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Jacket
10-13-2009, 09:16 AM
I thought we already discussed this, but couldn't find a thread. Every year about this time, I'm reminded about how cold my garage is in the winter. In the reading I've done about options, it seems like I always conclude that the cheaper options (gas) are risky unless properly installed/vented, and the rest of the options are cost prohibitive. I don't have much of a budget for this - maybe $100-$200. I've got a 3 car garage, so its about 600 sq ft. The garage is unfinished and uninsulated.

So the questions/points of discussion.

- What's everyone else running?
- If you've experimented with several heating options, what works best.
- Can I safely run propane for short periods (2 hours) just to get temps to a more manageable level?
- I don't really need to heat the entire garage, so would a radiant floor option placed close to the work area be most effective?
- Is it all irrelevant until I insulate the area?

Discuss.:ranger:

MDH33
10-13-2009, 09:23 AM
I have an old freestanding wood burning stove that I'm going to use. I got the stove free and all I'll need to do is run a small double wall chimney pipe up through the roof. Cheap, and it will throw a ton of heat. Luckily we don't have burning restrictions up here in the hills. :hill:

Red_Chili
10-13-2009, 09:31 AM
I voted propane convection, but would also add kerosene (the turbo construction type) for quick defrosting. It stinks though.

Watch the CO and you are good. Take the edge off with the turbo unit, then keep it OK with propane radiant.

The last place, a wood stove worked great, along with a propane hanging heating unit. Kept the place above freezing all winter (had a barn bathroom, and the barn was ~insulated), but it wasn't cheap.

60wag
10-13-2009, 09:32 AM
I open the door to the house. My wife hates it when the cold air rushes into the house but it heats up the garage quickly :)

leiniesred
10-13-2009, 09:49 AM
Portable electric milk room heater.

Sometimes I'll heat the garage with radiant propane, then switch to electric while I work out there to avoid CO poisoning myself.

Sometimes I'll just wait and go out there after a car returns from a trip. The heat pouring off the engine, exhaust, and radiator go a long way to warm up the garage.

My garage is drywalled and insulated. (first home improvement I did when I moved in!)

Beater
10-13-2009, 09:53 AM
wood stove - makes it difficult to paint, but you can't have everything

Tch2fly
10-13-2009, 10:02 AM
What are you trying to achieve?
Do you want to be able to work out there when it is 30 deg outside or just keep the temp above freezing?

I am fully finished and insulated and use a small 1500w electric heater when the outside temps drop into the 20's. This is enough to keep it in the 40's so I believe the insulation does wonders.

If I planned to do alot of work in the winter I would get a Modine Hot Dawg (http://www3.modine.com/v2portal/page/portal/modine/modineMarketsDefault/modine_com/markets/building_HVAC/market_level_3_content_013.htm) forced-air natural gas furnace installed. (that was my original plan but really haven't found it to be an issue) It is more $$ and a permanent install but IMO well worth the safety and convenience.

Caribou Sandstorm
10-13-2009, 10:04 AM
You would be surprised how cheap some insulation and a few sheets of drywall are...makes the garage super warm with small electric heater...

Now if you want to spend some $$$$$ for those fancy cars you want....Check out these garages............

http://www.garagefreaks.com/

CBone
10-13-2009, 10:28 AM
i rely on my Carhartt insulated coveralls. That way, if I step outside the garage, I still stay relatively warm :D

Uncle Ben
10-13-2009, 11:30 AM
Didn't vote as I wasn't sure on what I would view as best. Here at the house we have hot water baseboards so we ran the return line to the garage and about 20 feet of baseboard. It keeps the garage at the lowest of 45 on the coldest winter nights. I have a small electric heater/blower that I fire up if I'm working out there and it will get it warm enough to work comfortably. In the shop we have ceiling mounted gas radiant heaters. They kick butt and are very fast but anything too close will get dang hot!

Tch2fly
10-13-2009, 11:38 AM
http://www.garagefreaks.com/

NICE! ... I may have found a new web hangout ;)

corsair23
10-13-2009, 11:52 AM
My approach...

