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Unread 11-30-2011, 05:47 AM   #1
KJNewbs
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Garage space heater

What are you guys using? It's getting cold in my garage and I've got a lot of work to do before summer. I've heard horror stories of space heaters and fires. Hoping to determine the best....and safest...heater for garage use. 110v power is plentiful if electric is the way to go.

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Unread 11-30-2011, 07:24 AM   #2
jpd1899
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I use an old kerosene style heater. Probably not the safest thing in the world, but it's all I have.

I have mine set up in specific spots that I keep all combustable, flammable material far away from. I also don't use a lot of solvents in the winter, when the garage is close up.
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Unread 11-30-2011, 07:30 AM   #3
TjinTopeka
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I would say a unit heater would be the ideal way to heat the garage. It's up off the floor/away from fumes, this also puts it out of the way. Reznor makes some nice electronic ignition unit heaters, no pilot light to worry about, no fire hazard during the summer, easy to operate. EDIT These are Gas Fired (i'm anti electric heat).
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Unread 11-30-2011, 07:34 AM   #4
Superjay5
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Good post, it's getting cold here too, I will be following this for any suggestions. Not sure which route is best. My house is heated with propane, was thinking going that route, but I really hate those propane bills. Was thinking electric, but still on the fence. My garage is very well insulated so it holds the heat well....

Need something, nothing worse then being cold and working on cold metal!!
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Unread 11-30-2011, 07:41 AM   #5
Happy Joe
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The best garage heater that I have encountered was a small, used, home natural gas furnace in a well insulated garage.
A woodworker friend burns scraps in an old sheet metal wood stove (toward spring he is often scrounging pallets to heat his space).
As kids (teenagers) we scrounged an old oil heater and set it up (fuel oil was cheaper then).
I use a portable unvented blue flame heater (propane) with a thermostat and a low oxygen safety shutoff backed up by a carbon monoxide detector (it can serve as backup in the house in case of power outage).

Enjoy!
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Unread 11-30-2011, 07:52 AM   #6
bkeese
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I have a 2 car garage that I heat with a 30,000 btu (240 volt) electric heater. The garage doesn't have any insulation and 2 drafty doors and a couple of woodpecker holes, but it does fine. My big garages, I used a salamander kerosene (turbo). I have a small one and a big one. The issue with these, other than a 3 foot flame coming out of them, is that they raise the temp quite fast with causes condensation to form on large metal parts like engines, the parts are still cold while the room is warm and moist. Propane is good if you already have propane, but the by product of the combustion of propane is H20 (water), so things get wet and rust, the amount would depend on the degree of air tightness of the garage. I do have a buddy, machinist for NASA, that has a small room in his barn that he heat with propane and he complains about the water, but the heater works great. Also I bought some propane heaters from Northern Hydrolic on sale for half priced a while back. Never installed them , never got propane.

It is not the cheap way, but it would be the best way and that would be to install a self contained wall mounted heat pump. Heat pumps heat slowly so the condensation won't build up
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Unread 11-30-2011, 04:40 PM   #7
bigjoe
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I use a Reddy Salamander Kerosene heater that's 25000 btus for my two car garage. I made up a thermostat for it that I set to 68 degrees. Fire it up go inside for 15mins or so and by then it's warm enough to work without a jacket.

To keep the kerosene fumes at bay I have two windows in my garage. I open one about 2inches on the top thats closest to the inside of the garage and in the other window I place a fan that fits the frame pushing air out. I place my heater on the far side of garage across from first window and let the heat get pulled across to second window. By the time the air gets to the fan to be pushed out it's not all that warm anymore so I'm not really heating the great outdoors.

When I use and cleaners,fuel, etc. I kill the heater and open a door for as much fresh air I can get and for fumes to leave. When I'm finished with flammables and combustables I close up and have a cold beer while the garage warms back up.

