Heating and Cooling the shop

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Forum topic by s_grifter posted 08-31-2011 02:00 AM 1408 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View s_grifter's profile


186 posts in 1884 days

08-31-2011 02:00 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I am not sure if anyone has made any posts about this yet or not, but winter is on its way and I was wondering how everybody heated and cooled their shops. I had a fan and an open door to cool the shop, but my fan broke in the spring and I was too cheap to buy another one. I have looked at them and the one that I liked is an $80 industrial floor fan. We use them at work and they take a beating. I have went through three cheap fans over the last few years and want something that will actually last. On the flip side of that, I heat my shop space with a keroseen heater or two depending on how cold it is. I have tried some of those ceramic things but it didn’t seem to do anything, I have also tried one of those oil radiators, that did less then nothing. For now, I am in a small one and a half car garage. I cannot add electric heat and I cannot burn wood to heat my shop in the winters, for the summers I do have a window, but I cannot put an air conditioner in it. I am interested in hearing how and what everybody uses to to heat and cool your shops. Maybe some of you are in a cramped situation like I am with limited options and have found some great way to stay comfortable. Thanks for all of your help.

12 replies so far

View Luke's profile


545 posts in 2710 days

#1 posted 08-31-2011 02:24 AM

I use a small 220V box heater. Basically a heating element with a blowing fan. It takes a while to heat up but once it does it’s pretty cozy. my shop was 200 square feet but now it is 380 so hopefully it does as well this winter. BTW kerosene heaters are really bad for you lungs. You might look into a propane sun flower type. Not terribly expensive and fume free.

-- LAS,

View Eric_S's profile


1550 posts in 2612 days

#2 posted 08-31-2011 02:34 AM

Hey s_grifter. There have been numerous posts about this, check out these forums for starters. I’m sure you can get many great ideas from them…

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5099 posts in 2611 days

#3 posted 08-31-2011 04:41 AM

I have central heating and air in my shop, so I really can’t help you with your situation. Maybe others will post what they use.

-- At my age, an "all--nighter" is not having to get up and pee...!!!

View Manitario's profile


2393 posts in 2299 days

#4 posted 08-31-2011 04:55 AM

As Eric posted, this is a topic that has come up time and time again here on LJ’s. You’ll find many discussions using the search function. My own 2c is insulate as best as you can afford.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5300 posts in 3129 days

#5 posted 09-03-2011 05:07 AM

In the back of my head I keep thinking there must be a way to recover the heat from a clothes dryer without trapping all the moisture and lint. I don’t know how may kilowatts a year I spend melting the snow in the yard as we dry clothes all winter when the dryer vents to the outside. There must be some way, like some kind of heat exchanger thingamahooey .Once this is figured out I will be able to heat my shop with out fear of fire or rust/excess humidity and save myself some serious coin!

Currently, like Luke, I use a 220v heater and fan cube. It works pretty well, but when it gets to the -30s here I kind of stay out of the shop and putter inside or lap and sharpen my tools.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2056 days

#6 posted 09-03-2011 05:33 AM

120 VOLT portable heat pump… 15k btu air and 14k btu heat.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View dbhost's profile


5589 posts in 2648 days

#7 posted 09-03-2011 05:58 AM

14K BTU portable AC ducted through the front wall (between the doors) using vent ducts painted to match the house… In the winter I use an oil filled radiator. It takes forever for the space to heat up, but once it is warmed up, it stays that way with little effort… If I need heat NOW, I break out my Mr. Heater Portable Buddy propane hunting heater…

I really need to insulate my walls, but my ceiling is R30 and the doors are R10…

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View dbhost's profile


5589 posts in 2648 days

#8 posted 09-03-2011 05:58 AM

oops double post.

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View Blackie_'s profile


4527 posts in 1929 days

#9 posted 09-03-2011 03:14 PM

My shop is a stand alone and I have a 8000 BTU window unit for cooling I only wish I had a heat pump system but not sure if you can get that in 110V as for as heating, it is well insulated and I am able to heat it with a very small space heater. Different locations bring different cooling/heating conditions but down here in Tx especially this season it’s hotter then H%$#$ and I’m so glad I have a window unit that plus it has spoiled me. grins

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View MedicKen's profile


1610 posts in 2878 days

#10 posted 09-03-2011 03:24 PM

10K btu a/c window unit for cooling. As of now, nothing for heat except warm clothing. I am hoping to change that this winter with a split ductless system.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View taoist's profile


120 posts in 1907 days

#11 posted 09-06-2011 04:59 AM

I use a fan with an open garage door for the summer…no window a/c unit for casement windows yet, as far as I know.
For winter I have 2 propane heaters. Both came from Northern Tools. The big one is a 30,000-80,000 btu. It’s a great heater but has no oxygen sensor on it. The other one is a Mr Heater Big Buddy. The Big Buddy has 3 heat settings and maxes out at 18,000 btu. This is the one with an oxygen sensor and has a weak fan on it also.
Since my shop is in my garage it is about 480 sq.ft. 20×24 2 car. The garage has no wall insulation at all and the ceiling has about an R11. I plan to reinsulate the ceiling to about an R40 but there isn’t anything I can do about the walls, yet.
If it is really cold, mid teens to thirties, I crank both heaters on max. This brings up the temp pretty quickly. I also use the summertime fan to circulate the heat as it tends to stay at ceiling level (9ft.). As the garage heats up, I turn the big heater down to 30,000 btu and the BB to low, where it stays. If there isn’t enough oxygen to breath, the BB will shut down completely. Sometimes a cracked open window help you breath easier. I then cycle the big heater off and on to keep the room warm. You will find out that everything in the room being cold drastically brings the temperature back down quickly when you cut the heat back. If you really want to work in the shop you just stay after it.
BTW The big heater eats tanks of propane on high. The enclosed info said on high(80,000 btu) a 20lb tank is @ 4 hours. Last winter I got a month out of a tank by turning it off and not running on high very much.

View willie's profile


533 posts in 1871 days

#12 posted 09-10-2011 05:19 AM

As far as cooling, open the windows and doors and turn on the fans. I’ve always heated my shop with a woodburner. Helps get rid of unusable scraps and I have a good supply of free firewood. When the temp is below 20 degrees I fire up a kerosene space heater to bring the inside temp up to about 50, then the woodburner can bring it up to a comfortable temp. Have to be a bit more careful with flammables when the heat is on. I also keep an old teapot full of water on top to add some moisture to the air. With the fire going, the humidity can get pretty low, I try to keep it between 40-50%. Besides, I think my best source for wood for my projects comes from the woodpile!!!

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

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