I have a detached 24x28 two story gambrel garage I want to heat. I was told I could install a forced air unit and duct work to both up and downstairs. Then when I am not using the upper portion, just close off the ducts. However I dont know if this is the most economical way. I park in the lower half so keeping this area heated at minimum is important. Perhaps a heat system for each area? Any suggestions or recommendation would be appreciated.
Just to open the discussion:
What current fuel source is going to be the most economical in the future is the question we all would like to know. This can certainly vary in different parts of the country too.
Seems most neighbors here in my CO community, have and use large, near the ceiling mounted, natural gas or propane space heaters for detached garages. Since they are normally one big space, not much need for forced air to circulate. Forced air uses electrical energy for fan power in addition to the heat source.
I should add, these heaters are not on all the time, they tend to be used when the temps dip into the single digits or below, or when one is planning on working in the garage. With adequate insulation, once the space is warm, it tends to stay fairly comfortable.
If your plans include using sprays to paint and refinish furniture or other flammable uses through the winter, an electric heat may be safest.
I believe that INSULATION and weatherstripping, however is the best investment in retaining heat and keeping the space more comfortable. Wall, ceiling, properly insulated doors, windows and such will be your best bet for not needing as much energy to heat the space or keep it warm. Whatever depth is recommended for your home, I would use in the garage too.
(Oh, and be sure to keep those insulated garage doors closed unless you are driving in or out!)This message has been edited. Last edited by: conrad,
Not sure of the details of your situation, but here are a couple ideas:
In a shop I had one place we lived in SoCA, it was attached to the garage and a double wide door separated the two. We didn't need heat there all that much but when I worked out there I did want it heated. The concern was safety of a space heater or wall heater with a car parked in the garage, what with possible gasoline fumes. So I installed a sealed wall heater. The flame of the heater was sealed off so it would not be exposed to fumes. That was some years ago and I got the heater from Sears. I forget the manufacturer's name.
Another idea is a ceiling fan and heater combination. We have one in our garage here and it does make the garage more livable in winter. I only know of one maker of that type of combination so if you search for it online you should be able to find it.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Bob Fleming,
Thank you for your response's.
I am thinking on using Propane or electric. I could have natural gas (the best choice I know)trenched to the building, however not sure what this would entail. I dont plan to be using anything flammable and drive fairly new cars yet I will be parking in there so I do have concerns with an open flame style heater. This is the reason I was looking to using a forced air unit with intake and exhaust from the outside. I didnt think of using an electric heater only because I believe it would be quite pricey to use in this area. however I have insulated the building as much as possible so this might be an option.
Is your upstairs storage or a living space? Do you live in a temperate climate or cold (ie: are your trying to heat from below zero temps or are you starting higher)?
I have read, many times, that with current furnances you should not close off registers as it is not good for the furnace and can lead to a shorter life. Even if this is not true, you would be shutting off 50% and thus would buy a much larger system than you would use for what... the majority of the time?
We have forced air in our 1 story garage. The reason we installed it was initial cost.....it was a ding and dent model and install was free(relative). Currently we go south for the winter so it is used for maybe 2 months, May and October (and perhaps June). We just bought 100 gals of propane at $300.00. Last fill was 2 years ago. That makes it about $60/month when we are heating from a mild temp. I do not recall what it was during the winters (-20 or less outside) but it ran a lot even though we are well insulated.
I hope this gives you some idea of cost. If I was you I would consider electric, particularly for upstaris. You do not have to use the same heating system upstairs and down.
Hanford: Please put your location in your profile as I have done; we have no idea where you are and therefore have no idea of your heating needs.
Intake and exhaust from outside is what I meant by a sealed burner; sorry I didn't explain it better. I believe the manufacturer of that unit was Williams. It was a natural gas heater.
Just wanted to let you know that there is a gov't exec. order, that as of May (I believe) you must purchase a 90% efficient furnace unless you happen to live in one of 5 southern states. I believe they cost about 1/3 to 1/2 more than 80%.
This may or may not make a difference to you.
The upstairs is storage however it is insulated and I cleared it and set up an office studio there. I live in Western NY where lake effect snows and freezing temperatures are the norm.
I realize propane can be expensive but depending on the heater electricity could be as well. Both areas can be closed off from each other, and having a system in each area sounds appealing. perhaps a sealed system downstairs and an electrical system upstairs?
So is it mandatory to get a 90% efficiency for a secondary building?
I believe it is all they can sell and install but I don't have all the information. I have looked on the internet and only found some commercial sites reference it, not the wording itself.
Wonder what this new ruling will do to the price of the 80% ones as the time gets near?
I found 510 page on the DOE website link to the Congressional Record which doesn't answer any questions on a quick perusal. A few points though, it seems to refer only to "residential" heating and cooling so it may not be applicable to a garage. It also refers to "gas" but I didn't see whether this refers only to natural gas or also propane. Some parts look like they are effective 1/1/13 others not until 2015. Equipment costs are estimated to increase by 3-7%, certainly not the 33-50% cited above and only some oil furnaces must meet a 90% rating, most gas units need to hit 80%.
If you go to energy.gov and search for "Residential Furnaces and Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps Direct Final Rule" You should be able to find the link to the 510 pages. The EISA of 2007 is the authority for the rule, not a recent executive order.
Thank you ChuckSteak. I could not find what you were referring to. Can you give a more direct link?
My info. came from a conversation with a wholesaler who said the difference in cost from one to the other might be $700 instead of $500. That is 40% more. I just think we might be getting into the area of diminishing return.
Don't know if this will work but try this:
If that won't link the PDF title is Department of Energy 10 CFR Part 430 Number EERE-2011-BT-STD-0011 RIN 1904-AC06
One of the developers I work with ends up with perfectly good boilers sometimes when he does tear-downs, and he tends to ask his subs if they could use a free boiler, just for hauling them away.
In his case, he uses one of these serendipitous boilers to clear snow from his driveway, having installed radiant tubing under uniblock. Even in the worst storms, he doesn't have to pay for snow service.
He uses another of these serendipitous boilers to heat his two-story garage. The pad is heated, and I suppose he has some radiant baseboard units upstairs. It's been a few years since I was in at his place.
I imagine one could accomplish some level of upstairs comfort with thru - floor vents to allow heated air flow, and a ceiling fan to circulate accumulating heat in the upper story. I suppose one could get really creative, and figure out a dedicated cold air return from the upper floor, to facilitate things.
My father had training and worked in HVAC for awhile, figured out something along these lines for one of our houses.
Forced air works faster, but it may be less expensive to heat the pad, radiant. The nice thing about radiant, you hook up whatever boiler you want. Heck, you could use geothermal, if you want.
Okay, I just went into backyard rocket science. Scratch that.
Anyway, maybe you can scout around for houses slated for demolition that might have an unwanted boiler, if the idea makes sense.
Instead of wasting time calling multiple, random developers and driving around, wasting gasoline to attempt to determine if buildings are scheduled for demolition, why not make one telephone call to your local Habitat store or other construction materials recycling center?
Our subsidiaries routinely donate supplies and equipment to these local centers across the country, assuming homeowners approve and said donations do not increase labor (or any other) costs.
Because of our ongoing relationships with these local centers, they're happy to pick up materials and equipment at the conclusion of demolition day(s). The homeowners receive any applicable tax deduction or other tax benefits.
Sad that most contractors prefer to feather their own nests instead of providing a small tax deduction to defray homeowners' costs.
Incidentally, IIRC, these centers usually accept/resell boilers.
Best of luck to you, hanford. It's all JMHO. Stay warm this winter -
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