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View Full Version : Wow, best $111.00 I've spent lately...heat!



DICKEYBIRD
12-19-2010, 11:55 AM
I got paid for a machining job I finished last weekend and decided to splurge for a new heater in the shop. I got a 220v 2000/4000 watt unit that I can plug into the now unused shop a/c window unit socket.

It was 41 deg. in the shop this morning (26 outside) when I plugged it in and by the time I made a pot of coffee, ate breakfast and surfed the web a bit it was a shirtsleeve comfy 65 degrees out there! I'll worry about the electric bill later...at least I can work in comfort now.:)

bborr01
12-19-2010, 12:43 PM
Dickeybird,

That should make your shop time a lot more enjoyable.

I have been hearing that the difference between the price of heating with electricity and other fuels has been narrowing lately. Seems elec. prices have not risen at the same rate as oil.

Add to that the efficiency rate on elec. is near 100 percent and it may not be much more $ than LP or oil.

Let us know when your elec bill comes if it is a shocker or not.

Brian

davidwdyer
12-19-2010, 12:48 PM
I remember battling cold shops for years. It really discourages work in the winter. Tons of cold machinery takes a long time to warm up too. Now, I'm thinking about installing AC. :D Cold is a thing of the past.

rockrat
12-19-2010, 12:54 PM
I'll worry about the electric bill later.

Famous last words! :D

I hope your meter sticks and doesn't read anything for a while. That will keep the bill down.

Glad your warm though.
rock~

rmuell01
12-19-2010, 12:57 PM
how large is your garage? double? I'm looking to heat mine, but it's a four bay garage.

DICKEYBIRD
12-19-2010, 01:29 PM
It's a 2 car garage attached to the house (south side) with a wooden door with 4, 11 x 40 windows. Around noon the sun coming through the windows helps a lot but weeknights after work those windows are COLD. I need to make some snap-in insulation panels or replace the whole door with an insulated one with no windows. I do like to look outside with that faraway stare at times though. Helps me think through those sticky problems that come up.;)

I'm located roughly in the middle of the country so it's not (what I call) real cold except for a couple months. Below 20 deg. F is pretty cold to me. My elec bill shouldn't go up a lot since I was running 2, 110 v heaters in the shop before I got the bigger one. Plus, we just had the entire heat-a/c system in the house replaced this past spring and changed from heat pump/strip heat to natural gas. So far, the gas has been great. The old one (over 30 yrs. old) ran constantly with the "emerg. heat" light lit up all the time in the winter. The gas unit goes "KA-WOOOMP", fan runs for 10-15 min and it's toasty inside. My bills have dropped overall....so far.

I'm thinking about splicing in a duct with a power shut-off/damper and pipe some of that gas heat out to the shop. SWMBO said fine, get yourself a friggin' cot and move out there!:D

bmc
12-19-2010, 02:17 PM
woops. time to make something nice for her.

bob

gary350
12-19-2010, 02:28 PM
My shop is 24' x 30' with one well insulated garage door with 2" thick styrofoam on the door and 6" of insulation in the attic and 4" in the walls. I have a wood stove for heat it has been 40 degrees in the shop evey morning 15 degrees outside it takes the wood stove about an hour to heat up to 70 degrees F. I throw in a piece of wood about every 2 hours it keeps me toasty warm all day. I have a 120 VAC air conditioner I don't recall the size but its the largest you can buy in low voltage. It takes several hours to cool the shop but 1 hour is all this takes to remove the humidity which is the number one problem here is swamp country middle Tennessee. Humidity is 100% spring, summer and fall we have more rain that Seatle Washington the TV weather man said Seatle Washington gets about 250 days of rain per year Middle Tennessee gets 300 days of rain per year.

aboard_epsilon
12-19-2010, 02:54 PM
It's a 2 car garage attached to the house (south side) with a wooden door with 4, 11 x 40 windows. Around noon the sun coming through the windows helps a lot but weeknights after work those windows are COLD. I need to make some snap-in insulation panels or replace the whole door with an insulated one with no windows. I do like to look outside with that faraway stare at times though. Helps me think through those sticky problems that come up.;)

