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Old 04-13-2010, 09:53 AM
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In floor radiant heating

I am looking at building a new 26x32 garage this summer and someone brought up the topic of using in floor radiant heating since it gets chilly here in MN.

My only worry is most people who do this use gas to heat the water, our house has no gas plumbed to it, it is a full electric house. I am not sure how efficient and cost effective it would be to do it electrically, and if it would be worth it over baseboard heating (currently have that in our attached garage).

Has anyone here done radiant heating with electricity instead of gas?
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:25 AM
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I plan to

I installed geo-thermal heated radiant floor in our house and I plan to use the extra materials to heat my concrete slab when I expand my shop fro 16X28 to 48X28, the extra 32x28 slab will be heated. My house geo-compressor is too far from the shop to be an efficient heat source. I have an old oil furnace in the corner that I can heat the whole shop if need be but I wanted the floor to be warm when I need to lie on it and it dries the floor if wet, it occasionally rains here.

I plan to use a domestic electric water heater to provide HW for a small bathroom and heat the floor. One risk is in the event of a power outage in extreme weather the floor could freeze but I do have a diesel generator so I am not that concerned.

As far as efficiency, all the heat generated is within the shop, the circulating pump is the only non-heating electrical load. I think the heating of water and a heating element is the same in terms of heating efficiency(100%), its just the delivery of the heat thru a slab is nicer.
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:53 AM
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I think the cost would be prohibitive.

Would you be looking at the electric to heat a liquid that is circulated or using electric ran through the floor.

What are the chances of setting a propane tank?
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:00 PM
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Fluid

From what I read the heating costs are (highest-lowest) fuel oil, propane, electric, natural gas and then wood, coal etc. at least in our area so as I am currently heating with oil it will be less ????

I am sure there can be a great debate about what is the cheapest fuel for heating but in BC, Can. - electricity is not that bad (0.0591 CAD$/KWH - 0.0827 CAD$/KWH. For me I will try and run it electrically first and if that turns out to be too $$$ then maybe run a natural gas line for a boiler.

I will embed piping for fluid not heating cable. It gives me the option of changing my heat source if necessary and I have ~600 ft of spare Kitec tubing left from the house reno, and a spare hw heater and adding a solar collector if I really want to be green. I am sure the heating cable would work well to but it would cost me $ as I don't have it lying around.

A wood burning boiler would be cool but a wood stove would be more likely and then save the floor heating for when my a** is on it. The negative would be the wood chopping, although the kids seem to like it, it makes them feel manly. My shop is well insulated/or weather is relatively mild as the furnace doesn't run long to heat it up so I am thinking the electrical costs won't be a lot either.

Last edited by weedy64; 04-13-2010 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:11 PM
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It would be using electricity to heat the fluid in the pex piping. I don't think a propane tank would work out, but not sure, just started my planning yesterday
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Old 04-13-2010, 05:40 PM
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A friend of mine heats his house with radiant heat in concrete slab fllors. He uses electric hotwater tanks for the heat source. 1 tank supplies 1 floor of his 2 story house.
He has used this system for over 10 years now with no problems and is very happy with it.
I use a similiar system in my shop, but I have nat gas o I heat source with a nat gas water tank.
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Old 04-15-2010, 09:07 PM
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Coal boiler, using car antifreeze for the fluid. For a hot water heater, 14" diameter thick wall steel pipe, capped and welded on both ends, water in the bottom, and out the top. Coil an inlet line of the heater piping around it fom bottom to the top, and cover it with insulating bubble wrap. Only real downfall, no hot water in the summer. I had this setup in my shop I used to have, and it works really well. It was there before I was, but Iwould only add one thing to it and that is a PRV on the "hot water tank", for safety. Never had an issue with mine, but Murphy has been known to rear his ugly head.....
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Old 04-16-2010, 06:26 AM
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I have circulating hot water radiant heat installed in my shop floor (2400 sq ft) and use a propane boiler. I will be installing solar panels this fall and make it a closed system with the propane boiler as a back up/supplemental heater. I would think propane would be out of the question in your area where it gets really cold. I had radiant heat in my home in Northern Utah that included both my garages. It used solar panels as the primary heat source and natural gas as a back up/supplemental heater. The solar panels worked every day, even when it was cloudy. At times the panels would get covered with 18 inches of snow which would slide off about 1000AM and start heating the water, even at -15F weather. The system was fairly sophisticated in that the water was drained back to the tank when the temp. inside the panels reached the temp of the storage tank and it would pump the water back to the panels when the temp inside the panel became hotter than the water in the tank. You certainly should look into solar panels as your primary source of heat with propane back up. This requires a larger reservoir but definitely is the cheapest way to heat. I am sure there are heating specialist in your area that can guide you in the effectiveness of solar panels in your area.

Trees
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Old 04-16-2010, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trees
I have circulating hot water radiant heat installed in my shop floor (2400 sq ft) and use a propane boiler. I will be installing solar panels this fall and make it a closed system with the propane boiler as a back up/supplemental heater. I would think propane would be out of the question in your area where it gets really cold. I had radiant heat in my home in Northern Utah that included both my garages. It used solar panels as the primary heat source and natural gas as a back up/supplemental heater. The solar panels worked every day, even when it was cloudy. At times the panels would get covered with 18 inches of snow which would slide off about 1000AM and start heating the water, even at -15F weather. The system was fairly sophisticated in that the water was drained back to the tank when the temp. inside the panels reached the temp of the storage tank and it would pump the water back to the panels when the temp inside the panel became hotter than the water in the tank. You certainly should look into solar panels as your primary source of heat with propane back up. This requires a larger reservoir but definitely is the cheapest way to heat. I am sure there are heating specialist in your area that can guide you in the effectiveness of solar panels in your area.

Trees
+1 on using solar if feasible!
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Old 04-16-2010, 11:52 AM
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Lots of info here!

http://garagejournal.com/forum/
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:47 AM
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evolvo -- That's a great link. I never thought to look for a garage forum. Thanks.

Moon
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