How many BTU's Do I Need To Heat My Garage? - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old Dec 7th, 03, 7:48 PM Thread Starter
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I'm looking to purchase a propane heater for my garage so I can work on the Velle over the winter.
The garage is approx 16' x 20', and is drywalled from floor to ceiling.
I just wanted something that I could turn on after work... grab some dinner and go out there an hour or so later and be comfortable. How many BTU's should I be looking for and do I need something with a fan or will radiant heat be sufficient?

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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old Dec 7th, 03, 8:10 PM
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you need one of the 40K btu torpedo REDDY heaters. it will heat it up quick in about 20 minutes. At Home Depot they are around 150.00. and it is portable. the radiant heater is quite but it will not heat that large of an area. also Northern Tools sells a wall mount propane radiant that you can add a blower too. it works very well with the blower. above all be very careful to have ventilation and no open flammables. be safe!!!!!!!

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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old Dec 7th, 03, 9:07 PM
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YEA thats what ya need [img]graemlins/waving.gif[/img]
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old Dec 7th, 03, 9:56 PM
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Wal, there's another alternative...if you have central heating in your house. Simply plumb a duct into the garage using a louvered vent with a cutoff lever. You can heat the garage if you want. If not simply close the vent.

I've done that on our two houses, so I'm warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It only costs about $30. for the materials and 2-3 hours time. Being in Canada, I suspect your heating system has more than enough reserve to heat a garage for a few hours. Of course, if you don't have central heat, the advice of the other guys might apply.
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old Dec 7th, 03, 9:56 PM
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Try this site:
Is your garage attached to the house ? Insulated ? if so, you might want to look at an electric heater. The one I have is 5000 watts and will get the garage from 32 deg up to about 65 in 15 minutes. My 22 x 22 attached garage is insulated in the walls, but not the cieling. I have a very nice insulated metal door. With the electric heat there is no smell etc. I use it a few times a week during the winter and really have not noticed any difference in the electric bill. I will see if I can post a picture later.
Only problem is the heater is 220 volts. My electric box is in the garage so it was no problem to mount an outlet and run a circuit to it. I have it mounted pretty close to the breaker box.
This one has very similar specs to mine:

This one is from the same company as mine, but I dont know if it comes with the wall mount bracket:
Hope this helps,

Bill Koustenis
Advanced Automotive Machine
Waldorf Md

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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old Dec 7th, 03, 10:24 PM
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I don't know if you have lp/ng avaliable in your garage. If you do try going with a forced air sealed unit. Vented to the outside, it keeps all the fumes and smell outside. About 60-80,000btu will heat your shop comfortably. I know that grainger sells complete units with ducting and all. Personnally I can't be in a room with a "jet heater" due to headaches. Local hvac guy could plumb it for you, and mounting is pretty basic. If I remember right mine cost me about 300.00 total. But my neighbor hooked up the gas run for me. Just paid for parts and beer, after he hooked up the gas. [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] It's really nice not to lose the floor space.

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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old Dec 7th, 03, 11:55 PM
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a 35 gallon hot water heater, circulation pump, automotive radiator with fan and thermostat to control pump and fan is all you need.
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 03, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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I really appreciate all your inputs.
It looks like there isn't an easy soulution here.
Just to provide some additional info:

The garage is part of the house.
It's built into the house with a bedroom above it so the walls and ceiling are insulted and drywalled.

I'd love to run a forced air duct from the house but it would be too much work to do so. The electrical heater that Bill suggested would be great but I don't have 220 in the garage and the electrical panel is in the basement... So, propane it is!
My major concern is the venting.
Just how bad are the fumes? A
Any suggestions on venting???
Is it possible through the side door somehow? Without cutting it!

What do you think of these units:

Or will this do....

