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Need Advice on Kerosene Heater for Garage

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Old 01-06-2013, 06:50 PM   #1
67TBowl
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Default Need Advice on Kerosene Heater for Garage

I would like to work on my '67 Convertible thru the winter. I am thinking about buying a portable kerosene heater to warm things up.

My attached garage is 24' X 24' and not insulated. The temperatures in the Boston area are in the 30 degree F range.

I am looking for any advice on buying and using a kerosene heater.

Thanks in Advance.
Mark
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:04 PM   #2
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I had one and could not stand it. The fumes gave me headaches. I insulated the garage and bought a Modine Hot Dawg gas heater. Best money I ever spent!
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by myronf View Post
I had one and could not stand it. The fumes gave me headaches. I insulated the garage and bought a Modine Hot Dawg gas heater. Best money I ever spent!

It could have been the fumes or even more likely, carbon monoxide poisoning. Kerosene not only stinks and poisons you if you don't have an adequate amount of fresh air available, it also puts out a lot of moisture that will condense on everything in your garage that is cold. I would look for a different heat source.

Jim
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:07 PM   #4
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I got a 24x24 barn. I used to heat it, uninsulated, with a kero-sun radiant heater. It took half the day to warm up and never really got comfortable enough to remove a jacket.

This year I insulated the barn and bought a radiant propane heater. Works off a 20lbs tank. The kero-sun still takes forever and never really heats the barn (only 7' ceiling too). The propane at 50-80,000 btu gets the barn from 32 to 70 in about 20 minutes. No comparison. Gets warm, stays warm. Totally awesome for working on the car.

It does generate moisture on everything till the place warms up, but for working a few weekends a month out there, I don't think moisture is a big problem. All my wood working equipment is a lot cast iron and heating intermittently with open flame has not caused them to rust over the last 8 years so I am confident the cars won't suffer.

I also tried heating my uninsulated garage, 22x25 with a gabled roof to about 20'. The propane gets that quite warm in about 1/2 an hour.

I was worried about open flame and the gas from the gas tank in the car. so far, no problem. The buildings are not very tight. I don't store any gas in either building except what is in the cars.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:12 PM   #5
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Free standing wood stove...
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:41 PM   #6
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Check out the garagejournal forum. Lots of useful info.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmies63 View Post
I got a 24x24 barn. I used to heat it, uninsulated, with a kero-sun radiant heater. It took half the day to warm up and never really got comfortable enough to remove a jacket.

This year I insulated the barn and bought a radiant propane heater. Works off a 20lbs tank. The kero-sun still takes forever and never really heats the barn (only 7' ceiling too). The propane at 50-80,000 btu gets the barn from 32 to 70 in about 20 minutes. No comparison. Gets warm, stays warm. Totally awesome for working on the car.

It does generate moisture on everything till the place warms up, but for working a few weekends a month out there, I don't think moisture is a big problem. All my wood working equipment is a lot cast iron and heating intermittently with open flame has not caused them to rust over the last 8 years so I am confident the cars won't suffer.

I also tried heating my uninsulated garage, 22x25 with a gabled roof to about 20'. The propane gets that quite warm in about 1/2 an hour.

I was worried about open flame and the gas from the gas tank in the car. so far, no problem. The buildings are not very tight. I don't store any gas in either building except what is in the cars.
be very careful, John (Plasticman) burned down a garage (and car...) when gasoline fumes ignited from an open heater flame.
Bill
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:55 PM   #8
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Default Need Advice on Kerosene Heater for Garage

Mark,

My advice is Not to use a Kerosene heater for heat in your garage while woking on your '67. The open flame from a Kerosene heater poses an explosion risk in environments where flammable vapors may be present, such as in a garage. Please use another source of heat for your garage. I wouldn't want to see you lose your life, home, and car... as many people do when using such a heater.

Bruce
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:31 PM   #9
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l would not use a kerosene heater for all the reasons mentioned. One not mentioned was fuel cost. It's pretty high for the amount of run time you get out of it.

I'd go with a non-vented natural gas or propane heater in your circumstance.

I have used a torpedo kerosene heater, free standing kerosene space heater, free standing vented propane heater, non-vented propane wall heater and propane forced air furnace over the years.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myronf View Post
I had one and could not stand it. The fumes gave me headaches. I insulated the garage and bought a Modine Hot Dawg gas heater. Best money I ever spent!
Modine forced air propane 50,000 btu heats my garage. Thermostat controlled, direct vent through the wall. If for some reason you get into a situation where gasoline is spilled or you have an open container of it, shut the heater off ! just my $.02
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:22 PM   #11
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Wow. It sounds very dangerous.

Its time to go back to the drawing board.

Thank you for all of your thoughtful responses.

Mark
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:26 PM   #12
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If you do decide to use a kerosene heater, the kerosene you buy in containers, is a LOT cleaner burning than what you get out of a pump.

Around here, you can pump kerosene into your container at certain gas stations. Not sure how common this is in other areas.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmf62 View Post
be very careful, John (Plasticman) burned down a garage (and car...) when gasoline fumes ignited from an open heater flame.
Bill
Actually it was 2 cars plus a trailer (23T altered drag car on trailer & a 66 XKE roadster).

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Old 01-06-2013, 09:38 PM   #14
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carbon monoxide poisoning if i remember correctly causes your skin to turn pink. jim
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:44 PM   #15
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Here is what you don't want to see:



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Old 01-06-2013, 09:58 PM   #16
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I have a 80k btu one that runs off a propane tank and it only takes about 30 minutes of it running to get everything in the garage warm and I might have to run it again later in the day if I open the garage door for more than a few minutes...
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:31 PM   #17
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I'm in New England too, Worcester area, and just last year had a 45,000 BTU propane Modine Hot Dawg installed in my insulated 24X28 garage. I had a kerosene torpedo heater before that and I'm happy I spent the money for the Hot Dawg. The kerosene heater smelled and was noisy as others have commented.

Bill
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:26 PM   #18
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1. Insulate the garage.

2. Use a direct-vented natural gas heating unit or an electric heater.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:30 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bighouse View Post
Check out the garagejournal forum. Lots of useful info.
I spent some time searching the garagejournal forum and there is a lot of good info there.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Mark
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:15 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdk971 View Post
carbon monoxide poisoning if i remember correctly causes your skin to turn pink. jim
Actually, the skin turns cherry red (like a sunburn) but that is a very late symptom when you're close to death. The first things to occur are headache and flu like symptoms.

Jim
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