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Looking at Radiant Heater for my shop. Should I?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by tdog, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. tdog
    Joined: Nov 15, 2009
    Posts: 125

    from Omaha, NE

    I am thinking about buying a Sunstar SIR 45,000 BTU for my Shop out back. My Shop is a 24x40 wood construction 2x4 side walls and it is well insulated. The shop has 12' ceilings. I think I can buy a new one for about $600. I have read that this heater only requires 8' ceilings but I am worried about my car finishes. I have one car that has steel roof but the rest is carbon fiber and Fiber glass. And I have another car with a convertible top. I would plan on mounting the heater in the center of the garage and would be over a center aisle anybody out there have a similar situation? Do you think the 45,000 Btu would be big enough?<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    <TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD height=1876 width="13%">

    </TD><TD vAlign=top width="87%" align=left><TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD height=1593 vAlign=top><TABLE border=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD class=tabletext height=331 vAlign=top width="53%">[SIZE=+1]Tube Heaters :: SIR Series[/SIZE]
    <TABLE border=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=tabletext><TD class=tabletext height=19 width="19%"></TD><TD class=tabletext width="19%"></TD><TD class=tabletext width="19%"></TD><TD class=tabletext width="22%"></TD><TD class=tabletext width="21%"></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>SIR Series(ECLIPSE) Features
    • <LI class=tabletext>Available in Btu sizes from 25,000 to 45,000 <LI class=tabletext>Compact size - overall length is 9'2" for ease of installation <LI class=tabletext>Efficiencies range up to 84.5% <LI class=tabletext>Models for both natural and propane gas <LI class=tabletext>Installation as low as 8' above floor <LI class=tabletext>Optional deflector kit for reduced clearances below <LI class=tabletext>CSA Design Certified
    • Includes 36" stainless steel gas connector.

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  2. They only heat under them in a very narrow swath. Work best with taller ceilings. Your 8 foot would prob lean many coldspots in the shop.

    For more info, try our sister site there is an ENTIRE SUB FORUM on heating and cooling!
  3. burl
    Joined: Nov 28, 2007
    Posts: 669

    from Minnesota

    I had one in my garage.It was really safe but didnt do a very good job of heating.I only have 9 foot ceilings and it seamed like it would have worked better in taller ceilings.Was not able to park anything under it when it was running.Most of the hockey arenas around here have em but they seem to only heat a small area.I ended up installing a 60,000 btu modine forced air.It heats my 24 x 36 shop really well.
  4. rustrustler
    Joined: Mar 18, 2005
    Posts: 281


    The plus side to this is that it heats objects not the air. My bro-in-law could pull a truck in covered with snow and 4 hrs later would be dry and warm to the touch, yet when he opened the overhead door he didn't lose much heat as opposed to forced air. Of course he had 16 ft ceilings, but I think if you did it right you'd really like it. Mike.

  5. 1- shot slinger
    Joined: Dec 7, 2005
    Posts: 698

    1- shot slinger

    3 words:

  6. 57tailgater
    Joined: Nov 22, 2008
    Posts: 678

    from Georgia

    We installed some in the shop the last place I worked. Worked well as we had larger vehicles that would absorb the heat. Definitely warmer than the old waste oil forced air heater we used and made the shop warm back up quicker after the big overhead doors were opened and closed multiples times throughout the day. This had around a 16' rafters and yes, you could definitely tell when you got under one. We had 2 of them over the mechanics bays and it worked well for those areas plus knocked the chill off most of the rest of the shop. :cool:
  7. dgc15
    Joined: Aug 23, 2007
    Posts: 140


    I have a 70' X 100' metal building with insulation. It has 14' eves. I have two of these units in it. They are about 45' long. They heat the shop very well and and the shop does not lose a lot of heat when the door are opened. They heat objects, not air. Heats the floor, tables, etc. Much cheaper to run than a forced air heater. I also have a 40' X 80' X14 tall metal bldg. It has one heater that is 40' long. Heats up real well. I like them.
  8. synchro7
    Joined: Jul 17, 2006
    Posts: 337


    I'm using a 40 ' long,125K BTU radiant unit to heat a 40'x44' area with 12' walls. It's really cheap to run compared to the overhead furnace I had before.
  9. brucer
    Joined: Jun 5, 2008
    Posts: 332

    from western ky

    i have a 24x32 with 8ft ceilings, insulated very good... i have a small 30,000 btu lpg radiant heater with a blower on my back wall, its mounted 32inches off the ceiling... heats my garage fine...


    the thing with radiant heaters is, objects will soak up the heat from a radiant heater unless you circulate the air... i read a site where they suggest hanging fans in each corner all facing the same direction to circulate the air, so the heater also warms the air.. a ceiling fan was mentioned also.. this is why i ordered a blower for my radiant heater...

    my radiant heater does alot better than my old kerosene heater for sure. plus the fumes arent near as bad...

    next thing i'll probably add in the garage is an carbon dioxide monitor..
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  10. Frankie47
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 1,729

    from omaha ne.

