How can I properly heat a shanty shack???

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  #1  
Old 11-06-18, 02:14 PM
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How can I properly heat a shanty shack???

So I'm posting this here because I'm not sure if it goes here or in the other topic but here goes nothing. I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada where we have some harsh winters, no joke at one point a few years ago we were colder than Mars but I digress, one day I decide that hey wouldn't it be nice to be able to enjoy outside even when it gets cold? So it sparked my idea to make a shack encased in tarp using a sloped canopy my father-in-law built 2 years ago that he uses for shade in summer. Fast forward to this past weekend we finally got the thing tarped up and I have my kerosene heater fueled and ready to go, problem is the heater even though able to pump out 13,000 BTU and this shanty being 8' by 5' it's still not able to warm up efficiently to where I could confidently say it would be decently warm at -30C (-22F). Where am I going wrong? Is it the heater? Or is it that the shanty isn't properly tarped? Any insight from anyone and everyone would be greatly appreciated and I would like thank those that do contribute ahead of time so thank you to those that do. If this is posted in the incorrect topic I do apologize as well as I wasn't sure where this goes.
 
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Old 11-06-18, 02:18 PM
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The fact that it's not insulated means your loosing more BTU's than the heater can provide.
 
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Old 11-06-18, 02:45 PM
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What would recommend in this case as insulating isn't really an option
 
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Old 11-06-18, 03:04 PM
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I like using infrared heaters and covered it in this thread.....
propane-heater-blower-600-sq-ft-shed.html

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Last edited by PJmax; 11-07-18 at 11:38 AM.
  #5  
Old 11-06-18, 03:45 PM
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You have two options. The cheapest and easiest is what Pjmax recommended. Your shack is loosing heat faster than you can produce it so use an infra red heater. It will heat objects and people in it's path and not the air. These are the heaters that have a big, red/orange glowing element.

If you want to use a traditional heater you'll need to produce more BTU's than the shack loses. You can either insulate it so you lose BTU's slower or you'll need to pump in more BTU's. Your tarp shack has almost no R value. About all it can do is block the wind. You could wrap your shack with mylared (space blanket) plastic. Then cover it with another layer of tarps. Those three layers should increase your nothing R value to maybe 2 or 3. It may not sound like much but is double or triple what you have now.
 
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Old 11-06-18, 03:53 PM
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Hmmm I may have to consider the space blankets then
 
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Old 11-06-18, 04:47 PM
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What's the place used for . . . . just an Ice Fishing Shanty ?
 
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Old 11-06-18, 05:03 PM
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Well just a place in the backyard to just sit there. It's gonna be used for myself to smoke a pipe every once in a blue moon and just enjoy being outside. It's also gonna be used for my in-laws to also enjoy being outside as they complain being cooped up inside. But it's just a place to sit in the backyard out of the frigid cold and out of the wind
 
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Old 11-07-18, 05:06 AM
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If you don't mind the color orange, Princess Auto often has insulated tarps on sale for half price.


Snow accumulation would be a problem with any tarped structure in our climate.
The roof supports would have to be fairly close together to keep the surface flat and snow would have to be removed regularly or you will be gifted with a collapsed roof.
 
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Old 11-07-18, 05:20 AM
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If the shanty is just out in the nature of your backyard, and it suddenly became too cold to be stationary in a confined box . . . . I would just put my cigarette out and go back inside the house where it's warm.
 
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Old 11-07-18, 07:32 AM
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Insulated tarps are kinda what I am trying to avoid due to me needing to cut said tarps to fit the structure and in terms of me smoking outside again this isn't it's main purpose it's to be used to just enjoy being outside without being cold to the point where you wonder if your legs are still attached to your body
 
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Old 11-07-18, 08:36 AM
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You will likely not be able to do what you want with inexpensive tarps.
Your problem will be more with snow load than with keeping it warm..
 
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Old 11-07-18, 09:36 AM
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where I could confidently say it would be decently warm at -30C (-22F).
You crazy Canadians, since when is -22F ever considered a comfortable temp to be outdoors!!

I love winter but when it's that cold a nice glass of Jack and a fire are all I want!
 
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Old 11-07-18, 09:49 AM
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Around here, I only go out when it's -48F outside to do work that keeps me moving. If I want to appreciate nature at that time, I might watch an Polar Bear or a Walrus sitting on some Iceberg; but I do this while watching them on TV from indoors.

I hope you've got Thermal Pane windows in that Shanty, so they don't get all frosted up and block your view of nature . . . . I hate when that happens.
 
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Old 11-07-18, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Lou Bliss
problem is the heater even though able to pump out 13,000 BTU and this shanty being 8' by 5' it's still not able to warm up efficiently to where I could confidently say it would be decently warm at -30C (-22F).
Eh, it's going to be tough. To be comfortable, you'll need a setup where the heat in is balanced by the heat out.

As a starting point, the average human generates about 100 watts of body heat. You can make do with 100 watts, provided you trap most of it, and it goes directly into warming the thin layer of air between YOU and some well-insulated clothing- that's why something like this works-


SteelGuard™ 30 Below Insulated Coveralls

But, as you Increase the amount of airspace around you, and the heating requirement increases exponentially- Unless you have an enclosed area (e.g. mostly airtight area with still air] heating any significant volume of air becomes counter-productive, because warm air rises, that creates a low-pressure area which draws in surrounding cold air. Basically, you want to create a situation that mimics that warmth you enjoy on a cold day when your car that has been sitting in bright sunlight- lots of sunlight allowd in, infrared light can't escape, heat is trapped, and there is little to no heat loss to the wind.

If you want to be comfortable in a -30'C environment, you need to eliminate (eh, minimize) heat losses due to convection, conduction and radiation; AND you need to maximize heat gain from passive sources, e.g. solar or waste heat (at -30 C. ANY heat will help)

So, think like a Manitoba gardener; how do they grow seedlings?
Multiple layers- cold frame, inside a hoop frame, inside a greenhouse.
- multiple barriers block air flow, so that heat loss requires three layers of convection
- the same barriers allow sunlight (heat) but the glass blocks infrared heat loss.

Seems like you'll want something similar,
-an infrared propane heater INSIDE
-one, two or three layers to block air circulation/trap hot air
- something to reflect infrared heat back into the "core"
-some way to trap/use solar energy over the day to help heat the "core"
 

Last edited by Hal_S; 11-07-18 at 12:19 PM.
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