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SigOwner_P229
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Posted: 9/7/2012 7:37:19 AM EST
I know I may be asking for a miracle here, but I'm going to try it anyways just in case I'm overlooking something.

New (less than 10 yrs old) 2 car attached garage, that is "insulated" but the quality is questionable because of "cheap" builders. my wife keeps her car indoors in the winter, the other bay is tools, machinery etc (lathe, mill, all the goodies). Last winter while I was on deployment a lot of my tools got rusty. Now that I have a lathe and mill in the garage I definitely want to prevent this. I don't want to fully "heat" the garage, just keep it 10-15 degrees above outside temp to keep the moisture from condensing.

Firewood is abundant at my house, I already heat primarily with wood. I would love to put a wood stove in the garage but there are a few problems. The investment in a 2nd Class A chimney to do it right is pretty big. I don't really want to do many more permanent changes to the house (trying to avoid another hole in the roof). I don't plan to live in this house much more than 5 more years and that means I'm going to have to sell it. It's in an "upscale" neighborhood and I don't want to make it look too much more "redneck". The firewood stacks, beehives, chimney, etc already make it look a bit redneck; 2 chimneys would be the icing on the cake. Another problem is the garage is pretty "tight" as it already is so something ceiling mounted or low-profile wall mount would be ideal. One problem with that, no gas service here :(

I could possibly crack the door between the house and garage to allow things to heat up a bit every once in a while, but the problem is that my stove is already pushing max output to heat my whole house, heating the garage isn't going to work on colder winter days....

Obviously vent-free devices are out of the question because they won't help with moisture problems at all.

So my options are:

Small wood stove in the garage:
Advantages: nearly free operation, could fully heat the garage and not be a problem
Disadvantages: larger initial investment, another hole in the roof, takes up quite a bit more space

One variation to this would be to route the chimney through the window avoiding the hole in the roof, and I could take the stove/chimney with me when I move. Not ideal, but I've thought about it quite a bit...

LP options would have to be direct vent and I will have to buy or rent an LP tank (unless I use small grill size tanks), not to mention the cost of the LP.
Advantages: cheaper initial investment
Disadvantages: higher operation costs

I guess I'm just looking for some ideas in case I haven't thought of it all yet....

What do you think I should do? I know what I really want to do is to just do it the cheap way and get a cheap cast iron stove, run the pipe out through the garage window, and run like that for the few years I plan to be here. But I'm concerned about how redneck it will make me look...

Are there any other cheap and easy ways to keep my garage just warm enough to prevent condensation?
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Posted: 9/7/2012 7:50:01 AM EST
Possibly look into a Toyo stove. They run on fuel oil, but don't use a lot of it. and they can be pretty small.
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ColtRifle
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Posted: 9/7/2012 7:52:19 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/7/2012 7:53:31 AM EST by ColtRifle]
I would either go with a propane vented heater like the Mr. Heater or maybe a radiant tube heater (Mr. Heater makes on too but they are more money)

My shop that I am building has a vented propane Mr. Heater and I like it. Works really well. Northern Tool has them on sale from time to time.

I'm guessing that you'll need one of the 45k btu units but I don't know the size of your garage.

You can buy a 100 lb propane tank for about $130. Or, watch craigslist. I've seen them for $60-70 new on craigslist.

Don't do a wood stove unless you are willing to invest BIG $$$ in your chimney.
ataris121
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Posted: 9/7/2012 8:05:07 AM EST
wall vent a wood/kerosene drip and install a good heat exchanger on the stove pipe.
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Posted: 9/7/2012 8:18:13 AM EST
key words: virtually free wood

Get a pot belly stove. Buy one as efficient as your budget can afford. If you add an inline scavenger for the exhaust with a blower, it substantially increases the efficiency.
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Rat_Patrol
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Posted: 9/7/2012 10:37:39 AM EST

Originally Posted By wildearp:
key words: virtually free wood

Get a pot belly stove. Buy one as efficient as your budget can afford. If you add an inline scavenger for the exhaust with a blower, it substantially increases the efficiency.

Careful with those. They can decrease the EGT too low and creosote can build up in the chimney can plug up and you could have a chimney fire on your hands. Use these only with very dry hard woods, and keep a thermostat on your stack above the scavenger.
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Posted: 9/7/2012 10:54:36 AM EST
Move to Florida, problem soloved. Then you will be on here asking how to cool off your garage.
ColtRifle
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Posted: 9/7/2012 11:17:34 AM EST
Only install a wood stove if you are willing to spend big bucks on a chimney.

