Heating a reloading/gun room

Discussion in 'Equipment Discussions' started by cornchuck, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. cornchuck

    cornchuck Well-Known Member

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    The upstairs of my shop is where I do my reloading and store my guns. Moved them out there this summer and also installed a air conditioner to keep things cool. So for this winter I am going to have to install some sort of heating unit. The room is about 350 sq. ft. And is insulated.

    Question is what is the difference between convection heat and radiant heat. The heater will be a propane type heated. And I know I will have to put
    A humidifier in the room. What would you guys use the will put heat out and won't cost that much to run.

    Jason

    P.S.: The building was already built when I bought the place so I would have put
    heat in the floor some how.
     
  2. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    You can still put heat in the floor (my preferred method). You can purchase pre plumbed PEX panels that attach to the underside of the sub floor. Insulate below the panels so you aren't heating the lower level's ceiling, add a hot water tank, circulation pump and zone valves and you are good to go (provided that you can access the upper sub floor from the lower level.

    I heat my entire shop with a small HWH on propane. Mine is in the slab so once the slab is warm, the HWH can maintain my set temperature (usually 70) with no issue.

    Unlike other heat methods, it's continually comfortable and no temperature swings.
     

  3. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    I would recommend a convection type heater with 'NO' open flames.

    There are good electric heaters that the element never gets read hot (Like the better hair driers)
    and if it gets tiped over it automatically shuts off.

    I use one in my deer camp trailer and it has a thermostat that I can control the Temperature.
    In 20o weather it will keep my trailer a comfortable 68o and still cycle on and off.

    Even the catalytic propane heaters have open flames and produce carbon monoxide.

    Radiant heaters do get red hot and only warm objects in front of them.

    With gun powder, you can't be to safe.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  4. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    I'd better add that my propane fired HWH is in an entirely different part of the building. With Pex heat, the heat source don't have to be where the heat is transfered (used).

    My system is full of propolyene glycol (RV Antifreeze) so if by chance there was a malfunction, the system won't freeze in subfreezing weather. I ran about 300 gallons of propane last year heating the shop plus the office and the motorcycle storage area. Much cheaper than electricity for radiant heat. The big plus is the floors are warm. Warm feet is everything.
     
  5. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    That sounds like a first class system !!!

    About the coldest it gets down hear is 20o and it only stays that cold for 6 or 8 days a year, so the
    electric heater works fine and maintains well.

    I have heard of hot water systems working well in the floor also.

    The main point was not to have open flame heaters in with all of that powder and primers.

    Down hear, radiant heaters are only used in large work areas where it would be impossible
    to heat up the entire building. The radiant heaters are normally pointed/aimed at the work
    stations to help the employee.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  6. specweldtom

    specweldtom Well-Known Member

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    I use a small 120vac, 750 watt/1500 watt thermostat controlled "milk house" heater. Nothing glows, and a small fan blows the warm air. Sometimes I also use a fan aimed at the ceiling to circulate warm air that collects in the ceiling. The heater has a tip-over cutoff switch. It's not very efficient, and slow to heat a room, but safe. There are much larger "milk house" heaters too, that run on 240vac.

    Tom
     
  7. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    Both you guys are lucky. It gets darn cold here and stays cold (except last winter) and the OP isn't that far from me and in the same temperate zone. December, January, February and early March are cold, usually many days below freezing and some days below 0, with snow and more snow. I tend to sit in front of the fire and vegitate.

    No matter what system he uses, he will still have to have a humidifier because any heating drives out the moisture. You ideally want the ambient RH at 50% or a bit better. keeping a room 60 with 50% humidity 'feels' comfortable when a room at 60 with 30% RH feels cold. Reason being is that at 30% RH, your body's fluids are evaporating off your skin and making you feel cold. At 50% RH, that don't happen and you feel comfortable

    Electric heat of any type id the most costly per BTU created with oil second, propane third and coal last. Free heat is a woodlot out back but most folks don't have that. With a woodlot and an outside boiler and heat exchangers in the building, heat is basically free.
     
