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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As my Pole barn starts next week, I have been hemming and hawing about the type of heating I want to do. I was all set to insulate the slab with 2" high density Styrofoam boards and do a radiant floor system. But I have been doing more reading and the fact that this is more of a weekend garage type place and storage I think I may be better off with a infrared tube heater or forced air heating. The radiant floor heating would have been for a 40x40x13 room. $1600 in insulation board, $800 for radiant floor tubing manifolds and staples and pressure test equipment for instillation. This does not include a heat source for the loop system or pump. Needing to keep it pretty much on 24/7 for the winter to get its benefits just starts to seem like a lot of money for not being a full time shop.

I live in Central NJ for climate conditions and I can bring in natural gas from the main house meter.

Anyone want to talk me into it or give me any better ideas?
 

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If you have natural gas I vote for forced air. Either a normal furnace with ducting or a hanging furnace. My 26x35x12 ft ceiling works well with a hanging one. I keep it sett at 50 and turn it up when going out there.
 

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If you have natural gas I vote for forced air. Either a normal furnace with ducting or a hanging furnace. My 26x35x12 ft ceiling works well with a hanging one. I keep it sett at 50 and turn it up when going out there.
X2, I have almost the same type of setup that I heat. I have this heater it hangs from the ceiling.
Residential Gas/Hydronic Unit Heaters | HVAC
If I am going to work on a project I just turn up the heat and go in the house to change into work clothes. If I will be working on a project I have a big piece of cardboard I lay on.

Doug
 

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I got 2 words for you. Heat pump!
This way you can also cool the place in hot weather. Next time you have to fix something during a heat wave you will be thanking me. lol

Just went to a class on the new Bosch inverter systems. They only run as hard as needed. So they are more energy efficient. Also super quiet. You have an outside unit and an air handler inside.
 

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Call around to your local hvac guys, or look on CL for a HVAC air handler/furnace. They usually sell them cheap when the AC coils go bad. Rip the coil out and hang it from your ceiling. Hook the gas up and you are nice and warm. I see them selling for 100-300$ all the time.
 

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If you're just planning on using the shed on the weekends I'd steer away from the radiant floor heat. I have it in my home, and while it's a great comfortable heat once you get the slab of concrete warm, it takes a good 8-10 hours for it to reach temperature the first time you start it with a cold concrete slab. It does in my home anyway.....results may vary! :unknown:
 

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What about a wood burning stove. Much cheaper to operate!

I have a diesel torpedo heater for my shop. It’s loud, smells but puts out a bunch of heat

Brett
 

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Call around to your local hvac guys, or look on CL for a HVAC air handler/furnace. They usually sell them cheap when the AC coils go bad. Rip the coil out and hang it from your ceiling. Hook the gas up and you are nice and warm. I see them selling for 100-300$ all the time.
Just went to a HVAC/boiler class on Tuesday. The teacher said rule of thumb in our area is. Start with a heat pump if no prior systems are already in place. It's the most cost effective as far as installation, maintenance and energy use. Now if you had existing radiators or needed domestic hot water a boiler would be cheeper. So it's always a case by case decision. Like what fuel/power sources are available. Odds are you will be running electric to your new building. With anything else you will have to run a gas line, get a propane or oil tank.

JohnnyJ is right. For radiant floor to work properly it needs to be on 24/7. Heating a slab is very slow. Kind of like a water bed.
Plus when it really gets cold it just won't be enough. So with this type of system you need secondary heat sources.

We sometimes come across decent take out equipment. If you would be willing to pick it up. We just replaced a gas furnace but the heat exchanger was cracked. The only thing worth saving that we have in stock right now is a Navian combi boiler that ran on propane.
 

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Well for My 28.5X30 Barn I just use one of these https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200665094_200665094 Had thought about Putting two In But will see how this winter Goes I have a second Floor In the Barn That will be a wood shop sometimes next year and I Probably go with a Mr cool https://www.homedepot.com/p/MRCOOL-DIY-18-000-BTU-1-5-Ton-Ductless-Mini-Split-Air-Conditioner-and-Heat-Pump-230V-60Hz-DIY-18-HP-230A/207074950 for the second floor Or maybe even Mitsubishi . When I bought this Place Last year I was told Barn Had Gas & water. all it had was 30AMP service and water was not connected to house But Piping was laid I now Have 100AMP service. and But I spend Maybe a hour a two every other night out In the Barn That I think electric heat will be fine for me since it is now a well insulated Barn:bigthumb:
 

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I'm with the others Forced air ceiling heater.

Floor heating is great but needs on 24/7

or a torpedo heater ,makes a lot of noise but will heat the area pretty quick. I use Diesel in mine with some odor, BIL uses kerosene in his hardly any odor.
 

