Author Topic: How to provide heat to finished (but not insulated) garage?  (Read 475 times)

annod

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We have a garage that was finished when we bought the house. The floor has tile, and there is dry wall, but not insulated. We live in the Bay Area, and this garage studio is great as a 3-season home office. When we have a really cold winter, it does get cold even with a space heater. And it is expensive to heat the space this way. We have put area rugs down, but on certain cold days, you can still feel the cold floor. It is as if the heat just get sucked out from the ceramic tiles on the floor.

What are some inexpensive (less than $3,000) but effective way to warm up the garage studio in winter?
Here are some ideas I have:
-Adding skylight on the south-facing pitch roof for solar passive heating (DH is worried about water leakage. And would it add a lot of unwanted heat in summer?)
-Injecting slow Rise Spray Foam Insulating (Retrofilling)
-more area rugs?

thanks for any suggestions.

Fishindude

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Re: How to provide heat to finished (but not insulated) garage?
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2017, 11:12:36 AM »
I'd figure out a way to get it insulated first, or no type of heat / AC is going to be affordable.
A great way to heat and cool small spaces like this is with a simple thru wall electric, combination heat AC unit like you see in motel rooms.
One electrical feed and no duct work required.

Sibley

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Another Reader

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Re: How to provide heat to finished (but not insulated) garage?
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2017, 12:22:43 PM »
Insulate the ceiling or the roof, if open.  Are there vents to the outside?  I put heavy duty metal vent covers on the outside of mine, then insulated and sheetrocked the cavity.  What about the people door to the side yard?  I installed a threshold and replaced the old weatherstripping.  What about the door or doors for the cars?  Those are difficult to close off completely.  I haven't dealt with those yet.

Be careful not to run the car engine in the garage and allow enough outside air to come in for furnace and hot water heater combustion if you do this.

Hotstreak

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Re: How to provide heat to finished (but not insulated) garage?
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2017, 01:48:59 PM »
Warm hat, sweater, heavy pants, thick wool socks, boots, heated blanket :).  Barring any of that, can you reduce the amount of space that needs to be climate controlled by walling off or otherwise isolating the area of the garage where your desk is?  Since with the kind of temperatures your area experiences there's really no need to heat your appliances, storage areas, etc.

annod

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Re: How to provide heat to finished (but not insulated) garage?
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2017, 01:04:22 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions. Sounds like investing some $ in good wool clothing will be the simplest and cheapest, and covering the vent....that's a good one.

paddedhat

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Re: How to provide heat to finished (but not insulated) garage?
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2017, 04:53:40 AM »
If you have access to above the ceiling, the greatest ROI would be for you to install six inch thick unfaced fiberglass batts between the ceiling joists as a DIY project. Given light usage and your mild climate, retrofitting sidewalls will probably never make sense. Modest ceiling insulation levels and air sealing to control big leaks around garage doors, and other problem areas will make a huge difference. If you have a gas furnace or water heater in the garage, it is critical to supply air to it. If it's just an open grille to the outside, you need an engineered and properly installed, ducted air supply to the units.

Another Reader

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Re: How to provide heat to finished (but not insulated) garage?
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2017, 06:14:56 AM »
If you have access to above the ceiling, the greatest ROI would be for you to install six inch thick unfaced fiberglass batts between the ceiling joists as a DIY project. Given light usage and your mild climate, retrofitting sidewalls will probably never make sense. Modest ceiling insulation levels and air sealing to control big leaks around garage doors, and other problem areas will make a huge difference. If you have a gas furnace or water heater in the garage, it is critical to supply air to it. If it's just an open grille to the outside, you need an engineered and properly installed, ducted air supply to the units.

+1  I have blocked the predominant northwest wind, but I have not sealed the doors for the cars.  On calm cold nights, I will use oil filled radiators to take off the chill.