Does anyone have suggestions for garage heaters that heats a relativly large area (like the area around 'my body') without the use of propane or other gas or liquid.
Sams club has an electric heater on a tall pole that appears to project heat on a large area. It kinda looks like a large shop light. Anyone know what I'm talking about?
Here is another heater. It claims to heat a 400 sq foot area like a garage. It is forced hot air.
Anyone use this or something like this in a cold garage?
When I lived in Northern Illinois, the garage was unheated and I did buy a quartz tube unit to try and keep the fingers from becoming numb! Mine was floor mounted, two tubes, and yep...it only heated me and nothing else! I wouldn't call it heating as such but I could work on the steel parts without feeling uncomfortable. Got me by, and sure beat the alternative of having an actual heating unit installed.
One point, did have to run it on a circuit different from any power tools. Either that, or turn it off when usuing power tools...lol
Bob,I doubt if either pictured would ammount to much in Michigan today but what will your ins man think of any heated garage?? Bud.
The first heater is an infa-red type. It will heat "objects." The second type is a forced air type. It heats the air and then pushes it around. Both have their plus and minuses.
Robert - I think that heater that you saw at Sam's Club is the type that I've seen at restaurants where they have outside tables and sometimes need a little heat to make it more comfortable for people that wanna' "do lunch" outside on a day that's really a bit too chilly. Not too sure how one of those would work in a garage, but it would reflect the heat downward over a fairly large area; might work well near your workbench in the unheated garage, like they're designed to work near an outside restaurant table. (???)
If you want to heat a area/volume around a car in a unheated garage I would consider "hoarding" the car in with poly or a tarp like the construction companies do here for winter work. Run it right from the floor to the ceiling and all the way around the car. That way you keep the heat somewhat confined to the area you want. A simple framework from 2x2 lumber and 6 mil poly would make your heating more effective. WHAT EVER YOU DO THOUGH PLEASE DON'T COMPROMISE YOUR SAFETY! We need you working on your car not as a statistic. So it it burns fuel be careful. Also be careful with any solvents etc and any kind of heater.
It really depends on where you are. Wisconsin, just as in Michigan is a little cold right now and a few Kw of electric heat most likely will not raise the temperature much. I have 55 K BTU natural gas furnance in my garage and I can hold 65° at -20 outside, but the floor never really gets warm. I use all the old rugs that the wife doesn't want anymore. Also be aware of what Les mentioned. Many solvents and gasoline are heavier than air and will collect near the floor. Any heater on the floor is not to good of an idea. My furnace is 12 feet off the floor and I still worry about it and are careful when using cleaners, etc.
I live in Livonia, Michigan and I can tell you that any 110 volt heater is not going to make you happy. 1500 watts is equal to 5100BTU which is a very very small furnace when you consider your house probably has 80 to 100 thousand BTUs.
You don't mention your garage's construction. Is it attached? Is the ceiling drywall or are there open rafters? Is your garage door insulated or is it bare steel?
It is my opinion that the best garage heater is gas forced air with external air fed into a closed combustion chamber. The tradename Mad Dog comes to mind for a very compact unit. If you're building a garage, recirculating coils in the floor with an external boiler would be fantastic. The problem with the kerosene "salamander" heaters and the propane infa-red heaters is that they produce water vapor as part of combustion and you will end up with ice on your chassis soon after you fire up the heater. Closed combustion furnaces burn outside air and they don't add humidity or have the explosion hazard of an open flame.
All said, this is what I do with good success. First, I either have carpet or plastic under my cars to form a vapor barrier. Second, up until this year I successfully convinced my wife that it's cool to park her daily use car on the driveway because scraping windows keeps her fit. This minimized the standing water and air exchanges. Third, I purchased an insulated sectional door with two inches of insulation. Today, in my attached garage with no heat, the temperature was 49F four feet off the ground.
I have yet to install a furnace, so I do resort to the propane heater or kerosene. With the vapor barrier on the floor, the condensation is minimal. IMPORTANT - It is wise to have a CO meter in the garage. You are sharing your oxygen with your heater.
My brother's garage is exposed studs and rafters. He has sealed the ceiling with plastic and it makes a tremendous difference.
IF you live in a cold climate and you are building a garage I can highly recommend in floor heating. The cost of putting the pipes in the floor is very reasonable when you are building. Put the pipes on 1 foot spacing. They usually come in 250 foot lengths. Keep the loops the same length as closely as possible. In my sons 18' x 22' garage it had 2 loops. A ordinary water heater will do as a boiler (check your local building rules/gas rules. The best answer for a garage you are going to work in is to locate the water heater outside the garage. Possibly box it so it has a vapour tight wall between it and the inside of the garage and access it from the outside. They way you have less to worry about in regards to fire.
How did you convince your wife to park outside? Somehow I think you will pay!!
