Author Topic: Keeping the garage warm in winter  (Read 5209 times)

Offline BruceK

Keeping the garage warm in winter
« on: January 08, 2017, 02:30:42 PM »
Having a garage too cold to comfortably work in has been bumming me out.  I tried a plug-in room space heater from Lowes, but it was a about as effective as running a hair dryer.  I returned that today, and now I've purchased a small propane powered space heater that puts our 18,000 BTW from a camping store.  Big difference.   This heater uses either the 1 lb propane bottles, or optionally, can be hooked up to a 20 lb propane tank.   It's safe for indoor use, but there is a little bit of a odor. 

In my 2 car garage (~ 400 sq ft) and it was about 34 degrees when I started, but it's been running about an hour now and already its warmed it up to the mid-50s in there, which seems positively toasty in comparison.  I'm going to run it a bit longer to see if I can get it into the 60s.

« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 02:32:29 PM by BruceK »
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
1992 Toyota LiteAce (JDM)
1997 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

Online 94touring

Re: Keeping the garage warm in winter
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2017, 03:42:24 PM »
I feel like I've become the king of shop heat.  Last winter I bought a 60k btu forced air propane heater, which worked great but was loud and expensive considering how much propane I'd use.  This year I bought an electric wall mount heater that's hard wired into 240 volts of heating magic.  11 degrees outside 70 inside cranked on low. 

Offline MiniDave

Re: Keeping the garage warm in winter
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2017, 04:57:10 PM »
My garage is about 36* right now, but it's supposed to warm up considerably outside during the next few days so I'm just gonna wait for Ma Nature to do her thing. I have an electric heater in my big window A/C that does a great job, but it's expensive to run it a lot, so when it's down in the single digits outside I just don't. If I would change out the garage doors for some good insulated ones, seal the sides properly and fix the gap under them then it would stay a lot warmer in there......I may do that this summer.....but that's way more than the increase in the electric bill.

50-60* is a good temp for working in the shop, any more and I start peeling clothes and sweating too much.

Bruce, watch out for moisture from running that propane heater - they put a lot of water into the air.....tools rust easily when you use those. Running a box fan on low to circulate the air helps.....

Dan, I'd be interested to see what effect that heater has on your electric bill. Mine is 240V also, but if I run it a lot it does show up on the bill....fortunately our electric use in winter is pretty low so it's still affordable unless it gets really cold or I'm down there a lot.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 05:02:37 PM by MiniDave »
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Offline BruceK

Re: Keeping the garage warm in winter
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2017, 05:46:45 PM »
Bruce, watch out for moisture from running that propane heater - they put a lot of water into the air.....tools rust easily when you use those. Running a box fan on low to circulate the air helps.....

Dave, there was no noticeable increase in humidity after 3 hours of running it.  And yes, I was running a box fan just to mix the warm and cool air in there.   

Based upon your warning, I checked the Interwebs and apparently a 20,000 BTU propane heater puts about 1/4 gallon of water into the air.  So the 3 hours 18,000 BTU running that I did, would be less than 3/4 gallon of water.   It sure wasn't noticeable - no condensation or anything.   The relative humidity today was just 23% here, so I'm sure that factored in.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 06:04:25 PM by BruceK »
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
1992 Toyota LiteAce (JDM)
1997 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

Online 94touring

Re: Keeping the garage warm in winter
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2017, 06:06:37 PM »
I never noticed moisture running the 60k btu unit either. 

Offline BruceK

Re: Keeping the garage warm in winter
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2017, 02:45:14 PM »
OK I'm going to gloat. My garage has the heat in the floor, it was 17 today and 65 inside it makes your feet feel better and I've definitely got the nods while under the car on a creeper....
Once up to temp in the fall it costs next to nothing to keep at that temp all winter, the down side is it takes a day or more to raise the temp to 72+ to be able to paint and then the floor is pretty hot.

