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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was looking at a 50k convection heater or someone was wanting to trade my kerosene forced air for a portable radiant heater. Probably 35k btu. I know they might all work but would I be getting a good deal with the trade or just sell mine out rite? Thanks ahead of time for the help.
 

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Scotty D
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That's a tough question. We have no idea what your shop consists of. Size/insulated? Forced kerosene gets very annoying... radiant heat is totally different. Can you tell us more about your shop size/conditions? :smile:

Where are you located?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Southern Indiana. It's a 2 car garage and is not insulated. Only door is the garage door and the one to my house. My kerosene is a 75k unit and my wife hates the smell of me after being out there a while. It's does work fast though. I'm just concerned about the 35k not working well or how quickly does it burn through a 20lb take of propane. Thanks again
 

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Scotty D
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Yes, kerosene is very fragrant and not good to breathe, it produces carbon monoxide while depleting oxygen. There was a time when I heated my shop the same way. What is the construction of your exterior walls? Open studs? drywall? ceiling? There are fairly easy/cheap ways to temporarily insulate your space until you can do it correctly. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The walls and the ceiling are drywalled. It is about 10 feet tall. We rent and the only breeze really is from the garage door itself. When heated to about 65. It stayed pretty warm for about 20 minutes. It's about 35 outside right now.
 

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Scotty D
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Well, drywall will have to suffice for your insulation. ( it could be worse) After forced kerosene heat, I then moved to propane fired radiant heat. It was an improvement. I finally afforded a forced air propane furnace and still heat that way. Adding insulation above your ceiling will help immensely. Visqueen over an uninsulated garage door will improve your insulation also. You need to stop all air infiltration. :smile:
 

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Since you rent and will want a temporary fix do you have enough money to screw blue board on the walls and ceiling? Put plastic over the garage door to block the draft? A 1" thick blue board will have a r value of 10 I think. Unless the landlord will spring for some of the cost but I doubt it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I can easily do plastic over the door. I don't know what blue board is but I assume insulation of some sort. So I guess it depends on price. I will look and see what I can do. So do you guys think the radiant heater will work okay? Kind of got away from that a little but I thank you guys for a couple easy solutions.
 

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Scotty D
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Sealing the door will help considerably. I would guess the blue board he refers to is 4' x 8' foam sheets. You will not get much R-value from 1". If you have access to the attic, rolling fiberglass insulation would be excellent. Radiant heat works. Anything is better then kerosene. :smile:
 

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Sealing the door will help considerably. I would guess the blue board he refers to is 4' x 8' foam sheets. You will not get much R-value from 1". If you have access to the attic, rolling fiberglass insulation would be excellent. Radiant heat works. Anything is better then kerosene. :smile:
Yes 4'x8' Styrofoam sheets. Some brands are pink. There is white Styrofoam bead board as well. Little cheaper but not as durable. The fiberglass in the attic is a better idea and probably less costly. R11 for 3 1/2 thickness and you can go as thick or thicker than the ceiling joists.

Any windows are most likely single pane glass. The shrink with a hair dryer plastic over the windows will help by making a sort of dead air space. The Styrofoam will burn and make toxic fumes so you would need to make sure it is away from any heat source.

You could make a false wall and hang fiberglass by stapling the craft paper backing to a 2X2 along the top of the wall and tape the bats together. A false wall need not be structural. Insulation and draft stoppage will diminish the heat BTU requirement, save you money.

My shop is a 24x24 detached garage. Insulated mostly but not completely. I use a vent less propane heater and shut it off before making any dust of fumes. It will stay 50 degrees for about an hour or two depending on the weather. 20 degree highs are common in central Iowa. I wanted to hang a gas heater but my local code says the heater must be ten feet off above the floor. My ceiling is 7' 3" and I can not put a gas line under the concrete drive. Just to costly to make it up to code so I work a lot in colder temps than I would like.
 

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My shop area is in my basement so it has the regular house heat. I used to work in a garage, 2 stall, partly insulated, but not the important parts (the roof). In the garage I used a combination of a small wood furnace and a 35k BTU kerosene heater. It also ran on unleaded gas but smelled more than kerosene. We called them a "salamander". It heated up the garage really fast though...much faster than the wood stove. It didn't have any thermostat so it was full blast all the time. I had to be careful where I put it. The heat it produced could cause combustibles to ignite if they were anywhere near where the heat blew out.

They work well in combination with wood, gas, or electric heat if the area needs to be heated up from very cold temperatures. Wood, gas, and electric can maintain a temperature at a lower cost but can take all day to 'raise' the temp up from freezing. A salamander can get the ambient temp up fast at a higher cost (and smell).
 

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Scotty D
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With no flue, no insulation, and a heater that burns a liquid fuel, air sealing the building could give you (or the landlord) a hidden-condensation problem as well as a carbon monoxide problem.

OK... so what's your suggestion? :huh:
 

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I use a kerosene heater (but I burn red diesel instead). My shop is 24x30 no insulation, no sheet rock. I put the heater in front of a stack of concrete blocks and let the furnace blast on them. It warms my shop and after the blocks are good and hot, I turn off the heater and stay fairly warm. I have had 40 degree days lately, but only run my heater 2 a day an hour each time.
 

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OK... so what's your suggestion? :huh:
For one thing, mind the landlord. I'd probably use electric or propane heat that I take with me when I move, and learn the tricks ice fishermen use. I used two in my Michigan garage... homemade closed cell foam insoles inside oversized Sorel pack boots, and wristwarmers made from old socks with cellulose warmers stuffed in them.

If you go with electric you can air seal thoroughly (Caulk, blow foam, weatherstripping). More tedious than hanging heavy mil plastic, but water vapor will still be able to escape from that side of the wall if needed.

Do you air condition in the summer? If so, then using either heavy plastic or a single layer of rigid foam can create a hidden condensation problem on the backside of that material, because when the A/C is on, the back side - which will be exposed to outdoor air - will feel cool, condensing the humidity out of the air, and that will soak the wall covering(s) and/or structural members. Ick.

On the other hand, maybe the landlord would buy materials and let you do the labor of a proper energy-efficiency retrofit. A good source for the interlocking wheels of condensation/heating/cooling/dehumidifying is GreenBuildingAdvisor.com
 

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I use a 50K propane heater that I got at Lowes. It has a fan and heat the shop up rapidly. It does have an open flame so I make sure it has a clear area around it. It looks like one of those kerosene torpedo heaters just shorter.
Tom
 

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you can buy electric hanging shop heaters from places like walmart even.I saw them on their website a couple weeks ago for like 144 a piece.Those would be better than any type of gas heater you use.No they are not as mobile obviously.

Though you insulating a garage of a place you rent isnt mobile either.You wouldnt have to worry about carbon mon after though like you would with most gas types.
 
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