Have you been considering installing a heating unit in your garage? This investment can turn your garage into a functional space that you can enjoy year-round, regardless of the weather. But is that reason enough for the investment? There are many different reasons to consider winterizing your garage for the cold weather hits.
In this guide, we’re going to look at 15 different benefits of heating your garage, ranging from the benefits to your vehicle to fully extending your living space. With so many affordable and easy-to-use heating units now available on the market, it’s the perfect time to consider making this upgrade to your home.
Encourage Your Car (and You) to Start on Cold Winter Mornings
Waking up and getting moving first thing in the morning is never easy, especially during the winter months. However, when you are experiencing extreme cold, this can be even more challenging. When the temperatures drop, it impacts your car battery’s ability to produce the electrical current required to start your vehicle properly. It is why on cold mornings, you may find that your car doesn’t start, leaving you scrambling to figure out how you are going to get to work on time.
There are two main ways to prevent this struggle from happening, plugging in an engine block heater, or keeping your vehicle in a heated garage. The benefit of one over the other? The heated garage will also make it much more comfortable for you as you head to your vehicle, coffee in hand, ready to start your day.
Save on Fuel Costs
Even if you can get your vehicle up and running first thing in the morning, the temperature inside the car is likely going to be uncomfortably cold. No one wants to shiver all the way to work in the morning! For this reason, many people will start their vehicle early during the cold months, allowing it to idle and warm up before heading out.
Allowing your vehicle to idle for 5 to 10 minutes may not seem like much, but it can quickly add up throughout an entire winter, adding to your ongoing fuel costs. By maintaining a warmer garage, you can skip this whole process and save the fuel that you would have been using before even hitting the road.
Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
With many people starting their car up early, allowing it to warm up before heading off for the day, carbon monoxide poisoning is a real risk. Whether you’re using an automatic car starter or braving the cold long enough to turn your car on, leaving it running with the garage doors even partially closed could be a life-threatening mistake.
You could make a point each morning of moving the vehicle out of the garage while allowing it to warm up, but there is always the risk that one morning you may be in a rush or get distracted, forgetting to take that step. In a heated garage, there is no need to warm up your vehicle. It’s because it’s already warm and ready to go.
It’s also not a bad choice to install a carbon monoxide detector in your garage. While garage heating units are designed to run safely indoors, you can never be too safe.
Extend Your Living Space
There has been a growing trend of elaborate garage conversions, using part or even the entire garage to create an additional living space. It could include a man cave, a game room, or even, in some cases, an entire apartment for a growing child or the in-laws. It is common among homeowners who have a larger outdoor seating area or an outdoor kitchen during the warmer months.
If you plan on moving your outdoor living area into the garage for winter, the biggest factor to consider is how to keep the temperatures comfortable. Installing a garage heater or floor heating system will give you the ability to carry the regular temperature from your house into this extended living space.
Protect Your Treasured Belongings
If you have been using your garage space for storage, you may be concerned about the impact of extremely cold temperatures on your belongings. There may even be items you would like to keep out there but have been avoiding moving to your cold garage out of fear of something happening. By installing a heating unit and ensuring sufficient insulation in place, you can create a safe space for all your most valuable possessions.
Some additional protection features that you may want to consider include moisture detectors to warn you about any flooding in the space and a smoke detector or fire suppression system to address the risk of garage fires.
Use Your Garage for a Hobby Space
Have you been looking for some extra space in your home to enjoy your favorite hobby? Whether you enjoy painting, building model cars, or hosting band practices with your buddies, your garage is a great option. However, to continue enjoying these activities year-round, you are going to need to find a way to address the drop in temperatures and keep your garage feeling warm and comfortable.
There are many different affordable options to heat your space. If necessary, you can also reduce the heating costs by blocking off one area of the garage for your hobby using tarps or vinyl curtains, focusing your heating efforts on just that space.
Improve Vehicle Performance
There are many factors of vehicle ownership that aren’t talked about often enough for the average person. One example of this is that your vehicle’s performance may be compromised by leaving it outside in the cold of winter all season. In addition to the impact that the temperatures have on your battery, as mentioned above, the cold weather can also cause the oil in your vehicle’s engine to thicken, putting unnecessary strain on your engine’s oil pump.
In extreme cold, fuel lines can freeze as a result of the condensation that forms in the empty parts of your gas tank. Finally, freezing temperatures can lead to additional wear and tear on your transmission, eventually causing it to slip.
Repair costs can add up quickly when you are maintaining a vehicle. Rather than waiting for the cold weather to cause unnecessary damage, you can invest in a heater for your garage space and minimize your risks. It may seem expensive upfront, but it’s an investment in the life of your vehicle.
