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7 comments

Open Diff: How Do You Heat Your Garage?

Posted January 20, 2022 5:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: car maintenance

Surprise, surprise, it's cold again here in the Northeast. Cold enough to freeze your nose hairs, send your fuel oil bill skyrocketing, and make you think twice before going out to the garage for any significant amount of time. Maybe thrice with subzero temperatures headed our way this weekend. But hey, we're hardy and adaptable up here, and we've discovered many a method of fending off the frigid temperatures. Exactly which is the best, however, is what we're going to try to determine today.

Mark Axen got this topic started in the discussion on the last Open Diff regarding the status of everybody's current projects. He wanted to see what everybody uses to heat their garage while they're out wrenching on those projects, possibly to help him decide what heating system he should go with next:

I have a KING KB2410 electric heater with fan, hanging from the ceiling in my 24 x 36' insulated garage. Takes awhile to get up to a reasonable 45 degrees, but MAN, does it suck up electricity! May switch to a LP fueled HOT DAWG type heater. Thanks for your thoughts.

Keith Corby chimed in with his experiences using gas:

After messing around for years with kerosene and electric heaters, I now have natural gas furnaces in both garages. Though we are in a rural area there is a huge amount of tobacco grown here and they use natural gas heat to cure it every Fall. Though we aren't growers we do benefit from having the large gas line. This is so much nicer!

While I've tried building my own solar heaters made from soda cans in the past, they either didn't work well enough to provide any useable heat or worked too well and melted the insulation in the box. I may revisit the idea in the future, but for now I'll stick with suffering (it builds character) and bringing as many projects inside as I can. After all, if you're cold, they're cold too.

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#1

Re: Open Diff: How Do You Heat Your Garage?

01/20/2022 7:53 AM

Obviously, if you're heating with fuel, beware of carbon monoxide...

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Re: Open Diff: How Do You Heat Your Garage?

01/20/2022 8:27 AM

I would go with an oil pot burner...

No electric, no fan, just gravity feed it oil...about $2.50 a gal, cheaper if you can find a good source of waste vegetable oil from the local restaurants...

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Re: Open Diff: How Do You Heat Your Garage?

01/21/2022 2:29 PM

I took the coal stove out of my blacksmith shop years ago, It just would not put out enough heat. I fell across an auction that was selling used oil furnaces, bought 2 of them at $3.50 each. The second one is going in my garage/woodshop/work out room.

In the blacksmith shop I keep it at 55 degrees, perfect for working over a open fire. I will install ductwork with shut offs for the various rooms in the new building so I can control what room(s) gets the heat.

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Re: Open Diff: How Do You Heat Your Garage?

01/24/2022 12:31 AM

While I have a smaller garage attached to the house, it can get quite cold. I have often thought about getting one of the combination heater/air conditioner units you would find in a hotel room. (I'm more a Holiday Inn guy, not a 5-star lodger)

Obvious take some extra wiring to power it up and re-wiring to move the controls near the house door. Curious if anyone has tried this. ss

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Re: Open Diff: How Do You Heat Your Garage?

01/24/2022 8:05 AM

My garage has 3 double car bays, and the center pair is insulated with a 5 ton heat pump and 20 kw back up here in northern virginia. The electric heat gets it going rapidly in the 30 x 35 foot space, falling back to the heat pump on all but the coldest days, I like 55 to 65 degrees for working.

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Re: Open Diff: How Do You Heat Your Garage?

01/24/2022 10:18 AM

In a pinch, placing the tools you intend to use on an old electric heating pad will help keep your hands from freezing while you work.

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Re: Open Diff: How Do You Heat Your Garage?

01/26/2022 11:04 AM

On the farm we had a Ashley wood stove, we did that, but mind you when we would put them on, and continue working, and when we removed them, they were too hot and had to cool them down.

I’m in the process of building a shop, where we’d have in floor heated with an outside boiler wood stove, with a Modine secondary heater.

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