Shop heaters

NOTW

Notw
Senior User
For the past few years I have used an 18,000 btu indoor rated propane heater. Even though it is indoor rated it still has some fumes which I have grown less tolerant to over the years. I want to replace it with an electric heater but only have 120v outlets in my garage. The largest heater I can find for 120v is 1500 watt or roughly 5,000 btu, in a 2 car garage I doubt this would even make a dent. I understand that the best solution would be to run a dedicated 220v outlet to run the heater off of but we are actively looking for a new house and I would prefer not run new electrical if I don't have to (and my house panel is out of spaces so I'm not sure if I can bring a single line from the meter panel of if I would have to run a sub panel). My next thought would be the laundry room shares a wall with the garage, how bad of an idea would it be to run a 220v extension cord from the dryer connection to power a heater in the garage? I'm not trying to keep the garage at 70+ degrees, just need enough heat to get the garage to 50-60 degrees in the winter. Any thoughts?
 

petebucy4638

Pete
Corporate Member
You might be surprised that a small heater like this could make a difference in the temperature in your garage. It isn't going to be like having a big furnace, but if you are comfortable leaving in on overnight, it should bring the temperature in the garage to a more comfortable level. Before my shop had a larger heater, I used to set a 1500w electric heater on the table saw overnight. It made a big difference the next morning.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
I run an oil filled radiator type heater that is 1500 watts with both elements turned on. I usually run it on the 900 watt setting. It is not enough to feel warm but enough to stay above freezing.
 

Echd

C
User
Is your garage insulated? Those door insulation kits go a long way for what it's worth, they actually helped a lot in my out building that has a 12 foot door (24x24 building)
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
Unless it is vented, there is no such thing as "indoor rated". Very dangerous. Propane is not as bad as others, but still very bad. You can get through wall vented heaters for gas, propane or Kero. With only 120V, you are not going to find a heat pump large enough to work much but check on window AC units.

I used a 1600 W electric wall plate in my garage in MD. It did take the chill off, but I usually opened the house door and used a fan for quicker heat up.

Not a fan of running 220 extension cords, but it does work and I don't believe it is against the code. Sounds like a reasonable stop-gap. You can probably look to seal the doors a little better. Looking to move, I would not spend money on insulation. Save it for the mini-split in new shop.
 

NOTW

Notw
Senior User
Is your garage insulated? Those door insulation kits go a long way for what it's worth, they actually helped a lot in my out building that has a 12 foot door (24x24 building)
2 out of the 4 walls are insulated and the door is not, but it is sealed pretty good (had a few too many 8 legged friends stopping by to say hi)
 

NOTW

Notw
Senior User
Unless it is vented, there is no such thing as "indoor rated". Very dangerous. Propane is not as bad as others, but still very bad. You can get through wall vented heaters for gas, propane or Kero. With only 120V, you are not going to find a heat pump large enough to work much but check on window AC units.

I used a 1600 W electric wall plate in my garage in MD. It did take the chill off, but I usually opened the house door and used a fan for quicker heat up.

Not a fan of running 220 extension cords, but it does work and I don't believe it is against the code. Sounds like a reasonable stop-gap. You can probably look to seal the doors a little better. Looking to move, I would not spend money on insulation. Save it for the mini-split in new shop.
I agree that I don't want to add extra money that I don't have to, but in this market house buying isn't as fast as it used to be, we've lost a couple to bids sight unseen and i'm not doing that. 100% the next shop will have a mini split, maybe i will try a 1500w and see if it makes a dent if i let it run for several hours prior to going out there.
 

Cuthriell

Cuthriell
User
I have used a Dimplex 4000 watt heater in a 16x24 garage for about 5 years. I cannot run it and table saw/DC simultaneously. When very cold I run a sunburst type propane heater to catch up.
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
I have a 120V plug in electric heater in my stand alone shop - 12x24 so like a single car garage without the roll up door. I doubt it is insulated. Keeps it warm enough to work in, especially if left on to maintain T and not let the large masses of metal (biggest heat sink) get real cold. I expect a single or 2 of these 120V heaters will suffice in the short term. Of course as noted above, current draw on your circuit(s) can be an issue.
 

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