Cheap baseboard heaters, or even a few portable heaters would work also with
sufficient wiring. 3 1500 watt portable heaters would be close to that unit, if
it's only for occasional use. Insulating will definately help.
My shop/garage is 800 SQFT, insulated to R-19 in the walls (2x6) and R-38 in
the ceiling. I also have insulated garage doors. I heat with a simple
30,000 BTU flame thrower bazooka type heater.
It's noisy, but it heats the heck out of my shop. I use it with a 100 pound
propane tank. I run it 'till it's 60 or 65, then turn it off. Of course
I'd like a more permanent heating solution, but I'm not out there enough to
justify the cost. HTH.
Be careful with these types of heaters. They are not meant to perform in an
enclosed area. If the oxygen is depleated enough through the combustion
process, the products of combustion could result in 'incomplete' combustion
producting carbon monoxide.
As for a garage area, any fossile fuel burning appliance needs to be 18"
[inches] off the floor. The fire and mechanical codes are clear about this.
The reasoning is that possability the gasoline fumes could become ignited
exists. Another issue is return [conditioned] air vs. combustion air. As
long as the garage area can support combustion air [see you local code]
you'll be ok. Otherwise you might need to provide a fresh air intake of
sorts to allow for combustion air. If all else, read the manufacturer's
instructions about providing combustion air.
I live down near Portland and have a 24'x28' garage (672 sq/ft). I have
9.5' ceilings, R19 in the walls and ceiling, and two insulated 8' garage
doors (no windows).
I use an electric "Hot One" heater that I picked up from Home Depot
several years ago:
The usual recommendation is 10 watts per sq/ft, but my 4000 watt Hot One
does a nice job of heating up my garage, even though it's undersized for
the space I have. It'll rarely gets below 40 in the garage without the
heater, and I can usually warm it up to 65 or so within an hour. Any
warmer than that and it starts getting a little uncomfortable to work,
even without a coat.
If one heater isn't sufficient to heat your space, you could always add a
second heater (for 8000 watts total). I think Cadet also makes a 5000
watt model now too which may work better for you.
You can mount the Hot One to a wall if you wish, but I just set mine on
the floor like a small space heater, then store it out of the way when
I'm not using it (summer time).
On a different note, unless you install a nice dust collection system,
you'll probably end up with sawdust all over your garage. Something to
consider if you plan to park the car in there while woodworking. A wall
between the woodworking area and the car parking area would reduce your
heating requirements and minimize the dust that gets on the car.
Something to consider.
Anthony-Thanks for the reply & info. Agreed about the dust on the car. I
just got a Penn State 2 hp 240 v dust collector, supposedly good to 1
micron, still setting up out there but the collector seems to work really
well, at least on the table saw. 5000 watts seems like it would probably
produce suffient heat, I don't need it really warm, 60-ish would be fine.
Does the Cadet you have put out a decent volume of air? Looks promising.
Thanks for all the helpful replies.
After years of battling dust everywhere, I finally broke down and bought
a JDS "Dust Force" dust collector with a 1 micron bag. It's supposed to
be delivered today, so I have no first hand experience, but am hoping it
cuts down on the dust.
As for walling off the car, it doesn't have to be permanent. You could
probably build a sliding wall out of 2x2's, thin plywood, and styrofoam
panels for insulation and hang them on barn door tracks on the ceiling.
Just a thought.
Even a tarp "curtain" would probably help keep the dust off the car,
though I doubt it would help with heating any.
My primary concern is my surface planer. That thing builds mountains of
dust and wood shavings in a matter of minutes. :)
The usual recommendation is 10 watts per sq/ft, which would translate to
6500 watts for your 650 sf shop. However, I'm using a 4000 watt heater
for 672 sf and it keeps it comfortable.
It really depends on how well your shop is sealed and insulated. The
first few years my shop had an open stairway going up to the attic. Even
though the attic was insulated with R19 too, that 4'x10' hole in the
ceiling let most of the warm air rise up into the 448 sf attic. That
greatly increased my heating space, and my little 4000 watt heater never
got the garage much above 45 degrees. It took the icy chill away, but it
never got comfortable.
Last year I closed off the stairwell and installed a door to the attic
(mostly to keep dust from getting on everything in the attic too). I
didn't install any additional insulation, but just closing off the attic
really made a big difference. My garage now heats up to 60 degrees or so
in about an hour. I usually turn the thermostat down when it gets above
If you're thinking of pointing it at you and feeling the warm air blow on
you, no. For the most part, you can't even feel the heat coming from the
heater, but the room does warm up. It blows enough air that I try to aim
it away from where I'm working so it doesn't blow sawdust all over the
Before I closed off my attic, I remember thinking the heater was broken.
I would let it run for hours and the blowing air still felt cold when I
stood in front of it. But when the air in the room starts warming up, the
air from the heater starts feeling warmer and warmer. Strange, but it
You "can" turn on just the fan, if you want a little air flow in the
You must have a thicker skin than I do, because anything below 55F or so is
a little too cold for me. :) Especially for things like car work where
you're handling metal tools and parts. It's like working with ice.
Also, many woodworking finishes will take forever to dry if it's too cold
in the shop.
I personally find a temperature around 65 just about ideal for woodworking.
I can take off the coat so I can move around easier and the extra bulk
isn't bumping into my finishes or something. If it gets much higher than
65, I find it gets a little too warm when I'm moving around a lot.
In any case, if the heater is TOO small for the space, the heat loss is
greater than the heat gain and it'll never get warm in there.
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