Sorry to rip off the thread, but this sad story bears telling:
Les, You will notice I said "up until this year". This year, there was an uprising and my wife threatened me physically with my Antique Car Parking Only sign. My son and I found it ripped off the wall and her daily use car is now about a foot away from our lathe. The installation of the aforementioned insulated door and Liftmaster wall mounted torsional lifter probably had something to do with it. Somehow she got ahold of the remote. I also noticed that while she ripped down the antique parking sign, she did leave the sign that she bought years ago as a present for me. This particular sign says Rectal Orfice's Garage but in much coarser language. I guess this means she still loves me and recognizes I will reclaim the garage when the foot or so of snow outside retreats.
My current engine project is downstairs next to the furnace and Tom Jr. hefts it occasionally as he knows he and his pals are dragging it upstairs in the spring.
My wife is warming up to the idea of my son and me getting a personal museum somewhere for our toys. I don't blame my son for his failure to launch, I wish I was still living rent free with Mom and Dad some days.
My garage is 30' x 30' with 10' side walls. It's insulated and drywalled, including the ceiling. I had a 220 volt electric heater installed, don't remember the wattage offhand, but it has a blower and is thermostatically controlled. The cost of the heater was in the $250 range. Last winter we had a particularly cold winter here in Western CO, with temps down in the -20 range for several weeks. I kept the garage at 40 degrees all the time and then when I wanted to work I would go out and turn the 'stat up and in an hour or so it would be around 60 which was comfortable to work in. Our power bill went up some of course but not unreasonably. If I can find any particulars on the heater I will post them later. Just want to say after one winter that I am completely satisfied with my setup.
The radiant floor is a great way to keep a garage warm. I would not recommend a water heater. Yes it will work, but may not be code acceptable in your part of the country. If it is, a a gas fired water heater it will only last about 3 years, and then it will rust out because of the cool condensing temperatures, in other words, the flue gas is too cool and all the acids in the exhaust stay in the water heater and rust it out. A nice little wall hung boiler, with outside combustion air..
Hi; I recently hung a Heater in my 2 bay garage similar to the one Bob shows in his posting. 220-4800 watts. Weather strip around the doors and insulation in the ceiling. I can keep the temperature quite comfortable. My location is the west coast of B.C. Canada. Cost was $70.00 at Canadian Tire. Gary
I agree with what you say, however water heaters are really cheap to buy ( a few hundred) where as real boilers are much more dear. If you can pass code in your area it is worth considering.
So what would your power bill be to heat your garage this winter (I believe you guys are also getting the cold weather)? How much a KWH do you pay there?
I keep my laptop in the garage with the MTFCA forum on the screen, and I think I'm going to get another one for the shop. The hot air seems to keep it nice and toasty all winter!
Just joking fellas...my 24x30x10h garage is heated with heat drawn from the rest of the house (stays at no lower than 50 degrees), but I have a 110,000 btu Reddy Heater on a thermostat for those days when I want a little more. Takes about 5 minutes to go from 50 to 70. I also use that same heater to heat my 24x34x10h shop when I want to work in there (no other heat). My 40x60x12 is summer-only as it is an uninsulated metal building and it gets coooold!
Les, I forgot to add that the rust falls on the burner, causing the flame to roll out of the water heater. About the time you see the flames creeping across the floor of your shop or you lose your shop and everything in it, the water heater wasn't so cheap.... A friend of mine tried this water heater thing, in fact I installed it for him. I stopped by one day to visit and noticed all this black soot in about a 3 foot radius around the water heater. That was the day we figured all this out...
Ok I will respect your experience. The installations I have seen all run a mixer valve and 2 pumps. This way the water heater stays warm enough to prevent the problem you mention and the floor water is not too warm either. Our dry desert type climate probably helps with a RH in the 20-30% range in the winter
My younger brother built a little house on a slab a few years ago and installed the heating lines in the floor. He uses an electric water heater for a boiler, probably 25 to 30 gallon. It works very well when its real cold out side but it's very slow to respond to thermostat changes. In the spring and the fall he uses a small gas heater. He wasn't very careful about his heat tube layout in regards to his floor plan so his refrigerator runs all the time. You don't need heat tubes under cupboards, appliances, etc. He keeps saying he's going to put some kind of Styrofoam pad under the fridge. If this system were used in an occasionally heated shop, you would have to turn up the heat well in advance to get all that mass warmed up and it would be hard to keep your eyes open while laying on a piece of cardboard under your T.
You are right it is not a good choice if you don't plan to keep the place warm all winter. The benefit if properly done (styrofoam under the slab and insulate any foundation walls around the edges down to below the frost line it is a very cost effective way to heat. Yes also there is not much point in heating under the refrigerator!
But isn't it nice to not dread lying under a car because you will not freeze your old bones and joints! I have been using in floor heating for 12 years and wouldn't trade it. I keep my buildings warm all winter so when the mood strikes to work on something I am good to go. Maybe it is a luxury but I don't view it that way and my heating bill is quite affordable (about $1,000.00 to heat 6000 sq ft all winter).