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Nobody has mentioned the very efficient mini-split systems available, they are worth taking a look at.
 

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Nobody has mentioned the very efficient mini-split systems available, they are worth taking a look at.
RhTs whAt I’m planning on sometime.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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Discussion Starter #13
H-D thanks or the offer. I will talk to my plumbing/ heating contractor a little more. My work plumber and I talked about it in some length today and he said a residential system may be my best bet as I could add on an AC unit down the line if I want. I will look into the Heat Pump idea. I am just not so up on systems to know all the differences and cost and efficiencies. One of the other things that woulds have locked me in with radiant floor would where to terminate everything and not be able to be flexible where things could be place in the future.
 

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Regardless of what heating system you choose; I'd insulate and install a vapor barrier common to your area under the floor if I were you. Cold concrete just sucks to work on, and concrete is a sponge for moisture.

There are ceiling mounted gas fired radiant heating systems too. You see them a lot at the checkout lanes of the Home Cheapot's here. If you stand in just the right spot, they feel oh so good.
 

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I use a gas hanging for my garage. I don't need it all the time but if I did I can leave it running.


8-UDAP-installed.png
 

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Nobody has mentioned the very efficient mini-split systems available, they are worth taking a look at.
Sergent posted a link to Home Depot. That Mrcool is basically a mini split system. Never heard of Mrcool brand but it looks like a Fujitsu. Personally I would go with the name brand from a supply house. I have been learning that a lot of company's are making lower quality units for sale at big box stores. Kind of like a John Deere D series lawn tractors. Same thing goes with water heaters. Just to meet a lower price point.

Mini split systems are heat pumps. We have installed quite a few of them Fujitsu units with great results. They are one of the few heat pumps that will work good during below zero outside temperatures. This is when some pumps struggle to keep up and rely on resistance heat backups.
However because of the design of the inside unit. They are generally only good for one space.
 

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I would just hang a heater seeing how you have gas supply. Get a good one, is Mr.Cool is any relation to Mr.Heat they are a certifiable POS, get something with reputation like a Modine Hotdog, very efficient to run, radiant floor heat is also super efficient, as others have mentioned they need to run 24/7 but once you get the slab warmed up they honestly don't use enough to break the bank. Being you are in Jersey I doubt you would need any supplemental heat but I would just put in a hanging unit of good quality.
 

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...
However because of the design of the inside unit. They are generally only good for one space.
Very true, except that there are many multi-zone systems now where you can have more than one "inside" unit.
 

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Very true, except that there are many multi-zone systems now where you can have more than one "inside" unit.
Mini splits can do up to 4 rooms Now at least the Mitsubishi and Trane that I know of. I was going to use a Min split on both floors But decided I only need air On the second Floor So I am considering a MR Cool which I posted On the Previous Page which Tim(Tractor Time) Installed In his shop and I guess it works Pretty well for him though his shed is on the small size:bigthumb:
 

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Mini splits can do up to 4 rooms Now at least the Mitsubishi and Trane that I know of. I was going to use a Min split on both floors But decided I only need air On the second Floor So I am considering a MR Cool which I posted On the Previous Page which Tim(Tractor Time) Installed In his shop and I guess it works Pretty well for him though his shed is on the small size:bigthumb:
Just took another look at the link. HD says anyone can install this. The instructions warnings say you need a professional installer.

This is one of them systems that we wouldn't touch with a 10' pole. You can't shorten or extend the line set that connects the 2 units. Seeing both pieces and the line set are pre charged. Normally just the outside unit is charged. After hooking it up properly you have to vacuum out the line set and inside unit. Before this we normally pressurize the system with nitrogen to check for leaks. After the successful pressure test and vacuum you can dump the charge. Then check the pressures to make sure it's working correctly. With this system any leaks will have you calling a professional anyway.

Copper line sets are hard enough to install when you are just dealing with 2 pieces of pipe. With nothing connected on either end. Having to deal lines connected to the outside unit will be a PITA. If you kink one of them you are basically screwed. Even using a special tool to bend them is no guarantee. There is no way to repair this without reclaiming the refrigerant and replacing that piece of line. Then you are back to vacuuming and charging the system like a professional.
If you end up with excess length in the lines. You have to make loops to use up the extra line. Seeing cutting them shorter is not an option. If the lines are to short you are really screwed.

Believe it or not a lot of problems we find with existing systems is due to poor installation. The pictures are a duel pump set up we recently did. This was at the stage of connecting the line sets to the outside units. Just to give you an idea what is involved.
We did remove the S bend on the #1 unit. Ended up cutting the line back and making a new adapter pipe. This was mockup stage before burning everything in. Lastly you insulate & tie everything up so it looks good.

The other end of that line is about maximum you are allowed by the manufacturer. The drywall had to be opened up to install it.
 

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