Winter shop heat......

Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum

Help Support Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum:

GeeZee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2019
Messages
253
Location
Indianapolis, IN
My neighbor built a well insulated garage and put in a gas furnace and a ductless mini split. He never uses the furnace, says the mini split is all he needs. As others have said insulation is the key.
 

MadProfessor8138

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2015
Messages
1,051
Location
Ekron,Kentucky
Great input from everyone......I appreciate it.

So let me expand a little on my information....
The shop is 24 x 30 and was built in polebarn fashion.
Concrete floors,wood frame and sheet metal covering......garage door in front and man door to the side under the carport.
I hadn't intended to use the shop as anything more than a garage to work on my cars,bikes,boat,etc......in the beginning.
The mission has changed over the year so I've slowly been upgrading it.

Improvements at this point :
1. Put a man door in to keep from raising the garage door.
2. Everything has been sealed with spray foam to make the place **** near air tight.
3. I'm currently installing foam insulation boards on the walls and ceiling.
The insulation is silver coated on both sides and should reflect heat back at the contents of the shop.
Once the insulation is complete......every piece will be siliconed to make sure it is completely sealed.

I actually contacted the local gas company today to get an idea of what my costs would be.
Initial setup is going to be about $2,500 - $ 3,000.
That's for the tank,fill and heater.....hookup is on me to do.
Then it's about $1k per year to fill.
That's quite a bit more than I expected.

I'm thinking that I will probably go electric in the end.
I don't heat the shop continuously and only turn the heat on for 5-10 hours a week when I'm out there.
With our somewhat mild winters....I've been able to heat the shop comfortably with a torpedo heater and not having any insulation.
I'm hoping the insulation will seriously cut down on run time for a heater.

Kevin

Insulation on walls....
20220525_220143.jpg
Man door and garage door...
20220525_220221.jpg
 

Vigilant1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2011
Messages
7,804
Location
US
As you've probably surmised, a torpedo heater or any other combustion heater that vents into your work space is going to be bad news. If the place is now sealed tight, and all those heaters dump tons of water into the air. That'll condense onto your cold tools, airplane etc. To say nothing of O2 depletion inside, CO risk, etc.
I'm not the code police, but unless that interior foam and facing is rated for exposure, then it would be a problem. Thermax panel from Dow is one of the few panels I know of that are permitted by some codes to be exposed (i.e. no drywall required over them).
I installed a new hanging 75k BTU propane furnace in my hangar 4 years ago and the whole thing cost me less than $1000. I did all the work myself (not hard if you are handy) except for pressure testing the propane line (licensed plumber, about $100). It has sealed combustion (it gets the combustion air from outside and vents it outside). The propane company charged me zero to bring and install their tank, my only cost is the propane I burn.

I strongly recommend you do the heat loss calc on your structure. The link I provided earlier even takes into account your local weather.
 
Last edited:

Vigilant1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2011
Messages
7,804
Location
US
Foam insulation 2' deep around the footer and floor. The coldest I have seen in the hanger when it had no heat was 50 degrees on a below zero OAT.
That deep foundation/slab insulation is a great way to go. It brings the normal moderate subsurface ground temps all the way up to the slab and makes a big difference. Just like free heat, all the time. It does require that the structure be insulated (else the slab and soil under it cools off). Its also possible to achieve the same thing with nearly horizontal foam "wings" that extend out from the slab/foundation perimeter 4 feet or so. Just bury them deep enough to prevent them from damage from vehicles etc. Usually it's a lot easier to just go straight down during new construction.
For those interested, Google "Frost Protected Shallow Foundations."
 

MadProfessor8138

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2015
Messages
1,051
Location
Ekron,Kentucky
As you've probably surmised, a torpedo heater or any other combustion heater that vents into your work space is going to be bad news. If the place is now sealed tight, and all those heaters dump tons of water into the air. That'll condense onto your cold tools, airplane etc. To say nothing of O2 depletion inside, CO risk, etc.
I'm not the code police, but unless that interior foam and facing is rated for exposure, then it would be a problem.

Yep........
And that's why I'm getting away from the torpedo heater.
The condensation is definitely undesirable and was mitigated somewhat by opening the shop wide open for a bit once I was finished working.
It would allow the shop temp to match the outside temp and allow the condensation to dissipate to the outside.

I also installed a bathroom fan on the ceiling that's vented to the outside that I used to move the heater fumes out of the shop while working.
Crack the man door just a bit and hit the fan switch.......fumes are gone in about 2 minutes.

Code police.....now that's funny right there. 🤣
I could hang the Mona Lisa or Dead Sea Scrolls on the walls and they could care less.

