(Topic ID: 283036)

Best way to heat a garage?

By IdahoRealtor

3 years ago


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  • Latest reply 3 years ago by PinballAir
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    There are 66 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 3 years ago

    We have a house under contract in Eagle, Idaho. No humidity issues. Cold winters. Not North Dakota cold, but below freezing. No game room space in the house. Plan is to convert the single car bay from the 3-car garage into a game room by putting up a wall, running more outlets, better insulation, etc. But, what's the best way to heat the space? Ductless split? Forced air unit? Infrared heater? Electric wall heaters? I imagine a split or forced air unit would be the best, but I've never had to heat a garage before. Last tidbit is my wife sees this house as more of a temporary house and not for long term, so I shouldn't splurge too much on the conversion. If the conversion bid is too high I may just leave the whole space open and have to heat the whole damn garage.

    p.s. Rough dimensions of the single car bay are approx 14' x 21', or 300 sq ft. Just wide enough for a row of pins on each wall.

    #2 3 years ago

    So I can just offer some thoughts....

    I have a tuck under garage, and it has a 220v heater hanging. The garage gets coold in the winter and hot/humid in the summer. I could not keep games in there all the time as summer would probably wreck havoc. The electric heater (220) sucks power like no freaking other. I left it on low for 1 month and the heat bill was 100-150ish easily.

    My plan is to build a detached garage and maybe have games there as well....but again need full year round temp control. With all that being said, I would probably say the mini split (they even have diy versions) would offer AC in the summer, dehumidifier and some heat. I don't know if they are okay to run in the dead of winter, but a few years ago I was told the heat versions were good for fall/spring to supplement heat. Another effective way to heat is a gas heater, could even do a propane pig tank.

    14
    #3 3 years ago

    Probably something like this. It can be mounted to the ceiling and exhausted through the wall or ceiling.
    The smallest on they make is 30,000 btu and would be plenty for your area. This one is made by Modine
    but I have seen them in Menards and other big box stores.

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    #4 3 years ago

    Putting this in next week.

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    #5 3 years ago

    Just heat? Gas or propane unit heater would be your best bet, but you need to run a gas line and vent. Electric is the easiest but costs more to operate. If you want heat and A/C a mini-split would work. All electric with refrigerant and power lines to the outdoor cassette.

    #6 3 years ago

    You are gonna need a Lighter and a can of Aqua Net...

    Those guys up there are pretty much spot on. And what I have in my shop...

    Though I hate hanging heaters from ceilings. The Physics of that just never makes sense to me.

    #7 3 years ago
    Quoted from schudel5:

    Just heat? Gas or propane unit heater would be your best bet, but you need to run a gas line and vent. Electric is the easiest but costs more to operate. If you want heat and A/C a mini-split would work. All electric with refrigerant and power lines to the outdoor cassette.

    AC would be nice as Summers are hot there. Mini split would cover me there, but not sure if those are best for a garage environment.

    #8 3 years ago

    I am literally installing this today. I have about 250 sq.ft. and just want to heat occasionally to work on my YXZ this winter. I know more costly to operate than gas but initial cost ($200) is a lot less than any sort of gas unit. To do what you are after (24/7) I think a gas heater would be worthwhile, you could go cheap on the AC part by using a window shaker which can be installed through the wall in a sleeve rather into an actual window opening.

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    #9 3 years ago
    Quoted from sixpakmopar:

    I am literally installing this today. I have about 250 sq.ft. and just want to heat occasionally to work on my YXZ this winter. I know more costly to operate than gas but initial cost ($200) is a lot less than any sort of gas unit. To do what you are after (24/7) I think a gas heater would be worthwhile, you could go cheap on the AC part by using a window shaker which can be installed through the wall in a sleeve rather into an actual window opening.
    [quoted image]

    I'm thinking thermostatically controlled for 24/7 heat in the winter, not just while I'm in there. Maybe ~55 degrees when not in use? Seems like it would be better for the pins to avoid freezing garage temps and big temperature swings, but I do not know this firsthand.

    #10 3 years ago
    Quoted from IdahoRealtor:

    AC would be nice as Summers are hot there. Mini split would cover me there, but not sure if those are best for a garage environment.

    For only 300 sq.ft. they'll work ok assuming the garage walls/ceilings are insulated and the garage and man doors are insulated type as well. They so come in different ton sizes. If the building isn't insulated very well, anything you use is going to perform poorly.

