Author Topic: "Insulating Garages for Fish Rooms"  (Read 3323 times)

Offline rcbows

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"Insulating Garages for Fish Rooms"
« on: May 13, 2014, 09:57:55 AM »
There was a lot of discussion "On not having an insulated garage" to keep the heat down in you "Fish Room Garage"., at the TBA Meeting Last night May 12, 2014. I have my fish room in my two car garage with almost 100 tanks. It wasn't that hard or expensive to heat & Air condition my gargae. I did not insulate it for the fish room but a home based computer repair business, after I closed my shop of 10 years.

All I did was check the garage for insulation, which it had none. I went and bought bags of rock wool and spread about 6 inches on top of the ceiling. AH! there lies a problem if you don't have a garage that has a ceiling, mine did. There is a solution for insulation this type of ceiling in your garage if you don't have a ceiling. I then tackled the aluminum 2 car door. I used 2" Styrofoam Insulation from "Loews" . It wasn't that expensive I can't remember how much but think (2) 4x8 sheets did it all with some left over. It fits right in the metal bracing that make the door itself. After placing the foam I used aluminum reflective tape used to seal duct work for HVAC system, to seal the cracks between the foam and the metal door frame. Again you can buy it at "Loews" cheap (can't remember price). In order to get into the garage after permanently shutting the door (I can still open it in an emergency, buy removing a few hanging things inside.) Its heavy, but still can be lifted up if necessary.

Now for Air Conditioning and Heating. I went to "Loews" again and purchased 2 sheet metal duct adapters, I think they are 8", also (2) lengths of aluminum flexible insulation duct hose and it come in lengths and can be cut and attached to the adapters. I them cut 2 hole after locating the positions that I would cut the duct adapter in and 2 registers to close off the vent. These also required a ceiling adapter to connect the AC hose to from the main system adapter. Hooking it up in't that complicated and it really cools the garage, without all the aquariums in it.

The outer wall of my garage are concrete block on one side and wood Vinyl siding on the other, with sheet rock interior. Neither wall is insulated just empty walls with no insulation, but heat rises and the concrete keeps cool most of the summer with the added ceiling insulation and the AC dusts. I also added a steel insulated door in the stud side of the garage to go in and out, a drain through the concrete wall which is hooked up to my wet sink to drain waste water outside and an exhaust blower in one of the window panes (I had from the computer repair business) it fit perfectly in the window with the glass removed. It was necessary to remove the extra humidity from having the fish tanks present, I was having a mold problem and that solved it.  It would be too labor intensive and expensive to insulate the walls at this time. I might in the future rip of the sheet rock next to the door and insulate the stud walls.

I also added a steel insulated door in the stud side of the garage to go in and out, a drain through the concrete wall which is hooked up to my wet sink to drain waste water outside and an exhaust blower in one of the window pains (I had from the computer repair business) it fits perfectly in the window with the glass removed. It was necessary to remove the extra humidity from having the fish tanks present, I was having a mold problem around the garage door area and that solved it.

Speaking of the glass windows, I had to use 3/4" insulation on them instead of 2" foam. The glass takes up much of the space in the windows. I though I was going to leave them as windows but the afternoon sun heated the garage up so much that I was defeating the whole purpose of the AC. So I blocked them off with 3/4" foil Backed foam insulation. I put the foil to the outside to reflect the heat and then painted the outside of the windows white to match the garage door front. I use fusion paint and cleaned the glass with soap and water and then cleaned the outside with Acetone to make sure the Fusion Paint would stick to the glass with a very clean window.

Oh buy the way that's how I clean and paint all my tanks using fusion paint from Walmart $ 4.49 per can. It does about (3) 10 gallon tanks (Blue, Black or Red) bottom. (2) sides and back. I do all my tanks like this its easier than trying to put backings on all of them. It much better than roll on or brush on paint that you buy at Walmart. It peals to easily and if it get wet "DUH" it makes a mess.

Back to the garage , in the winter because I have a Heat Pump AC/H system I get heat from the house and if it gets real cold, which it has, I run a small electric ceramic heater to supplement the house heat. I works fine now that I have almost 100 tanks the added water and heat from the tanks storing it, plus the individual tank heaters (not all tanks have them) My summer high range is 76 degrees and usually winter is 70 degrees.

If anyone need help in planning his or her garage retrofit I would be willing to consult for FREE, either in person , through email or through the forum. Each garage is different and can pose different problems, for different installations.
I used to be a Facilities Supervisor for a school District in Mass., a Water Purification Specialist in the filed of Reagent grade water who supplied pure water to MIT, Harvard Med, etc also I owned my own laboratory animal supply facilities specializing in rabbits and guinea pigs, for over 15 years and sold it to a major corporation (Bausch & Lomb) in 1988. Since then I have been a facilities supervisor for Mass General Hospital, Animal Care facilities which had a large research aquarium facilities, transgenic Mouse facilities, and Mini-swine facilities who supplied the heart valve for John Wayne. I was also a Computer Aided Design Specialist fro Laboratory Animal Facilities and designed Stainless steel cages and large animal facilities infrastructures all over the US.

So I do have some qualification that can help you maybe fix your garage so it doesn't over heat! If you would like to come and see my fish room let me know. Oh yeh I am in Zephyrhills, FL, just outside of Tampa, in Pasco county, near Polk County and Lakeland. Email me and I will give you my address. Attached is a picture of my fish room gargae.

Ron Bows
rcbows@gmail.com
(813)862-3069

or Contact me on the forum
« Last Edit: May 14, 2014, 02:48:19 PM by rcbows »
Thank You for Reading my Posts! Want to see my fishroom? Go here- http://ronsaquatics.com