Garages aren’t known to be the warmest part of your house and that is especially true if they aren’t connected to the house at all. Whether you want to raise the temperature in your garage or in a workshop, you will need a few tricks in order to do this efficiently. In this article we will go through some of the best ways to heat up your garage and see what it takes to create a well-isolated environment that not only heats up fast but retains the heat for a longer period. So, shall we begin?
Right off the bat, there is one easy solution to the temperature problem in your garage and that is a heater. There are many kinds of heaters but the ones that do the best job on the smallest budget are the propane ones. We will go into greater detail into this option further down the article but if you want to learn more about those heaters in general and see which are the top 5 models this year, go to our full Buyer’s Guide where you will find all the information you need.
When it comes to properly heating any room, there are steps you need to take both to isolate the room and to raise the temperature. Here are some of those which we will examine now:
- Isolate the garage
- Choose the right heater
- Manage the ventilation
Isolate the garage
The first and most important step any owner must do is isolate the garage itself. This includes all the walls, the windows, and the floor. Usually, garages aren’t properly isolated like the rest of the house in order to shave something off from the final construction price. This is why you need to take this into your own hands.
The best materials for insulation are the following:
- Mineral wool
- Plastic polymer sheets
Mineral wool is the best modern tool to make your walls thicker and warmer thanks to its many properties. It is lightweight and very easy to install on the walls. It comes in rolls usually around 10ft long. You can either install it on your walls with a pneumatic nailer or nail wooden pieces on top of it to seal it off. We personally recommend the second option.
Cork and wood are similar in terms of insulation properties and are also the cheapest way to do this task.
Another great material is plastic polymer sheets. They aren’t as cheap as the rest of the materials but are ideal for external insulation.
When sealing your garage from the cold weather you need to consider all the openings such as windows, doors, and most importantly – the garage door. The garage door is probably the weakest link in the thermal properties of your garage. Try sealing it with any type of wool or expanded polystyrene (EPS). There are also pre-made sealing kits sold online.
Choose the right heater
When it comes to what heater to use the choice is a little complicated. Conventional electric heaters are a good place to start as they are easy to install (there is basically no installation process here) and are relatively cheap. Still, in the long run, they are the most expensive to own as electricity isn’t expensive.
Another not-so-cheap way to heat up your garage or workshop is by a wood burner. Those are great if you have an abundance of wood to spare but require constant attention and also require ventilation. These last two things make this method a very bad decision for such a project.
The best combination of heating elements we recommend you getting for your garage is a propane heater with a floor and/or wall heating elements. Sure, the floor heating isn’t as cheap and easy to install but it is very good at keeping the room warm. It generates heat from top to bottom and ensures the lower part is always warm, and you know what they say – “warm feet, warm head”!
Propane heaters can be either wall-mounted or portable depending on what exactly your needs are. If you have more than one garage or workshop then we suggest getting a more portable model. Either a bigger one with wheels or a smaller one with a handle will do the job. Just make sure you see the thermal output of the unit before you buy it and see whether it will be enough for your place. You can use an online calculator for this job.
One model that we really recommend is the Mr. Heater MH35LP Propane Radiant Heater. It is very powerful and portable and can even heat up large open spaces such as construction sites!
Manage the ventilation
With any heating job there is the need for ventilation. Most modern propane heaters are ventless and don’t require any special venting added to the room. Furthermore, they have sensors to detect low oxygen levels or high CO2 or CO levels in order to keep these gases at their optimal percentage.
If you are using an electric body to heat up your garage you can keep ventilation to a minimum as there won’t be the need of fresh air coming in all the time.
Wood burners require a chimney set up to take the gases and fumes out of the room.
If you want to learn more about garage ventilation, check out our dedicated article on the topic. There you will see what is needed to properly aerate a room and keep the dangerous fumes away from you and your family.
The best way to heat up a garage isn’t going to be universal for everyone as different houses tend to have different layers of isolation and are located in different climates. As a rule, the colder it is, the more you will have to work on your garage’s heating capabilities. The two most important factors are heat retention and heat creation. A good balance between them is going to result in a warm room.