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  • "Most Economical" Shop Heater

    I've checked many of the posts regarding what heaters people use for their shop but I haven't seen any where they discuss which one would be the most economical to run. I live in North Idaho where the temps will get down to the single digits at times. I looking for a portable heater that will bring the temp in my insulated, drywalled, attached garage from 38-40 degrees up to about 55 degrees. But I am also looking for somethings that won't break the bank, to buy or operate. I only have electric power to the house.

    Thanks for any suggestions.

  • #2
    Re: "Most Economical" Shop Heater

    Our temps get into the singles also.
    The most popular name for garage/workshop heaters is Modine:
    Welcome to Modine.com - Modine, Markets, Building HVAC Home

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    • #3
      Re: "Most Economical" Shop Heater

      The heater type that's most economical to run won't be the one that's lowest in cost to buy and install. The type that don't cost much to use would be a trash burner where you can burn up paper, wood scraps and such. The heater that will be easy to install and not cost too much would be a fan forced electric unit heater, but your electric bill will eat you up alive if you run it very much.

      Do you have natural gas or oil heat for your house?

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      • #4
        Re: "Most Economical" Shop Heater

        Woussko, I think your looking for a miracle answer and there isn't one. It all comes down to, slowing that heat from leaving. Insulation and more of it. Find any heater/furnace that you would be pleased with and keep adding insulation when ever you can. If you have shading trees blocking the sun on your garage, you might want to remove it/them. Adding energy efficient windows to the south side and allow the sun to come in, will help warm it up in the day time and the sun is free, unfortunately the window/s are not.
        Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

        http://www.contractorspub.com

        A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

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        • #5
          Re: "Most Economical" Shop Heater

          This may be an over simplified answer, but I had the same problem, except it was my detached shop which is 30X30x30, and not insulated. I also live in NE Ohio, where we get nailed with cold weather constantly. I agree that electric heat is not the answer, unless you want a part time job to pay the electric bill, which defeats the purpose, because you would have no time to work in the shop, :-(. I went to Home Depot and bought a karosene convection, 23,000 BTU's, for $125.00, is extremely portable, can safely be used in the house if needed, and it had done the trick. I start it up about 1/2 hour before I want to start working, and it gets it to 45+ depending on the outside temp. It holds 1.9 gals, and will burn for about 10 hours on a tank.
          Never use your thumb to check the sharpness of a spinning blade

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          • #6
            Re: "Most Economical" Shop Heater

            Originally posted by hossyman View Post
            This may be an over simplified answer, but I had the same problem, except it was my detached shop which is 30X30x30, and not insulated. I also live in NE Ohio, where we get nailed with cold weather constantly. I agree that electric heat is not the answer, unless you want a part time job to pay the electric bill, which defeats the purpose, because you would have no time to work in the shop, :-(. I went to Home Depot and bought a karosene convection, 23,000 BTU's, for $125.00, is extremely portable, can safely be used in the house if needed, and it had done the trick. I start it up about 1/2 hour before I want to start working, and it gets it to 45+ depending on the outside temp. It holds 1.9 gals, and will burn for about 10 hours on a tank.
            Kerosene, have you seen the cost on Kerosene lately, something like $4.99-$5.99 a gallon and climbing also, plus its getting more and more difficult to find it. Only one gas station carries it here in my town and you can only buy it in a 1 gal. canister. Duluth 30 miles away, carries it in 5 gal cans, but what the heck do you do with all these cans when they are empty? Nobody runs Kerosene through a pump anymore. Well not around here anyhow.
            Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

            http://www.contractorspub.com

            A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

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            • #7
              Re: "Most Economical" Shop Heater

              If your using your garage as a workshop only during the winter months and not as a garage, I would tend to lean towards your garage door. This is probably the biggest heat loss in a garage. Just frame up a temp 2x6 wall, with insulation and poly. Build it so that it can be removed again when the weather warms up. Might sound like alot of work but its will make whatever heat you put in your shop alot more economical to use. You could even sheet it with some 3/8 OSB and use it for storage for 3 months of the year

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              • #8
                Re: "Most Economical" Shop Heater

