Best Heating Options for a Garage

HVAC Logo IconBy Tom MoorDecember 8, 2023

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Garage space heater

For some homeowners, a garage is simply a place to park a car or store supplies. For others, it’s a sacred place – a “man cave” reserved for watching games and playing cards, or a workshop for completing DIY projects.

For the latter crowd, garages can unfortunately turn into igloos during the winter, sidelining projects and gatherings until warm weather arrives in the spring. However, installing the right heating system can keep your garage functional year-round. 

But what are the best heating options for a garage? Keep reading as HVAC.com discusses the different types of garage heaters and what system might work best to keep your garage comfortable and safe all winter.

Types of Heating Systems for Garages

Garage heating can be achieved through various options depending on the size of the garage, your specific needs, and your budget. Some of the most popular heating options for a garage include:

Ductless Mini-Splits

If you work or relax in your garage frequently throughout the year, a ductless mini-split may be the best way to heat a garage. Ductless mini-splits, an energy-efficient alternative to traditional HVAC systems, provide both heating and cooling for year-round comfort.

Ductless mini-splits consist of an outdoor condenser and an indoor air handling unit linked by a conduit containing the refrigerant tubing, power cable, suction tubing, and condensate drain. A more expensive option than other garage heating units, ductless mini-splits are built to last and provide comfort no matter the season.

Electric Space Heaters

Electric space heaters are popular options to heat individual rooms or spaces within a home including the garage. Electric heaters come in various sizes and styles and are cost-effective heating choices, especially for garages. A space heater may be the ideal solution if you don’t use your garage frequently during the winter, but might occasionally need it for a project.

However, space heaters may not provide enough heating for your garage. They are also fire hazards and must be turned off every time you leave the garage.

Convection Heaters

Standalone convection heaters are specialized heating units designed specifically for heating individual spaces such as garages. Convection heaters operate by drawing air into the unit which is warmed by a heating element and then circulated throughout the living space. Convection heaters are a quick and effective way to warm up a garage during colder months.

Gas Garage Heaters

Gas and propane garage heaters are another ideal heating option for a garage, especially a larger two- or three-car garage. They are typically mounted on a wall and provide reliable, consistent, and cost-effective garage heating. Depending on the type of gas heater you buy and the frequency of usage, the system will require gas refilling every few weeks or months.

Radiant Heating

Unlike convection heating which uses currents to heat the air, radiant heating works like the sun by emitting spot heating to warm surfaces and objects directly. Because you have to be near the heater to benefit from the warmth, they are ideal for homeowners who have workstations in the garage. Although they do not warm entire garages effectively, radiant heating units provide quick, efficient heating.

Wood or Pellet Stoves

Wood-burning or pellet stoves are rustic and effective ways to heat garages. However, proper ventilation and safety precautions are essential. While a wood-burning stove provides steady heating, it does require more manual labor than other garage heating options on our list.

The Bottom Line on Heating Options for a Garage

If you’re looking to extend your home’s living space into the garage, you’ll need a reliable heating system to keep you cozy and warm during the colder months. Before choosing a garage heating system, consider factors such as insulation, the size of your garage, your region’s climate, and safety requirements. Additionally, always follow safety guidelines and consult an HVAC contractor to ensure proper installation and usage.


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