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  1. #1
    Senior Member chi-james's Avatar
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    it's cold out here

    trolling for space heater recommendations...

    I'd like to be able to continue working on bicycles and stuff through the winter. I've insulated the walls and the door, now I just need a good space heater to make the place more "cozy".

    Anyone else have a detached garage, live in a region where winter lasts ~6 months, has a more than a passing interest in bicycles?

  2. #2
    SE Wis dedhed's Avatar
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    electric, natural gas or propane? $$ Budget?
    '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400

  3. #3
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Volume to heat? Ventilation?



    Have you tried electric socks?
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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  4. #4
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    Concrete floors are REALLY cold. They seem to suck the heat right out of your feet. So, consider putting down rubber matting or something.

    jim
    Cross Check Nexus7, IRO Mark V, Trek 620 Nexus7, Karate Monkey half fat, IRO Model 19 fixed, Amp Research B3, Surly 1x1 half fat fixed, and more...
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  5. #5
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    If you've got room for a 44 gallon drum, one of those full of water can add a lot of thermal inertia to such an area...

  6. #6
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
    If you've got room for a 44 gallon drum, one of those full of water can add a lot of thermal inertia to such an area...
    That's an interesting idea.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    I use a 50K BTU catalytic kerosene convection heater in my shop/insulated garage. It can get a 13 x 23 area heated to unbearably hot in about an hour. Heaters are less than $125, kero is about $4/gallon. It costs about the same as propane, more than wood, and less than electric to heat with. You don't have to deal with gas leaks, wood ashes, or wiring a 220v outlet to give the same capacity. You should get a CO detector and keep it in the vicinity of the heater when in use.

  8. #8
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Thus my question about ventilation. The kerosene or gas heaters can emulate Cancun, but you need some ventilation to stay upright.


    How would one heat the drum of water?
    Last edited by DMF; 01-02-10 at 02:50 PM. Reason: speling
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

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  9. #9
    Underwhelming MrTuner1970's Avatar
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    If you use volatile chemicals for cleaning (mineral spirits, etc.), I wouldn't use a heater with an open flame.* Electric would be a safer choice.

    The nearest Lowes had some decent electric radiator heaters. Around $40. They don't heat fast, but if your room is decently insulated and you leave the heater on, maybe it would take out most of the chill.

    (I live in MS, which doesn't have extremely cold winters. We do, however, have a very damp cold, which makes it feel colder than, say, a drier Midwest winter.)

  10. #10
    Senior Member chi-james's Avatar
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    I think my problem is that I've left most of the ceiling open precisely for ventilation. maybe I'm being too careful or lazy. I was considering hanging some plastic at least over and around my work area. I think one of my neighbors uses a kerosene heater in his garage. I'll should find out whAt btu his puts out. some sort of floor covering is also a good idea.

    I use about 1/2 of a standard 2 car detached garage as my work space.

    thanks for the responses.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    The problems of an open area is the amount of heat needed to heat it. If you have a garage open to the rafters, there isn't a portable electric heater large enough to heat it. I know I have tried.

    Catalytic kerosene heaters and stoves that are rated for residential use are relatively safe. They are the primary means of heat and cooking for many people in the far east (Japan, Korea). You must use K-1 water clear kerosene. If you have to use solvents (those more volatile than mineral spirits) just shut off the heater.

    Typically, if I use the heater it is on for an hour and off for 3 (good insulation helps here). Insulation is most important in the ceiling.

  12. #12
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    I like the term thermal inertia..... that does sound like it might be a good idea, but it might only work if it gets rather warm during the day, then the barrel keeps it from cooling during the night.

  13. #13
    afraid of whales Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chi-james View Post
    I think my problem is that I've left most of the ceiling open precisely for ventilation....
    I'd rig some kind of ceiling fan to circulate the warm air up high, you'd be surprised how much heat is hiding up there.
    Last edited by Mr IGH; 01-02-10 at 08:37 AM.

  14. #14
    SE Wis dedhed's Avatar
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    My preference is for a wall mounted, direct vent gas unit for a permanent installation. This would require a gas line or tank though. There are also a good many options out there now for portable units - both gas and kerosene. In your location, K1 kerosene in bulk should be available if you went that route. I can buy it out of the pump at Fleet Farm and a couple of gas stations. I'd stay away from running them on diesel or heating oil which is dirtier. http://www.ultimategarageheater.com/

    The plastic on the ceiling is a good idea and can also be a wall between the bays. Use the open ceiling bay for a chemical use area. Depending on the garage construction you might also throw it up on the walls for wind whistling through the cracks. Of course if it's like my garage you haven't seen the walls in years! A cheap rummage sale box fan on low can be mounted pretty much in any configuration you might need for circulation or out a window to vent after a "Oh Shoot" spill. Floor covering is nice, I use cardboard refridgerator or water heater boxes. Big, cheap, absorb, disposable. Depending on your floor pitch and drainage, it is subject to soaking up water if you'll be using the other side for an actual car that drives in the snow. CO detector is not a bad idea.

    If you worry about such things check your local codes and insurance. Most real codes require an open flame device to be at least 8' off the floor anywhere vehicles are stored. That's why ceiling hung Modines are used in shops.
    I'm not sure the barrel of water thing would help much unless you heated it full time. A couple of days of the current weather (+ 2F) I'm sure you're also getting will have you sharing space with a rather large ice cube.
    '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400

  15. #15
    Senior Member bbllaakke's Avatar
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    Propane works great for me, though the tank does seem to run dry faster than I would like. A heater like this fills up my 2 car garage nicely.

    It's the blue tube in this photo.

  16. #16
    Senior Member clydeosaur's Avatar
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    I'm using a 30,000 btu blue flame walmounted propane heater. It heats up my area relatively fast and doesn't take much to maintain. My shop is 30 x 30. I have 8 1/2 ft ceilings & all walls & ceiling are R19 and drywall. I have 2 100 lb. tanks behind my garage to run them. pretty efficient and quite cheaper than electricity.

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