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Thread: Shop heater help needed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    SW Kansas
    Posts
    293

    Default Shop heater help needed

    I have a 14 x 40 hobby shop parts room for my lathes mill and small shaper. The room is inside a 60x 80 main shop. The hobby room has 4 insulated walls the ceiling is joist with 3/4 plywood, no insulation.
    The way I figure its 560 sq ft. I only want to heat it when working in there. Might keep it on low if I expect to work out there.
    I have about give up on electric heaters by the time the chill is off I have a bad attitude and just go to the house.
    I have a lot of health problems, cannot have any fumes of any kind, has to be vented to outside.
    I have an extra 500 gal propane tank need to get it hooked up.
    The only thing I find I like is this one but it is for up to 1200 sq ft is that going to be a problem? Any other ideas for a vented heater?
    https://www.menards.com/main/heating...8227323&ipos=1

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    3,097

    Default

    How about a heat pump?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Dracut, Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,930

    Default

    A bit more info may help. How is the main shop heated? Or is it heated at all?

    Heating a 500 sq ft space with a heater rated to do 1200 is not a problem. It just means that the space will heat up quickly and then the thermostat will shut down the heater. Not really an issue in a shop.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Green Bay, WI
    Posts
    3,484

    Default

    You are really working against yourself by shutting off the electric heat.
    It takes time to heat up the mass in your shop ( lathe/mill/shaper/tools )
    You don't mention your location as a source of heat depends heavily on the geographic temperatures.
    The unit heater looks good, unless you use flammable solvents in the shop. In that case, you need a sealed combustion chamber that uses outside air and vents to the outside as well. Those units are more expensive.

    If you wish to keep using unit electric heaters, use the radiant type and not fans. That way most of the energy will be on you
    Rich

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    1,157

    Default

    Watch for a sale plus the 11% off and you can save $100 or so.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Deep in the Heart of Texas!
    Posts
    7,976

    Default

    You're kidding, right? You're asking heating questions and we don't know if you're in the Tropics or Alaska. Smart, real smart.

    For me, cold is below 50*F. The heater coil relay (delay) quit last week but I was able to warm the whole house by putting a 1200Watt space heater in front of the furnace intake. It wasn't toasty but it took the chill off on a 38* morning. Maybe you can use that info.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    SW Kansas
    Posts
    293

    Default

    I am really sorry, I cant believe my location wasn’t posted,My bad fixed now SW Kansas.

    I thought about a heat pump, that would be a mini split right?

    Main shop has a wood stove, but its getting to be too much work trying to get it to 50* on a cold day.
    Main shop heat discussion another day.

    No solvents or gasoline in small room, cannnot handle fumes myself.

    Will be watching for 11% off thanks

    Ken sorry about location its fixed now.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Chilliwack, BC, Canada
    Posts
    5,267

    Default

    If you don't leave the heat on to at least some minimum value all the time then it WILL take some time to warm up. All that mass of machinery will act like ice cubes in a drink and cool the air off as fast as you're heating it. So there will always be a significant lag time until it gets warm.

    Now having said that if you can sneak out and get the heat running then duck back in and make coffee and breakfast or if you know you're going out to the shop after dinner if you can turn on the heat when you first get home and let it run while you make dinner then either way that hour to hour and a half will get the main portion of the chill out of the air and the tools. You'll still want a sweater or light jacket but you won't see your breath in the air.

    As you work on through the next couple of hours you may even find yourself taking off your jacket or rolling up the sleeves on your sweater or sweat shirt. At that point turn off the heat and use the heat stored in the environment to finish up the day or evening until it's chilling off as you head out the door.

    I don't use my own machine shop every day. If I did then I'd keep it heated all the time. At least minimally then turn it up before I go out to spend the day in the shop. But in reality all my different hobbies call to me so I only use my shop for a week or so of days then do wood working or something else for a week and so on.

