My garage is not airtight, and now that the weather has
dropped, it's too cold to woodwork without heat. I'm
looking at a kerosene heater. I don't think ventilation is
a problem since I can feel a little draft and I think this
kerosene heater will raise the temps enough for me to
work. What do you think? Is this a basic solution, or
bad idea for some reason?
I have heard that Kerosene heaters introduce a lot of humidity to the
air, but I could be wrong.
I use a small propane heater that uses 2 cylinders like goes with a camp
stove. Got it clearance last spring for about $25. Sucker gets hot and
will run for about 12 hours on high. I can usually get about a full
weekend on 2 cylinders unless it is real cold.
I use kerosene all winter. I don't know
if I'm doing the right thing or not. I'm
noticing a bit more rust on my tools
than normal, but I've used kerosene in
the past without that problem.
Odor's not really a problem beyond
startup, assuming the wick is adjusted
properly and the burner is operating right.
The heat is tremendous. mapdude may get
as much or more heat from propane, but
kerosene is what I have so I use that.
The moisture has more to do with you being there than the heater. You're
putting a lot into the warming air which is now capable of holding it, where
your moisture precipitated when it was cold and saturated.
Rust comes from the time when the air has lots of moisture while it warms,
and the metal is still cold. Condensation.
I use a propane heater connected to a 'barbecue grill' sized propane tank.
You need to buy an extension hose to connect it (Home Depot). You can see a
picture of mine in action in my Woodshop-a-garage here:
Shouldn't be a problem. I use them all the time in areas
where I am working. The only drawback to kerosene is the
price. I use about 10-15 gallons a week when it gets cold and
it is running about 5 bucks a gallon if you buy in bulk. More
if you get the ripoff 5 gallon cans at home depot. I think
they are charging about 9 dollars a gallon for it.
I do know that smell. <G>
However, if you start and shut it down outside, and burn the wick dry
on a regular basis (also outside), it really makes a huge difference.
Before I did this, my wife would come home from school and complain.
Now, she only "knows it's on".
It is getting expensive, though! I paid $4.25/ga., at a gas station
in Portland, CT. last Saturday, because the fuel oil dealer that
normally charges ~ $3.50 was sold out..
FWIW, the newer stuff seems to burn even cleaner and is labeled on the
pump as "low-sulfur" kero. Since it's higher priced than diesel,
there's been no dye in the last couple of fills I bought.
When I come up for a furnace / boiler replacement in the next 5-10
years, I plan on adding capacity for an extra, separately
controllable, hydronic loop to the system to heat the shop.
I used one in the winter back when they were very popular and kerosene was
low cost, neither of which exist today.
As an alternate, I'd take a look at propane fired radient heaters.
Much better deal today.
I've got one of those double-headed radiant propane rigs what bolts to the
top of a propane cylinder. Does very well in my 20X20 garage. Be warned
that touching the back of one of those burners will instantly melt your skin
(and I have the scar to prove it).
Adding to the confusion ...
Propane is a hydrocarbon with 3 carbon atoms in a row, surounded by
hydrogens, sort of like:
H H H
| | |
| | |
H H H
When it burns, all the H's make water, the C's give CO2, carbon dioxide,
(hopefully not CO, carbon monoxide).
Longer hydrocarbons have relatively fewer hydrogens, so would yield less
water, more CO2.
But kerosene smels, and propane is probably easier to get ...
Used to be that just about every gas station had a kerosene pump.
Haven't seen one in years--today I'm going to see if I can find one
and check prices--should be cheaper than diesel because no highway
tax. The 7 bucks a gallon that Home Despot charges is ludicrous.
If we ever go to a hydrogen economy rust is going to be one of the
unintended consequences I suspect.
As long as we are in the chemistry department, may as well mention the
oxides of nitrogen that are emitted into the workspace with any unvented
heater. Better to install a modern vented propane heater and use a big tank
to take advantage of bulk delivery savings. Next step is to find a way to
eliminate the draft around the garage doors.
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