Author Topic: How do you heat your workshop?  (Read 749 times)

BudgetSlasher

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How do you heat your workshop?
« on: November 01, 2018, 05:17:26 PM »
My workshop is above our 2 car garage. It is uninsulated with eve vents and in the winter (design value here is -5F) and cover about 973 square feet (including behind the knee wall and other connected, but not very usable space). Depending on the day can be rather unpleasant if my projects demand working out there.

For the past few years I have relied on a couple ceramic tower heaters or electric radiant baseboards for heat. But their impact is limited to a place to warm your hands during breaks or once you have lost feeling. And I have to be certain that they are not on the circuit of the tool I am using or I'll trip the breaker (I could add extra circuits, but more tools will just appear during the summer to occupy the outlets). This winter looks like I will be spending more time out there building drawer faces for the kitchen and I would like to be more comfortable/not have to wear (or constantly take on and off) gloves and a coat around the tools. Wearing fleece lined pants, a warm hat, and a vest is fine.

So any suggestions on how to be slightly more comfortable this winter and future winters?

I have considered building a workbench with a steel top and placing a magnetic oil pan heater underneath for a warm work surface/tools when hand tools are used.

Edit: My time in the workshop is limited to a couple hours (at most) randomly after work and potentially longer (again randomly) on weekends. So fuel cost is likely minimal and heat sources that require a set schedule or notice to come up to temp are likely not the greatest.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2018, 05:41:55 AM by BudgetSlasher »

dcozad999

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Re: How do you heat your workshop?
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2018, 06:47:20 AM »
I was just thinking about this last week. I have a lot of projects I want to work on this winter and want something that will take the edge off the cold.

I haven't done a lot of research, but a coworker recommended something like this:
https://www.amazon.com/Dyna-Glo-RMC-FA60DGD-30-000-Propane/dp/B0044R8Y5I/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1541162593&sr=8-3&keywords=forced+air+heater


I'm interested to see what everyone else here has to say.


Papa bear

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Re: How do you heat your workshop?
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2018, 06:57:15 AM »
So you’re probably going to want to stay with radiant heat, electric or some other fuel source.

I would hate to have forced air in a workshop.

If you can run a gas line up, there are some radiant heaters that run off natural gas. Or you could continue with electric radiant heat.  I have a friend that owns a plant that makes ceramic, ceiling mountable, electric radiant heat plates that could work well.




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lthenderson

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Re: How do you heat your workshop?
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2018, 07:19:21 AM »
My garage has a vent from my house forced air heating system plumbed into it. (There is no return vent for obvious reasons.) I find that this keeps things well above freezing out there all winter long which is great for letting the snow and ice melt off the vehicles overnight. I find it warm enough for short stints out in the garage during the coldest of days. When I spend longer periods of time out there, I set my house smart thermostat to make the heater fan run continuously which blows warm air from the house interior out into the garage all during the day.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2018, 11:02:33 AM by lthenderson »

Fishindude

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Re: How do you heat your workshop?
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2018, 10:46:24 AM »
For a small space like this, I'm a big fan of the little thru wall, combination heat / AC units like are used in motel rooms.
They are rather inexpensive to purchase, pretty simple to install and you just turn them on / off as needed.   They do require 220V electric, but that shouldn't be a big deal.

Jon Bon

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Re: How do you heat your workshop?
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2018, 11:03:19 AM »
PTF,

My detached garage its currently uninsulated but I am thinking about conditioning it maybe next year.

I would say small AC/Heat window unit for $500 bucks or so? Or a mini-split for $1200 or so depending? 120 or 240 does not make a difference to me.

Has anyone used either of the above? How well does it work? I dont need to make it 70 degrees year round but maybe under 80 in the summer and above freezing in the winter.

BudgetSlasher

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Re: How do you heat your workshop?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2018, 10:06:16 AM »
So youíre probably going to want to stay with radiant heat, electric or some other fuel source.

I would hate to have forced air in a workshop.

If you can run a gas line up, there are some radiant heaters that run off natural gas. Or you could continue with electric radiant heat.  I have a friend that owns a plant that makes ceramic, ceiling mountable, electric radiant heat plates that could work well.



