Reply by Gene Howe

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Posted on Small shop heating question

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Gene Howe

10532 posts in 3453 days

#1 posted 11-08-2012 02:08 PM

Our electric rates are a bit higher than yours. We went with propane as it’s used to heat the house and water, anyway. Like you, I didn’t want to trench for the lines from the main tank, so we rent a separate 50 gallon tank.
My shop heater is a 5 plaque, ProComm heater (rated for 1000 sq, ft.) in a 26X36 shop. Since our household well water pump and pressure equipment is in the shop, we heat the shop all winter. Usually the lowest setting on the heater keeps the shop at around 40 deg. except in the very coldest (‘0’) weather.
I’d say that I’m in the shop about 6-8 hrs per day, for 6-7 days a week. During that time the heater keeps the shop around 65 deg. The shop is very well insulated and that helps keep in the residual heat overnight.
The tank gets filled (from near empty to 80%) around every 6 weeks unless we get a real cold snap that lasts several days. Propane costs vary like gasoline. Since we essentially have no other cost effective options, I quit tracking the per gallon cost. We are on a cost averaging plan and our monthly is $120. That’s 11 months and for the shop, two tank rentals, and servicing all heat requirements for a 3800 sq. ft. house. As of our last billing cycle, we still had $270 overage in our account. New cycle starts 12/1.
Here in N. AZ, at 6500’ our average low between 12/1 and 3/1 is close to 20 deg. Last winter, our coldest temp was 7 deg. However, in the past, it has been -10 and it stayed that cold for 8 days.
So, to summarize, propane is our choice and, so far has been the most cost effective solution.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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