PDA

View Full Version : How many BTUs do I need to heat a garage?


Melensdad
10-06-2005, 04:28 PM
I'm looking for a bit of advice. I totally screwed up and did not run natural gas out to my new garage, so now am considering a "torpedo" heater to warm the garage up when I play in there in the winter. I just have no clue how big/small it needs to be. The garage is WELL insulated with a drywall interior. Interior wall height is roughly 10'. Dimensions are 24 by 32 for 768 square feet.

I was wondering if a 40,000 BTU torpedo style heater would warm the place up enough to allow me to work without having a heavy coat on???

Also, I currently have a torpedo heater that runs on propane at work, I'm thinking of getting a similar unit. They also sell torpedo heaters that run on Kero. Is there any advantage to the kerosene units? I already have a couple propane cylinders so I figure it is easiest to go with propane. Thoughts?

Melensdad
10-06-2005, 04:34 PM
I should probably add that I don't have any intention of working in the garage for long periods of time, probably an hour to 90 minutes at a time at the MAXIMUM. I just want to warm it up, get some stuff done, and then leave.

bczoom
10-06-2005, 04:35 PM
Bob,

I don't own a propane version but you don't want to run a diesel/kero version in your garage/shop.

When I first closed mine in (just a tad smaller than yours), I put my kero torpedo in and fired it up. Within 30 seconds the carbon monoxide detector was going off. I of course did the manly thing and removed the battery on the CO detector and continued to run the heater.

What I really like is a Reznor type heater. You see them in stores, shops, gas station garages... It's thermostatically controlled (and you can kill the power to shut it off completely), runs on LP or NG... Mine is a 70K btu and heats my (light to moderately insulated) shop nicely. It'll raise the temp about 1 to 1.5 degree/minute.

Brian

OhioTC18
10-06-2005, 04:44 PM
Bob,
I absolutely hate the kero torpedo heaters. The fumes are terrible, at least to me. I use a small torpedo LP unit in a 25X30 uninsulated garage. It also has no drywall or ceilings. It heats to a comfy temp quite soon after firing it up. I also have an 80,000 LP convection heater (no blower) but I like the torpedo unit better. Yes most of the heat ends up in the rafters, but the torpedo unit has the fan to direct the heat better.......ON ME :D

Melensdad
10-06-2005, 04:50 PM
Bob,
I use a small torpedo LP unit in a 25X30 uninsulated garage.


Any idea how many BTUs your unit puts out? I found a 40,000BTU unit that will work off a standard 20# tank. Most of the larger units needed 40# tanks and I already have 3 of th 20# tanks so I didn't really want to get another tank if I didn't need to.


Brian, the Reznor unit would be good . . . IF I HAD RUN A GAS LINE OUT TO THE GARAGE :(


BTW, I guess the kerosene unit can be crossed off my list based on both responses so far. I didn't really want another type of fuel anyway.

OhioTC18
10-06-2005, 05:02 PM
3 settings and fan speeds. Variable 30,000 to 50,000 BTU. It's a "Work Horse" brand.

Junkman
10-06-2005, 05:16 PM
I have a friend that installed a propane heater in his garage and it used a lot of fuel last winter. I suggest that you dig the trench and put in a gas line. You will not regret it in the long run. If you ever get a natural gas generator, you will like it even better. Natural gas is the way to go if you have it available.

BoneheadNW
10-06-2005, 05:24 PM
I of course did the manly thing and removed the battery on the CO detector and continued to run the heater.
Brian
Did you get a little sleepy after that? Actually, I think the headache comes first. Be careful, that CO can be nasty! :fart2:

Bone

Melensdad
10-06-2005, 05:27 PM
Junk, I already have a natural gas generator for the house! The problem with running a new trench is that we just relandscaped the yard area and considerable cost between the house and the new garage. I had a crew in there cutting rock, setting boulders, setting planters, etc. The lovely Mrs_Bob would have my hide if I had it dug back up to run a trench, and a good part of the 'hardscape' would be dug up to get the gas line in place.

Junkman
10-06-2005, 05:29 PM
Get a trencher and do it when she isn't home. Grass will grow back. I believe that they now install plastic line, so it will be easier.

Melensdad
10-06-2005, 05:44 PM
Sure the grass will grow back, but there are new plants, gravel, a flagstone path, and limestone border that have to be moved and replaced. And that is just in the first 15' of the trench. The trench would then cross another area of rock hardscape farther out. Then it would have a clear shot through the grass. I'm not gonna do it. And no way it could all be put back together in a weekend unless there was a whole crew of guys to do it.:(


But back to the original question. Do you guys think 40,000BTU unit will do the job?

