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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks,

While running the risk of starting yet another "how do I heat my garage" thread, I've come across the idea of using a forced air, propane furnace. Recently, I found a couple furnaces on CL that were pulled from mobile homes and for the price, they seem like a great option for the garage.

It seems there are up-draft and down-draft style hot air furnaces. The one's coming from mobile homes seem to be down-draft style and might be more difficult to use how I'm thinking...

Has anyone setup this type of thing in their shop? My idea was that I could get it hooked up with the necessary power and then have a propane tank setup outside and pay the propane people to hook up the furnace. I was thinking that I would not need any duct work...just let the thing blow air into the 28x24 garage. It would also rise onto the second floor and heat the workshop upstairs. The garage and upstairs are insulated.

Any thoughts? Crazy idea or good idea?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Hmm...maybe this should have been in the Barns and Buildings thread.

Mods: Please feel free to move!
 

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My neighbor does this with a used oil burner furnace he picked up for real cheap. He had a friend that does HVAC and watched for a good one that he was replacing to grab for him. He fashioned a couple simple homemade duct elbows coming off the top to blow hot air into the garage space. Is there a way to do the install so it is compatible with vapors typically found in garages? I am sure his is not.
 

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My neighbor does this with a used oil burner furnace he picked up for real cheap. He had a friend that does HVAC and watched for a good one that he was replacing to grab for him. He fashioned a couple simple homemade duct elbows coming off the top to blow hot air into the garage space. Is there a way to do the install so it is compatible with vapors typically found in garages? I am sure his is not.

Sounds like its fairly effective at heating?

I have a couple options for exhaust...the garage is outfitted with a chimney for a wood stove, which I could go that route, but I'd like something more on a thermostat to just keep the garage at a nice, comfortable 50 or 55 degrees. I figured if I went witha propane furnace, worst case is I direct vent it outside with a 3 or 4 inch pipe...or whatever is required by the furnace.
 

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It really comes down to btu demand,,
if you have an uninsulated shed that will need 400,000 btu's to get comfortable,,
and your mobile home furnace is 20,000 btu's,,,
you may not be happy with the installation,,,:flag_of_truce:

If the opposite ratio is installed,, it will be more comfortable,,
I want to be warm,,,, :yahoo:
 

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Hmmmm......Lebanon, PA........wood stove chimney.....hmmmmm....

Have you thought of picking up a small used coal stoker? :dunno:

Coal is cheap fuel in your area compared to LP, oil & pellets, thermostat control, can use direct vent or chimney exhaust, minimal work getting fuel compared to wood, minimal tending compared to wood, more BTU's compared to pellets probably enough to heat workshop too. There are downsides depending where you live with respect to the ash.

Still have the vapor / flame issue to deal with but it can be done.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hmmmm......Lebanon, PA........wood stove chimney.....hmmmmm....

Have you thought of picking up a small used coal stoker? :dunno:

Coal is cheap fuel in your area compared to LP, oil & pellets, thermostat control, can use direct vent or chimney exhaust, minimal work getting fuel compared to wood, minimal tending compared to wood, more BTU's compared to pellets probably enough to heat workshop too. There are downsides depending where you live with respect to the ash.

Still have the vapor / flame issue to deal with but it can be done.
Coal can certainly be had here quite easily - I was born and raised up in Schuylkill County...a hard-headed coal cracker...

I burned coal for about 10 years in our first house and now burn wood in the house, plus a baseboard-hot water-oil furnace. For the shop, I'm looking for a "flip the switch" solution. Right now I'm using the torpedo heater and a mr.heater propane cylinder mounted heater. Works okay, but ultimately, I just want to keep the garage temp in the 50's...

I'm either working on one of my old motorcycles, or upstairs in the wood shop doing a project. The concrete floor is like a block of ice and the cast iron table saw, jointer and planer act the same way upstairs. Keeping the shop around 50 degrees would sure feel a lot better, I think.
 

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My garage is 30X40 with 10' ceilings called pole barn. The ceiling is insulated, the walls are not. I use a kerosene furnace from a mobile home. Down draft type. I burn offroad deisel. I have no smell and can keep the garage 50 deg with no problem. I am sure it will do higher but above 50 deg or so is rather warm for me to work in. I like the downdraft as I set the furnace to swept the heated air flow directly across the floor warming the floor at the same time. The concrete floor stays comfortable with the rest of the area nice to work in. I made a square frame with angle iron then took metal flashing and made a curve from the back of the top of the frame to the bottom front. This forced the air to the bottom and across the floor. I sealed up the rest of the square with the left over flashinig I had. I think I set my furnace about 2' above the ground on top of the metal frame. So far I have had this setup for about 15 years and have had no problems, even on windy days with temps in the teens. So yes it is duable.
 

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Make sure you use a dial type thermostat. I bought a nice digital one for my shop. They don't work below 32 degrees.:banghead:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My garage is 30X40 with 10' ceilings called pole barn. The ceiling is insulated, the walls are not. I use a kerosene furnace from a mobile home. Down draft type. I burn offroad deisel. I have no smell and can keep the garage 50 deg with no problem. I am sure it will do higher but above 50 deg or so is rather warm for me to work in. I like the downdraft as I set the furnace to swept the heated air flow directly across the floor warming the floor at the same time. The concrete floor stays comfortable with the rest of the area nice to work in. I made a square frame with angle iron then took metal flashing and made a curve from the back of the top of the frame to the bottom front. This forced the air to the bottom and across the floor. I sealed up the rest of the square with the left over flashinig I had. I think I set my furnace about 2' above the ground on top of the metal frame. So far I have had this setup for about 15 years and have had no problems, even on windy days with temps in the teens. So yes it is duable.
Thanks, BillieS. Exactly what I was wondering...would love to see a pic of the setup, but I think I have a fairly accurate mental picture of what you have going on.

Yeah, 50 - 55 is about perfect for me as well. I'd typically have a light work jacket on. Much more than 60 and then I'd be just wasting fuel / energy...for my taste, anyway.
 

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In my first house I knew a hvac guy who sold me a used but older built like a tank, downdraft natural gas furnace.
I installed it in the three car garage on top of a section of square galvanized duct about 2' square I think.
I cut vent openings in the duct and installed diffusers and threw a filter on top.
Problem I had was the good cement floor eventually cracked I believe from dissimilar temperatures near the overhead door openings.
Maybe if I had insulated the bottom of the duct it would have helped.
 

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John,
You can set up a down flow furnace for you shop. Most mobile home furnaces are usually a minimum 54K BTU. Raise it up off the floor a minimum of 18 inches if you are just going to allow it to run along the floor.
 

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Thanks, BillieS. Exactly what I was wondering...would love to see a pic of the setup, but I think I have a fairly accurate mental picture of what you have going on.

Yeah, 50 - 55 is about perfect for me as well. I'd typically have a light work jacket on. Much more than 60 and then I'd be just wasting fuel / energy...for my taste, anyway.
I get a chance this week I'll try to get you some pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all the help and suggestions - extremely helpful.

I'm going to call this guy on CL and see what he has available. The units he had were all around 5 years old...not too shabby.

Great idea about setting it on a square duct...

Once I find out how tall the units are and the exact footprint I'd need, I might be able to move forward with this little project.
 

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I did this in my first shop/garage 20 years ago. I acquired an oil furnace that had been replaced when natural gas became available. I did have some basic ductwork attached to the top to prevent creating too much of a loop between supply and return. It heated the space very well.

Someone asked about garage/shop vapors. I ran that heat only when I needed it and never really unsupervised. A couple years after I sold the place, I read about it in the papers. The fire was supposedly "started by a furnace in the garage". I will never know what happened but do know that the buyer was planning to use the garage for his woodworking hobby. I don't know if he failed to maintain the oil furnace properly or ended up with a hazard from some sort of woodworking product fumes. I think this concern is applicable to any fossil fuel heat source in a space where we might be working with flammable products!

Lee
 

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I have a standard gas furnace (Nat Gas) that heats my barn, it’s two stories and ~46’ x 34’ with vapor barrier and insulation. The furnace sits in the unheated portion (46’x 32’) and is updraft and ducted. I keep things about 50F fairly inexpensively.
 

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I have a attached garage 24X30 with a 10ft ceiling. I got a nat Gas hanging furnace out of a building being torn down in about 1994 and have had no trouble with it. I leave it set on 50 and it sets all summer nice and quite and when it gets cold it kicks on. I have done nothing to it since we hung it and it just set there. When I want to do work I turn it up to 70 and in 30 minutes its ready to go. I like it because its up out of the way.
 

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I have a 40x60 Morton Building that is full insulated. I have a nat gas home furnace and air conditioner in the unheated attic which then ducts to 8 spots in the ceiling. No fume or dangerous issues because it is in the attic. It is not a high eff, furnace because they cannot freeze. When it is zero out I keep the shop 55 degrees other wise it will not freeze in there if it is off all week.

The only issue is since the return in on the ceiling and the vents are as well I need ceiling fans to move the heat around. In the summer it does not get hot in there but it will get humid. The home air conditioner is a bit overkill but it is nice.
 

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Furnace for Garage Heat

I struggled for many years with a stinky oil burner from an old Mobil Home down draft furnace to heat my 24 X 32 garage.
To save room in the garage, I installed the 250 gallon tank outside nearest the corner where the furnace was.
Bad idea considering my area gets to below Minus 25 degrees frequently and I wanted to run the cheapest fuel
possible, # 2. I often had to change clogged filters, one at the tank, one at the furnace even thou I treated the # 2 oil.
Codes in my area require a sealed condensing furnace in a building where flammables/cars/trucks are stored.
I got away with the open flame oil burner for many years, but constantly worried about the consequences.
My new furnace, a one year old Propane sealed combustion Condensing down draft 40.000BTU furnace works well.
I don't get the same amount of heat for Dollars spent on fuel, though.
I found a 5 year old 250 gallon Propane tank for a good price and set it on an approved concrete base.
Owning my own tanks saves me some Dollars by being able to shop around for the best Propane prices.
I do have to maintain my regulators, though.
I built a base/plenum out of 2 inch angle iron 18 inches off of the floor and covered it with 16 gauge metal. I then cut holes
for flexible 6 inch elbows,1 1/2 inches off the floor one exiting along the back wall, one exiting the side wall.
I ran 6 inch round duct, 16 feet to a register on the short wall and 24 feet of duct to two registers on the long wall.
My area has gotten 13 inches of snow, so far this week. My Tahoe and Ma's Enclave track a lot of snow into the garage with
the best attempts to clean them off.
I think the heat along the walls just off the floor works well, for me. The floor is dry by next morning.
 
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