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Garage Heater


87Warrior
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I am in search of a quality garage heater. My current garage is small at 12' x 20' and is part of an apartment building. My living corridors are on the 2nd floor above the garage and 2 of my neighbors. I want to heat the garage so it is comfortable to work on the Jeep during the dead of winter. Since this unit is a rental Gas and 240v heaters can not be considered.

 

Growing up, my father always used a Kerosene powered forced air heater in the garage. It works great and will last a long time on a tank of fuel. I am not sure if Kerosene or even propane powered heaters would be wise to use in this small garage directly attached to living corridors. Not to mention a lot of those would bake me out of this tiny garage.

 

This has led me to explore electric heaters. My experience is limited with anything bigger than the floor heater you can keep under a desk. It seems that just about all 120v heaters max out at 1500w of power producing about 5000BTU of heat. Not substantial, but it should be enough for my small garage. Then there are those infrared heaters to consider. I have seen everything from $20 Milk-house style to $400 ceiling hung infrared units.

 

Please discuss, comment, or make suggestions. I want to be happy working on the Jeep this winter!

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I use one of those Kerosene forced air heaters in my 20x20 garage, and find that it works well. I fully insulated the garage with R19, and the part of the garage attached to the house is drywalled. I'll fire it up ten minutes before I get in there, and shut it off after a few minutes of being in there. Its usually very comfortable. I am a part time Firefighter, so I was worried about the CO like you. All the smoke detectors in the house are smoke/co combo, and not one ever went off while I was running it. Also, since I didn't want to dole out a whole bunch for kerosene, I just use diesel as mine is a multifuel.

 

I was in the same spot you were, but for the price and portability of the thing, I couldn't go wrong. I can't even smell the heater most of the time... But the GF will come in and tell me it stinks in there. She never smells it in the house though. Overall, I would buy another one. Its big enough to warm the garage, and small enough to hoist up into the attic during the summer when I don't use it.

 

I do love me some diesel fumes though. 8)

Rob L.

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I have one of those small propane heaters that attaches to the top of a tank to heat the garage in the winter (2 car, drywalled, insulated, insulated door). I'm leery of using it, but when I do I have the door cracked 4 to 6 inches for air... kind of counterproductive letting in cold air while heating but CO poisoning myself and everyone else in the house doesn't sound like much fun to me.

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Someday, I hope to own 5-20 acres of land with plenty of trees on it. When I get to the point of having a garage, I'm following in my Dad's footsteps and going all wood. Free heat for the rest of my life. (Thats if I go all Paul Bunyan on the trees and chop them by hand. Chainsaw fuel is still a minimum cost in my eyes. :yes: )

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I have a propane torpedo style heater... It will heat my garage which is 16 x 20. Even with a broken window and a crapload of leaks in the walls. I was using a electric milkhouse heater, but it would never get warm enough to do even really take off your gloves in there.

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Mr Heater makes a few different models of propane heaters. Some with O2 depletion sensors, some specifically designed for use in a garage. As long as there is enough O2 available for complete combustion, a properly tuned propane heater should produce only CO2 and H2O, and zero CO. Even so, while using any sort of fuel heater, it can't hurt to plug a CO monitor into one of the wall outlets.

 

I'm planning on building my garage this spring. Possibly 20x20, but hoping to be able to go 22x22. Minimum 9' ceilings. Hope to be able to insulate below the floor and have it plumbed for radiant floor heating. Heat will come later as money becomes available for insulation, but once insulated I hope to be able to heat of off a simple 5 gallon water heater.

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Someday, I hope to own 5-20 acres of land with plenty of trees on it. When I get to the point of having a garage, I'm following in my Dad's footsteps and going all wood. Free heat for the rest of my life. (Thats if I go all Paul Bunyan on the trees and chop them by hand. Chainsaw fuel is still a minimum cost in my eyes. :yes: )

I agree! A wood heated garage/shop would be ideal. Heck, growing up we primarily used firewood to heat the house. Fill the fire box with Hedge (osage orange) and it will make you sweat though out the night and still be HOT in the morning.

 

Have you talked to the Owner, Manager of the building? You pay for the installation and point out it will enhance the apartments desirability to other renters when you leave. If that doesn't work get a tank mounted propane heater.

I did inquire about this prior to renting here. The only thing you can legally do is change out the electrical fixtures (ceiling fan, overhead lighting, switch covers...), no paint, no construction or anything.

 

Keep the suggestions coming. I will look into the propane systems as well, and if I go that route I will make sure my CO monitor is in working order.

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I have a 20'x32' area of my shop sectioned off with plastic and a ventilation fan for a paint booth. In the winter, this is where I spend most of my time as I'm able to heat it up pretty cheap. I use the smallest forced air propane heater I could find. I believe it is adjustable from 15,000 to 30,000 BTU and even on the low setting, it will heat that place up in about 5 minutes.

 

I don't like it for a couple of reasons: It stinks. My mother always complains that me and my father have the most sensitive noses and we smell things that others can't, but there is no denying it - the propane heater stinks. It's not unbearable, however, but the smell is enough to be alarming. I installed a CO monitor just to be sure and it has never gone off. I generally spend a half hour of so in there and then take a break and grab some fresh air. I also don't like it because there is no thermostat. Even on low, that heater will get my area up to 90 degrees in no time at all, where it just becomes unbearable. I usually turn it off, wait till I'm cold again, then fire it back up. Gets annoying after a while, especially when you're in the middle of working on something.

 

I've also used the radiant heaters that screw onto the top of the standard propane tanks. I actually really like those as a 'spot' heater, where I can place it near me when I'm working on something. As long as a part of my body is warm, like my back, I'm content with being in the cold. You have to be careful with these as my Mom stood by one to warm up and it caught her jacket on fire!

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