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  #1  
Old 12-04-2017, 11:18 AM
d_douce d_douce is offline
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Radiant Slab Operating Cost

Hey Guys,

So just got my hydro bill after running my new radiant system in the garage for the first time, which was 2000Kwh higher then normal. The Garage is 28x32 with 10' walls and a upper 12x32' attic space in the 8/12 trusses. So all together 1280sqft of heated space. Walls are 2x6 with R22 roxul, ceiling with the living area above are R40+ and attic portion knee walls are R30 with the ceiling R22. The slab uses 2" Halo Subterra XPS insulation across the whole slab w/ 2' wide Frost wings were also installed. Whole building is well sealed with 10 mill poly. Two 8x9 Cloplay R18 over head doors on the main floor. The attic space above has two 48"x64" triple pane low-e windows. The hydronic set up is a 9kw Thermolec utilizing 4 loops of 1/2" pex average runs about 200' at 14" spacing. The building is drawing around 66Kwh Per day at indoor temp of 14c or 57F with an average outside temp of -4c or 24.8F. Since we will see temps down to -22F or -30c the system hasn't really been tested. Boiler has supply temp of 120F with a flow rate of .3 Gpm on the 4 loops

My question to you guys is why is it costing me so much to run? Is it expected with this big of a building? What am i missing? I have been thinking about a dual head heat pump to handle some heating load? Any suggestions

Last edited by d_douce; 12-04-2017 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 12-04-2017, 11:31 AM
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Have you been parking your vehicles in it? Or been empty?
Floor heat recovery is slow so if bring cold vehicles in, it takes a long time to rebuild the heat back up. Which means system is running a lot to get the temp back up. My buddy ended up putting a forced air furnace in his shop to help with heat recovery when bring cold vehicles in.


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Old 12-04-2017, 11:58 AM
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Pretty much has sat empty since built i was always working in it and didn't want anything in the way. Although i could see whats going on with your buddy being an issue down the road.
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Old 12-04-2017, 12:28 PM
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I have a new garage 30x35 and have Argo AT Series Electric Boiler Four Element 12 KW system in my building and its insulated well and yet when I last year had it set at 70 .. my bill was 300 bucks for each month...

I like it for the fact that you need no furnace ... but I do not like the cost ... I have it set down to 45 in the garage and my cost are around 150 per month ...

I know that its not cheap to run .. but one thing I know is that when it kicked into gear that 70 amp breaker is using power to run it..
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Old 12-04-2017, 02:45 PM
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just remember if having a heated shop saves you 3hrs of labor at another shop, your bill was just paid for
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Old 12-04-2017, 05:11 PM
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I dont regret doing it, im just shocked at the running costs even being well built. Id hate to see what happens if you skimped on insulation. Im going to look at putting in a heat pump in the spring to get AC & additional heating BTU's for the shoulder seasons. Just wanted to see if this was inline with others are paying. Might have to do an 8kwh solar grid on the roof haha
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Old 12-04-2017, 05:25 PM
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I wonder if it would have been less expensive to heat only the air, if the need for heat is only occasional? The slab floor remains cold, and because heat rises, its no where near as comfortable, but maybe less expensive if you only need to heat it when needed?
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Old 12-04-2017, 05:35 PM
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I have a 26x48 shop with 10' walls, 2x6 construction, basically the same sqyare footage as you. I have had this running for 3 winters now and since we are on the budget I don't know exact cost but I figured a solid estimate was about $100 more a month during winter months. 9kw boiler with 4 loops, same as you and we park 2 daily drivers in there, although one you can;t say is a daily as it only comes out about 3 or 4 times a week. One thing I see is how high you have your temp set. Do you need it 14c in there? I have my thermostat set to about 5c which keeps it nice. I go out there in a sweatshirt to work and after about 5 mins I'm usually taking the sweatshirt off. Infloor heat doesn't need to be set as high to be comfortable IMO.