If the foam insulation bothers you.....we're not going to talk about the electric......
🤣 🤣 🤣

Kevin
 

Dana

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 3, 2007
Messages
10,764
Location
CT, USA
Gas plumbing is not too difficult if your state allows you to do it (mine does). All copper tubing with flare fittings, regulators and such purchased from Propane Warehouse. When I converted my house to propane, I did all the work myself including buying the first 100 gallon tank from Home Depot. I had to get a building permit before the gas company would fill it, all the building inspector asked was, "Did you pressure test it?" "Yup." "OK". Then the gas company did their own inspection (no charge for that), pronounced it good, and filled the tank.
 

ddsrph

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2010
Messages
68
Location
Tullahoma, Tenn
I installed a motel style thru wall heat pump in my garage. Bought online new for $900 heat and AC very cheap to run. Takes just a few minutes to heat or cool the space. I am in Tennessee.
 

Attachments

  • 09E1C14E-CC63-4148-9B77-42C4EF4A5CEB.jpeg
    09E1C14E-CC63-4148-9B77-42C4EF4A5CEB.jpeg
    107.2 KB · Views: 17
  • Like
Reactions: BJC

cluttonfred

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
9,450
Location
World traveler
In addition to doing the BTU calculations already mentioned, do you have any sources of fuel already available? A vented propane or diesel heater or a wood pellet stove would be my preference. Depending where you are and the codes you must follow, you could easily use some ceiling fans for air circulation and a single point heater for 600 sq ft. How about a $200 vented 8 kW diesel heater for a big RVs installed outside your shop in a little utility space against the wall with just the heat outlets entering the building? Diesel is easier to handle and refill than propane and you could get a bigger tank if needed.

 

David Moxley

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2013
Messages
86
Location
KCOE , Idaho
Up here in northern Idaho a lot of hanger have gas radiant heat . It a long tube that gas flows through & burns heating the tube Element . In the winter time when it’s below zero to keep my shop at 50° the gas bill runs me about $50 a month . They are quite efficient and once in the shop you can turn it up and it heats the shop up very quickly . Im about 20 miles from the Canadian border at boundary county airport , and most all the hangers have the same type of heat . I had a hanger at Coeur d’Alene Airport it had forced air heating and was much more expensive to heat of course the hanger was quite a bit larger than the one I’m in now but it wasn’t nearly as efficient . I will post a picture later once I’m at the hanger .
 

Vigilant1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2011
Messages
7,804
Location
US
Up here in northern Idaho a lot of hanger have gas radiant heat . It a long tube that gas flows through & burns heating the tube Element . In the winter time when it’s below zero to keep my shop at 50° the gas bill runs me about $50 a month.
Those are nice. Even if the shop is 50F, it feels nice and toasty under the radiant tubes. Kinda pricey to buy for us folks who would only use them a few months per year, but if I found a used setup (from a small car repair shop being torn down, etc) I'd be tempted.
 

Ried

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2010
Messages
85
Location
Downers Grove, IL / USA
Strongly agreed with Mr Moxley's gas infrared tubular heaters. They don't heat the air directly, but having a warm concrete floor under your feet will feel like heaven when it's -20 outside. Them warm floor will slowly warm the air. Very efficient heat for cold climate hangers.
 

challenger_II

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
980
Location
Fisher County, Tx. USA
That's the idea behind the radiant heaters: heat the concrete floor, and let the floor be a heat sink for the building. An option is to get one of the rectangular wall-mount radiant heaters, mount it on a cart (set heater at a downward angle) with a 30-40# bottle, and you could have heat where you are working.
 

Ken Powell

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2020
Messages
68
Location
Bryant, AR
I have a well insulated 15 x 26 heated and cooled room within my 40 x 50 pole barn. I use a electric resistance heater for heat. I normally keep the room at 55F when I need a warm environment. But my problem is I hate having cold hands! Solution - I keep my tools on a heating pad that sits on a sheet of blue foam. Toasty tools keep me warm.
 

