Garage Workshop Heating

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I am looking to put heat in my garage and really don't have the room in my electrical panel to take up a slot for an electric heater, not to mention the cost to run one, and really don't want to go through the hassle of digging up the yard , not to mention the expense of running a gas line , to install a gas heater. I was wondering anyone's opinion on installing a wood burning stove. Although I guess a wood burning stove would use electricity also, but would probably be less expensive to run. Any suggestions? Thank You Rich Petruso
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you make mistake using wood stove you go BOOOOOM..

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"fsteddie" <epearlatprexardotcom> wrote in message

Makes you wonder how woodworking shops have been heated for hundreds and hundreds of years with wood doesn't it? On second thought, I'm sure you've never wondered.
Frank
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But in most shops, they did not park a pickup truck loaded with 30 gallons of gas in the tank, maybe a 5 gallon tank for the chainsaws or snowmobile in the back.
Interesting you should bring it up. It has been 50 years since we had a fire in our house from gasoline brought into the garage. Less than a gallon that my brother poured out of an outboard motor tank. It has been a long time but I can still recall the mess it made.
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fsteddie did say:

Yeah, right. My fireplace explodes violently several times each winter...
--
New project = new tool. Hard and fast rule.


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.

Solid fuel stoves in an attached garage are against the national fire code. You are probably OK with detached, but check.
Wood burning stoves may or may not use electricity. Mine does not.
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Other alternatives are:
1) Propane catalytic heater: Advantage - no open flame and good radiant heat. Disadvantage - pretty darned expensive to run.
2) Kerosene heater (standard flame or "jet engine" type): Advantage - fuel is more economical than propane. A 20,000 to 24,000 btu heater will do a good job in 500-700 square foot garage. Disadvantage - Open flame and all the cautions that go with it.
3) Ceramic Heater(s). Advantage - Lower current draw than the open coil space heaters. Fairly economic to run. Disadvantage - Fairly limited in output but do put out a surprising amout of heat.
I have been using a combination of 2 and 3 for years. On non-frigid days I can usually fire up the kero heater and our small ceramic cube to get the 630 sq ft garage to comfort level and turn off the kerosene heater. Frigid days (20 degrees or below and wind). I run both. Obviously the open flame requires some precautions.
- No gasoline in the garage - including the cars (they go outside) - Heater is separated from the woodworking by about a stall width - Keep the heater clean - Turn the heater off several minutes before you open any solvent or flammable finish cans. - Keep the sawdust cleaned up and away from the heater.
If you have no heat source you might give gas more thought. You can often pick up a recycled residential force air furnace for very little money ($25-$100). If you space it off of the floor a foot or two you can overcome a lot of the flame concerns. A residential furnace will heat up a 600 - 800 square foot garage space in minutes. A cousin just did this and it is great!
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I don't understand this. Watts is watts and electric heat is 100% efficient. What makes the ceramic heaters allegedly better than an open coil types? What am I missing?
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Wow - Quite a string. Answers to two questions:

Watts may be watts but the ceramic cube or console heaters put out a lot of heat with low consumption. They also have a small blower that pushes air through the console. Also, they do not have the glowing coils that can, in themselves, cause a fire concern. The same 10" cube I use to supplement my kerosene heater is also used in our 32' 5th wheel. Once the furnace brings trailer temp up the cube can handle most heating needs. Our 13 year old cube is small compared to the ones available now.

Check with building material salvage operations, heating contractors, or the classifieds for a used furnace. The one my cousin used became undersized for a residential remodel/add-on. About 25 years ago I also got one from a friend who had to up-size because of a remodel and he sold his old one for $25. He even had his heat contractor inspect the firebox before he sold it.
In a garage you should check with local code or the fire department. They will likely want you to raise it off of the floor a foot or two to get the flame as high has possible (gasoline fumes tend to settle). We both had simple angle & pipe stands made to elevate them. Mine was a down-draft furnace and it was used in a very small shop. I just let it blow out the bottom onto the floor (when the blower came on you could actually hear the windows rattle a little in the 220 sq ft building. It could take the temperature from 30 degrees to 65 in a matter of 10-15 minutes).
The cousin's was an updraft and he added a 2-direction plenum (no other ducts) to the top that spreads the heat around his 1,400 sq ft shop. They do take up a little space. My current garage shop is a little too tight to give up the space. I just move the cars out and get the heaters going.
Next shop - furnace again.
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I have a ceiling hung, horizontal, residential style gas furnace in my garage, with central air too. Does not take up any floor space, nice relatively quiet heating. Only thing better would be radiant floor heat! Greg
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RonB,
Where did your cousin pick up the furnace? Is there any consistent resource for this type of thing? Sounds like a great option.
Thanks Rob

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I too am interested on where he picked up the furnace. My garage does have gas already (+H2O) so I am interested in my best options.

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Used furnaces are all over the place. I have a couple horizontal propane furnaces that I am trying to get rid of. They both worked when they came out, but I was figuring on one for working, and one for parts. I never did hook them up, because I figured forced hot air would be a sawdust problem. They're still upstairs over my shop sitting there. Any takers? Saratoga NY area....
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did
Forced air heat is not a problem for wood shops. Put good air filters on them and change when dirty. End of problem! Greg
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I meant not that they would get dirty, but that a blast of hot air coming out of a vent would blow stuff around.
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Not if installed properly. I see alot of shops in the area use either forced air or ceiling hung unit heaters. Both blow air around. Neither are a problem. Greg
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I wasn't sure of my ability to install it 'properly' then. Plus, it required cutting holes in my roof for a chimney pipe. It's an 85,000 btu furnace, and like I said I have a 16x24 shop. Seemed like overkill, but it definitely would have been FAST. I also have a furnace blower (squirrel cage) on a stand that I use for quick ventilation of paint fumes and what not, and I know it's pretty powerful. I just couldn't imagine that much air coming out of a heat duct in my ceiling.
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Well, someone who's willing could certainly diffuse the air duct. You're exaggerating the problem anyway, if my two workshop ducts are any example.
As to capacity "overkill," in a space not constantly heated you favor a high-capacity unit, because you can heat for the human quickly, and not be so concerned about the loss through the walls. It will be thermostatically controlled, as well, I would say. If constantly heating, you don't need the quick gain, because you're mostly there.

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Putting a 85,000 btu furnace in a 16x24 shop would not be a proper install! A 30,000 btu would be over kill, unless the walls were made of screen. Greg
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Yeah, my current propane wall mounted direct vent is 35K, and it's just right.
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