Garage heater.. propane or kerosene

slag

Lifer
Dec 14, 2000
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81
101
Need to heat my garage.. its a decent sized 2 car garage, raised ceiling and all.... It is NOT insulated worth crud.
I only need heat when I am working out there and can wait 30 mins or so for it to warm up. I went looking at the local ACE HARDWARE store this weekend and found a kerosene heater, 10,900 btu, $129.99. Burns 14-16 hours, warms a 20x20 room. Kerosene there is about $25.00/5 gallon bucket, but I can find it cheaper elsewhere. The kerosene heater looks like a small electric furnance. Looks similar to this one:
KEROSENE

They also have propane radiant heaters that fit on top of your propane bottle.. Not quite sure how long they last though, they were out of stock at the ACE closest to me. They would probably heat the room FASTER, but I need to check on how long they last and how safe they are.

So, what would you guys get, or recommend besides these heaters for an attached garage. I just need the heat to take the bite off the air, not make it a sauna, and allow me to work on my vehicles in relative safety.

 

iamwiz82

Lifer
Jan 10, 2001
30,756
4
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a buddy of mine got an open box 20,000 BTU propane heater from home depot for $75 and this thing kept a 2 car garage warmer than the house. It used roughly 1/8 tank of propane in the 4-5 hours i was there.
 

TonyG

Platinum Member
Feb 12, 2000
2,021
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81
Well as far as the propane heaters go, I would stay away from the ones that are sold for camping purposes, but they are made only heater smaller areas anyway. I say this, because a couple of them have blown up tents at a local scout camp, I was there when one blew up and have heard of another incedent. Luckily no one was hurt, and I do not know why/how they blew up, may have just been defective or something.
 

bunker

Lifer
Apr 23, 2001
10,578
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I use a single burner propane heater that screws onto the top of your tank. It won't warm the garage up all that well but does last a long time. If you can get the two burner model I'm sure it would work much better.

The one I have will keep the area near the heater fairly warm, but the rest of the garage doesn't get all that toasty.
 

slag

Lifer
Dec 14, 2000
10,473
81
101
Looks like propane is the clear favorite. I thought it would suck more gas than that. I am going to check out lowes and home depot and see what I can find. I'd like to get at least 6-10 hours out of a bottle before needing another, but if I cant, I cant..
 

slag

Lifer
Dec 14, 2000
10,473
81
101
I have also been thinking about a waste oil heater also. Has anyone here used one of these before? They seem pretty simple to make and would work out great. I have no great shortage of waste oil.
 

Ronstang

Lifer
Jul 8, 2000
12,427
10
81
The ones I recommend now are the oil filled radiator type of space heaters found at WalMart et al. They have no open flame and are quite efficient. They have timers on them that you can set so they come on and go off when you choose. We set them to come on several hours before we will be out there. They get the garage quite toasty in an acceptable amount of time. They may not be as good as the propane/kerosene ones in a garage that is not insulated well but you really need to consider the variable cost of the fuel.....those heaters will cost you at least $10 a day to run.
 

Armitage

Banned
Feb 23, 2001
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I don't like those radiant propane heaters that sit on top of the bottle ... seem to easy to get knocked over, and, on at least one model I saw @ HD, the clamp mechanism was sh|t.

11,000 BTU/hr is not that much for an uninsulated two car garage. It might never warm up depending on the outside weather, size & construction of the garage, etc.. Is the garage attached or detached (ie. are any of the walls common with a heated area).

I recently got an 80 KBTU propane convection heater and it works great. propane is probably more expensive per BTU, but you can get it almost anywhere. I found that its much cheaper to get it at a local place that refills your bottle rather then exchanges tanks. About $11 for a refill vs. $15 to $20+ for the tank exchanges. That will last about 4 hours on high, but it will ussually warm up the 2000 ft^2 addition I'm building in about 30 to 40 minutes, unless it's really frigid out. A 20# tank will ussually last me a fairly cold 2 or 3 day weekend in conjunction with my kerosene heater. Overkill for a 2 car garage, i'm sure, but you'd only have to crack the valve for a few minutes at a time.

I also have a small kerosene heater similar to the link you show. It works fine ... no odor that I notice as long as you don't let it burn out. Smells pretty bad when it runs out of fuel. But it doesn't put out a huge amount of heat. I use it to help maintain the temp once the propane heater gets it warmed up.

Some other things to consider:
- The forced air heaters (long horizontal cylinders) are nice in either propane or kero, but you can't use em for supplemental heat if you lose power, or someplace that you don't have power.

