If you live in a place that experiences frigid winter temperatures, then you know firsthand about the importance of a reliable and robust home furnace. Without it, your home would be transformed into an unlivable icebox – so you might be wondering, “can I heat my garage with my home furnace?” Here’s what you need to know.
What You'll Learn Today
- Can I Run a Duct From My Furnace to My Garage?
- What is the Most Efficient Way to Heat a Garage?
- Do You Need Electricity To Heat Your Garage?
- Other Types of Garage Heaters
- Which Is The Cheapest Option?
Can I Run a Duct From My Furnace to My Garage?
In most places, the garage is not heated in the same capacity as the living spaces of the home. This may not be a big deal for you. But for those of us who rely on the garage as a workshop, auxiliary storage space, or music studio, having heat in the garage is as important as having it in the home.
Adding a heating element to your garage, whether it be from the furnace in your home or from a newly installed garage heater, is an absolute game-changer.
Yes, you can run a heating duct from the furnace in your home to your garage or any other new addition room. You can learn more in this video:
While this option may be the easiest and least expensive, it may not be the best heating solution for your home and garage.
Using the Furnace to Heat the Garage: Pros and Cons
Using the furnace from your home to heat the garage comes with some pros and cons.
The benefits of using the furnace include:
- A simple fix that does not require you to install an additional heating system
- Can be done yourself
- Possibly the cheapest option
However, you also need to take into consideration the cons – namely, the furnace may not be able to handle the additional demand placed on it to heat the garage.
What is the Most Efficient Way to Heat a Garage?
When it comes to finding the most efficient way to heat your garage, there are a number of important points to consider.
Your Local Climate and Conditions
Where you live is one of the first things to consider when planning a heating solution for your garage. The most important part about your climate zone is how cold it gets during the winter. If you live in a colder climate, your garage will require a more powerful heating system.
The Size of Your Garage
The next thing to consider is the size of your garage. Larger garages will obviously require different heating solutions than smaller garages. Figuring out the square footage of your garage and the amount of cubic air space it possesses will help determine the most efficient heating way to heat your garage.
Quality Of Insulation
Unfortunately, not all garages come with great insulation (or any insulation at all), especially older homes. The reason is that they are not living spaces. The quality of insulation, or lack thereof, affects how efficiently the area can be heated.
Insulation values are measured in R-values per inch of thickness. R-values tell you how well the insulation keeps heat from entering and leaving the space. Higher R-values typically reflect better climate control and better energy efficiency.
How you plan to use the garage should also affect your decision-making when finding the most efficient heating system for your garage.
Are you heating the garage in order to be able to work on projects throughout the winter? Or do you just want to keep your vehicles from being exposed to freezing temperatures?
The more heat you need in the space will determine the size of the heater you need and how much money you will need to invest in powering the heater, either by electricity or gas.
How efficiently you heat your garage also depends on the fuel source you plan to use. When it comes to garage heaters, you can choose between electric and gas heaters.
Electric garage heaters can be very efficient. Most only require a standard 110-volt socket outlet for power. Depending on the size and type of the heater, it’s possible to produce up to 40,000 BTUs of energy per hour with an electrical garage heater.
If your home is powered by solar, this will probably be the most efficient heating solution for your garage.
On the other hand, natural gas and propane are the go-to fuel sources when it comes to powering your heater with gas instead of electricity.
Do You Need Electricity To Heat Your Garage?
If your home already has a natural gas supply, this may be the most straightforward option for you. You can run the natural gas line from your home directly to the heater in your garage. Natural gas burns cleanly, is very affordable, and is abundantly available.
For homes and garages that are not already on the gas grid, propane may be the better option. Like natural gas, propane is affordable and widely available. Most home-improvement stores, gas stations, and grocery stores sell propane tanks and offer propane tank refills.
When it comes to gas garage heaters, something to consider is if you want a mounted or fixed heater unit or a portable heater unit.
Mounted Garage Heaters
Mounted garage heaters are permanent heaters that can either be installed on the ceiling or walls of your garage. They are often the largest heating option, and therefore, very powerful. Mounted garage heaters are great for larger spaces and for frigid winters.
Portable Garage Heaters
Portable or free-standing garage heaters are other good options. They tend to be smaller than mounted heaters and are better for smaller spaces. But don’t let the smaller size deter you. Portable garage heaters are plenty powerful.
Other Types of Garage Heaters
Depending on your budget, your garage, and your heating requirements, you may also want to consider other types of garage heaters. Below you will find three more types of heaters that may be the solution you’ve been wanting.
Ceramic Garage Heaters
Ceramic heaters are fantastic because they do not require any flammable liquid for operation. These heaters do not emit any dangerous fumes or gases.
Ceramic heaters heat up a ceramic core to extreme temperatures. The hot air flows out of the heater and into the surrounding space. With this process, ceramic heaters can produce about 30,000 BTUs of energy per hour.
Quartz Garage Heaters
Quartz garage heaters are one of the most efficient heaters on the market. The heating element is made of quartz which does not emit any gases or fumes. Quartz heaters can produce about 40,000 BTUs of energy per hour.
Quartz garage heaters are durable and safe space heaters. They tend to have higher efficiency ratings than other heaters, which is ideal for saving money. Plus, they typically require very little maintenance and have zero moving parts.
Fan Forced Heaters
Fan forced heaters are the most widely known (and affordable) heating solution. Once the internal heating element is adequately heated, a fan activates to blow out the hot air into the surrounding space.
Like ceramic and quartz heaters, fan-forced heaters do not emit any gases or fumes and do not require any additional ventilation for safe usage.
They are effortless to use and only need a standard 110-volt standard socket for operation. Because these heaters tend to be smaller than other types, they typically only produce 20,000 BTUs of energy per hour.
Which Is The Cheapest Option?
The cheapest option, of course, is not heating your garage at all. However, this is not an option for folks who like to use their garage year-round as a woodshop, weight room, or extra living space.
For those of us who want to avoid finger-numbing temperatures as they work on the car in the garage, a heated workspace in the garage is worth the extra financial investment. There are several heating options that accommodate a variety of budgets, everything from portable electric space heaters to full-blown mounted infrared radiant heaters.
With some additional research and maybe a professional consultation with an HVAC specialist, you will be well on your way to finding the most efficient and affordable heating solution for your garage.