Question about (lack of) heat in the basement workshop

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It is 50 degrees in my basement workshop today which means too cold to do any gluing and probably too cold to cut miters in red oak trim due to later expansion. I'm sure others of you have unheated basements. My house has hydroair so it wouldn't be cheap to add heat to the basement for cold spells like this. It is also a large basement with my shop in an unwalled section.
What do you do?
Dick Snyder
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If I could get my shop up to 50 I'd be out there instead of playing on the computer.
First step is to use a low temp glue such as Titebond III that is good down to 47 degrees.
I have no idea what hydroair heat is. You can add all sorts of supplemental heat such as electric, propane, or kerosene fired heaters. Natural gas is usually best if you have the service.
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Is the burning of propane or any flammable substance safe in an enclosed space?
By the way, hydroair is just a set of pipes hooked up to a boiler. The hot water passes thru a heat exchanger on the first and on the second floor that allows you to create warm air. These systems are used in post and beam houses where there are not a lot of walls for the running of hot air ducts.

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Dick- I'm not sure what you mean by expensive(I realize everone has different amounts of tool/wood budget), but I just put heat into my shop(formerly a 2 car attached garage) I have hotwater baseboard in the rest of the house and just added another zone for the shop. I used a heater unit from grainger(basically a hot water coil and a fan) I did the plumbing myself and it cost about $500. ITS THE BEST THING I EVER DID!!!!!! i would trade my cabinet saw for a bench top before i gave up the heat!!(most of my wood time is in the winter) i'm in CT and it was -1f this morning, the shop was 68f. i use oil and so far my consumption does not seem too much more than prior to the shop heat.(im in a raised ranch though so some of the heat loss goes into the house) Also I took out one rollup door and installed a 36" people door.
If you have a boiler I would think you could do the same. Labor might get you though if you could not do the work. Keith
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I guess I will talk to the guys that put in the hydroair (this is a new house only 3 years old) and see if I can buy the heat exchanger and plumb it myself. I am in MA and it is cold as heck here just as in CT.

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It was 65 today in Austin Tx, gonna freeze tonight and again tomorrow night. Next week lows will be in the 40's.
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If the boiler has capacity, you can plumb in baseboard heaters and run it off the same setup you have now. It can be put in a separate zone with its own circulator.
As for propane, there are heaters rated for indoor unvented use. It would not take much to kick up the temperature another 10 degrees or so. Electric will work, but it is expensive to operate, especially in MA.
If your basement is not already insulated, do that first. You may not need any additional heat. Insulation is the cheapest form or adding heat to any area.
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I put in a wood stove, works great.
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I would enclose the workshop and add electric heat. If you only have occasional cold snaps, then the cost of the electric would be minimal. If you enclose your workspace, then it reduces the amount of heat you need. It shouldn't cost much at all to put up a wall or two. Besides, you should be able to come up with 2 or 3 new tools to buy for the job. <grin>
Through the golden door our children can walk into tomorrow with the knowledge that no one can be denied the promise that is America. ~Ronald W. Reagan

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Heat exchanger on the first and second floors? Normally the exchanger is in the basement. Course I'm not up on new construction.
Anyway, don't use propane without venting it. CO2/CO will do you in. You also might want to check on propane furnaces. Wood or corn is another option.
I've got a 2 x 6 stud wall filled with insulation and covered in a plastic wrap, drywall on top of this.
Luckily I use a gas furnace as it gets to around -20F here.
For the area around the computer I use an oil filled electric radiator that is also my finishing area. It needs its own circuit as the draw is around 1800 watts. Very expensive to operate, but the heating coil is not exposed to the air and sawdust.
patg www.patsporch.com

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Nothing new, the technology goes back well over 75 years that I'm aware of. You get the water hot in a central boiler, pipe it to the point of use, then run it through a heat exchanger. It can be convection, it can be a coil with a fan. Steam is used in larger buildings as it is more efficient to move the envegy with smaller pipes at higher pressures. Homes being smaller don't often use that. No, more that 75 years. Radiators are heat exchangers in the true sense of the word, so it goes back to the original use of hydronic central heat.

