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Winer heating for the shop

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Forum topic by agallant posted 10-03-2011 07:04 PM 1535 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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agallant

429 posts in 1539 days


10-03-2011 07:04 PM

16X18 shop insulated but detached from the house.
I need to find some way to keep some sort of constant temp in the shop during the winter. The propain heater worked well last winter but I was never able to get all of the steel in the shop up to temp and it sucked the heat out of the air not to mention the amount of glue and what not that went bad from being below 30deg. So this year I want to have some sort of perm heater that I can set at 65 and leave it on. I am a bit worried about electric running up the bill. What do you do to worm your shop?


22 replies so far

View crank49's profile

crank49

3421 posts in 1623 days


#1 posted 10-03-2011 07:54 PM

To start with I have no clue where your shop is located. Cook, Minnesota presents a slightly different problem than Tampa, Florida, for instance.

The most simple way to warm the metal surfaces in the shop is with infrared heat. This can be gas or electric, but these heaters usually don’t have thermostats. I have used four 250 watt heat lamps, aimed directly at my tools in the past. That was not too bad for energy costs. About $0.08 per hour, or $2.00 a day, depending on how many hours a day I ran them.

An insulated cabinet with thermostat controled heat would take care of glue and finishes rather economically. You would be surprised how little energy it takes to heat an enclosed cabinet.

Other than these two “stop-gap” solutions, your best bet is electric, warm air type thermostat controled heat.

I have a wall mounted gas infarred heater in my shop now, but my shop is in my basement, so not the same problem as yours.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

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agallant

429 posts in 1539 days


#2 posted 10-03-2011 07:56 PM

North Carolina

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willie

464 posts in 1106 days


#3 posted 10-03-2011 08:14 PM

I knew a guy that kept all his glues, finishes, and chemicals that were subject to freezing in an old refrigerator that had the compressor removed. He disabled the light switch so that the light stayed lit all the time. He put in a double light socket and 2 60watt lightbulbs. He used 2 in case one burned out. It stayed warm enough to keep everything from freezing and the cost was minimal. This was in Ohio and worked for our winters.

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

View Paul's profile

Paul

345 posts in 2242 days


#4 posted 10-03-2011 08:18 PM

I use a Cadet overhead heater, I think it came from Lowes.
Works good, I turn it down low but above freezing at night but you are right, it is not free to operate.
I am in Washington State so am likely cooler than your area.
My heater does not have a thermostat which would be better but it does have a dial control on the unit which is ‘good enough’.

-- If you say 'It's good enough', it probably isn't.

View Pdub's profile

Pdub

893 posts in 1832 days


#5 posted 10-03-2011 08:49 PM

I have a 20×24 detached that I heat with an electric heater. It has a dial control so I cant set for a certain temp but I can find a comfortable setting. I live in North Dakota, so alot colder than NC. I don’t know what it adds to the electric bill but nothing has frozen yet, except me while walking throught he snow. LOL

-- Paul, North Dakota, USAF Ret.

View tom427cid's profile

tom427cid

294 posts in 1123 days


#6 posted 10-03-2011 08:52 PM

Hi,

MY shop is in northern NH. I use a 40K BTU kero thru the wall heater. Monitor comes to mind. I generally leave the thermostat around 64-67 and it stays very nice. The shop is 38’ square.Actually it is an old barn. Previous owner tried to insulate-didn’t know to staple the tabs. I have closed off windows that I dont need,installed rigid foam on the doors,and even put 6mil plastic on the inside to cut down on the drafts. I use about 450 gallons a year of kero.
Could it be better-absolutly-but not so cost efficient. My shop in VT which I built was 26×51’ used a mobil home furnace,it generally used about 250 gallons a year and I kept it at 68 degrees.I was concious of keeping warm when I built it.6” of insulation in the walls and 9” in the ceiling.Anything you can do to keep heat in,especially in the ceiling area will help. In the barn here I put 3/4 OSB on the floor.Before I did the OSB I put 3/8 ridgid on the floor.That made a big difference.
Hope this helps
tom

-- "certified sawdust maker"

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willie

464 posts in 1106 days


#7 posted 10-04-2011 12:52 AM

I have a 24’X24’ shop that I heat primarily with wood. I use an old cast iron woodburner and I have a good supply of free firewood. I only heat it when I’m in the shop. I move anything that will freeze into the house in the winter. On those really cold mornings it takes a long time for the woodburner to have any effect so I use a kerosene torpedo heater to bring the temp up to about 60 degrees and then let the wood take over. I try to keep it pretty well sealed and try to keep moisture levels low to keep rust at a minimum. Sometimes that seems like a full time job keeping the old tools clean and rust free! Sealed all the windows and boarded them up, mainly for security (I don’t trust my neighbors), and insulated the ceiling making a nice warm, draft-free workshop. I’m in northeast Ohio and we get some nasty winters here too!

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

View joedw00's profile

joedw00

17 posts in 2166 days


#8 posted 10-04-2011 01:04 AM

I have a 14X20 detached shop, and got a heater/air conditioner window unit from Lowes this summer. It is only 110, but kept the shop pretty cool this record breaking summer without raising the elc bill too high. Will see how the heater works this winter.

-- Had we known Grankids were this much fun we would have had them first.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14742 posts in 2328 days


#9 posted 10-04-2011 02:18 AM

joedw00 Does it have a reversing valve to become a heat pump or have heating elements in it?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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joedw00

17 posts in 2166 days


#10 posted 10-04-2011 03:57 AM

It has heating elements.

-- Had we known Grankids were this much fun we would have had them first.

View BurtC's profile

BurtC

89 posts in 1782 days


#11 posted 10-04-2011 04:18 AM

Can realate to your heat issue here in Colorado too. I too use the enclosed cabinet solution for paints, stains, glues but I just mounted a lamp socket in there with 40 watt bulb. The room is maintained to 50 degrees 24×7 with an oil filled heater. The heater jacks the electic bill up maybe $20/month. Not a big deal for me. I go out to shop prior to working in there and fire up a conventional space heater and room jumps to 65 or so in about half hours time.
Hope this gives you some ideas.

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TopamaxSurvivor

14742 posts in 2328 days


#12 posted 10-04-2011 04:25 AM

Thanks joedw00 I have been trying to find a small heat pump, but haven’t found any. I do not think they make them. Not sure why they don’t put a reversing valve in window ac units?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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joedw00

17 posts in 2166 days


#13 posted 10-05-2011 03:27 AM

It has to get below 60 before I can tell if it works.

-- Had we known Grankids were this much fun we would have had them first.

View doyoulikegumwood's profile

doyoulikegumwood

384 posts in 2644 days


#14 posted 10-05-2011 03:47 AM

well when i still had my shop i heated it off the boiler in my house i just ran a line under ground out there. you only need to know the depth of frost in your area and go below it.

-- I buy tools so i can make more money,so ican buy more tools so I can work more, to make more money, so I can buy more tool, so I can work more

View Bearpie's profile

Bearpie

2587 posts in 1670 days


#15 posted 10-05-2011 03:59 AM

When I expanded my shop to 20’ x 24’ I got a 18,500 BTU window AC unit that has an 18,000 BTU heat strip. It was too cold for me to work in there some days and for a period of about a month when we had a long record breaking streak of freezing weather. I have a bad back and it really aches when it is cold. I have not had an opportunity to test this heat system yet as the work was done earlier this spring. I did turn on the heater part, it worked so I shut it off being that it is here in Florida, I didn’t want to run it too long in the heat. The time to test it will be coming soon and so far I am still using the AC part! I believe that if I lived in the southern part of the state I would not bother with the heater part.

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

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