heating advise, radiant or blowing?

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Forum topic by Greedo posted 10-23-2010 07:04 PM 1696 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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470 posts in 2382 days

10-23-2010 07:04 PM

hello, seems like the number of heating threads are exploding again.
i am decided not to spend another winter in an un-insulated and un-heated workshop.
let me tell you the current situation: my shop sits inside a 52 by105 ft long machine hangar, it takes up a corner of that space, about 16×52 ft. so i only have 2 walls, and the temp in the hangar is always the same as outside, and it’s impossible to heat as the roof is 26ft high. last winter i kept working in it, only the days when the termp in the shop didn’t exceed 14° i had to give up.
the coming 4-5 months the day temps will mostly be under 40°, so white glue won’t work.

so next week i am going to insulate the 16by13ft assembly/powertool corner completely from the rest of the space, by making a wooden frame walls isolated with 3.14960 ” thick insulation, and building double glazed windows.

the thing is that i will still constantly need to go from one part to the other constantly since the stationary tools will be “outside”, i will most certainly go for electric heating, any other form of heating i find too risky knowing that i am not constantly there and go back home to eat at noon etc.
so wich electric method would be most appropriate? i am leaning toward some form of radiant heating, like that infra red or ceramic thing tubes you hang on the wall or ceiling and that don’t heat the air, but the objects under them.
warming the air would seem crazy knowing that i would frequently need to leave the door open.
all i really want is to make it warm enough to use water based glue, 50° is more than enough for me.

9 replies so far

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8101 posts in 2850 days

#1 posted 10-23-2010 07:17 PM

Here’s a site to get you started. Radiant heaters

-- 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

View Knothead62's profile


2581 posts in 2383 days

#2 posted 10-23-2010 10:54 PM

Infra red heating is the most efficient. I used to work with gas infra red and we got about 98% efficiency. Heating the floor with IR will cause the floor to absorb heat and become radiant. Not real excited about electric as electric is the most inefficient. My father was in the appliance industry for about 40 years, specializing in gas. He did a study for a customer to generate one million BTU’s. Based on prices of that time, results were as follows: natural gas- $4.620; propane- $7.40; electricity- $24.20. Keep in mind electricity was from the Tennessee Valley Authority which is fairly cheap. As an aside, an electric company out West converted their tunnel to thaw coal cars from electricity to natural gas. They couldn’t afford their own electricity! Contact Enerco Company in Cleveland, Ohio for the nearest dealer. Sorry, don’t have the number. They could give you all the information you need.
If you leave the shop, shut it down. When you come back, fire it up and you have instant heat. You don’t have to wait for the air to circulate and heat up.

View Greedo's profile


470 posts in 2382 days

#3 posted 10-23-2010 11:17 PM

tx knothead, calling a company in Ohio from Belgium is gonna cost me 1 month of electric heating ;)
i may get over to a professional dealer who can get me some advise on gas/electric infra red heaters

View Knothead62's profile


2581 posts in 2383 days

#4 posted 10-24-2010 04:39 PM

Go to for info. Sorry, don’t know how to create a direct link. I think their products are sold in Europe.

Let me share a humorous story about heaters. A farmer put in a bid for several airplane hanger heaters. He thought he would use them in his barns. He was awarded the bid. When I went to pick up the heaters at the air base, he found the heaters were as big as a small truck. It cost him several hundred dollars to have them taken off the base. Sold them as scrap for practically nothing!

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2405 days

#5 posted 10-24-2010 10:07 PM

Infra Red heaters are nice to use and plan on a new one for the shop. The one I use in the house has saved me on my gas bill. Have thought about electric but need to see what it would do to the electric bill. I like the ones Gene linked to and will have to check them out, but operating cost is the deciding factor. I heat and cool the shop much the same as I do the house so operating cost is the deciding factor for me. For me gas is cheaper than my electric here. The only drawback is that they need to be shut off when using oil based products when finishing.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3315 days

#6 posted 10-24-2010 10:09 PM


-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Greedo's profile


470 posts in 2382 days

#7 posted 10-24-2010 10:51 PM

i just read on a consumer protection website about heating sources, in matter of infra red heaters they advise in favor of electric. they say gas operated units can only be operated for max 1 hour in a well ventilated space, after wich the toxic gas concentrations in the air exceed the allowed limits. and then there is the risk of explosions etc.

View Knothead62's profile


2581 posts in 2383 days

#8 posted 10-24-2010 11:46 PM

I don’t know what consumer protection website told that but gas IR burners are used for a lot of applications that are continuous use for more than one hour- paint drying of precoated building materials is one; eight or twelve hour shifts continuous. In restaurants, cheese melters and salamander heaters are operated continuously. With 98% efficiency, you don’t get the CO, etc. as with a conventional blue-flame burner. As I mentioned, my father and I sold industrial IR gas burners for 7 years and never had a problem with ANY application. You run the risk of explosion with ANY open flame or an electrical spark. Mind sharing the website? It seems they have a thing for electric. Refer to my story on the utility company railcar thawing barn. We had a saying in the appliance industry, “Do you know what gas smells like? What does electricity smell like?”
Personally, I would change to gas as I have a gas main in the front yard but don’t have the 4 grand to convert.

View crank49's profile


3979 posts in 2392 days

#9 posted 10-25-2010 12:54 AM

In Europe check out GoGas. They have the most advanced IR heaters on the planet. Years ahead of everyone else. They can even heat outdoor socker stadiums as well as coal trains.

In the company where I work the entire plant, over 200,000 square feet with 43’ eave height is heated with IR heaters and has been this way since 1972. IR heats people and floors and machines and stuff, not the air. This company is from Belgium, by the way and we use some of the GoGas equipment for process heating here in our foundry in Tennessee.

I wouldn’t want open flame IR in a small wood shop due to fumes and dust, but vented IR tubes are great and you don’t have a small enclosed shop from what I’m reading in your description; except for your assembly area you are building. In that area I might want some type of warm air heat; either electric or gas.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

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