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  • New Shop Heating?

    I am in the process of constructing a new 30'x40' WORKSHOP/garage (I think it's a workshop - my wife thinks it's a garage, so it will become a garage full of woodworking tools with no room for a car).
    My dilema right now is what heating system to use. My preference is for in-floor radiant heating (I have not poured the slab yet) but I keep getting warned against it for several reasons. The one that scares me the most is, I'm told that the cost of operating a radiant floor system is very very high. The other concern I have, is floor settling and potential damage to the piping. Anybody had experience with this type of system and can offer some advice or alternatives?
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  • #2

    Re: New Shop Heating?

    Re: New Shop Heating?

    I've had some experience with in-the-floor heating, and recommend it when it is concrete slab on grade construction. By this I mean heated pipes containing antifreeze in the concrete connected to a boiler. If the slab is well built, with rebar and on soil that isn't going to shift on you, Why not use it? Lance

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    • #3

      Re: New Shop Heating?

      Re: New Shop Heating?

      Terry: I have in-floor radiant heat in the basement slab, and at one time considered closed loop systems for garage, shop, and driveway but gave up on that idea because of cost.

      On the slab preparation I would suggest compacting the soil if it has been disturbed, next about 6" gravel (¾ clear), then 6 mil poly, next 2" closed cell styrofoam, next 9 ga. wire mesh. The tubing is tied onto the mesh and pulled up into the concrete slab during the pour. If 2" styrofoam is not in the budget, at least use an aluminum foil bubble pad (I don't recall the name at this time) so that the heated slab doesn't radiate down.

      A bit of cracking will happen unless you can make control joints without cutting into the tubing, but cracks and minor settling will not damage the Pex tubing.

      I will be using a radiant propane system on the ceiling when I get the shop finished.

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      • #4

        Re: New Shop Heating?

        Re: New Shop Heating?

        Hi Terry. I'm planning the same size building and plan on in floor radiant heat. My research indicates that it is one of the more efficient and comfortable. I recently visited a friends garage and he swears by it.

        Do a Google search and you will get tons of info.

        BTW I am told that an oil fired hot water system (32 gallon), oil in my case, will heat the shop.

        Good luck,

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        • #5

          Re: New Shop Heating?

          Re: New Shop Heating?

          Terry,

          Keep in mind that working on a concrete floor is a killer. In our present shop, we covered the floor with lock together high density foam available from Home Depo at a reasonable price. I am going to build a shop at home ( one day ) and will definately use a wood floor system. Just my 2 cents.

          John

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          • #6

            Re: New Shop Heating?

            Re: New Shop Heating?

            Hi John.

            What exactly is the material you used on your shop floor? Brand name? Thanks Art

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            • #7

              Re: New Shop Heating?

              Re: New Shop Heating?

              Terry, I have a 30X40 shop (2x6" walls) with a 10' ceiling and I couldn't be happier with the in floor heat. In Alberta, the highest cost it has been to run the shop at a steady 65* has been $50 for a one month period. This is on natural gas which has really climbed in the last year. The only drawback I can think of is that its slower of course to respond to a sudden cold snap if its been warm out, however its never lowered more than 5* before again reaching the set temp. Instead of the boiler I went with a good quality hot water heater and glycol to run the system. The other thing I love is no more blowing dust from a forced air unit like I've had previously.

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              • #8

                Re: New Shop Heating?

                Re: New Shop Heating?

                Tony,
                Thanks for the advice. I hadn't considered the downward loss of heat. To add styrofoam now means I would raise the floor height higher than I want or I spend another weeks raking the level down another 2". The aluminum foil bubble pad may be the answer but I've never heard of it. Any recollection on the details about it, who makes it, where I can get it etc. ?
                Thanks
                Terru

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                • #9

                  Re: New Shop Heating?

                  Re: New Shop Heating?

                  Thanks Dan - "a googling I will go".
                  Terry

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                  • #10

                    Re: New Shop Heating?

                    Re: New Shop Heating?

                    Thanks for the response. I'm glad to hear that it isn't all that expensive. I am very interested in the fact you used a good quality hot water tank rather than a boiler. That could represent a huge $ saving. What kind / size of tank did you use ? Did using a tank rather than a boiler necessitate any modifications to the system ie. extra valves, pumps, thermostats etc. ? I' look forward to your response.
                    Terry

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                    • #11

                      Re: New Shop Heating?

                      Re: New Shop Heating?

                      Thanks John,
                      I agree a concrete slab will be tough on this old body, but I'm committed to it now. However, as per Art's comment, any details on the product? I will check it out and see if it could be used over a radiant slab.
                      Terry

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                      • #12

                        Re: New Shop Heating?

                        Re: New Shop Heating?

                        Terry: When you're "googling" do a search for 'concrete barrier foil canada' which will give you lots of details on a product manufactured by Covertech in Erin, Ont. I have bought this product at Lansing/Rona and have seen it at HD, but used it for different insulation applications, not under a concrete slab. I believe the insulation R value claims for under concrete are optimistic, but this product does provide a good moisture barrier and reflective barrier.

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