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Heating options for a small shop

DanMorrison's picture

Heating options for a small shop (post #205410)

We had planned to install an electric heater hung from the ceiling of out garage shop. We ran a big fat wirre to the location and everything. Then we realized how noisy (to our video producer) the heater's fan would be so we are looking at other options.

The house has hydronic baseboard heat, though the boiler is ready to die at any minute, so a completely new system is not off the table.

The easy way may be to install electrical baseboard heaters in the shop, though those are pretty noisy also (ambient sound matters quite a bit on video).

There are rough floor plans for the shop here: http://www.finehomebuilding.com/item/209...

What are your thoughts? Ductless mini-split? Woodstove? Pull up the subfloor and run hydronic tubing underneath? Suffer in silence?

Dan

Dan Morrison
 

Heating a garage (post #205410, reply #1 of 33)

Dan,

Either a woodstove or a ductless minisplit would work fine. If you need to keep the space above freezing for an extended length of time, however, most woodstoves would require fairly frequent tending. The advantage of a ductless minisplit is that you don't have to be there to feed the fire.

The best known cold-climate ductless minisplit is the Mitsubishi Mr. Slim Hyperheat, which provides space heating even when the outdoor temperature drops to -17 degrees F. But Fujitsu also makes models that work well in southern New England. Another advantage of the minisplit: you don't need a chimney.

Mr Slim (post #205410, reply #31 of 33)

What exactly makes Mitsubishi so superior? What's the second best? What's the difference?

You might want to consider (post #205410, reply #2 of 33)

You might want to consider (electric) radiant ceiling panels.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Good idea. (post #205410, reply #3 of 33)

Good idea. I know Peter Yost has a ceiling-mounted radiant panel in his office and likes it write a bit. Do they give off a reddish light?

Dan Morrison
 

The ones I'm thinking of are (post #205410, reply #4 of 33)

The ones I'm thinking of are "drop in" panels for a suspended ceiling and don't produce a visible glow.

The ones I'm thinking of are "drop in" panels for a suspended ceiling and don't produce a visible glow.

The ones I'm thinking of are "drop in" panels for a suspended ceiling and don't produce a visible glow.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Sorry about the triple post, (post #205410, reply #7 of 33)

Sorry about the triple post, Dan

I replied from my phone, maybe I pocket replied also?

The ceiling is not suspended, it is drywall (airtight drywall as a matter of fact).

Dan Morrison
 

You should still be able to (post #205410, reply #8 of 33)

You should still be able to use the panels, by building a one-panel suspended frame.  And likely there are similar units designed for direct mounting on the ceiling.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Like (post #205410, reply #9 of 33)

Like these?

http://www.globalindustrial.com/p/hvac/h...

Dan Morrison
 

Yeah, that's more or less (post #205410, reply #10 of 33)

Yeah, that's more or less what I've seen.  The wattage of those is a bit low, but I see, eg, this one which is 3x the wattage for only about $80 more: http://www.wayfair.com/TPI-CP-Series-Rad...


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

I wonder if anyone makes (post #205410, reply #16 of 33)

I wonder if anyone makes electrified radiant sheetrock ceiling panels anymore.

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

I wasn't aware that they were (post #205410, reply #17 of 33)

I wasn't aware that they were ever made -- I always had the impression that the conventional radiant ceiling was done by tying heating wire to mesh lath or some such and then plastering over.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

I remodeled a house in Tennessee that had one (post #205410, reply #20 of 33)

I remodeled a house in Tennessee that had one, but haven't seen any since. Though I have this teeny inkling of a memory that is telling me I saw them advertised as a product somewhat recently -- like within the last five years.

Dan Morrison
 

If (post #205410, reply #5 of 33)

you had figured on parking in the garage as well as working in there.......

or needed all winter moderate heat...........

and wished excellent comfort with no blowing air............

I'd have installed radian floor heat, probably hydronic.

 

If you don't park there ever and wish to sweep off the snow, scrape windshields and don't care about freezing temps and glues, caulk, finishes etc..........then a point of use quick heat system, preferably not a torpedo heater.

Anything with a blower limits finish dry time.

 

Again, why no plan b/4 starting?

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


The garage is converted to (post #205410, reply #6 of 33)

The garage is converted to living space -- a shop/video studio. No cars allowed.

The heat will need to be consistent -- so glue and caulk tubes should not freeze.

Probably would not go with hydronic heat because we hope to superinsulate the whole house, and hydronic floor heating would be overkill in a well-insulated house.

Heaters with blowers will not work because the shop is also a video studio and we can't have noisy fans running all of the time.

Sounds like minisplit or radiant panels.

Dan Morrison
 

Since when is infloor heat (post #205410, reply #11 of 33)

Since when is infloor heat overkill?   With the right controls you can't beat it.  There is no other system where you can match the heat source to the loss over a range of conditions.

Good info on hydronic at GBA (post #205410, reply #12 of 33)

There have been many conversations on the topic at Green Building Advisor.

From a Green Building Advisor Q&A Spotlight:

Radiant-floor heat has some advantages, but with the labor to install the tubing, plus cost of the tubing, pumps, controllers, and manifolds, it’s costlier than other distribution systems.

GBA senior editor Martin Holladay would choose another option. “It’s a very expensive way to heat a house,” he tells Kaput. “If you improve your thermal envelope, you can install a much cheaper heating system.”

“If your house is well designed, your in-floor heat won't come on for very many hours each day anyway, so don't expect the ‘warm-toes’ phenomenon,” Holladay writes. “The slab will just be at room temperature for most of the time anyway — unless you've made some serious errors with your envelope.

“With radiant heat, here's the rule: The warmer the floor, the worse the house.”

