Are you considering the possibility of adding a heating system to a garage you use a lot?
Perhaps you already have a heating system, but it’s starting to get a bit run down and old. Whether you want a replacement or a new heating system altogether, there are many options available.
When considering your options, something you want to have in the back of your mind is which energy source is the most economical and easy to gain access to in your area.
This might be fuel oil or it might be propane, wood, or electricity. This is something to think about while making a decision.
Reasons people choose to heat a garage
There are numerous reasons that people might choose to add heating to a garage. However, for those who spend very little time in the space, it might seem like a lot of trouble to heat for a small amount of convenience.
Consider the following reasons to do it:
If you’re like the rest of the world, you have water pipes in your home. Sometimes those water pipes can run through or near the garage. They aren’t always the best insulated. If a pipe that is badly insulated gets too cold, it can explode. Having heating in the garage helps regulate the temperature of any pipes in the area.
On top of that, you likely use the garage as a way to enter your house. When you move from the garage into the home, it can let cold air inside. This means that the heating system for your home has to do more work to keep the temperature where you like it.
If you have a garage that you use as a workspace, heating it can also be a good idea. You may not use the space in the cold of winter even though it’s there. When you add a heating system appropriate for a garage, you have a workspace all through the year.
Questions to ask yourself first
So, you know you want a heating system but aren’t sure which one to choose? Take the following questions into consideration:
Question 1 - What is the space of your garage?
This is something any heating specialist is going to ask right away. That means having the information ready puts you a step ahead of things. What you want to do is have the measurements for the length, width, and height of your garage space. With those measurements, the cubic feet (meters) of the space can be calculated, which tells you how much heat you will need.
Question 2 - How will your garage be used?
Another important thing to consider is how often you will spend time in the garage and what you will be doing there. Include things like working on cars, working out in the space, or doing hobbies. Think about how often you will have vehicles parked inside.
Question 3 - Should you worry about cooling the garage in summer as much as warming it during cold months?
Those who live somewhere that has a lot of heat and humidity in the summer can likely use a cooling system in their garage during the warmer months. This will help keep the space comfortable for whatever you do there.
4 Options You Should Consider
Option 1 - A wood stove could be right for some
Do you live far away from others and yet have access to plenty of wood? If so, a stove that burns wood might be the best option for heating your garage.
This is especially common as a choice when the garage is detached and set back from your house. If you choose this option, make sure you contact your home insurance company first. Some have chimney standards and installation requirements that you need to be aware of first. In addition, check whether the town you live has any regulations on wood stoves. Some might require that you install and use a pellet stove or slow-burning stove.
You should also be aware that stained lumber waste from a construction site and pressure-treated wood are not appropriate for burning. You should instead use only dry wood. You will also need to ensure the chimney is cleaned on a regular basis.
The added work involved with a wood stove needs to be considered and some people will not find it worth the trouble.
Option 2 - Reasons to choose an oil or natural gas/propane heating system
Do you use already use natural gas or fuel oil to heat your home? If so, extending the system to the garage is often an easier proposition.
However, there are both unvented and direct-vent systems that are stand-alone and made for smaller spaces.
A direct vent model provides heat to a garage and works well, especially if you already use propane for something else. This type of heater can bring in air from the outdoors but gets rid of the carbon monoxide using a pipe in your wall.
You can install this system yourself, but it is recommended that you choose a professional.
This heater option works well when it gets very cold outside during winter and the garage needs to stay above freezing temperatures.
Option 3 - A vast array of electric heating systems
Another choice is an electric heating system, which comes in all sorts of sizes and designs. Portable options are available that plug into 120-volt outlets so you can move them wherever needed. There are also options for overhead or on the baseboards so you can choose what works best for you.
What makes electric heaters so useful is the easy installation and use.
They also tend to be inconspicuous, quiet, and clean.
There is no need for a chimney or ventilation ducts.
While the units tend to be cheap, you want to consider what you pay for electricity. Some people may find they are expensive to operate. This is most likely the case in areas where it is cold for longer periods of the year. If you decide to use this option to heat the garage, be sure it is insulated well.
With electric units, there are various locations you can make use of in your garage. They can be mounted on walls or ceilings, suspended from ceilings, oriented to be vertical or horizontal, and more. Since you don’t place electric units on the floor, they are also a safer option. You aren’t going to run into them while moving around the garage or working in the space.
If you decide to install on your ceiling, be sure that the unit is aimed at a 45-degree angle to reach the floor.
The heat source should also be located away from the thermostat. The best spot to mount an electric unit is on the back of the garage. You should also be certain the door is weathertight and insulated for cold and heat.
Option 4 - Why consider extending your home’s heating and air conditioning (HVAC) system
If you own an attached garage and have an HVAC system in your home, adding in ductwork can allow you to heat and cool the garage too. This means everything reaches the temperature you want at the same time. This system is best used in areas where winters don’t get overly cold, but summer can be humid and hot.
What you need to be aware of is that when you have this modification done, it can add a larger load to your heating and cooling system. You also want to make sure the air from the garage isn’t circulated through your home as this can cause issues with air quality. If you decide to extend your home system, you will want to get in touch with a professional for assistance.
The garage door is just as important to heating
Keep in mind that one of the walls of your garage is the garage door.
It also is a movable piece of equipment.
This is why having a properly insulated garage door is so important to stand up to both heat in summer and cold in winter.
Your garage door might need to be refreshed or repaired before adding a heating system to your garage. It might need new weather seals.
What about its R value and U value? Are you sure they are good enough for your garage to keep the cold outside? Learn more about the 2 most popular types of insulation used for garage doors.
If you are not sure, here is why you could consider replacing it by a Garaga garage door.
In the end, you must be sure you have the best garage door to really appreciate the benefit of your heating system.
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