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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone have any input on shop heaters? Pro/cons of different types. I'm limited to electric heat, and 120V would save me from calling an electrician hard wire something in. Kind of like the idea of just throwing a couple overhead radiant units up, but the bigger blower type looks like it would really throw some serious heat.

Maybe a couple cieling mounted radiant heaters?
http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200362122_200362122

Or a more industrial type blower unit?
http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_595_595

PTAC/PTHP units?
http://ptac4less.net/shop/index.php?osCsid=2a859f5795f35723fe47e083c78e6e86
 

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Carl if you have a supply or access to spent oil, the overhead oil heaters work great! Those overhead electrical radiant units can become very expensive at the end of the month! I use natural gas. I took a down draft unit and modified it a bit then installed it in the overhead storage area of my shop, away from any explosive fumes that may inhabit the shop! I use fresh air for the intake, too in an effort to avoid induces contaminated air (fumes) into the furnace's combustion chamber. Works great!

Dave.
 

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carl i know where you can get thermally insulated garage doors cheap, lol. garage door bob....of course i could use that engine you sold me installed and tuned. lol. bobn
 

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I need to get me one really bad... it is expected to get down to the 40's this weekend. brrrrr!

Actually I would like it if it got colder down here. In the last 30 years there has been snow around here only twice, and once was so light it only lasted a few hours. Last year I was in Milwaukee and they had the biggest snow storm in years and I loved it. I was out walking around with just a light jacket on for hours. Maybe I should have been born in Alaska?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Nat gas is out. There would be trenching and running line, etc. Not going to get into that right now.

Propane? Maybe, But I'd rather have something that didn't need to bring in fuel from an outside vendor.

Waste oil? I wish. I've dispose of enough used motor oil every year that I'd never have to pay for heat again. Ony problem is that the only waste oil heaters I've found are ~$5000+ and 200,000 btu+. Way too big. If somebody knows of a thermostat controlled auto ignition waste oil heater in the 20,000-50,000 btu range at a reasonable price, please let me know!

Part of the reason I'm looking mostly at electric is that I'm a little concerned about fumes from gas/oil/kerosene heaters.

How about solar? Anyone have experience there?
 

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I did some looking, and couldn't find anything under 140K BTU, anything commercially available that is. I found this link, though:

http://www.journeytoforever.org/biofuel_library/ethanol_motherearth/me4.html

Kinda crude, doesn't auto-ignite, you could prolly fabricate something to do that though, the price is hard to beat! I would have to see one working before I would trust it though, I'll keep looking for something commercially available.
 

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You could use an air handler with an electric heat package, I just priced one locally for under $700 that would be in that size range, but it would require 220 to run.

Edit: That had a coil in it for a heat pump, so you can prolly knock $200 off of that for straight electric.
 

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My shop is 40x60x12 , well insulated and I have a 140k overhead forced air furnace I heat with. I turn it off at nights and the next morning I start up the 50k kero fed torpedo heater for about 5/10 minutes(according to outside temp.) Elec. runs 120.00 per month average in cold winter months. :wink: Rick
 

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CarsByCarl said:
Waste oil? I wish. I've dispose of enough used motor oil every year that I'd never have to pay for heat again. Ony problem is that the only waste oil heaters I've found are ~$5000+ and 200,000 btu+. Way too big. If somebody knows of a thermostat controlled auto ignition waste oil heater in the 20,000-50,000 btu range at a reasonable price, please let me know!

How about solar? Anyone have experience there?
My brother & I built his shop, its small compared to most in the area, just 24'X28', but we thought it out in advance,
we installed PEX pipe in the slab so he could heat it in the winter. He builds custom bicycles and tricycles for the
mentally disabled. He can keep the shop at a constant 55*F all winter long with a 40G water heater, and pump...
 

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I just got the natural gas deal in the shop now, In my old one I just had the infared job that you bolt on the propane tank, worked really effective. Of course it was a 24 x 26 shop, I doubt they would well in my bigger one.

Another key is insulation, I poured it to this one when we sheet rocked the inside, it never gets below freezing even if I dont run the heater for a week or so in the dead of winter, and it makes it tons easier to cool in the summer with the a/c.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, I ordered up three 1500W overhead radiant heaters. Works out close to 15,000 btu i think. I like the idea of warming the objects instead of just the air.

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&productId=100652234&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&ci_sku=100652234&ci_src=14110944&cm_mmc=1hd.com2froogle-_-product_feed-_-D27X-_-100652234

I don't expect them to be the end all answer, but they should get it done on mild days. I also have a 23,000 btu top hat kero heater for colder days...for now. Winters tend to be faily mild where I'm at 30-50 most of the time, but we do have some serious cold snaps down to the -10 to +10 range.

Sill looking for "real" solution. Propane is looking more appealing, and 220V isn't too big of a deal to wire. What is an air handler anyhow? Just a stand alone furnace?
 

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An air handler is the inside portion of a heat pump, usually with an electric heat section and an A/C coil or spot for one, you would be straight electric, so you wouldn't need the coil, very much like a mobile home electric furnace.
 

