There are several reasons why you may want to consider heating your garage. If you live in an area of the country where winters are severe, you will probably find it necessary to heat your garage. This is especially true for people who spend any time in their garage working on handyman or fix it projects, or who spend time working on their vehicles. There are several factors to consider when deciding how to heat your garage. Your heating needs may vary depending upon issues such as how cold it becomes in winter, how much time you spend in the garage during winter, and how well insulated your garage is.
One of the first areas to look at is how well insulated your garage is. Many garages are not insulated at all or they have very minimal insulation. In order to properly heat a garage, and contain that heat in the garage, it must be insulated. You will need to insulate the ceiling, wall sections, and your garage door. If you recently bought your garage door it is quite likely that it is already insulated. If your garage and garage door are older, chances are that they are not insulated. In order to insulate your garage door you can either buy a garage door insulation kit or you can simply buy the reflective insulation in rolls and add it between the door’s support rails. It is likewise important to seal off the bottom of the garage door. Few garage doors go flush to the floor and a lot of warm air can escape under the door. You can buy kits specifically designed to seal off this area at local handyman stores. If your walls and ceiling are not insulated you can either arrange to have blown in insulation installed in your walls and ceiling area or you can pull off the inner wall paneling and install fiberglass insulation yourself.
Next you will need to decide on the type of heater to install. The first decision to make is whether a free-standing heater is sufficient or if you need a direct-vent, wall mounted heater. Usually space heaters are not very effective at heating up large areas. A portable electric or propane heater should be able to take the chill off the air, but they will not heat up the whole garage very effectively. Portable heaters also take up floor or bench space, which is not ideal for situations where you need as much free work space as possible.
The most popular garage heaters are the propane or the natural gas heaters. These are usually large units that somewhat resemble a wall mounted air-conditioning unit that are installed usually just below the ceiling level. If you have either propane gas or natural gas delivered to your home these are very economical to run. They are also very safe to use providing they have been installed properly. Both types of heating need to be vented. They will bring in air from outside, heat it up, and then expel any fumes through vents that lead directly outside the garage.
It is fairly simple to calculate what size heater you should purchase. The simplest way to do so is to first of all figure out how many square feet your garage is and how high the walls are, then go online and use one of the available online calculators. The Ultimate Garage Heater, has a selection of garage heater calculators including one for propane garage heaters and another for natural gas garage heaters. Using this simple online tool makes it very simple to figure out how large your unit needs to be.
Once you have chosen a suitable garage heater you can either install it yourself or pay someone to do it for you. Usually the stores that sell garage heaters also have technicians available to install the heaters. If you are installing a larger unit yourself you may need some additional help to mount the heater as they can be quite awkward to mount. You may also need assistance with installing the fuel line.
Propane heaters are eco-friendly and cheap to run, though both they and natural gas heaters require proper ventilation. Electric garage heaters are very easy to install and they do not need venting. They can be fairly expensive to run. When deciding on heating for your garage you should think not only about the initial investment you will make in purchasing and installing a heater, but also how much it will cost you to run.