                Kerosene... Guess we are lucky here. Most of the stations pump it, and I filled up my 2 5gal containers last week for 3.19 a gal. This gives me about 50 hours +- at a cost of about .65 an hour. I spend more than that in coffee, :-). I am not saying this will work for everyone, or is good for everyone, but when I can work in single digit temps, in short sleeves and tennis shoes, that works for me.
                Never use your thumb to check the sharpness of a spinning blade

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                • #9
                  Re: "Most Economical" Shop Heater

                  Originally posted by hossyman View Post
                  Kerosene... Guess we are lucky here. Most of the stations pump it, and I filled up my 2 5gal containers last week for 3.19 a gal. This gives me about 50 hours +- at a cost of about .65 an hour. I spend more than that in coffee, :-). I am not saying this will work for everyone, or is good for everyone, but when I can work in single digit temps, in short sleeves and tennis shoes, that works for me.
                  that is the same price in pa and that is what i use and i have to turn it down after a 1/2 hr on high
                  Charlie

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                  • #10
                    Re: "Most Economical" Shop Heater

                    So I'm sure were paying that much more for the cans, figures. I haven't seen the stuff at a pump in at least 3 yrs.
                    Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

                    http://www.contractorspub.com

                    A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: "Most Economical" Shop Heater

                      I got lucky with my garage/shop...

                      Bought my first house this past summer with a single car garage that finally made it possible to take up woodworking as a hobby. Its an older house with some odd things but the garage has a woodstove in it, how sweet is that. It just has a metal chimney sticking out the side of the house. Probably not very cheap to do but works extremely well and even helps warm up parts of the house. You can probably get a woodstove used and then just get the piping for the chimney. Of course you would have to cut a hole in the side of your house.

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                      • #12
                        Re: "Most Economical" Shop Heater

                        Kero is still available here at the pump but there are less stations carrying it this year than last winter. Still there are three within 5 miles of me and the avg price is $3.49/Gal.

                        I use one right now but plan to have a a mini-split heat pump operational for next spring. Along with insulation in the walls (ceiling already insulated with 6") I should be good to go.
                        ---------------
                        Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                        ---------------
                        “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
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                        "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
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                        • #13
                          Re: "Most Economical" Shop Heater

                          I should mention the house has an insulated garage door which does a lot. Also, the oil furance for the house is original (big huge green monster) which puts off a lot of heat and helps keep the garage warm. Problem is that means its very inefficient and should be replaced - but its 60 years old and still going strong.

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                          • #14
                            Re: "Most Economical" Shop Heater

                            Originally posted by Pez View Post
                            I should mention the house has an insulated garage door which does a lot. Also, the oil furance for the house is original (big huge green monster) which puts off a lot of heat and helps keep the garage warm. Problem is that means its very inefficient and should be replaced - but its 60 years old and still going strong.
                            You could probably replace that beast and heat the garage with what you would save with a newer, more efficient furnace.
                            ---------------
                            Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                            ---------------
                            “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                            ---------
                            "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                            ---------
                            sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: "Most Economical" Shop Heater

                              Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
                              You could probably replace that beast and heat the garage with what you would save with a newer, more efficient furnace.
                              Totally agree and would love to replace the beast. I can only imagine how much I could save with a new furnace. And with the price of oil it would help.

                              Imagine this - the back half of the garage was converted to another room which is only accessible through the garage. From what the neighbors tell me it was used as a bedroom two onwers ago although I would not want to use it for that due to how to get to the room. The previous owner used it as a "man room" - tv, video games, sports stuff on the walls, etc. Right now we use it for everything we havent unpacked (eventually we will find a use for it). Its about the size of an average middle sized bedroom. In this room is a door to the basement. Just the heat coming off the furnace heats this room better than the furance heats the rest of the house, crazy. The problem is my wife and I are riddled with student loan debt and after the mortgage is paid there isnt much for major home improvements, like a furnace.

                              Need to rant - we fully appreciate our college education and know its put us in a better place but having to finance our own education really has put a hold on our life, had to put off buying a house for a long time and cant even think about kids yet (and we are not getting any younger). Sorry to rant, feel very strong about it. Now I know why they say marry first time for love and second time for money.

                              Back on topic - what about propane, could that somehow be used to heat a garage without a large cash outlay even if the house itself doesnt use it?

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