Find Out the Best Ways to Heat a Garage
Winter is right around the corner and you know that in Chicago, that means extremely cold temperatures, snow days and kids skating outside. As they prepare for colder weather, many homeowners often neglect an important part of the home – the garage. What are the best ways to heat a garage? Danley’s has you covered with the right answers.
No matter how you use your garage, you’ll need to keep it warm during the winter. If you store your car and other valuable items in there, it needs to be heated. If you converted your garage into a living space, it really needs to be heated. However, the method of heating will differ for each homeowner.
There’s no way around it – you need to keep your garage warm. In this article, we’ll go over the best ways to heat a garage so it can stay warm throughout the long winter.
It All Starts with the Walls and Flooring
First things first, your garage walls and flooring will determine how effectively you’ll be able to heat your garage. Many garages feature open studded walls and concrete flooring.
If you keep your garage like that, you’ll have an awfully tough and expensive time trying to heat it during the winter. What can you do about this?
Probably the most important thing you can do to help heat your garage is to install insulation in the walls and ceiling. Depending on how you’ll use your garage, there are a couple of different insulation options.
You can install insulation batts or blown-in insulation between the wall studs and cover them up with drywall, plywood or another paneling option. If your garage is going to be an extra living space or you plan on spending a lot of time in there during the winter, blown-in insulation is the way to go. It’s much more energy efficient and has a higher r-value than foam batts or rolls.
If you don’t use your garage ceiling for storage, then you should absolutely insulate it as well. The same applies as with your walls – you can use batts, rolls or blown-in insulation depending on how much time you’ll spend in your garage.
Adding insulation will help trap any heated air inside and keep any outside drafts from entering. Without it, you’ll be in a constant battle trying to keep your garage heated.
Almost every garage floor is a giant concrete slab and many homeowners leave it that way. Once winter rolls around, that floor becomes extremely cold and that effects how well your garage can be heated.
There are many flooring options available from floor mats to carpet tiles. If you plan on using your garage as a living space, the most effective method would be to install wood flooring with insulation underneath.
You can even use large throw rugs or carpet squares just to keep the ground covered during the winter.
Gas and Electric Garage Heaters: Which Works Best?
There are a ton of space heater options available, but some are best kept out of the garage for safety reasons. It’s important to get something that will perform the way you want it to while being safe for you and your family and cost effective at the same time.
We’ll go over the best gas and electric heater options for your garage as well as the ones you should steer clear of.
Best Ways to Heat A Garage
Of all the gas and electric heater options, there are a few that stand out as the best way to heat your garage. If you plan on spending a lot of time in your garage, one of the best ways to heat it is to install a direct-vent gas heater on the wall or ceiling.
You must make sure that you have proper ventilation for the gas heater because it can be unsafe if the fumes stay in your garage.
Another great option is a mounted electric heater. These are very effective and produce enough heat to heat larger garages. A mounted electric heater requires permanent installation and is perfect for those who turn their garage into a living space.
Electric radiant ceiling panels are a less popular garage heating option, but they are effective. Plus, they are more energy efficient than other options. However, you might not want to use radiant ceiling panels to heat your entire garage – maybe use them above your workbench or your garage bar.
Not-So-Good Garage Heating Options
Some of the most widely used heaters are actually not very ideal for the garage. Safety should always be your number one priority as a homeowner and this includes how you heat your garage.
A common heater that’s used in the garage is a portable gas heater. It’s not the safest option because you’ll be breathing in all the fumes from the burning gas. Plus, moisture is produced as a result of these heaters which can cause condensation on everything in your garage.
Another portable heater that’s not the best way to heat your garage is an electric one. If you’re trying to heat your entire garage, these won’t get the job done effectively. However, they’re a good temporary option or if you want to heat a small area while you’re working in the garage.
For those with attached garages, you might be thinking that you can just extend the ducts from your house into the garage. However, this is a flat out bad idea.
When you extend your home’s ducts into the garage, you’re inviting any fumes, odors and anything else airborne back into your home.
Don’t Forget About Your Garage Door
As the largest opening on your home, you can’t forget about the garage door. If it’s in poor condition, you’ll be losing a ton of heat throughout the winter and you’ll end up spending more money on trying to heat your garage.
Your garage door is one of the most important features that contributes to how comfortable your garage stays during harsh weather conditions. It won’t necessarily heat the garage itself, but it will help keep the heat inside – where you want it.
The best way to get this done is to have an insulated steel garage door. They’re extremely durable and feature a foam core insulation that will stand the test of time. No matter which method you use to heat your garage, you’ll be able to use it less when your garage door is energy efficient.
If your garage door is in good condition but there still seems to be drafts coming through it, try replacing or installing a weatherstripping along the bottom to prevent outside air from getting in.
It All Starts With a Well-Built Garage
In order to take full advantage of the best ways to heat a garage, you must first have a well-built garage. If there are flaws, cracks and leaks throughout your garage, you’ll be in constant battle trying to keep it comfortable.
If this sounds like your garage, you can turn to Danley’s to build a new one that’ll exceed expectations. Since 1959, we’ve been providing the Chicagoland area with the best garage building around.
We’ll work with you to create your perfect garage and our experienced builders will make it a reality. With over 100,000 garages built, it’s easy to see why homeowners trust Danley’s. Start your new detached garage project today with a free quote online.