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Workshop Heating

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Vic27/08/2014 11:41:37
2957 forum posts
8 photos

My old workshop was a garage attached to the house and was too hot to work in in summer and too cold in winter. As I shared it with a number of "white" goods including two small freezers I'm told the heat from these is the reason I suffered little in the way of items going rusty. The new workshop will be a timber cabin 5m x 3m, solid wood 44mm thick with an insulated floor and ceiling. I'm not sharing it this time so what sort of low cost background heater would be suitable to keep rust at bay in the winter? I've not looked into it yet but seem to remember you used to be able to buy garage or greenhouse "cylinder" heaters that only used a small amount of electricity. Anyone know of anything more suitable?

Vic27/08/2014 11:44:33
2957 forum posts
8 photos

This is the sort of thing I remember. Would they be suitable, how many/what size would I need?

NJH27/08/2014 15:48:22
2314 forum posts
139 photos


Rusting is caused by condensation and condensation is caused by changes of temperature that cause the Dew Point to be crossed.

The trick is to keep the temperature above the dew point and slow down the rate of change of temperature.

My workshop is the same size as yours but, in my case, it is half of a double garage built in block and rendered under a tiled roof. I went to great lengths to insulate this - in the roof, in the walls, in a stud partition between the garage and workshop and under a false floor laid over the concrete base of the workshop area. All this slows the rate of temperature change. In the winter months ( November to April) I run a small, thermostatically controlled, oil filled radiator which maintains a low level heat. The cost of running this for the year is less than £30. When I work out there I have a convector heater to make things more comfortable.

I don't know if your tubular heater would be adequate ( I think 30W is a bit small to have much effect in the volume of your workshop) though the principle of supplying background heat is the same - but the vital thing is the insulation to slow the rate of temperature change.



Gordon W27/08/2014 15:57:55
2011 forum posts

Vic- I don't know when your new luxury timber shed was built, but bear in mind that if new it might need a lot of airing.

mechman4827/08/2014 16:13:14
2935 forum posts
460 photos

Hi Vic

'The new workshop will be a timber cabin 5m x 3m, solid wood 44mm thick with an insulated floor and ceiling'.

Sounds like a solid workshop to me, I doubt if you'll need much background heating with that sort of insulation, My garage conversion, 6m x 3m, has two small 3 fin, thermostatically controlled oil fired rads as winter backup one at either end. I have to add that I've rarely had to have them on for more than an hour even at the coldest temp outside of -7*C as inside it's remained at approx + 5-6 *C so an hour on brings the temp up to a nice 16 -18*C.



Vic27/08/2014 17:13:05
2957 forum posts
8 photos

Thanks guys, sounds like a small oil filled radiator set on low may be the way to go. The new workshop is made from kiln dried timber but I've paid extra to have a factory applied (transparent blue/grey) finish on it. Each piece of timber is fully treated so it's better than painting it afterwards. If it looks as nice as expected I'll just reapply another coat of something transparent every now and then.

The old garage workshop had an ordinary up and over door so was quite leaky air and water wise!

thanks again!

roofer27/08/2014 18:28:09
21 forum posts

Always try to maintain a "warm roof void" and by this i mean there can be no cross heat transfare from the outside of roof to inside as in winter this will cause condensation.The best form of roof insulation is the likes of kingspan tight up against the underside of the roofing boards to eliminate the inside heat contacting the outside heat and all condensation will be history.We always insulate on the outside and lay the Built up felt roof on top of that as then the underside of the roofing boards will always remain at room temperture even in minus degree temps..mininmun of 75mm insulation thickness for this to happen though.I have a 60 sq meter workshop at home with its own central heating (yea lucky me i hear you say LOL) and during the coldest winter days it never drops below 60 degree cent because i have 120mm kingspan on the roof. Hope this helps.

Chris Jones 327/08/2014 18:44:20
28 forum posts
75 photos

Hi Roofer,

Did you really mean 60 degree cent(igrade)?

Phew, now that's warm!

Brian Wood27/08/2014 18:54:50
2475 forum posts
39 photos

For some years I ran an 850 watt storage heater on Economy 7, backed up with a small dehumidifier. I had a thermostat controlling the power in and most of the time it used approximarely 30 kWh a week, rising to 42 kWh in really cold conditions.Internal temperature ran between 10 and 12 degrees centigrade. On the E7 tariff that cost between £1.65 and 1.97 a week.

It kept the rust at bay on my single garage size workshop which is an insulated block built structure inside a larger wooden shed, originally built as a chicken house in the 1940's

Recent changes to tariff pricings have made the advantage E7 once had much less competitive at some 50% increase in tariff rate and now with PV panels on the house roof capable of delivering 3KWh peak, I am seriously considering a 2kW convector heater to do the job instead. It warms the air and makes the occupant feel more comfortable, the modern units have built in thermostats and are very economical to run as a result. This coming winter will be the first time the new approach will be used.

I believe a big heating blast delivered in short intervals might be more effective than huddling over the storage heater as was the case previously. The PV input of course is the key in this instance and mopping up the 'free' energy in this way is much more attractive than paying the power company.. Hopefully, residual heat at the end of the day will still keep the shop above dew point during the night. I can measure and record that. I know all this reasonig falis dismally on dull days but the experiment will be revealing.



Edited By Brian Wood on 27/08/2014 18:59:20

roofer27/08/2014 19:17:14
21 forum posts
Posted by Chris Jones 3 on 27/08/2014 18:44:20:

Hi Roofer,

Did you really mean 60 degree cent(igrade)?

Phew, now that's warm!

Oopps sorry Chris i meant 60Fembarrassed

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