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HSM Garage Shop Heat

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  • #61
    For over 20 years I used an electric furnace and a window air conditioner to heat/cool my 24x24 shop. When I drywalled the ceiling, I did put some bat insulation in there. After going through a bunch of window A/C units, I decided to install a 12,000btu mini-split heat pump this past spring. I love it! However, the unit I bought is supposed to be good down to 17 degrees F, and I have run it at 13 degrees F this winter. Above 17 degrees I can maintain about 53 degrees in the shop. 13 degrees is just too low. I bought an LG LS120HEV2 unit for just under $1,000 and the "all-in" installation ran about $1,300. I did all the labor and borrowed the vacuum pump and nitrogen tank - the rest of the stuff I had. I wished I had researched a little more and found a "Cold Weather" mini-split that would still put out a reasonable number of btus when operating in the single digit range. I also have a 5,000 watt hanging electric heater that I got at Rural King for about $65 on sale. I love the mini-split and am very pleased with the overall performance. It usually consumes less than 1 Kw per hour. I installed a $20 wattmeter and ammeter that I got from Amazon and I track the electricity use every day in a spreadsheet. I live near Dayton, Ohio and my December heating cost (including the occasional use of the electric heater) will be less than $90 for this December. For my purposes, If I did it over I would buy an 18,000 btu cold-weather heat pump. The 12,000 btu worked fine for summer cooling, but I think I'm a little shy for winter heating. Right now, with an outside temperature of 33 degrees, I can maintain 68 degrees in the shop with about 900 watts per hour. A better choice would have been the LG LS120HSV5; this system can deliver over 10,000 btu's at -4 degrees F. It would have cost me an extra $400, but I wish I had taken that route.
    Last edited by Jim Caudill; 12-30-2020, 10:14 PM.
    JHC Dayton, OH


    • #62
      Yes your unit is too small. You did not share your location, but my 24x24 insulated shop here in Iowa I have a gas 45,000 btu heater and a 18,000 btu window AC. On my glass on 3 sides, thermal pane glass 12x20 or so porch or 4 seasons porch I have a 15000 btu cooling 18000 btu heat mini split works down to -13 or so and can maintain 65 degrees at that temp.

      OK you did say Dayton Ohio... not large enough unit. I am going to say my 45,000 btu input gas heater is 80% Efficient so equal to 36,000 btu Heat Pump but I admit its oversized as I keep my garage at 45 and only take it to 70 when I am working and it does not take that long. Key is insulation.
      Last edited by wmgeorge; 12-31-2020, 08:32 AM.
      Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician


      • #63
        I have an old forced air heater that uses heating oil. The oil is diesel so I also use the the same tank to fuel the tractors. Noise, but I can work in a t shirt at 20 deg F, the build doesn't have insulation. Got it from a heating and cooling shop when they a home owner upgraded. I waited about three weeks after I asked about it and when I got the call, it was a cash and go with a bunch of parts. I did get a couple of pointers from the shop.

        If you're not going to heat it all the time you will want forced air heat. Any thing else is going to take too long to get the shop warn enough to work in. I tried a couple different things. I
        Last edited by outlawspeeder; 12-31-2020, 09:25 AM.


        • #64
          Best thing I ever did in my shop was to remove a hot air Modine type heater and install a radiant plasma type heater. This unit is 12' long and sits at a 45 degree angle at the rear ceiling wall intersection. Mine is natural gas but propane and electric is available.

          No open flame.....natural gas is lighted in the tube and all flame is contained in the tube
          Radiant Heat...heats stuff, not air. Tools, floor, walls, etc heat up and hold the heat. Works like sun. When you open the door you don't lose all the heat.
          Costs about 40 percent to heat the shop compared to Modine forced hot air. 60% savings in gas.
          No fan blowing dust all over the place.
          Quiet, comes on very infrequently
          Comfortable, even heat throughout the shop

          Click image for larger version

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