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Unread 04-04-2014, 03:25 PM   #1
FastSUV
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Garage Heating - Gas vs Electric

I'm building a new house and wondered if it would be better to pay for them to install a 220 and vent pipe so I can add a natural gas heater later OR shall I just have the 220 installed and add a ceiling mounted electric shop heater instead? The gas heaters cost at least twice as much as electric. I do not plan to heat the garage all the time, just when I want to work out there on the Jeeps when it is cold. Can anyone help me out?

I'd save some cash on the vent pipe and the cost of the heater if I can be convinced electric would be best for my situation. I know gas would be cheaper to use though. What would you do? This will probably be about a 750sq/ft garage if i had to guess.

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Unread 04-05-2014, 04:14 PM   #2
Timo_90xj
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I'd use proper insulation under the floor concrete slab, insulate the walls and roof, and install electric floor heating. Much nicer to work when the heat comes from below, not from a ceiling-mounted heater. Heat rises up anyways, so using a heater up top on a non-insulated garage is pure waste of energy if you ask me.


If it's going to be a cold garage with no insulation, I'd use a couple floor- standing movable electric heaters that have enough juice to be able to heat up the garage when you're in there. I was building a house a while back - until the layoffs at work and had to sell it midway through the build - I thoroughly insulated the garage (floor, walls, ceiling) and built it for floor heating. Here across the pond it only cost me a couple grands extra, I can't imagine it being more expensive there. It's not much IMO, considering you can keep the garage heated throughout the winter and still save you money in the long run.

I can't imagine how it'd be trying to weld with the 110V system you've got there, I feel like the single phase 230V 180Amp mig welders don't always have enough power on thicker stuff. So definitely install 220V outlets for a possible welder in the future, heating, or whatever you may need it for. It shouldn't cost you much extra now, compared to adding it later. I was going to install a couple 380V 3-phase outlets on my garage for a drill press, welder, etc.
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Unread 04-05-2014, 06:40 PM   #3
gcjeeping
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Radiant heating would be the way i'd go if i could afford it. We used to have some in the hangers and they were awesome at keeping everything nice and toasty.
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Unread 04-06-2014, 11:42 AM   #4
FastSUV
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well I am insulating the entire garage. I'm paying for the outside walls and then doing the ceiling myself. I will check on a floor heater but I bet that costs more.
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Unread 04-06-2014, 01:05 PM   #5
Timo_90xj
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Having a 750sq.ft garage, it may not be cheap. Electric wall-mounted radiators could be your choise as well. They're cheap as dirt (at least here they are). I would avoid ceiling- mounted heaters.
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1990 XJ Limited (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, ***rolled and totalled @ 165k miles***

***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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Unread 04-07-2014, 09:55 AM   #6
FastSUV
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I am going to ask the contractor how much to insulate the floor, but i am not going to do heated floor...I decided on a 20k BTU electric heater...it was the best price for my needs and no more than I will use it, it should not effect the electric bill too much.

It might not be 80 degrees in the garage but if it is above freezing then I would still consider that heated enough to work in the dead of winter...some similar models that were less powerful than the one I chose said that they could get to 60-70* in a few hours. The one I got is brand new so no reviews yet but it is 6000 watts.
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Unread 04-07-2014, 11:46 AM   #7
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6kW should be enough for a garage of that size when it's insulated. Our local building standards require all heated buildings to be insulated on every side, including floor. Normal amount on a garage that has a concrete slab against the ground requires a minimum of 100mm (4") of extruded heavyload styrofoam board to be laid under and around the slab. I have no idea of the building requirements there in the States, around here they are fairly high. Then again, what you invest in insulation now, pays you back in the long run if you have cold winters. All depends on the budget and use of the garage though, if you only work there few times a month, it may not be worth it to put too much money on the insulation and heating.

On the other hand, if you spend a lot of your free time in the garage, I would seriously consider floor insulation even if you don't install floor heating. It really sucks big time working on a cold floor even if the garage temp is 70-80*F. I've kept the garage where I work in at about 50-60*F during winter, but with the floor heating it is very comfortable.
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1990 XJ Limited (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, ***rolled and totalled @ 165k miles***

***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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Unread 04-07-2014, 11:55 AM   #8
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It would depend on where you live. When I lived in Colorado I would agree with the heat source low and insulated concrete. Now that I have moved to Oklahoma cooling is more of a issue. My solution for my 900 sq ft shop was spray foam insulation (walls and ceiling) a 220 AC unit with a heat function. This unit will heat or cool 1200 sq ft. I also have 2 overhead radiant heaters for when I'm in the shop for a brief period. They heat near my workbench areas. From May to October cooling is more of a issue.
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Unread 04-07-2014, 12:54 PM   #9
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Well I'll be damned, I was sure I read Colorado on the OPs location It was Oklahoma. As far as I know, it's not that cold over there most of the year except maybe for the higher elevations closer to the Rockies?
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1990 XJ Limited (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, ***rolled and totalled @ 165k miles***

***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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Unread 04-08-2014, 02:03 AM   #10
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Building for a cold climate is very similar to building for a hot climate. In each you are insulating for an extreme temperature low vs high. I would spend as much as you can on insulation preferably a sprayed in foam, as an added benefit it adds rigidity to your structure. You could also check out Monolithic Domes as an alternative construction method with the added benefit of being tornado proof as well.
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Unread 04-08-2014, 05:11 PM   #11
FastSUV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo_90xj View Post
6kW should be enough for a garage of that size when it's insulated. Our local building standards require all heated buildings to be insulated on every side, including floor. Normal amount on a garage that has a concrete slab against the ground requires a minimum of 100mm (4") of extruded heavyload styrofoam board to be laid under and around the slab. I have no idea of the building requirements there in the States, around here they are fairly high. Then again, what you invest in insulation now, pays you back in the long run if you have cold winters. All depends on the budget and use of the garage though, if you only work there few times a month, it may not be worth it to put too much money on the insulation and heating.

On the other hand, if you spend a lot of your free time in the garage, I would seriously consider floor insulation even if you don't install floor heating. It really sucks big time working on a cold floor even if the garage temp is 70-80*F. I've kept the garage where I work in at about 50-60*F during winter, but with the floor heating it is very comfortable.
I learned that outer stem wall insulation is where all the heat is lost through slab...I am paying extra for them to insulate mine including the garage slab...this combined with the insulation in the garage walls and what i will add myself to the ceiling should suffice...foam under concrete IS NOT code here in my state though. But it does get to 0* at times here, but typically not below 15* regularly...most of winter is more 20 - 35* here I would guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yjcrawlr View Post
It would depend on where you live. When I lived in Colorado I would agree with the heat source low and insulated concrete. Now that I have moved to Oklahoma cooling is more of a issue. My solution for my 900 sq ft shop was spray foam insulation (walls and ceiling) a 220 AC unit with a heat function. This unit will heat or cool 1200 sq ft. I also have 2 overhead radiant heaters for when I'm in the shop for a brief period. They heat near my workbench areas. From May to October cooling is more of a issue.
You know how it is here LOL...sounds like a decent setup you got

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo_90xj View Post
Well I'll be damned, I was sure I read Colorado on the OPs location It was Oklahoma. As far as I know, it's not that cold over there most of the year except maybe for the higher elevations closer to the Rockies?
We've had 18" of snow here in recent years...the weather here is crazy...can be 110* in summer...wide variety due to being in the middle of the country.
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