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Old 10-29-10, 09:47 AM   #1
Daox
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Default garage heating options

I do a lot of work in the garage. In winter its really cold and uncomfortable out there! So, for the longest time I've wanted to heat my garage with solar power. Weather that be hydronic heat or a hot air panel I think both are a great way to get free heat. The main problem for me is that my garage is located directly north of my two story house and sits in the shade most of the day. I might be able to put a small hot air panel on the SE corner, but its not going to be a huge heat source.





So, I've been thinking of alternative ways to heat the garage. One way that I'm really liking is the idea of a rocket stove type heater. Just run it off twigs and sticks that are normal deadfall during the summer/fall. If I don't have enough on my ~1 acre, my next door neighbor would be happy to clear off his lot.

The heater would be designed with either tons of thermal mass, or enveloped mostly in a water jacket so I could pump the hot water out to say a car radiator or something to blow and heat the garage. The later is more likely since I'm not out there for a long duration of time and would need quick heat rather than long constant heat.


At this point I'm open to other options for heating, but I'm not really thinking there are a ton. Let me know if there are!

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Old 10-30-10, 01:18 AM   #2
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A barrel stove with a lot of mass packed around it might work for ya. You can burn almost any thing in it. cardboard. paper (bills). wood. corn, stalks. . Get it hot enough, burn old oil at a drip rate.



This is a old pix. I had the idea to heat water while I burned it.
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Old 10-30-10, 02:11 AM   #3
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I do a lot of heating of my house with a woodstove insert. To safely do it takes a fair amount of work. To do it in a method that won't void your insurance if you have a fire takes a bunch more work. Basically my point is It's not the simplest thing to do and wood can be a pain in the *** to deal with.

If you wanted to go solar why not do something like the solar shed idea on builditsolar? pump the hotwater from panels through a well insulated trench and into radiators or if you already have it a radiant heated floor.

I've also been thinking about building hot air collectors and doing the same sort of thing. Line them up by my garden and push the air 25 or so feet through an insulated trench then into my basement. I'm not sure the savings on the collectors is enough to warrant the extra insulation in the trench. Adding some hot water rads or a water to air heat exchanger in the cold air return on my furnace may be a better way to go.

also looking at that picture it looks like the east and south eastern corner should get 1/2 a days sun. depending on how large of a collector you can fit on the wall or the roof you could get a fair amount of heat that way.

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Old 10-30-10, 07:54 AM   #4
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Hmm, I hadn't thought about insurance. I'll have to call up my insurance guy and see.
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Old 10-30-10, 08:53 AM   #5
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I've been thinking about this myself. My options are an electric resistance space heater or propane. Electric is super cheap to install, and it pretty much runs on wind, but propane would heat up faster and cost far less per hour. Downside of propane: CO.

Either way, I'd have to seal up all the air gaps in the garage. There's a good 0.5" gap between the overhead door and its frame, plus the window and door leak.

It's plenty warm by garage standards just a few feet underground, all year round. If only there were an economical way to bring that heat to the surface.
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Old 10-30-10, 09:50 AM   #6
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Yeah, my garage needs a lot of work too before I need to install a heat source. Its not even insulated yet. I am just thinking ahead.
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Old 10-30-10, 01:47 PM   #7
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Do you have a natural gas line to your house?

How about a window AC unit turned around so it puts the heat into the garage?
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Old 10-30-10, 02:18 PM   #8
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Yep, I have gas to the house. I also have spare window AC units. I am not really wanting to pay (after initial install) for the heat. Wood and solar are also environmentally friendly options which make them all the better.
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Old 10-30-10, 02:37 PM   #9
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Burning wood puts off hundreds of hazardous chemicals. I'm not sure how eco friendly that is. Since you have natural gas you can get a heater that will warm the garage quickly and only use it when you are there, saving on the cost.
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Old 10-30-10, 06:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertSmalls View Post
It's plenty warm by garage standards just a few feet underground, all year round. If only there were an economical way to bring that heat to the surface.
I built my garage with a 5 foot basement underneath. I have 8x8 inches opennings in each corners. I have two fans pulling air inside the basement from the garage and two fans pushing out from the basement into the garage. I'll see what I can get out of it this winter.

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