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Old 10-21-2018, 02:44 PM   #1
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Winter Garage Heat for Northerners

It looks like I will have a garage (just a single) for the first time in many many years for the winter.

I hoping to get a back log of work done provided itís not too tight in there.

How do you heat your work space with only 120V service?
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Old 10-21-2018, 03:18 PM   #2
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propane. lots and lots of propane (garage doors are a b!tch - insulate it if you can).
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Old 10-21-2018, 03:25 PM   #3
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I use these type of heaters in a vacation home. I put them on wall timers and cycle them on and off as needed. They are very fire safe and do not require any venting. The down side is they take awhile to heat up a room.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Costway-1500W-Electric-Oil-Filled-Radiator-Space-Heater-7-Fin-Thermostat-Room-Radiant/898737407
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Old 10-21-2018, 03:47 PM   #4
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Assuming you don't have natural gas I would say 2 x 1500 watt heaters on different circuits should be enough if you have insulation and don't expect 20 C.
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Old 10-21-2018, 04:26 PM   #5
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propane. lots and lots of propane (garage doors are a b!tch - insulate it if you can).

Itís not hard to insulate. The question is how often does it open? The more it opens and loses heat the longer it will take to recovery and reheat. If itís not opening until the cars done, Iíd create a pocket of air with a piece of poly similar to what was done to windows back in the day
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Old 10-21-2018, 05:13 PM   #6
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propane. lots and lots of propane (garage doors are a b!tch - insulate it if you can).
Yeah was thinking of this but adequately venting in this space will be tricky.
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Old 10-21-2018, 05:16 PM   #7
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It’s not hard to insulate. The question is how often does it open? The more it opens and loses heat the longer it will take to recovery and reheat. If it’s not opening until the cars done, I’d create a pocket of air with a piece of poly similar to what was done to windows back in the day
Was thinking of this kit for insulation until I measured things up....have a 10 foot width to address:

Owens-Corning 500824 Garage Door Insulation Kit, Includes R-8 Fiberglass Panels with White Vinyl Facing, Insulates Single Garage Door Up To 9-Feet Wide

This would allow opening as well
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Old 10-21-2018, 05:29 PM   #8
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I use these type of heaters in a vacation home. I put them on wall timers and cycle them on and off as needed. They are very fire safe and do not require any venting. The down side is they take awhile to heat up a room.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Costway-1500W-Electric-Oil-Filled-Radiator-Space-Heater-7-Fin-Thermostat-Room-Radiant/898737407
These look like they might be pretty efficient......do you think they would be able to heat up a single car garage with an insulated door in 30min? One wall and ceiling are common to living space. What did they add to your electricity usage? I am thinking I am not going to try to work in -20 C.....maybe these will be enough.

I have used smaller units like this. There is no fan, open element, or ombustion, very neat and tidy
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Old 10-21-2018, 06:51 PM   #9
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+1 on the oil filled radiator. Whatever way you go, the 2 most inportant things you need in the garage since you are working in there are (1) carbon monoxide monitor and (2) fire extinguisher.

Also, cardboard on the cement is surprisingly warm on your back.
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Old 10-21-2018, 08:42 PM   #10
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Before we built our addition and dream garage, we had small garage (apx 400sf) with no insulation (open stud cavities, no drywall)...here are a few tips:

-If you have open stud cavities, insulate them. It's cheap, easy and has big benefits.
-If you have an uninsulated garage door, use sheets of rigid foam insulation (1" or 2", whatever fits) and can be installed with a couple of dabs of construction adhesive.
-Also regarding garage door, adjust rollers (or shim if needed) so door fits tight to wall...also check door weather stripping (I found gap around door the biggest issue for heat loss).
-Heating...I never found any 120V heater that I liked...tried ceramic, oil filled radiator, etc...the only option that really worked was either propane or kerosene...but make sure you are ventilated. What I found was using kerosene heater to heat space, then shut off and open door for a few seconds...the "stuff" in garage (and cement floor) worked well as a heat-sink and even after door was opened, a small electric heater kept temps ok (or at least for a while).
-Ceiling fan...I know this sounds counterintuitive, but since heat ends up at the ceiling I found that a ceiling fan really helped keep temps more uniform. Fans are cheap (under $50), pretty simple to install (especially if you have a door opener...just run a wire from opener outlet to another well secured box, and mount fan).
-If you have a concrete floor, any thermal break will be helpful. I bought a roll of "outdoor carpet" for cheap and was amazed at how much it helped.

