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Coomercial Garage Radiant Floor Heat

cgw Member Posts: 42
Any special concerns  I should keep in mind using radiant floor heat in a small municipal highway garage?

How should I account for the heating load of the overhead doors?


  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,506
    as always..........

    tell us more....

    New Construction? How many square feet?  How often are doors open? What size doors? Where ya located? Did you do a heat loss?  Are you using ice melt on the apron(s)? Do you need it to do domestic hot water? What temp do you want to maintain in the garage? How's it insulated? Is their office space too?...etc, etc.

    Basically, and depending on these answers, I would do a heat loss/load.  You'll probably discover you need 12" on center in the garage, and 6-8" centers in office/bathroom space.  A full design will tell.

     Insulating underneath the slab and the perimeters are a must.

    You should probably use glycol.

    You can make it as easy or as complicated as your budget will allow.
  • Rich_L
    Rich_L Member Posts: 81
    Are they

    going to bolt anything to the floor? I've found that's not too uncommon in commercial applications. We do it at our shop but there's no tubes in the floor! How thick will the concrete be and don't let them talk you out of proper insulation underneath. How often will the overhead doors open and will they be open for long periods of time? Otherwise most of the standard stuff you would need to consider in any radiant application, heat loss calcs, design temps, etc. Good luck!
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
    Location snow belt?

     If so Humidity ( the excess of it) could be a concern, if snow removal equipment will be thawing in there during winter months. Radiant does not remove humidity like forced air units will.

     I know that was a complaint from our areas municipal garage.

  • cgw
    cgw Member Posts: 42
    Commercial Garage

    This particular project will be a municipal truck storage garage in upstate NY. They will be plows so melting snow is a concern.

    The other heating option is low intensity radiant. I wonder if that would be any better with the humidity.

    Is humidity a problem in the winter or the fall/spring when it rains? When the door opens in the winter, the air entering will have a low mosture level (however the trucks will likely carry in snow). Does the radiant not really raise the air temp enough for the lower humidity?

    The OH doors may open only a couple times a day. I would guess they would leave them open for a bit while the trucks warm up. When the trucks return the doors probably will not be open as long but there could be snow on the trucks.
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
    edited April 2012
    Radiant, and humidity

    Remember radiant heats objects first, and then the objects heat the air second with minimal effect of air stratification.  So ceiling radiant will have no change on the humidity, actually it could possibly melt more snow off the top of the trucks verses RFH.

     Exhaust fans can help, and ceiling fans to promote air movement.

     Alot depends on truck sizes( are thes say 1-2 ton dumps doing streets lots, or tandem dumps plowing highways, amount of snow that will be dragged in on them after plowing, frequency of snow fall demanding snow removal operations. All this of course will vary year to year.

     This is not to say that humidity would not be a problem with a forced air type of heating system, but may be of a shorter duration.

    As far as low moisture levels in the winter air this can be true, but when it snows the humidity is still high depending on the air temp.  Mid 30's snowfall situation verse a snow fall in the teens. And wet snow loves to stick to everything.


    I should also note that some prudent house keeping helps too. A standing order do not bring the trucks in with large amounts of snow hanging off the plows,mud flaps etc. I'm sure the drivers would love that.

    Another note would be if you go with radiant floors future possibility of concrete floor spalling, and replacement due to snow melt chemicals. Which can be avoided some what through some use of surface applied protection for the concrete floors in the truck stalls.
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