Anyone have any experience in heating a garage to use as a workshop
over the winter? I live in NC so it's relatively mild weather, but
winter temeratures do get low (30s, sometimes below). It would be
nice to be able to do projects or work on the car or whatever (for
example painting something would go much better in a warmer room.)
The thought of a natural gas heater appeals to me (I have gas service)
except that they're expensive of course. Electric heat would be the
easiest and cheapest up front, but I'm worried about outrageous
Also, what about insulating the garage? I'm going to be drywalling
it, and I'm wondering if insulating it would be worthwhile. It's
already insulated on the wall areas that are adjoining the house, of
We also get down into the 30s here in AZ. My last garage shop was not
insulated. I used three electric pelonis type heaters early in the morning
and then shut them off one at a time as it warmed up. My new shop is
insulated. One pelonis heater will heat my insulated shop.
On Nov 20, 8:54 am, email@example.com wrote:
I would suggest insulating even if you don't insulate. Insulation
will help it stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer, assuming it
is attached. It will also save you a little in your heating bill as
you will have more insulation.
On the other hand IF it is a detached garage, and IF you live in a
cold snow area, you might prefer to keep you car in colder environment
as salt and snow will not harm the car until it starts to melt.
Absolutely positively insulate as much as possible as well as doing the
best weatherstripping you can on the big leaky garage door.
If you have gas service, then one of the Mr. Heater MAXX garage heaters
is probably the best bet at around $500.
One thing you have to be aware of is moisture issues. The cheaper
non-vented gas heaters will dump a lot of moisture into the area and
rust your tools. If you only heat the garage when you're in there and
make big temperature changes moisture will condense on your tools and
rust them as well. The heater like I noted, connected to a proper
thermostat will let you maintain a consistent minimum temp to control
moisture and bring the temp up a bit from there when you want to work.
I'm in a similar situation myself, except I'm in NE KS and winter temps avg
1) insulate walls and ceilings. If need be, shrink your working space with
a divider wall to lessen what you need to heat/cool.
2) weatherstrip and install insulated garage doors or glue on some styrofoam
panels (ensure the door fits snug to the casing, in my old shop I wedged a
2x4 at the top to keep the top tight to the casing ( I did not have an auto
3) Fine WW or HB did suggested a PTAC (google that). It's the heat/cooling
units used in hotels. Wall mounted units. New can be had for $650ish. All
4) turn down the temps to 40-45ish when you are not there (a thermostat
would be good). I find 55 or so is pretty comfortable when I'm active in
the shop -- just enough to keep the hands warm.
5) gas heaters can be had on the used market for <$200. If you have gas
available (dont have to run much line), it might be the way to go.
6) Wear layers - tshirt, turtleneck, light jacket. Tight fitting -- to
impress the ladies -- they like men with 10 fingers.
7) seal up any cracks -- keeps heat in, bugs out. My expansion crack in the
slap extends to the outside. I have a 3/16ths wide opening to the outside,
that lady bugs line up at in the fall. I got some concrete crack filler
So here's my situation..
My shop is insulated -- I think -- bought the place used. Drywalled
throughout. Of the 24x36, 12x24 is walled off into a seperate room with 4
windows - 1 east, 2 south, 1 west. There's a 4000 watt electric heater w/
blower. I'm using this space as my office. I should have an electric bill
in 2 weeks and will know if I need a 2nd job to support my 1st one.
Actually, I'm thinking I need to cut to fit some 1.5" styrofoam (the pink
stuff) to fit 2 or 3 of the windows. I'll leave the south ones open on
sunny days, but the east and west are just loosing heat. The other side,
24x24 is my shop. It's on the north side with 2 garage doors facing north.
It's insulated and the doors are insulated. I'm hoping it stays > 35 most
of the time, but we'll see. Since my office is next door, my thought is to
swing open the adjoing door when I need a bit more heat. We'll see how that
theory works out. I have 20ac of woods, so a woodstove on the used market
might be what I need. It would give me a 3rd heat source as well for when
our electric goes out around these remote parts.
See if the local nuclear power plant will let
you have a spent fuel rod assembly. The old
fuel rods no longer put out enough heat to
efficiently run the steam turbines but there
should be more than enough heat energy to warm
your garage for a few thousand years.
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