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5 Ways To Heat Your Garage

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Garages are used for many different things from workshops, home gyms, man caves or just a standard storage space to park your car. It can get very cold in garages especially with no source of heating.

In most cases garages lack heating systems and insulation, so they’re not ideal for extreme weather conditions unless you make drastic changes.

Below is a helpful guide to educate you about different ways to keep your garage nice and warm, these are the points explained below.

  • Install better insulation
  • Electric heaters
  • Combustion space heater
  • Ductless mini-split system
  • Radiant heating

Install better insulation

Better insulation is one of the most effective ways to keep heat inside any room. Funnily enough its also the cheapest and not too complicated to install yourself.

When the weather is fairly warm in the spring and summer months, you will most likely get away with just simple insulation. This involves weather-stripping any exterior entrances to your garage, although if your planning on spending time in your garage in the winter months you probably want to consider spending a little more money on more insulation.

Insulation is simple to install and really quite reliable. You wont be able to control the exact temperature in your garage, but it will maintain a comfortable temperature in the summer through to the winter months.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • No ongoing costs once installed
  • Insulation is straight forward
  • Insulation is typically very affordable

Cons

  • Not a good choice for areas where temperature drops below freezing
  • You wont have control over the exact temperature

You can also go that one step further and replace your garage door with a high quality more insulated one. If you decide to do this there’s many options to choose from.

Electric heaters

The simplest way to heat your garage is with an electric heater. They are idea for garages that have little or limited space. You can also get wall mounted or ceiling heaters if you really want to make the most of the space you have.

With electric heaters you literally switch it on when you enter the room and switch it off when you leave. It really doesn’t get any simpler than that.

Still, there’s a few issues when its to do with electric heaters, meaning that if you’re using the garage for a long period of time you might find an increase in your energy bills. However, modern models tend to be more energy efficient, resulting in not having much of an effect on your energy bills.

You may find that an electric heater takes a while to heat up the room, that’s depending on the size of your garage. Another down side is that if your garage is not very well insulated you have the chance of valuable heat escaping. However is your garage is well insulated this wont be an issue.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Current energy efficient models wont raise your electric bill by much
  • Can also be used inside your house if needed
  • No ventilation is required

Cons

  • Can take longer to heat up the garage than other options
  • Might be difficult to use in a garage with few outlets
  • Will be less effective in a poorly insulated garage

Combustion space heater

The fastest way to heat up your garage would be with a Combustion space heater. They use a fuel source such as Kerosene or propane. But there are models available that can run on all types of fuel, giving you the option to buy whatever is cheapest.

The only concern with these is that they produce Carbon Monoxide. They should never be used without creating good ventilation. You should think about installing a Carbon Monoxide detector for added safety.

A good thing is they produce a lot of heat quickly meaning you would only have to have it on for a short time before needed to turn it off.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Would heat an average sized garage fairly quickly
  • Can continue heating the garage during power outages
  • Often cheaper upfront than an electric space heater

Cons

  • They can be noisy. Many people compare it to a jet engine
  • Produces a petrol smell which some don’t like
  • You’ll have to pay for fuel when needed
  • Combustion introduces moisture into the air, so there’s a risk of rusting your tools or vehicles if you frequently use your heater for long periods

Ductless mini-split system

I’m presuming you haven’t heard about this one before, so what is it?

A Ductless mini-split system is made up from a air handling unit, which is installed inside a room, and a compressor that’s located outside. These two components are connected by a conduit. If you’re looking to be able to heat and cool your garage than this is a great choice. They’re highly efficient and operate quietly. They’re also great space savers as they don’t require ducts and are mounted high on the wall. If installed by yourself a mini-split is a very cost effective heating and cooling system for your garage.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Lots of flexibility for placement
  • Many models come with a remote for easy control
  • A great choice for a garage if you wish to use as an additional room
  • Some units provide cooling in hotter months

Cons

  • Upfront costs are much steeper than other options
  • The filter must be cleaned monthly as debris can build up
  • Not the strongest option for cranking up the heat

Radiant heating

This is a newer, more efficient way of heating a garage. They can be installed under a floor or panels in walls or ceilings.

The system heats the surface instead of the air in the room. There’s several different types of both floor and/or wall and ceiling radiant heating systems. Its strongly recommended that you do your research to find out what works best for your home.

Types of radiant heating:

Electric Radiant floor heating

Also knows as underfloor heating, Electric radiant heating requires electric heating cables built into your floor. Systems that feature electrical matting mounted on the subfloor below a floor covering such as a tile are also available.

It’s only usually cost effective if they include a significant thermal mass, such as thick concrete floor and you are using an energy supplier that allows ‘time of use’ rates. Radiant heating should always be installed by a qualified professional.

Hydronic radiant floors

These pump heated water from a boiler through tubing laid in a pattern under the floor. In some systems, controlling the flow of hot water through each tubing loop by using zoning valves or pumps and thermostats regulates room temperature.

The cost of installing a Hydronic radiant floor depends on location and the size of the home, the type of insulation, the floor covering, remoteness of the site and the cost of labour.

Radiant panels

Wall and ceiling mounted panels can be heated with either electricity or with tubing that carries hot water, although the latter creates concerns about leakage in wall or ceiling mounted systems.

Most radiant panels available for homes are electrically heated.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Very low operating costs once installed
  • Extremely quiet
  • Floor insulations heat a space more evenly than other options

Cons

  • Expensive upfront cost to install
  • Insulation is a involved process, especially for floor systems
  • Moisture may build up on the surface where system is installed

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