For many homeowners, the garage is an extension of their living space. You may have your utility room, including laundry, set up in the garage, or perhaps the garage doubles as a workshop for home improvement or hobby activities. If so, adding heat to the garage can help make the space more usable during the winter months. The following information can help you extend heat to the garage painlessly.
Choose a Heating Method
There are three main options for installing heat in your garage -- extend your central heating, install a mini-split system, or put in a ceiling mounted radiant heater. The first option can be time consuming and expensive, since new ductwork must be run into the garage from the house in order to hook into the central HVAC unit. The last option, a radiant heater, is the quickest and least expensive but it won't provide even heat and exposed electrical elements can be a hazard. The middle option is just right in most cases. A mini-split system only requires a single hole be drilled into the ceiling and the mounting of the interior vent and exterior air handler. As a benefit, a mini-split system provides both heat in winter and AC in summer.
Improve Filtration and Ventilation
If you opt to extend the ducts, you will need to solve filtration issues in the garage. Otherwise, all the fumes from the garage will be pulled back through your central HVAC unit and into your home. Not only is this unpleasant, it can also affect your health. Extra filtration installed on garage's air return, as well as a commitment to changing the filters often, is necessary to ensure that fumes don't make their way into the home. Even if you opt for a mini-split unit, your installer may need to install additional ventilation in the garage to ensure fumes don't collect when everything is all sealed up in winter.
Seal Against Air Leaks
The final step to a well heated garage is making sure there are minimal air leaks, otherwise a lot of energy will be wasted when heating the space. You need to install good quality weatherstripping around access doors and any windows in the garage. The overhead door may also require additional weatherstripping, as well as the installation of a quality rubber threshold, in order to minimize heat leaks. Consider insulating the overhead door as well, so that your new heat system doesn't have to work as hard to warm the space.
Contact a heating services company for more help.