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Thomas Karrmann
02-13-2003, 11:16 AM
OK, I am in a state of flux again, as a result of job related uncertainties. As such, I am going to be looking for a new shop with associated outbuildings (eg, a house). As I would like to have a shop isolated from the house this time, what heat options should I consider, not consider, or stay away from at all cost? I am concerned about condensation on my tools, cost for heating, and how quickly I can warm the shop up if I decide to make sawdust some evening when it is 5 below (F that is).

Thanks in advance for all your kind answers.

Jim Fuller
02-13-2003, 12:08 PM
Thomas, have you considered a remote wood burning unit. It will set outside the shop, is designed to burn wood and pump hot water into the building. I am not sure the cost, but you will create a lot of fuel. Also I have seen these set up using salvaged steam radiators from old buildings. These old radiators won't stand much pressure, as in steam, but seem to work real well with hot water. Just a thought..

D.McDonnel "Mac"
02-14-2003, 7:48 AM
Thomas,

I have forced air heat with a custom made triple filtration box on the cold air return. I killed two birds with one stone that way, Heat/cool and shop air filtration (I leave the fan on constant).

Hope this helps.

Dennis McDonaugh
02-14-2003, 1:55 PM
Well, living here in south Texas we don't have a lot of need for heat, but I have heard that you should stay away from any open flame as it causes a lot of condensation on you tools. Electric heat is great, but it would be expensive in your neck of the woods. I think a gas furnace would be my first choice if I could afford it. Dennis

Randy Schaefer
02-14-2003, 7:39 PM
When I built my shop, I put two heating sources in. A direct vent propane furnace that I leave on to the lowest thermostat setting all winter - about 50degrees. And a wood stove, 'cause I seem to make alot of mistakes. :)

Randy

Bart Leetch
02-14-2003, 9:25 PM
"I have heard that you should stay away from any open flame as it causes a lot of condensation on you tools."

IT DOESN'T. My Dad used a barrel stove for over 40 years in his shop with no problems.

Ruby in NC
02-15-2003, 5:51 AM
I've used a wood stove in my shop without any problems. Just have to be careful with solvents.

Wood heat, at least in my area, is the most economical choice. Wood is free with some sweat equity. And, IMHO, wood heat is the most comfortable choice. There's just something about wood heat that 'feels better' than forced air, electric, etc.

With regards to condensation, again IMHO, wood heat isn't any different than other heat sources. Starting with a cold shop, any heat source that produces a rapid rise in shop temperature will cause condensation on cold surfaces. The tools and equipment don't warm as rapidly as the shop air.

So far, I haven't experienced any material problems in this situation. Keeping tools well waxed or otherwise protected, keeps rust at bay. An old blanket tossed over the cabinet saw top also works. As does a small box fan that keeps the air circulating.

Oh, BTW, I too have multiple heat sources in my shop. A small ceramic heater will knock the chill out of the air on cool mornings. It'll assist the wood stove on COLD mornings.

Hope you find these 2-cents to be useful.

Regards,
Ruby

Ray Thompson
02-15-2003, 9:19 AM
I use ventless propane, but you do have to watch out with volitile solvents. As far as moisture just don't hang any tools over the top of the heater (DAMHIKT). I use an overhead fan to keep the heat well distributed. If the humidity gets too high I turn on a dehumidifier and bring it back to under 50 percent. I keep the shop at about 50 and turn up the heater to the low to mid 60's to work and haven't had any problems at all. If I had to do it over I might put in a vented heater, because of the volitiles, not for any other reason. This year it will cost me about 250 dollars, and this is the 5th coldest winter on record around here so far.

Ray

Tony Laros
02-15-2003, 4:14 PM
I have radiant tube heaters (propane, as there no natural gas available in my area). Shop size is about 1400 sq.ft., well insulated. One heater is 20 ft. long, the other is 20 ft. in a tight U shape, both 40,000 BTU. At the lowest setting the shop stays at 50, and is a comfortable 60 in a few minutes. No air movement, combustion air is brought in from the cold attic space, exhausted outside along with any condensation. No humidity change in the shop. My installed cost was $2500 Canadian, which at current exchange rates is about $1.98US.

Bart Leetch
02-15-2003, 5:37 PM
Tony

Have you had this system long enough to find out what your monthly costs during cold weather are? Also what is the brand name of your heat system? I am not sure but is this heat system hung from the ceiling?

