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Seeking Heater Advice for Space I am Finishing

solarweasel Member Posts: 1
I have a partially finished room above my one-car garage measuring about 23' by 11.5', but with one angled wall (as shown in the attached image). To finish this room I need to add a heat source, a window, and floors.

Can anybody offer any suggestions on how you might approach this?

A few important points:
  • We live at 9,500 ft in the CO mountains. In winter it can reach twenty below nightly for weeks on end.
  • This will be a kids room, so the heat source needs to keep kids safety in mind.
  • The rest of the house is heated from a hydronic in-floor heat fed by a propane-fired boiler. A plumber told me adding a loop to the boiler for this room would be cost-prohibitive and he strongly encouraged I check out electric options. I've looked a little into baseboard heaters, radiant heaters at the ceiling, and wall panel heaters, but not sure what would work best here.
  • There is an electric subpanel in the garage directly beneath this room, so bringing 240V up would be fairly easy.
Thanks for any tips or ideas!


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,322
    I'm not sure why the hydronic loop would be cost prohibitive, but...

    First thing to do is to figure out the heat loss of that space. That is imperative. It's also not hard -- there are some heat loss calculators on the web, like this one: https://www.slantfin.com/slantfin-heat-loss-calculator/which will help you do that.

    Once you have the heat loss, you can take a look at various options for heating the space. If you go electric, it will have to be resistance electric. So also take a look at your electrical rates; in some areas they are enough that almost anything else would be an improvement. Also make sure that you have the needed power. You may have 240 volts, but do you have enough current capacity to power electric heating?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,539
    Typically, rooms over garages don't fare well because the garage below is cold. I would consider putting a little heat in the garage enough to maintain it at 40-50 deg. I hope the garage ceiling/room floor is well sealed and heavily insulated, if it is maybe, you can skip the garage heat.

    First step isa heat loss as @Jamie Hall mentioned.

    If it was me, I would prefer hydronic heat with maybe glycol and a heat exchanger at the boiler if any of the piping is exposed to cold air.

    As far as electric heat goes when you get your heat loss (let's say it's 8000 btu/hr)

    8000/3.42=2340 watts/240volts=9.75 amps.

    1 20 amp circuit at 240 volts will support 16amps of electric heat which is 3840 watts and 13,132 BTU/hr
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,157
    Radiant walls are another option and can give you some high output. If you can get a couple 1/2" pex lines down to the boiler room? A fairly easy DIY project to build the assembly, get a hydronics person to do the connection to the existing radiant system.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream