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25-Nov-01 Time to Heat the Garage!

Eliminating Frozen Assets

I actually worked in the garage this week! Before you get too excited - it was on the garage and not the car. It looks as if our bout of unseasonably nice weather has come to an end and it's starting to get a little chilly in the garage. Time to break down and install a heater. This is something that was easy to put off – especially when it was still warm in the garage.
ImageThis little unit is a Beacon Morris 45,000 BTU natural gas over-head heater. My garage is a well-insulated small triple so this should be more than sufficient to keep it comfortable. My intensions are to keep the garage a constant 40 to 45-degrees and bump it up to around 60-degrees (the perfect temperature to work in) when I'm in there. It will probably run about $30/month to heat it once the weather gets really nasty – depending on how often I work on the car. Money well spent!
ImageHere's the backside of the unit. The most difficult thing we encountered during the installation was running a gas line. If I were building a garage today I'd use radiant in-floor heating with a mini boiler and water lines embedded in a concrete floor. If for some reason that wasn't an option I'd at least run a gas line to the garage. It was a real pain bringing natural gas to the garage from the house.
ImageI opted for a fancy vent. This type of vent is usually found in fireplace installations. It looks much better than having a 4-inch round pipe and cap that extends roughly 22-inches out of the wall of the garage. It also eliminates the need for a wall thimble (a special heat shield that keeps the wall from becoming too hot) because it's built into this unit.
ImageHere's the finished installation. The unit vents (power vent) neatly out the sidewall behind the heater. The conduit supplies power with an on/off switch and the thermostat is mounted to the left of my workbench.

My wife says she thinks it's decadent to have a heated garage but I was quick to inform her that keeping a garage above freezing is important if you value your tools and vehicles. The condensation that forms from freezing and thawing creates rust and corrosion. Now air conditioning a garage is decadent! ;)

That's the new engine building video by Scott Sehr on the TV. The video is a must-have for anyone building his or her own street rod motor. Before I plugged the in tape there was a good episode of “Hot Rod TV” on SpeedVison that covered the options for running compressed air lines in your garage and how to plumb them correctly. My garage TV is locked on the SpeedVison cannel.