    As for insulation the primary source of heat loss in any building is through the ceiling. So insulating the walls is not quite pointless but the walls is the last 15% or so while the insulation in the ceiling is the 70 to 80%. So get SOMETHING up there even if it's just some R24 or so. More is better of course but anything is better than just drywall and joists.

    My own attached garage with the leaky vehicle door is about 550 sq ft and I heat it with a blue cube 4800w electric heater. I use the "turn it on and go make coffee and breakfast" method noted above. The ceiling in my garage is about 10 ft high so I have a little fan up high to ensure circulation and move that warm air back down. It's on for a good portion of the first hour. Then it's on and off about 50-50 for an hour to hour and a half and after that it's on for about 15 minutes out of the hour for the rest of the day. Now part of my saving grace is that one wall is common with the house and two of the other walls are half underground being built into a sloping lot. So only the big two car door, that leaks like a sieve (gotta seal it up someday) and half the walls and the ceiling are exposed. But they are all quite well insulated.

    Now that sounds like a lot of electricity. Looking up the rates for Kansas it looks like you're paying around 11c/Kw-hr. Is that right? Winter rate? If that's correct then my 4800w heater is going to cost about 50 cents per hour for the first couple of hours. For another couple of hours when it's running about half the time that'll drop to 25 cents. And once it's only running about 15 to 20 minutes out of each hour we're down to 12 to 16 cents per hour for the rest of the day until you shut it off. So for an 8 hour day where you turn it on and go make breaky it's around $2 to $2.50 for the day. And for an evening of puttering after dinner I'd guess at around 4 to 5 hours running total while you eat dinner then go play for about 2 to 3 hours. So about a buck and a half for an evening to take the chill away.

    Granted electric heat is not a great deal if it's on all the time even minimally. But used like this it's not bad. And I assume you do other things than play in the shop EVERY day so let's say 4 days of using it this way and one evening. So about $9 to $12 a week to take the chill off the shop. We're not talking T shirt temps of course. Not in Kansas with the winter being what it is. But you're not going to need a parka and bulky gloves to enjoy the shop either.

    Taken in that light and used this way maybe electric heat for the shop isn't so bad after all? And if you don't have a leaky big two car lift door it'll make up for the lower temperatures compared to my situation. But DO insulate the ceiling for sure. And I would strongly recommend a fan up high to circulate the warm air back down.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    139

    Default

    Just an educated guess that heater you show for 1200 sq ft won't keep up on a cold day in your 500 sq ft room with no ceiling insulation. Just R11 insulation in the ceiling will drop the heat loss of the ceiling to 10% of what it would be with no insulation. The ceiling insulation is the most important part. Spend your hard earned cash on insulation first. Otherwise it's like peeing into that old Kansas wind.

  10. #10
    3 Phase Lightbulb Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by true temper View Post
    I have a 14’ x 40’ hobby shop parts room for my lathes mill and small shaper. The room is inside a 60’x 80’ main shop. The hobby room has 4” insulated walls the ceiling is joist with 3/4” plywood, no insulation.
    The way I figure its 560 sq ft. I only want to heat it when working in there. Might keep it on low if I expect to work out there.
    I have about give up on electric heaters by the time the chill is off I have a bad attitude and just go to the house.
    I have a lot of health problems, cannot have any fumes of any kind, has to be vented to outside.
    I have an extra 500 gal propane tank need to get it hooked up.
    The only thing I find I like is this one but it is for up to 1200 sq ft is that going to be a problem? Any other ideas for a vented heater?
    https://www.menards.com/main/heating...8227323&ipos=1
    I heat my current 1100 sq/ft shop (over-sized 3 car garage) with a vented 80K BTU propane BigMAX Mr. Heater. When my heat turns on, a pair of ceiling fans also turn on which help mix the hot air evenly when heating. This system works really well and I'm thrilled with it.



    Last edited by 3 Phase Lightbulb; 02-20-2019 at 05:56 AM.

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