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Old 04-06-2009, 09:05 PM   #1
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advice on electric heat


We are making a small part of the garage part of the house (5'x13') and are looking for an economical way to heat this new addition. Our house has hot water heat and we don't want to mess with tapping into that line, so we are thinking about electric heat of some kind. Does anyone have any suggestions for the best type of heat to use for this type of area? We are trying to decide between radiant floor heating, radiant panel heating, or one of those electric fans. We will be tiling the new area and there will be water pipes running through the floor that will need to be warm enough not to freeze (we live in Colorado).

Thanks in advance.

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Old 04-06-2009, 09:51 PM   #2
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advice on electric heat


Make sure you use PEX pipe as it can withstand freezing ONCE, unlike copper.

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Old 04-06-2009, 09:55 PM   #3
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advice on electric heat


I'm not sure in your area
But around here electric is the most expensive method
5x13 isn't too big
Water pipes in the concrete I would go radiant floor heat
We have it in the bathroom - very nice

Ah - another thought
That concrete will act as a huge heat sink
Best to leave the heat on at least a min level - not too much below what you want
It will take a while to heat up

You could insulate, then add backerboard & tile (I think?)
But that would defeat the attempt to keep those water pipes warm
So maybe the radiant heat at a low temp 60-65
Then a radiant heat fan or other device for a quick warm-up if needed

Last edited by Scuba_Dave; 04-06-2009 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 04-07-2009, 01:39 AM   #4
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advice on electric heat


Are you putting sleepers down.
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Old 04-07-2009, 03:23 AM   #5
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advice on electric heat


Framing 2x4 or other size board on the concrete first, and then putting the new floor on top of that.
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:23 AM   #6
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advice on electric heat


The garage floor is a concrete slab and we will be raising the floor (about 18") to be level with the house with wood framining. The pipes will run through this framing. We will be insulating in the floor as well as putting new insulation in the walls. It will probably be the most well insulated room in the house. We will put a wood subfloor down, then backerboard under the tile.
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:29 AM   #7
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advice on electric heat


Electric is definitely the most inefficient way to do it, but not knowing your utility costs it might not be a big operational expense. How do you plan to use this space and your preferred comfort level should provide direction. Radiant floor heating provides the best comfort but can take a while to come up to temp, wall heater with fan comes up to temp fastest by moving more air, and baseboard electric heat is somewhere in between. If you need the space at comfortable temp all the time then radiant floor or baseboard would be the choice, but if you need it just above freezing and need to reach temp fastest I would go with a wall heater with fan.
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:15 AM   #8
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Electric resistance heat is 100% efficient.

Just electric rates are often too high to make it economical to operate.
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:21 AM   #9
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advice on electric heat


I've read a couple of places that say the radiant floor heat should not be the only source of heat in a room. Is that true? If this is the case, my decision will be easier. The room will be connected to the rest of the house through an open door way. It will not be closed off. One of the walls is also south facing.
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:37 AM   #10
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Depends if you have enough surface area, to supply the total heat loss of the room.
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:43 AM   #11
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How do I calculate that?

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