    #11 3 years ago

    I have the same situation. I just built a 3-car garage and I am going to wall the single bay off and insulate. I have a new electric panel and no gas so I’m thinking of going with a mini-split. I’ve been told new mini-splits are fine if your winter temps are in the 20-30’s. As long as you not getting week long sub zero days. I’m getting a quote on Wednesday from my hvac guy. I’m thinking if it’s $2500 it would be worth it. If it’s closer to $3500 I think I would consider paying $1000 to run gas to the garage and putting in a gas furnace.

    But I’ve also looked at the diy Mr. Cool Olympus mini-splits which run about $1500. Videos make it look like as long as you have good diy skills you can do it yourself. Only negative I see with the diy is that if something breaks outside of the warranty you probably won’t be able to repair it.

    #12 3 years ago

    Just replaced my 1,100sq ft garages direct vent wall furnace. Changed from a Cozy (lasted 20 years) to a Williams Forsaire - much better unit in terms of quietness and seems to heat up area faster, thermostat stays at 50 degrees most of the time.
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    #13 3 years ago

    I built an addition(sunroom) at my last house and used a PTAC unit to heat/cool. Worked great. It was 400sq ft and worked well year round.

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    #14 3 years ago

    A PTAC heat pump unit would be a good alternative. As they do have electric heat strips in them.
    Mini splits are good but you would need to oversize to get enough heat when it get real cold.

    #15 3 years ago

    You didn’t say if the floor had been poured yet but you can’t go wrong with hot water in the floor with a wall mounted boiler. Like this one for example:

    https://www.supplyhouse.com/Weil-Mclain-383-100-050-AB-155C-AquaBalance-Combination-Wall-Mount-Gas-Boiler-125000-BTU-NG?utm_source=bingad&utm_medium=shopping&msclkid=ec9218bc2dc413317b734776b75b0e4f

    This one is probably enough for an entire house but this setup will feel like summer inside even when it’s zero outside since the building will be warm and not just the air. On the plus side you won’t have that dry static air that will have you buying hand moisturizer all winter.
    When I switched to a variable output Weil McClain wall mount the gas bill dropped in half. Just my humble opinion.

    #16 3 years ago
    Quoted from PinRob:

    Just replaced my garage wall direct vent furnace, 1,100 sq ft. Changed from a Cozy (lasted 20 years) to a Williams Forsaire - much better unit in terms of quietness and seems to heat up area faster, thermostat stays at 50 degrees most of the time.[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

    Takes up a little wall space, but that looks sharp. Probably a good option for heating the whole garage.

    #17 3 years ago
    Quoted from 29REO:

    You didn’t say if the floor had been poured yet but you can’t go wrong with hot water in the floor with a wall mounted boiler. Like this one for example:

    If I could upvote a post 3x, it would be this one.

    #18 3 years ago
    Quoted from guitarded:

    If I could upvote a post 3x, it would be this one.

    And I would upvote it 3x myself as well. We did radiant flooring in our basement when we built our house... Zero regrets, works incredibly well. The only time it is a little inconvenient is the fall and spring when the mornings are cold and it warms up during the day. All the heat from the concrete takes awhile to dissipate, so even when it is turned off, it is still warm and gets the house pretty warm. Seems a little weird to run the radiant heat and AC at the same time...

    #19 3 years ago
    Quoted from IdahoRealtor:

    Takes up a little wall space, but that looks sharp. Probably a good option for heating the whole garage.

    I also changed from the old units standing pilot ignition to intermittent pilot ignition on the new Williams Forsaire

    #20 3 years ago

    Heating Only - cheapest/quickest is a ceiling mounted gas heater like kuelman or erak posted;
    Heating Only - Twice as much or more as above, a Direct Vent Furnace like PinRob put in is a great heating solution that looks good;
    Heat/Air Conditioning - Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner (PTAC) like Coz installed - economical and easy install, but it really more for air conditioning than heating (sunroom application like his is the most common at home use of these I think;
    Heat/Air Conditioning - Split Unit like ktuhde is thinking - more economical for both heating and cooling modes than PTAC but more upfront and a more difficult installation (sometimes not diy). You would want a single zone one.
    Radiant Floor - I agree this is a great solution if you were staying in this house - but you will find is more expensive that the other options because you will need to pour a lightweight concrete floor over it.

    11
    #21 3 years ago

    This is what I am using currently in my arcade garage. Its a Mitsubishi ductless.

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    #22 3 years ago

    Years ago I kept some of my pins in a cottage on the property which we rarely use.It is fully finished.Without heat the temp would get down to 55F in the winter.I thought all was good until spring when I pulled them out.I totally planked out a diamond plated Funhouse sample game.So my two cents is that too cold or too hot is no bueno.I am all electric heat here(no natural gas available and propane is expensive) so a split unit would be my recommendation as well.

