His father being in the Navy, he had grown up in a lot of places in his childhood. His father’s submarine tender had gone to be overhauled in the shipyard in Bremerton, Washington once, when he was in the fifth grade. Their trips to Lake Tiger where they angled for trout and their visits to the race-car garage in the lane at the back still come to his mind from that period. Weekdays would see him standing at the garage door, watching the mechanics at work with earnestness, as they fixed up the small racing car for the races.
The idea of heating that garage never entered his mind then, although it occupies a lot of his thoughts now. While heating a garage, one has to think differently than when heating a home or a commercial building. Garage doors, when opened, especially on windy days, have the potential to let out all the warm air from the inside in the fraction of a second.
The use of radiant heat is just right for heating a space like that. The floor, acting much like a giant radiator, produces such a quantity of heat that the heat loss from opening the doors is recompensed in an instant. The radiant floor, somewhat like the sun, continues to supply unabated heat to the garage and it does not matter whether the doors are open or closed.
One smart way of getting cheap, recycled energy is to install a waste oil boiler, as used oil is something that garages are never short of. As waste oil is there in the picture, a smart move is to have a snow-melt system. At a distance of approximately 5 feet from the doors of the garage, the snow-melt system should be installed, in the pad. This is useful in keeping away the plows from the doors of the garage. Apart from this, in the presence of ramps, a snow-melt system ensures a safe entry and exit for the garage.
Vehicle maintenance garages could be such that their doors are opened every hour. If working on repairing equipment, the doors might be opened only every day. Garages used for storing can be left shut for a month. Working garages have a different comfort requirement than those used just for storage.
If the door is coming then the temperature of the garage must be at some nominal value In most functional garages, maintaining 60 to 65 degrees F ensures that the workers can work easily with two layers of clothing on them. For the best level of comfort the floor temperature should not cross 85 degrees F and ideally should remain between 60 and 75 degrees F. Colder floors take energy out of the worker. On the other hand, floors that are too warm might make the service guys working under the trucks fall asleep!
In order to keep the floor from overheating, use slab sensors. In the case of garages that do repair and storage, simply using the floor as the only heating source suffices. Such an application can be controlled with the use of a thermostat, but the use of a slab sensor is still advisable.
Few more things that you must take a look at are given after this. The use of solvents, paint jobs, and engine running in many garages mean that they need to have a state-of-the-art exhaust and ventilation up and running at all times. This means that the warm air of the room does not stay inside for long. You will need the heating to make up for this loss. Most garages are built using either blocks of concrete or a steel frame with sidings of aluminum. Infiltration rates in concrete constructions can be abnormally high, and they do not even give good insulation.
Buildings that have sidings of aluminum too have similar problems. So, the insulation feature of the garage turns out to be one of the most important features involved in its design and construction. Even garages that are undergoing overhauling should take this to note.
Using insulation all round the slab’s perimeter also reduces the heating needs of the garage. The best choice for the insulation is two inches of polystyrene. Floor drainage becomes quite important if your garage is such that vehicles having snow and ice all over them are frequently kept in the garage all through the night.