If you are finding things to be a touch too chilly in your garage, you may want to start considering the different heating options that are available, whether your garage is attached or stand-alone.
There are a few factors to consider when opting for a new system such as: “Should I go with electric, gas, or wood?”
In this article, we will attempt to answer this question and several more.
Is Heating the Garage Necessary?
This may be the number one question for a lot of people, and there is usually a simple answer.
If you spend a lot of time in your garage using it as a workshop or a hangout spot, then heating the spot is a great idea. If you don’t spend much time there, you may not think it is necessary, but you should consider the following things:
If you have any pipes running through your garage, they will be more likely to freeze in an unheated space.
If you use the garage as the main point of entry into your home, you will also be bringing in a whole lot of cold air every time you open the garage door.
If you are using your garage as a workspace or a hangout spot, then you may forego using it in the winter months if it isn’t heated.
Ask Yourself a Few Questions
Before making a commitment to buy a certain system, answer the following questions:
No 1) How big is your garage?
When you start speaking with the garage specialist about adding a heating system, this will be the very first question they ask you. You can’t pick the right heater if you don’t know how big the space you are trying to heat is! Get out there and start measuring.
No 2) How will you use your garage?
The next thing the garage specialist will ask is about the usage of the garage. Make sure you mention how often you work and play in there. Plus, if it is your main entrance into the house, you will want to mention that as well.
No 3) Is it just as important to keep your garage cool in the summer as it is to keep it warm in the winter?
In places with hot and humid summers, a cooling system may be in order. If you plan on using the space a lot, it might make sense to get a unit that can heat and cool.
Which of these 4 Ways to Heat Your Garage Is the Best for YOU?
No 1) Wood-Burning Stoves
For those that live in rural or remote areas, there is generally an abundance of firewood to be found. This may make using a wood-burning stove a good choice for heating the garage.
Many people that have large, detached garages find the wood-burning stove to be a great addition to the space.
Before installing this type of heating system, you will need to check with your local ordinances, HOA, and insurance company to make sure that you install a chimney that meets all regulations.
It is a good idea to remember that you should never burn pressure-treated wood, painted wood, or construction lumber in your wood-burning stove. These types of woods have been treated with chemicals that can be dangerous to inhale.
No 2) Oil or Gas Heaters
If your home is already being heated with oil or natural gas, it makes sense to go ahead and use that same type of system in your garage. There are also propane- burning heaters that are easy to add in a standalone garage.
Natural gas heaters are a direct-vent system.
An advantage of this type of heater is that it both draws in outdoor air to support combustion and exhausts flue products, including carbon monoxide, to the outdoors via a pipe in the wall.
Though you can install this type of heater by yourself, it is highly recommended to use a professional for the installation. Direct-vent heaters are one of the best solutions for heating a garage where the outdoor winter temperature is usually below freezing or the garage needs to be kept above freezing.
No 3) Electric Heaters
This type of heating has nearly unlimited choices for styles and sizes.
There are portable space heaters that can be plugged into a normal 120-volt outlet and moved around where you need them most. In addition, there are installed 240-volt overhead heating units that will really do the trick, or you can even get permanent baseboard heaters.
What really sets electric heaters apart from the rest is their simplicity. They are easy to install and easy to use. Plus, they are quiet, clean, and generally unobtrusive. You don’t need a chimney or any ventilation ducts, and they can be quite inexpensive to purchase and install.
The biggest downside is the increased cost on your electric bill. If you need to run an electric heater nonstop for hours and hours during the winter, you may see a spike in your bill’s usage report. Plus, in areas where it is very cold in the winter months, the cost of heating the garage (which probably isn’t very well insulated) can reach greater heights.
If electric is a good choice for you, you can either suspend or mount them on the walls or ceilings. Plus, they can be oriented either horizontally or vertically. Not having the units on the floor is usually the safest method because it keeps them out of the way while you are working and moving around in the garage.
A couple of things to consider if you are installing a ceiling unit include the angle and the placement. You want to be sure to aim the unit or louvers at a 45-degree angle toward the floor, and locate the thermostat far from the heat source.
Also, it is normally best to mount the heating unit opposite the garage door at the back of the garage, especially if your door is well insulated and weathertight for both heat and cold.
No 4) Tapping into your Home’s HVAC System
For an attached garage, you can tap into the heating and cooling systems that you already have running through your home. Adding on to the ductwork is a feasible option, and you get the huge benefit of adding cooling and heating to your garage at the same time. This type of system accommodates homes located in areas where winters are not terribly harsh, but the summers are hot and humid.
A couple of things to keep in mind. Adding the garage to your existing system can add a bit of strain on your HVAC due to the fact that the garage isn’t very well insulated in most homes. Also, you need to make sure that your system won’t be circulating your garage air into the rest of your home as that can cause air quality concerns.
Your Garage Door is Important too!
Remember that the garage door is your moveable 4th wall in the garage area.
As such, if your garage is insulated or you are planning on adding insulation, a weathertight and properly insulated garage door should be chosen to stand up to winter’s freezing temperatures and summer’s heat.
Maybe your garage door R value and U value are just inappropriate to keep your garage warm, even though you add a heating source? Learn a bit more about the 2 insulated garage door types most sold in the US.
If you think it’s maybe the time to replace your garage door, here is what you should know about Garaga garage doors.
You’d like to speak to experts before going further?
That’s a smart move.
You can contact us at 603-833-7135 today to discuss your garage door needs.
Our team knows garage door systems better than anyone else in New England area, and we can advise you on the best garage door system to meet your needs while maintaining your budget. If you’d like, we can even email you a quotation.
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