If you are looking for a long term solution, you should look at either a natural gas hanging unit or a 220 electric. If you are wondering what we ended up doing, our old furnace wasn't sized for our house with addition, so it went to the garage. As an added benefit, we also moved the coil and compressor giving us A/C as well as heat...


EDIT:
Before you buy anything, do some math. Get an estimate of the volume of the space and google the BTU's needed for reaching (and maintaining) your target temp. Also, many electric heaters don't list BTU (just watts), but again google watt to BTU. Another tip is to measure your thermal drop...on a night were temps are projected to stabilize, put a thermometer in (warm-ish) garage and check in the morning...divide degrees by hours and you'll see how much make-up heat is required per hour. Also check the amps that you have available in your garage...two heaters might sound good, but you might exceed your amp draw. Lastly, it's easier to MAINTAIN a temp than trying to REACH a temp, so always keep garage somewhat warm....as I mentioned earlier, you aren't just trying to warm the air, you'll have a huge chunk of metal (your car) acting as a heat-sink; trying to raise the temp a couple degrees is better than dozens.

Best wishes, and sorry for the length.

Last edited by MWS; 10-21-2018 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:40 AM   #11
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My humble opinion: you will be wasting your time with small electric heaters all that will happen is your power meter will spin like a router . You are in Canada and I'm assuming many days/nights are far below 0 degrees . So EVERYTHING in the garage is cold and you have to overcome that . Like others have said insulate , insulate and insulate . That includes walls/ceiling/garage door . Then for heat I would go with an LP or natural gas VENTED heater these are generally hung from the ceiling . They pull in outside air for combustion and obviously exhaust outside . You need a massive amount of heat for lets say 10 - 15 minutes to overcome all the cold then you can dial the heat back to maintain your comfort level . Do it once and do it right you won't regret it .
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Old 10-22-2018, 06:17 AM   #12
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Also, cardboard on the cement is surprisingly warm on your back.
+ 1 on the cardboard

When I see a neighbor taking delivery of a new large flat screen TV or washing machine, I loiter around the delivery truck since most of the times the home owner will ask the driver to please discard the 'thick cardboard box' and they get surprised when I ask them if I can keep it..

In SoCal does not get too cold but there is nothing better than laying comfortably underneath your car and enjoying what you are doing..
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Old 10-22-2018, 09:58 AM   #13
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Do you have a door from the inside of your house to the garage? I will prop mine open for an hour or two before I work in the garage in the winter. It can raise the temperature a good 10C and takes the bite off. I've got a pretty good electric 240v heater but it's not nearly as fast. Keep in mind that there's probably way more moisture in your house than in your garage so you wouldn't want to do this all the time. I make sure the door is closed before I start working if I'm using chemicals. Obviously running the car is no good door open or closed. Our garage is well heated and rarely goes below freezing though.
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Old 10-22-2018, 11:08 AM   #14
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Two words: pellet stove. I have a 30' by 40' shop with insulated walls and ceiling. The stove keeps it in the 50s even when we are around 10 degrees here in Wyoming.
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Old 10-22-2018, 01:24 PM   #15
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My 986 heats my garage for me
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Old 10-22-2018, 06:15 PM   #16
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Probably not. It will all depend on the low temp you are starting from. Set the timers to come on +/- an hour before you plan to start and see if that is enough. As others have suggested, insulation is cheap and easy to install. Our 2 heaters raise the condo's 670 SQFT 15 degrees in 30 minutes. But we are starting at +/- 50 F.

The link will help you calculate your electrical costs. https://www.saveonenergy.com/energy-consumption/

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These look like they might be pretty efficient......do you think they would be able to heat up a single car garage with an insulated door in 30min? One wall and ceiling are common to living space. What did they add to your electricity usage? I am thinking I am not going to try to work in -20 C.....maybe these will be enough.

I have used smaller units like this. There is no fan, open element, or ombustion, very neat and tidy
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Old 10-24-2018, 11:36 AM   #17
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.....a comprehensive body of information!

What are your collective "top in maintenance or down position" procedures during cold temps? Heat garage, move top to desired position, and then heat again to move up and closed?

Don't want to crack it
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Old 10-24-2018, 03:13 PM   #18
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Get 240v and put a dragon or two on the ceiling and you can work in a T-shirt in 10 minutes from 5 or 10C. YMMV
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Old 10-24-2018, 04:36 PM   #19
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Get 240v and put a dragon or two on the ceiling and you can work in a T-shirt in 10 minutes from 5 or 10C. YMMV
Dragon?

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Old 10-24-2018, 05:16 PM   #20
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Dragon?

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https://www.stelpro.com/en-CA/dragon-ceiling-fan-heater
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