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We currently have propane (no natural gas available even tough there is a high pressure line under the street), but as soon as we complete our pellet insert (replacing a propane log in the fireplace, not fireplace) there will be no other propane using appliances (excluding the grill that uses that is not hard plumbed). I'd like to get rid of the propane tank as it is a pain to keep access open to during the winter and it is right were we want to expand our deck . . . some year.

What is your friend's company that makes electric radiant heat? That might be the way I go.

For a small space like this, I'm a big fan of the little thru wall, combination heat / AC units like are used in motel rooms.
They are rather inexpensive to purchase, pretty simple to install and you just turn them on / off as needed.   They do require 220V electric, but that shouldn't be a big deal.

I would love a heat pump setup and frankly wouldn't mind trying my hand at installing one of the cheaper kits. The electrical is easy for me. And the AC . . . well that would be an upgrade for the open windows and fan I use in the summer now.

All that aside, the "design value" here is -5F and we a day or two that drops to -25F (at least overnight) each year. My concern is that heating performance drops off as the exterior temperature gets colder and even the expensive Mitsu H2i systems stop working at some of our lower temperatures.

All in all it is looking like some larger 240v electric heaters are the path of least resistance (or is that most resistance).

Papa bear

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Re: How do you heat your workshop?
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2018, 01:02:52 PM »
So you’re probably going to want to stay with radiant heat, electric or some other fuel source.

I would hate to have forced air in a workshop.

If you can run a gas line up, there are some radiant heaters that run off natural gas. Or you could continue with electric radiant heat.  I have a friend that owns a plant that makes ceramic, ceiling mountable, electric radiant heat plates that could work well.



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We currently have propane (no natural gas available even tough there is a high pressure line under the street), but as soon as we complete our pellet insert (replacing a propane log in the fireplace, not fireplace) there will be no other propane using appliances (excluding the grill that uses that is not hard plumbed). I'd like to get rid of the propane tank as it is a pain to keep access open to during the winter and it is right were we want to expand our deck . . . some year.

What is your friend's company that makes electric radiant heat? That might be the way I go.

For a small space like this, I'm a big fan of the little thru wall, combination heat / AC units like are used in motel rooms.
They are rather inexpensive to purchase, pretty simple to install and you just turn them on / off as needed.   They do require 220V electric, but that shouldn't be a big deal.

I would love a heat pump setup and frankly wouldn't mind trying my hand at installing one of the cheaper kits. The electrical is easy for me. And the AC . . . well that would be an upgrade for the open windows and fan I use in the summer now.

All that aside, the "design value" here is -5F and we a day or two that drops to -25F (at least overnight) each year. My concern is that heating performance drops off as the exterior temperature gets colder and even the expensive Mitsu H2i systems stop working at some of our lower temperatures.

All in all it is looking like some larger 240v electric heaters are the path of least resistance (or is that most resistance).

Radiant electric heat - ceramicircuit
Electricheat.com

Let me know if you are interested and I’ll give him a heads up that I referred someone.






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BudgetSlasher

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Re: How do you heat your workshop?
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2018, 08:52:32 AM »
I was just thinking about this last week. I have a lot of projects I want to work on this winter and want something that will take the edge off the cold.

I haven't done a lot of research, but a coworker recommended something like this:
https://www.amazon.com/Dyna-Glo-RMC-FA60DGD-30-000-Propane/dp/B0044R8Y5I/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1541162593&sr=8-3&keywords=forced+air+heater


I'm interested to see what everyone else here has to say.

Thank you for the input. I have looked at those as well. They certainly would be the the cheapest per BTU to get into. If I believe the formula of (square footage x average ceiling height x 7 (for poor insulation)) as correct I could purchase a heat source that would do more than just take the edge off for a reasonable amount of money.

I could probably find a way to place it behind a knee wall or build a shelf to hold it off the floor and out of the way (so long as any needed clearance to combustable materials were met). And I could certainly keep it fed propane, we have 2 grill cylinders (and another back up or two wouldn't hurt) around and a place that fills them about 7 minutes away.

They only thing that holds me back is that I am weary of any combustion that does not vent its byproducts to the outside.

So youíre probably going to want to stay with radiant heat, electric or some other fuel source.

I would hate to have forced air in a workshop.

