03/28/2021 at 2:57 pm #87066
So, I was listening back to episode 301 and a question came up about climate control. I’m building the steel building to house my ebay stuff which will be 24x28x9-12ish and fully insulated with double bubble. This space will house both my ebay storage and my office space. Originally I was going to put up a wall and have a window unit to heat/cool the office, and leave the rest not climate controlled, but I’m wondering if I’d be causing more damage in the long run. I mainly sell glassware, paper ephemera, and other hard goods, but I might want to get into clothing in the future. I have no space for ebay stuff currently in my house, so whatever I do would need to be in this building.
I was looking at one of these https://www.lowes.com/pd/GE-1000-sq-ft-Window-Air-Conditioner-with-Heater-230-Volt-17600-BTU/1000380535 because the energy star rating was so low, but I’m a little confused as to how it can only cost $150 to run it a year, when I had smaller ones that used to cost $40 a month to run.
Curious to hear your thoughts!
03/28/2021 at 3:02 pm #87067
Hmm, looks like this unit may actually be 2 inches to tall for my window, but you get the point of what I’m going for.
03/28/2021 at 3:08 pm #87068
If you sell clothes, I highly recommend having climate controlled space.
But if you just sell hard goods, your building will be fine. Cooling a space that big will not be cheap. Double bubble is nice but thats more to keep it the metal walls/ceiling from dripping moisture. I know our metal building is very very NOT airtight.
03/28/2021 at 4:16 pm #87073
Cool, reason 312 not to sell clothes. I’m not inspired by clothing, but this will be the final nail in the coffin.
03/28/2021 at 6:09 pm #87080
A 230 volt 17600 BTU air conditioner is very powerful for a window unit and would need special wiring installed to operate.
The small window air conditioners are typically 115 volt (standard house wiring) 5000 BTU and go up from there.
I think your biggest issue would be humidity. An air conditioner also takes out the humidity as does a stand alone dehumidifier.
Electric heaters are power hogs.
As far temperature is concerned, you would probably want to insulate the building as best as you can first. the same would go for a separate office inside of it. Otherwise you’ll spend a fortune on your electric bill, trying to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Good luck with it. It sounds like the building will be real nice when done.
03/28/2021 at 6:16 pm #87083
A big storage like that will be great.
Our steel building came with the double bubble foil insulation, but I was surprised how thin it is. I cant imagine it does much good because its so thin. It’s like bubble wrap we use in packing.
It’s said to have maybe R-1 value: https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/article/stay-away-from-foil-faced-bubble-wrap
If I wanted our steel building to be climate controlled, I’d put in stud walls and put in real insulation.
03/28/2021 at 6:12 pm #87081
When I built my cabin, we were very careful to get the proper insulation installed. The insulation will make a HUGE difference to how effective both heating and cooling will be going forward.
Next, we purchased a ductless unit. There are a variety of options but after a lot of research, I went with the Mr. Cool like these at Home Depot https://www.homedepot.com/b/Heating-Venting-Cooling-Ductless-Mini-Splits/MRCOOL/N-5yc1vZc4m1Zfyt?storeSelection=
There was another brand that scored higher in my research, but it was a LOT more expensive. This Mr Cool was easy to install and has worked all the way through a Texas summer and handled brilliantly. In winter, the heating system did not hold up due to us forgetting to insulate the floor! LOL. However, once I put in a rug, it did pretty much keep the temps bearable.
It doesn’t fit in the window. You mount the interior unit on the wall, and drill a small hole for the pipes, then mount the exterior unit outside. We elected to mount it on a bracket so that it was off the floor. That’s a choice, not a requirement.
For comfort of working in the space, plus maintaining the integrity of your equipment (printer, computer, etc.) and for long term storage of your inventory, I’m 100% behind some sort of climate control.
03/28/2021 at 6:17 pm #87084Retro Treasures WVParticipant
I’ve stored my clothes in my shed for years with zero issues.
The only place I’ve had issues is anything stored on the concrete floor in my garage. those things will develop mold/mildew.
The only issue in my shed is stink bugs getting into things.
03/28/2021 at 8:57 pm #87092
Ya’ll are opening my eyes!
I hadn’t thought about a ductless unit. The house I bought has no central ac (woof) and radiant floor heat, so I’m learning about a ductless system thats currently in my livingroom. @Amatino how much square footage are you supporting?
