Garage Heaters — How to Choose the Right Heater for You?

garage heaters

Overhead garage heater

A garage is many things to many people. For some it’s functional as a way to park their car in inclement weather or store decorations out of season. For others it’s a sanctuary – a spot to toil with tools and enjoy beverages with neighbors. No matter what the space is used for or if it’s attached to your house or not one thing’s almost certain, a heated garage is a necessity in Edmonton. Not having some sort of warmth in the garage limits the use to about half the year and can cause wear and tear to a vehicle or damage items stored there in the colder months. Now that garage heaters being the go to route is established, let’s take a look at how to warm them.

1. Insulate the Walls

The first thing a homeowner should do if they want to heat their garage is to insulate the walls and ceiling and finish them with some sort of sheetrock or paneling. Insulating the walls will help keep some of the wind and cold from seeping through to the inside but it’s also essential if you ever want to install any sort of garage heaters Edmonton in your garage.

There are a few different types of heaters you can install in your garage space but you’re wasting money and efficiency by running them without at least wall insulation. The cold external air will simply suck all the warm air out and you’ll not only be losing money you’ll be failing to do the one thing that you set out to do – create a cozy garage.

2. Ductless A/C Unit with Heat Pump

One thing to remember about insulating a garage is that it not only holds the warm air in but cold air if that’s what you so choose. Most residents will simply open up the garage door to get a fresh air supply during the summer but depending on the layout of the garage and temps that reach the 30s, natural air might not suffice.

One way to provide both air conditioning in the summer as well as heat during the winter is by installing what’s known as a ductless air conditioner with a heat pump installed. The unit can mount high on the wall and serves both heating and cooling in one unit without taking up excessive space, something an electric space heater or an oscillating fan cannot claim. If your garage is attached to the house, ductless a/c units also contain something called zone cooling where one outside compressor can run to four different rooms meaning you can also cool a basement, bedroom, or living room on the same power supply.

Overhead radiant heater

Overhead radiant heater

3. Overhead Radiant Heaters

One thing to remember about working outside in bitterly cold days is that all your heat is going to escape from the top of your head. What better source of garage heaters Edmonton then but an overhead radiant heater? These units are especially resourceful not only because the heat comes from above but because the radiant heat focuses on warming a specific zone instead of the entire garage. You lose efficiency if other types of heaters are trying to make storage and 2nd car sides toasty so why not focus on your workbench or tool area? Radiant heating overhead combined with some sort of foam insulation pad on the concrete below provides a comfortable work space.

in floor heating and cooling, man work on building site

In floor heating and cooling

4. In-Floor Radiant Heat for New Garages

In-floor heating is very hard to retrofit but when you’re in the market for building a new garage can be one of the best investments of your home. In-floor radiant heating tubes are built right into the foundation of a new garage and can either be powered by hot water, electricity, or fuel. What makes in-floor radiant heating keep a garage dweller so warm is the fact that the main barrier to the cold – the hard cement floor – is actually a hot asset keeping your toes cozy. On top of that the heat is rising so it’s passing through your entire body before dissipating in the ceiling.

Homes can be retrofitted with in-floor radiant heating because a person can access the subfloor to install the components. Unfortunately as is the case with most garages, the sub floor is a concrete foundation and there’s really not much manipulating you can do.

Infrared Heater

Far Infrared Heater

5. Electric Space Heater

If your garage sanctuary time in the Winter is limited to fixing the snow blower or trying to work on an automobile, there’s really no reason to spend a fortune on garage heaters. Instead you can pick up an electric space heater or two for under $100 which can be plugged in and allowed to warm up so they keep you toasty for the hour or two needed. Electric space heaters don’t put too much of a drain on your utility bills and can be stored away on a garage shelf easy enough when they’re not in use.

6. Kerosene Torpedo Heater

If you spend a significant time in your garage during the Winter either because of hunting or enjoying some drinks after playing in the snow, you’ll want a little more intense heat source than an electric space heater. A kerosene torpedo heater fits that bill perfectly. You may have noticed these types of heaters on the sidelines of the Edmonton Eskimos during chilly weather. Kerosene is preferred since it burns cleaner. There will be some fumes but it’s required to crack the garage door to get a fresh air supply. The cold draft is no match for the torpedo heater can heat up two-car, large garages with ease. While kerosene can be hard to find in some locales, the alternative diesel is too odoriferous and will drive you out of the warm garage with its smell anyway.

The frequency of your garage use and what you use the space for determines which type of garage heaters work the best. Perhaps it’s best to start off small and inexpensive with some sort of space heater to see if it gets use and eventually work your way up to a fully functional integrated HVAC.

August 20th, 2016 by Bob Bies
About Bob Bies

Bob Bies is the Chief Executive Officer for Furnace Repair Edmonton, which specializes in heating, air conditioning and plumbing installation, repair and servicing. For same day 24/7 service, call 587-409-5683.