If you can run a gas line up, there are some radiant heaters that run off natural gas. Or you could continue with electric radiant heat.  I have a friend that owns a plant that makes ceramic, ceiling mountable, electric radiant heat plates that could work well.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

We currently have propane (no natural gas available even tough there is a high pressure line under the street), but as soon as we complete our pellet insert (replacing a propane log in the fireplace, not fireplace) there will be no other propane using appliances (excluding the grill that uses that is not hard plumbed). I'd like to get rid of the propane tank as it is a pain to keep access open to during the winter and it is right were we want to expand our deck . . . some year.

What is your friend's company that makes electric radiant heat? That might be the way I go.

For a small space like this, I'm a big fan of the little thru wall, combination heat / AC units like are used in motel rooms.
They are rather inexpensive to purchase, pretty simple to install and you just turn them on / off as needed.   They do require 220V electric, but that shouldn't be a big deal.

I would love a heat pump setup and frankly wouldn't mind trying my hand at installing one of the cheaper kits. The electrical is easy for me. And the AC . . . well that would be an upgrade for the open windows and fan I use in the summer now.

All that aside, the "design value" here is -5F and we a day or two that drops to -25F (at least overnight) each year. My concern is that heating performance drops off as the exterior temperature gets colder and even the expensive Mitsu H2i systems stop working at some of our lower temperatures.

All in all it is looking like some larger 240v electric heaters are the path of least resistance (or is that most resistance).

Radiant electric heat - ceramicircuit
Electricheat.com

Let me know if you are interested and Iíll give him a heads up that I referred someone.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thank you for providing the link. They look really nice, probably too nice for a that in exposed framing. Also, it appears that there wattage isn't much higher than the electric options that I am using at the moment. If I had a partially finished shop with insulation or wind up looking for supplementary heat in corner of the basement that I used as a finishing station I will keep these in mind, but I don't think they are the greatest fit for my workshop as it exists today.

Thanks again.

Mgmny

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Re: How do you heat your workshop?
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2018, 11:34:40 AM »
Do you have unlimited access to wood?

If so, I would consider using purchasing a barrel stove kit and put that in a corner somewhere. It won't give off heat for a few minutes, but it will warm you up quickly once going. I think you said it is upstairs, so schlepping wood upstairs may not be super ideal, but it could work and would be a low-cost option. You might even be able to snag one for free/super cheap on a local craigslist.

I'm imagining something like this.





Those were grabbed from this website: https://woodgears.ca/dads_shop/shop_tour.html
« Last Edit: November 07, 2018, 11:39:01 AM by Mgmny »

BudgetSlasher

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Re: How do you heat your workshop?
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2018, 05:30:20 AM »
Do you have unlimited access to wood?

If so, I would consider using purchasing a barrel stove kit and put that in a corner somewhere. It won't give off heat for a few minutes, but it will warm you up quickly once going. I think you said it is upstairs, so schlepping wood upstairs may not be super ideal, but it could work and would be a low-cost option. You might even be able to snag one for free/super cheap on a local craigslist.

I'm imagining something like this.





Those were grabbed from this website: https://woodgears.ca/dads_shop/shop_tour.html

Nothing is unlimited; our little lot couldn't supply our household heating needs, but for the comparable small amount of time I am in the shop it could probably provide enough. Or I could buy in large amount of green wood and let it season.

I do like the idea of heating with wood (and readily disposing of off cuts). My FIL heats his old drafty 3 story barn/garage/store space/workshop with a wood/coal stove and it can get that thing up to the mid 70s in the winter. Hauling wood upstairs would be nothing after cutting down the trees, cutting to length, and splitting as needed.

I will have to look around and see if there is a good place to do a wood burner. Being inside the roofline, the corners probably won't work (between the low ceiling and the knee wall) and the perimeter is already lined with tools and work benches . . . not to mention clearance to combustible surface codes. I wonder if I could build a shelf/cabinet and put a wood burner on top of that without too much lost function.

Uturn

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Re: How do you heat your workshop?
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2018, 06:24:15 AM »
Insulated garage with a line off the main plenum, no return.  I was in North TX.  This setup did not change my power bill any at all, but made the shop a nice place to be.  In the summer, I could expect the shop to be mid 80's, coldest days saw temps in the 50's.  Those are very much workable temps.  If I was doing any finishing work or glue up, I used a propane heater to raise the temps into the 70's quickly.  I could then use an oil filled radiator space heater to hold the temp.  I would also bring parts in the house the night before glue up so they would not be too cold for glue.