|Review by Craftsman on the lake||posted 04-07-2009 11:29 PM||8593 views||4 times favorited||23 comments|
5 year update:
After about 5 years this heater is still working, still heating my shop up to shirt temperatures quickly and costing me about $100/yr to run when I use it often. Needs blowing out with air each season but still starting and running well.
Summer is arriving. But, winter will be back. If you live in a cool climate I’d like to share my experiences with shop heat with you. I see a lot of people in blogs who say that they’d like to work but it’s too cold or they just have to wait for warmer weather. I found my cold weather answer.
Not a tool but an important shop item just the same. I’ve been in my shop 2-4 days a week this winter. The winter has been cold in maine. Last year when I was renovating I decided to heat the shop and looked around for some cost effective way to do it. I came across this vent free, procom 28,000 btu heater at northern tools. They had a sale, which they do often and got it for $150 but it’s usually more than that. My shop is also a separate building away from the house and well insulated. Temperatures in Maine vary but most of the winter was about 20 degrees F during the day.
This heater comes in 6 varieties, Vented or non-vented, blue flame or radiant, and LP or propane.
I’m sure the radiant or blue flame would work just as well as they have a heat rating and have to live up to that number. I chose the blue flame. Here in Maine we have bottled propane gas but LP is more of a city thing. And I didn’t want the work of installing or need a vent because I’m not planning on sleeping in the shop and the gas used gives off no soot or smoke.. think gas stove in your house. No venting needed.
This little heater, along with the built in fan I purchased that goes into it really heated my 25×25 foot shop nicely. After about 30 minutes I was working in my shirtsleeves and often just turned it off for periods of time. The little pilot light can be left on but I would just restart it each day instead of leaving it on. It never failed to start and the stove can be lighted with a match if need be.
The thing hangs on a wall with included hooks and it’s hanging right on sheetrock. No need for any combustible distances. I started out not allowing stuff to get to close to it but you can touch it anywhere on the case and it doesn’t burn. 28,000 btu’s is enough for a small house. So for a shop situation like mine and maybe yours, this might be a relatively inexpensive option. Running cost? Gas isn’t a common heating thing in Maine except for gas fireplaces. Most people have electric cooking ranges in rural Maine. But I managed to heat my shop lots of days all winter for around $200 with a 30gal gas bottle. I did have it connected professionally by the gas guy. That wasn’t cheap! But now that it’s done I’m plenty pleased with this heater’s performance. I’ve included a link to Northern tool for these heaters. They are available other places too. Just google procom heater
-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.