What Are Your Best Heating Options For A Detached Garage?
Whether you're planning the construction of a new detached garage to store tools, vehicles, and sports equipment or already have a detached garage that you find difficult to use for much of the year due to its lack of heat, you may be wondering about the most cost-efficient ways to provide warmth to this detached structure. While modern technology has helped make timeless heating systems even more efficient, the right purchase decision often depends on your current setup and the availability of certain natural resources in your area. Read on to learn about the best ways to heat your detached garage, whether you're building it from scratch or trying to retrofit to create a more effective climate control system.
If you're constructing your garage from the ground up:
Installing a heating system while your building is under construction is often much easier than trying to retrofit your garage later. There are a few options that can efficiently warm your garage without adding much to the cost of construction.
An exterior wood stove burns wood to generate heat, then filters out smoke and pipes pure heat into your garage's ventilation system. If you have a source of slow-burning firewood on your property, an exterior wood stove can be a very cost-efficient option. After paying for the installation of the wood stove itself and the piping between the stove and your garage, your ongoing heating expenses should only be the minimal cost of chainsaw gas and maintenance (along with the sweat labor of cutting and hauling firewood).
The same ductwork used for an exterior wood stove can be converted to ventilate heat from a different source, from LP gas to heating oil or even biodiesel -- so installing this ductwork can be a good decision even if you're not yet sure which heat source you're ultimately going to choose but are certain you don't want radiant heat.
If you already have a garage without climate control:
Placing the ductwork and other necessary components to install a central heating or cooling system can often be an expensive prospect after a building has already been constructed without ventilation, as many detached garages are. Fortunately, a number of energy-efficient options are available to help heat single-room buildings without requiring you to do more than run a thin hose through an inconspicuous spot in the wall or install a small stovepipe chimney.
A ductless mini split is a type of heat pump that operates through an exterior condenser unit. The condensing unit gathers heat from cool outside air and pipes it through an insulated hose to a small vent hanging inside your home. This vent can be placed nearly anywhere you choose, and some ductless mini splits offer several vents per room to mimic central heat. One advantage to a ductless mini split is its versatility -- the same condensing unit that creates heat from outside air in the winter can provide your garage with cool air in the summer, improving your experience year-round.
If your garage is a smaller space and can benefit from radiant heat rather than an air-blowing duct, installing an interior wood-burning furnace should provide you with a low heating cost and will even allow you to boil water on the cast-iron furnace top or bake potatoes in the oven. This furnace will require the installation of a stovepipe chimney through a small section of roof above the furnace, but this can generally be accomplished by a motivated homeowner with some basic tools. Your wood-burning furnace shouldn't require much periodic maintenance other than regularly shoveling ashes from the inside of the stove to ensure the wood can burn evenly.
For more information and options, talk with heating companies in your area, like McLaughlin Air Conditioning Co Inc..