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Thread: Shop Heating Economy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    New Columbia, Pa
    Posts
    41

    Question Shop Heating Economy

    I have a 700sqft shop, nicely insulated and heated with a plaque propane heater. I can easily keep the shop at 58 degrees with the heater turned down on low, which is the temperature I like to work in.

    My question , is it cheaper to keep the heat on low, which will keep my shop about 52 degrees and warm it up when needed or to shut it off at night and reheat the shop from about 43 degrees??

    I only work in the shop evenings during the week. On weekends, I keep the shop heated all the times or at least turned down low.

    I'm sure some of you guys have more experience with this than I do.

    Thanks for the information.

  2. #2
    Our shop is about 18'X18' with 10' ceilings. We use a 60K BTU Hot Dawg (propane). We keep the shop at 50* when not in there and 65-68 when working. If you turn off the heat for several days, everything in the shop would get very cold in in Utah, 10* this moring and it would take a long time to warm up all of the mass in the room, work benches, saw table, lumber, finishes,etc. My cost in propane is about $1 per day. My shop is well insulated too, R13 walls and R36 ceiling. I am not sure what is most economical, but the comfort of my shop is important to me. It is my enjoyment and my escape from work and other pressures. I doubt very much that if I turned off the heat between workdays in the shop it would save me much if anything.
    Hello, My name is John and I am a toolaholic

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Posts
    27,725
    I heat my shop with a natural gas furnace. I set my thermostat to 50º when I'm not there and 63-65º F when I working.

    I just moved my t/s into the shop. Before the t/s was in the unheated shed. One oif my worries would be increased rust as a result of going from totally unheated to turning up the heat. The mass in the cast iron on my t/s, b/s and lathe it it was say.....20º and the thermostat was turned up....I'd worry about condensation forming on the cast iron surfaces because of their increased thermo mass......they won't heat up as fast as the air would.

    Don't know if it would be a problem....?
    Ken

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    322
    It will be cheaper to turn it down or off. Think about it this way.. The greater the difference in outside/inside temp, the faster the energy transfers from one to the other. Therefore, if the inside temp is closer to outside temp, less heat (winter) or cooling (summer) will be lost in a given period of time. But, frozen pipes or other cold related problems could quickly negate any energy savings.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    322
    If you have a heater that vents outside, this probably won't be an issue as the dew point won't rise by much. If a heater vents inside, it could raise the moisture level in the area and cause condensation.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Some where between Buffalo and Rochester NY
    Posts
    470
    I know that my new shop if you turn the heat off in the winter, it will take a few hours to get it warm again. This is with the stove cranked up. Once it is warm in there, it holds the heat real well. The shop has 1' thick brick and rough sawn2x4's after that and wainscoating over that. It is the only building I have been in that in the summer it will still be cold in there if ythe windows and doors are kept closed.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Mt. Pleasant, MI
    Posts
    2,925
    Propane yield per gallon is a known amount. (90K BTU I think)

    Just time how long the furnace runs at 50 per hour and how much it runs at 70 per hour. Figure how long it runs to heat it up and you can figure it pretty easy.

    Generally it is better to turn it down. I turn mine to about 50 (lowest on thermostat) when not it and heat with wood when in working.

    I have a 23x30 inside dimension with 10' ceilings and a 8 foot x 8 foot insulated garage door and my 45K HotDawg only runs a few minutes twice an hour when it is at 50.

    Joe
    JC Custom WoodWorks

    For best results, try not to do anything stupid.

    "So this is how liberty dies...with thunderous applause." - Padmé Amidala "Star Wars III: The Revenge of the Sith"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Washington C. H., Ohio
    Posts
    272
    I'm in Ohio where the winters are cold. My 16' x 24' shop is well insulated. I use a Mr. Heater 45k btu heater (propane) and the last time I filled my tank it took 23.1 gallons of LP and that was for a stretch of 57 days. That comes out to approx 0.4 gallons per day or $1.04 per day at my current costs. I set the thermostat at 50 when I'm not out there and bump it to 65 when working. I go out there a couple of times a week and at least one of the weekend days. I wouldn't change a thing at this point.

    Brad

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    112
    I've got a 45k HotDawg and keep it set at 50 when I'm not out there. When I'm going to work I bump it up to about 66 and find that comfortable. When set at 50 it must not run because when I come out in the morning it is usually around 55-58 even if the outside temp has been as low as zero. Even at -7 I've never seen it below 48-49 (I'm in Colorado). It must be fairly well insulated. Now that I think of it one thing that helps is that my 80 gal water heater is also in the garage as is my boiler for heating the house. Code required that they install a 6 ft baseboard unit under the mechanical area (to prevent freezing) so that probably keeps the ambiant temp reasonable too. Both my 8ft and 16ft garage doors are insulated too. If I'm off work for a few days and keep it at 66-67 I find that the heater runs less and less as everything comes up in temp.

    But if I build a detached garage/shop I'm going to put radient heating in the floor.

  10. #10

    I really disappointed.

    I am really disappointed that I can't wear shorts in my shop during the winter. My shop is 1800 sf, so heating it a lot would be costly. Pretty much uninsulated. Typical minimum temps run about 50-55°. Central California location. I do need to use a swamp cooler in summer as it can get to near 100° so I guess we are working on opposite ends of the temp scale!
    Bill

  11. #11
    Do you guys that use propane have any problems with condensation/rust?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Washington C. H., Ohio
    Posts
    272
    No, I don't, but my heater has a powered exhaust and uses outside air for combustion. As they say, your mileage may vary.

    Brad

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