Heating A 40×80 Shop: Everything You Need To Know

Heating A 40x80 Shop

Heating a 40×80 shop can be a significant challenge, especially if the building has high ceilings, poor insulation, or large doors that allow for heat loss. There are several heating options available, each with its advantages and disadvantages, depending on the specific needs of the building.

What is a 40×80 shop?

A 40×80 shop typically refers to a building or structure that has a floor area of 3,200 square feet. The dimensions of 40×80 mean that the building is 40 feet wide and 80 feet long.

Such a shop can be used for a variety of purposes such as a workshop, storage facility, manufacturing space, or even as a retail outlet. The large size of the building allows for plenty of room to store and work on large equipment or machinery, and can be customized to suit the specific needs of the owner.

What is a 40x80 shop
40×80 shop

BTU Required to Heat a 40×60 Shop

The amount of BTU required to heat a 40×60 shop depends on various factors such as the insulation of the building, the climate in the area, and the desired temperature inside the shop. However, we can make some rough calculations to estimate the approximate amount of BTU required to heat the space.

Firstly, we need to determine the total volume of the shop. To do this, we multiply the length, width, and height of the shop together. In this case, a 40×60 shop with an average height of 12 feet would have a total volume of 28,800 cubic feet.

Next, we need to determine the desired temperature inside the shop. A comfortable working temperature for a shop is generally around 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit. If the shop is used for more delicate work such as painting or woodworking, a temperature closer to 70 degrees Fahrenheit may be required.

BTU Required to Heat a 40x60 Shop
BTU Required to Heat a 40×60 Shop

Once we have the volume and desired temperature, we can use a formula to calculate the approximate BTU required to heat the space. The formula is as follows:

BTU = Volume x Temperature Rise x 0.133

In this case, assuming a desired temperature rise of 60 degrees Fahrenheit (from an outside temperature of 0 degrees), the calculation would be:

BTU = 28,800 x 60 x 0.133

BTU = 217,728

An estimated 217,728 BTU would be required to heat a 40×60 shop with an average height of 12 feet to a comfortable working temperature of 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Best ways to heat a 40×80 shop

When it comes to heating a 40×60 shop, there are several options available depending on your preferences, budget, and the climate in your area. Here are some of the most common heating systems used in shops:

  • Forced Air Heater: A forced air heater is a popular choice for heating shops as it is efficient and can quickly warm up large spaces. These heaters use a blower fan to circulate hot air throughout the space. Forced air heaters can be powered by electricity, natural gas, or propane.
  • Radiant Heater: Radiant heaters are another popular option for shop heating. These heaters use infrared radiation to directly heat objects in space, rather than heating the air. This makes them more energy-efficient and better for outdoor or poorly insulated shops.
  • Wood Stove: If you have access to firewood and don’t mind the work of chopping and stacking it, a wood stove can be a cost-effective and cozy way to heat your shop. They do require ventilation and regular cleaning, but they can be a great option for those who enjoy the ambiance of a wood fire.
  • Electric Heater: Electric heaters are a simple and convenient way to heat a small shop. They plug into a standard electrical outlet and use heating coils or ceramic elements to warm the air. However, they can be less efficient and more expensive to run than other options.
  • In-Floor Heating: If you’re building a new shop or doing a major renovation, you may want to consider in-floor heating. This system uses hot water pipes or electric coils installed beneath the floor to provide even, comfortable heat. While it can be more expensive to install, in-floor heating can save money on energy costs in the long run.

What Affects Heating a 40×80 Shop?

Several factors can affect the heating of a 40×80 shop, including:

  • Insulation: The insulation of the building can greatly affect how easily it can be heated. A well-insulated shop will retain heat better, allowing for more efficient and effective heating.
  • Climate: The climate in the region where the shop is located will also impact heating needs. In colder regions, a more powerful heating system may be necessary to maintain a comfortable temperature.
  • Size and layout: The size and layout of the shop can also affect heating needs. A 40×80 shop will require more heating power than a smaller shop, and if the layout is open with high ceilings, it may require even more heating power to keep the space comfortable.
  • Usage: How the shop is used can also affect heating needs. If it’s a woodworking shop with sawdust and other debris, certain types of heating systems may be less desirable due to fire hazards or maintenance needs.
What Affects Heating a 40x80 Shop

What Is The Cost Of Heating A Large 40×80 Shop?

The cost of heating a large 40×80 shop will depend on several factors such as the type of heating system used, climate, insulation, usage, and energy rates. The type of heating system used will be the biggest factor in determining the cost of heating the shop. For example, electric heating systems are generally more expensive to operate than gas or propane systems, while wood-burning stoves can be the most cost-effective option if you have a reliable source of wood. 

The climate in the region where the shop is located will also affect the cost of heating, with colder regions requiring more heating power and running the heating system for longer periods. Insulation is also important as a well-insulated shop will retain heat better, requiring less energy to maintain a comfortable temperature. 

The usage of the space will also impact the cost of heating, with the most cost-effective systems being those that can be set to lower temperatures during periods of non-use. Finally, energy rates in your area will also impact the cost of heating, as rates for electricity, gas, and propane can vary widely depending on where you live. Overall, the cost of heating a large 40×80 shop can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars per year, depending on these factors. It’s best to consult with a heating professional who can provide an estimate based on your specific circumstances.


Does the age of the shop matter in heating it?

The age of the shop can affect its heating requirements, as older buildings may have poorer insulation and be more prone to heat loss. Upgrading insulation and choosing an appropriate heating system can help compensate for any shortcomings due to the age of the building.

How does weather affect heating a 40×80 shop?

Weather can have a significant impact on heating a 40×80 shop, as colder temperatures and windy conditions can lead to higher heat loss and increased energy usage. Proper insulation and choosing an appropriate heating system can help mitigate the effects of weather.

Does heat pump help in heating a 40×80 shop?

Yes, a heat pump can be an effective heating option for a 40×80 shop, as it can provide efficient heating using electricity rather than fossil fuels, and can also provide cooling in the summer. Proper insulation and sizing of the system is important for optimal performance.

How to heat a pole barn? 

Pole barns can be heated using a variety of heating systems, including forced-air furnaces, radiant heating, and wood stoves. Proper insulation and ventilation should also be considered for maximum energy efficiency and safety.

What is the cheapest way to heat a 40×80 shop?

The cheapest way to heat a 40×80 shop is to use a portable propane or kerosene heater, as they have low upfront costs and are efficient at heating small spaces. However, be sure to use them safely and monitor for carbon monoxide.

Wrapping Up

Heating a 40×80 shop requires careful consideration of several factors, including the type of fuel available, the climate in the area, the insulation of the shop, and the intended use of the space. A forced-air furnace or radiant heating system can both provide effective heating, and insulation should be added to maximize energy efficiency. Ultimately, the best heating system for a particular shop will depend on the specific needs and budget of the owner.

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