Shop Heater

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Forum topic by TomFran posted 12-09-2010 08:06 PM 3749 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View TomFran's profile


2957 posts in 4111 days

12-09-2010 08:06 PM

Topic tags/keywords: heater heaters shop heat shop heaters propane heater electric heater

Fellow LJ’s,

I have a small shop, and I live in the south, but from time to time I need some heat to take the chill off. I presently have a 1500 watt electric space heater. It works OK, but what I was wondering is if a small propane heater (15K BTU) might heat the shop up quicker and better. I welcome your thoughts and experience on this matter.

Do you think the propane heater pictured would be a better and more efficient source of heat?

Thanks in advance for your input!

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

23 replies so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3421 days

#1 posted 12-09-2010 08:27 PM

hey tom…nice to see ya..i think having a heater that blows your heat might be best…the radiant ones i think only do well in that they heat a close up area…unless its a large heater… i worked in a shop long ago that had a radiant heater on the ceiling…it went the length of the shop..and it did well…but it was big…ive got a wood stove myself..and it does really well, but my shop is not insulated…but that will change over the next year…im tired of being cold during these cold snaps..i too am in the south…central alabama…good luck with it…and take care…grizzman

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View noweyrey1's profile


20 posts in 2886 days

#2 posted 12-09-2010 08:45 PM

Hi Tom, I have both heaters you have pictured, and also a kerosene heater. None of them do well unless you are within five feet of them when its really cold. I would get a larger propane or kerosene salamander style that has an electric fan. Ive used them in other garages and they really put out the heat. my next purchase hopefully. Good luck

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3031 days

#3 posted 12-09-2010 09:19 PM

I guess I am fortunate that I live much further south in southern Texas because I use the same 1500w electric space heater for a couple of hours and then just work in the resulting 60-ish temps in my 24’x30’. FWIW, I never cared for the propane/CO pollution in closed spaces and would opt for a wood stove before running propane.

However, talk to me in the summer when I am B&M-ing about the 100 degree temps in the shop… ;-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Rob's profile


35 posts in 3408 days

#4 posted 12-09-2010 09:41 PM


The only thing I would suggest is that you look at vent free propane heaters.

You don’t want to run any fuel fed device in a closed space without ventilation. Of course who wants to turn on the heater and have to open a window so they don’t succumb to CO poisoning? The vent free models are the way to go.

Good luck!

View ChuckC's profile


842 posts in 3052 days

#5 posted 12-09-2010 09:54 PM

I’ve been using a $100 30k btu propane heater in my shop for about 5-6 years. It heats up quick and then I turn it off for a while. You can find them at any home store.

View JimNEB's profile


239 posts in 3185 days

#6 posted 12-09-2010 10:51 PM

I’m in Nebraska and have an insulated shop, I’ve been running a small 600w oil filled heater (looks like an old fashioned radiator) and that has been keeping the shop about 50F. When I go out to work I run one of those quartz infrared (little boxy ones) and that brings the temp up to about 60-65 in 30 minutes or so. Comfortable for working so far. Not sure what will happen when things get really cold and snowy here.

-- Jim, Nebraska

View PaulJerome's profile


57 posts in 3150 days

#7 posted 12-09-2010 11:43 PM

I use propane to heat my garage. Problem is I live in central Illinois and it gets cold! Propane heaters go through lots of propane and can get costly very quickly.

-- Paul, Central Illinois

View dbhost's profile


5766 posts in 3349 days

#8 posted 12-10-2010 12:07 AM

Usually I use my 1500 watt oil filled radiator. I feel it is safer than the propane heater. But I DO have a propane heater. Mr. Heater Portable Buddy model. A 9K BTU model that will drive the chill right out of the shop in a hurry. I am loacated in coastal Texas, so my weather isn’t too terribly cold compared to say New England or CaƱada. I will say this. Over the last year, I insulated the ceiling, and insulated and sealed both overhead doors, and I have yet to do need anything beyond the radiator, and even that is making things too warm most of the time. If you can, I would insulate first, THEN heat…

It was 35 deg F outdoors the other morning, and without the heat on it was 67 in the shop. The heater QUICKLY takes up over 72 and in to some uncomfortable territory…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14178 posts in 4100 days

#9 posted 12-10-2010 12:24 AM

I lived in Tennessee and my garage was heated with a larger Farm and Fleet gas heater. It was awesome.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View TomFran's profile


2957 posts in 4111 days

#10 posted 12-10-2010 12:26 AM

JimNEB and dbhost,

I actually have one of those 1500 watt oil filled radiators along with my fan-driven one. Which do you think work the best, the fan-driven electric heaters or the oil filled radiant type?

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3815 days

#11 posted 12-10-2010 12:51 AM

Farm and Fleet gas heater caused a lot of potato house on fire around here they don’t use them any more.
Tom for just a bit of heat I would go electric very safe would do the job, here with the extreme cold weather it would be too costly.

View TheDane's profile


5515 posts in 3780 days

#12 posted 12-10-2010 01:15 AM

This what I use …

As a matter of fact, it has been on for about 10 minutes, so my shop should be toasty warm … gotta GO!


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3891 days

#13 posted 12-10-2010 01:35 AM

I have a 220V heater like TheDane. I use it to heat the shop up fast. Then I have a radiant heater to hold the heat once it gets where I want it. A ceiling fan on low helps move the heat off the ceiling. The main thing you need to do is have your shop well insulated. The other morning it was below zero and within an hour the shop was at 65 degrees. I turned off the 220 heater and used the radiant heater and fan the rest of the day. Keep warm!

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View TomFran's profile


2957 posts in 4111 days

#14 posted 12-10-2010 03:39 AM

Thanks for all the great comments!!! I appreciate your input.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View gbvinc's profile


628 posts in 4064 days

#15 posted 12-10-2010 03:58 AM

TomFran, I use a 1500 watt oil filled radiator, in addition to having a larger HotDawg heater in the shop. The oil filled heater makes a huge difference, so the other heater rarely runs. I live in cold country and my shop is well insulated, so your miileage may vary depending upon how well insulated your shop is.

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