BTW, Bill, thanks for the link to the calculator.... great info! [img]graemlins/beers.gif[/img]
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 03, 12:03 PM
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go to lowes or home depot and get a zero clerance outside vent unit. all you have to do is cut 8" hole thru the wall. it comes with triple insulated pipe and a sleeve to stick thru the vall. does not require and smoke stack. it has a cap that fits on the outside. i also bought the fan kit. it comes on with a thermostat. its quiet and efficient. i do just what you said. i turn in on 15 minutes before i start work. once the chill is off it cycles on and off.
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 03, 8:35 PM
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as the fellow stated above the zero clearance from home depot is the way to go. i use all of the above options. we own a custom cabinet shop, we heat with central heat propane furnace. on cold mornings we heat the shop to 75 degrees using the kerosene blower heater and then kick on the furnace. in the paint room after we spray we leave on the central furnace but kick it up a notch with a convection kerosene heater to drop the humidity and raise temp to 85 degress. my paint room is 25x25 with a vaulted ceiling to 12 feet. we use a wall mounted zero clearance in the saw room to supplement the central unit because of the doors being opened and closed. we use a propane forced are in new houses when we do and install where there is no heat, the propane forced air has very little or no fumes just noise.
Sorry for the long reply, but if you are like me you need the most bang for the buck. Decoded more car money!!!

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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 03, 9:34 PM
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Originally posted by framer:

I don't have 220 in the garage and the electrical panel is in the basement... So, propane it is!

So Chuck, I assume you don't have natural gas then.

Really, it's not that hard to run a 220 volt circuit from the basement, (probably a lot easier than running a flue pipe) and with an electric heater such as Bill's you have no vent to deal with, no fumes to worry about and no dangerious gas either. Might cost a little more to operate than LP but you wouldn't have to worry about running a gas line or a flue.

If it were me, I wouldn't want to use any gas fired heater in a garage with a bedroom above that doesn't have a flue, vented to the outside - 12" above the roof.
since any "open flame" in a garage must be at least 18" above the floor, the "sealed combustion" units direct vented through the wall would be ok if they just weren't LP gas.
In my opinion LP gas is just too dangerious because if there is ever a leak, it lays in puddles on the floor since it's heaver than air.

I don't know how cold it gets there or how warm you want the garage to be but you can probably get by fine with around 20,000 btu/hr unless you want the garage to warm up quickly.

Or how about a small heat pump, then you would have A/C in the summer (except I don't think anyone makes one that small)

Confused yet?
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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 03, 9:42 PM
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Aw quit your bellyaching Framer, just drink more beer like the rest of us "unheated garage Northerners" do. And wear thin gloves and long underwear.
[img]tongue.gif[/img] [img]smile.gif[/img]

Ya, and someday I'll get a real garage too!
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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old Dec 9th, 03, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Dean, I hear ya... I'm not so crazy about LP either but it was the easiest solution. I just wanted to do something easy... but after all the great inputs (Thanks Guys) it seems like that isn't going to happen either. I may just get a couple of 1500 watt ceramic heaters to take the chill off things and just suck it up like Gene says, and ware an extra layer of clothing.
Maybe next year I'll look at running a duct into the garage from the house... and solve all my problems... well almost all of them anyways [img]graemlins/clonk.gif[/img]

Thanks Again,
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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old Dec 9th, 03, 1:00 PM
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I have the same setup basically that you describe and was looking for the same solution,
I talked to a lot of people and finally decided to do this
a 20 lb new tank of propane and around radiant heater that bolts onto the top. (home depot)The heat is projected out by the pressure of the tank. I actually have to pull the wifes car out of the garage to get the tank into the corner before I fire it up. It makes it comfortable enough to work in a long sleeve shirt. I run it about 10 min then turn off for about an hour
works for me
hope this helps

1969 ragtop
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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old Dec 9th, 03, 2:21 PM
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I had raised ranch w/attached 2 car garage with bedrooms over the garage also. I used a cylindrical radiant kerosene heater around 20,000 btu's. You can pick one up at Sears for about $ 150. Clean, quiet, and plenty of heat. Run it about 20 minutes and the garage was comfortable. Even the concrete floor began to warm up for about 6 feet around it.
Just a little cool near the corners of the garage door where it was drafty. So if I wanted to work on the back end I just moved the heater back closer to the garage door and it warmed up pretty quick. One fill of kerosene ran for about 8 hours...
In a power-out emergency it will work in your house to heat a room. People in Japan use these in their homes. They burn slowly, and very efficiently and dont consume all the oxygen in the room.. They usually have electric start, and tip-over shutoffs. No fumes, no pipes, no wiring. Just have to get a 5-gallon kerosene can and a hand siphon-pump, and keep them in the corner of the garage away from the heater. Only fill it when it's cold. Worked for me for many years in Chicago winters.... Good luck.

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