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Heating a workshop question

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danst96

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Hello all,
I am in the process of buying a new house which comes with a 4 car garage which I intend to use half of as a workshop.

The area will be around 450 SQ ft 😍 (a dream compared to my 120sq ft shop previously)

My question is what is the best way to heat it? Temperatures here get down below -40 in winter and can peak at over -50. I have a biggish space heater but I'm wondering whether installing electric infloor heat would be less expensive in the long run.

Has anyone experience of heating with infloor heat and do you think it would be more efficient than a space heater?

The other consideration is to get a mini ac unit that heats as well because it gets up to +40 in summer.

Be glad of the experience anyone has.
 

Gordon Tarling

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Get insulation and plenty of it, including under the floor! I'd be tempted to give the underfloor heating a try and then if found inadequate, it can be topped up with some space heating, perhaps a log burner? In my experience, the A/C units which also heat don't do well when the temperatures get below freezing and definitely aren't going to cope with the -50! That being said, you'll almost certainly need some form of A/C in summer.

G.
 

Inspector

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In floor heat with a NG (natural gas) boiler is the nicest especially if you ever have to work under your car. You can have 2 zones so that your shop is warmer than the garage and from a fire perspective heated floors are safest. If the house is also going to have in-floor heat it is no biggy to add the garage/shop if attached to the house. Naturally lots of insulation including under the slab and triple pane glass are warranted here. If it is already built a NG heater (not the infrared type) mounted on the ceiling keeps you warm and toasty. My 24' x 28' garage is heated with one. Make sure the garage floor is sloped to drains to take the melted snow away. My builder didn't put in a drain and I have to run around with a wet and dry vac after I get home to dry the floor. 😡 My shop above the garage (same size kept at 19ºC) is heated with a fan and radiator off the house demand water heater. Domestic hot water taking priority over shop heat. Right now electric heat is more costly to use over NG but down the road that might change with carbon taxing even though a large portion of our electricity is from NG. Wood stoves and fireplaces may not be allowed in Regina (smoke) and insurers may not cover you especially in an attached woodworking shop. Check with one or two to make sure. In floor heat has a higher resale value. Garage doors are biggest heat loosers so go with the best you can.

Pete

Since you are starting anew power up the shop with some 20, 30 and even 40 amp 220v circuits to power a 5hp DC, your table saw, thicknesser, welder in the garage etc.
 

clogs

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I worked in a w/shop in Sweden with -40....and the underfloor heating was a dream.....
they used elec at that time...not sure if they have natural gas.....
If ur in the middle of nowhere I suppose u could use propane as a heat source.....
what's in the house....?.
or a wood boiler / fire with a back boiler/pumped water system....
plenty on line of what plastic pipe to use in the conc....most decent modern wood boiler will keep in overnight.....
Under floor heating for the w/shop was best sorted at the build stage.....not after it's all finished....
there is special high loading insulation for underfloor use....NOT the standard poly used in packageing......
If it was me....as I spend all my days in the workshop I'd consider ripping out the floor and doing it again....
this is because I dont like other forms of heating in those extremes of climate unless as a top up......and I'd never use oil.....
BUT my wife says I'm always OTT.....but she doesnt have to put up with it....
guessing u'll have blown air not water as a heat transfer source....?
to take the chill off I suppose u could use a load of elec oil radiators but the bills will be high....

I had a friend in a climate like urs but he also had no electric....his elec was by a generator.....
he used the hot water from the engine to heat his house (small) and workshop)....instead of a norm eng radiator the heat was bypassed/taken by the plumbing in the floor....
it worked very well and his wood stoves (w/shop and house) topped things up in the extremes of weather....
but for further ideas we need more info.....
 

danst96

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underfloor heating a try and then if found inadequate, it can be topped up with some space heating,
I thought the same thing and maybe combining the 2 would use less electricity than a space heater by itself. Good point also re insulating the floor.
 

danst96

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In floor heat with a NG (natural gas) boiler is the nicest especially if you ever have to work under your car. You can have 2 zones so that your shop is warmer than the garage and from a fire perspective heated floors are safest. If the house is also going to have in-floor heat it is no biggy to add the garage/shop if attached to the house. Naturally lots of insulation including under the slab and triple pane glass are warranted here. If it is already built a NG heater (not the infrared type) mounted on the ceiling keeps you warm and toasty. My 24' x 28' garage is heated with one. Make sure the garage floor is sloped to drains to take the melted snow away. My builder didn't put in a drain and I have to run around with a wet and dry vac after I get home to dry the floor. 😡 My shop above the garage (same size kept at 19ºC) is heated with a fan and radiator off the house demand water heater. Domestic hot water taking priority over shop heat. Right now electric heat is more costly to use over NG but down the road that might change with carbon taxing even though a large portion of our electricity is from NG. Wood stoves and fireplaces may not be allowed in Regina (smoke) and insurers may not cover you especially in an attached woodworking shop. Check with one or two to make sure. In floor heat has a higher resale value. Garage doors are biggest heat loosers so go with the best you can.

Pete

Since you are starting anew power up the shop with some 20, 30 and even 40 amp 220v circuits to power a 5hp DC, your table saw, thicknesser, welder in the garage etc.
It's an existing detached 4 car garage 24x38ft (2 car wide 2 deep) my plan is to put a wall in around halfway and then I'll insulate the back workshop part.

House is NG heated but I don't have access to the garage with that so I'll likely go down the electric route and putting a boiler in isn't worth it for my age and stage (don't forsee being in the house all my life)

Thanks for the tip about the wood burner, I had been thinking about putting one in but hadn't considered the insurance. The house is a bit more rural than Regina but the insurance is likely to be the issue.

The shop has 220v going to it and had 30amp outlets so I'm hoping with second service board I should have enough power for my tools and also allows me to consider the infloor heat at 220v as this would give me more sq ft.
 

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In that case I would opt for a natural gas heater. The one pictured is in my garage. It exhausts out the wall, you can just see the duct under the right corner. You should talk to a heating and plumbing company to get a price. Running costs are less than any electrical heater.

Pete
IMG_5384.jpg
 

sirocosm

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I had an insulated detached 2 car garage that I used for a shop in Regina (Uplands), and I heated it with a cheap Canadian Tire wood burning stove, mostly with pallets that came for free from a mate that worked at an office supplies place. I suppose it depends on how often you intend to use it, and if you need to keep it continuously above freezing or not (ie. do you need to store water based products in the winter?). Insurance is an issue, but if you install a modern chimney to code, and get it properly inspected, you should be fine. Keeping it above freezing all winter with electricity will be very expensive.
 

baldkev

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Pete ( inspector ) has previously pointed out to me that the extractor is a thing to consider..... if you vent to outside ( which is better for dust mitigation ) you will pump out your heated air pretty quick.... and if you vent in a bagged unit inside, you'll need to put some effort into stopping the smallest particles
 

Inspector

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I don't know anyone venting outside here. Although one could use a diverter and do it for about 5 or 6 months a year. Good cartridges are the way to go but lots of people use baggers.......at least until they can't. I do advocate big bore ducts and cartridges but that isn't a secret.

Pete
 

Sandyn

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Insulate, insulate, insulate, then add some more insulation. Aim for a zero enery design. It may be too expensive to add all the insulation initially, but I would design everything so I could top up the insulation at a later date.
 
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