How to Heat a Garage

Insulation of a garage can keep it warm.
March 20, 2024

A garage is traditionally considered a space to protect vehicles from the elements, but its uses have expanded to serve as workshops, recreational areas, or storage spaces. As such, the comfort of this space has become increasingly important, especially in colder climates. It is important to keep the garage warm in the winter so it can be used for whatever the homeowner wants it to be used for. In this article, we will learn about uses for the garage, why you may need to heat it as well, and how to heat a garage.

Let’s learn more!

Uses for Garages

Garages aren’t just for automobiles but are now being used for other things. Drive down a residential street and you will see the many uses of a garage. Some of those are.

  • Vehicle Storage: The primary role of a garage is to shield cars from weather-related damage.
  • Workshop Area: Many individuals use garages as a workspace for hobbies or home improvement projects.
  • Recreational Space: A converted garage can act as an additional living area, game room, or even a place to work out.
  • Storage Solutions: Garages often double as storage areas for tools, seasonal items, and miscellaneous belongings.

Why You May Need to Heat the Garage

Heating a garage can transform it into a year-round functional space by providing comfort during colder months. This is vital if you spend significant time working on projects in the garage or if you have temperature-sensitive items stored within. You will want to know the different ways to heat the garage and choose what works best for you, your planned use of the garage, and also where you live.

Insulating a garage door can help heat a garage.  It retains heat efficiently.

How to Heat a Garage?

The best approach to heat your garage depends on size, insulation, and budget. Here are some effective heating solutions:

  • Insulation: Proper insulation is crucial to retain heat efficiently.
  • Size of the Space: Larger garages may require more powerful heating solutions.
  • Ventilation: Adequate ventilation is necessary for safety, particularly with combustion heaters.

Let’s find out more about installing insulation before you add any heat sources.

Install Insulation

Installing insulation is a fundamental step before adding any heat source. It’s an investment that will significantly improve heat retention and energy efficiency. Choosing the right type of insulation is crucial for effective heating. There are a few different types:

  • Fiberglass Batts: These are cost-effective and easy to install between wall studs and ceiling joists. They’re suitable for moderate climates and garages with standard framing.
  • Blown-in Cellulose: Ideal for filling irregular spaces or for adding additional insulation over existing material. It provides good thermal performance and is environmentally friendly.
  • Spray Foam Insulation: Offers excellent air sealing and insulation properties. It’s particularly effective in extreme climates and for garages with less traditional construction. However, it is more expensive and typically requires professional installation.

After you install insulation, you may find it still isn’t warm enough. This is where you can decide if a space heater or other type of system is best for you.

An electric space heater can help warm up a room.

Use An Electric Space Heater

These are portable and user-friendly. Also, electric space heaters are ideal for smaller spaces and occasional use. There are safety features so look for models with automatic shutoff mechanisms to prevent overheating.

Use a Combustion Space Heater

Combustion heaters, using propane or kerosene, can generate more heat suitable for larger garages. Also, they do require adequate ventilation. You will want to ensure proper ventilation to avoid health risks from exhaust fumes. Additionally, it is recommended to install carbon monoxide detectors in the garage and to ensure the heater is placed at least a certain distance away from walls and other objects. 

Install a Ductless Mini Split System

Another type of heating source is the ductless mini-split system. These systems are quiet as well as highly efficient, providing both heating and cooling without ductwork. However, it is recommended to have a professional install it due to the complexity of the installation. This is always best handled by professionals.

Things Not to Do to Heat a Garage

Now that you know how to heat a garage, there are things not to do because of safety issues. Avoid using open flame devices like barbecues or gas stoves which pose significant fire and carbon monoxide risks. Also, do not leave portable heaters unattended or near flammable materials.

Tips to Maintain the Garage for Improved Energy Efficiency

Maintaining the garage for improved energy efficiency is important. Here are the areas to keep an eye on:

1. Seal Gaps and Cracks

Apply weatherstripping around doors and windows to prevent drafts and use caulk to seal any cracks or gaps in the walls or foundation.

2. Upgrade Insulation

Add or replace old insulation with high R-value fiberglass batts in walls and ceilings. Install insulation panels on garage doors to minimize heat loss.

3. Optimize Ventilation

Ensure proper roof ventilation to regulate temperature and moisture levels. Also, consider adding wall vents to improve airflow and reduce condensation.

4. Install Energy-Efficient Windows and Doors

Replace old windows with double or triple-glazed units to enhance thermal retention. Additionally, consider upgrading to insulated garage doors with a high R-value.

5. Use LED Lighting

Switch to LED bulbs which consume less energy and have a longer lifespan than traditional bulbs.

Regular Maintenance of Heating Systems

To maintain the heating system of choice, you will need to :

  • Clean Filters: Regularly clean or replace filters in your heating system to maintain efficiency.
  • Check Seals: Inspect seals on ductwork and repair any leaks to prevent heat loss.
  • Prevent Drafts: Insulate doors and windows to prevent drafts.
  • Schedule Annual Check-ups– Do this for electrical or combustion heaters to ensure they are operating safely.

Energy Savings

There are cost savings associated with heating a garage efficiently. By using effective insulation and choosing the right heating solution for their needs, you may be able to save money on your energy bills while still enjoying a warm, comfortable garage space.

Other Maintenance For The Garage

Now that you have learned how to heat the garage to keep it warm for whatever you choose to use it for, there are some other areas of garage maintenance to think about.

One of those is insulating a garage roof. Just like a garage needs insulating, your roof may as well. In order to do this, you will need fiberglass insulation, expanding foam, drywall, and other tools. 

Another one is how to adjust a garage door. You may need to do this if it isn’t closing all the way or there are other issues. The good thing is there are nine steps you can follow and tools to gather to take care of this issue.

Lastly, many people wonder how many smoke detectors is good for a home. It is hard to say, but one for each floor, including the basement. Also, one per bedroom, as well as each room of your house.

When to Call a Professional

It can be difficult to decide the right kind of heating for your garage so calling on a professional may be needed. Also, professional assistance should be sought when installing new heating equipment or performing repairs on combustion heaters. Additionally when you need to address complex electrical issues. Its always a good idea to reach out to a professional to make sure that the job is done right and safely.

Check out the video below about how to heat a garage workshop. Even if you are not using your garage for this, it may give you the information you are looking for.


Heating your garage can extend its utility and increase your property’s value. Whether you aim to convert it into a cozy extension of your living space or simply want to work comfortably on winter days, understanding your needs and the available heating options is critical. Remember, safety comes first, so consult with a professional for installation and maintenance to enjoy a warm garage space effectively and responsibly.  Reach out to Edifice Inspections in Peachtree Corners, GA for a home inspection.