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Old 10-01-2007, 07:37 AM
rdbrown rdbrown is offline
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Best Way To Heat A Garage

I'm about to start construction on a 31x24 three bay garage. What is the best, most economical way to heat it? I'd like to keep it around 45 degrees and up it to 65 for project work. I thought about in slab radiant heat but some say this takes too long to warm up. Has anyone had any experiance with gas fired infra red radiant tube heating? These are self contained units that mount to the celing and put off infra red heat generated in a long tube . They heat objects not the air. The Modine fan forced unit mounted in the celing corner is another option but there not to economical to operate. I don't have a hot water source maybe some are self contained using propane. I would like to hear from someone who has experiance with the infra red type. Thankd RDB
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Old 10-01-2007, 01:02 PM
m1k3sthemannn m1k3sthemannn is offline
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Not sure on the economics, but those infrared heaters sure do work...see them in lots of places, they seem warmer the closer to them you are obviously, I wonder if they have enough "power" to warm the concrete that they are exposed to? That would make laying on the floor as comfortable as a heated slab!

Another option I've heard about is some sort of oil burning stove. Apparently you can burn motor oil in it, not sure if that is intended or not, but for those of us that have a fair number of cars (or know people that change their own oil) if they are intended to burn this type of oil, it would seem to be pretty economical. At least SOME of your heating oil would be "free".
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Old 10-01-2007, 04:33 PM
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I have a propane heater. Which works really good. The only thing is the way natural gas price jumps around I've thought of installing a second heater that is a corn burner. But as far as keeping the shed warm a good size propane heater will work. I have my garage insulated which helps. Usually I keep it at 50F and when I work on something I crank it up to 72F. Maybe takes 30 minutes to heat it up fully.
At work I have a infra red heater. The only thing I don't like about that heater is. It only heats one area and don't have a blower fan like my propane heater on the ceiling at home. So one part of my shop gets warm and the rest is cold unless you put a fan to blow the heat around. The company that installed it, ran the heater all the way down the middle of the shop. But if you want to stay warm in your part of the shop you need a fan to help. If you stand under a infra red heater it feels like it's going to melt the hair off the top of your head lol. But it just doesn't circulate well.
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Last edited by justen; 10-01-2007 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 10-01-2007, 05:23 PM
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Under floor heat. My friend has it in his garage and it's FANTASTIC.
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Old 10-01-2007, 07:49 PM
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I'm a contractor, I've done several shops here in North Dakota (extreme cold weather climate.) In floor electric heat either coils or hot water tubes with a boiler are excellent. Since mechanics spend most of their time on the floor that's where you want your heat. Electricity is fairly cheap compare to propane and fuel oil.
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Old 10-01-2007, 08:50 PM
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i would think the in-floor heating would be the best especially since heat rises.
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Old 10-01-2007, 11:52 PM
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If I was rich. My garage and house would have that geothermal heat pumps LOL. Heat and air conditioning in the garage, man that would be nice.
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Old 10-02-2007, 10:09 PM
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My garage is 36' wide by 50' deep. Insulated and finished with drywall. I have a 100K btu 80% efficent Resnor natural gas forced air furnace that hangs off the ceiling. It is mounted center of the 36' width at the back of the 50'depth. The fan blows air to the front with ease and the direction fins allows me to aim the air to the floor. Additionally I have a ceiling fan to force air to the floor and mix the air up.

It can heat the temp from 35 F to 75F in a few minutes (guess about 20 min). The problem is the cement floor is still cold. I can make it 90 F in there and if you crawl under a car your going to get cold. Even your feet get cold walking around. If I leave the heat on for several days it helps, but the floor is still cool.

I agree the infra red heaters feel like they are going to melt your head, when under them. Walk 3 feet to the left and freeze your but off.

I never had the pleasure of being around the slab heat systems, but they sure do sound like the berries to me. That is what I would put in, if I were building new. The only down side to the water system would be freeze issues, but I'm sure there are ways to resolve these.

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The fan is very noisy. You can talk over it, but it gets on my nerves.

Last edited by olddog; 10-02-2007 at 10:14 PM. Reason: PS
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Old 10-02-2007, 11:09 PM
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water is not usually used in the heated floor systems, a form of antifreeze is.
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:44 AM
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I've been in shops with infrared heat and what everyone is saying it's true. I also had a Rensor heater in my shop and the gas bill like to have bankrupt me. But I also had 30 foot ceilings (schoolbuses, cotton pickers) so that had a lot to do with it. From that first bill, the heater was set on 50.

Now I have a infrar heater for backup in my home just in case the central heat goes out. The first one was a five grid and it heated a 1500 square feet with no problem. But the heater was in the living room and like to have burnt us all up. It had low medium and high, 5 grid being the highest 3 being medium and 1 being low. Just heating 3 was too much and 1 was not enough so I traded for a 3 grid just to keep the living room and kitchen heated and it works pretty good. And they hardly use any gas at all.

So you would need probably 2 or 3, 5 grid heaters mounted about 2 foot off the floor to notice any difference. You can buy natural or butane gas burners. The only problem with that though if you have butane in one place and natural in another, you can't swap them like a stove. There are only set up for one-way and you have to keep them clean which you will have no problem during the wintertime. They're a little expensive but cheap to use.
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Last edited by Daniel Wood; 10-03-2007 at 03:50 AM.
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Old 10-03-2007, 06:28 PM
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If you go with infloor hot water heat, make sure that you have plenty of reinforcement in the concrete. #4 or #5 rebar crossed 2' OC. I also use fiberglass fibers in the concrete(6 bag mix) to insure it doesn't crack and damage the heat runs. I would also pour 6" deep especially where you work on your vehicles. You can also control where your heat goes with different zones. They also make a reflective insulation for under your slab to reflect the heat upward.
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Old 06-10-2008, 07:44 AM
mtcone mtcone is offline
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If you want to know the most efficient way to heat a garage, you should first use a Heat Load Calculator to find out how many BTUs it is going to take to heat your garage. Then, it is as simple as finding an affordable heater with those specs.
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