I think in some areas, wood stoves are prohibited in garages. Might check your area. Also, check with your insurer. They may not cover you if you have the wood stove.

Garages typically don't need as much heat as a house.

ccwaters
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Posted: 9/7/2012 12:56:03 PM EST
Not being able to see your existing set up and layout makes it a little difficult... That said get inventive, my first thought is
to expand/improve your current wood fired heat system to do what you need it to. add a DIY box in the stove pipe to scavenge additional heat.
This could be similar to the old school magic heats (ducted out to the garage?), build a box, heat some water (copper tubing comes to mind), pump it out to the
garage (not pressurized) use a large truck heater core, or a radiator, run forced air through that once the water is in the garage.

My first choice would be to move to a system which takes care of ALL your heating requirements, done properly it would add value to the home.



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Posted: 9/7/2012 12:57:37 PM EST
A little TOYO oil heater should do the job.
Set it around 50 degrees, probably burn less than 20 gallons per month.
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Posted: 9/7/2012 1:00:06 PM EST
My brother has one that burns used motor oil. I'll find out what type, if you're interested in going that route.
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Posted: 9/7/2012 1:08:36 PM EST
It doesn't sound like your problem is heat, but rather moisture.

A 6 foot baseboard electric heater can be very drying. I have one in my garage and don't have any issues with stuff rusting.

Another alternative is a small dehumidifier, but in my opinion, they cost more to run than a baseboard heater.

Let us all know what you decide to do.

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Posted: 9/7/2012 1:27:58 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/7/2012 1:31:29 PM EST by AR-10]
Originally Posted By ColtRifle:
Only install a wood stove if you are willing to spend big bucks on a chimney.

I think in some areas, wood stoves are prohibited in garages. Might check your area. Also, check with your insurer. They may not cover you if you have the wood stove.

Garages typically don't need as much heat as a house.



+1 to this.
Insurance companies don't like to see a wood burner in a garage. They don't want a woodburner in any building that has vehicles in it, according to my insurance agent.

I'd look at an electric radiant heater. They are 220v, but they use very little electricity. You could mount it overhead, or on a wall. It doesn't take a lot of heat to keep our garage above freezing, and keep the humidity down.

Our heat source is natural gas. We installed a thermostat that I can dial down to kick on at 35 degrees, and shut off at 37 degrees. An electric heat source should be as cheap or perhaps cheaper to run than our natural gas unit.

ETA; Baseboard heater might be practical, too. Not sure which would be more efficient, baseboard or radiant. One thing you can't argue though, heat rises.
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Posted: 9/7/2012 3:29:15 PM EST
Originally Posted By Pafrank:
It doesn't sound like your problem is heat, but rather moisture.

A 6 foot baseboard electric heater can be very drying. I have one in my garage and don't have any issues with stuff rusting.

Another alternative is a small dehumidifier, but in my opinion, they cost more to run than a baseboard heater.

Let us all know what you decide to do.



I like this answer.
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Posted: 9/7/2012 3:33:52 PM EST
I would not do a wood burning stove. you cant be there all the time to fire it, and do you really want to keep an eye on it at all? secondly, gasoline vapors may be there. I had one in my detached garage for use when i was in there. the old owner installed it, but it was a super pain to use because it took long to get hot. now i use a kero turbo heater.

seems like some blown in insulation and a 6 foot baseboard heater on your side of the garage would work. I think the moisture is coming from the snow and rain from the car.

i bet an wall mounted fan would help quite a bit.
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SigOwner_P229
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Posted: 9/7/2012 4:02:58 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/7/2012 4:09:07 PM EST by SigOwner_P229]
Originally Posted By dmfl54:
Move to Florida, problem soloved. Then you will be on here asking how to cool off your garage.

Nah... I love my job, I love my family, and most of all I LOVE living in Indiana...

Originally Posted By ccwaters:
Not being able to see your existing set up and layout makes it a little difficult... That said get inventive, my first thought is
to expand/improve your current wood fired heat system to do what you need it to. add a DIY box in the stove pipe to scavenge additional heat.
This could be similar to the old school magic heats (ducted out to the garage?), build a box, heat some water (copper tubing comes to mind), pump it out to the
garage (not pressurized) use a large truck heater core, or a radiator, run forced air through that once the water is in the garage.