Prevent Plumbing Problems
If you have an attached garage, there is a chance that you may have water pipes running through the garage walls or ceiling. With the arrival of the colder months, this introduces the risk of pipes freezing and bursting in an unheated or uninsulated garage.
Not only will this bring plumbing repair costs, but the water itself can cause significant damage to your garage and any belongings that may be kept inside. When you consider that potential, the upfront costs of purchasing and installing a heating unit to keep your garage warm aren’t all that high.
Create A Garage Workshop to Complete Home DIY Projects
A common use for the garage space throughout the year is to house and store tools and provide a space for those who enjoy working on their vehicles or home renovation projects in a sheltered area. However, when the outdoor temperatures drop, a garage workshop in an unheated garage can quickly become too cold for you to get anything done. Have you ever tried working on something detailed with cold fingers? It just doesn’t work as well as you would like it too!
Rather than holding off on your projects until the arrival of spring or moving your garage workshop into the house, why not create a year-round workspace? Whether you simply add a space heater or install a larger forced-air unit, preparing your garage for winter temperatures will make it easier for DIY lovers to get more done around the house.
Prevent Cold Air from Coming into Your Home
Did you know that installing a heat source in your garage can have a direct impact on your energy bills? It alone might be a good reason for many homeowners to consider investing in a heating solution. During the winter months, the air temperature in an unheated garage can drop considerably.
Not only will this threaten water pipes and other items in the garage itself, but a shared wall can lead to cold drafts migrating from the garage into your home. If you are looking to reduce energy costs by focusing on energy efficiency in your home, this is a great place to start (and one that’s often overlooked).
Use Your Garage as an Entertaining Area
Fun use of extra space in your garage is incredibly common in many areas of the country. They can range from a basic seating area to a far more elaborate bar set up with televisions, surround sound, and more. If this sounds like a great way to make use of your garage in winter, then it’s time to get started. Take a moment to consider your priorities. While some people prefer an upbeat party with loud music, others prefer a more casual and relaxing evening with friends. Use this information to decide how you’re going to decorate and furnish your space.
In addition to heating, turn your garage into a year-round hangout spot by installing air conditioning for the summer months. Don’t forget to take the necessary safety precautions. A carbon monoxide detector, smoke detector, and fire extinguisher will keep you and your loved ones safe from garage fires and other unwelcome accidents.
Heat Any Rooms Above
If your garage is built-in or features a room above it, your garage heater may be heating more than you think. It comes back to the scientific fact that hot air rises. As the internal temperature in your garage increases, that hot air will rise through the rooms above it.
It will heat your living space, while the colder air will settle down into the garage where it will then be addressed by your heating unit. These spaces overtop of a garage are often used for offices and bedrooms, rooms where maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature is important.
Build a Home Gym in Your Garage
Using your garage space as a home gym is a great way to make use of the available square footage with minimal effort and renovations. Unlike converting your garage to a living space, a home gym is far less focused on the aesthetics of the space.
Floor mats can easily cover your concrete flooring, and unpainted walls can be easily overlooked if the room performs functionally the way that you need. It means that you will have more room in your budget to invest in a reliable heating unit for the space.
Adhere to Local Bylaws (in Some Areas)
Depending on where you live, the choice as to whether you should heat your garage may not be your choice to make. Some homeowners’ associations or neighborhood codes have clauses that require that every home includes a built-in heating and air conditioning unit in the garage to protect the space from damage caused by extreme hot or cold.
To find out whether you are required to take this step, you may need to do some research. It is also a good question to ask your realtor when you are going through the process of purchasing a new home, especially if you know that there is a homeowners’ association governing the area.
Prepare for Future Renovations
If there is any part of your future plans that involves overhauling your garage and renovating the space for a different purpose, installing a proper heating system now may be an investment towards that goal. It includes plans for any type of conversion in the garage, including extending your living space, renovating, and building onto your kitchen, adding another bedroom, and more.
By installing the heater now, you can protect the space from unnecessary damage from the cold temperatures, preventing you from dealing with extra work and additional expenses. Additionally, with the heating unit already installed, you can skip that step when it comes to converting the garage, meaning that you are already one step closer to your final goal.
Garage Heating is an Investment in Your Home
Many people mistakenly view garage heating units as a luxury, that is only necessary for garage conversions and outdoor living spaces. However, as you can see here, there are many reasons why installing one can benefit you and your family.
Research the different heating options available on the market and the installation requires for each unit to help determine the best solution for your space. Whatever you decide, know that you are investing in your home. Even if you choose to sell in the future, this is a selling point that can increase your selling price. So, what are you waiting for?