I'm located roughly in the middle of the country so it's not (what I call) real cold except for a couple months. Below 20 deg. F is pretty cold to me. My elec bill shouldn't go up a lot since I was running 2, 110 v heaters in the shop before I got the bigger one. Plus, we just had the entire heat-a/c system in the house replaced this past spring and changed from heat pump/strip heat to natural gas. So far, the gas has been great. The old one (over 30 yrs. old) ran constantly with the "emerg. heat" light lit up all the time in the winter. The gas unit goes "KA-WOOOMP", fan runs for 10-15 min and it's toasty inside. My bills have dropped overall....so far.

I'm thinking about splicing in a duct with a power shut-off/damper and pipe some of that gas heat out to the shop. SWMBO said fine, get yourself a friggin' cot and move out there!:D

if i was you i would extend the plumbing from the house and get some rads in there ..or hydronic heating .

all the best.markj

Uncle O
12-19-2010, 04:40 PM
I ran a Natural gas line out to my garage back in November, have since installed and been running a ventless radiant heater and a dehumidifier for about the last month. Heater is set on lowest setting and is maintaining a temp of between 55-60 deg. F , depending on the outside temps.

Garage is "mostly insulated" but still needs a bit more, including the door being replaced, but that is next year... structure is 24 X 26 with a good size upstairs "attic". So far , my gas bill is no different than last years at this time. I am very happy !

This is the heater.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200332735_200332735

Black_Moons
12-19-2010, 04:42 PM
Having electric heat only in my house has changed my views on things.

Leaving my PC on all night, Is not wasted electricity, Its just taking load off the heaters.

Lightbulbs? The same. Everything electric is 100% efficent at producing heat, In the end, Well, Except a few photons that escape out the windows, Or a little bit of noise that escapes out the walls.

Evan
12-19-2010, 05:01 PM
Lightbulbs? The same. Everything electric is 100% efficent at producing heat, In the end, Well, Except a few photons that escape out the windows, Or a little bit of noise that escapes out the walls.

While true it can lead to very bad optics in the press. Large buildings use the lighting system as part of the heating system. The fixtures are even designed to allow airflow around them as part of the cold air return system for the floor above. However, the general public doesn't understand that energy is energy regardless of wavelength and when they see an entire unoccupied office building fully illuminated all they can think of is WASTE. Automated blinds go a long way to prevent that problem and they also conserve energy too.

DB, you may get a shock when you see you next bill. Not only is electric 100% efficient it is also the most expensive way to heat. What is the kilowatt rating on that heater? You don't get "instant" heat for "free".

SteveF
12-19-2010, 05:16 PM
The efficiency is not what matters when comparing different fuels to figure out heating cost. What matters is how much money does it cost to produce a 1,000,000 BTUs of heat from each fuel. A 90% efficient oil furnace cost less to produce 1,000,000 BTUs than a 78% oil furnace so the efficiency matters. When comparing oil or anything else to electricity, the fact that electric is 100% efficient is irrelevant.

If you want to play with the exact numbers for the energy costs and furnace efficiencies that you have, here you go:

http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/experts/heatcalc.xls

When in doubt, add insulation.

Steve.

Mike Nash
12-19-2010, 07:08 PM
If you want to play with the exact numbers for the energy costs and furnace efficiencies that you have, here you go:

http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/experts/heatcalc.xls


That's a nice spreadsheet. But it also has links to energy costs by state. Natural gas looked waaay better than electric space heat until I plugged in the numbers for Alabama. Last year only my unvented natural gas logs were cheaper than electric space heat. It looks like Georgians should forgo natural gas altogether.

tdkkart
12-19-2010, 07:11 PM
It's all relative. My shop is 30x40 with 12' ceilings, well insulated and heated by radiant floor heat, powered by an electric boiler(GASP!!!). For various reasons I can't readily get gas to the building so electric is the only real option.

