem with blowing dust, although it is clear that some fine dust does get ignited if I move it around with hi velocity blower that I use from time to time to clean up. Overall I think it is a good unit.
a lot of spaleaves more thanthe top of the door

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Tom Kohlman wrote:

I've got one of those too... been using it for two years to heat the garage when I just can't stand it anymore. Last night I ran out of kerosene so I went out and bought some diesel fuel instead. I figure it may smell a little different possibly; certainly I paid more for diesel than I would have paid for kerosene, but it should be safe enough. I just didn't feel like wandering all over town looking for a place that sells kerosene at that hour.
Jet A = Kerosene = Heating Oil = Diesel Fuel
It's all basically the same stuff with different color dies and tax rates; at least that's my theory. If I'm wrong, I'll stop posting here and assume my place in the morning headlines.
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at
Close, but not the same. Jet and Kero are lighter. Diesel may give you wick and mantle problems but I don't have real experience with it.
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Mortimer Schnerd, RN wrote:

I think you're wrong. I base this on what they smell like. Diesel and heating oil are definitely the same, but I think kerosene/jet fuel is different.
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snipped-for-privacy@BARFcarolina.rr.com says...

It'll work, my dad did that with his bullet heaters in the barn. However, and it's a big however, diesel smokes way more than kerosene, and seemed to plug the jets and filter faster than using real kerosene. It may also take a while to get those affects out of the heater after you've burned diesel.

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Tom Kohlman wrote:

They have one of those in the shop at work. I'm glad I don't work in the shop at work. It gives me a headache just standing in there long enough to get my paycheck. It's also LOUD. Puts out a ton of heat though. I think theirs is a 150,000 BTU model.
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Well OK, it depend a lot on your sensitivity. Some people can taste the difference ebetween olive and other vegetable oils, I cannot.

This is one reason why it is critical to use the proper fuel. Kerosene is combustible--flashpoint above 140 F (or is it 150, I don't remember). The flashpoint of gasoline is much lower so that using gasoline in a kerosine anything is a serious mistake.
Using a heavier or dirtier fuel will give you a dirtier exhaust and can produce more CO.
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CO2 is not the problem, CO is and I would assume that it emits it at a safe level. I have yet to see a kerosene heater that didn't smell and would rather and do use electric instead, even though it costs a little more.
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I've been using a Kerosun heater since 1995, first in my garage, then in two subsequent shop buildings. They do put out a slight odor, but if you keep them filled and make sure they are burning and not smoldering, it (IMO) is pretty minimal. Actually, for me it is somewhat nostalgic since Dad used kerosene heaters to heat the dairy barn when I was growing up. Most of the smoke and soot I get come when I shut off the heater.
As far as dust fires, if you have that much dust in the air that it could combust, you have more serious problems than worrying about a dust fire.
The advice to get a CO detector is probably good advice, just for safety sake.
Several considerations: 1. Some of this depends upon the level of housekeeping you do in your shop. If you have a lot of "stuff" piled all over the place, anything with an open flame is probably a bad idea. 2. Kerosene is not a common commodity in some places (i.e. like Tucson); I have thus far only found one source, they know they are the only source and price accordingly ($3.75 per gallon this year). They also only stock it for a certain part of the year, when I called around Thanksgiving they did not yet have any in stock even though it was cool enough to need a heater about then. 3. I chose to keep using kerosene rather than going to electric heat because the amount of heat needed to warm up the shop was going to use a significant number of the amps I have available from my shop's electric service.
    Thus far, neither in Tucson nor in Dallas did I encounter any issues with excess water vapor from the heater causing any problems with rust.
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it
I had a new one of these and it smelled like shit and don't heat worth a shit. I suggest you pass.
Frank
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Thanks for all the input guys - there's an electric baseboard type unit, and and several types of propane units at the Borg and at Lowes - I think I'll look at those and try to make a decision.
Really appreciate all your help -
Nick

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and
Electric is clean, no open flames, quiet. But for sheer power, you need some big wiring.
1,000 watts = 3400 Btu
A small propane heater is 30,000 Btu or you will need almost 10,000 watts of power to equal that. Ed
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woodstoves have several uses, why not try one of those?

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National Fire Code, but I forget the specific regulation number.
If the garage is attached to the house, it is illegal to have a woodstove in the garage. Embers can remain hot for days and potentially ignite fumes from gasoline.
They do make for nice heat though, just watch for fumes from chemicals. Ed
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really? then why can people use them in their houses? I was thinking more the woodburning furnace type, with ducts that move the hot air, have it somewhere else, convinient to the use of failed projects.
in article vJCLb.578$ snipped-for-privacy@nwrddc02.gnilink.net, Edwin Pawlowski at snipped-for-privacy@snet.net wrote on 1/9/04 10:50 AM:

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