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workshop heating

Halogen heaters

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mick H11/12/2013 14:14:27
766 forum posts
28 photos

As things are starting to get a bit nippy in the workshop, I have been wondering how to warm things up a bit. I have been using an electric fan heater which is a bit slow and even on it's maximum setting of 1.5KW does not produce much warmth. I saw an electric "Halogen" heater operating in a shop the other day and it looked and felt quite cosy and efficient. I have always been led to believe that power in = heat out. Have I been seduced by the warm glow of the halogen heater or are these heaters more efficient? Why is there such a wide price differential between different models of these heaters?

terry callaghan11/12/2013 14:22:34
237 forum posts
10 photos

Over the past few weeks I have been insulation the garage which is my workshop. I was able to get some second hand slab insulation off ebay.This sorted out the walls and celling. plasterboard and a coat of white paint made it all lighter. for heating I use a oil radiator set to a low background heat. I find this worked out well. I think that with all things including halogen heaters, looks and brand names play apart in the asking price. michael

Gordon W11/12/2013 15:08:14
2011 forum posts

I have just ordered an Halogen radiant heater, 3 settings £35 aprox. I usually have a little blow heater on the bench, just keeps my hands warm, but find I need more nowadays. I was in the pub smoking shelter and felt quite warm, heat coming from a little halogen infra-red heater about 6 ft. above my head, so thought thats' got to worth a try. NB these heaters only heat whats' infront of them.

FMES11/12/2013 15:14:47
608 forum posts
2 photos

Heat fast, repent with condensation at leisure.

better to keep a low background heat, my de-humidifier keeps the internal temp at around 10 - 15 degC when its freezing outside, then just a small fan heater to top up if needed.

This is in a 22' x 16' building.

Bob Youldon11/12/2013 15:33:17
183 forum posts
20 photos

Hi Mick,

Halogen heaters are alright but ideally you need to circulate air around the workshop, not a lot but it'll stop any dampness occuring in those deep dark corners where the spider population lurks. Depending on the type of construction and the level of insulation you can as a rule of thumb allow 2.5 -3 btu per cubic ft what ever that is in metric! A suitable wall mounted fan heater set to give about 60F, ideally clock controlled to give about and hour in the early evening and an hour in the early morning and operating on a low tarrif will normally suit the home workshop needs. I've been using a similar set up for over thirty years and I've never suffered any damp or rust problems.


Bob Youldon

Bob Youldon

Brian Still11/12/2013 15:36:42
13 forum posts


I am lucky enough to have one of the smallest storage heaters and a dehumidifier. Normally it is as warm as toast inside. The shed was well insulated when built and this is crucial. I bet I get a few criticisms over the expense but I would prefer to be warm now retirement is being enjoyed.

No rust bug either and that's a bonus!


David Clark 111/12/2013 16:04:07
3357 forum posts
112 photos
10 articles

I would use one of the tubular greenhouse heaters. I think mine is about 20watt.

regards David

NJH11/12/2013 17:33:07
2314 forum posts
139 photos

Halogen heaters are pretty poor - the heat provided is radiant and they will just heat what is directly in front of them. My preference is for a convector heater - not as fast but they will heat up the whole space. As I , and others, have previously posted the secret is to insulate, insulate and insulate.


Alan .20411/12/2013 17:46:11
304 forum posts
14 photos

An easy way to work out your BTU needs is to measure the length the width and the height of the room to the nearest foot then time this by the factor of 4 - 5 - 6, 4 being a room inside the house 6 being a conservatory type room, so it could be something like 15ft long by 10ft wide and 7ft high by the the factor of 5 which would be 15x10x7x5=5250BTU it's near enough for most thing's and usually comes out a bit over but with thermostats wired in its better to be just over than under, hope this help's, for me I've just got my waste oil heater working well now and the shed's soon up to 21 degrees C in 30 minutes.


Rik Shaw11/12/2013 19:00:13
1483 forum posts
398 photos

My "factory" is just an 8' x 8' shiplap summerhouse - uninsulated but well sealed with a job lot of sealant I got for not a lot at a car boot sale. I have a cheapo little fan heater which - this time of year - I usually switch on in the morning and go back to the house for breakfast.

Breakfast over I back to the factory and inside it's pleasantly warm. Every three or four weeks (winter and summer especially if there has been a lot of rain/snow) I leave the dampsucker running overnight for a couple of nights (it's a big s*d on wheels).

I honestly don't have any problems with condensation/rust and as my lathe and mill use oil coolant most of my kit is covered with a fine film of oil anyway.

Summer is MY problem - it gets so hot in there some days that I simply vacate. But I have a cunning plan - I am looking to flog my dampsucker and buy another that combines AC.

