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Heating a garage workshop

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Lampost46

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I have converted my small garage into a workshop and am now looking at keeping the tools / workshop dry. I have looked at various types of heating but have ended up more confused the when I started. I have looked at diesel caravan/truck heaters, infra red, oil filled rad’s etc.
my objective is to prevent night/daytime condensation by temperature control and a comfortable working temperature when required. How do my fellow woodworking brothers do to achieve this, at a reasonable running cost. Help please!
 

sploo

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Assuming it's well insulated, an electric oil filled radiator (e.g. TRD41025 Dragon 4 Oil filled radiator | Delonghi International) will keep the temperature to a sensible level (e.g. 13C) even through the winter. They're pretty safe, and don't create extra moisture.

I also use a dehumidifier because my workshop is somewhat of an underground bunker and suffers from damp. I bought a desiccant type (rather than compressor) as they're apparently better for lower temperatures.
 

Sporky McGuffin

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I have an oil filled radiator for my workshop, which is about 7.5x4.5m. Enough to keep it pleasant.
 

Doug B

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I insulated mine well & ran 3 small radiators off the house central heating, never noticed any real change in the heating bill & has worked excellently for the last 17 years.
 

Jameshow

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Assuming it's well insulated, an electric oil filled radiator (e.g. TRD41025 Dragon 4 Oil filled radiator | Delonghi International) will keep the temperature to a sensible level (e.g. 13C) even through the winter. They're pretty safe, and don't create extra moisture.

I also use a dehumidifier because my workshop is somewhat of an underground bunker and suffers from damp. I bought a desiccant type (rather than compressor) as they're apparently better for lower temperatures.
Yeap oil filled rad cheap and cheerful!

Cheers James
 

Ttrees

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Best thread on the subject I've seen so far is from member Argus

I'm a hobbiest and don't have any insulation in the damp workshop, so I don't try and keep the workshop warm.
As long as the machines and tools keep around the same temperature, and not drastically below
it's not a problem.
I don't let any warm air from outside on a sunny winter day into the workshop,
as it would condensate onto the coldest things with thermal mass (tools and cast iron beds) which won't heat up as quickly as anything else in the room.

If you heat the place quickly/radically, only the odd time...the place may be damp, if so...
Let that heat escape out the door when your finished, as you need to vent any hot air (which holds a lot more moisture than cold air) out of the workshop.

If the place isn't practical to keep heated, It might make sense to keep it cool and to have ventilation
like a draught from under a the doors, ie not packing insulation around it.
Maybe think about a vent if that's an issue.
Can't speak for what you need, but someone would advise.

That might be cold, but if you have no choice, you maybe can do you're glue ups inside.
You dont get rust in a freezer.
All the best
Tom
 

Awac

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If you can’t heat and want to prevent tool rust, wipe after use with a light oil (ballistol is amazing) and camphor tablets.
Camphor fumes released through a plastic cylinder (like an old film container with holes drilled in it) will give your tool box a rust prevention coat. To prevent rust from forming on tools in your drawers or tool chest, all you need is a block of camphor and a plastic film canister.

How about insulate the workshop and use a greenhouse heater, they must be low power use?
 

baldkev

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Depending what you are doing though, but sounds like you want it to be warm, in which case you have to maintain that. My shipping container workshop is difficult. Ive stopped condensation with roof insulation and a dehumidifier, but now its getting colder the timber is taking on moisture. I made a worktop about 3/4 weeks ago, in the hotter weather, and sanded it right down to 3k wet n dry, but now its taking on moisture and the grain is moving.... but that also means if i made something over the winter, when it dries out ( either in summer or in a customers property ) it'll dry up and likely move again.
My workshop is about 20 minutes away, so i cant be there monitoring a heater and im often only there once a week
 

Keith 66

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I have a sectional concrete double garage, It was hot in summer & freezing cold in winter & everything went rusty. I lined all the recesses in the concrete panels with 30mm celotex with plywood over. Roof was replaced last year with 40mm steel insulated sheets. Doors have been replaced & lined with more celotex. It wasnt cheap & has been done over several years. It is heated by one oil filled radiator that is left on lowest setting over the winter, The workshop is toasty warm & nothing goes rusty. Money well spent!
 

accipiter

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Another 👍 for oil filled radiator. I upgraded a 35-40 year old, which had minimal temperature control, one last year to one bought from B&M which has far greater temperature control settings as well as a timer on it so can be set to come on/go off at various times day or night. Also has castors so can easily be moved around my small workshop.
 

