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Old 09-12-2017, 12:12 PM   #1
mnguy
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Default Garage heat

OK northern Ford Barners. Looking for advice on heating a 1200 sq ft garage area in Minnesota. Area is attached to house and has one single and one double overhead door. Walls and ceiling are still open. Gas or electric heat? Not considering wood heat. Let me know heater brand names if you are so inclined. Thanks in advance for sharing your advice and experiences.
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: Garage heat

I have gas heat & set it to around 50 degrees in the winter. Have no idea what brand heater it is, it's whatever was there when I bought the house.
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Old 09-12-2017, 01:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: Garage heat

First you should insulate and finish the ceilings and walls. Ceiling should be 5/8 fire rated drywall. Gas heat will be the cheapest. A ceiling hung forced air heater. You want the open flames near the ceiling, above any gas vapor that might accumulate. Best to check with your local code office before installation.
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Old 09-12-2017, 01:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: Garage heat

Ditto re: insulation and providing (1 hour) fire rated constr. when garage connected to the house. Check local code. However various areas in the country have different BTU costs. See attached table (location close to your area) which can be adjusted for inflation, etc.
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Old 09-12-2017, 01:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: Garage heat

I use a Toyotomi keroscene heating unit. they come in several sizes. They vent and take in fresh air through the wall with a supplied pipe system. I have an oil drum filled with Kero in the shed adjacent to the shop. It's fully automatic and safe, as the flame is contained and the supply air and exhaust are to the outside. The small model heats my 15 x 30 shop just fine.
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Old 09-12-2017, 02:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: Garage heat

My system is a bit like "to many cars". I found a kero heater that is used in house trailers and vents to the outside. Should be safe if it is safe for a house trailer. Jack
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Old 09-12-2017, 02:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: Garage heat

Ah, Minnesota! Grew up in south central MN, Now in Idaho. I would suggest a ceiling unit with divorced combustion or whatever it's called. Anyway, it uses outside air for the burners which is drawn in by a fan and then the exhaust is blown out so inside air does not reach the flame. I recently bought a Modine 45,000 BTU unit last winter but haven't installed it yet. It came with both propane and natural gas setups. I found the best deal from a greenhouse supplier called ACF Greenhouses. Their website is www.LittleGreenhouse.com
I was using a dual burner tank top infrared propane heater. It did a so-so job but I didn't think about the moisture these things produce. Condensation settled on anything that some mass to it like big sockets, ratchets, drills, saws, etc. This condensation seems to have a corrosive effect, too. A lot of stuff rusted in just a few months. Thus the furnace with outside combustion air!
Since your walls and ceiling are still open, now is the time to insulate and sheet rock! Insulation will pay for itself in saved fuel and comfort. If you have plain metal doors, insulate them too. That is a lot of surface area for heat to escape when it's 30 deg. below with a 30 MPH wind!
Another idea: When you sheet rock the ceiling, add an attic ladder and put down some plywood for a floor and store parts up there. Keep the heavy stuff near the walls and sheet metal type stuff nearer the middle.
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Old 09-12-2017, 05:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: Garage heat

check out GarageJournal.com. tons of good advice on stuff like this.
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Old 09-12-2017, 05:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: Garage heat

I have a Dornback which is like the Modine. Also something called a HotDawg is about the same. What I liked about these units is the exhaust is horizontal so no going up thru the roof. Thermostat operated so keeps the garage nice and toasty when you want it to be that way. 40 Deluxe has some good advice.
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:20 PM   #10
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Default Re: Garage heat

It's 100 plus (+) here!
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:41 PM   #11
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Default Re: Garage heat

How about a loop from the house. A forced hot water system work well if you have it.
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Old 09-12-2017, 07:18 PM   #12
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Default Re: Garage heat

