12 Best Ways to Heat a Garage in the Winter

Brenda Porter-Rockwell Original Article

Even in winter, projects, repairs and hobbies must go on. And that often means you’ll be spending time in the garage. Instead of risking frost bite, consider these 12 ways to heat your garage safely and reliably in winter.

shutterstock_1218743
Are Barstad/Shutterstock

Determine Your Heating Needs

How difficult will it be to warm your garage in the heart of winter? How easy is it to get cheap heat in your garage? Consider how cold it gets in your part of the world, the square footage of your space and if you have sufficient insulation. Heat output is measured in BTUs or British Thermal Units. To get to that number you’re going to need to measure your space and think about how warm you need it to be. After you get that number you’re ready to shop for a unit!

dfh17aug021_fh98jun_01341005

Insulate Your Garage

Before you invest in a garage heating system, make sure your garage has plenty of insulation. Insulate garage doors where possible as well as walls and ceilings. You can easily and inexpensively add clear plastic shrink film over windows for added protection against the cold. Once you get a garage heating system installed, you don’t want all of your warm air—not to mention the money you spend on utility bills—seeping out through cracks.

FH04NOV_03477_001

Forced-Air Heater

You can use a forced-air unit to heat your cold garage. These heaters range in price and size and are not as pricey as an infrared heat source. Here are some factors to consider: Forced-air heaters work by blasting hot air into the room. They can be professionally installed to tie into your home’s gas or propane line, too. The downside here is if you do a lot of woodworking, for example, the forced air will blow dirt and debris around, which is a major drawback especially when you’re painting, staining and finishing projects.

dfh11_shutterstock_507528532
Yevhen Prozhyrko/Shutterstock

Convection Heater

A convection heater is another versatile option for a garage space heater. You can choose a unit that’s powered by electricity, natural gas or propane. These heaters operate by air convection currents circulating through the unit and across its heating element, thus heating the air around you. Depending on the type and size of your appliance, the unit could heat pretty quickly, while others take a little longer to warm a room. So, factor in how cold your garage gets and how long you’re willing to wait for it to warm up when you choose a convection heating system.

Wall-Mount-ASU9-12RLF1_GreenWallsLivingRoom

Ductless Heating and Cooling

There are many reasons to go with a ductless heating and cooling system to heat your garage. Sometimes called split systems, multi-split systems, or split-ductless systems, a ductless system heats or cools with a single unit. They’re an efficient use of energy, thereby saving you money on your utility bill. And ductless systems are eco-friendly since they meet the highest, most efficient energy guidelines. If that wasn’t enough to consider this option, they are easier to install than most HVAC systems.

FH10SEP_511_52_107

In-Floor Heat

Warm floors aren’t just for bathrooms anymore! They’re also great for heating garages and perfect for the part-time mechanic. If you find yourself rebuilding that classic car from the ground up, treat your toes, back, neck and more with an in-floor heating system. This is a great addition to any other heat source you have in the room. Check out how to get started with PEX tubing for your radiant heat system and get one step closer to your toasty-warm dream garage.

dfh17jul044_fh13mar_536_60_100

Add a Propane Heater

Whether the garage is the place where you tinker or you do more serious work, you’ll want to be comfortable in winter. When searching for a heat source you’ll come across many options including a propane appliance. Propane, an affordable heat source, also delivers great warmth. With a propane heater you can go big or small, depending on your needs. With this type of heater you add the fuel to the appliance and begin to instantly warm your space. The unit typically provides an automatic setting or manual ignition. Their affordability and mobility make them a great option for warming up your space.

FH09OCT_502_52_M03

Electric Ceiling Panels

If you’re looking for a primary way to heat your garage in winter consider the radiant electric ceiling panel. These 1-in.-thick panels mount on the ceiling and can be an energy-efficient option that heats up quickly and cools down just as fast. Plus, if your garage not only needs to function well, but look good, you can’t go wrong with these ceiling-slimming panels.