Good point about the floor. I hadn’t thought about putting down anything other than the slab it’s on, do slabs soak up water? It’s concrete.
I was looking through inventory today and noticing that I have more fabric and delicate items than I thought- shoes, hats, aprons. Most of these are in bins that have a foam seal to keep moisture out, but not all of them do.
03/28/2021 at 9:03 pm #87093
@So Cal Joe
For some reason I didn’t see these comments when I wrote above. I was planning on doing a doublebubble type setup (I’m currently putting it up in my house because we have no insulation there) However, when I was reading about double bubble, it seems like it’s most efficient when theres a gap of air in between, which I don’t think is how its installed in a metal building. Do we think it’ll be better to just put up a radiant barrier and some of the fiberglass, then drywall it? I’m expecting my power bill to go up $100 or so for electric going toward the building, so if I can get more bang for my buck and have it climate controlled in entirety, versus just an office space, that would be cool.
03/28/2021 at 9:13 pm #87094
I havent watched all of this, but @Jay does the interior of your building look like this, or is this something else? I guess plywood would be better than drywall in this situation. I’m really interested in investing and doing this thing right the first time, versus half fixes all the time.
03/28/2021 at 9:34 pm #87095
He has a much heavier duty construction than what we have. Ours is a steel frame with steel panels. Three guys installed it in about 8 hours. It’s solid, but definitely just a large glorified shed.
Our building and insulation looks like this: https://gatorbackcarports.com/3214-2/
It cant hurt covering up in the raw metal. I think it does help keep the sun from cooking the insides. We were told it also keeps condensation from collecting on the metal and dripping into the building.
But I imagine trying to heat/cool the building with all the air cracks + concrete floor….and see money flying out the door. I’d want to spray foam the walls if I really wanted a temperature controlled room.
03/28/2021 at 9:45 pm #87097
I think that’s what mine will look like too, I ordered it from Alan’s Factory Outlet. Yeah, I’ve heard that metal buildings “sweat” but it seems like doublebubble solves that problem as a radiant barrier.
If you spray foam the walls, would you still need to put up plywood or some finishing type material on the walls, or can spray foam be left bare?
03/28/2021 at 9:53 pm #87098
Lumber, including plywood and 2 X 4 studs have gone up like crazy and are very close to all time highs. Before you make any decisions, you really want to investigate the material costs.
The ductless mini split A/C systems are great substitutes for a Full HVAC system in a home and in my opinion are the only way to go. For a single room, I think a window unit is the most practical solution.
03/28/2021 at 10:03 pm #87099
Yeah! I literally just asked my girlfriend what happened to lumber? Crazy expensive.
The only reason I’m worried about the ductless system is the cost to run it. Unless I did the math completely wrong (which I might of, cause I don’t understand how it can be this expensive) to run my minisplit in my house for 12 hours a day was going to be some crazy number like $3-400 a month(EDIT: I actually just did the math. To run the minisplit for 12 hours a day nonstop is $240. I think I was thinking $400 with the 3 other units. Cries in electric bill). Ya’ll Power bills are rough. My apartment bill had free heat, so my electric would go up to about $150 a month with 2 window acs. This house has 3 window acs and a minisplit. When I was running the floor this winter, my highest bill got up to 413. This is a personal complaint, because when I bought the house the power company said that the bills were like $180 a month, and I haven’t had a bill yet that was under $300.
Okay, so for a 24×28 building to do double bubble would be somewhere around $550. I’m okay spending more if it’ll keep the space cooler, or if I can swap out having to build fake walls to make an office space and climate control the whole space. If I’m looking at spray foam, it looks like it’s a dollar a square foot approx, so the walls would be like $930 and I’m not sure what the roof would be. Is this better than fiberglass though? Because it looks like spray is R-6.6ish and when I look up fiberglass batting I’m seeing stuff thats like R-13, R-15 , R-19.
03/29/2021 at 12:06 am #87102
Running all those A/C units and the radiant heat floors is going to use a lot of power. If the house isn’t well insulated, I’d really look into having it done. You may also want to look at your electric bill to get an idea of exactly how much power you are using. If you are on a tiered system, the rate goes up each time you move to a new tier.
Heat and Air conditioning are typically the largest portion of any residential electric bill. Even small improvements really add up.
