Workshop heating - how, what & cost?

Hello all, With winter just about upon us, and the horrendous increases in both gas and electricity that have just taken place, thoughts must now turn
to the best way of heat a workshop? Mine will be a converted garage 17'x10' suitably insulated of course. Would appreciate suggestions. Regards GeoffH Norfolk - UK not VA
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Question. Do you want to heat for comfort or to prevent condensation and rusting?
For comfort I have a small fan heater which I turn on sometimes if I am feeling the cold but not often. Cost, not much.
To prevent condensation I use a dehumidifier. A subject much discussed on this newsgroup and I have had no problem with rusting. Touch wood. Spraying everything with a mixture of 2stroke oil and a little paraffin can help.
Living as I do in the Outer Hebrides corrosion from the salt laden atmosphere is a fact of life but my workshop, cavity blockwork, no insulation presents no problem given the above.
One thing that you should make sure of is that you have sufficient ventilation. Insulation without sufficient ventilation will cause you problems.
The fan heater I use is not the most efficient way (in terms of cost) of heating. If you yourself are cold in the workshop you could consider a directional radiant heater. A good wool jumper and a boiler suit would be a cheaper solution in the long term.
Hope this helps.
Donald, South Uist
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Hello Donald,

Both really.

Wasn't sure of the cost of using these, but taking heart from your comments.

Any particular type/model to look for?

I've resorted to praying with chain wax while things are in storage before use.

Ouch. Cannot think of a more unfriendly environment. Interesting that you don't need insulation. Must be something to do with the construction of your workshop.

Good point. I have read about ventilation but no mention how one achieves this. I assume cross ventilation is needed, but where would you place them, and what type of ventilation holes to use.

Good suggestions. I sure would not like to work in T-shirt only in winter :-)

Yes indeed. Thanks GeoffH
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Forgot to mention in my earlier post that i have seen some decent heaters burning wood or oil made out of 3 or 4 lorry wheel rims welded up into a heavy drum. -- Regards,
John Stevenson Nottingham, England.
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A cheap domestic model from the likes of Screwfix or B&Q

Fully insulating your garage will be expensive and unless you are going to spend most of your time in there you are unlikely to ever recover even a relatively small percentage of the cost in terms of money saved in heating bills. Condensation will occur when an object such as your lath or other tools has a temperature below that of the dew point of the air in your workshop. Warm air holds a lot of moisture vapour whereas cold air holds very little reducing to next to nothing at freezing temperatures. If you put a piece of cheese in your fridge without an impermeable it will dry out into an inedible block. A low wattage bulb. close to and shining on your machinery, as suggested by someone earlier is a good and cheap solution which may well do away with any need for a dehumidifier. Real workshops don't have them. One thing that real workshops did have was plenty of airspace and ventilation. There is, or used to be, a good informative British Standard on the subject of ventilation. Try your library. Failing that you could ring up the Building Research Establishment who, if they haven't been privatized or done away with have, or did have, free digests which explain things in fairly simple language.
Donald, South Uist
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Geoff,
One of my workshops is about 20' x 10' and is fully insulated (walls and ceiling). I find heating is not a problem at all, I have six 5' fluorescent lights plus the machine lamps and I find they are enough to heat the room. On really cold days I use a fan heater for perhaps 20 minutes and after that the lighting is enough to keep it warm.
My problem tends to be the other way round, I need to use air conditioners during the summer to keep the place cool enough - or I have to switch the lights off and work in the dark :).
Mark
Essex - UK

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On Sat, 18 Sep 2004 20:14:46 +0100, "Mark Howard"

This is what I will doing to my garage.

Would not have thought these would give out so much heat. Very interesting indeed.

No this is what I wanted to hear. Self heating :-)

What summer/s ! Sorry but could not resist this :-) After 20 years in the UK I can only remember 1 hot one, and that was last year. Marvelous. What type of air conditioners do you use? I was thinking of using those heating wires where necessary. Thanks for your reply. GeoffH
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Geoff,
IIRC 5' fluorescents are about 60 or 65 watts each, so six of them push out about 350 watts or there abouts - It doesn't sound a lot but when you add another 200 - 300 watts with machine lamps etc. and you have the equivalent of a small (albeit very small heater).
I use a couple of air conditioners I got from B&Q (they were about 180 each I think) and overall, cost a lot more to run than the winter heating! The problem is that the workshop is south facing and even with the insulation and blinds it heats up to a few degrees below the outside ambient temperature throughout the day. Add the few hundred watts of lighting and the temperature creeps up above the outside ambient - with no shade this often exceeds 30 degrees, which is a bit warm for working! (or it is when you've been acclimatised to our summers!)
Regards
Mark
wrote:

room.
that
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GeoffH wrote:

If it is condensation, a 60w bulb in the cabinet of each machine can warm the machine up just enough to keep them dry... I have a diesel stove in my workshop, but with the possible ending of red diesel, I may have to fit a wood burner instead. Just watch the use of any flammables, plus having a stove fitted means the workshop is ventilated via the stove flue. I also have a dehumidifier, and am always amazed by how much it collects, they too put out a few watts of heat. Mine is on a time switch, 4hrs on, 4hrs off.
Joules
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Red diesel ending?? That's the same stuff as household heating oil, what will happen to those people needing that?
I have a wood burner in my shop, it was originally designed for burning sawdust but because of supply problems [ farmers grabbing it all ] I now burn beech offcuts which a local factory deliver to me to save them having to pay skip costs.
It's done me a favour in a way as it's less mess/ dust and free delivery is a plus.
-- Regards,
John Stevenson Nottingham, England.
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John Stevenson wrote:

Yeah, the goverment in their wisedom, seem to think it is too much of a good thing for people to have a low tax fuel... Much mention of it finishing...in line with greener polices!!! I think the planning is something like... look we can tax the bar***ds some more, and blame it on global warming...
Joules 8-(
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wrote:

I *don't* know the precise details of what may be planned, but I thought it was more likely that red diesel would continue but the categories of those allowed to use it would be reduced (eg pleasure boaters)
This has more to do with coming into line with most other eu countries than anything else, though no doubt the gov won't turn up their noses at any extra revenue produced.
Cheers Tim
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Tim Leech wrote:

Point taken Tim, it was the boating circle's that had the rumours flying...
Joules
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Interesting postings ! We shouldn't forget one source of water vapour in the workshop is ourselves. A human normally exhales through the lungs around 300ml of water per day. More significantly, we lose between 1 and 1.7 litres per day through perspiration depending on the degree of activity. So spending around 7 hours per day in a smallish workshop, would release about 1.5 litres of water into the workshop atmosphere. That condensing on cold metal surfaces is enough to cause corrosion even without the contribution from water vapour in the "outside" air. Personally though I've always assumed flatulence is the major source of corrosive vapours.
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