Is it expensive?? It runs about $150/mo for the coldest 3 months, but if you spread the bills out over the year I average about $45/mo which isn't bad at all.

It's my entertainment. I get way more pleasure out of my shop than sitting at a bar drinking my money away.
Hell, up until April of this year I was spending $150-200/mo on cigarettes.

So, it's not all that expensive really......

bborr01
12-19-2010, 11:47 PM
It's all relative. My shop is 30x40 with 12' ceilings, well insulated and heated by radiant floor heat, powered by an electric boiler(GASP!!!). For various reasons I can't readily get gas to the building so electric is the only real option.

Is it expensive?? It runs about $150/mo for the coldest 3 months, but if you spread the bills out over the year I average about $45/mo which isn't bad at all.

It's my entertainment. I get way more pleasure out of my shop than sitting at a bar drinking my money away.
Hell, up until April of this year I was spending $150-200/mo on cigarettes.

So, it's not all that expensive really......

TD,

Hats off to you for giving up cigarettes.

The best gift my wife ever gave me was giving up cigarettes about 15 years ago.:)

Brian

tdkkart
12-20-2010, 09:56 AM
TD, Hats off to you for giving up cigarettes.


Thanks, it just sorta happened, primarily with the help of really good pain meds as a result of this:
http://www.tdkmotorsports.com/oops/oops.html

I never smoked in our house, and when you cannot get outside by yourself for nearly 2 months it makes it a bit easier. Good drugs the first 3 weeks didn't hurt. Feel the need?? Take these, take a nap.

I've always heard people talk about how much better they feel etc. I was a bit disappointed for awhile, as it wasn't as immediate as i thought it might be.
It's been 8 months and I am now really starting to feel the differences in the way I breathe etc.
I also never quite realized how bad it makes us smell, although I've noticed a distinct difference from one person to another. Some people go have a smoke and they stink to high heaven, the next one you really can't even tell??

I know it's a good thing, but some days it'd still be easy to go back.

lynnl
12-20-2010, 12:30 PM
...
Humidity is 100% spring, summer and fall we have more rain that Seatle Washington the TV weather man said Seatle Washington gets about 250 days of rain per year Middle Tennessee gets 300 days of rain per year.

You need a new TV weatherman. Nashville, for example, has about 120 days of precip per year.

http://www.climate-zone.com/climate/united-states/tennessee/nashville/

DICKEYBIRD
12-20-2010, 04:39 PM
It's been 8 months and I am now really starting to feel the differences in the way I breathe etc.It's been 8 months dude, you DESERVE a cigarette! Just one won't hurt. You've been SO GOOD....you've earned it!











;) Just kidding. I'm just reminding you what that little bastid child inside your head is already saying and I can tell you from experience he *never* gives up. He's pretty quiet now after 26 years off the nasty things but he can still pop up & whisper in my ear at the strangest times. Remember, it only takes one!

Black_Moons
12-20-2010, 04:44 PM
Used to smoke as a kid (Parents both smoked), Now I can't even stand walking by people having a cig outside, stinks like someone is burning industral waste. (Except I believe any company letting out fumes that toxic would be heavily fined)

For the love of lungs, Don't smoke around your kids if you do smoke. You do NOT want them getting used to the awful smell. Do not smoke in a car with your kids. do not give them any lip when they say "Daddy you stink", Because you DO, And thats the right attitude for them to have.