Bill Dawes11/12/2013 19:38:28
534 forum posts

Mick I have a fan heater under my lathe stand, keeps the feet lovely and toasty, also a couple of halogen heaters one fixed on a bracket on the wall and another free standing for occasional use.

35 quid seems a lot to pay for a halogen heater, you can get them much less than that these days.

I also insulated my roof (my workshop is a partitioned off part of my garage, well the major part of a double garage actually) and have rubber flooring mats down, interlocking ones from Machine Mart, these are a sort of foam and I did wonder how durable they would be but have been down a couple of years now and seem fine.

David, 20 watts wouldn't keep a shoe box warm surely, have you missed a few noughts off!!


Bill D.

Bob Perkins11/12/2013 21:02:39
249 forum posts
60 photos

I have a halogen heater in my garage size workshop. It semi rotates which spreads the heat about. Keeps it nice and toastie and no rust issues.


Muzzer12/12/2013 02:11:31
2904 forum posts
448 photos

Doesn't really matter what electric heater you use, they are all exactly 100% efficient. So unless you do something clever like point a radiant heater directly at the window, it'll produce the same final temperature as a fan or convection heater in the end. However, if you point it at something like a machine tool or a human body, it will warm that up to a higher temperature than the local ambient. I like to use a thermostatic fan heater myself - they can often be turned right down to prevent frost.

Occasionally you see the odd manufacturer claiming that their electric heater is "more efficient". Unfortunately the laws of physics generally prevent that possibility. Unless you are in the USA, where that kind of claim still seems to be acceptable!


Limpet12/12/2013 09:31:11
135 forum posts
5 photos

When I put my workshop up I realised it was only 2metres from thecentral heating boiler so I ran 2 x 3/4"pipes around the bottom - result lovely and warm not damp no rust - move the workshop


IanT12/12/2013 10:09:11
1993 forum posts
212 photos

Alternatively, stay indoors and set up a mini-workshop on an old printer table. You can still go down the Shed on mild days and you are more likely to be tempted to get something done on a cold night (than just stay indoors and watch the TV).

My little EW set-up is slowly evolving and there are many smaller jobs that can now be done in comfort.

ew with taig mill mounted - 091113.jpg

dave greenham12/12/2013 20:51:51
100 forum posts

Hi Mick

i used a space heater, which warmed the place up quick but also put plenty of water in the shop so things soon started to rust. With the price of electric, I didn't want to go down that road. So in the end I bought a multi fuel fire off eBay. Now the shop is nice and warm and no rust. Can be difficult to regulate the heat though. 1 day it was -6 outside but in the shop it was too warm at +20 lol but I soon got the hang of it. So it now keeps me warm and a bag of good coal will last me about 10 days. Not bad at £10 a bag. May be worth thinking about.


Russ B12/12/2013 22:25:00
615 forum posts
26 photos

I'm with David Clark if you don't spend all day in there, Small tube heater 30w-100w on a thermostat 24/7 keeps the moisture at bay and doesn't cost the earth.

A good jumper and some proper long johns!! ex-MOD - the white ones with a square or line pattern in them - I've tried newer ones, even some expensive ones, which looked and felt quality but they frequently disapoint - to hot, a bit clammy, to cold.... the old school ones always seem cosy and just right...........



Edited By Russell Bates on 12/12/2013 22:26:35

Cyril Bonnett13/12/2013 20:40:48
244 forum posts
1 photos


Have worn their 'thermals' for years, 30 feet up pylons in the winter never once felt the cold.

Our army long johns were green and I think cotton, some of the guys wore ladies tights and swore by them, black ones were favourites!

mechman4815/12/2013 12:14:11
2947 forum posts
468 photos

My garage conversion is in a previous write up on 'heating the workshop'. In essence studding frames, Celotherm insulation (same as Kingspan) fitted, overlaid walls with OSB sheeting, Celotherm fitted to access door & roll up door, loft space rafters covered in plasterboard, loft insulation on top ('Space Blanket' gives 6" thickness),so far this year has kept the temp stable at 10*C even with the warm weather we've had, supplemented for winter with 2 small oil filled rads,1.5 Kw ea. bought from the local supermarket on offer for £19 ea. one either end of garage,18'x8'  which were switched on this week for the first time for about an hr, brought the temp up to a cosy 14-16*C, then turned thermostats down as it was getting overwarm, so far no need for dehumidifier & no signs of rust. the key word for me is 'Insulation'


Edited By mechman48 on 15/12/2013 12:19:14

Edited By mechman48 on 15/12/2013 12:20:09

Speedy Builder515/12/2013 16:10:11
2613 forum posts
212 photos

Oh well, Perhaps its 3D printing for the winter in the study and metal bashing in the summer.

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