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Heating a workshop

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grumpy brit

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I have a wooden workshop where I create a lot of sawdust. At the moment I am trying to heat it with a electric oil filled radiator. Not a lot of warmth in there. So, can any one advise if gas (propane ect) is safe with saw dust flying around.

Many Thanks

Colin
 
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RichardG

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Have a search there are quite a few threads on heating and various views. Hopefully this link works.

Heating
 
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It's only safe if you watch where the dust or shavings land and settle, just like a wood burning stove. I've used a propane space heater before off and on for instant heat you just have to make sure the area around it is clear and also where it's pointing. When you say there's not a lot of heat is the radiator big enough for the size of the workshop and is the building insulated. I've also had another insulated workshop with an oil filled radiator left on tick over 24/7. Warm as toast and the electric bills were not big as your not heating from cold every day and your tools don't go rusty. Hope this is useful.
 

Inspector

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A friend has a natural gas wall unit. Combustion air was from outside and indoor air fan circulated through the heater. No open flame. If something like that is available then it is worth considering.Kept his 800 sq ft/75m3 shop warm and toasty.

There are wall mounted heater AC units that will work too.

You should get good dust collection not only for combustion reasons but for your lungs.

Pete
 

Ollie78

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I recently bought a little ceramic fan heater from screwix. It works great and cost £35. Probably not super economical at 3kw but it gets the place warm in about an hour and then I turn it down to minimal.

The trouble with the propane ones is they produce a lot of water.

Insulation is key my workshop is pretty good for that with 50mm celotex.

Ollie
 

JobandKnock

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If combustible dust gets drawn into a propane gas heater (the type with a fan) it turns into a flame thrower, believe me. They also generate a lot of water vapour which will condense on metal tools as the building cools
 

Sideways

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This may seem an odd idea but a dessicant dehumidifier makes maybe 350 or 450W of heat as a by product of drying the air. Dry air doesn't feel as cold as damp so this winter for the first time using an ecoair machine, I'm taking about 1 litre of water out of the air every 2 hrs of running and getting by with a couple of fleeces and the DH without putting the fan heater on.
Single brick garage here with no insulation, but it has been in the 6-12 degree range a lot of the time. Not minus numbers.
 

Cabinetman

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It’s not the fault of the oil filled radiator, my well insulated 45‘ x 15‘ is heated very nicely with one, it’s the lack of insulation, it just can’t keep up with how fast the heat is escaping through the walls and roof. Ian
 

Westy619

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I use 4 of these hooked up via thermostat and timer switch to heat my 5m x 6m workshop. They work out to less than 1Kw of power and takes a couple hours to get it up to temp (ususally around 17-19 degrees currently in winter). Key thing for me was insulation when I built the workshop, 100mm celotex under the slab, 100mm in the walls and 120mm in the roof.

 
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artie

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This may seem an odd idea but a dessicant dehumidifier makes maybe 350 or 450W of heat as a by product of drying the air. Dry air doesn't feel as cold as damp so this winter for the first time using an ecoair machine, I'm taking about 1 litre of water out of the air every 2 hrs of running and getting by with a couple of fleeces and the DH without putting the fan heater on.
Single brick garage here with no insulation, but it has been in the 6-12 degree range a lot of the time. Not minus numbers.
May I ask which dehumidifier you are using?
I get less than a litre per day.
 

artie

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They work out to less than 1Kw of power and takes a couple hours to get it up to temp (ususally around 17-19 degrees currently in winter).
I wouldn't want my workshop that warm.
I'm quite comfortable down to about 8c.
If it goes below that I fire up one of those cheap diesel heaters that people use in camper vans.
I have a line through the wall to the CH oil tank so it's very cheap to run.
My "shap" isn't well insulated so this just raises the temp a few degrees. In a well insulated shop it would of course be much more effective.
 

Sideways

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May I ask which dehumidifier you are using?
I get less than a litre per day.
It is an ecoair dd3 classic mk2. Bought direct from the makers.
4.5l tank.
In the last week I ran it 3 times on the 2hour timer, full speed.
Humidity display showed it dropping the RH by about 12% each time
96 to 84, 86 to 74, 78 to 66 sort of numbers.
I poured 4 litres down the sink at the end of those 6 hours. The water container felt heavy.
 

Cabinetman

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Fairly sure that’s the same one I have, I run it in a large wardrobe type construction (I call it my kiln) to reduce the moisture in firewood it’s staggering the amount of water that comes out, and as you may know it don’t burn!
 
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Rufus

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I have a Clarke Little Devil propane heater but, as someone said above, they generate a lot of water vapour into the room which then condenses so I don't use it in my workshop. I now have a desiccating dehumidifier (Meaco DD8L - very good, takes a lot of moisture out and also slightly warms) and alongside that a ceramic heather. Not sure what temperature I get up to, but it's comfortable enough to work and the dried air makes it feel better.
 
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It’s not the fault of the oil filled radiator, my well insulated 45‘ x 15‘ is heated very nicely with one, it’s the lack of insulation, it just can’t keep up with how fast the heat is escaping through the walls and roof. Ian
Your exactly spot on Ian. You don't really notice the electric it uses either as it's not on full trying to catch up heating a cold space every working day etc.
 
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I recently bought a little ceramic fan heater from screwix. It works great and cost £35. Probably not super economical at 3kw but it gets the place warm in about an hour and then I turn it down to minimal.

The trouble with the propane ones is they produce a lot of water.

Insulation is key my workshop is pretty good for that with 50mm celotex.

Ollie
50Mmm Celotex wow. I have 12mm Celotex and its as warm as toast inside.
 
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