Hey Minnesota, I live in Southern Oregon so I don’t have to deal with extreme cold like you do, but I do have to deal with extreme heat in the summer and condensation in the winter. My garage is seperated from the house and about 1200 sq. ft and unfinished like yours. I don’t feel like going to the expense and trouble of insulating and dry-walling, so I put a ceiling fan in the garage. With a remote, it cost $60 and has been a life-saver this summer. This winter, I plan on using a small, probably electric, heater by my car with that ceiling fan on. I don’t know if this is of help, but I’m pretty sure that I’m not going to have a condensation problem this winter. At least not around the car. Mike
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Old 09-12-2017, 07:21 PM   #13
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Default Re: Garage heat

When I built my garage, I went with radiant heat in the floor from radiant tech.com. It keeps my garage at 68 degrees, even when the outside temp is in the 20s.
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:43 PM   #14
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Default Re: Garage heat

I use a mpi monitor that runs on off road diesel. Stays on 55 all winter. Uses 10gal a week. Garage is heavily insulated with a 13' high ceiling.
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:20 AM   #15
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Do you want the heat to allow you to work on the car? Keeping a car in an artificially heated environment is a great way to speed up the rusting process. Using a gas or fuel burner that produces a lot of moisture just adds to the problem. A well ventilated, cool area or even sir conditioning is so much better for the car.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:43 AM   #16
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Default Re: Garage heat

I run a dehumidifier and 2 ceiling fans along with the stereo all the time in the garage. 2nd photo shows the mpi monitor.
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Old 09-13-2017, 06:38 AM   #17
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Default Re: Garage heat

I have a Modine Hot Dawg overhead propane gas heater heating a 24 x24 foot space that is thermostatically controlled that is near instant heat and very safe, The only thing is propane is expensive,. I could have used natural gas but I would have had to run an underground pipe from the house for 75 feet and didn't want to do that.
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:17 AM   #18
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Default Re: Garage heat

Connect a Model A engine to a generator outside.

Run the radiator inside the garage to take heat from that and use the electricity to heat also. Probably make enough electricity to run your house too and sell some back to the utility.

Seriously now some thoughts.

What is the cost of electricity in your area and what is the difference in cost from gas to electric? Are you going to keep it heated all winter?

In my area electricity is fairly expensive so gas is the best way to go. You have to consider cost of installation vs how much you will actually use it.

For my 2 1/2 stall extra deep attached to the house garage I got a very big pay off putting in a well insulated garage door. You biggest bang for the buck is in insulation and cutting off drafts to reduce air exchange.

If you have a source, the shop my brother works at uses a waste oil burner to heat the shop. They do enough oil changes the shop is often kept too hot, but it runs 100% off the waste oil so there is no cost.

Check out your local craigslist for used heaters too.
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:21 PM   #19
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Default Re: Garage heat

If you don't plan to seal it and insulate, a 100 btu furnace won't keep it above freezing on a cold winter day. Don't have to worry about moisture up here in the winter. The cold air sucks the moisture out.
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:54 PM   #20
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Default Re: Garage heat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chippy Minton View Post
Do you want the heat to allow you to work on the car? Keeping a car in an artificially heated environment is a great way to speed up the rusting process. Using a gas or fuel burner that produces a lot of moisture just adds to the problem.
Thus the sealed combustion furnace using outside air. All that moisture goes right outside.
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Old 09-14-2017, 06:31 AM   #21
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Default Garage heat

Lots of good advice here, talk with at least 3 installers, even if you're qualified to do it yourself. That will give you other professionals ideas to work with. Biggest thing I didn't see mentioned here is to calculate your recovery time, ie. when you open the door at 30 below, how fast do you want the space to get back to temperature. That will help dictate the size of unit you install. And it makes a difference how much insulation you put in, I have R50 in my ceiling and R20 in my walls and R16 doors in my garage (30 by 32 by 9) and a 6500watt electric keeps it cozy at -50. YES -50!


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Old 09-14-2017, 07:14 AM   #22
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Default Re: Garage heat

My garage/shop is a detached 2-car, built in the 1920's. No insulation and very basic. It is used primarily as a wood working shop, but used to keep cars it it too. My heat source is a second hand 60k BTU residential gas furnace converted to propane. I built a two stage filter box to keep the dust out of the plentum. It is only run when I am working out there, or getting ready to work out there.

