Most economical way to heating a garage


Old 02-07-05, 09:54 AM
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Most economical way to heating a garage

I live in Illinois, so winter can be a nusiance in my garage. I am looking to heat my garage, but with gas or electric I am up in arms on.

I have a 24x24 w/9ft ceilings, attached, insulated garage. I even insulated the garage door with the 2in pink styrofoam stuff. But, my garage now feels like a insulated cooler.

I have tried a Karoseen, electric portable which neither one heats suffiently or cost effectively.

I am interested in putting in a small gas heater or a 220V electric, but I am not sure on which would be more cost effective. Can anyone give me some hints in which might be the better choice.
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Old 02-07-05, 04:51 PM
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Natural gas will be the most economical to operate. Many home improvement stores sell inexpensive gas wall furnaces. They promise ventless operation - no need to install an exhaust vent to the outside. However, a byproduct of natural gas combustion is water, and that water has to go somewhere. If you fire up one of these heaters in your cold garage, soon you'll have a substantial layer of condensation on all surfaces. Not the best thing for the cast iron top on your table saw!

If you really want to do this right, forced-air gas heat is best. But it's hard to do it on the cheap, unless you do it all yourself or know someone in the HVAC trade.

FYI, be careful with the styro board you applied to your garage door. It's highly flammable and will smolder and out-gas even when hit by a small spark. It's intended to be enclosed behind drywall or other fire-resistant materials for this reason. You might want to consider covering it with some type of metal foil backed board, sheet metal or something similar.
Old 03-07-05, 11:14 AM
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Natural gas and propane has gone up over 300% in the last 5 years, so I would go electric, or a combination of electric, passive solar heating.

I live in Michigan, and passive solar heating does work, but only on sunny days. And in the winter, you know how many sunny days we have, not many. But come March (early spring) the sun is out more and these things really do work.

Basically you build these on a south facing wall. You rip out the wall and sheeting, leaving an open gap between studs. Then on the outside of the garage you put clear glass or plexiglass. On the inside you put plywood, except at the top and bottom you cut off 2-3". The bottom space lets in cool air, as the warm heated air rises through the top. On the plywood glue aluminum, one of the best heat conductors. Paint the aluminum black.

The sun will heat the aluminum, drawing cool air from the bottom, and the hot air will rise out the top.
Old 07-10-06, 12:17 PM
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Last edited by mattison; 07-10-06 at 12:40 PM.

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