How do you heat your garage?

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by Proettermann, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. Retired and lovin it

    Retired and lovin it Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2017
    Oddometer:
    282
    Location:
    Central Michigan
    I would think any form of radiant tubing or aluminum on top of concrete in a garage would lose much of the BTU factor down into the concrete below.
    #41
  2. Retired and lovin it

    Retired and lovin it Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2017
    Oddometer:
    282
    Location:
    Central Michigan
    #42
  3. _CJ

    _CJ Retrogrouch

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,291
    Location:
    The 719, Yo.
    A quick google search says it's pretty common in home interior applications. They use wood strips to make room above the slab, lay the tubing down between the strips, add sand, then lay floor over it.

    Load bearing capacity would be a big issue with a garage, but you could probably engineer it to work with a metal track, pack with sand between the tracks, and then have some sort of plastic tile that screws down on top of the tracks.

    Like this stuff, but with the radiant deal under it.

    [​IMG]
    #43
  4. ROAD DAMAGE

    ROAD DAMAGE Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,188
    Location:
    Steamboat Springs, COLORADO
    Yeah CJ, that's what I was referencing in post #39 paragraph 2 ............... we always called it the "staple down" system. Probably not an optimum method for a garage as it still has to be covered with something. With the thin slab overlay, you still end up with a concrete floor surface that's going to hold up well to moisture and so on. Not true with 2" x 2"s and sand .............. that'll get wet and tend to stay wet. Even when we did the gypcrete staple down method in a residential building ............ we'd wait several days and let the moisture off gas from the gypcrete before we covered that with a layer of plywood subflooring. Sometimes it was really a "souped up" mixture to get it to flow well ......... lots of water.

    And the "Retired and loving it" observation is right on. Ideally you'd want to isolate the slab/radiant heat tubing from the ground/subgrade with a thermal break and/or a layer of insulation. For my concrete driveway that I mentioned earlier ............ I used 2" Dowboard insulation under all of the slab to try to keep the heat in the slab, and not into the ground under it. (The edges of a slab are much more susceptible to heat loss than one would think also.) I also insulated the edges of the slab within about an inch or so of the top.
    #44
  5. nmalozzi

    nmalozzi airheaded

    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,973
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    I can't provide a brand or any other info, BUT in my younger years I worked for the family tile business. We installed a ton of radiant flooring. I recall doing them over mud shower pans and concrete board with the tile going on top. Seems like that'd work just fine over a concrete garage floor, but I'm not sure about how well it would do with the weight requirements of a garage. I was planning to look into it in a few years since I can obtains tile cheap through above mentioned business. Always thought the garage floor would look great with some textured 12x12 tiles in a grey/black checker pattern. Adding the radiant elements would just be icing on the cake.
    #45
  6. Rogue_Ryder

    Rogue_Ryder

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7,988
    Location:
    Pinewood Springs, Colorado
    I've been using this in my garage for the last 3 years. Good cheap way to heat up the garage. I'll crank it up and get it nice and warm in there and turn it off while I'm in there working. I don't really worry too much as the garage volume is large and not sealed well enough to displace enough Oxygen to create an O2 deficient atmosphere.
    #46
  7. RustySpokes

    RustySpokes Ordinary average guy

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,520
    Location:
    Pueblo, CO
    50,000 btu gas unit heater in my 2 car attached garage.
    DD4330D0-96BF-427C-85AD-B1491DBDE5F5.jpeg

    Walls are insulated, attic isn't insulated yet. When we replaced the garage door I sprung for an insulated one even though I didn’t have heat yet. An insulated steel garage door is so much quieter than an uninsulated one.

    I can raise the temp in the garage 20 degrees in 30 minutes if needed.

    I was fortunate that there was a gas line stubbed into the garage when the house was built 40 years ago.

    I set the thermostat at 45 degrees unless I’m working in there, I’ll run it up to 68 or 70 when I’m working in there. :jkam :lol3
    #47
  8. Proveick

    Proveick Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    Oddometer:
    4,225
    Location:
    CO
    Ride Sat Spokes?
    PM
    #48
    RustySpokes likes this.
  9. randingo

    randingo Voted "Class Lounger"

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2015
    Oddometer:
    153
    Location:
    The dog house
    #49
  10. ROAD DAMAGE

    ROAD DAMAGE Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,188
    Location:
    Steamboat Springs, COLORADO
    Hey Randy!

    Yep, guilty as charged.
    I've been in heat since I was about 11.
    Rumor is that I'll outgrow it at some point ............................. maybe next year. :lol3

    Happy New Year to you and Allison!
    Hope we get to kick up a little dust together in 2018.

    RD
    #50
  11. Bobo

    Bobo Are we there yet?

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
    275
    Location:
    Golden, CO
    I just installed the same Big Maxx heater in our 3 car garage with 11' ceilings. Seems to work great so far. Everything is insulated and I also have a ceiling fan to keep the air moving.
    #51
  12. Cowboy

    Cowboy Ceteris non Paribus

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,225
    Location:
    Elizabeth, Colorado
    Yep. I insulated my doors using the 4x8 sheets of foil-backed foam I found at Home Depot. It was a relatively easy job: just but foam in the right thickness, then cut panels to the correct size and slide them into place. No need for adhesive. It was a huge improvement in retaining heat, and a small investment of maybe $50 for the insulation. No special tools needed.

