heating a garage workspace


I do woodwork in my attached, 2-car garage all year long, but winter is tough because it’s awfully cold out there. What’s the best and safest way to heat my garage? And should insulation be included in this process?


For those who use their garage like another room in the home, cold weather can be a challenge. There are a few garage space heater solutions, and we appreciate your safety concerns, because what you do in a garage will dictate which version to go with. Here are the options:

Forced-Air Garage Heater
These work most like a conventional furnace, and heat an enclosed space rather quickly. It’s easy to use and install, and a 45,000 BTU unit is good for a 2-car garage.  The downsides of forced-air heaters is the cost of the fuel (propane or natural gas) to create heat and the risk of carbon dioxide poisoning if the garage is not properly ventilated. But as a woodworker, the biggest downfall may be that forced air moving about, stirring up the sawdust!

Infrared Garage Heater
These use radiant heat, which is great for heating specific parts of the garage rather than the entire area. They heat objects first, then the air, but once the concrete floor is warm, it’s a more consistent and uniform warmth. A 30,000 BTU unit will do fine with a 2-car garage. The biggest safety concern is that nearby objects must be kept 3-4 feet away from the unit, with most units installed at the back of the garage pointed toward the overhead door and aimed down at a 45-degree angle.

Electric Garage Heater
These create a dry (and quiet) heat that is quick to warm your space, and newer energy efficient models have great power at a lower cost to operate. A unit with 17,000 – 20,500 watts is good for an uninsulated 2-car garage. They require little maintenance, and are the safest because they have an automatic shut-off mechanism if the unit is tilted or falls over, and there are no emissions, so they’re eco-friendly.

If you have further questions or would like our help with keeping your garage comfortable during the winter, call the Mosby office at 314.909.1800 or contact us here. And for answers to other frequently asked home improvement questions, visit our Home Improvement Library.