Heating A Small Body Shop
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    6

    Heating A Small Body Shop

    Hi everyone:

    We are renovating our body shop and debating on the merits of different ways to heat it.

    We are in New England, the shop is about 2000sf, out of which about 500sf is occupied by the paint booth that has its own heating system. So that leaves the 1500 sf of floor space (L-shaped) to heat. Our ceilings are 10 feet high.

    It seems that the ideal solution would be infrared tube heaters, except for the question of fire safety - all paint spraying will be done inside the paint booth, but we do spray some primer on the floor, which concerns me since our ceilings are low and tubes do get very hot, so if we are to spray only 8 feet from the tube..

    I also looked at direct-vent gas wall heaters, but here again we have the same issue - a hot exchanger potentially coming in contact with primer spray.

    In your experience, what would be a safe and simple heating system for a situation like this?

    Thanks in advance

    W.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Down by the river
    Posts
    1,604
    the infared tube style will heat well. well enough you can just shut it down while you spray in the open shop. any forced air system you are going to have maint. issues, filter and coils clogged with dust.

    I would stay with the infa red tube.
    It's hard to stop a Trane. but I have made one helluva living keeping them going.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Winston-Salem NC
    Posts
    1,133
    Have you considered steam or water based heat?
    A geo-thermal system feeding below floor pipes seems like it might work.
    I agree that forced air ain't that good for paint/body shops.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    2,190

    Hows your budget

    Can you handle 1" if insulation and 2" of small aggregate concrete with radiant slab with pex on 12" centers. Boiler in separate room for fore safety
    You have got to learn from other people's mistakes! Because God knows you don't live long enough to make them all yourself !!!!!!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Posts
    4,841
    Radiant in floor is the bomb, but in an existing structure, not to practical dollar wise. The infared tube will be your best option. Most modern ones are sealed combustion taking all combustion air from outside. The greatly reduces the risk of vapor explosions. Always check with local code officials and your insurance company.
    A good HVAC tech knows how, an educated HVAC tech knows why!

    DEM


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    2,190

    Each car paint job

    would be $5.00 more!!!!

    I wonder if the sealed combustion is really sealed with the tubes. Isn't the combustion air coming from inside ( the ones that I've seen)
    and what about surface temp of tube.
    You have got to learn from other people's mistakes! Because God knows you don't live long enough to make them all yourself !!!!!!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Posts
    4,841
    No, totally sealed. I have a couple dozen out in body shops with no issues other than overspray sticking to the sheilds and them needing cleaned periodically. Infact, first call tomorrow is to go look at relocating one, it's affecting the paint booth temp. Surface temp is below ignition temp.
    A good HVAC tech knows how, an educated HVAC tech knows why!

    DEM


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    6

    Geo-Thermal

    Quote Originally Posted by stonewallred View Post
    Have you considered steam or water based heat?
    A geo-thermal system feeding below floor pipes seems like it might work.
    I agree that forced air ain't that good for paint/body shops.
    Thank you. Yes, geothermal water or steam would be perfect, but it is not suitable for us because of high-upfront cost and extensive construction that would shut down the shop for a long time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by genduct View Post
    would be $5.00 more!!!!

    I wonder if the sealed combustion is really sealed with the tubes. Isn't the combustion air coming from inside ( the ones that I've seen)
    and what about surface temp of tube.

    No there are direct vent versions, but the surface temp of the tubes is indeed a concern.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by genduct View Post
    Can you handle 1" if insulation and 2" of small aggregate concrete with radiant slab with pex on 12" centers. Boiler in separate room for fore safety
    Unfortunately will not work with our physical setup.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by heaterman View Post
    Surface temp is below ignition temp.
    Are you sure? A company I contacted told me the outside temp of the tube is 900F - way above the ignition temp.

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