  8. cornchuck

    cornchuck Well-Known Member

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    Sidecarflip is right. It can get really cold here in the winter. Before I moved the guns out there, I tried two of the electric oil filled heaters set on medium range and temperature set at 60 for a month and the electric about gave me a heart attack. So electric heaters is out.

    I was looking on Tractor Supply's web site and had a couple catch my eye. They are ran by propane and hung on the wall. So it won't ever get tipped over.

    I'm still looking and still up for suggestions. And I have to have it done within the month. Being a farmer, I'll getting in the fields soon.

    Jason
     
  9. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    Gee Jason, I farm too........:)

    Not a row cropper, I'm a custom forage harvester and grower. You can have that corn, wheat and beans stuff. Give me alfalfa and cowgirls......

    At least you had rain out there, not much, but some. I'm in NW Ohio every week, sometimes multiple times.

    Problem with the TSC ventless propane wall heaters is, when you burn propane, it make water vapor as well as carbon dioxide. The heaters have a Co sensor that will shut them down if the O2 level drops but the moisture that is created could be an issue. You might have to actually install a dehumidifier in the room to keep the ambient RH at about 50% or you might have a rusting issue, even in the winter.

    They are efficient and propane is at an all time low. I just filled 3-500 gallon tanks with non-dryer gas for $1.28 per gallon, delivered. Dryer gas, I believe is around $1.05.

    All that fracking in Pa is driving the prices way down.
     
  10. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    After living in lower Michigan for 3 years I took the easy way to solve the cold problem,
    I moved to Texas.

    Down hear we have the opposite problem, Heat. And it cost a lot to cool so we go to lengths to
    insulate, and that pays off very quick.

    My shop has an R Value of 31 and stays cool with out any air condition for several days of
    95+ temps.

    Extra insulation might be something to consider also. It works hear.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  11. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    For sure (insulation). We have expanded foam in the house plus wet cellulose.

    Out in the shop I have R21 in the ceiling and 14 in the walls under the drywall.

    You do have a couple things we don't here. Fire ants and wild hogs........:D

    Any Kuszu out there??
     
  12. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    We have almost everything but Kudzu. It is more north and east from us.

    Note: A friend needed to replace the exterior on his man cave and he increased the R Value by
    adding felt paper (Another vapor barrier) then R 5 Foam board and then Hardy board (A type
    of concrete siding that doesen't need painting or maintenance every few years) and he didn't
    have to empty the building to improve the insulation. (Easy)

    He claims that it has cut his cooling/heating cost in half.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  13. cornchuck

    cornchuck Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all the info. By the way, I am also using Goldenrods in my safes from day one. And I also put an hydrometer in the safes to see what the humidity is in the safes. So far they are working great. Keeping the inside around 50%. With the air conditioner, it's about 75o and 53% humidity in the room.

    When I kept the guns in the house I never had any problems with rust in the winter time. Where I kept the thermostat set at 62 during the day and night and 65 when we are home. (Wife would like to have it warmer but we live in a old farm house)

    Sidecar, do you chop corn for dairys? We grow about 8-900 acres for the dairy around us. We have a custom crew come to chop. This year they were from the Kalamazoo area.

    Jason
     
  14. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    No, all hay. I/we do custom forage for people that own hay ground, tried to make their own because they thought it was easy (looks easy) with old equipment and found out it wasn't.

    I have an Alpaca Lama operation, a Standardbred Breeder and an equestrian operation and one feedlot owner, about 90 acres total. Rounds and squares, all NH equipment, Kuhn accumulators, JR Long Grapples and Kubota large frame tractors and we (my partner and I) do wheat straw in small squares.

    We have it down to never getting out of an air conditioned cab other than to check the net wrap or the twine box, or take a leak.

    90 acres, 4 times a year is a lot of hay. This year was only 2 times. Very dry here.

    I actually considered building a boiler that would burn a whole round bale (like they do in Europe). In Europe, they have furnaces that take a round and run for a week without reloading. Our Clearspan is usually pretty full of rounds.