Also I don't quite agree with what No Show says about it taking lots of time to recover the heat. I originally thought that so when I built it I also put in a 220 heater thinking if someone pulls a car in or I pull the quad in and need to melt the snow fast that I could just turn it on to recover the heat quicker. I never use it. I have used it 2 times in 3 winters only because it was there and I wanted to melt the snow off the quad quicker after clearing the driveway. I have found that even if I'm out there and the wife pulls the car in, within a minute I'm back to being comfortable again. My suggestion is to turn that Tstat down.
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Old 12-04-2017, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grizzlypeg View Post
I wonder if it would have been less expensive to heat only the air, if the need for heat is only occasional? The slab floor remains cold, and because heat rises, its no where near as comfortable, but maybe less expensive if you only need to heat it when needed?

absolutely.... you are right.
It is well accepted heating the air is much cheaper than radiant options

Comfort, dry floors, etc... is another matter.
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Old 12-04-2017, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StupidSheet View Post
I have a 26x48 shop with 10' walls, 2x6 construction, basically the same sqyare footage as you. I have had this running for 3 winters now and since we are on the budget I don't know exact cost but I figured a solid estimate was about $100 more a month during winter months. 9kw boiler with 4 loops, same as you and we park 2 daily drivers in there, although one you can;t say is a daily as it only comes out about 3 or 4 times a week. One thing I see is how high you have your temp set. Do you need it 14c in there? I have my thermostat set to about 5c which keeps it nice. I go out there in a sweatshirt to work and after about 5 mins I'm usually taking the sweatshirt off. Infloor heat doesn't need to be set as high to be comfortable IMO.

Also I don't quite agree with what No Show says about it taking lots of time to recover the heat. I originally thought that so when I built it I also put in a 220 heater thinking if someone pulls a car in or I pull the quad in and need to melt the snow fast that I could just turn it on to recover the heat quicker. I never use it. I have used it 2 times in 3 winters only because it was there and I wanted to melt the snow off the quad quicker after clearing the driveway. I have found that even if I'm out there and the wife pulls the car in, within a minute I'm back to being comfortable again. My suggestion is to turn that Tstat down.
Mines a little smaller but higher. 900 sqft, 12ft ceiling, I figure around $150/month set at 15c
Also have a 220 heater for backup
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  #11  
Old 12-05-2017, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StupidSheet View Post
I have a 26x48 shop with 10' walls, 2x6 construction, basically the same sqyare footage as you. I have had this running for 3 winters now and since we are on the budget I don't know exact cost but I figured a solid estimate was about $100 more a month during winter months. 9kw boiler with 4 loops, same as you and we park 2 daily drivers in there, although one you can;t say is a daily as it only comes out about 3 or 4 times a week. One thing I see is how high you have your temp set. Do you need it 14c in there? I have my thermostat set to about 5c which keeps it nice. I go out there in a sweatshirt to work and after about 5 mins I'm usually taking the sweatshirt off. Infloor heat doesn't need to be set as high to be comfortable IMO.

Also I don't quite agree with what No Show says about it taking lots of time to recover the heat. I originally thought that so when I built it I also put in a 220 heater thinking if someone pulls a car in or I pull the quad in and need to melt the snow fast that I could just turn it on to recover the heat quicker. I never use it. I have used it 2 times in 3 winters only because it was there and I wanted to melt the snow off the quad quicker after clearing the driveway. I have found that even if I'm out there and the wife pulls the car in, within a minute I'm back to being comfortable again. My suggestion is to turn that Tstat down.
Your setup does sound very similar then to mine. I think i will try bumping my stat down to around 6c and see how it does energy consumption wise at a lower temp. As you have said the radiant slab is awesome for melting off the snow and drying everything out. Im just trying to feel out the new system so i appreciate the info. Sounds like i should be adding a system to heat the air for good measure.
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Old 12-05-2017, 11:43 AM
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I have to agree that turning the Stat down will save you money ... I have two cars in my three garage .. stat is set at 45 and
the snow melts and its good... If I want to work in the garage .. I add a heater for two hours and its warm that all I am wearing is a sweat shirt
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:48 PM
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I put the pipes in the floor in the new shop I built at cabin.....but won’t be putting a boiler in until I’m out there more and retired as Expensive to run. I installed a wood stove for now in it.

