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  • Shop heater?

    I am curious as to bang for the buck heaters? Currently I have a duraheat kerosene heater for my 18x30 insulated/attached garage.It works fine and puts out enough BTUs for me BUT 1k kerosene seems to be "readily" available only at Lowes and Home Depot. I would gladly keep using this unit if it didn't cost me $50 after taxes for 5 gallons....I have used forced hot air kerosene heaters(they run on kero or diesel) and they work well but are noisy and I guess the turbulence would mess with my TIG work. The heater I have now is great but it WILL NOT run on diesel or kerosene other than 1k.....it clogs the wick and wastes it. Realistically it costs me about $150/month as often as I go out there. I need heat it from ambient temperature to a comfortable temp to work in. Seems most propane heaters aren't that efficient....am I wrong? If you were going to buy one what would you go with? My garage is fully insulated. Dave

  • #2
    Do you have natural gas avail? I use blue flame gas wall heaters...Bob
    Bob Wright

    Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
    http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

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    • #3
      yes, house has forced hot air.
      Originally posted by aametalmaster View Post
      Do you have natural gas avail? I use blue flame gas wall heaters...Bob

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      • #4
        BTU/dollar

        A different way to look at it is to figure out BTU per dollar.

        Propane is 92500 Btu/gal

        Kerosene is 135,000 Btu/gal

        Natural gas is 100,000 Btu/therm

        Figure out how many dollars you pay for kerosene and propane, BTU/gal divided by $/gallon will give you BTU/$. Obviously higher BTU is better.

        However, there is another factor, efficiency. A Duraheat heater has no exhaust pipe, so all the heat goes the space, 100% efficient. Sounds good? You are also potentially putting carbon monoxide and other pollutants in your workspace. You are also burning the oxygen in your workspace. Not so good. Do you have a carbon monoxide detector?

        The usual natural gas or propane shop heaters that hang from the ceiling have an exhaust stack, so about 30% of the BTUs go up the stack. But minimal risk of carbon monoxide in your workspace. A house type forced air furnace may be 85 to 95% efficient, just look at the rating.

        You do the math, or give me more information and I can do the math. Pretty simple math, but hard to put a value on cleaner air.

        Richard
        Syncrowave 200, Millermatic 211, Victor torch, Propane forge....

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        • #5
          My shop is not as big as yours, but what I run is a 4800 watt - 240 volt heater & it works great !

          Norm
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          • #6
            What info do you need? Dave
            Originally posted by raferguson View Post
            A different way to look at it is to figure out BTU per dollar.

            Propane is 92500 Btu/gal

            Kerosene is 135,000 Btu/gal

            Natural gas is 100,000 Btu/therm

            Figure out how many dollars you pay for kerosene and propane, BTU/gal divided by $/gallon will give you BTU/$. Obviously higher BTU is better.

            However, there is another factor, efficiency. A Duraheat heater has no exhaust pipe, so all the heat goes the space, 100% efficient. Sounds good? You are also potentially putting carbon monoxide and other pollutants in your workspace. You are also burning the oxygen in your workspace. Not so good. Do you have a carbon monoxide detector?

            The usual natural gas or propane shop heaters that hang from the ceiling have an exhaust stack, so about 30% of the BTUs go up the stack. But minimal risk of carbon monoxide in your workspace. A house type forced air furnace may be 85 to 95% efficient, just look at the rating.

            You do the math, or give me more information and I can do the math. Pretty simple math, but hard to put a value on cleaner air.

            Richard

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            • #7
              Info needed and preliminary calculations.

              Originally posted by JerseyWelder View Post
              What info do you need? Dave
              Cost per gallon of propane in your area. If you have it in terms of pounds I can convert that to gallons. The cost of propane right now is pretty high, so I don't think that the current cost is really representative. I might use $3/gal, although the average price in the US for the last year was less than $3, maybe $2.50 or so.

              Cost per gallon of kerosene, which I think that said was around $10/gal

              Cost per therm for natural gas, assuming that natural gas is available to you.

              The other question is what kind of heater you might use. The kerosene heater is unvented, I believe. If you used propane or natural gas, would you use one of those heaters that typically hang near the ceiling in a warehouse, or something else? I guess that there are unvented propane heaters. As you probably noticed, I am not a fan of unvented heaters.

              I will do a quick sample calculation:

              Kerosene 135,000 BTU/gal / $10/gal = 13,500 BTU per dollar

              Propane 92,500 BTU/gal / $3/gal = 30833 BTU/dollar

              Natural gas 100,000 Btu/therm / $1.50/therm = 66,666 BTU/dollar

              Electricity is 3400 BTU/kw-hr / $0.12/kw-hr = 28333 BTU/dollar

              So you can quickly see that Natural gas is the cheapest, followed by propane, followed by electricity, followed by kerosene. You just get more BTUs for your money.