I am green with jealously.    I would LOVE to have a heated floor, not only in my garage, but in my house too. 
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
1992 Toyota LiteAce (JDM)
1997 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

Online 94touring

Re: Keeping the garage warm in winter
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2018, 11:45:43 AM »
Wanted to add another heat option I have just discovered.  I have a camping trip planned in the mountains next month and having a heat source at night is ideal.  I won't have an electric outlet for a space heater and didn't want to bring my 60k btu forced heater that's loud and extreme overkill for sitting in chairs outside at night, or for a quick blast of heat inside a tent.  I bought one of these propane top heaters off ebay for 20 bucks or so. 15k btus on the max setting.   They sell them in single, dual or triple mount.  It arrived yesterday so thought I'd give it a test to see if it's loud and not worth it.  Well it's very quiet and puts out a nice blast of heat.  I'd think something like this would work very well in a small garage, or direct heat toward your work area.  I have a feeling I'll use it in the winter to sit on my patio too.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 11:47:16 AM by 94touring »

Offline joakwin

Re: Keeping the garage warm in winter
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2018, 05:23:50 PM »
I dont have to deal with the winter to much, two small space heaters and im good to go as far as my garage having heat

two space heaters get my garage up to temp to be able to paint in the winter time

the biggest thing I have to deal with is the summer heat, today was said to be 110

I cool my garage with a portacool, 3900cfm of air, and it holds 42 gallons of water


with the garage door open, it can cool the garage about 10degs


with the garage door open less then 2 foot, it cools the garage down 12-15 degs, sounds like a lot, but getting the garage down to 79-82 deg is real nice to work in, when outside is 105-110



D16z6 Automatic, 4 wheel disc brakes, deseamed shell

Offline tsumini

Re: Keeping the garage warm in winter
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2018, 12:41:14 PM »
Wanted to add another heat option I have just discovered.  I have a camping trip planned in the mountains next month and having a heat source at night is ideal.  I won't have an electric outlet for a space heater and didn't want to bring my 60k btu forced heater that's loud and extreme overkill for sitting in chairs outside at night, or for a quick blast of heat inside a tent.  I bought one of these propane top heaters off ebay for 20 bucks or so. 15k btus on the max setting.   They sell them in single, dual or triple mount.  It arrived yesterday so thought I'd give it a test to see if it's loud and not worth it.  Well it's very quiet and puts out a nice blast of heat.  I'd think something like this would work very well in a small garage, or direct heat toward your work area.  I have a feeling I'll use it in the winter to sit on my patio too.
This works very nicely in my 20x20 garage. Ihave it just in Colorado until November so its mostly used to take the chill off but it will work for lower temps.

Offline jeff10049

Re: Keeping the garage warm in winter
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2018, 10:40:45 PM »
It's amazing what a deep fryer burner can do as well like a turkey fryer size one. I used that at our old house and it would heat it up quite well no more smell or noise than one of those jet blast type heaters less actually. You do need fresh air or you WILL DIE but in a pinch, they put out a lot of heat.
 My old garage had no insulation lots of air leaks and open ridge and soffit vents so the air was not a problem and that fryer burner had it 50-60 inside at 10 outside I'd put a big metal disk on it to dissipate the heat.
Now I have a propane forced air heater hung from the ceiling I wouldn't mind adding a wood stove for long days out there the propane is nice for quick stuff but gets expensive for long days.

Offline MiniDave

Re: Keeping the garage warm in winter
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2018, 10:49:19 PM »
I know a guy who has a 30X50 shop, it is insulated but he heats it with a double barrel wood burner, and he set up a fan from an old furnace to blow air across the barrels, he says it can get it toasty in just a short while, then he can shut off the fan and turn the damper down and it will stay warm all day in the coldest weather. If you have access to wood that might be another way to go. It was just two 55 gallon barrels set horizontally one over the other....you can buy a kit with all the bits needed pretty cheaply, then just add wood.....

Northern tool has the kits for $45, says it puts out 40,000 BTU on one, 150,000BTU's on both! No wonder it kept his shop warm.

Wal Mart has the double up kits for $31

https://www.walmart.com/ip/United-States-Stove-Company-BKAD500-Double-Barrel-Adapter-Kit/26958646?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&adid=22222222227018764492&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=52406535911&wl4=pla-83970662351&wl5=9023906&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=online&wl12=26958646&wl13=&veh=sem&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI_fXYt93S3QIVkFYNCh1paAiDEAQYAyABEgLREPD_BwE
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 10:57:00 PM by MiniDave »
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Offline jeff10049

Re: Keeping the garage warm in winter
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2018, 11:32:13 PM »
I worked in a shop with one of those barrel stoves it worked well not sure if code allows them here anymore not sure if I care either might just do it anyway and take it out if I move I know that my insurance does not care and would be fine with it.
 
Used to see them things all the time made with model T running boards for the legs.