    P.S. should add that this building has electric wall heaters and 55 is the lowest setting which is where they were set to.

    #23 3 years ago

    I built a temp controlled room into my pole barn that was about 250 sq ft and looked into this quite a bit. I ended up going with a ductless mini-split and highly recommend it.

    My biggest concern was that it was only guaranteed to work (or "keep up") down to like 20 degrees or something, and my unit wasn't going to be blocked by the prevailing wind at all. But it has worked perfectly even and always kept it heated even when it was -10 degrees (and like -30 windchill) outside. Keeps it nice and cool in the summer. Plus they are efficient.

    I've had it about 5-6 years or so and no issues at all. (knock on wood)

    #24 3 years ago

    I am also trying to regulate temp in my garage (SF Bay Area). Had a guy install this insulated pillow stuff. So far it helps keep the heat out in the summer and keeps heat from my space heaters contained in the winter.

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    #25 3 years ago

    I went with a styrofoam lined with foil (can’t recall what it’s called) up in between the rafters. You can get it at Home Depot, or Lowe’s and it’s used on the outside of houses to insulate under siding. It’s worked flawlessly here in Sacramento for the last seven years. All the walls are insulated and covered with sheet rock, the garage door has insulated panels. I also installed a split heat and AC unit. I wanted the open beam ceiling look rather than closing it in with sheet rock. I think it’s kind of an industrial look. It was all pretty cheap.

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    #26 3 years ago

    I'm definitely a vote for the mini-split.

    #27 3 years ago

    Got one of these in a 2 car garage, keeps it nice and toasty! Good Price! They offer a smaller version too! My location is NE Kansas, so we have some cold days here.

    https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200631888_200631888

    #28 3 years ago

    That with natural gas is best imo. That way if you lose power you still can have heat.

    #29 3 years ago

    Anybody care to share what their mini-split cost installed? Just trying to get a ballpark. I have a space about the same size as the Op and a few others that chimed in.

    #30 3 years ago

    infrared is what i use for a two car garage

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    #31 3 years ago
    Quoted from Wharhed:

    Anybody care to share what their mini-split cost installed? Just trying to get a ballpark. I have a space about the same size as the Op and a few others that chimed in.

    I had a pretty nice one installed that was both AC and heat (18 SEER/1.5 Ton). It ran $1,700 installed with all pipes, hardware, etc.

    #32 3 years ago

    I use a 5' electric "baseboard" heater that plugs into a standard outlet. 1 heater keeps my insulated 24'x24' garage room nice and cozy. Fairly inexpensive, no installation costs and you can move it wherever you want it since it sits on feet. Bonus is a constant radiant heat, with a built in thermostat.

    #33 3 years ago
    Quoted from Slugmeister:

    Years ago I kept some of my pins in a cottage on the property which we rarely use.It is fully finished.Without heat the temp would get down to 55F in the winter.I thought all was good until spring when I pulled them out.I totally planked out a diamond plated Funhouse sample game.So my two cents is that too cold or too hot is no bueno.I am all electric heat here(no natural gas available and propane is expensive) so a split unit would be my recommendation as well.

    Thank you for posting this! This is what I'm afraid of. I'm surprised even 55 degrees was too cold. I'm imagine my new garage will get much colder without heat when the temps drop to the teens and twenties.

    #34 3 years ago
    Quoted from pin2d:

    I built a temp controlled room into my pole barn that was about 250 sq ft and looked into this quite a bit. I ended up going with a ductless mini-split and highly recommend it.
    My biggest concern was that it was only guaranteed to work (or "keep up") down to like 20 degrees or something, and my unit wasn't going to be blocked by the prevailing wind at all. But it has worked perfectly even and always kept it heated even when it was -10 degrees (and like -30 windchill) outside. Keeps it nice and cool in the summer. Plus they are efficient.
    I've had it about 5-6 years or so and no issues at all. (knock on wood)

    Wow. That sounds ideal. Do you mind sharing what brand you got, and what size (or model) ?

    #35 3 years ago

    For the people using gas, does the exhaust stack have double pipes so they draw fresh air inside ?I have a 2 car garage that I heat with a small electric heater. The door, ceiling and walls are insulated. I have to keep the door closed or all the conditioned air is gone in minutes. I have a window unit for summer. Our winter is very mild compared to everyone north of here.

    #36 3 years ago

    Working in commercial HVAC building automation and controls, think a split unit would be the best option for you. If you want just heat, a hanging unit works great and would be my second recommendation.

