Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
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.
I'm 99% certain its not an issue. Indiana is pretty free, and I live in an unincorporated/unzoned area, which means I don't need to follow jack-squat according to IN code if the dwelling is my own. My house just has to conform to codes if I try to sell it, which isn't a problem because any wood-burning systems will be removed before selling.
Originally Posted By ar-jedi: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.
No way is that happening... I considered outdoor boiler 2 years ago when I installed my stove in the house, too expensive, too much wood consumption, and not ideal for my subdivision or land-use. No way am I spending $10k plus initial investment just to keep the garage warm.
Originally Posted By ar-jedi: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.
If I'm not mistaken, as the air is heated up, unless there is a source of moisture being added to the air it won't condense back out because the relative humidity will be decreased as the air heats up. But I could be wrong. Either way, a wood-burning appliance would easily solve that problem because it would be continuously drawing the moist air in as combustion air and replacing it with dry outside air.
Originally Posted By abinok:
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.
Originally Posted By Onelow:
How about one of these Window mounted pellet stove
No new chimney
It fits your budget
You can take it with you when you move
Simple to run, for when your on deployment
That is exactly the type of outside of the box thinking I'm looking for. Granted, I will still have to buy my "fuel" but that's not a totally bad idea. I would have to sit down and pencil out the costs involved in that vs. some of the other suggestions, but I really do appreciate the suggestion.
Originally Posted By ilbob:
There are all kinds of options. If it is just humidity you are worried about, your cheapest option is an exhaust fan run off a humidistat. You will need an inlet grille as well.
You seem to be fixating on heat. Most cheap heat will end up adding humidity to the garage, although it probably won't matter much, as the air can hold a lot more water without it being an issue as the air temperature gets warmer.
Heat just seems like the most logical option. Raise temperature to reduce relative humidity therefore reducing condensation. The only "cheap heat" options that add humidity would be vent-free LP and dryer vent type things. Most other forms of combustion either vent outside, or don't add any significant moisture as a product of combustion...
Dehumidifier isn't out of the question, but cost vs. benefit is much higher from my stance. If I can fully heat the garage to make working in it comfortable in the winter it's an added benefit...
Originally Posted By Rat_Patrol:
Baseboard or forced air electric heaters (available in 120 and 240 VAC) work well. No exhaust to worry about, are basically 100 efficient, do not add moisture to the garage, and very affordable to buy and install. Downside is electric bill, but that is still probably cheaper than propane/fuel oil. Also, with electric, you will fly under the radar as far as smoke stacks out of the garage. We use electric to heat our house. I can't even mess with wood for how cheap our house heats (no more than $250/month in heat in the coldest months here in MN). Should make note my electric is half price because we are on the duel fuel setup. We use portable kero heaters when we need heat and the electrics are off.
Also, running a de-humidifier would be a good idea. It will do two things for you: remove moisture and give off some heat. Win/Win.
Cheapest to OPERATE is probably a tie between wood and waste oil.
Just to put things in perspective for those that still insist on suggesting electric options. Before I added wood to my place my heating bills were $400/mo and that was w/ the thermostat at 58 degree and only heating part of the house. My neighbor who has a similar house to mine (same builder, similar layout and sq footage) has electric bills that routinely break $1k in the winter. So pure electric heating (anything that is resistive electric) is 100% out of the question. Like I said, I have the most expensive electric provider in the entire state of Indiana, I'm not giving them a penny more than I absolutely have to. Just to further expand upon the expense of electric, it's actually a selling point that is often listed in real-estate listings when a home is not in XYZ electric coop's district.