Suggestion for a propane heater?

Jeff Horton

Member
Messages
4,272
Location
The Heart of Dixie
These stir up rather interesting debates on other forums. Here is the deal. Daylight basement shop. Mine is built in a hill so I guessing 65 to 75% of my shop is below grade. No leaks and no humidity problem. Large insulated garage door. My space is roughly 30 x 40.

I have two propane lines in the shop on opposite sides. My need for heat is not great, but after a few cold nights it gets to cold to work comfortably in there. I was given a gas furnace that is way overkill. I have to test it to see if it OK and safe. If it works and not leaking carbon monoxide then I am in good shape.

Assuming it isn't I am looking around for a propane fueled heater. I want something around $200 in price. I don't mind radiant heat just concerned about the size of the shop. Anyone have any suggestions or thought? Hopefully this furnace will check out OK. If so I will have to have some short duct work built and ad a thermostat. If not I am going to need something soon.

Jeff
Dreading when the cold finally hits the sunny south.
 

Frank Fusco

Member
Messages
12,253
Location
Mountain Home, Arkansas
Check out Northern Tool. That have a good variety of unvented heaters at great prices. I just put one in our family room as back-up heat for the house. We are otherwise dependant on electricity. I did a lot of price shopping and they were the best value going away.
 
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Steve Clardy

Guest
Just be aware that LPG puts out a lot of moisture.
Cover those machine surfaces up when not in use.
 
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2,369
Jeff it sounds like you are in the same fix I am in this weekend. I installed an older propane heater in my shop that used to reside in my house. After having to wait 3 weeks for my fuel company to deliver a 100 gallon tank, we fired up the heater. It worked perfect...while the service man was here. An hour later it died....

I spent all day Friday figuring out that to fix it would be a big job, and I would have to wait another week for parts. So to make a long story short, I went shopping.

There were two extremes. Unvented heaters that were in the 150 dollar range, and the vented kind that were 850 dollar range. While I really wanted the vented kind, I just could not swing it. In the end I ended up with a unvented heater.

With such a small shop, it will heat quickly, and being well insulated it will stay warm for a long time. Still I won't be able to generate much sawdust with it running, and will have to crack a window as well. The worst thing is, I won't be able to run the heater all the time like I had hoped. This will save me money in propane, but means I have to build a storage locker for my finishes and glue, heated by a lightbulb to keep them from freezing up.

I am not sure if any of this helps you, but hopefully your old heater will be in working order, unlike mine.
 

John Hart

Member
Messages
51
Location
US
Hi Jeff,

I suggest one of these things.
heater.jpg

It runs on kerosine...heats 1000 sq feet for 12 hours on a little less than 2 gallons. Has no odor, designed for indoors. 23,000 Btu. Might be just the ticket for those occasional cold snaps...or until you get your furnace rockin'.

$120.
 

Frank Fusco

Member
Messages
12,253
Location
Mountain Home, Arkansas
Hi Jeff,

I suggest one of these things.
View attachment 1177

It runs on kerosine...heats 1000 sq feet for 12 hours on a little less than 2 gallons. Has no odor, designed for indoors. 23,000 Btu. Might be just the ticket for those occasional cold snaps...or until you get your furnace rockin'.

$120.
I have one and it does put out a lot of heat. For safety, worth mentioning to ONLY use the water clear K1 kero.
 

Greg Cook

Member
Messages
2,882
Location
Tokiwadai, Japan
I've been using portable kerosene heaters for years and all the kerosene I have bought has been red. I usually get it at the local rental shop that sells it. Last price was $4.85/gal:eek: :doh:

I keep a window cracked open and open the door of the garage/shop every couple of hours to just "air out" the place.

 
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Doug Jones

Member
Messages
224
Location
Indiana
Hi Jeff,

I suggest one of these things.
View attachment 1177

It runs on kerosine...heats 1000 sq feet for 12 hours on a little less than 2 gallons. Has no odor, designed for indoors. 23,000 Btu. Might be just the ticket for those occasional cold snaps...or until you get your furnace rockin'.

$120.
Have ya seen the price of kerosene lately,,,, man its up there. Not sure how it compares to LP or others, but at $3.45/gl. I'd be looking at other options.
 