My biggest problem, from the start, has been condensation. It would settle on the tools and cast iron table saw and other surfaces causing rust. My solution was to mount two very cheap ceiling fans up in the rafters. They have been running 24-7 for over 20 years, with only one cleaning and service. Admittedly, they are about shot, and need to be replaced, but the condensation issue is no longer a problem.

By the way, I never ran the furnace with cars in the garage. I have run the furnace overnight on occasion. In the winter, I was always satisfied with "sweat shirt warm" as warm enough for me for working out there. I also use a dust collector to keep the dust off the machinery to a minimum.
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Old 09-14-2017, 08:15 AM   #23
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Default Re: Garage heat

I bought a Dayton, 220 Volt space heater, never had to use it, here in "sunny" Kalifornia.
I read that a "modern" car, running with its' A/C on, makes enough heat to heat a 6 ROOM HOUSE!--SO, jist leave it RUNNING 24/7.
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Old 09-14-2017, 11:52 AM   #24
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Natural gas definitely most efficient. Clean and not all that expensive. Electric forget it too costly. Kerosene heaters will gas you out of the garage. Wood,,, work intensive and can be more dangerous when you factor in chain saws your time and if you stack it near the house beware of carpenter ants and termites they love wood piles.

Heat a 1,000 sq. ft. garage all winter long for less than a buck a day with the T-stat on 48 degrees. Bumped up to 58 when I'm in there that is plenty warm enough. This is with an energy efficient gas furnace not a Modine hanging unit. Heck a bottle of water costs that much and it comes from a tap somewhere anyway Start up usually first week of December shutting it down mid March. Have water out there too.
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:09 PM   #25
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Insulation is the key and save you money in the long run if you plan to stay at the same place or alive. Our 26x34 r-56 ceiling and r-35 walls both closed cell foam and heated with a 5000 watt electric heater and keeps it at 68 all winter and only 40 bucks a month
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:18 PM   #26
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Quote:
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6500watt electric keeps it cozy at -50. YES -50!

Where do you live that you experience -50, Ellesmere island??.
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:22 PM   #27
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I had in floor heat in my last garage and now have over head radiant in both my garage and my shop. If you are only using the space to work on cars in the winter and don't expect to open the big doors, in floor is nice. Of course if you already have your concrete floor then that's out. Overhead radiant (gas fired), IMO is the way to go. Easy to install, cheap to run, WAY quieter than forced air and no fan to kick up dust.
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:27 PM   #28
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Where do you live that you experience -50, Ellesmere island??.


Near Neepawa Manitoba, often we hit -35 to 40 and if you factor in wind chill we hit -50 range for up to a week in winter.

https://www.google.ca/amp/www.cbc.ca/amp/1.2479967

I'm not kidding, lowest recorded static temp was -46 with no wind. It's been so cold that the tires on the pickup will freeze square and will thump as you drive down the road till they warm up a bit.
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Old 09-14-2017, 09:37 PM   #29
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Near Neepawa Manitoba, often we hit -35 to 40 and if you factor in wind chill we hit -50 range for up to a week in winter.

https://www.google.ca/amp/www.cbc.ca/amp/1.2479967

I'm not kidding, lowest recorded static temp was -46 with no wind. It's been so cold that the tires on the pickup will freeze square and will thump as you drive down the road till they warm up a bit.
Ah, I didn't know you were factoring wind chill. About 8 years ago we had what they called "the alaskan express" roll through and for about a week we had HIGHS of-50 and lows we don't know as the thermometers only went down to -50 and would blank out. Took my diesel truck out of a heated garage to go to Ft Mac and within 8KM, the gear oil in the diff and trans got so thick the truck was working just to go down the road. Got about 10MPG, got to Athabasca and most fuel stations were closed. Found one that was open but when I went to put the nozzle in my tank the hose snapped off. Hauled water building ice roads in that. Hauling water in <-50.....no fun. Anyway, that was an anomaly, we usually only get down to maybe -30 for a few days and occasionally (once every 5-6 years or so) -40. Fortunately when it gets cold there usually is no wind. Sorry, got off topic, back to heating a garage
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Old 03-17-2018, 09:39 PM   #30
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How many BTU's?
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Old 03-18-2018, 07:41 AM   #31
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BTUís are hard to answer depends on sqft but matters most of the tightness and finish of the space. 120 or 230vac? I have a 12k btu 230vac I purchased from Walmart for about $500 and it keeps my 32x32 insulated shop heated and air conditioned comfortably in Virginia. Itís designed to condition about 550 sqft of floor space. It mounts in a window or in my case, thru a wall.


