Gas heater update

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A while back, I told you about my new shop gas heater. With this being one of the harshest winters we’ve had, I’m loving it.

Since that blog appeared, I’ve gotten e-mail on the subject from blog readers as well as some guys who frequent the various woodworking forums where I also discussed the heater. To that end, I thought a report was due for anyone considering a gas heater for the shop.

Despite what manufacturers say, gas heaters aren’t 100 percent odor-free. They do have a smell but it’s very, very minor – you quickly forget about it. No odor makes its way from the shop to the house.

It takes a bit longer for the gas heater to warm the shop than my old kerosene heater did, but the heat’s far more controllable. Once the shop has reached the desired temperature, the heater’s thermostat keeps the heat level constant. (That kerosene heater was a roller coaster from too hot to too cold, and back again.)

For those wondering about cost, I’ve not really been able to notice it on the gas bill. When I’m in the shop, I usually cut the house heat back a degree or two and this seems to have evened out the additional gas use in the shop. I’ve seen no increase at all in the monthly bill.

Be sure to have some fresh air ventilation. My garage shop, like most, isn’t airtight. I get some draft around the garage door edges so there’s always some fresh air. Plus, unless someone else is home who wouldn’t want the noise, I generally leave the door into the rest of the house open.

For safety, try to mount the heater where it won’t interfere with any shop activity. This isn’t always possible, so if your heater can be contacted in any way while working you must be vigilant at all times. I keep a floor fan in front of my heater, which not only reminds me where it is, but it also helps circulate warmth throughout the shop.

Finally, speaking of safety, here’s a tip. If you happen to drop something – say, a screw – and it rolls over near where you have the heater mounted, be extremely careful when bending over to pick it up. Especially if you like your hair the way it currently is.

Don’t ask me how I know this.

Till next time,

A.J.

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