OhioTC18
10-06-2005, 07:06 PM
Yes Bob,
I think a 40,000 will do the job. My garage and yours are about the same size, you have insulation and drywall. The 30-50,000 BTU works for me.
Mine is smaller than this one, but the same brand
http://www.mytscstore.com/detail.asp?pcID=2&paID=1014&sonID=494&productID=9313

Dargo
10-06-2005, 07:21 PM
Bob, I run 2 100,000 btu torpedo heaters and 2 150,000 natural gas units to heat my barn. Even in a closed area, as long as I run K1 (and not diesel), the fumes are not bad. However, it costs me a fortune to do so!! I'm going to go to some wood or coal heat.

As far as running your gas line, one of my good friends owns a company that specializes in doing what you need. They have a fleet of boring machines. He ran electric out to my dock and island in the middle of the lake. It is really cool and does not disturb anything. They can control exactly how deep they go and exactly where they come up. My yard has so much underground traffic now that I just had them drop the electric line down to 5' to make sure we didn't hit anything. Being my luck, they did hit something. A huge rock! Believe it or not, they just backed up about 10 feet underground and then drove around the rock and back on course. :cool:

No more trenching for me! This method is now in such demand by the state and county highway departments that he can't hardly keep up. I'm sure you've seen the new blacktop road that has some jack leg on a backhoe dig a trench across it to do some work. The cut is NEVER fixed right and the road is ruined! This new method eliminates most all of those cuts except when they need to tap on to a line that is under the road. Anymore, most water and sewer lines run next to the road rather than under them. Just ask my neighbor who used his auger to dig a hole for his mailbox. He hit a 12" water main!! :4_11_9: A regular old faithful!

Junkman
10-06-2005, 07:28 PM
Around here the contractors must repair the road if they dig it up. They make the patch one day and then the next day a large machine that has infrared heaters is put over the patch and it heats the old and new asphalt. Then they rake the edges and roll it all out. When they are finished, the patch is permanently fused to the old asphalt and if it were not for the color difference, you could not tell that the patch was there. The machine runs on propane and it is expensive to have it done, but better than a street full of patches.

johnday
10-06-2005, 07:59 PM
Bob; If you can, RonJHall has a fuel oil furnace and tank for free. I don't know the BTU output, but do know he used it to heat his garage/shop. He's still somewhat active on TBN, or I believe you have his email. If you don't , let me know and I'll give it to you. I'm sure he wouldn't mind a road trip, especially with me driving. :tiphat:

Melensdad
10-06-2005, 08:08 PM
John that sure sounds tempting. Why is it free?

Heck I could meet you guys 1/2 way! Maybe Niles, Michignan/South Bend, IN area.

Ron & Betty stopped by to see me a while back. I'd certainly be willing to pay him for the heater if he'd want. I have his email. I think I'll send him an email and ask about it. I have his email address on my other computer, it probably won't be until tomorrow, but I will be in contact. My biggest concern is it would be too big for my little space.

OhioTC18
10-06-2005, 08:08 PM
Hell, I have a fuel oil tank in my crawl space he can have 275-300 gals. Just figure out a way to get it out of there without cutting a larger hole to crawl in (currently 24X28"), without moving the house :) and without burning the house down by torching it:smileywac

johnday
10-06-2005, 08:29 PM
John that sure sounds tempting. Why is it free?

Heck I could meet you guys 1/2 way! Maybe Niles, Michignan/South Bend, IN area.

Ron & Betty stopped by to see me a while back. I'd certainly be willing to pay him for the heater if he'd want. I have his email. I think I'll send him an email and ask about it. I have his email address on my other computer, it probably won't be until tomorrow, but I will be in contact. My biggest concern is it would be too big for my little space.
He is running a gas line out to his garage. I'd take it, but I plan on using a gas unit I'll be getting for my barn upnorth. I don't think in a 24X32 shop, it would take up too much space. What the crap, give him a shout. It's only a couple hour drive anyway. :beer:

Junkman
10-06-2005, 10:29 PM
If nothing else, invite him to join the forums....

bczoom
10-07-2005, 09:39 AM
Brian, the Reznor unit would be good . . . IF I HAD RUN A GAS LINE OUT TO THE GARAGE

Bob,

Mine is LP hooked up to a tank. I don't have NG.