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Old 03-18-2018, 09:41 AM   #32
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Mini split heat pumps are cheap and use about 1/3 the electricity of a resistive type heater, plus give you AC for the summer. So, if you don't have a cheaper source of power than electricity, and if your temps don't get below 0, a mini split is a great way to go. For less than $2k, you can get a new 36,000 btu unit. They are not difficult to install.

You should compute your btu needs, of course, before doing anything. Insulation and proper sealing make a huge difference in what you need, as does ceiling height. Natural gas sourced hot water in floor heat with well insulated walls and ceilings would probably be your most comfortable/cheapest way to go if starting from nothing, and NG is available.

JMHO
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Old 03-18-2018, 10:31 AM   #33
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I installed a Hot Dawg unit in my garage,it has no open flame.Check them out online.
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Old 03-18-2018, 06:15 PM   #34
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I want to add another ditto to posts 3 & 4 recommendation about checking local code, and using ceiling mounting. This can be serious stuff. What are the chances that your Model A will NEVER experience a dripping carb? The gasoline fumes are heavier than air and will accumulate along the floor. Don't have anything with a pilot light or sparky electric motor set up for unattended operation at floor level.
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Old 03-18-2018, 07:14 PM   #35
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I have gas heat in my shop, can't remember the brand at the moment. It is very safe and efficient 92.1 % efficient and burns no room air. Air intake and vent are 2.5" PVC.. The vent barely gets warm even with an all day operation. I can find out the name tomorrow and even E. Mail a photo of it if you want me to. It wasn't cheap, cost about $2650.00 installed but cheaper that burning my building down. I use it to paint cars in fact just painted two doors on my wife's Impalla. Oh and my shop is 30X34 with a 10' ft ceiling
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Old 03-18-2018, 07:25 PM   #36
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Is that minus 46 F or minus 46 c
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:19 PM   #37
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Default Re: Garage heat

A friend who was building a new garage put Radiant heat tubing in the floor. Instead of digging a deep hole outside for the tubing to pick up he he simply used a small tankless water heater to heat the water. Works like a charm.
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:01 PM   #38
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Is that minus 46 F or minus 46 c
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Old 03-21-2018, 09:04 AM   #39
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Ah, I didn't know you were factoring wind chill. About 8 years ago we had what they called "the alaskan express" roll through and for about a week we had HIGHS of-50 and lows we don't know as the thermometers only went down to -50 and would blank out. Took my diesel truck out of a heated garage to go to Ft Mac and within 8KM, the gear oil in the diff and trans got so thick the truck was working just to go down the road. Got about 10MPG, got to Athabasca and most fuel stations were closed. Found one that was open but when I went to put the nozzle in my tank the hose snapped off. Hauled water building ice roads in that. Hauling water in <-50.....no fun. Anyway, that was an anomaly, we usually only get down to maybe -30 for a few days and occasionally (once every 5-6 years or so) -40. Fortunately when it gets cold there usually is no wind. Sorry, got off topic, back to heating a garage
I used to wonder why there were so many of our neighbors from Canada down here in Florida during the winter.....Posts like this make it crystal clear why there are so many Canadian license plates on the roads......
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Old 03-21-2018, 10:04 AM   #40
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It's 100 plus (+) here!
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Old 03-21-2018, 10:55 AM   #41
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OK northern Ford Barners. Looking for advice on heating a 1200 sq ft garage area in Minnesota. Area is attached to house and has one single and one double overhead door. Walls and ceiling are still open. Gas or electric heat? Not considering wood heat. Let me know heater brand names if you are so inclined. Thanks in advance for sharing your advice and experiences.

mnguy,

I have been a Minnesota Home Builder/General Contractor for 44 years. I have seen just about every type of heat people put in their garages, some are good others lead to trouble.