Buy a Southern facing home - check
Wait for the weather to warm up and the sun to be out - check
Open garage door and get as much work done as quickly as possible :hill:

Short of that, a small electric room heater placed close enough to keep my fingers from freezing :rolleyes:

Jacket
10-13-2009, 11:56 AM
Good stuff so far. I'll fully admit that there's the right way to heat a garage, and then there's what I aim to accomplish. Part of it is that I'm cheap, and part of it is that we've never fully settled into this house, and so there's a chance we'll move some time in the near future. I'll go nuts in my garage once we find a place we both love.

I don't need it to be a balmy 75*, just something where I can feel my hands, and do detailed work without losing sensation in my finger tips.

Any recommendations on a brand/model of small electric blowing unit you've suggested? Electric seems "safer" than gas if the prices are similar.

RicardoJM
10-13-2009, 12:30 PM
I voted Other. Similar to others I avoid working in the cold. If I really needed to get something done in the cold weather, I would call Air Randy to see if I could work in his garage.

We've used the propane heaters at Timm's and they work well to warm things up but it seemed like we went through fuel quickly.

subzali
10-13-2009, 12:33 PM
My suggestion would be to insulate first. It will probably do wonders. Then a small electric heater (if you're not fully sold on the house) kept close to you to keep your hands warm, insulated coveralls for the rest of your body.

In my dad's barn I have used local radiant propane. Even in a 6-car uninsulated barn in february at night I was able to stay warm with some insulated clothes and this little heater by my side. Didn't have to worry about CO though, considering how big the space is.

treerootCO
10-13-2009, 01:03 PM
Other:

Boiler in the main house and water fed radiant floor heat in the garage. Less chance of volatile goodies venting you and your garage.

Uncle Ben
10-13-2009, 02:15 PM
My suggestion would be to insulate first. It will probably do wonders. Then a small electric heater (if you're not fully sold on the house) kept close to you to keep your hands warm, insulated coveralls for the rest of your body.

In my dad's barn I have used local radiant propane. Even in a 6-car uninsulated barn in february at night I was able to stay warm with some insulated clothes and this little heater by my side. Didn't have to worry about CO though, considering how big the space is.

I assumed the garage was insulated....my bad? If it isn't a few bucks on some batts of pink will do wonders!

wesintl
10-13-2009, 02:57 PM
Other:

beans and your fav barley

timmbuck2
10-13-2009, 03:41 PM
Other:

Boiler in the main house and water fed radiant floor heat in the garage. Less chance of volatile goodies venting you and your garage.

I would love to do that, and I currently have boiler heat and water fed heaters anyway...but I can't imagine that would be that easy to retrofit without raising the floor...

rover67
10-13-2009, 04:12 PM
I have used the propane ones that burn the huge flame in garages before, and just got a diesel/ kerosene torpedo one for the garage now. It was on sale at lowes for 125 bucks so I snagged it. I think it's 75k BTU's

The propane ones can eat a lot of propane if you are pulling late nights over and over again, but they are nice and clean. They put out more than enough heat for a garage like yours.

I have also used the radiant propane heaters quite a bit and liked them, but they don't really heat up the air and make it comfy inside.. they only heat what they are facing. It's also easy to burn stuff with those since it's easy to forget what they are pointed at.

I have not been able to find an electric one that's big enough to put a dent in a cold garage yet. I used to have a 220 one that I plugged into where the welder went, but it struggled.

As far as burning propane and diesel inside a garage goes.. yeah I am sure it's throws of a ton of CO. But I have not had too many problems. Mabe just a little brain damage. Usually they heat so damn fast that it dosen't run for very long anyways. The torpedo one I just got is really hot and warms up my uninsulated 3/4 car garage in 10-20 minutes then I just shut it off untill i get chilly. When it's running it smells ok, but when it shuts down it can let off a bit of stench. Either way in the garage you are gonna come out smelling like Brake cleaner, oil, and gas so what's it matter?

The propane ones that I've used in the past are super clean though, and heat almost as fast since they too move a lot of air. I probably used one in my old shop for 4 years in a row? went through a lot of propane, but again it was clean and odorless.

I think If I were you I might try a propane one. I went with the diesel/kerosene torpedo because I wanted something more fuel efficient, and diesel is cheaper than propane for the amount of run time you get.