There are many propane heaters and gas logs that do not require veniting. http://www.reddyheat.com/products/gn30.html http://www.houseneeds.com/shop/HeatingProducts/RoomHeaters/rinnai/rinnaiventless/rinnaiventlessheatertech.htm
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Edwin you think one of those ventless propane heaters would work in a garage in minnesota? SWMBO says they stink (really bad smell).
Been thinking about putting in a gas but didn't want to run the gas lines.
I'm still wondering why a new home would not have a heated basement.
Have never had a boiler, just gas.
patg

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http://www.houseneeds.com/shop/HeatingProducts/RoomHeaters/rinnai/rinnaiventless/rinnaiventlessheatertech.htm
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I use a 30,000 BTU heater in my detached garage. No stink. Unlike some of the older heaters, they are very efficient and burn 99.something % of the fuel. I can get about a 40 degree temperature rise. My garage is partially insulated. I paid $99 for mine. If I was going to buy another one, I'd consider the 30-80k Btu model. I don't work out there when it get down to single digits. Propane does have moisture in it but that does not seem to be much of a problem.
You do have to be careful about finishing though. Last week I put a few coats of polyurethane on my bench. The fumes from the curing poly go through the heater and they do stink it up a bit. In the winter I generally take my finishing work in the house so it is done in a more stable environment.
I'm a weekender so this works for me. If I was to spend a lot of time every day, I'd have a big propane tank, delivery, larger heater, etc. That gets costly for my use.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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My new home did not have a heated basement because it would then have been considered living space, my assessment would be higher, and I would pay more real estate taxes every year for as long as I own the home. Our taxes are already very high in Massachusetts so I chose to leave it unheated.
As for the two heat exchangers, if you have one and you have a two story house you need to run ducts up to the second floor to get heat there. Ducts and post and beam houses aren't very compatible so you run a pair of flexible pipes to the second floor which need much smaller chases and then you have a second heat exchanger on the second floor.
All of this still leaves me with a cool basement heated only by throwoff heat from the boiler!
Dick Snyder

http://www.houseneeds.com/shop/HeatingProducts/RoomHeaters/rinnai/rinnaiventless/rinnaiventlessheatertech.htm
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patg wrote:

I can smell them, and it's mildly obnoxious, but nothing like a kerosene heater. Kero heaters are downright evil.
I have one for my shop, but some valve shutoff auto flummy is misbehaving, so I'm not using it. I also have one for my den, which kind of gets the short end of the stick on the regular house heat. I can tell if I've left the pilot on by the smell and overall atmosphere in the room, and this effect is much more pronounced if I've turned it up to heat mode, but it's pretty tolerable. I have a CO detector near the heater, and it has never registered above 0.
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Silvan wrote:

They are much nicer to use if only clear, undyed fuel is used and the heater is burned dry on a regular basis.
I don't know why the dye makes a difference, but the smell and lack of smell are very noticeable to my oversensitive wife.
Barry
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I tried to post my reply to patg's question about why no heated basement but it didn't "take" so here is a second attempt:
My new home did not have a heated basement because it would then have been considered living space, my assessment would be higher, and I would pay more real estate taxes every year for as long as I own the home. Our taxes are already very high in Massachusetts so I chose to leave it unheated.
Dick Snyder

http://www.houseneeds.com/shop/HeatingProducts/RoomHeaters/rinnai/rinnaiventless/rinnaiventlessheatertech.htm
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In many areas, the taxable living space is determined by the areas that have permanent heat. If your basement was heated, its square footage may have been used in your houses tax calculations and most don't want that.
--
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On Sat, 22 Jan 2005 15:22:34 -0500, "Dick Snyder"

It stays about 60 degrees in the basement in my new place- basically ok for woodworking, but my computer is down here in my shop as well. So to cut the chill a bit when I'm not moving around, I got one of those little ceramic heaters that are on sale all over the place this time of year. I figured it might suck, but I'd give it a try anyhow, and I discovered that it is actually very impressive. Heats up almost immediately, and setting it in the area where I am working is like adding a forced air vent. I only mention this because I know I had thought that all the small electric heaters were all but useless, but this ceramic one is really slick, and it heats things up quickly enough to leave it off whenever I'm not working- so I don't imagine it's sucking up too much energy. I'd imagine it'd work great for heating the area immediately around a glued-up project. Might not work so well for preventing expansion unless you left one on all the time, but it sure makes things a little more pleasant in the shop.

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Dick Snyder wrote:

How about a radiant heater mounted in the ceiling and aimed at the workbench (for glue ups)
Radiant heaters just warm up the things they are shining on and are ideal for open areas such as you describe. Plus they have no thermal lag, so you feel warm very quickly when you are under one. If you are only down in the shop occasionally this could save you $$$.
I recall seeing them for sale in a Lee Valley catalog (IIRC) and they were surprisingly inexpensive. (and probably available elsewhere for less see below, $60)
I once lived in an apartment with radiant ceiling heat and it was fantastic. No problem with lack of humidity either. You can even open the windows in the winter to get fresh air, which might be important when you are using solvents and solvent finishes.
http://www.heatershop.com/7060_overhead_radiant_space_heater.html
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