Plenty of people want to have some kind of heat source for their garages. Knowing what heating system is right for your garage, though, can be tough.
There are different routes you can go. So, in this article we’ll discuss some things that will help you make the right choice for your garage.
The area you live in can dictate part of your decision. You need to look at what energy sources are available where you live. There are heating systems that run on electricity, natural gas, other fuel and wood. You’ll also want to compare what the cost is to operate each kind of heating system.
Do I Need to Heat My Garage?
Well, no you don’t need to heat your garage. That being said, you often are doing yourself a disservice by not heating your garage. There are benefits that you are missing out on.
The air in your garage can get down to some pretty low temperatures if you don’t heat it. That means that all of that cold air can certainly seep into your home. You’ll end up having to bump the temperature up much more inside your home if you don’t have a heating system in your garage.
There are water pipes that run through and around your garage walls. Especially in the case of an uninsulated garage, not having a heating system increases the risk that some of your pipes may freeze and even burst.
Do you like to work on things in the garage? Would like to add a space for the kids to have fun? Ever tried to do that in a freezing cold garage? It’s not very fun. With the right heating system for your garage, you can use it as a workspace no matter what time of year it is.
Here Are 3 Important Considerations
Don’t just buy the first heating system you come across.
Assess your needs first with these important considerations:
Number 1 - Consider the size of your garage.
Make sure you have the actual measurements noted when you are shopping for a heating system for your garage. You need the length, width, and the height. This is because the type of heating system that’s right for your garage will need to have the right amount of power.
Number 2 - Consider what you use your garage for.
People use their garages for all kinds of different things. Specially now that many of us work remotely or that we cannot do as many things outside as we use to do.
If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in your garage, or anyone else is, then that’s important information for choosing the right kind of heating system.
Number 3 - Consider if you need to also keep your garage cooled in the summer.
You might feel that you will also have a need for cooling the garage down during the summer. If this is the case, it will need to be a part of the considerations you make before committing to a heating system for your garage.
Now let’s start looking at 4 of the types of heating systems.
1. Wood Stoves
Wood stoves are not going to be the ideal solution in the majority of garages. This option works well for people wholive in more rural neighborhoods. Also, the garage is likely detached and sitting away from the house.
There will certainly be some standards that need to be met when the wood stove is being installed. There are usually restrictions on materials that can be used around the stove, clearance measurements for where it is installed in the garage, and shielding requirements for walls. It’s common for city or county governments to also regulate the kinds of wood stoves that can be installed.
Make sure you check the regulations in your area.
Wood stoves aren’t for everyone. Many people don’t like the idea of having to do all the work that goes into maintaining and using a wood stove. If you do decide to go this route, understand that burning anything other than dry wood can be very dangerous. It’s not safe to burn wood that’s been painted or had any kind of pressure treatment. Also, remember that the chimney needs to be cleaned on a regular basis.
2. Oil or Natural Gas/Propane Heating System
Many homes are heated by fuel oil or natural gas. One thing you can do if this is true for your home is to simply have an extension done on your home’s existing central heating system. However, you can also choose to just install a small system directly into the garage.
You’ll have two options: direct-vent or unvented. You get more benefits if you go with the direct-vent model. Your garage heating system will run on the same type of energy source that the things in your home do. One of the great things about this kind of heater is it does an air exchange. It will pull in fresh air from outside and expel stale air that’s full of pollutants like carbon monoxide out of your garage.
Many people who choose this type of heating system live in areas that experience temperatures below freezing. You’ll want to make sure yours is installed properly so that it runs safely. We recommend enlisting the help of a professional to have your heating system installed.
3. Electric Heating System
Electric heating systems come in all different shapes, colors, sizes, and power levels. Some of them are completely portable and can be placed wherever you want them.
You can simply plug one into a regular outlet that is your standard 120-volts and turn it on. Others can be installed on the garage ceiling and use 240-volts. There are electric baseboard heaters, and even heaters that use 208-volts or 480 volts.
Electric heaters are popular because there are so many choices that are very easy to use and they are really pretty simple to install.
Most of them won’t make a lot of noise either. They run clean and are easy to maintain. You don’t need any kind of ventilation system and they don’t usually cost a lot. All great things.
The one area you need to be careful in is its operation. If you live somewhere that gets cold and stays cold throughout the winter, you could be looking at some very hefty electricity bills. You can help offset some of that by insulating your garage.
Something else that makes electric heating systems so attractive is that you can choose to install them in so many different places. You can put them on the ceiling, on the wall, or suspend them from somewhere. Having a heater that’s not in the way on the floor is a good, safe option for heating your garage.
There are some helpful guidelines to follow for those who want to place their heating system on the ceiling. You want to point it in the direction of the floor. Make sure it aims at about a 45-degree angle.
It’s also a good idea to install the heater all the way in the back of the garage where it is closest to the wall that is opposite from the garage door. Remember to place the thermostat in an easy-to-reach location that is away from the heater itself.
4. An Extension of Your Home’s Existing Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) System
Sometimes the most obvious thing to do would be to simply extend the HVAC system that is already in your home out to your garage. This is completely doable and is great for areas that have more moderate winters and hot summer months. It’s most often done for those with an attached garage.
You’ll need to make sure that your HVAC system can take on the additional load. That’s something you can consult with a professional about. They can also make sure that the proper installation of the added ducts and other components won’t allow for air from the garage to be pushed into your home. You’ll definitely need to have an expert handle the installation of everything needed to do the extension.
First things First – Assess Your Garage Door
It’s a good idea to take a look at your garage door in this whole process also. You want the door to be insulated and airtight so that your heating system runs as efficiently as possible.
When did you replace your garage door weather seals? Did you even choose a garage door construction with the proper R-value and U-value to even consider heating your garage? If you are not sure about any of these questions, here are why you should consider buying a Garaga garage door. You might also like to learn a bit more about 2 types of insulation used for garage doors.
Would You Like to Talk with Your Local Garage Door Specialist?
Get in touch with us at 860-668-7991 today for more information about the best garage door to go along with your heating system.