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Insulation Savings

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Philbilly2, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,567

    Anyone have any real world savings comparison on insulation data?

    As in have you heated your shop one winter with some insulation, then insulated it more and saw a drop in heating cost on a similar weather data winter?

    I have a 50x100 FBI building that is divided in to a 2000 square foot "coldish" storage side (separate boiler and floor heat than 3000 sq ft side) and a 3000 square foot shop side. Ceilings are open to peak. The entire shop (ceilings and walls) has 1" thick foil faced Polyisocyanurate (ISO) board insulation under the steel. Appox a R 6.5 (aged). I have 3 commercial ceiling fans at the peak on the 3000 sq ft side that are rigged to a thermostat to kick on to push the heat down when temp rises in rafters. Building is heated through radiant floors on a natural gas boiler with a hanging modine on shop side to kill the overhead door opening cold blast of air.

    Looking into spray in insulation on the ceiling. To coat both sides it is a $10,000 investment.

    I know that the obvious thought is why don't you tin the ceiling and blow in cellulose insulation to reduce the cubic feet of heated space, but I am not 100% sure yet that I want to loose the rafter storage.

    Anyone got this experience to help with my direction?
     
  2. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,513

    We looked into a few years for a service, the research showed it to be impressive. Costly start put the brakes on it for us along with what were able to charge.

    My 2¢
     
  3. LapeerLandscape

    LapeerLandscape PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,587

    I am interested in this also, thinking about putting up a 40x50 steel sided pole barn in the spring.

    Do you think the in floor heat is the best way to go.
     
  4. secret_weapon

    secret_weapon Senior Member
    Messages: 437

    Dealership I worked when I first started working on cars converted a storage shed into wash bay. I think it was 20x50 or so, just simple steel building. They had it spray foamed from floor to ceiling. It was open to the peak also. Installed a small Modine heater and the inside temp was usually kept around 80 F,
    Not a single icicle on the roof. I was thoroughly amazed at how well insulated it was.
    I also remember they had to install an a/c unit because it got hot and humid in the summer. It was a wash bay with one door and no air circulation.

    Thumbs Up I'd get spray foam if I could afford it.
     
  5. Showmestaterida

    Showmestaterida Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    Have an associate that works for a company that sprays insulation. He had a shop built at his place, 60x40. 16' ceilings and had it sprayed. Asked him what he uses to heat the shop and says nothing . He says it never gets colder than 50 inside it . A foot of concrete for the floor. We live in Missouri , gets cold but maybe not as cold as up north. Put hes says he couldnt afford it if he had to pay for it. Not the most detailed answer u were wanting put some info the least.
     
  6. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,567

    I would not point any of my customers in another direction as long as it is within their budget. Floor heat his pricey, but it is SO nice. Once the concrete is warm, the recovery from the over head doors opening is rather quick. The only problem comes when you quote them $10K to do an install, a $700 hanging modine sure looks like a better deal to most.

    I hung a small 100,00 BTU modine just to recoup the quick loss heat. Put that thermostat next to the overhead and set the temp 10 degrees lower than the rest of the building. When the door opens, that thing blasts at the door to kill that cold rush trying to get in.

    Lapeer, a building that size, I would look into a Navien Combi boiler if I was you. They sell a combination unit that has dual heat exchangers in it so it also does your hot water. Washing trucks in the winter with endless hot water is awesome. That is the boiler that I put on my 2000 square foot side.
     
  7. Aerospace Eng

    Aerospace Eng Senior Member
    Messages: 153

    Generally speaking, passive measures such as insulation give some of the best ROIs, and I think that you would be well served in adding insulation.

    The insulation you currently have is very light, and the building was probably not designed to any particular code. The 2009 IECC, for example, would generally require 4" of foam insulation (rigid board or applied foam) in the roof.

    One advantage to blowing foam is that it also tends to seal air leaks, which are a significant source of heat loss (about 50% either in a well insulated building or in a poorly insulated, drafty building). Even a well sealed building will have 0.5 or so air changes per hour.

    If you have a metal framed building, make sure they also spray-foam the purlins. Current codes require that the purlins and girts be stood off from the sheeting to prevent thermal bridging.

    An issue that may exist is that better insulating the roof may not help as much as one might think if the walls are very leaky. Generally roof insulation matters more because the heat collects up there. With your fans, you reduce the heat loss difference between the walls and roof.

    If you have a lot of vehicle traffic into and out of your shop, putting in an air curtain that switches on when the vehicle door is opened may be in order. They have some that will withstand a 20 mph wind.