My first choice would be to move to a system which takes care of ALL your heating requirements, done properly it would add value to the home.




Well, that sounds great, but probably not going to happen. The current setup is only 2 years old and is "perfect" for this type of house. I don't want to modify it at all, I just want to keep my crap from rusting in the garage. Also, it's not a problem with heat extraction (it's a modern high efficiency wood stove), it just overall capacity. I can continuously stoke it and on the really cold days the problem is that the firebox fills with coals and they don't burn down fast enough to allow more wood. Installing a woodburner in the garage will allow me to transfer coals to the garage to burn down further w/o wasting them and I can in turn keep the house warmer...


Originally Posted By AR-10:
Originally Posted By ColtRifle:
Only install a wood stove if you are willing to spend big bucks on a chimney.

I think in some areas, wood stoves are prohibited in garages. Might check your area. Also, check with your insurer. They may not cover you if you have the wood stove.

Garages typically don't need as much heat as a house.



+1 to this.
Insurance companies don't like to see a wood burner in a garage. They don't want a woodburner in any building that has vehicles in it, according to my insurance agent.

I'd look at an electric radiant heater. They are 220v, but they use very little electricity. You could mount it overhead, or on a wall. It doesn't take a lot of heat to keep our garage above freezing, and keep the humidity down.

Our heat source is natural gas. We installed a thermostat that I can dial down to kick on at 35 degrees, and shut off at 37 degrees. An electric heat source should be as cheap or perhaps cheaper to run than our natural gas unit.

ETA; Baseboard heater might be practical, too. Not sure which would be more efficient, baseboard or radiant. One thing you can't argue though, heat rises.

When I installed the stove in the living room a few years ago I called my agent and asked about a wood-stove, he didn't have much to say other than, "Doesn't change a thing, we don't need anything from you, it's all insured the same" We never discussed where, how, why or anything so I imagine its not a major problem to have it in a garage.

Electric isn't happening plain & simple. I have the most expensive electricity provider in the entire state and I refuse to pay them a penny more than I have to. Electric is definitely MUCH more expensive than gas in my area.

Originally Posted By OverScoped:
I would not do a wood burning stove. you cant be there all the time to fire it, and do you really want to keep an eye on it at all? secondly, gasoline vapors may be there. I had one in my detached garage for use when i was in there. the old owner installed it, but it was a super pain to use because it took long to get hot. now i use a kero turbo heater.

seems like some blown in insulation and a 6 foot baseboard heater on your side of the garage would work. I think the moisture is coming from the snow and rain from the car.

i bet an wall mounted fan would help quite a bit.


I'm already here all the time to tend to the woodburner in the house, one in the garage isn't a big deal... Only gas vapors would be from the car, the mower and all gas is stored in my shed.

Moisture is certainly coming from the meltoff/rain from the car...


Thanks for all the suggestions guys, keep them coming... I'm starting to get tempted to go the wood route even though it'll cost more up front. I think I can do it with no permanent mods to the structure by running it out through the garage window... I figure $1500-2000 for cheap stove and the proper chimney setup.

2nd to that is to just suck it up and do some sort of direct-vent LP system. The Toyo heaters sound great but I'm not completely sold on them yet. I figured up about $400/year fuel cost running the Toyo Laser 30 (smallest one they make) on low.
The benefit to wood is that I can stoke the fire when I get home from work, and the garage will be toasty warm by the time I get changed, eat dinner, then go outside to work on a project etc. The added cost to run the garage toasty warm is VERY minute compared to the other options where I have to buy some sort of fossil fuel to get it that much warmer...
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Posted: 9/7/2012 4:29:19 PM EST
here is a link for a waste oil heater you can build real cheap. http://journeytoforever.org/biofuel_library/ethanol_motherearth/me4.html
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Posted: 9/7/2012 8:16:56 PM EST
Part of the problem is high humidity , gotta control that as well .
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Posted: 9/7/2012 8:48:29 PM EST
Originally Posted By Pafrank:
It doesn't sound like your problem is heat, but rather moisture.


Yep.