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What size shop are you trying to heat? Is it insulated?
3 1500w heaters on 120 volts are going to draw 37.5 amps. If you only have 120v ran to your shop that is going to be a lot of load. Also resistive heat is the most inefficient way to heat.
I use wood but if that is not an option for you I would look at propane. If you use the wall hung vent less propane heaters they are 100% efficient so you loose nothing. And if you have a gas spill or something flammable you can shut them down.
One night I was looking at a small gas leak on my truck, you could smell gas and the tank had a wet spot on the bottom of it. "I had a big fire blazing in the stove" there was some rust on the bottom of the tank so I thought I would scratch on it with a screwdriver. Next thing I know is I have a 1/4 hole in the bottom of the tank and gas everywhere and the stove is about 20ft away. Luckily I only had about 1/4 tank of gas and I got the front of the truck jacked up high and I opened all the doors and turned of the fans to get the fumes out.

It would of been nice to have propane so I could of just shut the fire off.
 

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i live in minnesota, so i am used to dealing with cold. also i work in residential construction and specifically in garages. if your building is not well insulated, including overhead doors, ceiling, with proper eve vents the only thing you are gonna accomplish is to turn everthing metal into a frosty sweaty rusty pos. either warm to say 50 or all the way cold. none of this heat on then off stuff. once the cement slab gets cold its worse than trying to melt ice in the freezer.
.....once you are well insulated then you would be surprized how little it takes to keep it warm. 30,000 btu is enough for a 20x24 garage. bobn

sorry for the edits i suck at spelling.
 

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Might consider looking on Craigslist for used home central air units.

They are a dime a dozen, and all you need to do is wire up the electric heat and a thermostat.

We put a 4 ton heat/air unit in my shop this summer, and while the a/c is nice, the 15 kw heater is even nicer!

As for the infrared heaters, they are nice, but they are very directional and don't really heat the room like forced air does.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents....

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Shop is 750 square feet. Insulation is getting done. Wish I had done a heated floor when we poured the slab. Too late now.

We have 220V to the panel which has 60 amp service (three 20 amp circuits). I'm only going to put one overhead radiant on each circuit, so I think I'll be okay there. In the overall plan, the overheads will only be supplemental to help in whatever area I happen to be working in.

Still need to figure out what I'm going to do for overall heating. Anyone have more experience with wood stoves? I had one in my first house and that thing really kicked out the heat. I'm within a few miles of National Forest land, so gathering firewood is cheap and easy enough. (I know Bob has some experience here :lol: )

I guess the wood stove isn't going to keep things from freezing solid at night though. Bob hit the nail on the head with the slab turning to a brick of ice and things sweating when the shop is heated in the morning.

hmmmm, maybe the overhead electric with blower ( http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_595_595 ) to keep things from freezing overnight, and a wood stove for daytime? Or two of the big overhead electrics and forget everything else?

The used central air thing sounds good, but I don't think I can give up that much floor space. Things are pretty tight already.
 

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What you can do is put the air handle/electric furnace in the rafters, maybe a small section of ductwork to shoot the airflow where you want it.
The only problem with that is it will prolly draw anywhere from 40-60 amps, which may use up all you have available.
 

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corn stoves was/is a passing phase....however using wood pellets does work and doesnt need constant attention. pellets have been cheaper than propane btus and about the same as natural gas. out side wood boilers last for 12 hours a fill but usually are restricted in town due to creosote smells. bobn
 
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my story .....

I started out in a 33x44 wood framed garage my farther and I built , my dad's a farmer so it was built out of 2x6 walls and we made the rafters for it on the ground out of 2x4 s and 1x6s ,and weinsulated it really well ... It also had wood rollup doors , 3 of them accross the front , much better than steel when winter rolls around.. anyways my first heater was a double barrel stove , that got old , going out in the snow for wood and working to get a fire lit every morning .. then I got the bright idea of burning used oil in it , so found a 283 valve cover (no holes) filled it and lit it with the torch ... not much work , puts out great heat , it was picky concerning the draft , if it wasnt right it would make the bottom barrel grow , and if the oil had any water in it , watch out becase it would get to spattering inside the tank , then it would glow real good .. anyways ran out of used oil , it sucked to have to beg for used oil .. so I got an old american standard oil furnace hot air unit , that had an all steel chamber in it , at first I had no barrel so I would buy one gallon of diesel fuel every morning on the way to work and that would heat it for the whole day , turned it off every night , it warmed the place up real fast in the morning .....finally broke down and got a 55 gallon drum and stuck the tube in the top .... that was in Maine.. here in Detroit I have 2 garages at home ,one 22x24 that i work on projects in and I find an upright trailer furnace works best , I just buried the gasline this summer ,and a 24x24 that I store junk in .....The shop in the hood is heated by overhead radiant heat and I hate it ,if you have to work under it , it is too hot , and if you work away from it , it is cold til the shop reaches full temp .... Take this bit of advise and get a propane trailer furnace run the pipe out the wall and use a 40 lbs propane cylinder ..cheap eficient easy ...
 
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