Heat work space in winter

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  #1  
Old 05-02-17, 06:03 PM
Q
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Heat work space in winter

The garage is disconnected from the house, measuring around 25' x 10'.
Walls are thinly insulated with a type of fibreboard and there's a second floor, ie the roof space.
I would like to work in here in the winter but it's too cold (-20 Celsius).
I can't heat the whole space as it would never keep the warmth in and I can't use a gas heater as I have to keep the doors closed.
Is there a space heater I could use (electric) that I could place right next to me to keep warm whilst working? How much power would be reasonable?
 
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Old 05-02-17, 06:47 PM
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Eh, double enclose the space, get a salamander heater.

$120US - Salamander kerosene space heater
$100US - Roll of 20' x 100' 6mil plastic sheeting
duct tape.
$100US - 40' x 40' blue tarp.

Get some 6 mill sheeting, measure, cut and duct tape it together
so that you have a draft barrier for the inside walls and roof.

Get a 40x40 blue tarp, tack it up to roof rafters,
so you create a room-within-a-room about 7-10' high x 24 x 9.

Add a salamander space heater.
Keep it away from the plastic, don't point it at anything flammable.

Combination of existing garage walls, 6mill plastic draft blocker, and blue tarp,
should keep enough heat in that you'll be comfortable to work.

No, running a space heater in a drafty garage won't kill you.
 
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Old 05-02-17, 08:12 PM
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Grew up in houses heated by unvented gas heaters and I still use one today. Never a problem but better is a gas wall furnace that draws air from the outside and vents to the outside.
 
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Old 05-03-17, 05:17 AM
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I would consider a turbine style propane heater. It's exhaust is relatively benign and it will put out much more heat than a electric heater.


Next on the list would be a radiant style propane heater. Without a fan it wont be able to push the heat further away so you'll need to keep the heater closer to your work area.


Last on my list would be an electric heater. It will have a high current draw, pulling almost all that a 15 amp circuit can provide so you'll need to be mindful of using anything else on that circuit while the heater is on. Electric resistance heating can only provide about 5'000 btu per hour so in addition to making your electric meter spin it will produce less heat than something that burns dinosaurs. The radiant/infra red type are nice for warming a general area though their range is limited. A forced air heater is nice if you want to work under a car as you can aim it to shoot the heat under the car where you are working.
 
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Old 05-03-17, 06:12 AM
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A salamander [kerosene] type heater will heat up a space in short order but they put out a good bit of fumes. I have one I used on job sites and will occasionally use it to speed up heating my shop but it isn't something I'd want to heat a shop on a regular basis. What PD suggested works well although the fuel cost is a little more than kerosene. I have a wood stove for heating my shop.
 
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Old 05-03-17, 06:48 AM
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Does your work involve iron & steel tools?

My FIL re-purposed a milk house into a workshop and heated it with a space heater. For years the biggest complaint was the rust on his tools & machines from the huge and quick temperature swings.
I insulated my 24x32 detached garage and installed a used gas furnace in it. I keep it set at 50F all winter and never a problem with comfort or condensation. Very little effect on my gas bill.
 
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Old 05-03-17, 08:32 AM
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I mainly used my kero heater for painting new construction. Most any petroleum based heat can raise the humidity but more so with a salamander type heater.
 
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Old 05-03-17, 05:20 PM
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The roof is not insulated, which is the biggest issue. I could make an enclosed area with tarp but not sure if that would be very easy to move around in. I could close off the attic area by sealing up all the rafters and then just have 1 floor. But... how powerful a burner would I need to heat 600sqft or so?
Also I thought wood stoves were not allowed near flammables like petrol canisters, oil, paint, etc.
 
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Old 05-04-17, 03:16 AM
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Except for my tool room [where I also store paint] my shop isn't insulated but I live in tenn, not canada.

You don't want any open flame where you have gas or anything with combustible fumes stored!
 
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Old 05-04-17, 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by qwertyjjj
The roof is not insulated, which is the biggest issue.
I could make an enclosed area with tarp but not sure if that would be very easy to move around in.
Well, for an un-insulated space like a garage, you're dealing with 2 main issues.
Initially, just try to keep hot air from leaking out.
Then, try and reduce the amount of air that you're heating.
Main purpose of a tarp is to reduce the amount of air you're heating by slowing the hot air's tendency to rise away from the work area. So, I'd consider just draping a tarp across the rafters, doesn't have to be a complete tarp room to be a benefit.

Example, I have an 18 x 12 un-insulated room on the 3rd floor of the house.
I've found that keeping the heat from rising to the roof peak by draping fabric or plastic across the rafters made a big difference in winter.


If you can actually insulate the roof and walls it at a reasonable cost, you've in a much better situation.
For years I used an un-insulated one-story 30x20 garage with a peaked roof as a work space and rec room. Winter solution was to throw BTUs at the problem with a salamander heater.
Eventually rebuilt as an insulated two-story 30x20 garage with peaked roof. Now in winter,
I find that even without heat, in winter the 2nd floor is generally comfortable, 10-15 degrees above ambient temperature, due to the tendency of warm air to rise.
Point is, insulating changes the type of solution you're looking at.
 
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Old 05-04-17, 04:33 AM
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The garage has empty petrol canisters in winter but the lawn mowers are there too. Assume if propane heater is at other end of garage then no issues. I usually leave seafoam in the tanks over winter. Might be safer to run them dry but then the carb may clog.
 
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Old 05-04-17, 05:19 AM
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I have a 4x6 plastic garden shed beside the garage for gasoline and gas tools,
push mower (folded up), trimmer, hedge trimmer etc, go in over the winter.
 
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