In winter, it’s often thought that the garage is warmer than outside. But is this actually true? The answer isn’t as simple as you may think. There are a few factors that come into play, such as the type of garage door you have and whether or not your car emits warmth.
In general, though, garages are slightly warmer than the outdoors in winter because they tend to be better insulated.
What You'll Learn Today
Is An Unheated Garage Warmer Than Outside?
Have you ever walked into your garage on a cold winter day and been surprised at how much warmer it feels in there, even though there’s no heat source? It turns out, there’s a scientific explanation for this phenomenon.
The first thing to understand is that heat always flows from warmer to cooler areas. So, when you walk into your garage and it feels warm, that’s because the heat from your house is flowing into the garage.
The materials that make up your garage door (typically metal or wood) are good conductors of heat, which means they transfer heat quickly. That’s why the air near the door is usually warmer than the air farther away from the door.
Another reason why the garage might be warmer than outside is because it’s sheltered from the wind. When you have gusts of wind blowing against your house, it can remove some of the warmth from the air.
But because the garage is typically enclosed on three sides (with only the door leading outside), it’s less exposed to these winds, which helps to keep the temperature higher.
Finally, garages are often located on the south or west side of houses, which means they receive more sunlight during the day. This extra dose of sunlight can help to raise the temperature inside the garage a few degrees above the outside temperature.
Tips for a Warmer Garage This Winter
For many of us, our garage is an extension of our home. We use it for storage, as a workspace, and sometimes even as a place to relax or work out. So when the temperatures start to drop and the snow starts to fall, it can be miserable being in the garage if it’s not properly heated.
Here are a few tips to help you keep your garage warm this winter.
Identify Air Leaks
Even small gaps can let in a lot of cold air, making it difficult to keep the space warm. You can check for air leaks by doing a visual inspection of your garage doors and windows. If you see any cracks or gaps, seal them with weatherstripping or caulking.
You should also check for gaps around electrical outlets, light fixtures, and pipes. Once you’ve sealed all the air leaks, you’ll be surprised at how much warmer your garage will be.
Most garages are not insulated, leaving them cold and drafty in the winter months. If you use your garage as a workshop or for storage, this can make it unusable during the colder months.
One way to make your garage warmer is to add insulation. There are two main types of garage insulation: rolled and batted. Rolled insulation is easy to install and is available in different thicknesses to suit your needs. Battered insulation is more effective but is also more difficult to install.
There are newer types of insulation you can choose, too, like spray foam insulation, which is expensive to install but lasts much longer (and is more effective).
Whichever type you choose, adding insulation to your garage will help to keep the cold out and the heat in. As a result, you’ll be able to use your garage all year round, regardless of the weather.
Here’s a video that will give you a quick guide to insulating a garage wall:
Add a Heat Source
If you’re tired of freezing every time you step into your garage, it might be time to add a heat source. This will not only make your garage more comfortable, but it will also extend the life of your tools and equipment. There are a few different options when it comes to heating your garage.
This could be something as simple as a wood-burning stove.
If your garage doesn’t have heat vents or if you want to supplement the heat from those vents, using space heaters is a great solution. These come in a variety of sizes and can be powered by electricity, natural gas, or propane.
Be sure to place them carefully so they’re not blocking any walkways or creating fire hazards (and watch out for the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning).
And always turn them off when you leave the garage so you don’t waste energy or create a safety risk.
Another option is to install a forced-air furnace. This is more expensive than a space heater, but it will heat your garage more evenly and can be used to cool your garage in the summer.
Whatever option you choose, make sure to consult with a professional to ensure that it is installed correctly and that it meets your specific needs.
Let In Some Sunshine
This tip may seem counter-intuitive but hear us out! On those rare warm and sunny days, open up the garage door for a little while to let some warmth in. Just be sure to close it before the sun goes down so all that warmth doesn’t escape overnight!
And if you have the ability to add a few windows, do so. This will allow warm sunlight into the garage during the winter – and the garage should hold the heat fairly well long after the sun has gone down.
Fix or Replace the Garage Door
Most garages are not insulated, which means they can be quite cold during the winter months. This can make working on projects or simply storing your car difficult and uncomfortable.
One way to make your garage warmer is to fix or replace the garage door. If your garage door is old, drafty, or otherwise not well-sealed, it can let cold air in and warm air out. Replacing the door with a new, insulated one can help to improve the temperature of your garage significantly.
Alternatively, you can add weather stripping or other sealants to your existing door to help close up any gaps. Either way, making sure your garage door is well-sealed is an essential step in keeping your garage warm this winter.
If you think your garage feels a tad warmer than the outside air this winter, you’re not imagining things – it probably is.
If you want to make your garage even more comfortable in cold weather, try these tips: add insulation to your garage door, seal any cracks or gaps in the walls or floor, and invest in a space heater.
By following these steps, you can turn your garage into a cozy haven during the colder months of the year.