Heating a insulated workshop

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

danst96

Established Member
Joined
21 Jan 2021
Messages
542
Reaction score
564
Location
Regina, Canada
Hi all, not sure if UK forum is the best place for this question or whether I need to find one in Canada but as many of you may know, i relocated from Leeds to Saskatchewan Canada in 2021.

While there are many differences, perhaps the biggest change has been the weather with temperatures last night hitting -37 with a real feel of -48. My workshop is a 4 car garage where i have the back half of the garage dedicated to workshop and the front half is left for the cars. The workshop is insulated and I run a 220v space heater for a few hours prior to working in there however it chews a lot of energy and doesnt do anything to keep my workshop warm consistently meaning i have to store all finishes and glues inside the house which is a bit of a frustration.

The workshop is pretty well insulated and generally will sit around 5-10 degrees warmer than outside but when its so cold that doesnt account for much.

My question is, what would be the best and most efficient way to keep my workshop warm?

I do have a potential option of erecting a wall halfway down the garage to separate out the workshop and car space meaning i would have less area to heat. Another benefit is it would give me a ton more wall space which would be useful however I am on the fence as to do this or not as it will cause some constraints, mainly with my table saw infeed and also mean I potentially will have to work between two areas on larger projects. The other longer term constraints is if I want to park my truck inside (Chevy Silverado) I will have to make my shop smaller than id like.

Appreciate the issue i have probably isnt very relatable to many but anyone with any ideas or experience with heating something like this it would be appreciated.
 

Attachments

  • 20221022_215441.jpg
    20221022_215441.jpg
    2.2 MB · Views: 0
  • 20221022_135922.jpg
    20221022_135922.jpg
    1.5 MB · Views: 0
I think most folk would be envious of that space you are having a problem with.
The idea of splitting the workshop into two is definitely the way to go. If you did this down the middle instead of across the width you would get around the problem with table saw feed as you could open the garage door, weather permitting. Heat wise, I'd be thinking of a wood burner.

Colin
 
Why not use a folding partition to split the area, when not needed just fold back. Always cheaper to heat a smaller area but at those temperatures I would look at a woodburner.
 
I agree i am very privileged with the amount of space that I have. Splitting lengthways would make the most sense and that is an option, the main drawback is i would be able to fit 2 smaller cars in but not a truck and a car however its not the end of the world if i cannot get a truck in there. I will draw it out and see how it would work.

In terms of the heat, a wood burner would be ideal for while i am in there but i guess i am looking for something that provides warmth throughout the night and day when i am not in there, looking to just maintain a temperature of around 5 degrees so things dont go bad. One thing i was considering was electric infloor heat, i sell it for work so can get hold of it relatively inexpensively just not sure how efficient it is.
 
Another vote for a partician and echo spectric,s advice for a folding or at least part of it on a sliding rail. I also think a wood burner capable of burning sawdust is an economical way to go . I can’t even imagine what-37 feels like .
 
I can’t even imagine what-37 feels like .
It is impossible to imagine until it gets here. It freezes your nose hairs instantly and its just a brutal sensation, you cant stay outside for long and the cars really struggle.

Perhaps the most intriguing thing is its impossible to imagine anything can survive the temps. When it is winter here, its hard to imagine or remember what summer is like (we get consistent temps of 25-35 degrees for a couple months) and when its summer its hard to imagine what winter can be like because the summer is good. Its not for everyone but i love it.
 
It is impossible to imagine until it gets here. It freezes your nose hairs instantly and its just a brutal sensation, you cant stay outside for long and the cars really struggle.

Perhaps the most intriguing thing is its impossible to imagine anything can survive the temps. When it is winter here, its hard to imagine or remember what summer is like (we get consistent temps of 25-35 degrees for a couple months) and when its summer its hard to imagine what winter can be like because the summer is good. Its not for everyone but i love it.
I love the thought of the freedom but from what I’ve seen ( on uk tv ) everyone in the winter has frozen eyebrows and beards and moustaches, it looks like a very beautiful place but must be the opposite of fire and brimstone in the winter. Love your workshop and good luck resolving your heating issue.
 
It is impossible to imagine until it gets here. It freezes your nose hairs instantly and its just a brutal sensation, you cant stay outside for long and the cars really struggle.