Yes, I would say you're 40K would be fine.

Dargo - You may want to check with your ins. co. before switching to wood or coal. Around here, they won't insure it if it has a wood or coal heating system.

Brian

tomnky
10-07-2005, 09:50 AM
Bob,
My garage is 24 x 46 with 14 foot ceilings and My evaluation called for a 200,000 BTU furnace , Maybe that will give You some idea .

johnday
10-07-2005, 03:18 PM
If nothing else, invite him to join the forums....
Hey Junk; Ron is a member, I invited him myself. :beer:

Cityboy
10-07-2005, 06:01 PM
Bob,



When I first closed mine in (just a tad smaller than yours), I put my kero torpedo in and fired it up. Within 30 seconds the carbon monoxide detector was going off. I of course did the manly thing and removed the battery on the CO detector and continued to run the heater.


Brian

You guys are scaring the crap outta me talking about running unvented gas fired heaters in an enclosed space. :eek:

Never! never! never! unplug a CO detector!!!!!!!!!

It only takes seconds to be overcome by carbon monoxide and become a participant in your own funeral. Imagine how your wife or kids would feel to walk into the garage or shop to find dad/husband dead on the floor. You may have run these heaters hundreds of times, but it only takes one time and..... lights out. You won't even realize what happened, but your loved ones will.

What is your life worth? Spend the bucks and get it done right.

bczoom
10-07-2005, 07:11 PM
You guys are scaring the crap outta me talking about running unvented gas fired heaters in an enclosed space.

Never! never! never! unplug a CO detector!!!!!!!!!

Spend the bucks and get it done right.

CB,

When I was using the torpedo, I didn't really have walls. There was lots of air but I get your point.

I did put in a Reznor that is vented to outside.

Brian

dzalphakilo
10-07-2005, 08:38 PM
Check out Rinnai Vent-free convection room heaters.

Can run it on LP, has a blower, electronic ignition, cool to touch feature and some other "goodies".

Had one guy use a couple for a green house and loved them (you really can't hear it running, but you can really feel the heat coming out with the blower on).

Can go up to 24k BTU per one.

They are nice, easy to look at, and heat pretty darn good.

JimR
10-11-2005, 07:31 AM
Bob,

My insulated 2 story garage is 26x30. I heat it all winter with the small Monitor kerosene heater. This is vented through the wall. It also uses outside air for combustion. The heater puts out 20,000 btu's max. It is programable to run whenever you like. You can also set it to run constantly. It is thermostaically controlled and has a fan. I use about 3 gallons a day, 24 hours, in the coldest part of the winter to keep my garage warm at 60 degrees. Theree are no fumes. I bought this in 1993. I have had to take it apart twice so far to clean it and replace the pad in the bottom of the combustion chamber.

Dargo
10-11-2005, 07:54 AM
Dargo - You may want to check with your ins. co. before switching to wood or coal. Around here, they won't insure it if it has a wood or coal heating system.

Brian

Damn! Have you noticed the prices of the wood or coal fired units this year?! With NG going up over 70% (just like last winter), wood is looking more and more attractive. I have a Squire insert I just took out of my fireplace that I replaced with a high efficiency insert. I was planning on selling the Squire, but now I'm wondering if I shouldn't look into making it a free standing stove in my barn?! Anyone know if that would work? Heck, I bet it weighs around 500 pounds!

Or, would I be better to sell the Squire (it is a nice looking insert with a thermostadt blower) and buy something made for the barn?

bczoom
10-11-2005, 08:26 AM
Dargo,

Other than the ins. issue already mentioned and the note below, I don't see any problems with turning an insert into a free-standing unit.
Here (http://www.rezspec.com/catalog-1__Unit_Heater.html) is a list of the types of heaters I would consider. There's oil, NG or LP. I'm running a model "F".

Not sure what all you do in your shop but in any selection of a heater, consider your atmospheric environment for flammable vapors or compustible dust.

Brian

Junkman
10-11-2005, 09:26 AM
If you apply for the building permit to install the wood burning stove, and it is inspected and approved, then you are off the hook with the insurance company. I had a permit issued for my pellet stove and the most the insurance company can do is issue a surcharge for a wood stove rider to the policy. Now that I am retired and home during the day, there is no problem at all. The only thing that the insurance companies didn't like is the house unattended all day with a wood burning appliance functioning while I was gone.