Pops

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
10,762
Location
USA.
In my area I would never buy a pellet stove. Wood is everywhere and with a pellet stove you are relying on a small source of supply of where you can buy pellets. Strong cold winter and a run on pellets and you can be left without.
I bought the NG force air furnace for $75 that was removed from a rental house where the furnace installer told the owner that the furnace wasn't set up for central AC. Its was. It heats the hanger so well I never turned on the heated floors. The boiler heated floors have a draw back, it takes several days to heat up all the mass of concrete so it has to be on all winter, can't turn the hanger temps up or down for a short time like the NG force air furnace.
My hanger is also air conditioned . But, if I keep the hanger doors closed on a hot summer day the cool concrete floor from the 53 degree ground under the concrete slab will keep the hanger cool until late in the day. Then you can turn the AC on to keep the hanger cool in the late afternoon if needed.
Nice 70's degree day, I have a 6' patio door on the up wind side of the hanger and a garage door on the down wind side for a nice breeze flowing through the hanger. Nice when painting in the spray room.
Added -- I also grow salad tomato's all winter in front of the south facing patio door in 5 gallon plastic buckets.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 14, 2009
Messages
8,413
Location
Rocky Mountains
Just some general comments:
Not everyone likes radiant heat. I'm one. Can't stand to work under them.

Spray foam under metal roof panels? The local spray foam contractor won't do it. Had too may fall off due to leakage around the hold down screws. Freeze thaw cycle contributes to the separation. Could just be the local contractor?
I have poked my share of plastic backed glass insulation under tin roofs to pop the water bubbles. We only get 8" of precipitation a year.

Diesel/salamander heaters? I heated my shop for many years exclusively with them. It was cheap, noisy, and smelly. Other than that no problems.
Don't even THINK about using them anywhere near a composite plane project.

TINSFGIAV There Is No Substitute For Good Insulation And Ventilation.
 

TFF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
17,052
Location
Memphis, TN
While not the most efficient, propane torpedo heaters beat the kerosene ones hands down. Somewhat quieter, a whole lot less smelly. It depends on how much time you plan to spend in there. 8-5 MF, I would want something like a wood furnace outside. Not cheap though. A Saturday and a couple of nights a week, propane torpedo heater and one of the big bottles. Sunny location and DIY, I would try some type of solar water heater with water to air heat exchanger. A lot will depend on where you want the temperature.
 

speedracer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2020
Messages
342
Just some general comments:
Not everyone likes radiant heat. I'm one. Can't stand to work under them.

Spray foam under metal roof panels? The local spray foam contractor won't do it. Had too may fall off due to leakage around the hold down screws. Freeze thaw cycle contributes to the separation. Could just be the local contractor?
I have poked my share of plastic backed glass insulation under tin roofs to pop the water bubbles. We only get 8" of precipitation a year.

Diesel/salamander heaters? I heated my shop for many years exclusively with them. It was cheap, noisy, and smelly. Other than that no problems.
Don't even THINK about using them anywhere near a composite plane project.

TINSFGIAV There Is No Substitute For Good Insulation And Ventilation.
I live in the PNW where trees are everywhere. I go out every spring and kill enough for 4 cords of wood. That heats my 1,000 sq. ft. shop and my house in the evenings. Costs me about $20.00 for saw gas and $150.00 for wood splitter rental. I work on composite airplanes so I keep the shop a 80 degrees all winter to keep the viscosity of the resin less viscous. Here's a "widow maker" I dropped 2 days ago that had blown over into another tree. After cutting it wouldn't fall being hung up in the other tree so I had to yank it off the stump with my pickup. Pretty fun! tree 4.jpg tree 1.jpg tree 1.jpg tree 4.jpg
 

VWLIFER64

New Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2022
Messages
4
I considered all options since I'm cheap, 30'x40' insulated with 12'x40' room overhead. 1st closed off the room upstairs. 2nd eliminated anything that sat on the floor since space is a premium. 3rd eliminated anything that burned AND took time to develop heat or extinguish since sometimes I get out there for only an hour. Went with 75k btuh propane hanging from ceiling. Found it on FB marketplace, it has a pilot light (regulated out of existence now) I don't leave the pilot running just start it up. I also got a free mini split taken out of a bank because t was too loud -buddy deal. Works good for mild seasons and for overnight drying. For load calculation in the residential world 1 ton is 12,000 btuh and covers 600 sq-ft at 8' ceiling height or 4800 cu-ft. So my propane unit is oversized which allows for quick heating. I did the propane plumbing myself with the corrugated stainless steel pipe, low pressure 11"wc, 2nd stage regulator outside bldg. FWIW
 

Turd Ferguson

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2008
Messages
6,094
Location
Upper midwest in a house
I actually contacted the local gas company today to get an idea of what my costs would be.
Initial setup is going to be about $2,500 - $ 3,000.
That's for the tank,fill and heater.....hookup is on me to do.
Then it's about $1k per year to fill.
That's quite a bit more than I expected.

Gas company estimates are usually spot on. With volatility of oil prices, LP gas is a scary proposition.

Just got summer tank fill so propane bill for '21-22' winter season was $5k. Looking at 50% increase next year.
And that's why my shop is unheated.
 

Latest posts

Top