IN my shop addition to the house I have always been concerned about the threat of fire, so I run with a 220 volt construction heater. I have 2 X 6 walls that are well insulated. I should really create 2 areas and do the hoarding in idea to minimize the heat of the entire shop as it is long tunnel shop. WHile it provides a safe and reliable heat, the one minor drawback is that it is a very dry heat and the wood spokes on my '14 Touring have been shrinking every year over the last 3 years. One suggestion for users of electric heat is to put a bucket of water in front of the heater to give some humidity.
I have been looking into the idea of the new sidedraft Natural gas furnaces that use a side exhaust out the wall and are about the size of 2 breadboxes. They have a piezo lighter, so no dangereous pilot light always burning. Anybody have any experience with these? (P.S. radiant heaters are not a good idea if you only have an 8 foot ceiling as sometimes they will damage the paint on your car).
Ed, tell us more about radiant heating damaging the paint on a car..?? Why is that?
Woukd a fan help?
Radiant heaters work by heating objects versus air. If one has only an 8 foot ceiling, then the paint on your hood and roof is too close and from continuous exposure, it get browned and it is affected. If not mistaken, if one reads the instructions on a lot of radiant heaters, it does state that 10 feet or more is needed for ceiling height, with something like all objects to be 3 or 4 feet or more away to prevent fires.
I install radiant heating systems, and almost everything said here is true. In-floor raidiant is very nice, and very economical. It is not something you can turn on and off like forced air furnace. Another option that is almost as nice is overhead radiant. It looks like a tube with reflector that hangs from the ceiling. They cost about $1500, can be installed by about anyone, and will warm up a garage in about 20 minutes. Again it heats the stuff in the room, not the air. It can also be set up to draw combustion air from the outside. With proper placement it is no problem overheating your car. It does heat kind of like sunshine, so if you are under the car you won't "feel" it as much.
If you are considering some sort of forced air unit, (furnace), consider outside combusiton so it draws air from the outside and not fumes from inside your garage. Also consider a unit that blows the air down and across the floor. You will find the garage much warmer than those that hang from the ceiling..
One more input. My garage is 30 x 24, built on a slab. What I done, was to buy a Miller oil fired hot air unit, that are made for mobile homes. It is a down draft, and what I done, was to build a platform so it's about 1 1/2 ft above the floor. I also made a metal plemiun to allow the hot air to come out about floor level. It heats up the garage to about 55, 60 degrees. It allows me to work in the entire garage. Up here in NYS, we do have cold days. Using the miller heater, I found it less expensive, then an home system. Good luck
My 4KW 220 volt wall-mounted heater keeps my 24'x48'well-insulated 10' ceiling garage warm enough (and dry) for my Louisiana climate. I run a small fan to blow the heat from the warm side to the other.
A second unit on the opposite wall would be real nice, however.
Then it would only take a half day to warm it up.
My garage is 1800 SF, 10 foot ceiling, R19 or better insulated and sheet rocked. Garage doors insulated and side sealed, insulated metal outside access door.
The building is heated by a Reznor 100,000 BTU ceiling hung natural gas forced air unit. I bought the heater at a used equipment outlet for $200, had it inspected by a HVAC contractor, and it has been in use for 7 years. Yesterday it was 2 degrees F outside and the heater had no problem bringing temperature inside up to 60 degrees F.
Here is a similar unit:
I decided to do some relative operating cost comparisons;
1.Tom Miller says that 1500 watts equals 5100 btus. Mike Zahorik is talking about a 55k btu gas heater. If we figure that Mike's heater is 70% efficient and the electric heater is close to 100%, then over a 24 hour period assuming that both heaters ran all the time.
Mikes heater would only put 70% into the room and if gas costs $7.00 per thousand cu ft (your price will vary) then Mike is going to pay about $10.00 per day for the equivalent of 270 KW of electric heat. Electricity here is about $.12 per KWH (again your price will vary) or about $32.00 per day.
Obviously most heaters don't run continuously
So if you live in a severe climate fuel burning seems to make sense and if you live in a more mild climate then the low cost of installing electric probably works.
One other consideration about electric heaters is how they are wired to your meter. Numerous electricians have told me it is critical to balance the load in your fuse box. The reason for this is that the watt-hour meeting recording your usage effectively reads the higher amperage side of your 220 circuit box and doubles it on the assumption the other side is using the same amount of electricity.
If this is indeed true, a 220v appliance will split its load to each side of your incoming line and will do so at half of the amperage of the 110 heater. So if you do go electric, the 220 heater should be less of a hit to your electric bill because the meter will properly record the kilowatts used.
When I built my house I installed the "sleeve" in the garage wall to accommodate a hotel room PTAC (package terminal air conditioner/heater) 220V unit. It has a nice looking grill that comes in various colors on the outside wall. It is 13000 BTU and the AC is really nice in the central Kentucky summertime.
Ron the Coilman
I don't understand all this nonsense about heating the garage, just open the door and let the sunshine in....
Happy Christmas from San Diego