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Forum topic by one19 posted 10-27-2015 06:14 PM 1220 views 0 times favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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one19

65 posts in 763 days


10-27-2015 06:14 PM

I’ve looked through the forums for previous comments about this topic, but much of what I found was from 2008. I’m hoping there are some new thoughts/ideas about how to heat a garage space for woodworking in winter. I live in Northern Colorado and my single car garage is moderately insulated. Has anyone used one of those Mr. Heater Little Buddy or Big Buddy units? I’ve read a lot of reviews on both sizes but opinions differ and many of the reviewers don’t indicate how big their spaces are or how well insulated.

Thoughts about these units or other methods? I’ve been led to believe that a tank-top heater isn’t a good choice for my situation, but maybe some of you disagree? I can’t do a permanent 220 volt installation in my space for a number of reasons so I have to go with portable options.

Any advice is appreciated!


34 replies so far

View bobasaurus's profile

bobasaurus

2658 posts in 2645 days


#1 posted 10-27-2015 06:47 PM

I have a radiant infrared heater and it kind of works in a small area over the workbench. The plus is there are no open flames to cause a fire with all the wood dust.

I also just installed new lighting with T5HO bulbs. They’re bright as heck and put out a lot of heat on their own, making them a pretty good heater for the winter.

-- Allen, Colorado

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one19

65 posts in 763 days


#2 posted 10-27-2015 06:54 PM

Allen, can you provide the name/model of your heater? Thanks!

View Notw's profile

Notw

467 posts in 1214 days


#3 posted 10-27-2015 07:00 PM

I use a Mr. Buddy in my single car garage shop, the shop is uninsulated and the Mr. buddy does well if you are standing still but it will by no means heat the entire garage.

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one19

65 posts in 763 days


#4 posted 10-27-2015 07:04 PM

Thanks, Notw. Is yours the small model that uses a single propane canister or does it use two?

View conifur's profile

conifur

955 posts in 612 days


#5 posted 10-27-2015 07:44 PM

First off propane puts out about a gallon of H20 per 100K BTUs, 2nd they suck the O2 out of the air. I would not recommend them and they state not for use in an enclosed space.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

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one19

65 posts in 763 days


#6 posted 10-27-2015 07:51 PM

Thanks conifur, but the Mr. Heater Buddy models are in fact approved for indoor use. That’s why I was looking at them…

http://www.mrheater.com/faqs/general/Why-can-the-Buddy-heaters-be-used-indoors-safely/

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JayT

4772 posts in 1672 days


#7 posted 10-27-2015 07:54 PM

I use a 1500W infrared tower heater in my moderately insulated 110 sq ft shop in Kansas. One of these:

Turn it on an hour or so before I go out and it’ll be warm enough to work unless the temps are very low outside. I’ve used it when outside temps are in the 20’s & 30’s and can keep the shop warm enough to work in short sleeves. Lower temps, like single digits and teens takes a while longer to warm up and I’ll have to wear a long sleeve flannel shirt.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

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one19

65 posts in 763 days


#8 posted 10-27-2015 08:03 PM

Thanks, JayT! My space is about twice your size… do you think that unit can still be effective? And what’s the electrical usage like for something like that? Thanks!

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JayT

4772 posts in 1672 days


#9 posted 10-27-2015 08:16 PM


Thanks, JayT! My space is about twice your size… do you think that unit can still be effective?

- one19

It’ll warm things up, just not quite as quickly. I think my heater states it’s for rooms up to 400 sq ft and we use a similar one in the house on these cool fall days when a room needs a little boost, but aren’t ready to turn on the furnace, yet.

A lot probably depends on your insulation. I only have R-13 in the roof and three walls, plus an uninsulated wall that abuts the uninsulated garage. So “moderately insulated” in my case is probably generous. On weekends, when the heater runs most of the day, I’ve had it shut off because it hits the 65 degree temp setting.

Being electric, it’s not as efficient as a natural gas furnace, but we’ve not seen any kind of big jump in our electric bill when I’ve used it quite a bit. Adds a few dollars to the bill, but less than buying propane cylinders. My wife probably thinks it’s worth it to get me in the shop and out of her hair. :-)

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

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one19

65 posts in 763 days


#10 posted 10-27-2015 08:24 PM

Right on, JayT. Appreciate your comments. And my wife has expressed similar sentiments about me staying out of her “hair.” :)

View TinWhiskers's profile

TinWhiskers

179 posts in 413 days


#11 posted 10-27-2015 08:38 PM

Be wary of cheap or old propane heaters that throw out a ton of heat. Recommend a carbon monoxide monitor.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

1738 posts in 599 days


#12 posted 10-27-2015 08:58 PM

I use one like this guy (but I don’t recall if that’s the exact model) in my 20 X 30 two-car garage and it’ll run you out after a while. Garage is fully insulated except for the wall where the bay doors are. I only filled it up twice all last winter. On average when temps are <40 degrees, I probably run it about 5-10 minutes out of every hour.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2410 posts in 1975 days


#13 posted 10-27-2015 09:01 PM

Although I live in SE Tennessee, I do get some very cold days. I have a 12×24 foot shop with low ceilings and a sunroom above. No insulation in the walls, but one wall is the main house, so that does not count.

I heat very efficiently with a large kerosene heater, and have no problems reaching 70’, even on the coldest days. I did put that foam insulation board in the sections of my garage door, which made a world of difference. I think I used 1/2”.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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one19

65 posts in 763 days


#14 posted 10-27-2015 09:14 PM

-I just added that same insulation to my garage door, Tennessee. I’m glad to hear it makes a noticeable difference.

-Thanks HokieKen for the recommendation… doesn’t that thing make a lot of noise though?

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patcollins

1420 posts in 2326 days


#15 posted 10-27-2015 09:38 PM

I use this http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3706565
kerosene heater, warm up the garage then turn it off. Since I insulated my walls and put up an insulated door it stays warm for a while.

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