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We spend a lot of time and effort making sure our homes remain warm and cozy during the winter months. However, our garages often remain bitterly cold, making it almost impossible to use our tools or do anything productive in them.
One of the main reasons for this happening is that our garages are most often not insulated. Devices like mini-split air conditioners and heaters are not a viable solution since they will not do more than increasing the temperature by a few degrees.
If you want to use your garage during the winter, here are a few helpful tips on how to go about making it an all season’s garage.
Check for air leaks
The first thing to do is eliminate the chances of cold drafts blowing through the garage. There are three possible areas that you will need to check for air leaks.
The first place for you to check the garage door frame. In a lot of cases, garage doors do not fit snugly into their frames. Fortunately, there is an easy fix to this, and that is to use self-adhesive weather strips to seal the gap.
Your garage door also has a gasket at the bottom of the door that is designed to keep cold air out. However, if your garage door is more than a couple of years old, chances are that the gasket has become brittle and cracked. This means cold air can find its way in through the garage door opening.
The ideal thing for you to do is to change this gasket once every two years or so. The size of the gasket depends on the width of the garage door, so be sure you take accurate measurements before you set out to buy one.
Finally, if your garage has windows, you will need to seal them as well. You can buy one of the many window shrink film insulation kits to do the job for you. Begin by applying shrink film to the inside of the window. Then, tape the shrink wrap to the window frame and heat it with a hairdryer until it fits snugly around the window frame.
Insulate garage door and walls
Next, in our quest to keep your garage warm during freezing cold winters, we will need to insulate your garage door and walls.
Insulated garage door panels will by themselves increase the room temperature by an average of 10 to 12 degrees during the winter, all while increasing the energy efficiency of the space as well.
There are plenty of garage door insulation kits available online, and they come with simple instructions, making it a DIY activity that takes a couple of hours to complete.
For insulating the garage walls you could choose either fiberglass batt insulation or foam boards. Both of these can be installed on wall studs. Finish the garage walls with either oriented strand board (OSB), drywall panels, or plywood sheets.
Choose the right space heater
Finally, choose a heat source that can efficiently warm the garage. Considering the average garage size, most electric heaters will be inept at heating a garage by themselves.
You may need to consider investing in a ceiling-mounted forced-air heating unit to generate enough warm air. Alternatively, you could also consider a portable propane heater to do the job as well.
Sizes vary from a standard 20-pound tank that powers a small propane heater to a large 500-pound tank that connects to a larger propane heater. The second option will, however, need a plumber to run a gas line to the garage.
Read more: Healthiest temperature for your home
How warm should your garage be?
Now that you know how to warm up your garage during those winters, here’s what temperature you ought to maintain in your garage during winters.
The basic principle is to keep your garage warm enough to avoid condensation. That means if you live along the coasts, your garage temperature ought to be around 65 degrees Fahrenheit, while those of you who live inland can keep the temperature at a balmy 45 degrees Fahrenheit.