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Anyone out there familiar with BTU calcs for heating. I have run a couple of BTU calculators I found on the internet to figure what I am going to need to heat garage and they have come back anywhere from 8000btu's to 22000btu's. I have 24x24 garage with a ten foot ceiling, insulated door, r19 in ceiling and r13 in walls. Anyone with some real world experience in a cold climate (New England) that can tell me what they are heating with and how it's working out. I am looking at ventless propane units and also indoor kerosene heaters.
 

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I hate to state the obvious, but just be careful with open flame heaters. I know a guy that was cleaning a gas tank and the fumes "crawled" across the floor to his gas water heater. You can guess the rest.
 

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I am heating an 18'x30' area with 12' ceilings in Michigan. R19 in the walls and ceiling. I estimated 50-60 kBTU. I went with a 75 kBTU radiant tube gas heater. The oversize was to account for heat loss and rapid recovery when the overhead door is opened.

It sucks combustion air from outside and exhausts outside. I didn't want tools rusting from an internal exhaust and to be able to use paints and solvents without open flame around.
 

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Eric, I have a 220V electric heater sitting in a box in Whitinsville! As a matter of fact, I bought it from some meathead in Uxbridge. It plugs into a dryer plug. You could try it out, it looks brand new, Bob P. has seen it. I might need some more parts from that Orange beast you bought (I've got the motor now) or other 5.0 parts. Let me know.

I went with a heater off my furnace, but that cost me almost $1,200!
 

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Robert thanks - you must be able to work in your shorts with that setup. I will have to keeo a dehumidifier going if I go ventless.

Steve - do you know how many watts your electric heater is? I don't have 220 out to garage but if it's adequate I may consider it.
 

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Eric:

I had a 4 car garage in Minnesota that did not have only had 1/2 of the ceiling insulated. Rule one, insulate well and you have done that. Had a 40,000 btu heater (gas with outside vent) and it ran constantly. Became anoying. Insulation installed fully in the ceiling would have obvioulsy helped that.

I now have close to a 5 car garage and have R19 in the walls and ceiling here in Green Bay, WI. Now have a 75,000 btu heater. Hardly even runs and it much more quiet. I would contact three local heating companies and have them come out and give you quotes. I was going to do it myself but had to pay about an extra $400 to have a pro do it. Not a real hard just, but that is what these guys do for a living. Professional finish, no worries about leaks and correct model selected. That is why I went with having somebody else do it. If nothing else these guys can tell you what size you will need.

My final suggestion is do not go cheap and definately do not go with an open flame portable unit. I used to use a propane torpedo heater. Stunk like all *&$% and scared the heck out of me. If you purchase a good heater you will be glad in the end I can promise you that.
 

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Eric:

I had a 4 car garage in Minnesota that did not have only had 1/2 of the ceiling insulated. Rule one, insulate well and you have done that. Had a 40,000 btu heater (gas with outside vent) and it ran constantly. Became anoying. Insulation installed fully in the ceiling would have obvioulsy helped that.

I now have close to a 5 car garage and have R19 in the walls and ceiling here in Green Bay, WI. Now have a 75,000 btu heater. Hardly even runs and it much more quiet. I would contact three local heating companies and have them come out and give you quotes. I was going to do it myself but had to pay about an extra $400 to have a pro do it. Not a real hard job, just that this is what these guys do for a living. Professional finish, no worries about leaks and correct model selected. That is why I went with having somebody else do it. If nothing else these guys can tell you what size you will need.

My final suggestion is do not go cheap and definately do not go with an open flame portable unit. I used to use a propane torpedo heater. Stunk like all *&$% and scared the heck out of me. If you purchase a good heater you will be glad in the end I can promise you that.
 

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Sentinel Unit Heater; CAT No. BUHA 31. Heater - 240 KW3 Phase 1; Motor FLC .22 Volts 240 HP 1/200 Phase 1 Freq. 60; Mfg. date 1/8/88 (it looks like it was made yesterday).

I don't know what these specs mean though, I got them off the case.
 

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I heat my two car garage in upstate NY with a 55,000 BTU "salamander" kerosene heater I picked up at Lowe's. I have a new home with insulated doors and insulation throughout. I hit it for about 10 minutes in the dead of winter, get garage to about 65 degrees and it's fine. I probably turn the unit on for 3 - 5 minutes every 3/4 hour or so while I'm working in garage. Be careful of CO fumes though, don't forget you need 02 to live!
 

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The coolest (no pun intended) setup that I've seen for heating a garage, was on Bob Vila's show. You'd have to be willing to re-do the floor to do it, but they ran plumbing through the concrete, and pushed hot water through it. It just circulated the hot water until the thermostat kicked in. It was a super-spiffy system, but like I said, you'd have to be willing to tear up your floor.

Brent
 

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I don't know what it's like in California, but if the word "plumber" is in the description, that means it is the most expensive option.
 

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The salamandor heater would work fine to blast the temperature up. then you could use a smaller kerosene heater to maintain temp. As for the electric heater you need to know the watts or KVA (1000's of watts). For a room in your house with proper insulation you use the calculation of 10watts per square foot.
A pellet stove would do the trick because it lasts 24 hours on a fill up.
 

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I have the exact garage dimensions and I am located in Syracuse, NY (that would mean COLD). I use the method recommended by BillKnight and it works well. Blast it with the salamander for about 15 mins. (depending on outside temp) turn it off and use a little heater mounted to a gas grill propane tank to maintain the heat level. I built a special corner shelf just for the little heater/propane tank about 5' above the floor. I secure the tank to the wall just for safety.

Phil
 

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Here is an optional technique. Put on nothing but a pair of running shorts and sneakers and walk around outside in the snow for about 10-15 minutes. Then go inside and put on every layer you can find and go out in the garage and work. You will be nice and toasty!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks guys. I have access to torpedo heater. I like the idea of warming up with that then maintaining with small kerosene or radiant propane heater.

Steve the pumpkin will be around another couple of weeks anyway - if there is anything you want off it let me know.
 

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This is what I had in my old garage and it was awesome, canadian winters and in five minutes T shirt weather. It was I believe 35 000 BTU's and the boss gave it to me so don't know the price but Eric it rocks and you can change the orfis for propane.

http://hot-dawg.modine.com/

Cheers Ray
 

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im a heating contracter, for a 24x24 insulated garage, you have 2 options, if your going to heat it continuose, otherwards leave it on all the time at a lower temp then raise it when you go out there to work a 30,000 btu will be large enough. if you just want to turn it on and use the garage you should oversize it 50,000 or 75,000 btu. it is alot harder to bring the temp up than maintain it. another thing you SHOULD CONSIDER, if it is going to be a permanent furnace you will need to keep it high , the burner should be a minimum of 36inches off the ground, remember gasoline vapors are heavier than air.vince
 

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Can you say Radiant floor heating? Feels good at -40.
 
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