I argue with the Energy Nerd about publishing, but not about energy use and heating systems.

Dan Morrison
 

If this be the case. (post #205410, reply #13 of 33)

Then I guess you've got enough heat in that super insulated shop.  Why bother to add anything more than a light bulb?

 Or get a dog and let him sleep in the shop.  Add a couple plants and you'll have the humidity up to par also.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


We would have to find one of (post #205410, reply #15 of 33)

We would have to find one of those old-fasioned light bulbs that emit heat. Hard to come by here in CT. Radiant ceiling panels are looking like a great option.

Dan Morrison
 

No doubt that price may be a (post #205410, reply #18 of 33)

No doubt that price may be a deciding factor. 

What I take issue with is saying that infloor is overkill.  No other system lets you match the load to the loss when it is designed and installed properly. 

And when you can do that, you can't beat the operating cost or the comfort.

 

You can build cabinets with a $59 skilsaw or a $1500 table saw. 

I always give the customer the choice.

 

Retrofitting in-floor heat in (post #205410, reply #14 of 33)

Retrofitting in-floor heat in a garage shop would be incredibly expensive.  Plus, it's not well-suited to a shop where equipment will be placed here and there and may need to be anchored to the floor.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

It doesn't have to be in the (post #205410, reply #19 of 33)

It doesn't have to be in the floor.  It can be in walls or ceilings.

Incredibly expensive is a relative term.  Doing one right now, customers choice.

Most shops don't have the equipment anchored, and a good asbuilt takes care of that issue.

Tone of this discussion (post #205410, reply #21 of 33)

Two comments: this discussion seems to be scattered, with almost no facts or analysis - not usual for Fine Woodworking, This is an interesting topic so I would hope for more insight. Second, it is somewhat distracting and, to my mind, quite unnecessary for posts by one person to contain an irrelevant quote from Theodore Roosevelt.

My understanding for shop heating is that it should be dust explosion-proof (e.g. sealed fan motor andor sealed combustion chamber.) Good insulation and draft prevention will be a good investment to reduce energy costs (up to some point of course.)

I have a challenge in determining how to best insulate and seal a double overhead articulated steel garage door.

In the past I followed a heating contractor's advice to heat an insulated garage using a wall-mounted gas heater, with concentric through-the-wall air inlet and exhaust. This worked well, although I do not recall if the heater's fan made enough noise to be a concern in a video shop.

First of all.......... (post #205410, reply #22 of 33)

let me welcome you to Breaktime-Finehomebuilding's long running forum.

This forum was here long b/4 you decided to take a look.  So, respectfully-lay off the critical analysis and try to gather and sort the information you might find here.  If you don't like Teddy Roosevelt, too bad.  If you don't like tag lines, don't read them.

Adding to the discussion is the name of the game here.  All the other malarkey you might find comes part and parcel to a construction site at...............

breaktime.

 

Best of luck.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


Second, it is somewhat (post #205410, reply #23 of 33)

Second, it is somewhat distracting and, to my mind, quite unnecessary for posts by one person to contain an irrelevant quote from Theodore Roosevelt.

Blame Breaktime for that.  It's been impossible to change your tagline ever since the massacre.

(And how is electric radiant heating not "dustproof"?)


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

It's easy to block taglines (post #205410, reply #25 of 33)

It's easy to block taglines with firefox and adblock plus.  I always found them annoying, especially ones that hog screen space.  One line or two doesn't bother me too much.

I was in a amateur auto shop that had in floor heating using a water heater for as a boiler.  It was very comfortable.  But it wasn't ideal because the shop was not used all the time, and it took a while to warm up from cold, so the heat was on almost all winter.  The shop was very well insulated, but I wouldn't want to pay to keep it warm when I wasn't using it.

wood stove option (post #205410, reply #24 of 33)

I use to have a woodstove in my shop and although lots of heat and useful for getting rid of scrap hardwood, a lousy idea. They take up too much room, and if you find one for $200 the chimney could cost you a thousand, over and over. But what about a freestanding outdoor wood furnace that pipes heated water to the shop? This would be perfect for in-floor heating. I have a ceiling hung gas furnace but will be putting in wood floor over the cement with pex hooked up to a little electric water heater.

There are different types of (post #205410, reply #26 of 33)

There are different types of electric heaters found in the market. If you are going to find some which are noise free then its better for use. Some of the electric heaters are more efficient then anything else. 

I would suggest that u go for ceiling (post #205410, reply #28 of 33)

 

I would suggest that u go for ceiling -mounted radiant panels. They work well and are efficient in terms of energy saving, as compared to heat pumps and baseboard heaters.

Are you considering electric under floor heat? (post #205410, reply #29 of 33)

One idea if you are still considering under floor heat, is to use a product called Step warmfloor.  It is electric heating mats for under flooring, but can be put right on top of your concrete. You don't have to re-pour like if you wanted hydronic floor heat. It is costly up front - but because it is so energy effecient over time you will come out ahead. You also don't have to worry about dust blowing around, noise or maintenance like some other prodcuts. You can check it out at www.heatmyfloors.com

Andrea

Andrea (post #205410, reply #30 of 33)

You don't have to re-pour like if you wanted hydronic floor heat. It is costly up front - but because it is so energy effecient over time you will come out ahead.

You have some back up to the savings equalling coming out ahead?

 

 

 

You also don't have to worry about dust blowing around, noise or maintenance like some other prodcuts.

This is a shop.  There's going to be dust and noise. 

 

Is the last sentence a shameless advertisement?   You responded to the right guy in Dan Morrison, he's a part of FHB.com and could easily set you up with the advertising dept.

 

Why don't you read the terms of service to find out what's expected b/4 you pust "post"?

 

Thanks for your time.

 

 

 

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/