Reply by DocK16

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Posted on Insulating a pole barn (questions)

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1186 posts in 4446 days

#1 posted 11-13-2017 05:01 PM

I think I may be qualified to speak on this subject since I have spent a few sub zero winters in Iowa and my shop is about the same size (30×36). Having tried several methods of heating a free standing shop I will weigh in. When building my shop a contractor gave me a wood burner he had acquired in a remodel. Wood is by far the cheapest fuel source (if you can cut and split your own wood and let it dry for a year, but a lot of work) Even with a free wood burner the cost of double walled flue pipe was almost $2000. I figured I could buy an awful lot of propane for 2 Gs so I have been using a ventless wall mounted propane heater for the past few years. I use about 2-3 75lb propane tanks per winter but I only heat when I’m in the shop, cost is about $80-90 per tankful The rest of the time I use a small oil filled electric heater to keep the shop just warm enough to keep liquids from freezing. I got an air handler (electric furnace, another free-bee) a few years back. Heated the shop to a toasty temp but the electric bill was just too much. My son works for an HVAC wholesaler and last month I got a minisplit which is almost installed. This is a small one room heat pump which also cools in the summer. I’m hoping this will serve both my summer and winter needs but these require an additional heat source in really cold temps. I agree with some of the other posts, what ever you do your going to have to fork up some $ for insulation. A large sheet of plastic will serve as a necessary vapor barrier. You’ll never be able to get a metal building warm enough in the dead of winter even with a ton of BTUs. Try Craigslist under materials, I have seen a lot of styrofoam insulation for sale cheap on there. Good luck

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