I've just kitted out my garage with a workbench and realised that it's
not the most comfortable place to stand for hours when it's chilly. So
I'm thinking about a heater - more specifically one of those 1kW Halogen
near-infra-red heaters which I understand might heat me (and my
otherwise frozen fingers) better than a fan heater trying to add heat to
limitless amounts of cold air. I've seen such heaters for around £20.
Drawbacks on this direct radiant heat approach?
If you're going to spend a long time and use the garage seriously,
then it would be far better to insulate the garage. You could then
use a couple of kW of heat of any form and be comfortable.
A small directed heater will only provide very local warming and you
will feel cold as you move from place to place.
Yes, a pair of 'ski boots' also helps.
The real problem I have with working in the garage
is that everything that has to be touched or picked
up is icy cold, with the inevitable effect on the
fingertips. Gloves help of course, but can be too
clumsy for some jobs.
that's exactly what I was about to post.
there's no substitute for insulation and I've often wondered how
hard it would be to run some well insulated feed and return
hep20 type tube down to the garage and install a radiator.
It's very cold today and Spouse keeps coming in to warm his hands. He says
tht the very thin ply he's working with seems to be sucking the heat from
his fingers. Gloves would be impossible for the job he's doing - or most of
them because he's usually making very small items.
He stands on boards and mats, is wearing thick shoes and socks and I've told
him to keep the door closed and put on the fan heater. He - anyone - needs
to be comfortable in such circumstances. If you're not you don't do a good
We'd like to know if there's anything more efficient in fuel use and heating
than the fan heater though. He won't use a gas heater because of wood dust
and flammble materials. An electric convector heater takes a long time to
warm the space.
He's not a wuss (and it's silly and offensive to accuse anyone of that).
"Mary Fisher" wrote
| We'd like to know if there's anything more efficient in fuel use and
| heating than the fan heater though. He won't use a gas heater because
| of wood dust and flammble materials. An electric convector heater
| takes a long time to warm the space.
You can get industrial electric fan heaters for wiring in, that have more
oomph than the 3kW max from a 13A socket. No more/less efficient/expensive
than any other electric heater.
Any electric fan heater except those designed for dusty environment would be
susceptible to dust build up inside. Better would probably be a fan-assisted
radiator (unit heater) eg "Myson" off a wet central heating system.
If the workshop is some way from the house and only has electricity then
what about a small microwave and some of those microwaveable bean-bag
handwarmers. At least he could then have a constant supply of warm
handwarmers in his pockets.
Long infra-red - the white ceramic heating elements without the glow.
This wavelength is absorbed by people, but not the air, so a
wall-mounted heater can keep _you_ warm over a large area of workshop,
even if the ambient isn't changing by much.
Machine Mart have 2kW heaters, and eBay has them cheaper
(tools/industrial - plenty of them). My own is a little 500W jobbie
made with surplus heater elements. I wish it were bigger - it's fine
for working at the bench, but not the whole shed.
Or take up smithing. That's a good winter occupation 8-)
The best investment that you could make, Mary, would be to insulate
and draughtproof the place.
Before doing that, to reach a reasonable temperature of say 18 degrees
to do work comfortably would need 3 x 3kW fan heaters and at this time
of year wouldn't make that temperature. Pretty expensive too.
Afterwards it takes 3kW at the most. This would be OK with one fan
heater, although I have done it using a separate circuit from the
central heating boiler. Very comfortable and very cheap to run.
You must either be joking or have an unusual garage/workshop.
Our hasn't had a car in it for many years. The walls, when they're not
concealed by large and heavy machinery or benches, are covered with shelves
and cupboards. It would be nigh on impossible to get all that stuff out to
insulate - although when we built it we used blocks with a good insulating
integrity. When the door is shut there are no draughts. It's not an old,
falling apart wooden garage, rotting in the corners. It's solid with double
glazed windows (which have shelves across them) and the solid, thick wooden
roof is clad internally and felted externally.
But when you're working with no heat from say 9 to 7, with a break for lunch
(which is what he likes to do) in today's temperature it gets cold. Worse,
the materials and tools he works with are cold.
That's far higher than he'd need.
I like the other Andy's suggestion and shall put it to Spouse over dinner
tonight, when he's well fed, wined and warmed.
Not at all. It's a single leaf brick built large garage with pitched
roof, felted and tiled.
I decided that if I was going to use the space properly then it needed
to be dry, raised to a reasonable temperature for comfortable working.
Costed out in terms of running costs, I reckoned that I could recover
the cost of the materials in about three years. It looks on track to
achieve that. Plus I don't have issues with extreme variations in
temperature and humidity, so it makes dealing with materials easier as
I simply bit the bullet, threw out a load of stuff that was unneeded
anyway and stacked the rest. It was worth the effort.
That's not too bad, probably. You could quite easily reduce the
heat loss by a half to two thirds.
I think that that's the point. It's a miserable experience having
to do that and demotivating into the bargain.
It depends on what you want and what you're doing. I don't really
want to dress up in anoraks and thick woolies because they get in the
I guess that you have to look at what your needs are. Personally, I
don't want to be restricted to just keeping warm in one place. I
want to be able to easily use the whole space and have a low running
cost to do so.
Oh, so it's fairly new. After ten or more years, when you've built up a
comprehensive range of machinery, tools, materials and other necessaries you
might remember this conversation :-)
You can't throw out things you use - I'm not talking about stuff saved
'against the day'. All that was skipped when the garage/workshop was built.
I'm talking about welding equipment, a forge, a milling/lathe machine, a
sander, a planer ... I could go on (I usually do!) but I shan't.
I doubt it, without rebuilding and we're too old for that.
When the temperature isn't as low as it has been today he's fine. I'm the
one who's concerned. He's not miserable and he's well motivated. When he's
not he comes inside - he doesn't HAVE to do what he does, when it stops
being fun he stops.
As I do.
In fact in the past, when conditions have been bad, he's done things in the
house. One Christmas day the dining room was converted to a welding shed,
another Christmas a friend brought round a car engine and put it on the
dining table for stripping. I learned to accept this sort of situation the
first time he brought his motor bike through the front door and into the
sitting room - it couldn't get round the corner into the dining room. That
was more than thirty years ago. We'd always done push bike maintenance in
the house when it was cold. We don't believe in suffering.
It's all part of Life's Rich Tapestry ...
He's tough. We don't have 18 degrees in the house.
LOL! I can't remember when we last had an anorak in the house and then it
belonged to a teenage son. The youngest is now 36 ...
Thick woollies aren't necessary. But you need bare hands for the delicate
work Spouse sometimes does and that's where the problem is. Metal especially
but even wood can draw out the heat from fingers.
Hmm. You're demonstrating again that you either have a large workshop or it
hasn't yet been filled with the necessary equipment for the diverse jobs you
do. The working space in Spouse's workshop/garage is very small so he stays
in one place all the time..
I told him about Andy Dingley's suggestions, he's going to look into it.
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