    In the past I've had a woodstove in the garage, and loved it. Nothing like having warm tools laying on the stovetop, to avoid cold hands. A shallow pan on the stovetop is also an easy way to heat up some oil to help work thick 80/90 gear oil into the inside of an old-style motorcycle chain without o-rings.

    Now I have a baseboard electric heater in the garage, that I can fire up when I plan to spend a day turning wrenches in winter.

    In the realm of odd ideas, I also once heated my garage by creating a passive solar heater. For $100 in materials, I made a clear plastic panel that screwed in front of a rarely used garage door. I'd crack the door open about six inches, so that the sun radiated through the fixed plastic, onto the dark colored steel door. It superheated the air space in between the plastic and door, and the hot air rises into the garage by convection, with cold air rising into the space from the bottom to be heated. It was a dirt cheap and effective way to take the chill off in the garage. It only works if your garage doors face south, though.
    #52
    jjustj likes this.
  13. Mecano

    Mecano Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2014
    Oddometer:
    270
    Location:
    New Mexico
  14. xsrdx

    xsrdx Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2016
    Oddometer:
    37
    Location:
    Colorado Springs CO
    House is at 7500ft, Colorado front range, winter low temps vary from around freezing to maybe 10 to 15 below, but typically in the mid teens.

    I heat attached and detached garages, both fully insulated in attic, finished walls with insulated garage doors, 2x6 construction on concrete slab. I heat both 24/7 from October to May, keeping the attached garage at 55F, and the detached stays around 52-55F.

    For the attached, I use a pair of wall mounted (8ft from floor) 25,000 BTU Enerco Heatstar radiant NG heaters, on remote thermostats.

    These heaters run silently with no fan or other moving parts and use no electricity, but they do use a (shielded) pilot light and of course require a gas line, minimum clearance to combustibles, and the garage has to be vented for fresh air intake.

    They come on when the air temp in the garage is around 55, and turn off at about 57. They keep the garage at a uniform temperature - even though they are radiant, the objects and surfaces they heat in turn heat the air to the temp required by the tstat. The radiant units are very efficient, all but totally silent and do an outstanding job of quickly and uniformly heating a large space. Typically, one heater is enough to maintain the garage at 55 with the doors closed even down to single digit outside temps, the only time the second one runs is when I open a garage door for more than a few minutes and cool the interior below 50 degrees. Nothing in this garage ever freezes, and my tools, cars, bikes - etc are the same temperature as the air - 55F.

    For the smaller detached, I chose not to run NG and instead ran only electric service, so I selected 2x King LPW2445T in-wall mounted 4000W/240V electric, forced air heaters at 15,000 BTU each with internal Tstat. They use a fan but aren't excessively loud and do a good job of unobtrusively heating the space quickly. With the Tstat set at 55, the building interior temp will vary between 52-55 degrees, and I could probably tighten that up if I went to remote thermostats. So far these heaters seem to be costing me about $2-3/day to operate in subfreezing temps, which is probably twice what the radiant heaters cost to run but still relatively minimal considering what they do.

    Insulation is critical if you expect to permanently heat the space, both economically and structurally.

    http://www.heatstarbyenerco.com/25-000-btu-natural-gas-high-intensity-radiant-workshop-heater.html

    https://king-electric.com/pdfs/LPW_WEB.pdf





    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #54
  15. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    27,087
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    I'd like to here about some of the purchase & install costs of these different built-in units?
    #55
  16. bmiller59

    bmiller59 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2016
    Oddometer:
    276
    Location:
    Buena Vista, Colorado
    My 75K BTU unit heater cost about 750 delivered.

    Ran my own underground gas service, about 200 feet so about 200 in parts. I paid a plumber to hook it up to the existing piping at the meter and cut me some parts, he charged 250.

    Electric service was part of the initial rough in so minimal cost.

    Maybe 175 in parts for the exhaust.

    All in it's tough to say because some of the work piggy backed onto other work. And I did all the work myself except a small bit of the plumbing. Hiring it out would be really expensive.
    #56
    eakins likes this.
  17. _CJ

    _CJ Retrogrouch

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,291
    Location:
    The 719, Yo.
    The overhead electric at my old place ( https://www.ebay.com/i/391496497329?chn=ps ) cost about $250.00. Didn't cost anything to hook up to the 220V, so that's about it. Didn't need to run gas line, didn't have to worry about venting, and never really noticed a difference in the utility bill either, even with it running 24/7. It didn't have the blast furnace effect of larger gas units, but it got the job done.


    .
    #57
    eakins likes this.
  18. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    27,087
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    I'd figure that 220v would cost more per use than NG?
    #58
  19. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    27,087
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Speaking of venting, any use the surface mount NG units that are non venting?
    Seems like a garage leaks enough to be a non issue.
    #59
  20. _CJ

    _CJ Retrogrouch

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,291
    Location:
    The 719, Yo.
    I think 220V is generally more efficient, but all I can reference is utility bills before and after, and I didn't notice a difference from a $$$ perspective. Didn't bother looking at KW hours before and after or anything like that. Kept it set at ~40 degrees overnight, and heated it to ~70 4-5 days a week. 750 sq/ft, with the walls and ceiling insulated.

    Gas would be been a serious investment with trenching a line all the way out back, etc. and electric cost nothing to hook up.


    .
    #60