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?
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
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.
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
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.