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  • Any Garage Heater advice?

    Good day everyone. I am moving to a new house with an attached two car garage. It doesn't have natural gas so I guess it has to be either electric or propane powered. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Sincerely,

    Brent (soon to be Ottawa area)
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  • #2

    Re: Any Garage Heater advice?

    Hi, Brent. I have a Reznor unit heater and am very happy with it. Low profile ceiling mount. Here is a link to the unit. http://www.rezspec.com/catalog-udas.html

    Mine is connected to natural gas but the literature says it may be used with propane as well. I have 20 X 24 with 10' ceiling, the 45,000 BTU unit works well.

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    • #3

      Re: Any Garage Heater advice?

      I think you'll find a lot of folks use those 220V construction cube heaters.
      www.facebook.com/PenningBrian

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      • #4

        Re: Any Garage Heater advice?

        I use the 220 volt cube construction heater.
        Insulation is an important consideration as many garages are not insulated.

        Dan

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        • #5

          Re: Any Garage Heater advice?

          Garage Heater

          Like many have suggested I also use a construction cube electric heater for the shop in my two car garage; with the garage insulated even on the coldest days (well below freezing) it gets the space to a comfortable working temperature in 30-40 minutes. I do most of my finishes in the basement so I don't heat to a temperature for that type of work. I have also installed a radiant heater over the table saw, the tool I use the most; it warms the table up so it is more comfortable and in my view safer to use.

          The combination lets me get use the space when I have time and at the same time provides what I think is both an economical and safe heating systems.

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          • #6

            Re: Any Garage Heater advice?

            I'm with Timeless on the Reznor furnaces. I have the 60k UDAS burning propane in my 20'x30'x10' shop and although I keep it at 10C most of the time it can have that room up into the 20s in short order for glue ups or finishing. I really like the external combustion air with the sealed burner which I believe is important in the presence of solvent fumes or fine dust but it seems to add about $1k to the price over the non sealed unit...ah well the price of added safety.
            If you give the hardest task to the laziest man, he'll find the easiest way to accomplish it.

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            • #7

              Re: Any Garage Heater advice?

              Hi Brent,

              I am in Calgary too, so we are talking the same weather issues. I have a 21 X 18 double attached (insulated and drywalled) garage, which I have been heating for 4 years with a 220V electric construction cube heater bought locally.

              I have an electrical sub panel in the garage and a dedicated plug for the heater, the same type as a dryer connection. The cube heater has a fan and blows the heat out into the garage.

              I keep the heat on all of the time at 12 C and in the winter. The additional electricity costs me approximately $60 per month. The tools love it and so does the wood I am storing in the garage for various projects. When I want to work in the garage it only takes 15 minutes to warm it up to 18 C. The nosie of the fan blowing the heated air is minimal and I can still easily listen to the radio.

              Best of all the cube heater cost $60 at HD or any of the other stores - the plug is already attached so it is plug and play. My heater is 4 years old and still going strong; however, I will caution you to use a compressor and blow that fine dust out of it every couple of months.

              I have considered natural gas radiant heaters because my son-in-law is in the business and I can get them cheap and installed for free; however the electrical heater is cheap, works and has given me no troubles. Even if the current electrical cube heater dies, I will probably just replace it with another one. Natural Gas radiant heat is very nice, but the $1500 cost is better spent on tools or wood.

              Any further questions please feel free to contact me.

              Bob

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              • #8

                Re: Any Garage Heater advice?

                Originally posted by Quest in Calgary View Post
                Even if the current electrical cube heater dies, I will probably just replace it with another one. Natural Gas radiant heat is very nice, but the $1500 cost is better spent on tools or wood.
                A 4800W electric heater costs about 45 cents an hour to run at full blast. An equivalent amount of natural gas would cost about 19 cents an hour.

                This means that a natural gas heater takes about 2 years of 8hr days to pay itself off in savings. Of course, on colder days a 4800W heater isn't enough to bring the space up to a reasonable working temperature so you might need more than one and the payback period drops correspondingly.

                In my own case I went with a natural gas unit. One significant factor was that my house only has 100A service, so the garage subpanel is limited to 40A. If I use 20A of that for my heater, I don't have much left over for lights/saw/dust collector.

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                • #9

                  Re: Any Garage Heater advice?

                  Brent,

                  Do you plan to keep your garage/shop warm all the time or only when your working?

                  I had been using a electric cube workshop heater to keep the garage 'warm' (about 13C) when not in use and the warming the area when I was working. About a month ago the heater burst and sprayed molten metal all over the place. There was scortch marks all over the cabinet and my plastic toolbox still has metal embeded in the top. Obviously if the shop had not been tidied for the holidays this could have been much worse. I think the heaters are good for quick heating while you're in the shop but your risking you shop and in this case your house when you're not there. Maybe my situation is isolated...

                  There are electric heaters out there that are meant for this type of application. I saw one at Rona for about $400. I'd talk to a heating specialist and see what they recommend.

                  Buster

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                  • #10

                    Re: Any Garage Heater advice?

                    Just a thought.
                    Electric heat can be quite expensive. I don't know how you would go about calculating the cost / heat ratio but...
                    NG is cheeper to heat with then electric while LPG doesn't burn as hot as NG. That means less heat per volume or less bang for your buck. On the other hand, Im told (by my furnace guy) that heating oil burns hotter than NG. More bang for your buck.