  11. tdog
    Joined: Nov 15, 2009
    Posts: 125

    from Omaha, NE

    Thanks a lot guys for the info. I am going to stop in and visit with the vendor today and see what they say about my 12' ceilings.
  12. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,191

    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    We have them at work, like them fine. They tend to rattle for some reason. I'd say they're about 10' up.
  13. moefuzz
    Joined: Jul 16, 2005
    Posts: 4,950


    Radiant heaters do not circulate heat and you'll have cold spots behind every obstacle.
    Plus, they radiate infra red waves which is like cooking your vinyl and paint work.

    I just installed a reznor 65,000 BTU heater.

    It is about 2 feet by 2 feet by 15 inches high so is very compact.

    I live at high altitude which reduces the efficiency of gas heaters.
    We figured out that my 65,000 btu at 3500 feet is about 55,000 btu.

    I have no insulation in the walls yet was able to take the 20X 36 (14 foot walls) shop from -10 to +70 in about an hour.
    At first you could feel cold spots like engine blocks and in the corners but the circulating heat of the Reznor brought every nook, cranny and engine up to temp in about 24 hours.
    The Reznors are fairly high efficiency besides being very small.
    You will need 220 volts.

    I would imagine that you would do just fine with a 55,000 btu unit in a well insulated shop

    Personally, I am a warm and happy camper and so are my girls.


    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
  14. 57Custom300
    Joined: Aug 21, 2009
    Posts: 1,316

    from Arizona

    I've worked in shops with that type of heating and I like them myself. Fans that circulate the air are a must as is installing them in the right area. One dealer I worked at installed a unit too close to a car on the hoist in the raised position. When the car was lowered the next day a guy put his hand on the front fender and slid the length of the fender through the melted paint.
  15. Peter Mc Mahon
    Joined: Jan 1, 2009
    Posts: 199

    Peter Mc Mahon
    from Ontario

    I have a radiant heater. 22x24 shop. My heater is 24' long. Plastic topped drill press has been right under it [about 3' over top] for the past 7 years. No melting or anything. By far one of the best investments I have made.
    Joined: Jan 13, 2004
    Posts: 2,757


    They will heat the heck out of car roofs if they are close,We saw paint crack and peel with about 3 foot of clearance. Best of luck.
  17. bobj49f2
    Joined: Jun 1, 2008
    Posts: 1,798


    I have a 2500 sq ft shop, 50X50 with 16' high ceilings, 2X6 studded walls with heavy insulation with two 45' radiant units like the one you picture. They were the best upgrade I did when I had the building built. I have always worked in shops with forced air units and they were always hot when the units were running and cold when they stopped. With the radiant heat the heat is just there, you don't feel it hitting you, it's just there. I am really happy with them. I also have two ceiling fans I aways have on to help circulate the heat. I also have two 14' overhead doors, I usually only use one to load and unload stuff but when the door is opened the shop stays warm because there is no positive pressure forcing the warm out.

    There are a couple of down sides, they cost more but I read they will pay for themselves in two years which I believe because my heating bills are lower than in the previous shop I rented which was 1400 sq ft with a forced air unit. I only run one of my radiant units unless it's really cold, below zero, and then not that long. Second, it takes longer for the radiant units to heat the shop but not to bad. I have an electronic thermostat in my shop that I set lower for the night. I have found if I leave the heat idle at 50° at night it takes longer to warm up in the morning than if I set it at 55°.

    Do your research, when I was looking into the radiant heat units I found they made different size units for different ceiling heights. I think they started at 10' and went up from there.
  18. Stude-sled
    Joined: Sep 24, 2006
    Posts: 678


    I have one of their 40 foot ones, and I love it.
  19. 4t7flat
    Joined: Apr 15, 2009
    Posts: 266


    I have a 20' long unit in my 24X40 pole barn,with10' walls,and lots of insulation. It works great,keeps the floor at what ever temp you set the thermostat at. I do not notice any cold spots in the barn. I leave it on all winter. I have had no problems with over heating any of my cars under the unit. They are warm to the touch,but not hot.
    Joined: Aug 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,222

    from Colorado

    We have the same model you are showing in our shop with 15 ft ceilings.Yes they do over heat roof tops of cars directly under them.I work in the next stalls and the heat does not come over to my area.I am cold and the guy under it is too hot.The roof tops of cars get so hot you almost cant touch them.They don't circulate the heat.
  21. 39 sledge
    Joined: Aug 6, 2007
    Posts: 346

    39 sledge
    from p.a.

    i have radiant heat in my floors right in the concrete works great.

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