A garage is not something you always think about as an added benefit to your home. Aside to it being a space to store your car, a garage serves many multifunctional purposes. You can use it to store things that are not being used, or use it as a workshop for projects that require woodworking, assembly and painting. During the winter months we rely on our garage to keep our vehicle and other items out of the elements and keep it warm. Here is a list of 7 easy ways to keep your garage warm during the winter.
No one likes a draft coming into your garage especially during the winter. If you're trying to heat your garage, a draft can be your worst enemy. So before you insulate, replace any worn, damaged or missing weather stripping around windows & doors, this includes your garage door as well. Make sure to look around the wall and ceiling to see if you find any gaps or holes. You will want to particularly focus around where the wall meets the foundation. To properly seal the gaps, the best thing to use is expanding spray foam insulation that can properly seal up the holes.
Before you install a heating system in your garage, the first thing you want to do is make sure your space is properly insulated. Check for missing or lack there of, proper insulation. Look to see if there is insulation in your walls, ceiling, garage door and around any windows. Proper insulation in these areas will help create a proper insulation barrier. Check your local building codes to see if you have the correct "R" value, but usually you will want to have a thermal barrier of at least R-16. There are variations of insulation such as blown-in/ loose fill, batt insulation, foam board, and one that's becoming popular, spray foam. These are designed to accommodate budget, efficiency & environmental impact.
Now that you have your garage sealed and insulated properly, you can now install a heater. If you have a forced air furnace in your home, you can extend the ductwork into the garage to supply warm air. Although this is a cost effective solution, it may not be recommended for most homes. You should check with your local building codes. The thing to do is install a separate heater. Garage heaters come in a variety styles & sizes. Your selection will ultimately come down to the size of your garage and your budget. Heaters come in the form of gas, electric & propane, both portable, and fixed units. If you're looking at getting a heater fixed in place, you should contact a professional for proper installation.
While concrete bears amazing strength to support your vehicle, it is also one of the big contributors when it comes to your garage losing heat. Concrete has poor heat retention. The material used has specific “R” values. The higher the value the more it is resistant it is to transfer heat from one side to the other. So if you notice your floor is not retaining heat properly, we have a solution. Heated flooring has become more popular and it’s making its way into our garages. The way in-ground heating works is that before concrete is added a base layer of filler sand is added covered by a reflective liner. After that flex-pipe is installed in a loop style pattern that is then covered in concrete. A boiler is then used to heat the pipes. It is recommended to get your flooring installed by certified professionals.
This is an old trend, but it’s starting to become more popular again. A fireplace or a wood burning stove creates a warming/pleasant experience. And they are perfect for heating any space. This type of heating element is very cost effective and perfect for people with a small budget. Note: It’s important to have a fire extinguisher nearby if you install a wood burning stove. You will also want to check with your local municipality for any permits you may need before installation.
Garage doors can become very cold in the winter, especially ones made from metal. Insulating your garage door will prevent outdoor (cold) air from getting inside, keeping your garage much warmer. If your garage is attached, having it be able to retain a moderate temperature will also help the amount of energy needed to heat and cool your home.
This is something that you can find around the man doors and garage door. Usually at the bottom. Weatherstripping prevents the elements and drafts from entering the space. With damaged or non-existent weather stripping your garage can be losing heat and your heater could be working overtime trying to keep the space warm. Every so often ensure to check around any openings to make sure everything is properly sealed.
Garages are an extension of our homes. This space gives us a place to park our vehicle, store items, and can serve as a workshop. Living in a region where we face cold climates we want to utilize and keep our garage warm. These steps will help insure your garage will stay warm and retain that heat so you don’t lose any during the winter months.