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Jerry PowerDork
1/21/22 11:43 a.m.

It's under the house but even so, when it's cold outside the garage is colder than I would like.  If it were more comfy I'd be more tempted to do some projects I've been putting off.

I have a 20+ year old kerosene heater that has probably sat for 5+ years, not sure I trust it unattended.  Is there an electric heater that would be enough for a 2 car garage?

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) Dork
1/21/22 4:19 p.m.

I run a $99 propane 30k-60k btu torpedo heater in my shop. It does the job well but under your house fumes might not be great.

$$$ but what about a heat pump. Heat in the winter AC in the summer.

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/21/22 4:37 p.m.

Depends some on a couple of things: how much power do you have?  Where can you locate the heater? Willing to have more than one heater?

I have a 220V 4000 watt "cube heater" from Northern Tool that does a decent job heating my drafty and poorly insulated attached 1.5 car garage.  But I have an old electric range connection in the garage that made getting power to it simple.  That same heater didn't do squat when attempting to heat my ex's 2.5 car detached garage (that was even more drafty and less insulated).

If you only need to heat the area where you're working, overhead infrared heaters can work well. You may need to install a new receptacle for it. 

1/2" thick 2'x2' interlocking mats do an amazing job at making a cold garage floor more tolerable.  

obsolete HalfDork
1/21/22 5:36 p.m.

I installed one of these in my attached, insulated 2.5 car garage and it's fantastic: https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200577749_200577749. No fumes or CO in the garage. It's been going strong for 3 years now.

I was out there last night, it was -11 outside and the garage was 65F. When I'm not actually working on something, I keep it at 50F during the day and 40F at night so my tools aren't icy cold.

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) SuperDork
1/21/22 6:04 p.m.

I have a propane mr heater that is supposed to be indoor safe that I use in my detached garage. My garage is not insulated, but this will still bring it up 15 deg in an hour or so, makes it worthwhile.

Edit to add: starting temp lately has been in the teens, and with a half-hour head start it at least takes the chill off. In an attached garage I think it would'nt take nearly as long to add heat, the output is wild.


dculberson MegaDork
1/21/22 7:05 p.m.

If you have natural gas in the garage I'm a big proponent of a vented gas heater. But it's a big deal to install compared to electric. A mini split heat pump like suggested would be awesome for the dual ac and heat capability. Resistive electric heat is expensive to operate. 

67LS1 Reader
1/22/22 10:22 a.m.

I've heard that kerosene heaters make moisture that can rust things. Anyone have any experience with this?

Jerry PowerDork
1/24/22 4:17 p.m.

I found this over the weekend and wondering about running 240v.

Menards electric heater

EvanB MegaDork
1/24/22 4:19 p.m.

Are there heating vents from the home furnace in the garage? 

dps214 Dork
1/25/22 11:28 a.m.

My garage is also attached and under the house (also partially below grade). It usually stays reasonably warm but in the coldest parts of the winter if I have the door open a lot it'll get into the low 40s. In those moments I've used a propane torpedo heater with good results. It really doesn't take much to bring it back up into the 50s which is comfortable enough to work in. Just make sure the door to the house is closed to be safe.

I'm curious to learn about more permanent heating options though, I'm looking at upgrading to a house with a bigger garage sometime in the vaguely near future and around here for my budget that's going to require going to a detached garage which doesn't benefit from residual house heat.

wae PowerDork
1/25/22 11:41 a.m.

Someone here (Toyman, maybe?) found a used RV furnace and hooked it up.  You need to vent it, but they're designed for LP so you can feed them with grill tanks.  I've got a 35,000 BTU unit in my coach and it gets pretty toasty, pretty fast, and doesn't really chew through the propane too bad.  I don't know what heating a garage would be like.

dculberson MegaDork
1/25/22 1:37 p.m.

Years ago when I had an unheated garage I used a kerosene torpedo heater to heat it. I loved it, but hated having to open windows to keep the o2 and co levels in the safe range. Then one time I experienced what happens when the gas levels get off (panic, sense of impending doom, cough that can't stop, etc) and it got me so worked up that I couldn't bring myself to use the heater any more. Unvented portable heaters scare me now.

sanyarcosean HalfDork
1/26/22 11:57 a.m.

Just bought this for the Motorcycle Shop portion of the garage.  Its brick on all 4 sides and uninsulated.  Once in and installed Ill let you all know how it works


Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/26/22 2:06 p.m.