J. Randall
12-20-2010, 10:11 PM
I agree on quitting, I laid them down in 97 and have not had one since. I have to disagree on the smell, I still love the smell of a good aromatic tobacco burning, especially outside when the air is crisp and cool, although I don't like being penned up in a room full of smoke.
James

Bill736
12-20-2010, 10:48 PM
It's true. It you use, or want to use, electrical heat for at least parts of your home, then use light bulbs, your computer, your TV set, and your old "inefficient" refrigerator as sources of heat. The degree to which an old indoor inefficient appliance costs you money depends on how long your heating season is vs. how long you run your AC unit, but you'll never see that analysis in Consumer Reports. Regular, incandescent light bulbs release most of their input energy as heat, and can be stragicially placed to act as little heaters to keep pipes, pumps, and the like from freezing on cold nights. I have many light bulbs mounted in clip-on reflectors aimed at pumps and pipes that don't get heated by my furnace. When and if the FEDS make it illegal to sell regular light bulbs, I'm going to buy hundreds of them, since I also use them for paint drying and spot heating in my shop. And on the subject of compact fluorescent bulbs. I've had so many early failures and other problems with them that they haven't saved me a penny yet.

tdkkart
12-20-2010, 11:10 PM
Go outside and read your electric meter, write the number down. Go back tomorrow and read it again, subtract from today's number and you'll get the number of KW you used in a day's time.
You can rest assured that a LARGE percentage of those KW's got released inside your house as heat, makes no difference if that was their intention or not, most of them got released as heat after you were done using them, or just as your appliances were sitting there idling waiting for you to use them.
Your computer, your TV, the fish tank, the light bulbs, the battery chargers the frig, the stove, the water heater, the blow driers and curling irons. All of these things use poer, and all of them release heat, even if that was not their intended purpose.

Black_Moons
12-21-2010, 05:56 AM
Your computer, your TV, the fish tank, the light bulbs, the battery chargers the frig, the stove, the water heater, the blow driers and curling irons. All of these things use poer, and all of them release heat, even if that was not their intended purpose.

Err, You just struck a hole in my 100% efficency theory.

Battery chargers are about the only appliance that allows any signifigant amount of energy to escape the household.. :) Assuming you go use the thing it charged up outside.
Even if it is just a few watt hours at best.

outback
12-21-2010, 07:54 AM
Ventless heaters;

I have been using ventless heaters in my garage and shop for more than 10 years. In theory, ventess heaters put out a damp heat. I don't seem to have a problem with the damp heat causing my tools to rust. My shop and garage are both well insulated and I keep the shop heat set at 55* and the garage at 45*. If I need more heat I run electric heaters while I'm in the area. I think if the ventless heaters were used to keep the shop toasty warm like 70* dampness could be an issue. Carbon Monoxide is also a concern with ventless heaters. Vented gas heat should always be a first choice over ventless.

I stopped smoking in "07" when a buddy of mine also quite. After a couple of days without smoking I told my wife I had quit. Later, I told my wife if she continued smoking and died early I would be able to spend her money and mine to. That thought must have infuriated her. She quite smoking the next day and never went back.

We both quit smoking cold turkey as they say. No patches, no gum, we just quit. People need to want to quit. They think the patches and gum will make them want to quit. I quit out of consideration for my buddy. My wife quit because it was about me spending her money. We are non-smokers now and that is all the really maters.

Outback

tdkkart
12-21-2010, 09:59 AM
Ventless heaters;

I have been using ventless heaters in my garage and shop for more than 10 years. In theory, ventess heaters put out a damp heat. I don't seem to have a problem with the damp heat causing my tools to rust. My shop and garage are both well insulated and I keep the shop heat set at 55* and the garage at 45*. If I need more heat I run electric heaters while I'm in the area. I think if the ventless heaters were used to keep the shop toasty warm like 70* dampness could be an issue. Carbon Monoxide is also a concern with ventless heaters. Vented gas heat should always be a first choice over ventless.


We both quit smoking cold turkey as they say.


Ventless heaters and their associated "damp heat" work just fine as long as you keep them at a constant temperature. As soon as you start bouncing th eetemp up and down, heating only when you are in the shop, that's when you will see condensation and rusting issues.

I like to say I went up the ladder a smoker, and was a non-smoker when I landed on the ground. Literaly put out a smoke as I grabbed the ladder and never had another.
I really think it's the same as being and alcoholic, the urge slowly goes away, but the temptation will always be there.