Been reading all
of the posts on heating a shop. In my day I have used a
double-barrel wood burner, kerosene heaters and forced air by
putting a closeable vent on the home high-efficiency furnace.
My first shop I
built in a pole building with a heavy wooden floor and insulated
walls. I was sh*tt*n' in tall cotton for months, but then it got
really cold. I could still keep it warm, but then one day I
noticed it was raining inside. Being bald, I noticed this right
away. With no insulation on the roof or a dropped insulated
ceiling, my respiration was enough to start a dripping rain
inside. I was warm, but pretty damp. Stuff rusted.
The next shop
was small in an old summer kitchen attached to our house. I
couldn't channel heat to the place so I went to a fairly good
size kerosene heater. This worked pretty well, but was expensive
to keep going, not to mention a nuisance to fill. Biggest
problem was the accumulation of moisture inside the room. As
long as I kept it heated the tools were in pretty good shape,
but if you let it get cold after working, metal would often be
covered with frost.
20 years ago, I
moved to my current shop which covers 3 basement rooms of rough
finish and I share space in one room with a high-efficiency
furnace and air. I simply cut a vent in the hot air plenum that
I can close or open. This has really been the best because it
doesn't take much heat to take the chill off and by letting the
air in that area it takes care of any humidity problems that can
cause rusting during high humidity weather.
The cost to heat
my shop is negligible with the Lennox very high efficiency duo.
I have the usual limitations of working in an old basement, but
they are really minor. If I need to use volatile chemicals I
close the door to the room with the furnace and vent fumes out a
window with a fan. It really doesn't matter how cold it gets or
how hot and humid. I can keep a fairly even temperature and
humidity. Before this I had to use a portable de-humidifier and
that was an expensive proposition!
I don't have a
lot of good things to say about radiant heat in a wood shop
either. It feels too weird to move in and out of the radiant
field. Gotta friend that tried this in her shop and she gave it
up in favor of forced air. I gotta come down on the side of
forced air whether it is gas, oil, wood or corn. Anything where
you can keep a minimal amount of heat to keep moisture down
without breaking the bank makes sense to me.
situation is different, but if you sort of live in your shop I
think some variety of forced air makes sense. You can go from
cold to toasty in a short period of time.