Tony Laros
02-15-2003, 6:48 PM
Bart, my house is heated by a propane boiler, radiant tubing in the basement floor and forced air upstairs. I have a 2000 liter propane tank (500 gal.?) supplying both the house and the shop, and no way of seperating the usage. With temperatures down to -30C at night, the tank gets filled every 2-3 weeks.:(

The radiant heaters are manufactured in southern Ontario, brand name is Easy Radiant, and they are hung from the ceiling, about 10" clearance I think. My ceilings are 10' and 12' height, so they don't interfere with swinging long boards around.

It is a very comfortable heat. I can work in a T shirt within a few minutes.

Jim Iwanicki
02-16-2003, 12:14 PM
Hi all, got the same problem with trying to heat the garage workshop in this super cold winter. Planning to solve the cold weather problem by moving to Florida. No propane, no CO gas, just heat and gators and termites.

Jason Roehl
02-16-2003, 6:05 PM
Originally posted by Jim Fuller
Thomas, have you considered a remote wood burning unit. It will set outside the shop, is designed to burn wood and pump hot water into the building. I am not sure the cost, but you will create a lot of fuel. Also I have seen these set up using salvaged steam radiators from old buildings. These old radiators won't stand much pressure, as in steam, but seem to work real well with hot water. Just a thought..

A close friend of mine has one of those units...I think he paid about $2000 used for it, but new I believe they run from $5000 on up. He has it set up with a heat exchanger in his old furnace, as well as hooked up in conjunction with his LP water heater (he reverts to LP in the summer). He is currently switching to radiant floor, but still has several hundred feet of tubing and insulation to run.

My friend's house was described by the LP delivery co. as "uses gas like a grain dryer," which is why he wanted to find a more economical heat source (the jury is still out on that as I believe he has used in the neighborhood of 10-12 cords of wood so far this winter).

His model holds around 450 gallons of water, so in the morning, it takes about 4 hours to get the water temp from 90° to the operating temp of 180° or so.

Hope this helps!

Jason

Ron Jones near Indy
02-16-2003, 11:00 PM
I have an Enerco radiant garage heater and I really like it. They can be fueled by propane or natural gas (but are not convertable from one to the other). I keep my shop at 42 degrees when I'm not there. I can turn up the thermostat and be comfortable in shirt sleeves in 20 minutes. Some people say that gas heaters contribute to rust, but Indiana winters have low humidity usually. I have had no problems with rust. They are fairly inexpensive (appx. $300). They require no electricity and are maintenance free (except for an occasional dusting). If I use a flameable finish, I just turn out the pilot light for a while and open a door. I am well satisfied.:D

Earl Reid
02-18-2003, 7:20 PM
Hi Thomas, I have a 18,000 BTU ventless nat gas heater in my shop for 11 yrs. I keep the temp at 60 dg all the time. If I'm finishing any thing of size, I shut the heater off for a while. I haven't seen any rust . It is always comfortable to work. I clean the unit 2 times a yr. I don't know what the cost is, but we got our bill today and last mo cost $69.00. The shop is 24X 16. I use a 5000 btu window AC in the summer. We had some zero temp last mo.

Good luck, Earl:) :)

ray clargo
02-19-2003, 7:05 PM
check out www.centalboiler.com iv;e had the cl40 model for seven seasons now and am totally thrilled with this unit. i heat my house my domestic hot water and my 24x28 shop (when needed) with this unit. theres no worry of chimney fire or fumes exploding when working in the shop. walk in turn on thermostat instant heat. ray:D

Bart Leetch
02-19-2003, 7:13 PM
www.centalboiler.com url doesn't work.

Dave Peebles Lyons Ohio
02-20-2003, 8:50 AM
Hi Bart,

You need to add the "r" in the url

www.centralboiler.com

Dave

Bart Leetch
02-20-2003, 10:35 AM
Thanka Dave, never looked to see if it was spelled right.

Rob Russell
02-26-2003, 9:34 AM
Living in Wisconsin, it seems to me that you need 2 types of heat. One is to keep the shop from getting too cold and your machinery from dropping too far in temp. That's what I'd call a "base layer" of heat, is something you want on all the time and to be efficient. Radiant in the floor would be good for that. It's efficient, quiet, and you'd leave it set so the shop stays at 50&#176 or so. That way your machines won't have too much condensation when you turn up your second source of heat.

The second type would be on-demand heat for when you go out to the shop. That doesn't need to be as efficient, because it's only going to run when you're out there. A propane fired "Modine" type sounds like a good idea to me, provided you pipe in a source of combustion air so you don't suck your heated air out of the shop.

Just another opinion.