Perhaps the most intriguing thing is its impossible to imagine anything can survive the temps. When it is winter here, its hard to imagine or remember what summer is like (we get consistent temps of 25-35 degrees for a couple months) and when its summer its hard to imagine what winter can be like because the summer is good. Its not for everyone but i love it.

it doesn't get as cold here, but it does occasionally reach -25C or so here. the sensation is interesting when you go outside and the snot at the edges of your nostrils freezes a bit when you breathe in. We saw -35C one time as a freak thing (rural PA) where I grew up and it sent a lot of farmers to the hospital when they did morning chores with what we normally wear here. Frost bite on farm kids' cheeks, etc. nasty.

As far as heating, I'd be inclined if I wanted to store something in an area to do it in a heated closet and then heat the rest of the space with a wood stove.

To heat the entire indoors even to 45-50F would be very costly.

the logistics of this kind of thing would be cumbersome - like, should it be storage only, or should it maybe be not half the garage, but a non-permanent walled off area big enough to finish or assemble/glue.

Where I grew up, a shop like that (new one) that's heated all the time is either splitting flow from an outdoor wood boiler, or has its own oil furnace and radiant floor heating. The former is a lot of labor, and potentially cost, and the latter is a lot of cost.

The lower temp limits there eliminate a split system, which would be a nice option for a small area otherwise.
 
Cold eh! 🥶 Wonder what that's like?🤣

Since you are not sure of the partition, why not put up a soft one for this year and see how you get along with that area walled off? By now you have seen the insulated tarps placed around buildings, foundations etc while the work in winter continues. https://www.princessauto.com/en/12-x-24-ft-insulated-tarp/product/PA0008647877. Get one (or two if you want double thickness) and screw it to the ceiling with fender washers, maybe one wall and put some weights along the bottom. You could also put up a heavy duty curtain rod if you want to pull it back in the summer. You can easily change it up to see what layout works the best for you. In a year to two if ever you can put up solid walls.

As for heat, a natural gas furnace hanging from the ceiling is the best compromise between heat output and cost of running. You also don't have the insurance company getting bent about a wood stove in the shop. Save the wood for the fire pit in the summer. Get a good dust collection system though. This is the brand we have in the garage and it is kept between 10C and 20C all winter, depending on whether the wife is casting resin pen blanks. Sterling GG Series Unit Heater - Thomson Industries | Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning They vent directly out the side of the wall so if the gas line is close it is an easy install. Talk to some plumbing/heating companies to get an idea of cost.

Pete
 
If insulated, what aspect of it is the least well insulated? I built a long workshop split into two rooms; one a pure workshop with a 1M wide steel door with insulation between the inner and outer steel panels. The other room is more garage, housing a tractor and other outdoor stuff. The electric garage door is also insulated, but is the weakest link. We’re it not for the garage door it would be a passive building. If similar applies to you, I would split the building so that garage door leakage doesn’t impact on the workshop.
 
Hi all, not sure if UK forum is the best place for this question or whether I need to find one in Canada but as many of you may know, i relocated from Leeds to Saskatchewan Canada in 2021.

While there are many differences, perhaps the biggest change has been the weather with temperatures last night hitting -37 with a real feel of -48. My workshop is a 4 car garage where i have the back half of the garage dedicated to workshop and the front half is left for the cars. The workshop is insulated and I run a 220v space heater for a few hours prior to working in there however it chews a lot of energy and doesnt do anything to keep my workshop warm consistently meaning i have to store all finishes and glues inside the house which is a bit of a frustration.

The workshop is pretty well insulated and generally will sit around 5-10 degrees warmer than outside but when its so cold that doesnt account for much.

My question is, what would be the best and most efficient way to keep my workshop warm?

I do have a potential option of erecting a wall halfway down the garage to separate out the workshop and car space meaning i would have less area to heat. Another benefit is it would give me a ton more wall space which would be useful however I am on the fence as to do this or not as it will cause some constraints, mainly with my table saw infeed and also mean I potentially will have to work between two areas on larger projects. The other longer term constraints is if I want to park my truck inside (Chevy Silverado) I will have to make my shop smaller than id like.

Appreciate the issue i have probably isnt very relatable to many but anyone with any ideas or experience with heating something like this it would be appreciated.
Hello,
I used to have a similar large workshop, plenty big enough for my tractor or Landrover. I decided it was pointless trying to heat it, better to have a system to take the chill off so that one could work inside, also dry the air so that tools were kept in good condition without surface rust. I used a simple system of electric convector heaters fitted with timers. I set them to come on at various times depending on outside temperature and when you thought you might be in the workshop. They were set up to come on a couple of times during the day and evening etc. It stopped the tools getting surface rust and made the workshop pleasant. One could also adjust them easily depending on what one was up to,
Regards
 
Hi all, not sure if UK forum is the best place for this question or whether I need to find one in Canada but as many of you may know, i relocated from Leeds to Saskatchewan Canada in 2021.