Sure ya loose all that heat and use up more fuel to heat the garage up again but better safe then sorry. Remember gas has a flash point of -100 degrees.
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Unread 11-30-2011, 04:43 PM   #8
oteps
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I have a wood stove and a propane salamander style heater. I use the propane to get the garage warmed up and the the wood stove keeps it warm. I can burn coal in the stove if I feel like spending the $ on coal. The propane heater dosent stink like kerosene and I can use a 20lb gas grill bottle. My garage is 24x30 with no insulation and it heats up nice, just dosent stay warm long if the wood stove goes out.
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Unread 11-30-2011, 05:09 PM   #9
Eaallred
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I installed a 45,000BTU home furnace in my garage attic. I kept it simple by running one duct straight down in the center of the garage. The air hits the floor and flows outward. The return is up on the furnace itself (ceiling is not finished, garage is open up to the roofline).

Works really well, and keeps out of the way completely. The way my garage is setup I have no room for a unit heater to hang anywhere (shelves and equipment everywhere). Installed in the attic was the perfect solution for my needs.
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Unread 11-30-2011, 05:15 PM   #10
TjinTopeka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eaallred View Post
I installed a 45,000BTU home furnace in my garage attic. I kept it simple by running one duct straight down in the center of the garage. The air hits the floor and flows outward. The return is up on the furnace itself (ceiling is not finished, garage is open up to the roofline).

Works really well, and keeps out of the way completely. The way my garage is setup I have no room for a unit heater to hang anywhere (shelves and equipment everywhere). Installed in the attic was the perfect solution for my needs.
This would be my second choice after a unit heater. I'm going to install a 92% 45k BTU Goodman in my garage attic (I have the same unit in my house). But being an HVAC Tech I do get a nice discount.
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Unread 11-30-2011, 05:17 PM   #11
Foundrydude
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With standard household electricity an electric heater is not a viable option, just not enough current to heat the place. You've either got to go to 240V or add a fuel source like natural gas or propane.

A 120V electric on a household plug will maintain a well insulated garage in the 40s, but the garage has to be 2 car or less and the heater has to run continuously. There will also be horrible temp recovery after a door is opened.

Infrared heaters are the way to go if your budget will support it.

good luck
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Unread 11-30-2011, 05:39 PM   #12
Eaallred
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TjinTopeka View Post
This would be my second choice after a unit heater. I'm going to install a 92% 45k BTU Goodman in my garage attic (I have the same unit in my house). But being an HVAC Tech I do get a nice discount.
Nice, i'm in HVAC as well!

I like Goodman. That's what I installed in my house as well (furnace, coil, and condenser). Best bang for the buck IMHO. My garage got a Carrier (bleh!) because we pulled it out of a house remodel and it was only a year old. They didn't want to keep it for anything, so I got it, score!
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Unread 11-30-2011, 05:59 PM   #13
hutch1200
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I use 2 nat gas wall units. Opposing walls. I hate kero heaters. They leave an oily film that is impossible to remove if you're doing intricate, finish, paint work. If I were doing strictly mechanical work, I'd have a salamander in a heartbeat. Maybe my kero heater wasn't dialed in properly (it was new), but it seemed to leave a film everywhere, even w/a window open for ventilation. I spent more money on acetone & thinner trying to properly prep bikes for paint that I was ready to throw the heater through the window! It took 60 hours of ruined work to figure this out. Just my .02.
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Unread 11-30-2011, 06:07 PM   #14
TjinTopeka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eaallred

Nice, i'm in HVAC as well!

I like Goodman. That's what I installed in my house as well (furnace, coil, and condenser). Best bang for the buck IMHO. My garage got a Carrier (bleh!) because we pulled it out of a house remodel and it was only a year old. They didn't want to keep it for anything, so I got it, score!
Ha ha around here Carrier is always followed by the word junk, those damn yellow wires.

And to the OP check around you local Heating and Air shops and see if they have any used equipment they will sell you cheap, . We have a lot of 5-10 yr old furnaces from the tax credit program. If you go this route you might see if they have a complete matched system hanging around (who doesn't want a/c in the garage). We also have used Wall, hearth, floor, and unit heaters, but my boss won't throw anything away so other companies may not have many options.
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Unread 11-30-2011, 06:17 PM   #15
nicknoty
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i was looking into a small wood stove but i would not want to leave it unattended i might pick up one of the infarred tank top propane heaters... i have had kerosene and propane solimander style jet heats and they are just to loud. i have a propane furnace my brother got from his buddy but its to big to use in the garage.
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