First: You say the garage is a typical three car attached but yet un-insulated. Get the needed wiring, gas-line and heater venting installed and inspected before placing any insulation or cover material. Insulate the walls and ceilings, cover the entire ceiling and wall areas with the proper fire-rated drywall to conform with your municipalities code. Stop to see the Building Inspector and ask for his advice. Yes, get the heater installation and wiring inspected, your family's safety depends on it.

Second: Since this is an attached garage, you are likely using it to park your daily driven cars. You know Minnesota winter roads and the stuff you bring into your garage each time you arrive home. All the accumulated snow, ice and salt will melt from your car each evening and fall to the floor. In a heated garage, this water will quickly evaporate and load your garage with moisture. The best way to vent this moisture from the space is to install a ceiling hung gas fired space heater. The space heater should be designed to draw its combustion air from the garage space and in doing so will pass the damp air through the combustion chamber and move it to the outside. You do not need to install a make-up air duct, the seals around two overhead garage doors will allow enough make-up air in. The air coming in around the overhead doors will be cold and dry (cold air can not hold much moisture) the air being cold will sweep across the floor and dry the surface. It is best to install the heater away from the garage doors so you encourage the air circulation to increase the sweeping effect to dry the floor. Warm air is directed towards the overhead doors across the ceiling, gets to the cold doors then cools and drops to the floor it is then drawn back towards the heater and in doing so contributes to drying the floor.

Third: Since you have a desire to have a heated attached garage, please install a carbon monoxide sensor to keep you and your family safe. There are no short cuts on safety.

Equipment: Invest in a Modine Hawt Dog ceiling mounted heater. Compact and safe. No open flame! (They are often on sale at your local Fleet Farm.) Get about a 60,000 BTU unit. This suggested unit is slightly larger than the space needs but if you only heat the space when you want to work, the unit will bring the temp up quicker. Picture this: Arrive home from work and turn up the stat as you enter the home, grab something to eat and go back to the garage 15 -20 minutes later and it will be warm. Install a wall mounted thermostat located on the common wall to the house away from the heater; next to the entry door to the house is always convenient. Face the heat output from the heater towards the overhead doors.

Note:
There would be more options for a good heat source if you were heating a shop space where you did not bring lots of moisture in each day from daily driven cars. Closed loop heaters and ceiling mounted radiant heaters work well in a dryer shop application as well as some off-peak electric heaters and in-floor heat loops.

Long winded...I know; but proper heat in Minnesota is important!
PM me if you want a phone number to ask more questions. I am not looking for work...Just offering some sage advice.
Good Day!

Last edited by Dave in MN; 03-22-2018 at 07:00 AM.
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Old 03-22-2018, 08:56 AM   #42
bills
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Great information! Thank you!!
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Old 03-23-2018, 06:00 AM   #43
Ed Saniewski
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Default Re: Garage heat

Dave in MN, do you find many people installing radiant floor heat in their homes and garages?
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Old 03-23-2018, 08:02 AM   #44
Dave in MN
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Default Re: Garage heat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Saniewski View Post
Dave in MN, do you find many people installing radiant floor heat in their homes and garages?
Ed,
In the homes (living space), yes quite frequently with good results.
In the attached garage...Not on my jobs! (I repeat to them what my previous post contained.)

In Minnesota some do use it in their garages but I usually don't see the installation until 3 years after they move in when they call me to complain about the mold growing on the sheetrock in the garage. At that point, we treat the walls with an anti-mold product and install an exhaust fan wired to a humidistat. I warn them that even with the exhaust fan, the mold will eventually be back.

The warm floor converts the melted snow to vapor so fast it moves into the cooler drywall before any amount of venting can move it outside.

Good Day!
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