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Old 02-24-2011, 03:38 PM
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Floor heat

Originally Posted by joe_padavano
I'm getting ready to install the foundation and slab for my new shop, approx 50 ft by 60 ft. I was planning on putting PEX for radiant heat in the slab, but I'm having second thoughts for two reasons and I'd appreciate comments from those with experience. I'm located in the Washington DC area, so it gets below freezing for about two months over the winter.

First, I plan to install A/C as well - summer in DC is a swamp. Since I have to run ducts and an air handler anyway, would it be better to just use forced-air heat, possibly with a large outdoor wood-burning furnace?

Second, every radiant floor design guide I read cautions about furniture blocking the heat from the slab. Since my shop will have a number of cars parked in it, in addition to equipment in a machine shop and several pallet racks for storage, will the heat from the slab be blocked anyway?

Of course, I'm also worried about puncturing the tubing when installing things like a lift...

Thanks for your inputs.
I have in floor heat in my shop and house, It is great and my shop costs less than the house.
Onemoretime said put it in the roof, bad idea, heat goes up, cold comes down, the higher up your heat, the higher the space is on the floor that's cold. With in floor heat your warm from toe to head.
The fluid in my lines are heated to 120 degrees so that goes through the lines the floor will be about 79*, it's all in what you set your stat to. I have two big fans, 3 blade that I have turning very slow pushing the air around .
My shop is 30' X 60', half has a 15' ceiling the other half has a 10' foot ceiling. When I built it They put a extra 1" of sand down, then 2" of foam Then the tubes 2 zones, then cement which they put a extra 1" of, so I have 5" instead of 4"
When it was down around zero I turned my heat down 20* from 70 to 50, the 1st week it was anywhere from -5 to -28 degrees, outside. The temp had only dropped 9* degrees in that week, after two weeks it had dropped 17* degrees, but the temp was a little above zero during the day and below at night.
I didn't put in central air I got the two biggest 110v a/c that I could get brand new about $275.00 each at the end of the season when they wanted to get rid of them. Central air would have been close to $2000.00, not counting duct work, I run both until cool, then shut one down, they are way up high and run by a hand held control, both on the high end of the shop.
I have only 3 windows and the service door plus big doors. This winter we have had a lot of snow, I watch by the big doors to see if the snow melts from leaking air it doesn't.
I have a lift but I don't have it bolted down as it has wheels and I can move it around. There is a upstairs, It is not heated but the heat goes up there and keeps it warm.
I live in MN so we get cold weather, the only thing I worry about is falling asleep on the creeper because it is nice and warm down there.


Oh you can run it with wood from outside or pellets, corn, gas, which ever way you want. You don't have the cost of duct, and you can break it into zones, so you only heat what you want.
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