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How do you guys heat your shops in the winter time?

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Stephenedwardgraphic, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. Our shop is a 1000 square foot space above the garage at our home in Wisconsin. When we remodeled it last summer we had a heating and cooling company come out and spec everything thing out. They recommended that we put in a Lennox heat pump/air conditioner unit. Over the last several days the unit has been freezing up and shutting down. Our work room is about 30 degrees right now. Called our heating company and they are sending out a tech to check things over, but the tech told me on the phone that heat pumps don't work well when the weather gets below 15 degrees outside. That was never disclosed to me at the time of purchase. Just curious if any of you have experience with heat pumps or how you are heating/cooling your shops. I originally wanted to put a furnace in and heat the garage and our upstairs work room but they told me that would be overkill.

    Signed,

    Frustrated and Cold in WI
     
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  2. JgS

    JgS Member

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    I got tired of spending $500 a month on propane so I went out and bought a few of those oil filled space heaters and they work great. only increased my elecric $100 a month. We had a week this winter where it got down below 0 and the shop didn't get below 65.

    one thing you may consider as well is increasing the installation you have at your shop.
     
  3. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    I heat with wood and if I had my preference it would be an outdoor furnace...but our stove is indoors. Since air is a poor conductor of heat, I dry stacked about 5,000 pounds of cement blocks around it to help retain and evenly distribute the heat...kinda like a heat "savings account" that pays out 24/7. Blocks are stacked on brick ties attached to the stove keep things secure.

    The concept is based the Scandinavian masonry heater idea (a lot of mass used to retain heat). It heats my 30' x 25' two car garage (shop) and the entire 1,500 s.f. upstairs of our home (garage is beneath upper story). Even if the fire goes out (which isn't very often) it still stays warm.


    In the shop, the furnace radiates heat to all corners, and for the upstairs I let convection do the work...it uses no fans to force the air upwards or ourwards. During the last ice storm, we were without power for nearly a week and we stayed toasty warm.

    Masonry heater on Google: https://www.google.com/#q=Scandinavian+masonry+heater


    JB
     

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  4. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Why does it look like you are burning a dog in there ??
     
  5. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    What you're seeing is the cast iron grate support in the back of the stove...which, ironically, looks a little bit like my yellow lab.

    To all our PETA members, no animals were harmed in the aforementioned photo.


    JB
     
  6. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    We have 2 of these: http://www.spaceray.com/garage_infrared_heaters/index.php

    Love 'em. Only maintenance is to blow the dust once a year before heating season. Original unit is nearly 20 years old and hasn't missed a beat. They are explosion proof also. Big plus since I never know what type of jobs will pop up day to day.
     
  7. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

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    Mostly solar. Just keep the doors open all day.
     
  8. ExecuPrintGS

    ExecuPrintGS Member

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    i wear thick socks and a hoody all winter, its very hard to keep our shop heated, the goal is 70* by the printers.
    This winter has been tough, we are in a new space and as you are aware, its been cold in WI this year.
    We have a bunch of small space heaters to help with the 2 large heaters in the shop, problem is the concrete walls, once they are cold its game over for us.
     
  9. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    So, instead of heating concrete surfaces and air..... drape some stuff up on the walls to soak up some of that heat to keep it hot longer. Cutting off cold areas like windows and doors from drafts with some blasts of hot air, you can keep it from cooling off faster, also. Remember, space heaters are only gonna heat up air, you want something like radiant type heaters which warm up objects, including bodies.
     
  10. TyrantDesigner

    TyrantDesigner Art! Hot and fresh.

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    absolutely lovely. I'm assuming solid cement blocks, correct?



    I normally just have a kiln that I fire when I do know I'm going to do some work. Luckily it gets cold and snows here ... but my little kiln keeps my shop at my house a nice 80 degrees (and fires some more ceramics)
     
  11. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    Hign E gas in the sign shop. Heated floors and a hanging radiant heater at the farm (Prop.)
     
  12. ChicagoGraphics

    ChicagoGraphics Major Contributor

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    I just switched from electric heat to a kerosene heater, I won't miss my electric bills at all
     
  13. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    Yep, they're solid...we used to have a local block maker and they were only 99 cents each. It was a pretty cheap fix for all the money they've saved over the years.


    JB
     
  14. gnatt66

    gnatt66 Active Member

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    if i had your situation i'd consider a pellet stove. I have a cheap one at home (999.00 tractor supply special) and it heats my whole house here in NH for about 2 tons a year (approx 4-5 hundred bucks). i rent shop space so and it has a little gas "fireplace" but its a small area.
     
  15. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    COREL 011.jpg NORTH FLORIDA: dont get really cold here but in the 20's sometimes. i picked this up on craigslist and changed it over from natural gas to propane. i got 2 30 pound tanks....and dont use both of em between nov-march. 800 sq ft 16 ft tall shop. i have a ceiling fan in the center and run it on low when i run the heater.
     
  16. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    in the house we got this....nothing heats better then a wood stove)))
     

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  17. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Very Active Member

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    Yes, that is typical of heat pumps. If you have weather colder than 20 you typically have a secondary source of heat. When above 15-20 though the heat pump saves you a ton compared to regular electric.
     
  18. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    Yuck. Expensive for us - gas/electric run between 1000 to 1500 a month. For the main part of the shop two 3 ton and one 6 ton package heat/ac units. All 3 are natural gas heat. Did just add two 7 foot ceiling fans in the main front area to stratify the air and bring the heat back down. In the main install bay area - three 120,000 btu ceiling hung gas heaters like what old paint showed but considerably larger with big fans on the backs of them, plus a single 10 ton ac for cooling in the summer. Gas bills run high in the winter..... We have a chunky 4" gas main coming into the shop. Stout power too- place used to be a millwork. Have 3 phase 600amp 480v electric service too, have a huge main shutoff, my wife does not weigh enough to pull the handle lol. :Big Laugh At home, package heat/ac plus a wood burning fireplace and a second gas fireplace, also natural gas.
     
  19. dypinc

    dypinc Very Active Member

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    Hot water boiler the pumps the water through tubes in the floor. Great on feet and doesn't blow dust around.
     
  20. Locals Find!

    Locals Find! Very Active Member

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    Being in Southern Florida when I need to heat my office up I simply turn off my A/C. All the work you guys up Nawth have to do seems extreme. I wouldn't be able to handle it.
     
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