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Heat your shop. Cool your shop.

If your shop feels uncomfortably cold in the winter or unbearably hot in the summer (or both), your smartest "tool" purchase might be a shop heater or air conditioner. We take a look at some of the details to consider, and our quick-read chart on slide X speeds you to a decision.

Pages in this Story:
Heating Systems
White Garage door  with washer
Enlarge Image
 
Garage-door insulation kits from
the home center includeadhesive-
backed posts with washers that
hold the insulation in place.
Putting insulation in walls
Enlarge Image
 
Insulation pays for itself quickly
in heat retention, cutting your
heating bill by as much as 50%.

Heating Systems

For most of us, wintertime means woodworking. With the summer chores done, it's time to make sawdust. But if you live in a cold climate, toughing out a frigid shop can have a chilling effect on your hobby. Time to look into a shop heating system. But first, consider these four I's:

Insulation
Bare building materials, such as wood studs, sheathing, and siding, readily conduct heat and cold. To tame that transmission, add weather stripping to doors and windows, spot-fill holes and cracks with canned expanding-foam insulation, fortify the insulation of heat-loss-prone garage doors, and insulate walls and ceilings to a value of at least R-13. If you work out of a basement, add cut-to-fit rigid foam insulation to the rim joists, adhering it in place with expanding-foam insulation.

Installation
To choose an appropriate-size system for your climate, confer with a licensed HVAC installer. He will ask such questions as: How many walls does your shop share with a heated structure? What are the dimensions, and how high is the ceiling? Do you want to maintain a minimum temperature when you are not in the shop?

Inspection
Speak to your local housing code inspector to narrow the field of appliance choices. Eliminate systems restricted by your municipality and get the inspector's guidance on the legal installation of a system.

Insurance
Some heat sources that pass the inspector's muster may still be frowned upon by your insurance company. Choosing a system not covered by your insurance -- such as a wood-burning stove -- could leave you with denied claims after a fire, whether your heater was involved or not. So keep your insurance agent in the loop.


Continued on page 2:  Forced-air Systems

 

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Comments (8)
9647480111
skyler3088799 wrote:

How about something new??? These articles are re-runs, the projects are recycled...no wonder I'm considering cancelling everything to do with Wood.

1/8/2015 01:33:07 PM Report Abuse
rbtpartsman wrote:

I've put in a used "trailer furnace" before in a shop, sitting it up high on a frame with the hot air just coming right out of the bottom. My shop was well insulated, and it only took about 10-15 minutes to heat the shop up to a comfortable working temperature. I used a oil furnace, but you can also use propane and natural gas furnaces.

1/8/2015 11:31:37 AM Report Abuse
brucenadams1 wrote:

My shop is open to the elements, but shaded. Winter temps get to a bone chilling 55*. Summers are bit warm. Radiant heat works best for me during the winter. The round, reflector electric heaters from Costco are convenient, portable and safe. Sort of a chill chaser. The addition of a heat lamp on the scroll saw in addition to the regular lighting keeps my hands and fingers warm. That strategy doesn't work everywhere, but it works for me.

1/8/2015 11:15:17 AM Report Abuse
phartman89130 wrote:

How about geo air tubes? https://www.pinterest.com/pin/546835579724650379/

1/8/2015 10:02:47 AM Report Abuse
kjdoyle.woodworks wrote:

I've installed a conventional forced air furnace. It was a simple 80% natural gas unit. I can put a high efficiency filter on it and it cleans my air and I can add a humidifier for the winter and AC for the summer. It was around $500 for the furnace, filter housing and plenum kit.

1/8/2015 09:45:21 AM Report Abuse
markbutler506 wrote:

I put a gas radiant tube heater in and it is the best way to go. It heats up instantly and the best part is that it is great for drying finishes. It speeds up the drying and doesn't give dust a chance to settle. I even use it in the summer although even with all the windows open it gets too hot to stay inside but in 20-30 minutes the finish has cured enough to prevent dust nibs.

1/8/2015 09:45:20 AM Report Abuse
timlarkin2010 wrote:

I added a mini-split upstairs and in the downstairs level of my shop. They both have worked flawlessly for over a year heating and cooling my shop here in central Virginia. They are quite economical to purchase and operate. I installed them both myself in less than a day.

12/22/2014 07:05:39 PM Report Abuse
meridiaman1 wrote:

I, actually, purchased a mini-split brand new from a seller on a popular auction site and installed it myself. Installation is quite easy. My mini-split has been operating perfectly for the last 9 years with no problems. It supplies me with A/C in the hot Phoenix summers and heat in the winters (Yes, we get as low as the '20s in the winter here, at times.).

12/18/2014 04:39:27 PM Report Abuse

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