- Refilling kerosene can be messy/smelly and should be done outside. Propane is very easy/clean/safe to change tanks.

- Burning propane produces alot of water vapor which can be a problem if you're trying to finish drywall, paint, etc.

- Get a carbon-monoxide detector if your space is even reasonably tight. I got a little dizzy a few weeks ago using my propane heater on a very cold day. There is now a CO detector, and more ventilation in my space. I've triggered it once since then.

- If your rafters are open, you can cut down on the heat required in a huge way by simply stapling plastic sheeting up against the bottom of the trusses.

- And finally, any sort of open flame is bad news working around gasoline & paint vapors. If you're working on cars, you should probably follow the guidance for water heaters in garages and put it on a pedastal (18 inches). Gas vapors are heavier then air.
 

ScrapSilicon

Lifer
Apr 14, 2001
13,625
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Originally posted by: slag
I have also been thinking about a waste oil heater also. Has anyone here used one of these before? They seem pretty simple to make and would work out great. I have no great shortage of waste oil.
no unless it is outside heating water to be piped in for a radiator-type heater or such
 

slag

Lifer
Dec 14, 2000
10,473
81
101
Thanks ERGeorge. you really wrote a nice book there :)

Seriously, thanks for the information. My garage shares a common wall with the house. The ceiling is raised, but there is a ceiling there. The garage may be somewhat insulated, but it gets super cold out there, so cold that once I went out and there was some frozen ice on the ground near the garage door from the night before. Soda doesnt freeze out there though and we have had some -10 degree nights. I do notice that the garage doors dont seal very well--I can see daylight between them and the wall, so I need to make some adjustments there to make them seal better. I have a carbon monoxide detector in the garage already as well. I will be doing work on cars, messing with gas in small amounts, and all, which is obviously a large concern of mine working around an open flame, but, I can take most of that stuff outside.

Ron, the oil filled ones I have seen that look like a small radiator are what, 3 ft tall by 2-3 feet wide? And they are not forced air, are they? From the ones I have seen, they dont look like they would really heat much of anything at all. Maybe I am just looking at the wrong ones though?

I like the look and power of those Bazooka Tube heaters, but I am not sure how well they work and they probably cost more than I want to spend.
 

Armitage

Banned
Feb 23, 2001
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Originally posted by: slag

I like the look and power of those Bazooka Tube heaters, but I am not sure how well they work and they probably cost more than I want to spend.
They work very well, but again, your SOL if you want to use it as supplemental heat next time a blizzard knocks out the power.

 

Evadman

Administrator Emeritus<br>Elite Member
Feb 18, 2001
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bazooka tubes are usually well intot the 100k BTU range. Basicly, they atomize the fuel and burn it jet engine style with a sustaned flame front. they can be either propane or kero. Both need a 120v plug to operate. (There is a fan on the inside to push the air and a few igniters.)

They have a steel plate or mesh screen that is made to stop the flame from traveling outside the tube, but it can still happen. bazooka's are not a heater style you will leave unobserved.

a 100k version with a thermostat will run ya about $150-$200. I have seen models up to 300k btu from home depot for $3-400. They will turn off and on baised on a set thermostat. the larger ones are all kero. They usually hold 5-10 gal of kero, with 7 gal being average.
 

Armitage

Banned
Feb 23, 2001
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As for sizing: BTU/hour loss = (1 + R) * dT * area, dT in farenheit, area in ft^2

An insulated 2x4 wall is about R11, a well insulated ceiling is about R30
An uninsulated garage door I'd swag at R2 for wood, less if metal.

This stuff might be helpful.

Whatever number you come up with, bump it by 1.5 to 2x at least to be able to warm things up quickly.
 

Evadman

Administrator Emeritus<br>Elite Member
Feb 18, 2001
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Actually, an insulated 2x4 wall would have an R vale of about R15-17. The insulation in the space of the wall will be R11 or R13. then the plywood or foam will be in the R3-4 range plus the drywall if there is any, and the siding. ;) Also, it is very unlikely the cieling is R30 unless it is a newly built house with living space over the garage. if there is no living space up there, count on an R factor of 2-3. if it is living space, probably an R20. Remember that these vary from town to town and area to area.

If I may ask, where did you get your #'s? And from what area of the US?

<edit>
oh, and Ace = super expensive.
 

