Most homeowners don’t realize just how much heat could be escaping through the walls of their garage during the winter. While you might not want to bother with insulating the entire garage and adding heat, you should be aware of the fact that any interior walls inside your home that connect to the garage should be treated as exterior walls and insulated accordingly. And of course, you can always find ways to winter-proof the garage itself in order to ensure that the warm air you pay for inside isn’t escaping through the garage. You might even want to take steps to make your garage a bit warmer, not only for your own benefit, but also in an effort to better protect expensive machinery that could be damaged by extreme cold weather, like vehicles, lawn and garden equipment, and so on. In some cases, weather-proofing upgrades can be pricy, but you don’t necessarily have to spend an arm and a leg to keep your garage a little warmer. Here are some options to consider.
The first thing to do is to seal your garage from any intrusion of outdoor air, and this can often be managed simply enough with inexpensive items like caulk and weather stripping. So long as the structure itself is sound, you can add weather stripping around windows and doors (including the garage door) and use caulk or foam products to seal cracks, gaps, or vents. From there you can think about adding insulation. You could us rolls of batting, loose fill, or even spray foam insulation on the walls and ceiling of the garage, along with drywall to seal it in for extra protection from the cold. And you could even add some kind of sealant to the flooring, at least staving off potential moisture, if not necessarily cold.
By these methods, any warm air from the house that gets into the garage shouldn’t seep outside, and cold drafts will become a problem of the past. Of course, your space won’t necessarily get warm in this manner – it just won’t get any colder. If you want to make this room more usable, say if you want to work on projects out there during the winter months without freezing, you need to add the element of heat. And there are a couple of good ways to make this happen.
The easiest method of heating your garage is probably to add a space heater or a ductless wall unit that vents to the outside. Not only are these products affordable, but they allow you to heat the space only when you’re using it, cutting down on potential energy drain. However, this won’t help on cold mornings when you have to warm up the car. So you may also want to consider routing your HVAC ductwork to reach the garage. Another option that you might find more appealing (and less costly) than forced air heating, though, would be to add heated flooring. And this is a good plan for a couple of reasons.
First, you can either use electrical components or you can run pipes off your boiler system if you have one (although you should check your boiler heating guide and talk to a professional before assuming this will work with your current system). But you’ll also appreciate the fact that this ambient heat rises, making for a truly efficient way to warm your space. And the fact that you can hop in your car and go without having to warm it up makes this form of heating perhaps the most appealing option.