                    I don't know what oil prices are like in your neck of the woods but it might be worth looking into. Instalation costs may be amother factor to consider.
                    I have both oil and NG. I heat the house with oil and the water heater uses NG as well as two NG fire places that rarely get used.
                    I also have NG in the shop and my oil tank is in there as well. I haven't yet decided which I will use to heat my shop. I thought about wood but SWMBO doesn't like that idea so I MO.:mrgreen:
                    J.P. Rap Mount Hope Ont.
                    Carpe Ductum (Seize The Tape)


                    "In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. Elwood P. Dowd

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                    • #11

                      Re: Any Garage Heater advice?

                      Chris

                      I agree that if the heater were running full time that would use up a lot of electricity. Currently my heater runs about 10 - 15 minutes each hour normally, slightly more when the temperature drops below -10C. The cost of electricity must be higher in Saskatchewan because I am locked in here on a plan for 5.8 cents, which must be lower than your rates in Saskatchewan based on your estimates.

                      I had the garage wired specially to accept the sub panel knowing I would be using electric heat initially. Based on my original estimates, payback on the gas unit would have taken over 7 years - but locked in low electrical rates here have helped substantially with the equation on ROI. Gas is definitely more efficient than electricity! Gas rates can fluctuate quite a bit and I am unable to lock these rates in, but I can lock in my electrical rates for up to 5 years. Again, I am not expecting my garage to be really warm, but not so cool as to allow finishing products to be at risk or allow any condensation on tools.

                      If one is planning to wire a garage as a shop for woodworking and needs to put in a dedicated 100 Amp panel or 60 Amp subpanel, then allowing for the electrical heat is not really a large incremental additional cost.

                      After wiring the garage for a dedicated woodworking shop, $60 extra for a 4800W heater is minimal versus $1500 for a radiant gas heater install.

                      The issue of an exploding element inside of a cube heater is a potential hazard and to minimize this risk I clean my unit regularily and keep it away from combustable items.

                      When it is all compared, the 4800W cube heater is a cheap alternative. Would it be better to install a dedicated 220V electrical heater versus a temporary cube heater? Definitely! Would it be better to install a radiant gas heater versus a temporary electrical cube heater? Definitely!

                      The real factors in the question as to "HOW" to heat a garage are regarding available finances and regional energy costs. Starting off on a low budget, the cube heater gets you working in an otherwise unavailable garage in the winter (assuming it is well insulated). If you have cheap fixed electrical rates, then the cube heater works for the meantime - but in the long run radiant gas is nice.

                      Of course their is the issue of finishing and what systems you use might drive your heating decision down another path.

                      Have a great day!
                      Bob

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                      • #12

                        Re: Any Garage Heater advice?

                        I also heat my shop with the 4800 watt contruction heater. It was mentioned that natural gas is hotter than propane which is not the case. Natural gas has 1000 btus {british thermal units } per cu ft and propane has 2520 btus per cu ft.Oil is the hottest of the fossil fuels . The cost of propane would likley be much higher than natural gas.

                        Here is a comparison for nat an lp. home.howstuffworks.com/question197.htm
                        Scroll down to physical properties of lp gas & natural gas.

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                        • #13

                          Re: Any Garage Heater advice?

                          Originally posted by Smitty View Post
                          I also heat my shop with the 4800 watt contruction heater. It was mentioned that natural gas is hotter than propane which is not the case. Natural gas has 1000 btus {british thermal units } per cu ft and propane has 2520 btus per cu ft.Oil is the hottest of the fossil fuels . The cost of propane would likley be much higher than natural gas.

                          Here is a comparison for nat an lp. home.howstuffworks.com/question197.htm
                          Scroll down to physical properties of lp gas & natural gas.
                          My mistake. I guess I missunderstood what I was told. In any case, I know my brothers heating costs dropped a fair bit when he switched from LPG to NG. Same shop, same heater(new regulator), different fuel.
                          Thanx for correcting my mistake.
                          J.P. Rap Mount Hope Ont.
                          Carpe Ductum (Seize The Tape)


                          "In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. Elwood P. Dowd

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                          • #14

                            Re: Any Garage Heater advice?

                            J.P., I,d reconsider that Oil furnace if I were you. Here in Sask., at least, oil heat costs about 3x the cost of natural gas.

                            Norm
                            If you don't make mistakes, you don't learn - Sam Maloof

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                            • #15

                              Re: Any Garage Heater advice?

                              Originally posted by Norm in Sask. View Post
                              J.P., I,d reconsider that Oil furnace if I were you. Here in Sask., at least, oil heat costs about 3x the cost of natural gas.

                              Norm
                              As I said it depends on the price of oil in your area. A few minutes after hitting the submit button, the oil truck pulled up to the house.
                              $ .8290 / Lt for 446.6 Lts.After all the taxes and extras and... just under 400.bucks. This should last me the rest of the heating season. It's the second fill since the season started but it's been an unusually warm start to winter and unusually cold since the start of 07. I guess it evens out. This is my first full winter in this house. There is no insulation in the walls so once I fix that, oil consumption should drop a fair bit.
                              I don't know what I pay for NG (I don't want to know ). SWMBO looks after the bills.
                              J.P. Rap Mount Hope Ont.
                              Carpe Ductum (Seize The Tape)


                              "In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. Elwood P. Dowd

                              Comment

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