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Steam Heat for Garage

House has hot water with Burnham boiler and Weil CI baseboards so I'm OK there. Would like to heat my 2 1/2 car detached garage with a steam system. Would prefer to have a one pipe gravity return, but due to limitations with no basement might not be able to accomplish that even if I wall mounted the radiators a few feet from the floor. If I need a condensate pump might consider a vapor system. There is no water piped to the garage and I wouldn't heat it all the time so would need antifreeze in the system. Has anyone done something like this and does it seem reasonable.

Comments

  • Big EdBig Ed Posts: 818
    So your going to install an new steam boiler , to heat the garage only ? Can you hang an small space heater in the corner from the ceiling ?
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 8,026
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment

    Steam system pictures
    https://goo.gl/photos/ZgpNUTyckkmiEdAf9
    Central air project pictures
    https://goo.gl/photos/4JjnLStEq42sWsQo8
  • Phil53Phil53 Posts: 7
    Probably could use a ceiling mount unit heater - it wouldn't heat as well, but would be much cheaper and easier. I guess I always have to do things the most difficult and expensive way.
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 2,043
    If your not going to heat it all the time you need something with large capacity. The cold slab will stay cold and never warm up.

    You would be better off with a hot water or gas fired unit heater. You could use hot water off your boiler with a heat exchanger and an antifreeze loop but you probably wouldn't have enough capacity
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 8,026

    If your not going to heat it all the time you need something with large capacity. The cold slab will stay cold and never warm up.

    You would be better off with a hot water or gas fired unit heater. You could use hot water off your boiler with a heat exchanger and an antifreeze loop but you probably wouldn't have enough capacity

    I think the idea is the steam system, radiators etc, wouldn't need to be drained or have antifreeze.

    Also, steam is very good at warming things like this.

    Personally, I'd probably just do electric IR heaters, but like the OP said, he doesn't want the easy way out and I can respect that.

    Even if it doesn't make sense, there's still a "cool" factor.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment

    Steam system pictures
    https://goo.gl/photos/ZgpNUTyckkmiEdAf9
    Central air project pictures
    https://goo.gl/photos/4JjnLStEq42sWsQo8
  • ZmanZman Posts: 3,341
    Not as cool as steam heat.
    https://www.amazon.com/Modine-HD45AS0111Natural-Garage-80-Percent-Efficiency/dp/B0096MJ522

    But think of all the cool tools an toys you could buy with the money you save....
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 11,160
    Doesn't say whether that Modine gets its combustion air from the garage. If so, that can be dangerous as many garages have at least some flammable liquids stored inside, which can give off flammable vapors.

    Advantage: Steam.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • Big EdBig Ed Posts: 818
    If higher then 18" ? Are you worried the fan kicking vapors up to the unit ?
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • Phil53Phil53 Posts: 7
    Anyone know of an easy way to calculate heat loss for a detached garage on a slab?
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 8,026
    edited May 15
    Phil53 said:

    Anyone know of an easy way to calculate heat loss for a detached garage on a slab?

    What size is it, how big are the walls, ceiling, windows? How thick are the walls and are they insulated? What quality windows? Double pane, triple pane, single with or without storms etc?

    What is the design temp in your area, or, how cold would you expect it to get?

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment

    Steam system pictures
    https://goo.gl/photos/ZgpNUTyckkmiEdAf9
    Central air project pictures
    https://goo.gl/photos/4JjnLStEq42sWsQo8
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 11,160
    Big Ed said:

    If higher then 18" ? Are you worried the fan kicking vapors up to the unit ?

    Ideally the boiler would be located outside the garage, where it wouldn't pick up any flammable vapors.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 6,437
    Phil53 said:

    Anyone know of an easy way to calculate heat loss for a detached garage on a slab?

    Treat it like any other building in a heat loss calculator -- it's just a lot simpler. The only odd variable is the garage door, and you might -- after you figure the heat loss in the usual way -- add something to compensate for the loss of warm air when you open that door!
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-McClain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 8,026

    Phil53 said:

    Anyone know of an easy way to calculate heat loss for a detached garage on a slab?

    Treat it like any other building in a heat loss calculator -- it's just a lot simpler. The only odd variable is the garage door, and you might -- after you figure the heat loss in the usual way -- add something to compensate for the loss of warm air when you open that door!
    The hot vehicle that comes in after the door is closed? :)
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment

    Steam system pictures
    https://goo.gl/photos/ZgpNUTyckkmiEdAf9
    Central air project pictures
    https://goo.gl/photos/4JjnLStEq42sWsQo8
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 2,857
    edited May 17
    I really hate to be negative about steam heat but for this case I would recommend hanging radiant gas fired heaters.
    That slab on grade, probably not insulated, will be a perpetual ice cube to stand on. Any forced air heater will bring the room air temp up but you would not want to stand in one place very long. Open the door and your heated air will leave.

    I have put these in shops and fire halls with good results. The radiant heater will heat the concrete to a tolerable level and air changes will not change it so much. There is comfort at lower temps than you would need with forced air.

    Just have to be aware of the height from the heater to vehicles etc.
    There are low density heaters or the option of hanging the heater at a 45 degree angle to not cook the paint off the top of your car.
    Short of in floor heat this is the next best option IMO.

    How much of the vehicle is hot when it comes in....maybe less than 1000 lbs of motor but 3000 lbs of cold steel.
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