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Heating Your Shop or Work Space

  • Posted: 01.25.2021
working with a block of wood with a shop tool
Image: Pixabay

“Safe heating is a huge issue with shops and work spaces and one that lots of folks ignore or just don’t understand; there are real dangers that a lot of folks ignore when it comes to a workshop setting,” says Bill McAnally, north central Iowa home building expert.

Bill’s list of dangers

  1. Never have ventless heating in any enclosed area, such as a garage workshop. If you have a propane or kerosene heater, be sure it’s vented properly and that there is a source of oxygen for combustion. In addition, have a venting system to rid the area of fumes and excess moisture. Otherwise, you are setting yourself up for carbon monoxide poisoning. In addition, if the heated area is attached to your house, the fumes can easily travel indoors, too, and can affect everyone in your home.
  2. Never have a portable kerosene heater or propane heater in the shop if you are working on any project involving gas, such as a vehicle or small engine. You may end up with an explosion.
  3. Install the “best fitting door in the whole house” between the house and the workshop or garage area. That will prevent fumes of all kinds–from heaters as well as chemicals from any projects you may be working on–from easily entering the house. This door should be fire rated as well. In a new home that feature is required by code.
  4. Never tie the workshop/garage heating system to the home’s system unless you install a fire damper designed for ductwork. Without that damper, a fire starting in the shop will spread to the house in a flash. Bill also suggests checking with your insurance agent on this process and any other requirements the insurance company may have.

A better HVAC solution for your shop
“We’ve been seeing really good results from mini split heat pumps,” says Bill. He says the new cold climate models are ideal for our Iowa winters and summers, too, as they provide both heating and air conditioning without the need for ductwork.

And an added bonus: mini splits are very energy efficient and will keep your utility bills lower than traditional HVAC systems.

For more details about mini splits, contact us.