Your garage is one of the most important places in your home.
It’s not just a place where you park your car or store your things; rather, it’s where you go when you want to create something.
For the men and women who put their garages to great use in the warmer months, it can be tough when the cold weather comes knocking, driving you back into the warmth of your living room. Keep reading more for how to heat your garage cheaply.
Rather than let your garage sit empty during winter, you might like to consider installing some sort of heating system so that you can utilize your workspace right through the year.
It actually doesn’t have to cost a fortune, as there are a number of options available for those who would like to work within a modest budget. We’ve put together this helpful guide on how to choose the garage heating system that suits you and your budget.
Determine Your Garage Heating Needs
Heating your garage takes a little bit of planning and foresight in order to get the best value for your money. The first step you need to take is to determine the heating requirements for your garage.
Not all heating systems are created equally, and some will work better than others depending on the space you are working with.
There are a number of factors that will determine whether a heating system is right for you.
The type of heater you choose, be it a space heater, wood burning stove or forced air heater, will dictate how quickly you are able to heat your garage, and the British Thermal Unit (BTU) output of your desired heater model will also make a difference.
In order to make the best decision, you need to figure out the size of your garage. The overall square footage will influence the amount of heating power you’ll need.
Start by measuring the length and width of your garage then multiplying these numbers to get your total area. You may find that your garage will range from 400 to 600 square feet.
The amount of heating you’ll need is also going to take into account the existing insulation you have. Obviously, if your garage is sufficiently insulated, you will find that your heating requirements are a lot less than if your garage was unfinished.
We will talk more about insulating your garage below.
Once you know the area you’re working with, you now need to calculate the optimal BTU so that you can heat your garage efficiently.
There’s a simple calculation for this step: divide your square footage by 200, then multiply this number by 9,000 for an uninsulated garage or 6,000 if it’s insulated to find the required BTU.
For instance, if your garage is 600 square feet and insulated, you will require a heater with an 18,000 BTU output, though this number will increase to 27,000 if you have no insulation.
Once you have determined your heating needs, you can choose the heater that works for you. In the next section, we will describe the heating options available to you.
Insulate Your Garage
If your garage is uninsulated, the cheapest way for you to raise the temperature and keep yourself warm through the winter is by installing some basic insulation. This option works especially well for people who live in regions that experience milder winters.
If you’re in a position where insulation can offer you some relief, then it’s a good idea to implement before spending money on a more expensive solution.
However, if you live in a colder climate, insulating your garage before installing a heater will vastly reduce the cost of heating in the future.
Insulation is an attractive solution to a cold garage because of the low costs for installation and the ease of acquiring the materials. In fact, any local hardware store should stock the materials you need, and it’s a task you should be able to perform yourself.
Fiberglass, foam board, and cellulose are great options that will keep in the warm air, but you can also use spray foam behind drywall as it is convenient and easy to do.
Insulating your garage won’t only keep you warm, but it will offer other benefits to you and your family. It will prevent fumes and particulates from escaping your garage into your home, which will keep your family happy.
This is especially important if your garage is attached to your home.
The only downside to relying on insulation for heat is that you don’t get to control the temperature. You may find that it will fluctuate between too hot and too cold, which can cause discomfort.
Additionally, if you live in a region where the temperature routinely goes below freezing during winter, you will find that your insulation just doesn’t cut it. Therefore, additional heating will be required.
Electric Ceiling Panels for Garage
Radiant heating is a very low-cost solution to home heating and will work particularly well in your garage. It is more efficient than baseboard heating and forced-air heating because the heating system will warm people and objects rather than air.
This means that energy loss is minimal, keeping the costs low.
In terms of your garage heating, you may find that electric radiant ceiling panels will work sufficiently to keep you warm. These panels are typically made from gypsum and fit above your finished ceiling.
The heating provided by these panels tends to be gentle, so you’ll be able to work comfortably throughout the winter.
Radiant ceiling panels are quick to heat, which means you spend less time waiting for your garage to warm up before you begin working. Not only is this beneficial to you and your electricity bill, but working in the warmth is far safer as your fingers and hands will be less stiff.
Radiant panels also work well when there is air leakage within your garage, so you won’t feel any drafts.
Portable Space Heater
You’re probably no stranger to space heaters, as they are incredibly useful due to their size and portability. There are two types of space heater: electric and propane.
Electric heaters are very energy efficient, compact and require no venting, but if your power goes out you’ll be stuck in the cold.
Propane heaters, on the other hand, require no electricity and the propane is a very cheap source of fuel.
However, propane heaters are considered less safe so you may not want to use it indoors.
Regardless of the type of space heater you choose, you will be using a heating system that you can cart around to the different areas of the garage as you work. Not only does this keep you super warm, but you’ll be saving money with this compact system.
Certain models will have thermostats, allowing you moderate control over the level of heat the unit will output.
The downside to portable space heaters is that you’ll find they take a long time to heat to an adequate temperature. This can cut down the time you have to work, as it is not recommended that you leave the heater on unattended, even to warm up.
However, it may be a suitable short-term solution to your heating problem. This is an alternative cheap way to heat your garage.
Wood Burning Stove
Burning solid fuels has become a hot topic in the world of garage heating, and many people are turning to this method to heat their garage efficiently and at a low cost.
Not only that, but wood burners are a beautiful addition to any room, as they bring a rustic charm to space while providing the warmth and comfort of a fire.
Wood burning stoves are a great option if your garage is roomy, as they usually require a certain amount of space around them in order to be able to function. They require no gas lines, which clears up more space for you to work.
You’ll also find that your air quality will be much better with higher heat output, as the wood burning combustion process cycles the air and particulate to maximize BTU.
Be warned, however, that installing a wood burning stove in certain regions can affect your insurance premiums, and there may be fire codes that you must comply with. Be sure to check your city’s bylaws and regulations before embarking on this project.
No other way to Heat Your Garage Cheaply if you got wood in your backyard.
Alternative Reliable Recommendation:
Mr. Heater is one of the biggest names in home and garage heating systems, and this is for a very good reason. Their products are reliable, efficient and highly affordable.
The Big Maxx Natural gas heater is one of their flagship heating systems and comes with many features and is great for heating garages of any size.
The Big Maxx heater is designed to be used with natural gas and uses a high-velocity electric fan to enable efficient movement of air through the unit and into your garage. Pumping out a whopping 50,000 BTU, it can heat a space of up to 700 square feet.
Strong and versatile, with a durable build and with easy installation, this model will allow you to keep warm right throughout the coldest of winters.
Mr. Heater comes highly recommended in the garage heating world, and for good reason. Choosing a garage heater that will stand the test of time is important, so we have provided a full review of the Big Maxx Natural Gas Unit Heater on our website.
If the winter time is getting you down, don’t lose hope. By determining your garage heating requirements and implementing energy efficient and low-cost heating solution, you’ll be able to continue the work you love no matter how cold it gets outside.
Whether your garage is the place you come up with your best ideas, or it’s where you go to escape the rest of the world, putting heat into your garage will make it your warm, comfortable haven.
Let us know if you like our tips of how to Heat Your Garage Cheaply guide in the comments below.