Most people use the garage for more than simply parking cars and storing stuff. Hobbies, crafts, repairs and projects are often performed in the garage. These needs don’t stop in the wintertime, so it’s easy to see why heating your garage is a good idea. In this article, we review some of the smartest ways you can heat your garage in the wintertime. Read on to learn more.
What You'll Learn Today
- How Can I Keep My Garage Warm?
- How Do You Heat A Garage That Isn’t Insulated?
- How Can I Make My Garage Warmer In The Winter?
- How much does it cost to heat a garage in the winter?
How Can I Keep My Garage Warm?
Begin by determining exactly what you need in the way of heat in your garage. In order to do this, you’ll need to figure out how hard it will be to get your garage warm and keep it that way even during the coldest weather.
To do this, think about the maximum degree of cold that is predicted for your area in the wintertime. Measure up your garage to get the exact square footage.
In addition to knowing just how cold it will be outside and just how much space you need to heat, you’ll also want to think about how warm you want to keep your garage.
This information will help you make wise decisions when choosing insulation materials and heating sources.
How Do You Heat A Garage That Isn’t Insulated?
Bottom line is, you don’t heat a garage that isn’t insulated. If you’re serious about heating your garage, insulation is essential. Without it, you’ll have to blast the interior of your garage with heat, and you may never get the space to the temperature you want.
Instead, you’ll lose heat through gaps and through thin wall and ceiling material. The cost of insulation will save you a fortune in heating costs in the long run.
You’ll want to insulate every interior surface of the walls and ceilings of your garage as well as the garage door. In addition to insulating the walls and ceilings, you also want some insulation over the windows. Clear plastic shrink film can serve this purpose.
TIP: Alternately, you might wish to replace existing windows with double paned windows.
How to Heat a Garage Workshop
How Can I Make My Garage Warmer In The Winter?
When it comes to choosing a method of heating, there are many good options. Your choice will depend a great deal on how cold it gets in your area and what sort of fuel you have available to you at an affordable price. Here are some top picks in garage heating methods.
1. A forced air heater may do the job
Depending on the size of your garage and the degree of cold you’re dealing with, you may be able to get by with a simple forced air heater, which heats the air by simply blowing hot air into the area. This type of heater is usually fairly inexpensive when it comes to space heaters.
You can have a forced air heater installed professionally so that it can be connected with the heating system for your home. While this can be an economical way of heating your garage, you do need to understand that sharing the air between your home your garage may also mean sharing blowback from your projects such as painting, staining, finishing and sanding woodwork.
2. Convection heaters are versatile
Convection heat works by circulating air convection currents through the machine, over the heating elements and into the room. If you don’t want to share air currents between your house and garage, a convection heater is a good choice, and this type of heater comes as propane, gas or electric powered.
In addition, to versatility in fuel types, convection heaters come in a wide range of sizes. Naturally the larger and more powerful unit you purchase the faster and more thoroughly it will heat.
Consult the information you’ve compiled regarding the size of your garage and the degree of cold you’re dealing with when choosing a convection heater.
3. Ductless heating systems
There are also ductless heating and cooling systems which can be installed for both heating and cooling your garage. You may hear these referred to as:
- Split systems
- Multi-split systems
- Split ductless systems
This type of system uses one unit to both heat and cool. These units are very energy efficient, and they are also ecologically friendly. Additionally, this kind of unit is very easy to install, especially when compared with traditional heating, ventilation and cooling systems.
4. Heat the floor
When you’re thinking about insulating your garage, you may also find it wise to consider the floor. In very cold climates, a lot of cold can come in through the floor. One way to combat this is to build your heating system into the floor.
Installing a floor heating system is an excellent way to safely and thoroughly heat your garage and add a level of comfort. When you’re working on your feet in your garage in the wintertime, you’ll be glad to have a nice warm floor to stand on.
A floor heating system works by using radiant heat that is carried through cross-linked polyethelene (PEX) tubing. This sort of tubing is very useful as a replacement for galvanized steel or copper pipes in water systems. It has been used in radiant floor heating systems for over forty years.
5. Radiant ceiling heating panels
Another good use of radiant heat is the installation of radiant electric ceiling panels. This type of panel is usually about an inch thick and mounts directly onto the ceiling. This is quite an energy-efficient option, and it heats up rapidly.
Radiant heating panels also cool down quickly. This gives you the convenience of simply being able to flip the switch or turn a dial when you enter your garage to enjoy quick, dependable heating.
Radiant heating ceiling panels are an easy and nice-looking option for garage heating.
6. Propane heaters
Depending on the type of fuel you have available to you, you may find that propane is a good choice as a source of heating energy for your garage. To fuel a propane heater, you may wish to have a propane tank installed outside the garage, which you can have filled as needed.
Propane heaters give off good heat immediately. They are usually quite affordable, and they may even be mobile.
7. Wall mounted electric heater
It is also possible to have an electric heater mounted in the wall of your garage. Installed, wall-mounted electric heaters are typically hardwired 240 V units.
This type of unit is generally quite a bit easier to install than your average forced air heating system. For this reason, you may be able to do the work on your own.
8. Electric space heaters
Of course, one of the simplest solutions is the use of one or more portable space heaters. You can use this type of heater to supplement an installed heating source, or depending upon the size of your garage, the amount of cold you’re dealing with and the effectiveness of your insulation, you may be able to simply get by with portable space heaters.
Portable space heaters come in a wide variety of sizes and prices. Be sure to look for unit that is Energy Star rated and features safety options such as automatic turnoff if tipped. Take safety precautions if you want to use a patio heater in your garage.
9. Low intensity infrared tube heaters
Another good option for garage heating is a low intensity infrared tube heater. This type of heater simply radiates heat into your workspace. These heaters are effective and energy efficient, but the downside is that they are a bit slow to get started.
Infrared heat works by heating up objects in the surrounding area. This can take a while, so a good idea to turn on your infrared space heater half an hour or so before you intend to spend time in your garage.
10. Old-school wood stove
A woodstove is tried and true solution to heating any space. If you plan to install a woodstove in your garage, be sure to take all of the same safety precautions you would if you were installing it in your house.
Be sure to follow all of the codes set forth by your local municipality. If permits are necessary, be sure to get them. You can’t hide a woodstove, and if something goes wrong you don’t need to compound your fire problem with fines, fees and charges.
If installing woodstove, you should also talk with your insurance provider to make certain that doing so is acceptable under your existing homeowners’ policy. If it is not, you may find that adding a woodstove to your policy negates any savings you might have been counting on in terms of fuel.
When purchasing a woodstove, be sure to buy a highly rated new one that has solid guarantees and clear installation and use instructions. Installation and use of a secondhand woodstove could easily end up in tragedy.
How much does it cost to heat a garage in the winter?
The amount it will cost to heat your garage is dependent upon the same factors that determine how you will insulate and heat your garage:
- You must accurately determine just how cold it will get in your garage
- You’ll need to measure your garage square footage
- You must think about how much time you want to spend in your garage in winter
- Next, you’ll need to use this information to decide upon your heating and insulation methods
Armed with all this information, you’ll be able to calculate a close estimate of the costs to heat your garage in winter.