Strange as it sounds, the solution might be as simple as moving moist garage air outdoors, and drawing in dry outdoor air to replace it.
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Posted: 9/8/2012 1:19:09 AM EST
These things do a great job and in my experience are pretty cheap to run (as far as electric in my AO). I think some of them can be converted to 220. Gotta keep the insurance in mind when discussing attached garage and that discussion likely leads to no open flame. I had the same problem with woodworking equipment rusting and I didn't want to leave the shop heated overnight or unattended torpedo heater. It didn't heat the shop but kept the chill off to prevent condensation. Install behind the mil or lathe and it becomes a heat sink...
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Posted: 9/8/2012 2:24:08 AM EST
Uh? Oil your machines. Thats how we do it........

We only heat the shop when we use it. The machines do sweat. We hit them with kroil and we keep most of the rust at bay. The worst is a little superficial rust on the chucks and vises if we don't oil them. Having pretty machines never occured to me to be necessary. The slight rust actually protects the metal once it is there as long as its oiled up after.

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Posted: 9/8/2012 2:25:55 AM EST
Originally Posted By Skibane:
Originally Posted By Pafrank:
It doesn't sound like your problem is heat, but rather moisture.


Yep.

Strange as it sounds, the solution might be as simple as moving moist garage air outdoors, and drawing in dry outdoor air to replace it.


This sounds good, but the machines sweat in the warm air as you heat the shop to use it. Working with machine tools in the cold sucks.
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Posted: 9/8/2012 3:13:18 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/8/2012 3:13:59 AM EST by FrankSymptoms]
Originally Posted By whiskerz:
Part of the problem is high humidity , gotta control that as well .


How about a dehumidifier? I bet it'll run on LOTS less electricity than a heater!

eta

...and it'll be appropriate in summer as well as winter.
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Posted: 9/8/2012 4:07:29 AM EST
Originally Posted By SigOwner_P229:
Small wood stove in the garage:

in all probability your local building code prohibits a wood stove installation in a garage. even if such an installation is not specified, i would think long and hard about this approach.

you would be better off with an outside wood-fired boiler and then installing underground insulated pipe to the garage. the chances of your garage/cars/tools blowing up drops to zero.

nevertheless...

as noted above, i agree that your problem is humidity –– not necessarily temperature. in fact, warmer air could make your problem worse in two respects. first, warmer air holds MORE moisture. if there is a source of moisture, such as a damp concrete floor, more of the water vapor is going to be held by the warmer air. it's just physics. second, unless you keep the temperature relatively constant, you are asking for a condensation problem. and guess where that condensation is going to occur? condensation is the result of localized air temperature being lower than the dew point of air containing moisture. this is why when you take a cold glass of iced tea outside in the summer, the high moisture in the hot air condenses on the outside surface of the glass.

you may end up with the same problem with your heavy equipment. start: cold room, cold equipment, high humidity. when you turn on the heat, the room air temperature will come up MUCH faster than the heavy equipment could possibly. steel/iron equipment that weighs a thousand pounds takes a long, long time to heat up. until it does, the hot, moisture laden air will result in condensation on the cold surface of the equipment. the very same situation as with the glass of iced tea. again, it's just physics.

Originally Posted By SigOwner_P229:
I guess I'm just looking for some ideas in case I haven't thought of it all yet....

a dehumidifer is probably going to get you farther than a heater, and it will be cheaper as well both on initial expense and on operation. but you should first find out where the moisture is coming from. ground saturation due to poor drainage? collection from downspouts? improper grading of surrounding yard? too much tree cover?

Originally Posted By SigOwner_P229:
Are there any other cheap and easy ways to keep my garage just warm enough to prevent condensation?

get rid of the moisture. then it doesn't matter what the temperature is. look at those aircraft sitting in the arctic circle for 50 years; they are in perfect condition. very cold, but no humidity.

ar-jedi



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abinok
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Posted: 9/8/2012 4:37:24 AM EST
Do you have a south facing wall that will allow passive solar with a heat box? Having one on my shop helped sell our old house. It also saved lots of money in what it would have cost to heat with electric, or gas.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/renewable-energy/2006-12-01/Build-a-Simple-Solar-Heater.aspx
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Posted: 9/8/2012 5:08:58 AM EST
Dryer vent plumbed into the garage?

A warm engine will dump lots of heat into a garage too. When I come home from work in the summer I let the truck sit outside for at least an hour before putting it in to shed off some of the heat. In the winter just the opposite parking the truck inside the attached garage.
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