              I will assume that your kerosene heater is 100% efficient, and the propane heater is 70% efficient. The propane cost then becomes 21,583 BTU per dollar, a little more than half of the kerosene cost.

              Electric resistance heaters are 100% efficient, so that would make electricity cheaper than a propane furnace operating at 70% efficiency.

              Will that pay you to install a new propane heater?

              You would probably spend $1000 or so for a warehouse type propane or natural gas heater. I will assume that you install it yourself.

              Right now you are spending about $150/month on kerosene, but this is the coldest part of the year. I am going to assume that you have three months at $150/mo, and three months at $50/mo, for a total cost of $600 per year. You could maybe cut that to $350/year with propane, and maybe as low as $200/yr with natural gas. Electricity would probably be around $300/yr.

              Basically, in four years you would get your money back from propane, maybe 2.5 years with natural gas.

              Electric space heaters are much cheaper than $1000, maybe $200 to $500. Clean heat, cheaper than kerosene. I paid $50 for a 220V electric heater from Craigslist, that looks like a pretty good investment. I am not in my shop every day, so my heating costs are not high. I think that in your situation I would probably just go electric, unless you have access to natural gas. Obviously I assume that you have adequate electricity in your shop.

              A propane heater might heat your shop faster than electricity, so that is another issue.

              Then you have to consider intangibles, like hassle factor, safety, convenience, etc.

              I think that these numbers are reasonable and hardly surprising. As you have already found, kerosene is expensive, propane is a popular heating fuel with moderate cost, electricity is also a popular heating fuel, and natural gas is the cheapest heat of all.

              Richard
              Last edited by raferguson; 02-16-2014, 10:40 PM.
              Syncrowave 200, Millermatic 211, Victor torch, Propane forge....

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              • #8
                They don't sell kerosene at gas stations around you? We have acouple of stations within 5 miles of us that sell it and it is about $5.00 a gallon verses the containers at lowes that are presealed.
                Lincoln Vantage Kubota diesel 30 amp spool gun , Hobart 210 with spool gun, Thermal dynamic pak master 75, miller 304xmt all mobile all ready to go.

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                • #9
                  I've been wondering if anyone makes a waste oil heater for my shop. I've got plenty of used motor oil. I only need about 30,000btuh.
                  Does anyone have experience?
                  CG
                  Old Miller Swinger 180 Buzzbox
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by chewinggum View Post
                    I've been wondering if anyone makes a waste oil heater for my shop. I've got plenty of used motor oil. I only need about 30,000btuh.
                    Does anyone have experience?
                    CG
                    I have a "Clean Burn" 185,000 BTU waste oil heater in my shop. It has been in use now for about 19 years. Works great.
                    This unit burns 1.15 gallons an hour.

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                    Griff
                    Last edited by griff01; 02-17-2014, 11:02 AM. Reason: correction & add photos

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                    • #11
                      They do. I a ctually posted on craigslist to see if anyone wanted to sell unopened 1k Kerosene cans . I had a response that a Hess close by sells it by the gallon($3.85). I went and picked up 5 gallons even though I had ten gallons. Just to be sure it worked. It was clear and the guy said it was 1k but it instantly flared up when I put it in my duraheat heater. I had to desmoke my garage after 10 minutes.....then I was able to relight it and adjust it but it definitely sooted up the wick so I'll assume it's just standard kero....these duraheat heaters WILL NOT run on anything but 1k kerosoene after the first tank full. Dave
                      Originally posted by Gmmandan View Post
                      They don't sell kerosene at gas stations around you? We have acouple of stations within 5 miles of us that sell it and it is about $5.00 a gallon verses the containers at lowes that are presealed.

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                      • #12
                        Electric

                        I run a 5000 watt electric. At $.10 a k/w hr that's $.50 an hour to run. Would do just fine in your shop.

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                        • #13
                          What one? Does it sky rocket your electric bill? I am not looking for 70 degrees.....I just want to get it around 55....that's what I consider cozy for working.....I don't have a problem if it takes an hour to warm up......just wanna take the chill out. I am either going electric or nat gas.
                          Originally posted by nfinch86 View Post
                          My shop is not as big as yours, but what I run is a 4800 watt - 240 volt heater & it works great !

                          Norm

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                          • #14
                            What model?
                            Originally posted by TRC View Post
                            I run a 5000 watt electric. At $.10 a k/w hr that's $.50 an hour to run. Would do just fine in your shop.

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                            • #15
                              It's called the Hot One---- RCP SERIES. Made by Cadet. Use mine a lot.

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