View Full Version : Heater question

Justin McCurdy
01-24-2008, 12:46 PM
I have been looking at Forced Air vd. Convection propane heaters for awhile now. Given 2 heaters of the same rated BTU value, what are the pros and cons of each? I am only heating a 2.5 car garage that is well insulated from 30-40 degrees up to about 60 so that my hands don't get cold when I am working out there. It will not be on constantly, just to get it up to temp, and occasionally after that to maintain the heat.

Thanks in advance,

David G Baker
01-24-2008, 11:56 PM
I heat a 30X40X10 well insulated pole barn with a 75,000 BTU Modine Hot Dawg forced air heater. I keep the heater set at 50 degrees normally. When I work in the barn I turn the heat up to 65 degrees. It works great for me, but my tools are still cold and hurt my hands. A 45,000 BTU unit would meet your needs.
My furnace is natural gas fired and cost me about $35 per month. Propane will cost more. I wish my furnace used out side air for combustion. There is a smell in my barn if I haven't been in it for a while that comes from the heater. I keep a carbon monoxide alarm in the building just in case.
If I was going to build another building I would use in the floor heat rather than forced air. It would probably cost more but the comfort level would be much better.
After my barn gets up to heat, the heater comes on about twice an hour.

Ken Fitzgerald
01-25-2008, 12:58 AM

I use a Lennox 75,000 btu natural gas hanging furnace in my 30'x24' shop. I keep it at 50 and raise the thermostat to 63 when I'm working. I'll go out there...turn the heat up...come back in for 1 more cup of coffee and the shop is at the 63 temp.

My shop is insulated R-19 in the walls and R-40 in the ceiling.

Tom Godley
01-28-2008, 8:20 PM
I have an Empire DV-40E fueled w/propane -- it is a very nice unit.

Uses outside air - so no open flame - does a nice job.

Most of the propane convection heaters I have seen are the portable "job site" type heater. They are open flame and vent into the space. Some get very hot. Are you speaking of the wall blue flame type - they also have no vent with an open flame.

If you can swing it the vented are much better - even if it uses inside air for combustion.

Whatever you get -- make sure you size it correctly.

Joe Chritz
01-31-2008, 2:39 AM
I missed this when it was originally posted.

Convection heats the objects directly and forced air heats the air. I know that I am more comfortable when running the wood stove (mostly convection heat) then just running the forced air unit (HotDawg).

Either should work fine for you and while I have no real knowledge I assume that the air is better if you have to go up and down in heat a lot. It takes a while to heat up the floor and a substantial amount of tools. I tend to leave my heat higher on my pass days since I am out in the shop then and it is nice to not have to heat everything back up again.


David G Baker
01-31-2008, 10:26 AM
I like convection heat much more than forced air but my insurance company doesn't.

Rob Russell
01-31-2008, 10:43 AM
I think that you mean radiant heat instead of convection. Convection is just what happens when hot air rises.

David - why do you say that your insurance company doesn't like whatever form of what you're referring to?

Justin - I'd plan on keeping your shop warmer than 40 degrees. That will help keep condensation off of the tools. Even the difference between 40 and 50 should make a big difference.

David G Baker
01-31-2008, 11:52 AM
I purchased the double 55 gallon barrel wood heater set up for my pole barn but prior to cutting into the barrels I thought I had better contact my insurance company to make sure I was covered. They said that they could cancel my insurance if they caught me with a wood burner of any sort inside of any building on my property. I could have and outside wood burner. Couple years later I asked about a corn burner, they said sure but there would be a $175 extra fee for adding the corn burner. I still have the double barrel conversion kit sitting in my basement still in the unopened boxes.
I went with a forced air heater for the pole barn.
Not sure what the type of heat in floor heat is called but that is what I wish I had in my pole barn.
I have thought about getting a semi truck radiator and a natural gas fired water heater heater filled with antifreeze circulated with a pump through the system to heat another building that I have. Just thinking, probably won't do it.