    There is no doubt it is expensive. I used insulated metal panels in my most recent hangar, but a group building a set of 6 boxes on the airport (15,000 feet total), is paying between $85K and $90K to have their roof and walls foamed to the current code. Their eave height is about 20', so the total area being insulated is about 30,000 sq feet.
     
  8. LapeerLandscape

    LapeerLandscape PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,587

    After doing a little research I will probably use a dual boiler, one zone for the office area and one for the shop. For insulation I will use 1 1/2" foil backed foam R11.5 cut into strips to go inbetween the 2x4s on the side walls. To tighten it up I use a Hilti foam and fine point applicator gun to get in every little crack. For the ceiling I will use the foil back but in 3" with a R19.
     
  9. Aerospace Eng

    Aerospace Eng Senior Member
    Messages: 153

    Rough Calcs

    So, assuming R=6.5 continuous (not accounting for doors at R=2, and Windows at R=1, and no slab loss), and 1 air change per hour, with a 60F delta T, I get a conductive heat loss of 141 mBTU/h, and a convective heat loss of 162 mBTU/h.

    If you just change the roof insulation to R=19.5, or about 3 inches of foam, you reduce your convective loss to 98 mBUT/h, but don't change the convective heat loss.

    In addition, if you heat 10000 lb worth of trucks 60F, it will take an additional 72,000 BTU, for an average of 3,000 BTU/h over a day. Not that important in the overall scheme of things.
     
  10. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,567

    Just to clarify are you talking a dual exchanger boiler so you cover your domestic hot also?

    Here is the Navian unit I installed to cover the heat in one half of my building. Piped for two zones - One zone covers the shop space, one zone covers the office and employee bathroom. But the bonus is it also provides endless hot water on the domestic side threw the same unit for the whole building.

    20151015_150017.jpg
     
  11. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,567

    Also look into laying R-Board down before you roll out your wire mesh to tire your tubing to. It will keep the heat transfer from traveling down into the ground where it is wasted. 1" of R board will make quite a heating cost difference.
     
  12. LapeerLandscape

    LapeerLandscape PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,587

    Ok I got it know, yes dual heater exchange plus seperate zones. With the hot water side you say you use it to wash vehicles, do you run it through a pressure washer.
     
  13. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,567



    Not yet, just been hand washing, but is on my list of things to do this week. I need to pressure wash some of my equipment to get the years worth of grease and filth off them. Are you wondering about the flow rate on GPMs threw the unit?
     
  14. LapeerLandscape

    LapeerLandscape PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,587

    Yes, I think most pressure washers are between 3 to 5 GPM. Hot water cleans grease and grime so much better then cold. I know that on a steam cleaner the pump is before the heat, I think the hot water is hard on the pump and seals.
     
  15. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,567

    Well, it depends on the size unit that you choose, but in your case, if you shop is 2000 square feet , a NCB 240 would be in order, on the domestic side, at 56 PSI, heating to 120F, that unit can handle and heat 5.6 GPM.
     
  16. LapeerLandscape

    LapeerLandscape PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,587

    2000 sqft shop plus 600 for the office, sorry I didnt make that clear.
     
  17. 90plow

    90plow Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    Did you calla local insulation installer to check prices? Many times they have better ideas as well as the ability to supply and install the material cheaper or at the same cost you could purchase the material. I would call around for a job that size I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the prices they quote you. Radiant is the way to go!
     
  18. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,567

    Same unit, a NCB 240 has a heating output of 120,000 BTU's. You might be able to get away with the next size smaller if you ran straight water (no glycol) in your floor heat, but I would not advise in a climate that freezing temps are common. You loose power for an extended period of time and a line bursts under the slab, they are not only hard to locate, but a real pain to repair. Typically once you burst a line, as long as it is only one, you take that loop of tubing out of the system and have a cold spot... as long as only one line bursts.
     
  19. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,567

    Yeah, spray foam insulation contractors is where that $10K number came from. I am more or less trying to figure out the time frame that it will take to recoup $10K in heating costs for a unit that only runs 4 or so months out of the year.

    As in say you would normally spend $500 a month average over 4 months to heat, you insulate more, and your heating costs drop to $250 a month average over 4 months on a similar weather data winter. So your annual heat cost is $2000, after insulation it drops to $1000 annually. So it is a 10 year investment to recoup your investment.
     
  20. 90plow

    90plow Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    At current costs maybe if prices go up then it may be faster. There are alternates to using foam board and hybrids of spray foam with fiberglass batts that can be foil faced after the fact. I know right now we're paying .95 a sqft for r-13 fiberglass. Going to be nice I'm sure.