Farm Shop Design Series: Heating Options
Our farm shop design blog series, written by Dan Nyberg, the Sales Training Manager at Morton Buildings, focuses on a variety of farm shop design ideas to help you in planning your next agricultural building.
How to heat a farm shop is one of the most important elements to consider when designing a new one. Many farmers are considering floor heat. This can be done with water circulated through piping or electrical coils placed in the concrete floor system. The heat radiates up to keep people very comfortable, especially when lying underneath equipment. Many farmers like to at least run the tubes for in-floor heat, in case they may want it in the future. This type of heating works best in conjunction with a ceiling-mounted forced-air furnace near the door.
In larger shops consider whether you will need the entire shop heated to the same level. With many forms of heat, you can concentrate on areas that will be used more frequently or for more critical processes. Varying the spacing of the tubes for either floor heat or radiant will allow you to have designated areas that will be used for those tasks which require greater manual dexterity.
Another modern and effective heating unit is overhead radiant heat tubes which take heat from exhaust tubes and reflect the heat down to the floor and other objects. The heat is then radiated back up. Both types of heat are particularly effective with frequently used overhead doors since both heat objects as opposed to air so when doors are open less heat escapes.
Forced air is still very popular since the initial cost is lower than most other types. Hot water boilers with radiant heaters are a very efficient, compact system. Today's boilers are smaller than many television sets. This may be the best option if you only intend to work a couple of days a week in the shop.
Wood stoves work quite well as many farmers have wood readily available so it is a popular choice. A few paddle fans will circulate the heat given off by the wood stove. Morton Buildings' raised lower chord truss allows for a cathedral ceiling, which is great for mounting paddle fans without taking valuable ceiling clearance.
About Dan Nyberg, Sales Training Manager, Morton Buildings
Dan Nyberg has been employed with Morton Buildings for 28 years, where he held a variety of positions such as sales consultant, regional manager, and director of sales. He has also served as a board member of the National Frame Building Association for nine years. Dan has been involved with farming most of his life, from living on a dairy farm as a child, moving back to a mixed livestock and grain farm in high school, to managing a personal farm in Colorado focused on horse-drawn events. He has experience with beef cattle, dairy cattle, bison, pigs, sheep, chickens, ducks, geese, horses and mules. Dan currently farms 72 acres with a herd of 23 Devon/Hereford cattle and owns three Morton buildings.