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  1. Top | #11
    Captain Hook Kennyd's Avatar
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    Wouldn't a mini-split system work good in Texas? Then you'd have AC and well as heat.
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  3. Top | #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by johncanfield View Post
    Thanks very much for helping me in my quest sennister

    You guys up there in the Minnesota tundra have way different heat requirements than us in more temperate zones. A relative has a second home in Colorado at 9,000' elevation and it has heated floors, absolutely love that (we spent a week there watching it snow a few years ago.)

    I think I have my dilemma figured out. Thanks to the Dr's advice about using vented vs. non-vented I found a forced air vented on a search and talked to the business about my requirements which took into account my location, building size, etc. She said 45k BTU would work well, the calculated BTU need was just under 30k.

    So I found this one (100$ cheaper than the first place) and they have a horizontal duct kit which will eliminate the need for a roof penetration.

    And the heater is made in the USA, I like that.
    I was trying to be a little careful in my post to avoid the reply "well you know it does snow it Texas". As I am aware that it does happen.

    That said, yes our needs are a little more on the extreme side. In Texas, a forced air system probably doesn't have all the the same disadvantages that we face up here, or at least they are not as big of a deal. The main points are that you want to fully understand that while radiant is great, there are some drawbacks. Then main being where you want more temporary heat or a quick change in heat. Getting back to not knowing your climate as well, but I could see cases where you might want heat and by the time a radiant system could actually heat the space, you might find that the cold front has since moved on and you don't need the heat anymore. Then you would find yourself constantly having to watch the forecast to stay ahead of something or always playing catch up.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kennyd View Post
    Wouldn't a mini-split system work good in Texas? Then you'd have AC and well as heat.
    I agree, he didn't have it on his list but as I mentioned at the end of my previous post, I was wondering if he has considered a heat pump or as you call it a mini-spit. As you mentioned the big benefit is that the AC side of a system like that might be more advantageous than the heating aspect. It would work like a forced air system just electric rather than gas. Not sure about electric rates and such.

    We are actually considering adding one to our garage build and I have done some work to make it easier to add later. I want to see how expensive it is to heat my space at a straight 60F all winter. Or at least as we get into the really cold parts and do some comparisons to some cooler temps. How much less is it to keep it at 50F or 40F which is the lowest the system will go. I could use a mini-split to get the temp up for a short duration use like where I want to go out for the evening. Though I could also do that with a water to air heat exchanger like what I am adding to the pole barn. The benefit of the mini-split is as you mentioned, AC on hot summer days. While the mini-split won't work well when -30F out, it also isn't like that all winter and normally it is just a cold snap for a few days. Closer to 0F is more common for most of the winter and they work then.
    Last edited by sennister; 10-31-2019 at 02:22 PM.
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  4. Top | #13
    sennister's Avatar
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    Oh one other thing to consider. Some of these high efficiency furnaces, boilers and other types of heaters do have condensation. The furnace in our house, our tankless water heater in the house and now the boiler we added to the radiant heat system all have condensation that we have to deal with. In the case of the new garage, we ran what will be a drain pipe that will tie into the septic system. I don't have it doing that yet because I have unheated space (the mud room and future laundry) between the garage and house. Because of this I wouldn't be able to pass a plumbing inspection. However I can install the drain pipe that runs back to my tuck under basement right next to existing pluming. For now I capped it off and put a barb fitting on the end that drains into a condensant pump. That will pump the water to a drain for the time being.

    I only mention this because it may help with your heater placement if you have to deal with needing a drain of some sort. With a detached garage maybe you can route it to a floor drain of some sort or outside somehow. Just something to ask the HVAC people about if needed. I didn't think of it when we built the garage and the HVAC guy never mentioned it to me. I told him it was a future drain but he got nervous when I explained it wasn't plumbed through to the septic yet. I asked how much water I can expect and he said if it is running at 100% it won't produce much water at all. It produces at the lower power levels. From watching it, the boiler is consistently running at about 25-30% load. He said depending on humidity levels and such, we could expect up to around 5 gallons of water a day.

    Like I said, ask about it, not sure if it is an issue to consider. If you don't plan for a drain and it is required your only option might be on the slab and do you want a wet floor all the time?
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  6. Top | #14

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    Conroe to Navasota area of the hill country I would go with a mini split, heat & air.

    The spray foam along with the type of cold in that area you should be fine with a MS especially if you slab is insulated.
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    lot of good advice above...

    instead of explaining things ...sennister has already done a good job of it...i will list my preferences if it were mine

    #1.....spend money on insulation during construction..more more more...will lower your ussage and initial equipment costs and serve you well the entire life of the building

    #2....a well insulated structure in TX as stated would be a great candidate for a mini-split heat pump...obviously the up front cost would be a bit more...but having AC in the summer if you have a to do service would be priceless

    #3 ...a tube infrared heater would be my third option ....as sennister mentioned clearances can be a issue and should not be overlooked

    #4 ...a forced air ceiling hung unit..probably the cheapest option up front since you already have gas to the building

    everything vented...as a last and temporary resort would i consider a non-vented unit

    per your post your going to option #4....which will serve you well seems like a good unit....dont forget my option #1 and i assume your source considered your insulation system when sizing the unit ?

    fwiw....i have a attached workshop....24 x 40 x 15' eave with 4/12 open trusses 8" of fiberglass insulation on exterior (obviously one side is attached to living space) one single 12 x12 insulated oh door ......the shop has a seperate ground source heat pump heat/cool unit 18000btu's and it maintains temps fine in our climate SW MO year around both on the heat and the cool side .....just putting this out there as additional info
    Last edited by ttazzman; 10-31-2019 at 03:55 PM.
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    Great recommendations and ideas!

