A two-story house is currently heated everywhere except the garage. The gas
heater is located in the basement right behind the garage, which is on the
floor above the basement. Instead of a portable electirc heater, wouldn't
running heating ducts from the regular gas heater to the garage be the best
We've seen heating ducts that have a valve the blocks circulation 100%, such
valves are located inside the house. We would use the valve to completely
block heat circulation to the garage when unneeded. What would be the best
kind of duct and blocking mechanism to add regular heating to this garage?
Probably not, for two reasons.
The existing furnace is sized to handle the cubic footage of
the house. Adding the garage will probably over-tax the
furnace, causing excessively long run times and shortened
In addition to the hot air, you must also provide a cold air
return. If you don't do so (from the garage) you'll
effectively create a vacuum in the house, causing outside
air to be drawn in thru every crack and hole it can find.
The amount of heat getting into the garage (if it's
reasonably air-tight) will also be reduced because it will
effectively have positive pressure.
So in summary, if you add a cold air return to the garage,
it will work to some degree, but you'll probably be over-
taxing the furnace.
A couple things to consider here:
If you duct air into the garage, you are removing air from the house
interior. This will mean you furnace will suck cold air from someplace
else.. Your furnace is a closed circuit air circulating system.. At the same
time you will be pressurizing the garage and the warm air will be lost
through the door gaps, etc. never to be recirculated to your furnace.
The other concern would be gasoline vapors for any car in the garage.. If
you duct the garage air back to the furnace, you could have an explosion..
only takes a minor leak, few drops.
You should check code about this..
I read somewhere, years ago, that heated garages are really bad for
cars. The issue, as I remember is when the warm car goes out into a
cold climate that the rapid temperature change causes problems with
paint integrity, leading to rust problems.
What kind of climate? How often do you intend to heat it? Keeping it warm
all the time versus heating it for an hour or two will make a difference.
In most areas, electric is the most expensive method.
I have a detached garage. I insulated most of it and use a 30,000 Btu
propane heater. Keeps it very comfortable when the temperature is 20. Below
that it is OK to work in, but not as toasty as the house. Open flame
heaters can be problematic if you have gasoline and paint thinners out
What kind of insulation does the garage have?
I am in Alberta. R12 all around including doors. I don't use it as work
shop. Even in cold winter days(temp. ~-30C) I don't have any problem
with my cars or ourselves. If you really want to heat it, overhead gas
heater might be best bet.
That's it. You can have radiant walls and ceilings too.
Go to www.wirsbo.com for some good, correct information. Wirsbo has a group
of trained people that can come out and install a good system for you that
will be guaranteed to work properly. Some of these people will let you do
the basic labor which can save you money on the install.
There are internet companies that will sell you the material so you can do
the install yourself, but I'd recommend staying away from them. Their
information is not always correct
The best way and the most practical are often two differant things. Starting
with new construction I would go with a gas fired boiler and pex tubing in
Considering that you have gas relativly close, I would put in a hanging, gas
fired, vented, unit heater in the garage.
Simply ones that are properly installed! A good unit installed improperly
will be junk. A poor unit installed prperly may last for years.
Price will vary with your area. Shop around, hanging unit heters can be
bought at home stores and homeowners may be able to install it themselves.
The gas lines can also be done by a homeowner in most places. BUT, if you
are unsure of your abilities it is best to have it done by a pro. Check
with your local building inspections office.
A small gas leak, a ignition source, boom, no more house!
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