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Heating a Mudroom

nreevesnreeves Member Posts: 11
We have an existing breezeway/mudroom, it is 15'X8' and attaches the garage to the kitchen.  It also has a backdoor to the yard.  Both sides have 2 large windows that are directly across from one another.  It is on a poured slab.  It has insulated walls with drywall and wood paneling.  It is ugly and we don't use it because it is unheated and we live in Michigan and it is freezing out there.  The plan is to put in built in bench/open locker/hooks, tile the floor and really utilize this awesome space.  Before we do anything we need to figure out how to heat this area.  I have looked into some options and need some advice... in-floor heating, wall heaters, baseboard radiators, radiant panel's... my head is spinning!  I need some opinions!  Most likely we will have to do electric, I don't think it is realistic to do a hot water system, oil, propane etc.  I don't think it is smart to run ductwork from our gas furnace.  I need to know what is the most efficient way to keep this space comfortable (60 degrees maybe)  all winter long.  Any input would be appreciated!


  • kcoppkcopp Member Posts: 2,746
    Try a Rinnai....

    space heater. They are programmable and vent easy. An EX-08 would be more than big enough.
  • Mad DogMad Dog Member Posts: 3,169
    We did ours in Radiant.......................

    Under a nice brown tile with brown grout...its great in the snow.....dries floor and boots/gloves in a few hours.  Depends how much room you much DESTRUCTION you want to it altready finished?  How about a few pics?  Mad Dog
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • Aaron_in_MaineAaron_in_Maine Member Posts: 313

    Both the previous comments will work just fine. If your going to remodel I would do the radiant. If it's already finished I would use the space heater.
    Aaron Hamilton Heating
    [email protected]
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    floor elevation

    Can you raise it at all?  You need to decouple the floor from the earth somehow or you're going to lose at least 30% of your heat to the dirt.
  • RobGRobG Member Posts: 1,850
    edited February 2013

    First thing is a heat loss of the space. You could consider radiant walls/ceilings and even a nice warm built-in bench! You said that the mud room adjoins the garage, you could put a small electric boiler in there and run the piping from there. Unless there is insulation under the slab I doubt that electric floor radiant  will work.

    Lots of options though.

  • nreevesnreeves Member Posts: 11

    Thanks for all of the ideas... we can't raise the floor, the room is 15'X8' and the walls are paneled with drywall and insulation behind... we don't want to demo since the walls are sound and I wanted paneling anyway with the built in mudroom plan... thinking we may try a gas wall heater, probably best to avoid electric anything with the prices. Are those radiant wall panels a joke, they dont seem meant to heat a room, just warm up one that is a bit chilly??  Am I right??
  • heatpro02920heatpro02920 Member Posts: 991
    Electric radiant...

    start here... Many brands available, I have put them in a bunch of small add on slab bathrooms, work great with tile...
  • nreevesnreeves Member Posts: 11
    edited February 2013

    would electric floor heat really warm the entire room on it's own or would I need another heat source, is it expensize to run on a daily basis??  Also wondering how much depth do I need for radiant floorheat... we have a slab,and not a ton of room under the existing door and threshold, we will probably be putting in tile or poured concrete floors??? thanks
  • kcoppkcopp Member Posts: 2,746

    vent free is not a good option . Besides the CO danger the amount of moisture they put off is pretty high. Rinnai is a great heater w/ a bunch of features...programable, around 83% afue.
  • nreevesnreeves Member Posts: 11
    Gas wall heater

    Is there another option besides a Rinnai, I can't really spend $1000, the vent free look like they are rated as safe for indoor use???
  • nreevesnreeves Member Posts: 11
    why is vent free bad??

    Curious why vent free isn't a good idea, they seem to be made just for such a project... am I missing something, they seem safe and efficient, much less expensive than the vented ones.  I read about the condensation but our house always seems a bit dry and static-filled in the winter anyway... please let me know the cons if you could, I appreciate all of the input :)
  • heatpro02920heatpro02920 Member Posts: 991
    edited March 2013
    Problems with wall units

    is parts and service, i like the Rinnai units, even though they are costly, they are well made, efficient and have good parts and service support...

    As far as the electric radiant, I'm not sure what your mudrooms heatloss is, but if you just follow the basic design and the manufacturers instructions and the stuff works well, as far as cost, of course it is 100% efficient but electricity is more expensive than most fuels, it doesn't have to get very hot to heat the floor to radiant temps, you can install it yourself pretty easily with the help of a licensed electrician of course... There are charts available that give you an idea of energy use...

