Best Ways to Heat a Garage in the Winter

Last updated: June 25, 2021

If you love tinkering with DIY projects in your garage, you’ll know how important it is to heat your garage during winter. There is nothing worse than getting out of a warm car with the heater on full blast, only to walk into a cold garage. If you are spending hours in the garage working on your vehicle or DIY projects, you’ll need to up your heating game too.

Happily, there are some fantastic options when it comes to heating your garage. Whether you opt for garage heating systems, focus on insulating your garage in its entireity, or opt for ceiling panels or floor heating, numerous alternatives will warm up your space and make your garage as cosy as any other room.

So, if you’re wondering how to heat things for winter, it is time to read on.

The Process of Heating Your Garage in Winter

Before you figure out what you need to heat up your garage, it’s a good idea to establish your specific heating needs. It’s helpful to work out your BTUs, known as British Thermal Units. This calculates how much heat needs to be used to heat your specific room and use measurements. Knowing what you’re working with can make the feat of finding the perfect heater much easier, and luckily, there are many online tools available to help you work this out.

When it comes to the best way to heat your garage, there are some fantastic options around. These include:

Insulate and Weatherise First

One of the first things you can do to enhance the heat in your garage and ensure that it stays there is to insulate and weatherise your garage. Rather than splurging on heating systems initially, insulation helps you retain existing heat and ensures that it doesn’t escape. Moreover, adequate insulation makes sure that heat energy output from your heater is contained in the room.

You’ll want to insulate the internal wall, and this can be done with fibreglass if you’re looking for an affordable option. Insulating your walls, garage door, and windows can help to keep the heat inside. If you are on a budget, plastic shrink film can be easily used on windows.

If you live in a cold or rainy climate, you’ll also need to explore weatherising the garage, which essentially means preparing it for those colder months. You’ll want to make sure that the entire garage can handle the elements, and this might include:

  • Insulation to keep the warm air inside, as discussed above
  • Using specialised Chaulk sealant around windows and doors to keep moisture and cold air outside
  • Installing a waterproof seal around your door so that rain, mud, snow, and ice don’t enter the garage

Fix or Upgrade the Doors and Windows

Part of weatherising your garage might include an upgrade of windows and doors, especially if they are letting cold air in. Be sure to use proper sealants so that all windows and doors are protected from the elements.

Add a Heat Source

If your insulation is working well, it might be time to add a heat source to your garage. There are many options available depending on your budget, preference, and energy-bill usage. When it comes to heating systems, you might consider the following devices:

Natural Gas Heaters

These heating systems are super popular and use natural gas to warm the heat source via the plumbing system. These models usually have a great capacity to heat up larger rooms and are energy efficient. They are also able to get hot faster than electric models. However, they’re only helpful if you already have a gas line installed, and installation can cost up to £400. Since these heaters need to be vented, you will also need to consider adequate ventilation. This is important as, without it, carbon monoxide poising could occur. When it comes to natural gas heaters, you want to ensure that various safety features are in place.

Propane Garage Heaters

Propane heaters are a cost-effective and versatile solution. Propane is an efficient fuel used for heating, and they are usually cheaper to operate than electric heaters and a little more than natural gas ones. However, they have the added advantage of being portable, and this means that you can move them around as needed. Again, you’ll need to check the ventilation of the system or choose a ventilation-free model.

Infrared Heaters

An infrared heater is also a good choice for a garage. These systems use electromagnetic radiation to heat the body, and this heating element provides ample warmth to insulated garages. These heaters are more energy-efficient than some other heaters, and they use 100 % of the energy they create, meaning that no heat is lost. However, rather than heating the surrounding air, the heater emits infrared radiation, and this heats up any object that the radiation touches. In some ways, infrared heat works much like the sun. Unlike a forced-air heater which can circulate dust and debris, these are a good option for anyone who uses their garage as a workspace.

Radiant Heat: Electric Ceiling Panels, floor heating, or wall heating

Radiant heating solutions is another efficient way to heat your space, and they can directly supply heat energy to floors, ceilings, or walls. These systems offer uniform heat and are a good choice if you spend a lot of time in the garage.

Install Weather Stripping

Adding vinyl weather stripping material around the garage door can go a long way in retaining heat. The process of weather stripping utilises strips of fabric to fill up any gaps around the doors of your garage. This process of weather stripping can easily keep elements like rain and snow out and, in consequence, keeps things dryer and warmer.

Upgrade to a Ductless Heating & Cooling System

These wall-mounted wall units are another great choice in a garage. They are energy-efficient and are less susceptible to air leaks. Additionally, since they can also cool a room, they’re a great option if your garage gets super hot in summer.

The options for garage heaters are endless, with other options including a wood stove or an electric space heater. When it comes to deciding, you’ll want to weigh up your budget, how much time you spend in the garage, and what type of energy you want to use. If the device is a fire hazard, you will also need to take that into account.

Paint the Cement Floor

Cold concrete or cement floors can hinder the circulation of heat. If you spend a lot of time in your garage, you might opt for a more conducive material to retaining heat, such as epoxy or rubber. However, painting your floor might also help. Interestingly, cement has a high thermal mass, and if you can get your garage warm by upgrading the insulation and using a heating system, it might retain the heat better. Cement, in ways, is like a blank canvas, and you can opt to paint it in a colour or sheen of your choice or lay an insulated or heated floor. However, if your car will be parked in the garage, it is probably not worth redoing the floor. However, you might consider heating your garage floor.

Conclusion

If you are planning on spending a lot of time in your garage in those cold winter months or just want to keep out that winter chill, it is worth exploring the various heating options available. A garage heater is always a great choice, but this should be coupled with effective insulation to ensure that the warm air stays in the room. Of course, whatever you choose, you’ll want to ensure that the safety features are in excellent working order.

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