You may want to try one of the Kerosene heaters they sell for indoor use. I had one we used for a while and it worked OK also. They are expensive though.

timmbuck2
10-13-2009, 04:25 PM
I had a 'mushroom' type propane heater that was basically just a propane flame...heated the garage up real quick, but put out a lot of moisture, and I could not work out there for more than 15 minutes without getting a bad headache. Didn't smell that bad so must have been CO?

rover67
10-13-2009, 04:51 PM
I had a 'mushroom' type propane heater that was basically just a propane flame...heated the garage up real quick, but put out a lot of moisture, and I could not work out there for more than 15 minutes without getting a bad headache. Didn't smell that bad so must have been CO?


Good point that I forgot, the propane ones did put out a lot of moisture.

this is similar to what i've used:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Reddy-Convection-Propane-Heater-25-000-Btu-New-In-Box_W0QQitemZ360196565448QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item53dd6369c8

I've probably been poisoning my self for years.

ScaldedDog
10-13-2009, 04:54 PM
Since we're talking generically, hydronic radiant heating is great. I just got mine working, and it's great. To retrofit, though, the first tool you need is a jackhammer...

For your specific situation, it seems like you have a couple of choices. If you're not going to insulate, get a propane-fired torpedo. Cheap and quick. However, I'd suggest insulating and drywalling, then use one of those dirt cheap tank top heaters. They are much quieter and easier to live with than a torpedo, but don't put out enough BTU's to heat an uninsulated garage.

My $.02.

Mark

FJBRADY
10-13-2009, 05:17 PM
I voted Other. Similar to others I avoid working in the cold. If I really needed to get something done in the cold weather, I would call Air Randy to see if I could work in his garage.



I am with Ricardo on this one.....take it to Randy's. As always, I hope I have helped. :beer:

powderpig
10-13-2009, 05:30 PM
I would suggest insulating the garage and If you do not put up sheet rock, then just visquene it. I also did the visquene on ceiling to keep the heat lower in the garage.
I used the indoor kersun heater in the past with good results, but they take a while to get the heat up in the garage. I would in the future use some sort of torpedo type to preheat it, then use a indoor kersene type to stablize it. This is if you do not want to put in a heating system.

Air Randy
10-13-2009, 05:32 PM
And Randy's is always an option, my standing offer remains.

But for your own place I would say spend $100 of your budget on some pink insulation rolls and a staple gun, you dont need to drywall over it. If you have open trusses/rafters, put the pink stuff over them for at least one bay too. Otherwise any heat you generate, regardless of how, will all go up into the ceiling.

Also, rather than try to heat the whole garage if you have a 2 or 3 bay unit, get some of those cheap green tarps and hang them from the ceiling with your staple gun so you effectively wall off one bay. If you do that and the pink stuff you can probably keep toasty warm with just a good sized portable electric heater.

Inukshuk
10-13-2009, 05:56 PM
I made my plain steel door into an insulated door with sheet foam held in place by expanding foam from a can. It helps.

Corbet
10-13-2009, 06:08 PM
my vote is a wood stove

RockRunner
10-13-2009, 06:39 PM
If your garage isn't finished yet, insulated and drywalled, that has to be step one. After that see how warm/cold it is in there at that point, may be bearable.

I use a combination of propane radiant heat and an electric radiant heater. Usually our garage is in the high 30's to low 40's when it is 20* out. If I start both the propane and the electric heaters I can get our 2 car garage up to about 55* in 45-60 minutes. At that point I either turn of the propane heater or if it is really cold out I crack the garage door about 2" and use a little desk fan to circulate some air. I also take our carbon dioxide detector from the living room to the garage just in case. When it gets a little colder I will fire up the propane heater again and of I go.

If money was no object sort of, I would get the Hot Dawg heater they work great. Plus during the summer you can use the fan to circulate the air to keep it cooler.

SteveH
10-14-2009, 03:52 PM
I have an uninsulated 24'x32' pole barn. I run a 50K BTU kerosene torpedo heater. It's noisy, but you can aim it at yourself, your feet, whatever - unplug it when you start working on gasoline/solvent projects. If I hung sheetrock on the ceiling, it would heat the whole shop effectively, but as long as it's 35 or warmer, I'm ok with that. I don't have natural gas to the shop, and electricity is impractical. A woodstove takes up too much floorspace and is an ignition source that can't be readily extinguished. Just my .02. If I re-run gas service to my house, I will branch off a leg to the shop and hang a big Modine gas heater from the ceiling.