Jeff Horton

Member
Messages
4,272
Location
The Heart of Dixie
I am trying to avoid Kerosene if I can. I have used them in the past and I just really don't want to again. Call me lazy but I want something I can turn on and not have to mess with. (Adding fuel, buying fuel). Thats why I had them install two Propane drops in the Lab when we built the house.

Travis, I assume you are talking about the radiant wall mount propane heaters? If this furnace doesn't pan out that is probably what I will end up with. Regardless what I use I will add one or two CO2 monitors around the shop just in case.

Hopefully the furnace will work. It is way oversized for the heating needs of my Lab but thats a good thing. That means it will heat it up fast when I need it. Then I can just shut it off when I leave. My Lab never gets down to freezing but it sure can get cold.

I just weatherstripped the door and adjusted the garage door latch so they seal up better.
 
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Steve Ash

Member
Messages
2,437
Location
Michigan
Glad you asked and I'll be watching this thread.

I'm looking for a source to heat my shop as well. I used kerosene, didn't like the smell, used the Kerosene fired reddy Heaters for a while then I switched to a dual burner propane heater mounted to a portable tank, like Steve says, there is a moisture problem to watch out for. So this year I found a good free woodstove and thought I'd mount that in the shop and burn all my mistakes...err I mean scraps. I went with my wife last night all set to buy what I needed when I ran into a old friend that was looking into propane heat for his garage. He said his insurance agent wouldn't cover him if he had a inside the garage wood burner, so I'm now back to looking into propane.

When I built my shop I was lucky enough to get a free furnace which I had converted from Natural gas to propane...just too cheap to hook it up and pay the $$ for propane. I'm calling my agent tomorrow and if I can't use my woodstove in the shop I guess I will just have to buy the propane route, and turn on the fans to get rid of the moisture in the air.
 

Chris Barton

Member
Messages
294
Location
Brentwood, TN
Hi Jeff,

I have essentially the same sort of basement shop arrangement and use one of the "bolt-on" heaters that looks like a jet engine. It does OK to take to chill off but, is far too small to really heat my basement. I have been considering a ventless fireplace since nat gas is available in my basement.
 

Matt Meiser

Member
Messages
470
Location
Monroe, MI
Depends on whether or not you want to install a vent, but two options I can think of are a wall mounted propane heater which you can get at Lowes, HD, Tractor Supply, etc. Those are vent-free and would be good to turn on when you need it. I'd install something like that relatively close to your working area. One of my co-workers heats his barn with one and is happy with it. The drawback is the moisture issue others spoke of, but in a house in the winter I think that might be a bonus if you are only running it relatively occasionally. A ceiling fan might also help stir up the air and keep it down from the ceiling. I almost bought one of these when Lowes cleared them out this spring to install in our basement.

If you want to install a vent, there are various options available for wall mounted furnaces.
 
Messages
2,369
I ran my wall mounted propane radiant heater today and was pretty happy with it. Maybe someday I will pay the cash for a Rannai Heater. I have one in my home and just love it to death. Rght now I just cannot justify it though for a shop heater.

As for the people looking into woodstoves, I thought about this route as well. I have plenty of firewood and even a nice woodstove that I am not using, but two things prevented me. One was my Home Owners Insurance...they just won't insure out-buildings that use wood heat. That slowed me down, but the real reason why a woodstove is not in my shop, is space.

In order to install a woodstove properly, you really need room behind, in front of, beside, etc...There are ways to cheat the system, but when my father tried that, his house burned down. As I said, to install a wood stove safely, you need space, and I just could not afford any loss of space in my shop.

Just a couple of things to think about on shop heat.
 
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Steve Clardy

Guest
I heat my 3500 sq ft shop with wood. Have a huge stove I made.
I have a gas flame LPG stove in my office to keep me warm in there. My main water pipes come into the office wall, so I have to have heat in here.
Shop bathroom has a 24" 220 wall heater. Keeps me toasty warm when I'm camping out in there.:D

We also heat our house with wood. Woodstove in the living room. Also have a backup radiant LPG wall unit [ventless] in the kitchen, for fast warmups of a morning, and also to keep the water lines from freezing if we have to leave for a day or two [no one here to stoke the stove]
 
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