While there are many differences, perhaps the biggest change has been the weather with temperatures last night hitting -37 with a real feel of -48. My workshop is a 4 car garage where i have the back half of the garage dedicated to workshop and the front half is left for the cars. The workshop is insulated and I run a 220v space heater for a few hours prior to working in there however it chews a lot of energy and doesnt do anything to keep my workshop warm consistently meaning i have to store all finishes and glues inside the house which is a bit of a frustration.

The workshop is pretty well insulated and generally will sit around 5-10 degrees warmer than outside but when its so cold that doesnt account for much.

My question is, what would be the best and most efficient way to keep my workshop warm?

I do have a potential option of erecting a wall halfway down the garage to separate out the workshop and car space meaning i would have less area to heat. Another benefit is it would give me a ton more wall space which would be useful however I am on the fence as to do this or not as it will cause some constraints, mainly with my table saw infeed and also mean I potentially will have to work between two areas on larger projects. The other longer term constraints is if I want to park my truck inside (Chevy Silverado) I will have to make my shop smaller than id like.

Appreciate the issue i have probably isnt very relatable to many but anyone with any ideas or experience with heating something like this it would be appreciated.
I think you’re idea of building a wall is spot on. Build a stud wall, and get some insulation in it, and skin it with something like 12mm ply. Then you can screw all kinds of stuff directly to it for storage. Also great for keeping the sawdust away from your car.

those temperatures sound shocking! But even here in the uk, I keep glues inside in winter as the cold doesn’t do them any favours.
 
Hi, my workshop is much smaller at 5 x 4.5 metres. I use a single 1200w IR heater and this brings up from 5•c to 17•c in about 40 minutes. A friend has a much larger space and she used 4 IR heaters. They cycle on and off once up to temp and I can turn it on/off from an app on my phone.
In the UK it is supplied mu “Surya” no hot elements
48DFE435-E723-453F-83D2-A5519693DF5A.jpeg
 
I have just set up a Chinese diesel truck heater in my garage works fine
You could put it on low through the night then boost when in the workshop uses very little fuel see u tube videos
 
I have just set up a Chinese diesel truck heater in my garage works fine
You could put it on low through the night then boost when in the workshop uses very little fuel see u tube videos
I use one of those in my small workshop, I don't think it would be up to increasing the temp 52 deg
 
I like d_w's suggestion of a heated cabinet for the glue and finishes, thats dead easy and quick.
Maybe you could get super efficient and build the partitions on rollers, so you can move them around and change configuration ( maybe they are 2.4m long sections )
You'd have to see how parallel the floor and ceiling are for repositioning, but it might help?

Amazing space, but i can't cope with the cold. The devon cold (-5 max) is about as low as i go these days 😆 i actually break out in cold hives which is unpleasant
 
I have just seen this post, that's not a garage that's an aircraft hanger. I think most Brita on here will be green with envy. ;)
 
Heavyweight curtains as a divider? May need some thought around the edges to exclude draughts and possibly a zip or buttons where they meet but shouldn't be anything insurmountable.
 
I like d_w's suggestion of a heated cabinet for the glue and finishes, thats dead easy and quick.
Maybe you could get super efficient and build the partitions on rollers, so you can move them around and change configuration ( maybe they are 2.4m long sections )
You'd have to see how parallel the floor and ceiling are for repositioning, but it might help?

Amazing space, but i can't cope with the cold. The devon cold (-5 max) is about as low as i go these days 😆 i actually break out in cold hives which is unpleasant

I would bet there are pet solutions. years ago, people would talk about using something similar to a gun safe (very american, I know) and using a goldenrod heater. they called them dehumidifiers, but I think all they do is heat the inside of a cabinet enough to prevent humidity from causing rust.

the temps in sask are a real problem when it comes to stuff that freezes and causes trouble (yellow glues, finishes, etc). It's one thing to keep something 20F outside from freezing and another when it's -30F. when you acclimate even to 0F over a cold snap, it becomes very difficult to perceive that it's even cold at 32F/0C.

the other possibility for the wider area is the old school concept of thermal mass. Have something massive on one side of the shop, even if it's block and gravel, and heat that. That side of the shop will be warmer without having to heat the whole shop, and temp swings will be less.
 
Back
Top