As for the Hydro cost I also have infloor heat in the 1300sq/ft cabin and it has two floors with 10’ ceilings each and burried 8’ Deep except for the walk out wall and I have had bills $400-500 for the month.
I have done allot more insulating over the last few winters as it is a work in progress but it isn’t cheap and I burn as much wood as possible when we are out there.
Most neighbors out there have garages with infloor heat and I have heard of $400/months with them also when cold.
I now keep thermostat set to 12 Celsius when we are not there and fire up wood stove when we arrive. Seems to make a good difference in consumption but the cold hasn’t arrived yet this year.
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Old 12-05-2017, 06:19 PM
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My garage is 28 by 36 10’6inch walls 2 9.5 x 10 doors facing north. Have 4inches spray foam in walls equivalent to r29. 1in spray foam in attic with 18in blown in. I came in that garage this morning at 9am heat was on, I have it set at 15 I’ve been in here all day it is now 5:15 the heat has not come on once all day. It costs maybe $150 per month on the coldest months. Have a thermolec 9kw unit
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Old 12-06-2017, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w o 7 mucker View Post
My garage is 28 by 36 10í6inch walls 2 9.5 x 10 doors facing north. Have 4inches spray foam in walls equivalent to r29. 1in spray foam in attic with 18in blown in. I came in that garage this morning at 9am heat was on, I have it set at 15 Iíve been in here all day it is now 5:15 the heat has not come on once all day. It costs maybe $150 per month on the coldest months. Have a thermolec 9kw unit
Looks like the spray foam is paying off. Has anyone installed a hydronic unit heater or everyone just doing electric? Reznor looks like they make a nice unit i'm tempted to put in.
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Old 12-06-2017, 04:03 PM
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What do you have for insulation under the slab? Also good quality overhead dorrs make a difference.
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Old 12-06-2017, 04:33 PM
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2in sm under, wrapped pad with 2inch and 4in frost guard extending 2ft our from pad. The spray foam seals the building 100%. Doors Iím thinking are something like R12. I do have 2 3ft square dual pane windows. Wish I woulda put triple pane.
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Old 12-06-2017, 06:06 PM
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I removed the siding from my garage at the lake and before it was replaced I sheeted the outside with 1 1/2" exterra foam.
The boiler doesn't kick on half as much as it did before when I'm in there tinkering.
I keep it at 50f.
Spray foam is best IMO but it comes with a price and I'm too cheap to pay it.
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Old 12-06-2017, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_douce View Post
Hey Guys,

So just got my hydro bill after running my new radiant system in the garage for the first time, which was 2000Kwh higher then normal. The Garage is 28x32 with 10' walls and a upper 12x32' attic space in the 8/12 trusses. So all together 1280sqft of heated space. Walls are 2x6 with R22 roxul, ceiling with the living area above are R40+ and attic portion knee walls are R30 with the ceiling R22. The slab uses 2" Halo Subterra XPS insulation across the whole slab w/ 2' wide Frost wings were also installed. Whole building is well sealed with 10 mill poly. Two 8x9 Cloplay R18 over head doors on the main floor. The attic space above has two 48"x64" triple pane low-e windows. The hydronic set up is a 9kw Thermolec utilizing 4 loops of 1/2" pex average runs about 200' at 14" spacing. The building is drawing around 66Kwh Per day at indoor temp of 14c or 57F with an average outside temp of -4c or 24.8F. Since we will see temps down to -22F or -30c the system hasn't really been tested. Boiler has supply temp of 120F with a flow rate of .3 Gpm on the 4 loops

My question to you guys is why is it costing me so much to run? Is it expected with this big of a building? What am i missing? I have been thinking about a dual head heat pump to handle some heating load? Any suggestions
Are you heating the attic space as well?
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:49 PM
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I have a 30x42 shop with 14 foot ceilings, built 2 years ago. Two overhead doors, one is 16W x 12'H, the other is 8'W x 12'H, both R-18. I have the thermostat set at 10 degrees C, with ceiling fans running at low speed all the time. Adder to my budget was $80 per month, I would say 14 degrees C is a little warm.
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