    #37 3 years ago
    Quoted from Pinball_Postal:

    For the people using gas, does the exhaust stack have double pipes so they draw fresh air inside ?I have a 2 car garage that I heat with a small electric heater. The door, ceiling and walls are insulated. I have to keep the door closed or all the conditioned air is gone in minutes. I have a window unit for summer. Our winter is very mild compared to everyone north of here.

    Yes my unit in my garage does.

    #38 3 years ago
    Quoted from IdahoRealtor:

    AC would be nice as Summers are hot there. Mini split would cover me there, but not sure if those are best for a garage environment.

    If you occasionally want A/C too, do a mini split. Basically your only option, works great. Heat exchangers work fine except in extreme conditions, so this should be perfect. You must insulate as well obviously. That is just as important

    #39 3 years ago

    Mini-split with pre charged lines would be the fastest (one day) install and only a single 2.5" hole to perforate the wall.

    At Menards you get a 11% rebate, and don't forget your $300 Federal tax credit you get for installing a 23 SEER unit .

    https://www.menards.com/main/heating-cooling/air-conditioners-accessories/denali-aire-18-000-btu-230-volt-mini-split-air-conditioner/dnmshqc18/p-1569565675068.htm

    #40 3 years ago

    I live in a relatively dry climate where we experience all of the seasons. Our temperature in F ranges from 23 in mid winter to 96 mid summer. I have 900sqft garage that is very well insulated with few windows. For heating and cooling I use one heatpump with a heat/cool max capacity of about 30,000BTU. It covers the area for heat and cool easily.

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    #41 3 years ago
    Quoted from WolfManCat:

    This is what I am using currently in my arcade garage. Its a Mitsubishi ductless.
    [quoted image][quoted image]

    Mini split

    Period

    End of story

    Playing right now in a toasty environment courtesy of the split

    I have 20 pins in my garage

    Cool or heat

    #42 3 years ago
    Quoted from iceman44:

    Mini split
    Period
    End of story
    Playing right now in a toasty environment courtesy of the split
    I have 20 pins in my garage
    Cool or heat

    Great minds....

    #43 3 years ago

    If you go with a ductless inverter mini split just make sure you get a unit that works better in low ambient temp and mount condenser on wall bracket above snow level. If you have the money hydronic floor heating would work awesome.

    #44 3 years ago

    Reinstall incandescent light bulbs in your collection ; ) .
    Serious answers already covered .
    Question how long do you figure before the other two bays are overrun with with the ability of nice pinball collection to breed up to all available space ?

    Enjoy the day Shane

    #45 3 years ago
    Quoted from bepositive:

    Reinstall incandescent light bulbs in your collection ; ) .
    Serious answers already covered .
    Question how long do you figure before the other two bays are overrun with with the ability of nice pinball collection to breed up to all available space ?
    Enjoy the day Shane

    Yep. Lots of helpful answers. Pretty much sold on the mini split, with a hanging gas heater as plan B if I need to reign in the budget. Taking up the whole garage is simply not an option.

    Has anyone else had problems with their pins due to low temps and temp swings? Wondering now what minimum temp I'll need to hold the space at.

    #46 3 years ago
    Quoted from IdahoRealtor:

    Yep. Lots of helpful answers. Pretty much sold on the mini split, with a hanging gas heater as plan B if I need to reign in the budget. Taking up the whole garage is simply not an option.
    Has anyone else had problems with their pins due to low temps and temp swings? Wondering now what minimum temp I'll need to hold the space at.

    The humidity is a bigger issue than temps. I keep my “shed” at 40 when I am not in it, and bump it to 60 when I am in there. As long as it stays above freezing, keep an eye on humidity.

    #47 3 years ago

    Another option is a Navien type boiler. You can replace your water heater and furnace at the same time. Overkill for just your garage maybe, but man the heat is even like a radiator, and you never run out of hot water.

    #48 3 years ago

    I personally love kerosene/diesel torpedo heaters, but they can be smelly, noisy, and require ventilation. A forced air propane heater would probably be a good choice for you though.

    #49 3 years ago

    The fellow who installed my split was very high on DAIKIN. He said it was the best quality, capacity and performance for the buck. It has been running for years without issue (knock on wood) and performing routine maintenance is very simple.

    #50 3 years ago
    Quoted from ralphwiggum:

    The humidity is a bigger issue than temps. I keep my “shed” at 40 when I am not in it, and bump it to 60 when I am in there. As long as it stays above freezing, keep an eye on humidity.

    Good point. Maybe humidity was the culprit for the guy who experienced planking with pins in his 55 degree shed. Makes sense since he lives in Gig Harbor, WA.

    I'd prefer not to keep my new garage at 60+ degrees through the winter if I don't have to. The Boise area is very dry.

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