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Old 11-12-2017, 09:41 PM
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Need opinions I can trust

I am thinking of ways I can heat up my detached garage safely and efficiently. I've read the warnings on devices but in our sue happy society, to protect themselves the warnings are very very liberally written. So I want some opinions from guys I can trust.

I've looked at kerosene heaters like this


Or like this


I've thought of propane tank top burners like this


What would be safer and efficient? I know the kerosene heater is safer as some people use them in their house but would it heat up my one car garage well enough and fast enough?
I would only turn it on when I'm out there.

There is an insulated room next to my garage that I might want to spray paint some small parts in. I know it's not a good idea to spray rattle can paint near an open flame. My plan would be to heat up the room, turn off the heat source, and then paint. How long would I have to wait to turn on the heat source? And again which would be safer?
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:49 PM
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Not sure what your outside temperature or how cold it is to start but I tried heating my single car garage attached to my house with a small heater like that and it never got to where it was comfortable so the next year I put a natural gas heater putting out 45,000 btu's and was really comfortable..
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:13 PM
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Like John said. If you have the luxury of natural gas
i have reznor 45k btu heater heating up a 3 car garage
and when it’s -20 outside. It’s 18 inside and fairly inexpensive to run

if you don’t have the natural gas. You can always get the same type of heater but running on propane
get a couple of tanks and keep them refilled .

those carosene and small propane heaters don’t do nothing unless you are standing directly on top of them

just my oppinion
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:18 PM
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Combustible heaters

Another thing to consider is that the open flame kerosene and propane heaters use up ambient oxygen for combustion and give off fumes from combustion.

The "fresh air intake and exhaust" heaters draw oxygen and vent combustion fumes, so you don't create an oxygen "starved" environment.
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tip49 View Post
Another thing to consider is that the open flame kerosene and propane heaters use up abient oxygen for combustion and give off fumes from combustion.

The "fresh air intake and exhaust" heaters draw oxygen and vent combustion fumes, so you don't create an oxygen "starved" environment.
Thanks for the advice already.

I'm aware of the oxygen starvation problem. But my garage is not sealed up real tight.

I guess I'm thinking more about standing near the heater to get the chill off.
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:29 PM
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I bought a pellet stove at Tractor Supply for my shop, which is definitely not air tight either. It's turned out to be an excellent choice for me, and it's really easy to install. It will hold 3 bags of pellets, and they'll last several days if you run it all day long. If you're just going to use it a couple hours each night or 2 or 3 times per week, you'll need about 5 or 6 bags of pellets for the winter. Call me sometime and I'll give you the specifics, but I'm very happy with it.
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:30 PM
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I know they can be pricey, but a pellet or corn stove would work good. They can be direct vented out the side of your building. Being a Firefighter I would stay away from the Kerosene and propane types. Been to many fire caused by them, plus as tip49 said they use up the Oxygen and produce Carbon Monoxide.
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:31 PM
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I heated my 24x30 detached insulated garage with electric heat for 9 years at the cost of maybe 100 a month for 5-6 months each year. Then I switched to an efficient propane furnace I got out of a remodeling home. Does not have an exhaust pipe, just a outside vent to let out the hot air. All the moisture is removed from the furnace into a drain. After last winter it cost $129 to top off the 250 gal. propane tank. This winter the tank is still at 70% so i can probably make it through without a refill until spring. I keep the heat at 50 all the time unless I am working out there and it will warm to into the 60's in a few minutes. My previous shop in Michigan had a propane hang from the ceiling heater and it worked equally well, but required expensive stove pipes and ceiling outlet with rain cap and require a forklift to install.
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:36 PM
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I live in Arizona! No need for a heater here
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:37 PM
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Abe I use a space heater (kerosene) to warm it up then turn it off for awhile and if I am moving around it is ok. I have fully insulated the garage 30x40 it stays nice. We get down in the teens at night so it does get chilly but the garage stays at about 35.
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:47 PM
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CO/carbon monoxide is your biggest concern with direct flame heaters so invest in a CO detector first off.

The first and third heaters are radiant heaters, they radiant infra red, they do not heat the air per say but the objects in the room, thru the infra red they radiate, those object will then give up their heat to heat the air in the room.

The Center one is a convection heater it actually heats the air, these are not efficient unless you are moving the air around as it will just rise and heat the ceiling.

To use any of these heaters efficiently to heat a space you need to have air movement.

Direct flame propane heaters dump a lot of moisture in to the space they are heating. So this may be a consideration if condensation is a concern.

Since this is detached garage a small wood stove might be an option they can be found quite inexpensively used are easy to install and will more than do the job. Providing local regulations will let you use one.

I have a small 50K BTU ceiling mount reznor in my over size 2 car garage and even at minus -40 it will keep it at room temp. Normally I keep the garage at about 40F/5C just so stuff does not freeze I doubt it adds $5 to my monthly gas bill.
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Old 11-12-2017, 11:15 PM
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Abe, If you go with a wood stove, besides warming up the garage you can get warmed up cutting the wood, warmed up splitting it, loading it in your truck, unloading it, stacking it, etc., etc.

Grant
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Old 11-12-2017, 11:20 PM
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Are you in a municipality that has building codes? I would (discreetly) check them on-line before going too much further. As hard as it is to believe, many towns have energy codes that prohibit installation of a heating system in any building that doesn't meet codes for insulation and air-tightness, same as a new house, even if the building is not maintained at "comfort" temperatures. Use of portable heaters isn't usually a problem tho.
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Old 11-12-2017, 11:47 PM
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Thanks for the advice, fellas. But a wood burner or pellet stove are out of the question. My garage is too small and I have no room for one. And I want something that is portable so I can take it from the side where I park my truck to the room next to it in my garage. My garage used to be a two car garage with the old style wooden roll doors on tracks. The previous owner divided the space, put an overhead door for the garage side and made the other side into his office. Here is my garage.


In the overhead door side I have a 21 foot long workbench with enough room to walk on either side of the truck. When the truck is backed up against the back wall there is about 3 feet between the truck and the garage door when closed.

Where you see the passage door to the right behind the fence, that used to be part of the two car garage opening. That is now storage space. That is where I'd like to do some spray painting this winter. Of course not painting while a burner is on. Also my wife uses that to do her pine decorations for Christmas.
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Old 11-12-2017, 11:58 PM
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I prefer the propane heat. It's cleaner with no smell. I use a Reddy propane heater like the one below when working in buildings without heat.

Do you have 220V in your garage? Like a dryer or range plug?

I have the inside half of a small heat pump that was replaced. You can pick them up cheap from HVAC contractors.

It sits on an old bread rack (like a dolly) and is wired with the thermostat and a range plug. It runs with the auxiliary/emergency heat strips. It has a short duct sitting on top, and a 20"x20" filtered vent on the intake at the side. It works great.

I don't have a picture of it by itself, but here are a couple with it in the background. I keep a clean filter in it to control dust.
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Last edited by EffieTrucker; 11-13-2017 at 12:16 AM. Reason: answered original question
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