FH03FEB_02835_010

Consider a Mounted Electric Heater

Bigger than a portable space heater, a wall-mounted electric heater is among the best ways to heat your garage space in winter. Here you’re typically looking at installing a 240-volt hard-wired unit. Another plus—these heaters can be easier to install than a forced-air heating system, so you may not need to call in a professional for help. If you go with this kind of heater, here are some DIY tips for mounting a heater on a wall to help you.

dfh22shutterstock_724455943
Dmitry Galaganov/Shutterstock

Portable Space Heater

A portable space heater—like the kind used to heat up a cold room in your home—is a simple way to augment an existing heat source to better warm your garage on those super-chilly winter days. Depending on how much additional heat you’re looking for, a garage space heater comes in nearly any size to fit any budget. Plus, they’re very portable and readily available. The U.S. Department of Energy’s tips on buying and installing a heater can help you decide what type and size unit is right for your garage.

fh04nov_03477_003

Install an Infrared Heater

A low-intensity infrared tube heater can be one of the best ways to heat up your garage. (Not the kind that glows red, since that could be a potential fire hazard.) Instead of blowing air like a forced-air unit, a tube heater radiates heat throughout your space. This kind of heater tends to heat objects first, people second. So, you’ll get comfortable, but it may take a little while. Check out these tips on how to install an infrared heater or a forced air unit, so you’ll be ready to go if you choose this type of system.

shutterstock_347112407
SpeedKingz/Shutterstock

Wood Burning Stove for Cheap Heat

A wood burning stove is an economical way to heat your garage space in winter, if done safely. Just like you take steps to make your indoor wood-burning fireplace safe, you’ll want to do the same with your garage stove. First, check with your local municipality for the permits that may be required. Then check with your insurance company to make sure installation of a wood stove in the garage for cheap heat will not void your homeowner’s policy. After getting the necessary approvals, you can order a wood stove from your local hardware store. Once installed, don’t forget to periodically clean your chimney and flue or hire a professional. Otherwise, you risk exposure to toxic gases.

When installing wood burning stoves – check with your insurance agent for guidelines on installation that won’t void your insurance policy. Shopping for insurance in Indiana – call Scott Lynch at (317) 886-0081 or visit him on line at: Scott Lynch Agency

Advertisements

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Direct Gas Grill Lines

by Nancy Daniel on May 23, 2017

When my husband and I first decided to go with a natural gas grill that hooked up directly to our home gas system, we were thrilled to say farewell to propane canisters and the hassle of refilling them. But a 600° overnight mistake has me wondering if it was such a great idea.

We had family visiting and,after enjoying a delicious steak dinner, my husband, the grill master, failed to turn off the grill. This was after he had turned it up to high to burn off the steak remnants left on the grill.

The next morning as we readied for a day of boating, my sister-in-law went outside to retrieve something and made the discovery. The grill was so hot the siding on our house behind it was melting.

I shudder to think what might have happened if she hadn’t gone out there and we had left the grill on all day long . We might have had a serious fire with our pet dog and cat at home to face it alone. So, what are the pros and cons of connecting a grill to your natural gas line?

Advantages of natural gas grilling

  • You’ll never run out of fuel — even during your biggest barbecue (unless you forget to pay the gas company).
  • Natural gas is less expensive than propane.
  • You no longer have to lug heavy propane tanks back and forth for filling.
  • Natural gas is classified as a greenhouse gas, so it’s environmentally friendly.

Disadvantages of natural gas grilling

  • The location of your grill is fixed, so you won’t be able to move it.
  • Professional installation is required, and the initial cost of the gas plumbing can be expensive.
  • Natural gas grills are more expensive than propane grills.

What to know before you go for it

If you decide to go with a natural gas grill connected to your home gas system, there are some things you should know before you make your grill purchase.

First, natural gas grills and propane grills are not the same thing, so be sure to shop for the right type.

Some areas require a permit. If you live in a community that has a homeowners’ association, certain types of grills may be subject to restrictions. So you’ll want to check on these things.  Hopefully your locale only requires that you install a quick connect shut-off valve at the house.

Speaking of the installation, there are a couple of different methods of hooking up your grill to the gas line. The safest is with a gas plug safety quick disconnect.  Your best bet is to hire a natural gas plumber to do this for you.

Time to (safely) fire up the grill

According to the 27th annual Weber GrillWatchTM Survey, 75 percent of Americans will fire up the grill for a Memorial Day cookout this year. Regardless of your fuel source, be sure to follow these grill safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association:

  • Only grill outdoors—don’t move the grill into the garage or on the porch when it rains.
  • Position the grill well away from the house and deck railings and out from under eaves.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean, removing grease buildup from the grills and the trays below.
  • Never leave a hot grill unattended.
  • Turn off the supply of gas to the grill when it’s not in use.

And one final safety tip, learned the (almost) hard way: Be sure your home’s grill master turns the grill off before presenting his or her delicious char-grilled fare!

Original Article: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Direct Gas Grill Lines

This story was originally published on August 24, 2016. It was updated with new information.