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Thread: Options for Shop Heat

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Madison, Wisconsin
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    340
    Frank, your are correct. Every situation is different, but if you don't continuously heat you will likely get condensation on your tools.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Okotoks AB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Falk View Post
    Frank, your are correct. Every situation is different, but if you don't continuously heat you will likely get condensation on your tools.
    Yes, if you live with high humidity that's a concern. Where I live the humidity averages around 50 - 60% & I don't get condensation on the tools. The shop is at 4.5*C when not being used.

  3. #18
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    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Quote Originally Posted by John McKissick View Post
    I live near CT, RI, MA border below the snow line but 0 F happens as does 100 on occasion
    You may very well be fine with the better quality MiniSplit, then and they are super efficient energy use wise. You'll get both heat and AC/humidity control with one system. Initial cost can be a little higher, but the thrifty use of power can make up for it in reasonable time, IMHO. Mine has barely affected our electric bill...I keep it at a constant 64F all winter long and have it on AC at 76F for most of the summer. 750 sq ft or so with decent insulation.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 11-27-2020 at 2:53 PM.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #19
    Should you go with a mini-split you will be looking at the units with the -20*f capability. The typical models sold in your area, in most areas actually, are rated down to -5*f. An advantage of the mini-split is that you get excellent de-humidification. In your area you need the dehumidification more than you need temperature reduction.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michiana
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    2,005
    A cabinet shop near me uses a wood fired boiler to drive in floor radiant heating. It’s a good outlet for their scraps, but their main fuel comes from local tree services. I’m really impressed with in floor radiant. once you get all that mass warmed up the flywheel effect keeps things very stable. It makes dust control much easier too.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Tampa Bay, FL
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    2,418
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    You may very well be fine with the better quality MiniSplit, then and they are super efficient energy use wise. You'll get both heat and AC/humidity control with one system. Initial cost can be a little higher, but the thrifty use of power can make up for it in reasonable time, IMHO. Mine has barely affected our electric bill...I keep it at a constant 64F all winter long and have it on AC at 76F for most of the summer. 750 sq ft or so with decent insulation.
    +1. Hopefully you have good insulation. If not, a definite to-do item.

    The mini-split I have is somewhat challenged with de-humidification in Coastal Florida, but where you are, should work extremely well. I'm stunned how energy efficient my Mitsubishi is.
    - "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." - Albert Einstein
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  7. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    456
    I installed infloor radiant heating when I built my shop 20 yrs ago. I used a 60 gal NG hot water tank, four zone manifold, pump, relay switch, and a thermostat--in slab tubing too!!

    Full disclosure--good buddy is a plumber and gave wholesale costs on material and helped install. Biggest expense was the tubing. The slab is 1000 sq ft and we divided into 3 zones(one left over for the 2nd floor which I haven't needed yet). Cold season stays in the 40s and dips into the 30s sometimes here in the PNW and I keep the temp 55-60 deg unless I'm spraying finishes. Very comfortable and it doesn't take long for the temp to come up when needed. I would try to avoid any forced air system for dust issues and a propane hot water heater is much less costly than a tankless heater. Not sure of other cost comparisons but the infloor radiant system has been great for me. Good luck

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    NE Connecticut
    Posts
    623
    John,

    I live very near you. Last year I installed 6 minisplits in my house and I am still overwhelmed with how well they work. I plan to add one to my shop in the future when finances allow. I currently have a 220v electric heater which keeps the shop above freezing and will get it up to the 50s on most winter days. You could get one of these for very cold days when the minisplit won't work, which shouldn't be that many. Or, if you don't have water in the shop, just don't work on those super cold days.

    As has been mentioned, the minisplit has a major advantage in that it dehumidifies. I can't wait to get one in my shop for this reason alone. It not only limits rust on machines, but keeps lumber more stable, and helps with finishing, too.

    The only advantage I can see for propane is the quick heating. However, the minsplit should do pretty well in a well-insulated space. I bet MA has some incentives for insulation and minisplits.


  9. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    186
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian W Evans View Post
    John,

    I live very near you. Last year I installed 6 minisplits in my house and I am still overwhelmed with how well they work. I plan to add one to my shop in the future when finances allow. I currently have a 220v electric heater which keeps the shop above freezing and will get it up to the 50s on most winter days. You could get one of these for very cold days when the minisplit won't work, which shouldn't be that many. Or, if you don't have water in the shop, just don't work on those super cold days.

    As has been mentioned, the minisplit has a major advantage in that it dehumidifies. I can't wait to get one in my shop for this reason alone. It not only limits rust on machines, but keeps lumber more stable, and helps with finishing, too.

    The only advantage I can see for propane is the quick heating. However, the minsplit should do pretty well in a well-insulated space. I bet MA has some incentives for insulation and minisplits.
    WOW, 6 mini's! Must be a large home.

    Lot of folks advocating mini's

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    55,531
    John, based on my experience with the unit in my shop, if/when we downsize, if the HVAC system in whatever home that is is old or inefficient...I'd replace with minisplit without hesitation. They are heat pumps but for cooling they are much, much more efficient than regular "whole house" type heat pumps. Brian may have had to use 6 units rather than a couple multi-handler units due to logistics for the piping between interior and exterior units for his particular home setup/design.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    186
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    John, based on my experience with the unit in my shop, if/when we downsize, if the HVAC system in whatever home that is is old or inefficient...I'd replace with minisplit without hesitation. They are heat pumps but for cooling they are much, much more efficient than regular "whole house" type heat pumps. Brian may have had to use 6 units rather than a couple multi-handler units due to logistics for the piping between interior and exterior units for his particular home setup/design.
    Happy to hear such overwhelming endorsement of the mini's but any way you cut 6 units is a lot of house. I am happy for him but I don't I have 6 rooms.

    BTW we have discussed a few things over the past few months and I think my "garage" power situation should be improved in a major way soon. Hoping to have 50amp 240v soon. Right now I can't run my jobsite saw and a shop-vac at the same time on a single 120V 15amp circuit shared with my internet router and modem.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    NE Connecticut
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    623
    Quote Originally Posted by John McKissick View Post
    WOW, 6 mini's! Must be a large home.

    Lot of folks advocating mini's
    Sorry for the confusion - I installed 2 outside units and 6 "heads" - one in each of four bedrooms and two in common areas.


  13. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    186
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian W Evans View Post
    Sorry for the confusion - I installed 2 outside units and 6 "heads" - one in each of four bedrooms and two in common areas.
    Ah, that makes more sense. Thought I had really rich neighbors..lol

    Appreciate the experience with mini-splits and advice

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Quote Originally Posted by John McKissick View Post
    Happy to hear such overwhelming endorsement of the mini's but any way you cut 6 units is a lot of house. I am happy for him but I don't I have 6 rooms.

    BTW we have discussed a few things over the past few months and I think my "garage" power situation should be improved in a major way soon. Hoping to have 50amp 240v soon. Right now I can't run my jobsite saw and a shop-vac at the same time on a single 120V 15amp circuit shared with my internet router and modem.
    If you only have 50 amp service going to the shop, putting in a MiniSplit or any form of electric powered heat is going to be tough, honestly. You may need to do a properly vented gas heater in that case.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    186
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    If you only have 50 amp service going to the shop, putting in a MiniSplit or any form of electric powered heat is going to be tough, honestly. You may need to do a properly vented gas heater in that case.
    Power feed hasn't been run yet, I have some options

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