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Heating an 1866 Irish Chapel

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We own a small (approx 20' x 50') rural (West Co. Cork, near Bantry) stone and brick 'Church of Ireland' Chapel built in 1866 that we are trying to heat. It has a peaked roof approx 40' high, above a floating, sprung, wood dance floor installed in the 1980's. We were considering a version of underfloor heating but are open to any system that would work efficiently! We are suffering from a dearth of information for our particular situation and are excited to find this website. Any information would be a help. Thanks much!

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  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,379
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    The first thing that needs to be done is a scientific, accurate load calculation to determine how much heat is needed. That's the foundation for everything.

    How is the building being used?

    As far as a radiant floor goes, it may not be able to emitt enough btus to heat the structure in colder weather. That's where the heat loss calc is necessary.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,433
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    Second to everything @Ironman said.

    With some additional comments...

    I presume you are keeping the sprung floor? I would hope so -- they are nice to have, even if one isn't dancing on it. However, I doubt very much that you will be able to install a satisfactory -- never mind adequate --- radiant floor either on or under it, without compromising it. There is one possibility that I can see off hand for making it at least vaguely warm, however, which would be electric radiant mats on it, and a new top layer (probably wood!) over that. What is the floor now?

    Then the next question is -- how are you planning to use the space? The way you heat the space for, for instance, conversion to a living cottage would be rather different from the way you would heat it if it were to remain all open, say as a dance studio or whatever. So that needs to be looked at.

    And then the third question would be -- what are you options for heat source? Electricity? Gas? Oil? Peat? That makes a difference, too, on how it might be heated.

    Tell us more...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,616
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    Any good pubs near by?

    maybe a few of us could make the trip LOL
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,433
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    Any good pubs near by?

    maybe a few of us could make the trip LOL

    Now that's a good idea!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,889
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    Any good pubs near by?

    maybe a few of us could make the trip LOL

    Now that's a good idea!
    I've always wanted to see the place that Baltimore, MD was named for. But it doesn't look like Bantry is anywhere near there.

    @beatricecasini , most of those on this board are in the U.S.A. But what's already been posted would apply anywhere. You need to know how much heat you need to put into the chapel, then decide how to put it there. There are computer programs that can do this- you measure everything up, tell them what materials are there, and they do the calculations. Anything less is just a guess.

    Any heating contractor worthy of the name will have and use such a program- no matter where they're located.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,863
    edited July 2017
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    Being a fellow Irishman, I say park a couple of Guinness kegs inside and that's all the heat you'll need.
    Joking aside, after the heat loss calculation, maybe look into a ductless system, especially with an open floor plan. Very efficient and very quiet. It will provide A/C as well as heat. Add some low hanging ceiling fans to help with the heat dispersion. You might need to add a head unit or two to overcome body heat in the summer if there are times when the room is at or near capacity.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,256
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    Depending on the "look" you are after, overhead radiant tube type are ideal for large tall spaces.

    You can even heat the great outdoors :)
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
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    Sounds like HH needs to put together a road trip...lol that would be quite a road trip.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

    MilanDRomanGK_26986764589
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,863
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    Maybe they still use "dial up" over there.
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,863
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    Is that what's called an "Irish goodbye"?
  • beatricecasini
    beatricecasini Member Posts: 2
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    Keep it coming friends! The nearest pub (and very good ones too), are in Bantry. We are still reading this and doing architectural research as well as working on "drying the place out". Does anyone have experience with and/or advice on using industrial dehumidifier in an old space like ours? Thank you again!
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,433
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    Keep it coming friends! The nearest pub (and very good ones too), are in Bantry. We are still reading this and doing architectural research as well as working on "drying the place out". Does anyone have experience with and/or advice on using industrial dehumidifier in an old space like ours? Thank you again!

    Yes. And it is going to take quite a while to get it more or less dry. Do try and get some heat in there as well; your best friend in getting it to dry out is going to be to make sure the temperature inside is well above the dewpoint in the area (my memory of the area is that the dewpoints tend to be high!) and that you have some air circulation going. Patience...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,573
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    Posting pictures would really help, as would information on the existing heating system.
    De humidification should be used after the source of the humidity has been identified and evaluated. All to often folks treat the symptom and ignore a bigger issue which is causing damage to the structure. Improper exterior drainage roof leaks missing vapor barriers to name a few.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein