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#4538523 - 10/09/17 09:13 PM what's a good way to keep a garage or shed warm?
motor_oil_madman Offline


Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 4860
Loc: Houston, Texas
Last winter we had like 5 days in a row where it stayed at like 25 degrees believe it or not and it was enough to freeze my washer fluid in my truck. I'm usually good about those kinds of things, but I guess I've been lacking so with winter not far away I figured I'd ask this. 25 degrees is about as cold as it will get, maybe 20 degrees. My question is if you have a storage shed with electricity what would be a good way to keep it just warm enough to prevent things from freezing? I know normally the inside stays warmer, from the sun beating down etc, but I'm still curious. I think a space heater is the best bet, but I hear so many stories about them catching things on fire. Plus they seem so cheaply made that I'm not really comfortable using one especially unattended.

Is leaving a few lights on enough to keep things a few degrees warmer?
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#4538526 - 10/09/17 09:19 PM Re: what's a good way to keep a garage or shed warm? [Re: motor_oil_madman]
StevieC Offline


Registered: 08/21/08
Posts: 17116
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Get a utility heater that is thermostatically controlled and that has a tip / overheat sensor (Most do now). Or get a radiant barn type heater that mounts to the ceiling and radiates heat downward (Out of the way of flammables).

TSC is a good store to look if you have something like that near you.
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#4538527 - 10/09/17 09:19 PM Re: what's a good way to keep a garage or shed warm? [Re: motor_oil_madman]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 41802
Loc: New Jersey
How about getting the right fluid mix for the temperatures?

Assuming the structure is not insulated, any heating is going to be a major waste!

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#4538534 - 10/09/17 09:32 PM Re: what's a good way to keep a garage or shed warm? [Re: JHZR2]
dave123 Offline


Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 2316
Loc: wi
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
How about getting the right fluid mix for the temperatures?

Assuming the structure is not insulated, any heating is going to be a major waste!

+1 or just dump in a bottle of heet per gallon washer fluid.

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#4538535 - 10/09/17 09:34 PM Re: what's a good way to keep a garage or shed warm? [Re: motor_oil_madman]
motor_oil_madman Offline


Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 4860
Loc: Houston, Texas
well I'm not talking about washer fluid, sorry to throw you guys off. I'm just talking about things in general. Like my pressure washer pump etc. I'd just rather keep things from freezing in the first place.
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#4538537 - 10/09/17 09:35 PM Re: what's a good way to keep a garage or shed warm? [Re: motor_oil_madman]
4WD Offline


Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 6419
Loc: Texas
A 250w heat lamp shining direct on some thick metal used to do this on a plow disk as a chill breaker for short periods in my shop (before putting a gas heater in) I have also used electric radiator heat at my camp so when the fire burns out while sleeping


Edited by 4WD (10/09/17 09:35 PM)

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#4538544 - 10/09/17 09:50 PM Re: what's a good way to keep a garage or shed warm? [Re: motor_oil_madman]
JohnnyJohnson Online   content


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 2769
Loc: Wet side WA
Originally Posted By: motor_oil_madman
well I'm not talking about washer fluid, sorry to throw you guys off. I'm just talking about things in general. Like my pressure washer pump etc. I'd just rather keep things from freezing in the first place.


Unless its insulated as two have already asked about its going to be costly. But if its insulated keeping it above freezing should be very easy and inexpensive. One of those oil radiator type heaters use to keep my insulated 8' x 24' shop right at 60 degrees for about $30 a month all winter. Running it on the 600 watt setting. It would turn itself off and on.


Edited by JohnnyJohnson (10/09/17 09:54 PM)
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#4538546 - 10/09/17 09:53 PM Re: what's a good way to keep a garage or shed warm? [Re: motor_oil_madman]
dave123 Offline


Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 2316
Loc: wi
Originally Posted By: motor_oil_madman
well I'm not talking about washer fluid, sorry to throw you guys off. I'm just talking about things in general. Like my pressure washer pump etc. I'd just rather keep things from freezing in the first place.
water stored in a pump is a bad idea anytime of the year. Should be using RV or EG antifreeze for any length of storage.

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#4538550 - 10/09/17 09:55 PM Re: what's a good way to keep a garage or shed warm? [Re: JHZR2]
Kuato Offline


Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 7094
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
How about getting the right fluid mix for the temperatures?

Assuming the structure is not insulated, any heating is going to be a major waste!



+1 for both! If uninsulated a heater will do nothing.

If cold weather washer fluid is not available in your area you can always put a mixture of 70% isopropyl alcohol in with the mix.
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#4538554 - 10/09/17 09:59 PM Re: what's a good way to keep a garage or shed warm? [Re: motor_oil_madman]
ArcticDriver Offline


Registered: 01/27/17
Posts: 1139
Loc: USA
As has been said above, uninsulated spaces are costly to heat.

Do you have sunny days when it is 25* F ?
If so then the solar gain likely heats the space during the day and you just need to break the chill at night.

A block heater for your vehicle?

A torpedo heater with kerosene for a few hours before you go to bed?

The heat is going to rise immediately to the rafters unless you have the ceiling rocked out.
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#4538560 - 10/09/17 10:10 PM Re: what's a good way to keep a garage or shed warm? [Re: motor_oil_madman]
mattwithcats Offline


Registered: 06/13/13
Posts: 1662
Loc: Virginia
I use a DeLonghi oil filled heater,
has a "*" thermostat setting, below "1",
which is antifreeze, about 40-45 degrees F...

I set it on 600 watts, there is also a 900 watt setting too. Both is 1500, but that may trip the breaker or overheat the wiring, used long term...

Keeps the outside storage unit warm, and my water heater and pipes from freezing.

I did insulate the pipes and walls...
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#4538565 - 10/09/17 10:19 PM Re: what's a good way to keep a garage or shed warm? [Re: motor_oil_madman]
jhellwig Offline


Registered: 07/01/13
Posts: 1542
Loc: Ottumwa, Iowa
Simply insulating your shed will help more than trying to heat it. You have to slow the loss of heat since you don't have many cold days. No need to heat a shed in Texas.
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#4538600 - 10/09/17 11:24 PM Re: what's a good way to keep a garage or shed warm? [Re: motor_oil_madman]
blupupher Offline


Registered: 08/27/04
Posts: 4426
Loc: Katy, Republic of Texas
I was going to tell you to move south, but you already are.

Exactly what type of building are you trying to heat?
As others have said, if not insulated (which it probably not is since it froze inside with our mild winter temps), just insulate it. There should be enough radiant heat after that to prevent freezing.
If you really want to warm it up (after insulation, otherwise it would be an impossible battle), get one of the oil heaters mentioned above, they work really well and have minimal fire hazard.
Look at some of these

Another option is a few 500w halogen flood lights, but the oil heater is more efficient.
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2002 Ford F150: GTX HM 5w-20/EcoGard Syn/1yr OCI
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#4538640 - 10/10/17 12:36 AM Re: what's a good way to keep a garage or shed warm? [Re: motor_oil_madman]
Nick1994 Offline


Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 10129
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Freezing things isn't going to hurt them, it isn't that cold. You can winterize pressure washers and put some antifreeze in the pump.
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2000 Toyota Camry 2.2L 228k M1 AFE 0w30 & Wix
1996 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L 146k M1 HM 10w40 & Fram Ultra

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#4538679 - 10/10/17 04:56 AM Re: what's a good way to keep a garage or shed warm? [Re: Nick1994]
krismoriah72 Offline


Registered: 02/16/09
Posts: 1519
Loc: wv
Look up chicken coop heater on amazon.

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