Most homeowners use their garage as more than just a parking space for their car. This extra area in the house is good for storing extra items, as a hobby or entertainment room, and even as a home gym. This is the reason why it would be beneficial if they are able to keep this part of the home warm during winter.
In places where winter is mild, there might be no need to consider any additional ways to heat the garage if it is built to withstand all four seasons. However, if you live further north where winters are harsh and very cold, then you might find your garage freezing cold in this time of the year.
The fact is, even if you are not using the garage for any additional purpose, your car or whatever you have stored should be kept warm when the temperatures go down. Of course, your main use or purpose for your garage will dictate what kind of heating options you should consider, especially if you will be spending more time there.
Not all options to heat or keep your garage warm require something grand. At times, it is also enough to look at and improve the construction of the garage itself. In detail, here are some easy steps you can take.
1. Check The Walls And The Flooring
The materials used during the construction will determine how good it performs in cold weather. Moreover, the wrong materials will even make any heating useless. For example, most garages have concrete floors and open studded walls, which is, unfortunately, not the best if you want a warm place to hang out during winter. You will have a hard time keeping it warm and will have to spend a lot of money on heating.
2. Install The Right Insulation
Despite the wrong materials on the walls, you can make up for it by insulating it and the ceiling. There are a few options to use depending on how you want to use your garage. There are insulation batts, as well as blown-in insulation that you can install between wall studs. On top, you can use plywood, drywall or other types of paneling. If you are planning to use the space for longer periods of time or as a living area, then blown-in insulation is the best option. It is energy efficient and has a higher R-value compared to foam batts or rolls.
Even if you are not using the garage as much, insulating it still makes sense so that draft will be prevented from coming in. It will also keep the garage from losing any heating you use.
3. Improve The Flooring
In many cases, the original concrete flooring in garages is normally left as it is because upgrading it will be a waste of money. However, because more and more people are using it for other purposes, it becomes necessary to change it as concrete floors get very cold and make any heating unsuccessful. If you plan to keep the garage as warm as the rest of your home, you should go for wooden flooring, otherwise, carpet tiles or floor mats might be enough. If you do not need to really warm it, you can just use a huge throw rug to cover the cold concrete during winter.
4. Opt For Some Heating
To truly keep the garage nice and warm in the cold season, you will need to use a heater, though there are a couple of options you can opt for. The top option is to have a direct-vent gas heater on your garage ceiling or wall, but it would also mean you need to have the proper ventilation. Otherwise, the fumes will be dangerous.
A simpler but also effective option is the mounted electric garage heater. They are capable of keeping even large garages warm during winter. Though it needs to be installed permanently, it will keep the space warm enough even to turn your carport into a living space.
For an energy efficient option, electric radiant ceiling panels are recommended. You should limit its use, however, only above your workspace.
There are heating options that are also more commonly used, though they are, in reality, not as good. For example, the portable gas heater will mean you will be breathing in the fumes from the gas. Moreover, moisture produced by the heater will make the garage full of condensation. Electric heaters are also not as recommended because it is not as effective in heating a huge garage.
5. Check Your Garage Door
Whatever heating you install will not work if your garage door is letting the heat out and the cold air in. If you don’t check its condition, you will end up with high utility bills but still a cold garage. Ensuring its good working condition will also assure you that the heat stays inside. You might want to opt for a steel door that is insulated. They are very durable and also have foam core insulation to keep the cold out, which is why it is quite energy efficient. Just make sure you check for any drafts and if you feel some cold air coming in, you can install some weather-stripping at the sides and the bottom.
6. Have Your Whole Garage Checked Out
If you have tried everything to keep the garage warm but still observe some draft of cold air coming in, then it might be because of some cracks or leaks in the garage itself. This is entirely possible especially if the structure is quite old. If so, it makes sense to have it checked by a professional so that you can find the weak spots. Otherwise, you will just find yourself paying a lot of money for heating without much success.
Garages are perfect not just for keeping your car and other stuff, but also as extra living space. It is quite normal to see hobby rooms or even extra bedrooms in a garage. Though it was not probably built for this purpose, it does not mean you cannot take steps to make it more comfortable especially during winter.