    If $1000 for an on the wall unit sounds like a lot, I am thinking you are going to be down to very few options, did you consider the "magic heater".
  • nreevesnreeves Member Posts: 11
    Haven't seen a magic heater...

    $1000 seems like an  awful lot to warm one room, I just want to keep it decent in there so our coats and shoes aren't cold... I am not willing to spend that much just for the mudroom to be warm, we are already going to be spending on materials to build in benches and what not, the budget won't allow $1000 :(  Don't know what a magicheater is???

  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    If the budget won't allow $1,000

    You may need to add heating to the space at a later date.  You can rough-in the NG line and be ready for the wall heater to be added when budget permits.
  • RJRJ Member Posts: 483

    cozy heaters
  • kcoppkcopp Member Posts: 2,746
    Let's think....

    about this... You are burning fuel that normally vents to the outdoors. In this case you are not, you are breathing the fumes.

    Have you ever been in a place where one of these is in use? My eyes burn and the air just does not feel right to breathe. Not to mention the headache....

    They say its in "fine" but there have not been studies done on low level exposure to CO and other combustion by-products. Lot of things they say are fine then years down the road they find out that they are not so good for you...I will tell you this, I don't want to take that risk w/ my family.

    You are free to choose.

    Perhaps a small electric heater w/ a blower that mounts on the wall is more in your price budget.
  • heatpro02920heatpro02920 Member Posts: 991
    $1000 wont get you much...

    it may sound like a lot of money for one room, but its really not, figure a 7 room house heating system will cost around $15K thats over $2000 per room... done all at once...

    I recall you mentioning a forced warm air furnace a number of feet away, how about a few boxes of 6" insulated flex duct, a couple of 4x12 boxes and registers, a couple of 6" sticky tape take offs, some zip ties, some sheet metal screws, and some tape {wont cost much in materials}...

    Just tap one line into the supply and one into the ruturn with the takeoffs, run the 2 -6" lines to the room, blow some 4x12 holes in the floor, wall or ceiling, tack in the boxes and drop in the registers... zip tie the flex duct connections, tape the insulation and call it a day... I find tapping the supply and return helps to not disrupt your existing system much and will keep from having a positive or negative pressure problem...

    Otherwise I don't see many options within your budget...
  • nreevesnreeves Member Posts: 11
    thanks to everybody...

    Are these options... the room is only about 120 sq ft...

    both are about $500...
  • nreevesnreeves Member Posts: 11

    When we got a new gas furnace for our entire 1500 sq ft house it was under $4000, that is why it seemed pricey to spend $1000 to heat one add-on room...
  • heatpro02920heatpro02920 Member Posts: 991

    4000$ for an entire heating system even if the house is small (1500 sq ft is a rarity around these parts, i just installed radiant in a 440 sqft master bedroom that cost more than 4000$) is super cheap, no wonder the mud room isn't climate controlled.

    If I were you I would call them guys back and see what they say about running heat to the mudroom off of your existing system, that may be your best bet.... Are you doing the work on the mudroom yourself or is there a contractor involved.

    With a 120 sq ft load added to your central heating system you won't notice the difference, and you would be surprised where duct work can be ran and how far...
  • nreevesnreeves Member Posts: 11
    edited March 2013

    The new furnace was in our old house a few years ago, we moved into this one a year ago, wondering if it would be smart to run a gas line and get something like this...
  • nreevesnreeves Member Posts: 11
    edited March 2013

  • heatpro02920heatpro02920 Member Posts: 991
    I would rather have a plug in oil filled radiator

    Where do you get parts and support for something like that after its installed.... I tend to stay clear of things like that..
  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 7,111
    500.00 heater

    Okay say you spend 500 bucks on a heater. Who is going to install it , and run a gas line to it? I think your still in the price range you are finding a little hard to swallow for one room.

    If you do not have hot water heating then efficient radiant is out. If your electric rates are 12 cents a kilowatt after tax, and user fees, the electric radiant would break the bank. It sounds like you dont have the headroom any way.

    If you have forced air then see if you can run ductwork to the room call it a day. Or go with a decent vented gas wall furnace.

    Ask my friend who just spent 7500 on a forced air furnace with ductwork and all how he likes it. He wishes he would have went with the higher bid.

    Remember this is the internet. People are from all over the country, and the world on here. Whats gastly for cost in the midwest is probably cheap on the east, or west coast. Or out in the subburbs verse in the city in the same neck of the woods.
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356

    If you have limited money, spend it behind the walls, where it would be expensive to add later.  I'd be thinking good insulation and a gas rough-in.
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