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rholland54's picture

I have been researching propane infrared and convection heaters for the shop.  What is the opinion on these types of heaters.  I would guess these would be more economical than electric.    I have about 550 sq. ft. to heat, or at least take the chill out of the air.   Thanks.


Robert

mbiker1999's picture

(post #77244, reply #1 of 18)

I have a 2 burner Mr Heater radiant unit. It mounts on a 20lb propane tank. I live in W. Mass so it gets pretty cold up here. My shop is a 2 car garage with an 8' extension off the back about 18x26. It's not insulated, (that's another project!). That unit works good until the temp gets below 30-35 degrees. Then I need to crank up the salamander heater to supplement. One tip with the radiant. It does give off a lot of convection heat as well. I placed a fan behind it to blow the hot air around the shop. It helps get it a bit warmer. I like the heater it seems to burn clean but I would install a CO detector just to be safe.

good Luck!


Edited 10/18/2004 8:10 pm ET by Mbiker

If force isn't working, your not using enough!
rholland54's picture

(post #77244, reply #9 of 18)

Has anyone used the "Hot Dawg" propane heaters made by Modine.  These are vented, fan forced units, smallest is rated at 24,000 BTU's.  Mr. Heater has a similar unit. They say these will heat a two car garage.  These run about $400.00 and are ceiling hung.  This looks like a nice set up, although a little expensive.  I would like to have a wood stove, but right now I am only in the shop for 1 - 2 hours in the evening, and weekends, and would like something that provide quicker heat for a short period of time.  I have used the Mr. Heaters that installs on the 20lb. propane tank but have concerns about carbon monoxide.


Robert

JMartinsky's picture

(post #77244, reply #11 of 18)

I ran both a propane & diesel/ kero heaters and the CO is no joke. I kept one overhead door half open and we still suffered ferocious headaches and dizziness. Lightheadedness is not too conducive to safety. I would be careful with anything that is not externally vented.

John

Jeff's picture

(post #77244, reply #14 of 18)

I have a 45K btu Hot Dawg unit.


Works pretty good in the shop, but the fan is somewhat noisy.


I have it on a timer, so it runs for an hour before I enter. This gives me a warm shop when I'm ready to work.


I then turn it off when I leave.


I keep all the freezeable materials in a spare freezer with a heater in it to prevent problems.


Jeff


 

Mikedej's picture

(post #77244, reply #15 of 18)

    I have a ceiling hung Modine 30,000 BTU in my insulated 22x32 shop.  It has a power vent but burns the shop air, never had any problem with the dust, the circulating fan blows what little there is off.  I set the unit at 45F when I do not work and turn it up when I work.  My shop is in central CT, I figure it costs about $15-25 a month to heat and the unit was around $350, 6 years ago, plus the cost to install a gas line.  They do make them for propane.


 


MikeD

Jeff's picture

(post #77244, reply #16 of 18)

Mike


Mine is propane fired.


I'm planning to build a filter box for the intake.


This should quiet it some and help keep it and the shop clean.


Jeff


 

JohnWW's picture

(post #77244, reply #2 of 18)

A big drawback to radiant heaters for cabinetmaking is that they will rapidly heat and dry out the surface of any wood in their range, leading to pronounced warpage of stock in a matter of just a few minutes.  The surface heating will also create problems with finishing.


John W. 

John White Shop Manager for FWW Magazine, 1998 to 2007

Blueline's picture

(post #77244, reply #3 of 18)

     Hey there Rholland, just thought i'd give you my two cents. My shop consists of an uninsulated two car garage with open roof trusses and a large window, approximately 40'x40'. I researched for quite some time and ended up with a kerosene heater and have been very happy with it. Usually what I do is turn it on about 20 minutes before going outside so it'll be warm, and when I say warm I mean t-shirt warm, then after about 45 minutes or so depending on the outside temp, i'll set it to low otherwise it gets too hot. I live east of San Fransisco where the fog rolls in so it gets damp and cold as well. Also, kerosene is still pretty cheap per gallon here which you'll have to factor in your decision. Good luck.

jackplane's picture

(post #77244, reply #4 of 18)

John W  makes a good point. Also, be sure to ventilate the exhaust. And check your tank for leaks once a year. Propane and kerosene both heat very well, though you'll probably have to get used to the noise level.

Expert since 10 am.

