I know this has been discussed on- and off- over the years, but I'd
like to get a current perspective from the collective wisdom of
My 'shop' is also my garage wherein cars needs to live at night.
The garage is unheated which is kind of a problem here in metro
Chicago ... it essentially means no wood butchery in the cold
months. Moreover, there is not much available in electricity.
There is one circuit that serves the garage door opener +
router + TS + vacuum cleaner ... and that's it. For a variety
of reasons, adding another circuit out in the garage is
So ... what - if anything - can I use to heat a garage safely
that is: a) Not electrically powered, b) Won't kill me of CO
poisoning, and c) Won't ignite sawdust as it flies around in the air?
Tim Daneliuk email@example.com
Living in a cold/snow climate, I offer the following steps:
2. Insulate some more.
3. Insulate the garage door.
4. Get an externally exhausted gas heater (natural, if possible, propane
5. Otherwise, wood stove (start by rubbing two boy scouts together).
I have a Reznor gas heater (45K BTU IIRC (wow, 3 acronyms in one
phrase)). My dust/chip collection system is a Sears shop vac and I have
never had any kind of problems with dust igniting. YMMV.
I am also in the Chicago Area, Crystal lake to be specific. I have my
shop half insulated which supprisingly does not make my shop half
warm. But, I and 2 brother-in-laws bought heaters at the big box for
about 100 bucks that hangs on the wall, runs on propane and has a
thermostate and fan, works well in one of their garages, ok in the
other and bad in my shop, but I believe that is because of my
insulation and loft.I bought a 60lb bottle for mine and as I am gone
14 hours a day during the week, I do not keep it on. When the Chicago
cold hits, it can never fully catch up. The air will be comfortable
(to me) at about 45 to 50, but the cast iron on the tools never seem
to get much past the "skin sticking" stage. Someone else on the wreck
from our area told me that we need a 2 pronged approach, a gas/propane
for the air and an infra-red for the tools. I am going to give this a
shot. Lowes has a nice one for about 100 bucks that I am going to
install above my TS and see if it helps.
Almost any of the alternatives. Nothing has changed with respect to the
various options, as they relate to your questions. Wood stoves work well
and present no fire hazard with sawdust, propane heaters of all sorts and
natures work, kerosene works but I personally hate kerosene heaters. None
of them are going to present a CO problem for 99.99% of what you'd do or use
In my opinion spend the money to get more power out there, run a natural gas
line and put up a Modine Hot Dawg, or a Reznor UDAP heater and be done with
it. I went the portable propane, and the kerosene heater route for a while
and after I installed my heating system I have now I would NEVER go back!
You generally ask about safety, as far as I am concerned the portable
heaters are only as safe as the user, and maybe not that safe! They
generally stink, refueling is a hassle, and they are in the way!
If you are pulling wire, add a +60 amp sub-panel and never worry about power
I have one of the torpedo propane heaters warms the garage up quickly, but
is loud and usually run it for about 30 minutes before I start working.
Since I live in NM I can usually get away without running it again, unless
the wind is blowing hard
If you still don't want to add power after seeing the other posts, here
are my thoughts:
Put 25 watt light bulbs inside the machines to keep them from rusting.
They stay on ALL the time. (Remove them before using them). Use
whatever you want to heat some of the air. Buy some electrically heated
floor mats to stand on. I stand on one that is about 1 1/2 X 2 feet in
size and it only takes 150 watts. Take all of the cars out of the
garage when using it so your heater doesn't have to heat up tons of metal.
Once upon a time, I had a similar problem and so I made a plastic
"tent" to work in. It had a plastic tarp "roof" about 7 feet off the
floor and it simply draped down to the floor on the side to enclose the
area that I wanted warmed. This was easy to heat. Only problem was
that I had to run support wires across the TOP of the "roof" because it
wanted to pull upwards like a hot air ballon.
If you go this route, you must certainly NOT use an unvented fossil
Grew up in Rockford,
Tim Daneliuk wrote:
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.