What is the Best way to heat a room inside the garage

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Old 12-05-09, 06:57 AM
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Smile What is the Best way to heat a room inside the garage

Greetings:
I have a room 12' x 13' x 9' high. Two sides are masonry wall with 2x6 framing inside, good insulation and 5/8" drywall. The other two sides face an unheated garage and is made of 2x6 framing, R13 insulation and 5/8" drywall. Ceiling has R13 insulation and OSB sheets on top of it. There is a 3' open space above the OSB and below the 2nd floor flooring joists.

There is an insulated metal door on the masonry wall to outside. There is a hollow core 36" door on the 12' side into the garage.

The room is inside a 3 car garage which is well insulated.

I am in Chicago and it gets sub zeros in Jan / Feb.

What is the best/economical/safe way to heat this room. This is a DIY project and I am not going to touch the gas lines ;-)

I go in there often with my two kids and do hobby projects - sculpting, pottery painting etc. I keep paint in there and don't want it to be frozen.

An ideal solution will be one, that i can pump up heat when we are working there to 70 for may be 4 - 5 hours at a stretch and then set it at 40 degrees when we are done so that the paint wont freeze.

Thanks for your advise
 
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Old 12-05-09, 07:21 AM
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I use this style of electric heater in my 12 x 20 foot shop and it works well.

Click image:

Image courtesy of northerntool.com

Another alternative would be electric baseboards if you have the wall space but they take longer to heat up the space than forced air.

With those large forced air heaters you need to be careful with the less expensive plug-in construction types.
In most areas they are considered temporary heat and you need to have a hard wired one if it is permanent.
 
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Old 12-05-09, 07:39 AM
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Or a gas version of what Greg posted if gas is cheaper then electric. It would have to be vented if gas so electric would have the advantage there but considering it often costs 2-3 times as much to heat with electric you might justify extra installation costs.
 
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Old 12-05-09, 08:09 AM
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Yes, thanks, I forgot to suggest checking fuel rates.
Where I am we only have propane which makes the difference between gas and electric costs not as great as with natural gas.

To determine the approximate cost of electric multiply the 5 kw times your kw/hr power cost.

We are at 6.3 cents/kwh.
My 5 kw heater then will cost me 31.5 cents an hour to operate.
 
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Old 12-05-09, 11:31 AM
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Get a window air conditioner / heat pump and have it vent into the garage. Since it's venting into the garage, it would be more efficient than an electric heater and it would keep things cool in the summer too - an added bonus.
 
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Old 12-05-09, 12:36 PM
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Forced air electric hanging heater lie Greg posted would likely be your easiest option depending your electric rates and what size electrical service you have to the garage. The mini split heatpump is also a good option due to the cooling option as well but cost will be up around $1k+. The other issue is if it gets too cold the heat pump will not provide any heat. You said you don't want gas so I guess I'll leave at that.
 
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Old 12-06-09, 11:02 PM
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Thanks everyone.

I looked at the forced air electric heater that gregh suggested. however, it is available only on 240v. My garage outlets are 110v. If I cannot get a 4000 or 5000 watt in 110v, can i get multiple smaller wattage on 110v - would it do the trick ?

The propane and kerosene - can i do it in an enclosed room ? would it have fumes / smell ?
 
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Old 12-07-09, 02:07 AM
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In my opinion the propane and kerosene heaters would be killers in the enclosed room. The same for a natural gas heater unless it was a sealed combustion model. That leaves you with electric.

Are you sure you cannot get a 240 volt circuit run to the room? 120 volt heaters are pretty much limited to 1500 watts. Even with only one of them you would have to have at least two 15 ampere circuits in the room, one for the heater and one for everything else. If you have a 20 ampere circuit you could put as much as 1900 watts of heater (two heaters with multiple outputs) on that circuit and then have a second circuit for everything else.

The bad thing is that 120 volt heaters with a cord and plug are not meant for continuous use and will tend to be a safety hazard.
 
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Old 12-07-09, 03:45 AM
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I made an assumption when suggesting a 240 volt heater that you would either have or would install that type of circuit.
Safe was also in your list of requirements and an unvented heater is not safe.
Even though they are advertised as being so they still vent the products of combustion into your house and the moisture they release could cause damage.

As said, plug in electric heaters would not be adequate for the space and are also a risk to use.

If you already have gas then the most economical to operate would be to install a vented gas heater.
Electric was suggested because it might be an easier diy project.
 
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Old 12-07-09, 10:24 AM
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I will get a 240v line pulled into the room. It is a relatively easy run. I will get an electrician do it.

Thanks again!
 
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Old 12-07-09, 10:27 AM
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One more quick question for code compliance - does 240v home run from the panel need to be in its own conduit ? or can it run along with the other 120v wires in the existing conduit ?
 
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Old 12-08-09, 12:30 AM
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It depends upon several variables including the size of the conduit, the total number of individual wires, the size of the wires and the currents drawn on the multiple circuits. Multiple circuits at different voltages are often run in the same conduit.
 
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Old 12-10-09, 06:47 AM
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1/2" conduit - it currently has two circuits - 110v 15amp and 20amp in it.

Can I run one 240v in it for the heater?
 
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Old 12-10-09, 07:26 AM
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Calculating pipe fill with the assumptions that you have 1/2 EMT and you existing circuits are not multiwires. (separate neutral for each circuit) I calculated using both TW and THHN wire for the existing circuits you should have enough room in the pipe to add 2 #10 wires (THHN) which will give you a max of a 5760watt heater. Any deviation from the above specs and we will have to recalculate.

One other note: This garage must be attached to the house in order to do this because detached structures may only be feed with one circuit.
 
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Old 12-10-09, 03:13 PM
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Thanks Tolyn, Furd, Gregh !
 
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Old 02-15-10, 11:11 PM
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You should have enough room in the pipe to add 2 #10 wires (THHN) which will give you a max of a 5760watt heater.
 
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