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How To Heat A Shop?


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floydbassman is correct, the best system "operational cost wise" is probably a heat pump (read reversible air con). They are typically 300% plus efficient. By that I mean for every unit of energy it uses it moves 3 units of energy (read heat). And as stated dries out your space and is fume free. A warning with burning propane or similar gas, the space needs to be well vented if there is no fume vent to outside, they produce CO2. There have been deaths with portable units for this reason.


Oh definitely, my furnace vents through the roof like a standard traditional furnace.



before the furnace was installed I used a "portable propane" heater, but my garage was not insulated and had two vents at the peak on each end.  was very well ventilated.


Heater wasn't fabulous but kept my hands warm and kept a circle around where I was working warm(ish)


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I don't know much about USA fuel prices so following applies to UK. It also depends if low capital or low running costs are your aim.

Best heater if you have natural gas supplied through mains is overhead or wall mounted radiant heaters. If you are on bottled propane these still work fine or you can run a hot air blower type (needs vents to prevent CO build up). I have a mix of portable electric radiant heaters (expensive to run) but convenient for short times of local heat. I also have a bottled propane blower type heater for taking the chill off the whole garage in really cold weather. Costs about £1 for 2 to 3 hours warmth.

If I had any spare room I would have a cast iron stove to burn scrap wood, you can rig up a waste oil drip into these that works really well.

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Thank all of you very much for your thoughtful answers. Having just moved to a cold, wet and snowy place it is clear to me that I'm going to have to heat and insulate my new shop. The weather here in Washington is getting me down...got to look out for S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) I can only go so many weeks without seeing the sun before I go bonkers. A warm shop were I can round off my nuts and cross thread things will be ideal. 


I appreciate you guys helping me out...it is nice to see this kind of support from this worldwide community..


Thanks again



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