Farmers || Future

I'm building a new shop/building this summer. I need some input on heating. I live in central South Dakota, so let's just say the winters can be cold, long, and did I mention cold? I really really want to go in-floor heat but have no idea how to do it or the costs, and besides that, since I'm only 20 years old my up front costs are already pretty high, but if I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it right! The shop part is 72'x67' with 18' sides. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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Cameron,

My family is into building high efficiency homes. Do NOT skimp on your insulation as it will cost you the most money in the long run. Here are a few things to check into. Nu-wool (www.nuwool.com) depending on what thickness of walls you are going to use but i am guessing they are going to be 6" walls? You cant go wrong. Here in Central Illinois we heat our shop 42'x48' with one radiant box heater. We have our own insulation truck and let me remind you. There are some blown in insulations but this Nu-wool is made out of recycled paper products. It fills the void in the wall completely full. This is not any kind of fiberglass. Fiberglass insulation is a thing of the past. If you need anymore information let me know
Shelby, thank you very much for the advice. I think I am going with blown in insulation. This nuwool does look great and I'm all for it. But I doubt I'll find anyone that does that around S.D. I was planning on 6" on the walls, but after my ceiling gets in i was going to lay 13-15" insulation down up there. But I will def. do some more research into this product because efficiency is what I'm going for. Thank you very much.
just last winter we built a new shop and everyone we trying to convince us to go in floor heat. but as you said up front cost are outrageous. the first comment had the right idea with the insulation.. you can never have too much.. our shop is 74' 50' 18' so similar in size a bit smaller. but we decided to go with 4 electric heaters made by King, mounted in each corner with ceiling fans that always on low when they are running keeping the heat pushed down. im not sure of the btu on each unit. Ours run on 220volts, but we looked through similar ones the ran on 110. they certainly suck up the juice but we saved over half compared to the first year in our new shop with a forced air fuel oil furnace. that was with fuel at $2.20. im not sure how cheap electric is in south dakota. but it may be worth looking into. good luck.
we have radiant tube heaters that hang from the ceiling and we get along great with them.
My brother has a 100'x50' shop with radiant heat. We like it in the winter when we drive something in in the winter and shut the door it seems to regain heat alot faster. When we wash equipment in the winter the concrete is dry after an hour. Some guys around here have said working on a heated floor wears them out for some reason don't know if there is anything to that or not. He only has the six inch insulation that was screwed in behind the tin and his propane bill is around $200 dollars a month in the winter.
dont have radiant heat in our shop but my father has it in his house and loves it . If you go with radiant make sure you run two or three seprate loops other wise the hot water is out in the floor two long and begins to cool
Thanks for the advice. Eric, you brought up a good point, true or not. If the in-floor heat wears out or something goes wrong with the piping, well your kinda S.O.L. It probably "never happens", but beings that I am a farmer, something like that would happen to me. Thanks everyone, keep the ideas coming.
Cameron,

I think you are thinking along the same lines I would be with the in-floor heat "going bad". If something were to happen the only way to fix it is to rip out your shop floor and replace the piping and concrete. Don't think I want that to deal with. Radiant heat is the way to go, we have that system in our newest chicken houses and in a matter of an hour with the thermostat on 92-94 degrees the actual floor temp will be around 88-90. Awesome system with very little maintenence. If and when I build my shop unless technology has advanced (which i'm sure it will) I will be installing radiant tube heaters.

Ben
we have a reznor furnace in our shop that burns used oil, it keeps it plenty warm and is a great vaule, as long as you have enough used oil to keep it running all winter long, our shp is 100x55 and our reznor burns about 10 gallons per day
Cameron,

Nu-wool isnt the only brand of blown in insulation. Menards handles a brand called "cocoon" and another that i know of is "blue sky." Both will certainly do the job and they are both fire retardant. Nu-Wool has a 2 hour UL burn through rating and its the only insulation that is certified like that. So you would have 2 hours to get the fire under control before it would totally burn through the wall. That is only on a 4" wall mind you. Nu-wool only recommends 12" in the attic/ceiling and any more than that isnt going to benefit you much more.


Here is my advice on what i know about tube heaters/in floor heat. I wouldnt have one of those dang things at all. Especially the tube heaters. The exhaust vent for them goes where? OUTSIDE!! why would you burn propane and then turn around and let your heat dump outside. If i were you I'd go with the Radiant heaters that are the box type that hang from the ceiling. If you insulated your shop with cellulose i'd almost guarantee that you could go with 3 of these radiant heaters. I think we have $600 in buying 2 of them. There is no way that in floor heat will ever pay for itself if these heaters are that cheap. If you really wanted to have the best of the best you should go with Geothermal heating and cooling. Then you would have heating/air conditioning all in one. it is pricey but check into it before you rule that out. It will be cheaper than burning any kind of fuel for heat but oh yeah......i said air conditioning. see if your in floor heat can do that!
I know sevral guys with floor heat it is nice but. They always have very high hummity in there shops and it is slow to respond after the doors have been opened. I have a guy I know they stuffed there six inch side walls with inch of foam so no air would get thru and them 5 inchs of blowed in fiber glass. With 14 inchs of fiberglass in the roof. Then all they put in it for heat was two 120,000 btu household high efe. furnecse. In the north corners. I personally love raditant tubes they work great and are cheap to install and use. Also don't for get about maybe a small waste oil burner. You might as well burn what u got On those mild days it may be all it takes to heat the shop. Most inportant main door faceing the south.
my neighbor is a mechanic and has his own shop that he works in all winter long. he has radiant heating and it works great and he burns less then 300 gals of propane a winter. we have a shed that is fully concret and thinking about turning in to a shop and that is what we would put in it. either that or a corn/pellet stove. we only use corn and pellets in our house. no central heat or air.

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