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Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC/Looking for garage/2nd story apt non-electric heating options


Hello.  My name is Curt.  I'm live in the mountains of central Colorado.  I'm in the military and will be getting out soon.  Too help off-set that loss of income, I've recently built a 2-car, 2-story detached garage.  My intention is to put a 1-bed/1-bath apt. in the upper floor of the garage and rent it out.

I live in a rural area at 9000 feet altitude.  I've got natural gas going into my residence next door (about 50 feet away) and 200 amp elec. service going to the residence.  I'm on a well w/ a septic system.

The lower portion of the garage is 24'x24' and has a 12-foot ceiling.  It is unfinished.  The ceiling is 2X12 engineered joists about 24" OC.  The upper floor is 24'x26' with a vaulted ceiling.  It is also unfinished and has exposed 2"x14" trusses in the ceiling.  The floor is 3/4" OSB.  The walls are 2"x6", 18" OC.

Originally, I had thought I would have the garage and the apt fully electric:  Heat, stove, water, etc.  But an electrician has told me that all that I want to do will pull too many amps for what I've got. I can upgrade the service at my power pole (@ 200 feet away) but that will require a lot of extra work and about $3500.

My electrician is urging me to ditch the electric water heater and electric garage/apartment heat.  He says they're the big energy users.  He's pushing me to either tap into my existing gas line or, get propane service for water and heat.

A gas water heater is easy, but I'm wondering about what would be a good, economical gas/propane furnace? I'm at a good point in the construction in that everything is open and unfinished so I can do whatever I want.

Yes, I do need to heat the interior of the garage since I've got a water line that comes up through the floor.  It will eventually connect to water fixtures/fittings in the upstairs apartment.  But I only have to keep it at about 40 degrees.

Can you offer any suggestions or recommendations re. a gas/propane furnace to heat my garage and apartment?


- Curt

Hi Curt, I think your best bet would be Nat Gas. I think all electric would be way to expensive to operate. I looked up the design temperature for Colorado, heating temp 1*.....Yikes! and cooling is 91*. So your looking at 36K BTU heating and 2 tons for cooling.

I am a little curios why your electrician thinks 200 amp service is to small.

I will get back to you on what kind of systems will work best for you.

BTW, Thank you for your service!!!  


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Jim S.


I can answer questions on gas or electric furnaces, ac units and heat pumps. I don't work on boilers,chillers,or home appliances.


I have been in the HVAC trade for over 35 years. For the past 15 years I have owned my own business. I am semi-retired so I can answer questions in a timely manner.

I attended trade school for 5 years on weekends and evenings. This was very hard to do, but well worth it!

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