Wednesday, January 23, 2019

How To Heat Your Massive Space Efficiently - Kerosene Forced Air!

Safely Ensconced
    Last week I wrote about lighting my new 24' x 22' x 12' fabric hangar. That worked out well. So, now I can see what I am doing inside....however it's COLD up here in the North East, around 19 degrees Fahrenheit today. Not great for working in a fabric hangar with gaps under the roll-up doors and at the corners. The fabric itself is pretty heavy duty and does have some insulating properties, but you still need a heater to be comfortable. Since it's a big space, keeping it heated all the time is pretty wasteful, but getting up to a comfortable working temperature shouldn't take too long. I mean waiting a few hours to be able to work isn't all that efficient. You really need a "Big BTU" heater that you can turn down when it gets the space comfortable, so it will maintain that temperature without needing to run all the time using fuel. The best way I have found to do this, is with a Kerosene forced hot air furnace.

The Heater!
I looked around at a whole bunch of these. They come in everything from 15,000 BTU all the way up to 225,000 BTU! Typically, contractors use them to heat their work spaces. They are a long cylinder with a burner and a fan to force the air through and out into your space. You can get them in both propane and kerosene versions. Some (including mine) can be run on heating oil or diesel with a few small modifications. That will make use a bit less expensive, but I have noticed it doesn't burn a lot of fuel. With a 7-gallon built-in tank, I've run it for 4 hours and seen NO drop on the gauge! Opening the fill cap did show a slight drop, maybe less than 1/2 inch...but not too much at all. Kerosene is easy to get near me, I just bought a blue container to keep a spare 5 gallons in reserve. Why blue? I have so many red ones for gasoline that I would get confused!

5 Gallon "No Spill" Spout
So, how's it work? Pretty amazing. In about an hour the temperature inside the fabric hangar was warm enough that I didn't need a coat! All this on a 20-degree Fahrenheit day! Of course it will take longer to warm up big chunks of metal, like my RV, but the inside gets pretty warm as long as I leave the RV door and a couple of sliding windows open. Mine is 75,000 BTU. I thought about getting a 125,000 BTU version, but I am really glad I didn't. It would have been way overkill. The one I bought was a Mr. Heater, and was about $189.99 from Amazon. I am still a bit worried about smoke and carbon monoxide inside the building, so I leave one of the zippers on one of the doors open about 12 inches with the heater just in front of it. Just to be safe.

Overall I'm very happy. It is a bit noisy, what with the fan running. It's OK...usually I'm working and don't notice it after a while. Besides, it does exactly what it's supposed to do...keep me warm!

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"

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