Given all you’ve said, I’d be focusing on constructing a well insulated office work area within the building that can be independently cooled. It sounds like temperature control is very important to you and trying to maintain a constant temperature in the entire building would be very expensive. If you are on a tiered system, then all the additional power will be charged at your most expensive tier.
If you haven’t done so, I’d study your electric bill to understand how much power you are consuming and what it’s costing you. Many of the power company websites can assist in analyzing your usage.
Here in California, we have some of the highest electric rates in the country.
When I first moved here, my electric bill was double that of my old place. After analyzing the bill and determining that the electric company wasn’t picking on me, I did a lot of investigation and made some changes. The following month, my bill was down over 50% and very close to that of my old place.
It’s all a numbers game and fairly boring, but made me very happy.
I don’t have a precise answer to insulating the building. It all depends on which direction you go on cooling/heating it.
Hopefully someone else with a building can chime in with more specific advice.
03/29/2021 at 3:26 pm #87121
@Lauren My cabin is 12ft by 28ft, so 336 sq ft by horizontal measurement. However, it’s a lofted barn, so the cubic is over 4,000. I posted photos of the cabin as it was fitted in parts one, two, three, and four. I’ve included information on the internal fitting all the way through those posts.
As you can see in part one, I have a smaller, 8×16 ft shed that is run on a window unit. It’s cut into the side of the shed, not mounted in a window. The new barn has the ductless system. We’re on a rural electricity coop, so we have to pay an “availability fee” of $25 for every pole. My monthly electricity bill for the shed alone used to be $50, including that fee. Since I installed the ductless system, it has increased to around $80, so an increase of about $30 per month for the cabin. Both the shed and the cabin run climate control all year, cold in summer, heat in winter.
03/30/2021 at 1:15 am #87142
Ok, I just looked at the cabin pictures… WOW. That is impressive. If you had plumbing in it, you could live there. The best part is the R30 insulation.. worth it’s weight in gold..
I’m officially jealous.. good for you and my compliments to the people who did the work.
03/29/2021 at 3:30 pm #87123
Oh, and regards the lumber, we’re running out of lumber due to unprecedented building, according to the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. Some panic-sellers are on about us running out of trees due to a beetle infestation two decades ago, but I’ve not seen any factual reports confirming this. Predictions are this will ease towards the end of the year, but finding or using non-wood products is anticipated to be the interim fix. Composites are doing well, and they don’t rot or get eaten by insects.
03/30/2021 at 12:56 am #87141
For what it’s worth, I live in a climate where the humidity is very low, generally 15 to 30%. I have a full home HVAC air conditioner and an evaporative cooler (swamp cooler). Even though July and August see temperatures of about 100 degrees most days, I never use the air conditioner. Below is the Wikipedia explanation of evaporative cooling.
The house usually maintains a temperature of 75 to 80 degrees in the daytime and is usually quite comfortable. There is a connecting door to the garage (my Ebay area) that I leave open and it keeps things out there livable.
The electric rates out here are 23 cents per KWH. This is higher than most areas, a lot higher. My normal power bill is about $52 and in the summer months goes as high as $80. Running the HVAC would probably put me at $300+
This type of cooling only works in a low humidity environment. In my experience it works well up to about 105 degrees and after that is very marginal.
If anyone lives in a low humidity environment it’s surely worth considering and I’ve been very impressed with it.
04/01/2021 at 6:52 pm #87185
a) thank you for the concern about the electric bill! I checked the bill after using the ductless system the other day and we only used something like 20 KWH for the whole day, so I think my math is wrong. The floor sucks sometimes, but I’m getting to figuring it out better. My mom has MS so if she gets too cold or too hot then she has worsening symptoms, so keeping my house at 80 in the summer isn’t a great fix, but I bought a pedestal fan to help move the ductless system air and my house is delightful right now. That being said, my lovely girlfriend put insulation up in our house over the weekend and I’m already noticing a difference.
My new plan is to extend the office area a little bit and fit 4 shelves of climate control space in there. This will allow me to have some climate control, and in the long them the office will be moving to my sunroom and the building will be just storage, and that’ll get me more shelf space, but that’s a plan for like 2024.
@Amatino- WOW! Incredible! This looks so good! Thank you for the inspiration!
04/02/2021 at 8:57 am #87191
@So Cal Joe. Thanks. And I will pass on your compliments to the contractor – my husband! 😁
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