    For those who haven't read my earlier post, the target building is 900 sq ft, 10' stud walls, spray foamed walls and under the roof, insulated doors. No ceiling.

    I'm real familiar with mini-splits, I have a small cool only mini-split in my office/radio room/electronics lab. They are amazing. So amazing I paid a huge premium for two zone ducted mini-split heat pump in our 1500 sq ft addition. It struggled a bit when we had a 105F day last summer but the room temp was only about 4F above set temp. Even so impressive, they work well in our area. You literally cannot hear it running.

    I had not considered a mini-split for the garage, interesting idea. I'm looking at about $1k for a forced air vented 45k BTU LP heater, a large mini-split would be at least $3.5k. Still cooling and heating the garage is tempting.

    Edit - we have zero need for permits and inspections out here in the wild west, but I was reading the instructions for forced air gas heating vent ducting and they did mention a condensation drain if required by code. I thought about a floor drain but decided to just have the slab slope inboard and then out.
    Last edited by johncanfield; 10-31-2019 at 06:06 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by johncanfield View Post
    Great recommendations and ideas!

    For those who haven't read my earlier post, the target building is 900 sq ft, 10' stud walls, spray foamed walls and under the roof, insulated doors. No ceiling.

    I'm real familiar with mini-splits, I have a small cool only mini-split in my office/radio room/electronics lab. They are amazing. So amazing I paid a huge premium for two zone ducted mini-split heat pump in our 1500 sq ft addition. It struggled a bit when we had a 105F day last summer but the room temp was only about 4F above set temp. Even so impressive, they work well in our area. You literally cannot hear it running.

    I had not considered a mini-split for the garage, interesting idea. I'm looking at about $1k for a forced air vented 45k BTU LP heater, a large mini-split would be at least $3.5k. Still cooling and heating the garage is tempting.

    Edit - we have zero need for permits and inspections out here in the wild west, but I was reading the instructions for forced air gas heating vent ducting and they did mention a condensation drain if required by code. I thought about a floor drain but decided to just have the slab slope inboard and then out.
    45k seems like a excessive heating load calculation for your area ...... mine is at least 50% larger cubic ft wise...well worth a real load calculation if your considering a heat pump at all
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    TRactor Tim did a mini split kit on his old building. I think the pre done kits are much more affordable on a DiY basis.
    Last edited by FortClatsop; 10-31-2019 at 11:59 PM.
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    I don’t remember how big the heater is in my garage but it’s oversized. The guy that installed said the price difference was something like $30 more than a smaller one. It’s nice because it heats things up really fast. I plan on getting a portable AC unit for mine this next year. If it’s 95 outside getting it down to 80 feels pretty good. I had a window AC unit but the mud daubers built inside it and ruined it.
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    sennister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johncanfield View Post
    Great recommendations and ideas!

    For those who haven't read my earlier post, the target building is 900 sq ft, 10' stud walls, spray foamed walls and under the roof, insulated doors. No ceiling.

    I'm real familiar with mini-splits, I have a small cool only mini-split in my office/radio room/electronics lab. They are amazing. So amazing I paid a huge premium for two zone ducted mini-split heat pump in our 1500 sq ft addition. It struggled a bit when we had a 105F day last summer but the room temp was only about 4F above set temp. Even so impressive, they work well in our area. You literally cannot hear it running.

    I had not considered a mini-split for the garage, interesting idea. I'm looking at about $1k for a forced air vented 45k BTU LP heater, a large mini-split would be at least $3.5k. Still cooling and heating the garage is tempting.

    Edit - we have zero need for permits and inspections out here in the wild west, but I was reading the instructions for forced air gas heating vent ducting and they did mention a condensation drain if required by code. I thought about a floor drain but decided to just have the slab slope inboard and then out.
    I would agree that having a ball park estimate of around $3k is probably going to be close for a mini-split. It will be more expensive for the initial purchase and maybe to run as well. It does have some advantage in terms of one investment covering both needs. Not sure how much power it will take to run. Probably depends on the system size but I would imagine 30A 240V would be common.

    I remembered that you said you were doing spray foam insulation on the walls and basically what is the inside of the roof. What I don't remember you saying was if you were going to have for trusses. Maybe you were going with a storage truss where you have an attic. Maybe you are going with a standard truss and it is just open all the way up to the peak. While that is fine, I would imagine it will make it a little bit harder to heat with a forced air type system. If you had some form of ceiling, even if not well insulated, it would help keep some of that heat from just rushing up to the peak. If you look back to where I was talking about one of the disadvantages of a forced air system is that you have to heat the space from the top down. Where radiant type systems heat from the bottom up. One way to try and combat this is to install some form of ceiling fan(s) to try and force the air back down. You may want them anyhow for the hotter time of the year. Though you might want them way up in the peak or I am not sure how effective they will be.
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