Ways to Heat Your Garage Cheaply or For Free

Researched & Written by Craig

Many people like to use their garage as a workshop. After all, it enables us work on dirtier tasks that we would prefer not to have in our homes.

Most garages lack the insulation and heating capabilities that houses come with. In the summer time, this is hardly an issue as garages can actually heat up considerably from the hot weather.

But in the winter or fall months, you’re going to run into the complete opposite problem. Without proper insulation or heating, garages can become very cold, to the point that many people will spend significantly less time in their garages during these colder months.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are several ways that you can easily heat up your garage, and all without spending a fortune.

That’s what we’re going to talk about today.

What Range of Heat Is Good For Your Garage?

Figuring out the range of heat you need for your garage should be pretty easy.

When shopping for a heater, on the description you can find the size of the space that the heater is meant for. For every square foot in your garage, you’re going to need ten watts of heat. This means that a two hundred and fifty foot garage will need around 2,500 watts in total.

Insulate

The first step to properly warm any garage is to insulate it first.

If you properly insulate your garage it will be so much easier to heat up using any of the solutions that we will talk about later. Insulating your garage will also help you to save on energy costs.

I know a little DIY work can be scary, but don’t skip it. Insulation is always the most bang-for-your-buck way to keep your space warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

The first step to insulate our garage will be to seal your air leaks. There will be nothing that will lower the heat in your garage as much as wind drafts. The best way to seal off air links is to search for any weather stripping in the garage that has been damaged and replace it. You can also look for any holes that are present. It can be easy to miss the extremely small ones such as hose created by insects, so be diligent in your search. Any holes you find you can plug up using expanding foam insulation.

The next step will be to add insulation to your walls. This can be done very cheaply. In fact, you could do as little as add blankets to the walls, and this would help to keep the cold air at bay. Another choice would be to have fiberglass added professionally to your garage as well.

Finally, don’t forget to insulate your garage door, which can take up a significant percentage of your garage’s wall space. This means that a large amount of heat can be lost through the door if it is not insulated properly. The best solution to solve this will be to go with a garage door insulation kit. You should be able to locate these at most home improvement stores.

Keep in mind if your garage already has drywall on the inside, it is probably already insulated.

The Best Solutions For Heating Your Garage

As noted previously, there are plenty of options for heating up your garage without spending very much money.

And remember, insulating your garage first is critical to ensuring that the interior of your garage can conserve heat. Otherwise, none of these heating methods are going to work nearly as effectively as they otherwise could.

Here are the top heating solutions for your garage:

ELECTRIC GARAGE HEATERS

Electric garage heaters represent a very efficient way to supply hot air to your garage. You plug them into an electrical outlet, and they begin circulating warm or hot air into your garage almost immediately.

You can also place your heater virtually anywhere in the garage you would like: on the floor, on a tablet, or mounting from a wall or a ceiling. Take note that electric garage heaters are far more effective than space heaters (which we will discuss later) and are therefore a much better choice for a garage designed for two or three cars.

GAS GARAGE HEATERS

A gas garage heater will be a better choice than an electrical gas heater if you would like to save on your monthly energy costs. While they will cost more than an electrical garage heater up front, they will cost less per month on average as well.

To use a gas garage heater, you’ll need to attach it to an existing gas line, such as a propane heater. Since gas garage heaters run using combustible fuel, you need to make sure that your garage has a proper ventilation system.

SPACE HEATERS

Space heaters are a cheap and simple option for supplying heat to your garage. However, they are also designed to supply heat to only one specific area rather than the entire garage as a whole.

You should only plan on using a space heater if you either have a one car garage or if you only desire to supply heat to a certain area in your garage, such as your workstation. If you need to supply heat to an entire large two or three car garage, you should pay closer attention to the electric or gas garage heaters like we just talked about .

There are two primary kinds of space heaters for garages: forced air electric heaters and infrared heaters. Forced air electric heaters work by simply blowing hot air into your garage. Meanwhile, infrared heaters work by heating up nearby objects, which will therefore increase heat in the general vicinity as well.

RADIANT HEAT CEILING PANELS

Each of the previous three garage heating options we have covered so far all have one thing in common: they are temporary solutions, designed to primarily only be used specifically for times when you would like your garage to be heated (such as if you would like to warm it up while you’re going to be spending time in it).

But what about more permanent solutions to continuously keep your garage warm?

One such option is to go with a set of radiant heat ceiling panels. These will mount either to the wall or ceiling of your garage and then radiate heat into the garage. Unlike space heaters or garage heaters, they take up preciously little space and should not get in the way.

RADIANT FLOOR HEATERS

Another option is for the heat to come from the floor rather than from the walls or the ceiling. This is where radiant floor heaters come in. The most common system is where hot water are run in tubes underneath the floor in your garage. This system is relatively inexpensive to set up and maintain. You just need to make sure that the floor you choose are possible to properly transfer the heat from the hot water while standing up to the heavy weight of vehicles and anything else you keep in your garage.

Unique Features and Safety Measures To Look For

Regardless of which heating system you choose to go with, there are a number of unique features that you would be wise to look for. The first is portability, so long as you are going to go with a temporary heating solution such as one of the first three we took a look at today. This is especially important if you plan on moving your heating system around to different sites of the garage (such as from one working space to another).

A ceiling mount could also be a wise investment. Mounting your heater to the ceiling is by far the best way to circulate the warm air to the largest amount of space in a garage.

Another neat feature would be a dual purpose fan. This means that the fan can be used for the entire year, creating and circulating hot air in the winter months and cold air in the summer. At the very least, this will save you the headache of having to buy an additional fan to cool things down later on down the road.

Finally, there are also some important safety measures that you should follow when heating up your garage.

The good news is that most garage heater and space heater units come installed with a number of features to ensure that they are as safe as possible. But some examples of general safety features that you should specifically look for (rather than just assume the heater unit will come with) include a lubricated motor, an overall quality build construction, and a strong air intake filter.

Conclusion

Heating up your garage is important to ensure it will remain comfortable to work and spend time in during the colder months, and insulating it is also important to help preserve that heat and lower your monthly energy bills.

Any one of the above heating solutions that we have covered here today represents a solid option to ensure that your garage is heated properly and cheaply.