JMartinsky's picture

(post #77244, reply #5 of 18)

I have tried propone, kero & diesel heaters and have disliked them all. They all heated my shop (38' x 38' x 10') but they were too loud and the CO was a problem, although it seemed to have driven out the mice. I now have a woodstove that is NICE. It is a bit small, being a Vermont Castings "Vigilant ? Reliant?". If anyone knows of a "Defiant" stove for sale in new England, let me know! I am in CT, so heating is not insignificant. Here are the pluses:

1. QUIET

2. Rids the shop of scraps

3. Wood is cheap.

4. Can burn coal as well.

5. Provides enough heat to comfortably do glue ups in 10 degree (F) weather.

6. Add a ceiling fan or two and the shop will make 75 degrees in two hours.

7. Smells NICE.

Minuses:

1. The mice are back.

2. Potential fire hazard.

3. Invites just sitting around the fire sipping coffee.

Good Luck,

John

JohnWW's picture

(post #77244, reply #6 of 18)

Two postings have mentioned that propane heaters are noisy, some versions may be, but the direct vent through the wall units are virtually silent and don't use a fan.


John W.

John White Shop Manager for FWW Magazine, 1998 to 2007

jackplane's picture

(post #77244, reply #7 of 18)

It's true newer propane heaters are quiet, but if you've ever heard a 50-80,000 btu kerosene heater, noise is a major factor; they sound like a rocket engine.

Expert since 10 am.

Jeff's picture

(post #77244, reply #13 of 18)

John


I have an Empire direct vent wall heater and the unit's only noise is the fan in it.


The overhead Hot Dawg is somewhat noisy.


Jeff


 

mbiker1999's picture

(post #77244, reply #8 of 18)

I would love to install a wood stove in my shop.  The only problem I have is one minus you didn't mention...  When you figure in adequate clearances from the stove, it take up a LOT of room!!


Best

If force isn't working, your not using enough!
JMartinsky's picture

(post #77244, reply #10 of 18)

I am fortunate in that I am not too pressed for space, but with proper shielding, mine only eats up about 64sq'. (8x8) and that is being generous. It's a nice way to go, if you can swing it.

John

RonInOttawa's picture

(post #77244, reply #12 of 18)

I have used a natural gas convection unit made by Warm Morning for the past 15 years to heat my 22 x 24 moderately insulated garage in Ottawa. I think the unit set me back about $900, plus another $200 to get the gas pipe extended into the shop. The unit pulls in air and vents directly through the side of my shop so I've never had a problem with CO or other fumes. I would assume that the direct venting propane heaters are just as effective.

When the cold weather arrives (-20 F is relatively routine in January and February) I usually leave the unit on low 24 hours a day just to keep my finishing materials and glues from freezing.

It doesn't have the romance of a wood stove or the excitement of a kerosene heater but it does the job in a harsh climate.

Regards,

Ron

The biggest difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limits. - A. Einstein

twoodward15's picture

(post #77244, reply #17 of 18)

I use a kerosene heater.  it doesn't make any moise as these guys are telling you.  It's one of those sun heaters.  No blowers or anything.  Apparently these guys have never heard of or seen one of these.  it's a basic heater, but it heats my 16 by 23 open ceiling uninsulated work space to t-shirt warm in under an hour.  It takes a little longer when the temps are under about 35 degrees.  I generally light it and go inside to have coffee and watch norm.  When I'm done it's warm out there and I can get to work.  HTH

adrienne4468's picture

(post #77244, reply #18 of 18)

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=41987&item=5927728747&rd=1

This is a picture of the heater I just bought for my Garage shop. 24x24 with insulation and drywall ceiling. I haven't fired it up yet as I just got it last Sunday. Hung it as soon as I got home and still have to run the vent and gas line. I won't get the propane tank set till Monday so I have a couple of day. This is the exact heater I bought. They had two and the second one was under this one. The unit says that it is a 25,000 btu however the auction says it is 80,000. I will go by the tag on the unit. I got this for $91.00 and picked it up. At 25,000 btu's I can burn for 3 hours and run less than one gallon of propane at $1.30 per with the tank I am getting set. will have 100 gallons to burn. This will get me through the winter as I am only a weekend warrior. I put power to the fan and can feel cold air from the other side of the garage. I think this will do a great job for me and will let you all know how well it works when the tank is set.


We already have enough youth, how about a fountain of smarts.

We already have enough youth, how about a fountain of smarts.