In reply to Jerry :

If your electrical panel has room and spare capacity for a 2-pole breaker and isn't too far from your garage, it shouldn't be too hard. Personally, if mounted high and not easily accessible to shut off, then I'd wire in a disconnect that you can easily reach so you can turn it off when you don't need it.  At 7500 Watts, that puppy will make your meter spin and if run every day, you'll definitely notice it on your electric bill. Slightly less so at the 2/3 5000W setting, but only slightly.

Mr. Peabody
Mr. Peabody MegaDork
1/26/22 2:19 p.m.

I'm using this in my shop since my furnace stopped working. Found it by accident, they're built locally, and the price was right. Very happy with it so far


mfennell Reader
1/26/22 2:23 p.m.

I have a similar heater to Ian.  My garage is attached, 525sq ft, 11.5' ceiling in 1/2 of it.  Door is insulated but has a small gap at the floor on one side.  Most of ceiling is insulated.  

This winter, I've taken to setting its thermostat to keep the garage at about 45F, which it does fairly easily down to 15F (so far).  I may regret my choices when the next electric bill comes.

Jerry PowerDork
1/27/22 9:22 a.m.

I texted an electrician a couple days ago that helped me realize what happens when one of three phases gets dropped. (Weird things like only some outlets work, etc) Saved me a house call and I promised to remember that.

He said ballpark $400-600 depending on the run needed, to run 240v for the electric heater.

eastsideTim PowerDork
1/27/22 9:34 a.m.

I run a 220V heater in my attached garage.  It doesn't exactly work quickly, so I usually turn it on half an hour or so before I intend to work in the garage.  It's still not the same temperature as in the house at that point, but it is not terribly cold anymore.  Works way better than the 110V space heater I used to use.

Jerry PowerDork
1/27/22 1:01 p.m.

In reply to eastsideTim :

I figured starting it about an hour before work commences, and didn't expect 80F.  If it's 60F+ I'm good.

Would you spend $400-600 plus $150ish for heater if you had to do it again?

eastsideTim PowerDork
1/27/22 1:26 p.m.
Jerry said:

In reply to eastsideTim :

I figured starting it about an hour before work commences, and didn't expect 80F.  If it's 60F+ I'm good.

Would you spend $400-600 plus $150ish for heater if you had to do it again?

Possibly.  I tend to be nervous about fire, so even if it is not as effective, I prefer electric heat over a propane or kerosene heater.  The only other thing I'd consider is a mini-split system, so I'd have both heating and cooling.  I'm sure that would significantly raise the cost, though.

Cedricn New Reader
1/28/22 5:00 p.m.

Not sure what the electrical prices are over there, but a split heat pump pays for itself in a not unreasonable time over here. Many of them has WiFi aswell which is nice so you can warm up the garage before you go there. And they can do AC aswell. 

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
1/29/22 8:02 a.m.

I had looked at a split heat pump for my new shop. Seemed ideal for the space, but my buddy who is installing the system talked me out of it. Probably ideal for a normal 2 car garage space. In my case, with 1200 SF and 16 foot ceilings, it was cheaper to just use a new heat pump system and run a duct down the back wall for the vents. Can't tell you how it all works yet, but should  heat and cool the space just fine. I am insulating the walls with R21 and the ceiling has blown in insulation , so hoping my electric bill won't be too bad. I see used HVAC systems all the time on Marketplace, might be a good source for an inexpensive system.

bonylad HalfDork
2/1/22 8:23 a.m.

Nothing like a kerosene heater in an enclosed garage!  I mean once you get over the fumes.........but thats minimal and easily dealt with. 

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
2/4/22 10:55 a.m.

I have a 22x24 and no heat. Insulated the ceiling as a huge difference. Likely you are already in that range if it's under the house. I run a set of the "mickey mouse" heaters on a 5gal tank just to take the edge off sometimes. I also will pull warm cars into the garage if I know I am going to be out there during the evenings. I just pull them out when I am ready to work and the heat from the cars takes the edge off. Not warm, but enough that my hands don't need insulated gloves, nitrile is plenty.

sanyarcosean HalfDork
2/7/22 11:25 a.m.
sanyarcosean said:

Just bought this for the Motorcycle Shop portion of the garage.  Its brick on all 4 sides and uninsulated.  Once in and installed Ill let you all know how it works


Update on this heater. 

It works amazing for its price.  It has been between 14 and 40 degrees and has no problem keeping my single bay brick motorcycle shop at 70 degrees.  It also does not need to run constantly to do so.

I hard wired it on a 40 amp circuit in the shop.


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