Offline joakwin

Re: Keeping the garage warm in winter
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2022, 12:00:20 PM »
i got a pair of 220v heaters off of amazon, wired a 30 amp breaker in for each one, or else my garage in the new house will be at 51 deg so far this winter up here in utah

and i wired a leviton 3032-2w, 30 amp double pole switch to turn the heaters off and added a extra welder outlet inline with the heater control boxes, so that i can turn the heaters off for summer and use the welder outlet in the summer time for other tools



D16z6 Automatic, 4 wheel disc brakes, deseamed shell

Offline MiniDave

Re: Keeping the garage warm in winter
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2022, 01:00:54 PM »
So far my heater has done a pretty good job on these 10* days, to my surprise. It does take a couple hours to get it from 35* to 55-ish, but once there I'm pretty comfortable. The only downside is that my feet get cold, even standing on a carpet.

Today I had some bench work to do so I set up the portable heater the bride uses in her laundry room when giving the dogs their bath and grooming, it does a great job of keeping me warm while the main heater is warming the rest of the room, as long as I'm standing at the bench.

Of course all the tools are cold as hell too, so I wear some thin gloves to help with that.....

It's supposed to be in the 50's on Sat, then back into the teens Sunday - we'll be in Manhattan on Sunday visiting friends so no matter....
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

Offline BruceK

Re: Keeping the garage warm in winter
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2022, 02:35:39 PM »
The mini-split system I installed in my garage about 7 months is kick-ass.  It’s got both a/c to cool and a heat pump to make the place warm.  I only run it when I’m going to be in the garage for a while, so most days it sits idle. But when I do need it, it makes the garage “room temperature” in usually less than an hour - depending upon the starting temperature of course.   Granted, i’m in Texas and our winters are mild compared to up in the rust belt.  But even if it’s 42° inside the garage itself, I can have it up to 72° in there in less than an hour.  But the cars and tools stay cold for quite a bit longer.  Of course, most of the need here is for air-conditioning and with the good foam insulation the garage has, it never gets more than about 90° in there on hot days without any air conditioning running (well, maybe a bit hotter if I’ve just pulled in a car with a warm engine) but the a/c really copes well with cooling that down quickly. 

I think the best thing I did was have the foam insulation installed.  We are having weird weather this week where the highs are about 70° and the low temperatures are in the mid 20s degrees.  With that big range of a heating and cooling cycle the garage settles in at about 58° and just stays there without me even running the unit.   And I don’t even have an insulated garage door! 
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
1992 Toyota LiteAce (JDM)
1997 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

Offline skmini

Re: Keeping the garage warm in winter
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2022, 03:36:13 PM »
i got a pair of 220v heaters off of amazon, wired a 30 amp breaker in for each one, or else my garage in the new house will be at 51 deg so far this winter up here in utah


How big is your garage?  I've got a detached double garage, about 500 square feet.  The garage is insulated and has an insulated door.  I use a single 220v 5000W construction heater.  In the Great White North, it's -34 outside right now, but room temperature in the garage.

Offline MiniDave

Re: Keeping the garage warm in winter
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2022, 03:48:38 PM »
Wow - minus 34C is damn cold  -29F
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
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2014 Audi Allroad

Offline joakwin

Re: Keeping the garage warm in winter
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2022, 11:10:04 AM »
i got a pair of 220v heaters off of amazon, wired a 30 amp breaker in for each one, or else my garage in the new house will be at 51 deg so far this winter up here in utah


How big is your garage?  I've got a detached double garage, about 500 square feet.  The garage is insulated and has an insulated door.  I use a single 220v 5000W construction heater.  In the Great White North, it's -34 outside right now, but room temperature in the garage.


its a big 3 car garage, pretty much a 4 car garage, and the ceiling is 20ft tall, i have a silver liner on the garage doors, but i need to add the foam stuff under the liner,
im not sure if my garage walls are insulated or not, i think they are but im not sure, i know the ceiling in the attic has been done all over the house

but when its 20f outside, most of the time the garage before the heat is turned on, the garage sits around 48-51 deg, so i kick the heaters on to bring the temp to around 60-65





« Last Edit: January 10, 2022, 11:14:18 AM by joakwin »
D16z6 Automatic, 4 wheel disc brakes, deseamed shell

Offline tsumini

Re: Keeping the garage warm in winter
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2022, 06:21:46 PM »
I use a  small forced air kerosene space  heater and run cheap diesel fuel. Can preheat my detached garage in a few minutes. Run it up to about 80 deg F to heatsoak tools etc. Can work while running but usually run it up then turn off.

 

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