Armitage

Banned
Feb 23, 2001
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Originally posted by: Evadman
Actually, an insulated 2x4 wall would have an R vale of about R15-17. The insulation in the space of the wall will be R11 or R13. then the plywood or foam will be in the R3-4 range plus the drywall if there is any, and the siding. ;) Also, it is very unlikely the cieling is R30 unless it is a newly built house with living space over the garage. if there is no living space up there, count on an R factor of 2-3. if it is living space, probably an R20. Remember that these vary from town to town and area to area.

If I may ask, where did you get your #'s? And from what area of the US?

<edit>
oh, and Ace = super expensive.
Area is Colorado Springs. R11, was to low, my bad. The heat calc you have to do for permit uses R13 for an insulated 2x4 wall, and code calls for R30 in the ceiling above habitable spaces. At least one tract-house I saw recently, they just continued the insulation out over the garage. Most probably don't ... go figure ... cut a few hundered dollars in corners on a $200K house.

See my link above for a nice heat-calc spreadsheat.
 

thedarkwolf

Diamond Member
Oct 13, 1999
8,981
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I have one of those kerosene heaters in my 1 1/2 detached, concrete block, no insulation, car garage and its just okay. Aslong as its 45+ out it will keep you somewhat warm but rightnow its in the 20s and about all it can do is keep a 5ft area decent. One nice thing about it is you can run it for 12-15 hours or so on $1.50 worth of gas. I have been looking for another used one so I can have one at each end of the garage and maybe slapping up some insulation in the rafters over the summer.
 

Evadman

Administrator Emeritus<br>Elite Member
Feb 18, 2001
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You could always go to an RV place and get a Diesel heater. dIesel = cheap and has more energy per gallon than both kero and propane (almost 2x as much as propane)

Most builders are too cheap around here to ptu insulation above the garage, even though it is super cheap when the house is being built. I wish my garage was insulated.
 

Armitage

Banned
Feb 23, 2001
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Originally posted by: BooneRebel
What about a woodstove?
That would be a very expensive option till you add up the stove, adding a chimney, etc. And probably not cost effective in the long run if he has to buy firewood. Takes up alot of space also, even in the summer when you don't need it.
 

BooneRebel

Platinum Member
Mar 22, 2001
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Originally posted by: Evadman
You could always go to an RV place and get a Diesel heater. dIesel = cheap and has more energy per gallon than both kero and propane (almost 2x as much as propane)

Most builders are too cheap around here to ptu insulation above the garage, even though it is super cheap when the house is being built. I wish my garage was insulated.
You're talking about an oil stove. I'd suggest getting one with an external tank and paying the 50 cents or whatever it costs a gallon to have it filled with home fuel. If you buy diesel from a station you'll be paying for it with the road tax added on, which is running $1.40 or so total per gallon right now.
 

BooneRebel

Platinum Member
Mar 22, 2001
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Originally posted by: ergeorge
Originally posted by: BooneRebel
What about a woodstove?
That would be an expensive option till you add up the stove, adding a chimney, etc. And probably not cost effective in the long run if he has to buy firewood.
Figure $100 for a stove, $50-100 for the stovepipe, and fuel for free if you have any trees around you. I wouldn't consider using a woodstove if you have to buy wood, though.

 

Zenmervolt

Elite member
Oct 22, 2000
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Originally posted by: BooneRebel
What about a woodstove?
If you've got the space for one (and can run the chimbney) then I'd say that it's the way to go. Then again, I'm in the country and wood is practically free, just find someone who's taking down a tree and help them. I've got some friends who heat their house with a wood stove, but they built the house themselves and it's got the thickest insulation I've ever seen. My neighbor heats his workshop with a wood stove and it stays comfortable in there, if you can find one of those heat-exchanger type things that circulates air around the interior chimbney of the stove, then they will really keep an area warm.

ZV
 

Armitage

Banned
Feb 23, 2001
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Originally posted by: BooneRebel
Originally posted by: ergeorge
Originally posted by: BooneRebel
What about a woodstove?
That would be an expensive option till you add up the stove, adding a chimney, etc. And probably not cost effective in the long run if he has to buy firewood.
Figure $100 for a stove, $50-100 for the stovepipe, and fuel for free if you have any trees around you. I wouldn't consider using a woodstove if you have to buy wood, though.
Because it's in an area attached to the house, you'd have to use the insulated double or triple wall pipe in most areas. My chimney, which goes through the second floor & attic, came to nearly $1000 when you add up all the pass-throughs, shields, caps, doo-dads, etc. And I did all the work myself.

$100 = used stove, right?

I have a woodburner in my detached garage. Old huge army stove & single wall pipe through a metal roof. The previous owner pProbably spent $150 total, but I wouldn't put it in an attached garage. It makes me nervous enough were it is.

 

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