# question about open garage doors and heat loss

Help me, O'bewon, you're my only hope.
I'm just a reasonably competent bystander, hence my call out to the experts.
The situation I'm facing is that my apartment complex has an enclosed, large (100 or so) car garage with a "lift door" at one end. (It's also got an upper level with a separate roadway entrance, and that one uses a remote controlled door).
The garage is heated to a nominal 60 or so degrees, using low pressure steam from the main powerhouse that's fed into a half dozen or so blowers. We're in NYC so this means heating is needed a decent portion of the year.
My question, and I'm hoping you'll treat me gently, is that the garage door is generally left open full time.
(There's a staffed attendant room just inside, which has its own walls, heating, and a door into the main garage).
There's got to be a huge heat loss issue here, but I'll be honest and admit I don't have the slightest clue as to how to calculate it. (I'd have no problem with working out the numbers for a wall, but I can't even guess at how to handle an opening like this).
Could anyone give me a pointer to what the figures would be? I'm just looking for a rough enough number so that I can tell the management to get a "real" one - which I'm 99 percent sure will come to teh conclusion that we'd be better off keeping the door closed, giving everyone remote controls, and even adding some more windows and tv monitors to the guard booth.
The opening is about ten feet wide by eight feet high. There are walls extending out another fifteen or so feet on each side, and the garage itself is loosely sealed masonry (cinderblock) with a bunch of vents scattered around.
In other words, there's no major breeze going through that doorway, but clearly there's lots of mixing.
(Of course when there's a big wind, etc., etc.)
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On Thu, 22 Jan 2009 17:56:33 +0000 (UTC), danny burstein

Why don't you suggest an air curtain?
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[ snippp... regarding an open garage door's heat loss ]

Thanks.
That might be an option, but first I'd like to get a feel for how much heat (and money) we're wasting.
Once I've got their attention [a], then we can start looking at the different options. (I'm not that big a fan of air curtains since, despite the manufacturer's hype, they still let plenty of air go in and out and also use up lots o fpower themselves.)
[a] I've had people in the complex tell me, with a straight face, that we're heating the garage "for free" since it's a tap off the main steam-lines that heat the apartment buildings...
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Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key
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writes:

The "free heat" concept sounds like some kinda republican tax cut--and we all know how well those have worked out long term.
So far as "heating the outside" then you could use a non-contact thermometer take readings of the ground and objects <targets> placed in the air....take readings moving away from the open door...then close the door and measure how much time is taken for the objects <pavement gravel targets in the ambient air> to reach outdoors ambient--good baseline heat-soak and transmittal rate data here and the only variable is if the wind direction /velocity happens to change.
FWIW, If I were the owner I would control garage doors to automattically close after a few minutes and also only maintain enough garage heat to assure the floor and water service piping temps stay barely above freezing.
Not your fault that he is a lazy and stupid ass--however, it's your fault that you choose to continue living there along with his otherwise idiot tenants.
HTH
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Measure the condensate. 1 Lb is roughly 1000 (966?) Btus. 1 gallon = 8.34 Lbs
If it's district heating, they might be able to help... If it's an onsite boiler, contact the utility Co.
goodluck geothermaljones

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There's probably a reason it's left open. Perhaps the make up air units are fail and the CO is getting too high. Ask some questions before you waste your time.

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There's no furnace in teh garage itself; there's a boiler in another building that provides steam for the apartments and for the garage.
There are also a modest number of vents placed in the exterior walls for standard air exchange.
The door is kept open simply because it looks better and more inviting.
Thanks.
--
_____________________________________________________
Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>

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