Heating the shop

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Forum topic by jaydubya posted 12-12-2011 02:44 AM 2327 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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183 posts in 2809 days

12-12-2011 02:44 AM

I have a small “shop” which is actually a 1 car garage and Im looking to make it useable here in the cold IL winter. The walls and the ceiling of the shop are insulated, and there is an attic storage area above, also well insulated. the previous owner of the house was a tinkerer, and he ran natural gas lines out to the shop so i have the option of gas or electric heat. I dont want to heat the shop all the time, just when Im using it, but I want to heat it up fast so i can go out and start the heater and have it at a workable temp (45-50 degrees is good for me)in about 15 minutes .How many BTUs do I need for approximately 600 SF insulated with concrete floor?

2 of these?

12 replies so far

View dbhost's profile


5710 posts in 3229 days

#1 posted 12-12-2011 02:51 AM

A 600 sq ft 1 car garage? I have a 2 car garage that is 378 sq ft. How is your 1 car garage that big?

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183 posts in 2809 days

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

It was a guesstimate LOL. I figured it at 30×20 but its probably smaller. As far as big vehicles, I do have a dodge Megacab diesel, but theres no way id ever try to get it into the garage

View bravozulu's profile


14 posts in 2478 days

#3 posted 12-12-2011 04:22 AM

When you are talking about heat, you need to know the height of the ceiling and thickness of insulation. In a brand new house, my shop was about the same square footage as yours. But California regulations dictated hefty insulation. And dual glazed windows.

Temps weren’t as extreme as yours, but it was in the mountains. I did well with a 220v portable heater that put out 4000 watts. That translates to 14,000 Btu’s. I could move the heat close to my work, and it got real warm in about 10 minutes or so. Ace hardware sells those heaters on special order for about $125. Don’t mess with 110v, and if you have gas, that would be cheapest of all.

View adaughhetee's profile


104 posts in 2680 days

#4 posted 12-12-2011 04:32 AM

I have a three burner in my 2 car garage and it works fine but takes a long time to get the garage heated up from dead cold. If I were you I would get a five burner then you would have no questions. Here is one for $141 on amazon. I would also suggest putting up ceiling fans to help stir the air otherwise the heat tends to stay at the ceiling. I have two in my garage that I had taken out of my house they help and also have a 4 light fixture for extra lighting in the shop.

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183 posts in 2809 days

#5 posted 12-12-2011 05:28 AM

Thanks adaughhetee, that looks like the way to go. As far as cieling fans, i dont know if i can do that without taking off the top of my head LOL

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2687 days

#6 posted 12-12-2011 05:38 AM

There are a lot of central heat gas furnaces out there for little or no $. They are simple to install (no duct work needed), very inexpensive, and heat your shop up QUICKLY. Call around to your local heat and air guys. They almost always have units they have taken out of a remodel or upgrade. I heat my BIG shop with one and have had no problems with it for 16 years (and it was old when I put it in). Install the thermostat somewhere away from the furnace where it won’t blow hot air on it. Don’t ask how I learned this!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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35 posts in 2364 days

#7 posted 12-12-2011 01:28 PM

Wood stove.

-- A small shop has it's pro's and con's. Never big enough, but easy to clean.

View ScottN's profile


261 posts in 2677 days

#8 posted 12-12-2011 02:05 PM

I’ve heard nothing but good things about the ventless wall heaters.

I’m out in my shop every day. I heat with a wood furnace. I like burning wood, it helps me keep my shop clean. If only I could burn saw dust.

-- New Auburn,WI

View John's profile


190 posts in 3581 days

#9 posted 12-12-2011 03:41 PM

Iin a shop if you choose gas the best would be a direct vent wall heater. They have a separate enclosed combustion chamber, draw combustion air in from outside and exhaust combustion gases through the wall. I love mine – easy to install as well. Google Empire wall heaters. There will be no worry about carbon monoxide or explosion with a direct vent heater. There’s a greenhouse supply in NC with the best prices.

-- John, Long Island, NY

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3478 days

#10 posted 12-13-2011 04:13 PM

I have a 450 sq ft shop and I use a Modine Hotdawg natural gas heater mounted in the ceiling. I have attached a link which explains the sizes of that heater if you are interested.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3758 days

#11 posted 12-13-2011 04:30 PM

My Upper Peninsula “Workshop in the Woods” is 24’x28’, basically a two car garage package that I purchased from Menards. For heating I selected a 35.000 BTU Reznor unit with the separated combustion feature. Thus, there is no exposed flame, and the products of combustion are vented to the outside. This heater brings my temperature up from the 40’s to the 60’s in about fifteen minutes.

My advice is to pass on the non vented heaters. They replace the oxygen in your workspace with carbon dioxide and spew a lot of rust causing moisture in the room.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View bondogaposis's profile


4727 posts in 2348 days

#12 posted 12-18-2011 11:42 PM

Here is the formula for calculating the heater output that you need. First compute the cubic foot space of your shop, then multiply by the number of heating degrees you desire, that is the difference between outdoor temps and desired shop temp, then multiply by .133 = the BTU’s you need to heat your shop. I got this from the Northern Tool website as I have been researching which heater to buy for my shop. So for my 24’ by 24’ by 10’ shop and if the average winter temps are 20° and want to heat to 60° I have 40° heating degrees. 24×24x10=5760 cu ft x 40°=230400 x .133= 30,643.2 BTU’s. So a 30,000 BTU heater will adequately heat my space. Now to settle on a heater.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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