Inspector

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I can see everyone is throwing shots but to really provide you with better information you should provide the following at the very least.
Size and height of the garage?
Is this a rental or do you own it?
Staying for a few years or long term?
How is it constructed?
Is there insulation, type?
Attached or detached/ freestanding? Can heat come from the existing house system?
Available power? Single phase or three?
How warm do you want to keep it? Steady, warm in the day and low/off at night, warm when you go in a few times a week and off/low the rest? Year round or seasonal?
Your budget? Min/max, preferred within that range?
Are you using it strictly for woodworking or does the car, garden stuff, etc still have to go in it?
I'm sure there is something else pertinent that I have missed.

Pete
 

mikej460

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I have a sectional concrete double garage, It was hot in summer & freezing cold in winter & everything went rusty. I lined all the recesses in the concrete panels with 30mm celotex with plywood over. Roof was replaced last year with 40mm steel insulated sheets. Doors have been replaced & lined with more celotex. It wasnt cheap & has been done over several years. It is heated by one oil filled radiator that is left on lowest setting over the winter, The workshop is toasty warm & nothing goes rusty. Money well spent!
what depth of celotex did you use Keith?
 

Lampost46

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I can see everyone is throwing shots but to really provide you with better information you should provide the following at the very least.
Size and height of the garage?
Is this a rental or do you own it?
Staying for a few years or long term?
How is it constructed?
Is there insulation, type?
Attached or detached/ freestanding? Can heat come from the existing house system?
Available power? Single phase or three?
How warm do you want to keep it? Steady, warm in the day and low/off at night, warm when you go in a few times a week and off/low the rest? Year round or seasonal?
Your budget? Min/max, preferred within that range?
Are you using it strictly for woodworking or does the car, garden stuff, etc still have to go in it?
I'm sure there is something else pertinent that I have missed.

Pete
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In answer to your questions
I own the garage, 3m x 5m, The process of insulation is an ongoing project, An up and over garage door, brick construction located in the centre of five others, single phase 240V 50Hz, electricity installed, It is both a Woodworking/ Model Making workshop, No big machinery, Concrete floor. Temperature (night 12C, daytime up to 20C) daytime temperature will be set manually.
Budget - Whatever is absolutely necessary.
 

paulm

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Glue some insulation material onto the up and over door and use damp proof course material as a flexible seal to cover any gaps around the door, that will make a big difference. Adding foam/rubber mats to the floor works wonders too. Then an oil filled rad with thermostat on a low setting will give a background level of warmth and reduce damp, top up the comfort levels when needed with short bursts from a fan heater. Look at insulating the roof and walls when you can which will reduce running costs further but with some initial outlay and effort of course. Avoid any paraffin, propane or diesel heaters or similar as they will produce moisture and/or fumes !
 
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Lampost46

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Glue some insulation material onto the up and over door and use damp proof course material as a flexible seal to cover any gaps around the door, that will make a big difference. Adding foam/rubber mats to the floor works wonders too. Then an oil filled rad with thermostat on a low setting will give a background level of warmth and reduce damp, top up the comfort levels when needed with short bursts from a fan heater. Look at insulating the roof and walls when you can which will reduce running costs further but with some initial outlay and effort of cost. Avoid any paraffin, propane or diesel heaters or similar as they will produce moisture and/or fumes !
Paulm
Thank you for that. the garage door is as you suggested but I was also wondering when insulating the roof should I allow a flow of air. The current roofing space is open at either side to the attached garages, should I block that air flow? or should I insulate and allow the current of air to flow above the insulation?
 

Inspector

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I agree with Lampost about avoiding combustion heaters unless they are vented to the outside. I'm not big on portable heaters, favouring ceiling mounted electric with a fan and thermostat. The fan keeps the air circulating which will help reduce the condensation. A little hard for me to find them in the UK from here but this is what (or should it be watt ?) I'm referring to. It would cost under 100 pounds. Bigger are available.

I did come across this site that tells you (bottom of the page) how to size a heater for the space you have. It will get you close to what you would want to start looking for.

Pete
 

aebersold

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As others have said, for a comfortable environment to work in and to stop condensation/rusty tools, you need to insulate and slow down the transition from hot to cold & vice versa. I’ve done that in my workshop including the floor and ceiling and run an 80w bar heater throughout winter which just takes the edge off. A 2kw electric convection heater on the wall to top up when needed. Size is 3.5m x 9m. HTH
 
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