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A total gas

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About a month ago I discussed my decision to install a gas heater in my shop. Well, the deed is done, and I couldn’t be happier. Thought you’d like an update.

After several years of using a sooty, smelly, always-in-the-way kerosene heater in the winter for comfort in my shop, I finally put out the bucks for a wall-mounted natural-gas heater. My garage shop is about 22’ x 22’ with a 10’ ceiling, so I chose a 700 BTU heater. It required a small amount of redoing what I already had on the wall where I installed it, but that put it close enough to the gas source that the plumber who did the job took less than an hour to burrow around in my house’s crawlspace, run the gas line, hook up the heater and fire it up.

Man, what a difference. It heats the shop fairly quickly, bringing it from its overnight chill to shirtsleeve warmth in about a half hour. Once warmed up, I can cut it back to its very lowest setting and it maintains the shop at a comfortable level. (For that matter, if the outside temperature is above 40 degrees, I can shut it off up to two hours and more at a time.) The unit’s blower is a bit louder than I’d like, but because it’s thermostatically controlled, for my convenience it turns on and off automatically. If I want I can even forgo the unit’s fan and just put my shop fan in front of it turned on low, and it spreads the warmth quite nicely and quietly.

It took a couple days for a slight “new furnace” smell to go away, but now that it’s broken in the unit produces almost no smell at all, there’s no soot, and I’m not tripping over it. (Or, as I did once when receiving a long piece of stock coming out of my planer, backed my rear end into it. Ouch.)

Because half of making my living takes place out there, I can write the heater off my taxes this year. I don’t lose time running to have a 5-gallon can of kerosene filled up constantly. There’s nothing to spill, because there’s nothing to fill. And I’ve regained a bit of floor space where I used to put the kerosene heater (and that 5-gallon can, which is now long gone).

All in all this turned out to be a win-win-win-win decision for my shop. If you’ve been debating upgrading your shop to include a gas heater, my advice is to go for it.

Till next time,


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