What is the Best Way to Heat a Detached Garage?

A detached garage can have multiple uses in your home. Some folks see this as the best place to park cars, especially during the frigid winter. This space can also be great for storage or as a home office.

When you consider building a detached garage in your home, choosing the right heating system is important. And there are some factors that come into play. For instance, you need to choose a heating system that is both effective and efficient.

The best way to heat detached garage spaces is by using radiant floor heating. This heating system ensures even heat distribution and comfort. But it also has its pros and cons.

Let’s get a closer look at all possible options when you want to heat a detached garage.

What is the Best Way to Heat Detached Garage Spaces?

Continue reading to learn the answer to the question, “what is the best way to heat a detached garage during the winter?”.

1. Radiant Floor Heating

A detached garage requires heating during the cold winter months. If you choose not to connect it to the central HVAC system in the house, it’s possible to install alternative heating. 

The best way to heat a detached garage is by using radiant floor heating.

Radiant flooring is the best way to heat detached garage spaces because it takes away the need to start figuring out ductwork connections to the detached garage. Instead, this space can have its separate heating all winter. Plus, you can shut it off when no one needs to use the garage.

Many people gravitate towards radiant floor heating because it makes no noise. All you get is an even distribution of heat in this open space. And you can heat a garage of any size, so this is a great option.

Pros of Heated Flooring

  • Even Heating

There’s nothing worse than having one spot in a room feel warm while the other end is frigid. Radiant floor heating accords you even heating in your detached garage. On top of that, you can enjoy more comfort, for instance, if the garage is your home office.

The system goes underneath the floor of your detached garage delivering warmth in every corner. And there are no cycles, unlike forced air systems. The heated flooring continues to warm the space as long as you have it running.

  • No Noise

Forced air systems are notorious for making noise, especially when there is a problem or the unit is old. This noise can be a source of discomfort when you’re working or want to relax. However, radiant floor heating is quiet, meaning you can enjoy maximum comfort without disturbance.

  • Good Indoor Air Quality

Radiant floor heating is the best way to heat a detached garage. This is because there’s no outside air coming into your home that can affect air quality. Folks with allergies or health concerns rest easy knowing they have better indoor air quality.

  • No Maintenance

A forced air system in the detached garage requires yearly check-ups and tune-ups. They also get faulty, which requires maintenance and repairs. This won’t be an issue if you install radiant floor heating in your detached garage. After installation, the heated flooring can serve you for 20+ years before you have to think of making any changes.

  • Energy Efficiency

By far, the top reason why radiant floor heating is the best way to heat a detached garage is energy efficiency. Heated flooring is considered to be 25% more efficient when compared to forced air units.

Even heat distribution all over the garage means you don’t have to keep adjusting the thermostat. The room remains comfortable throughout, saving you money on your energy bill.

Cons of Heated Flooring

  •  Floor Removal

Since the heating system goes beneath the floor, some construction work will take place. Installation requires removing the floor to line up the heating system. This can take time to finish depending on the floor in the detached garage.

  • Expensive Heating System

Installing heated flooring in any space requires a hefty budget. This is because it’s one of the most expensive heating systems available in the market. It’s important to find out the total cost of installation and then plan on it.

  • Requires a Boiler

Hydronic floor heating requires hot water to travel through pipes installed beneath the floor. If you pick this type of heated flooring, it must come with a boiler system to keep the water hot.

Other Ways of Heating a Detached Garage

2. Infrared Heaters

Besides radiant flooring, infrared heaters are an excellent way of heating a detached garage. These heaters come in different designs and styles, allowing you to pick one that suits your needs. For instance, some infrared heaters look like regular lamps, while others have a more industrial design.

One advantage of these heaters is they don’t require any installation costs. All you need to do is plug them into any outlet and start enjoying the warmth they provide. Additionally, they’re quite affordable to operate as they use little electricity.

The main disadvantage of infrared heaters is they only heat objects and not the air around them. Therefore, if you want to feel warm all over, these aren’t the best option for you. 

3. Electric Space Heaters

While they might be a little less effective than radiant floor heating or infrared heating, electric space heaters are still a good option. They are mostly ideal for heating small spaces, meaning you can choose one if your detached garage isn’t all that big.

One upside of using electric space heaters is they’re quite affordable. Additionally, they have zero installation costs. All you need is to plug them into an outlet. They also offer different settings that allow you to control how much warmth you want in the garage.

However, electric space heaters have a few disadvantages. For instance, they’re not as effective as radiant floor heating or infrared heating. Additionally, they can be a fire hazard if not used correctly.

4. Propane Space Heaters

A propane space heater is not much different from an electric space heater. The main difference is they use propane gas as the source of fuel instead of electricity.

Propane space heaters offer a few upsides over electric space heaters. For instance, they’re more effective, meaning you can heat a larger space with them. Additionally, they come with an automatic shut-off feature that kicks in when the heater tips over. This makes them safer than electric space heaters.

As for the downsides, propane space heaters require regular refueling. Therefore, if you don’t plan well, you might run out of propane when you need it the most. 

Additionally, these heaters produce harmful fumes, especially when there is incomplete combustion, so proper ventilation is essential when using them. 

Congratulations, now you know the answer to the question, “what is the best way to heat a garage that isn’t attached to your home?”.

If you need more help on how to choose the best heating system for your garage, don’t hesitate to call an HVAC technician.

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