In this episode of The Handyguys Podcast, we take a question on garage heaters and have some follow-up thoughts on the CarMD product we discussed in episode 91.
We received a great question from Captain Kent about heating his garage so he can work on his honey do list. It’s excerpted here:
Hi guys! I have a question for you. Last year I purchased a home built in the 80’s and I’m slowly morphing into this Handy-Guy-Do-It-Yourselfer-Inspector-Gadget kind of guy.
I figure my garage being 800 square feet that I can utilize this space in the cold months to do projects out there. In any case, I ripped all the sheet rock off the walls and am about 60% deep in the project of fully insulating the garage. I’m installing Champion windows, a new back door from Lowes, and even insulating the inside of the 20 foot main garage door with a neat Owens Corning garage door insulation kit. I’m doing everything myself accept the walk out door and windows…so far anyway.
I’m a pilot by day and a Handy Guy Podcast Warrior by night. We battle our garages on our days off and then compare notes at 41,000 feet. We decided we are probably both going to go with a hanging natural gas type heater but here comes our question. We thought about just breaking through the wall and piping one of our main house heater ducts into the garage for heat. When the garages are all insulated and sealed up it shouldn’t take a lot of heat to keep them warm, or warm enough to work out there. We were not familiar with any homes that have done this before and figured there must be a good reason for us NOT to do this. We decided to ask you guys if you know of any reason why we would NOT want to simply tap off and route one of our main house ducts into our garages for heat?
Thanks Brian and Paul, keep the podcast coming! I’d be in the poor house if I had to hire somebody to do all the jobs this house needs!
Utilizing house heat
You need to maintain separation between the house and the garage to prevent easy penetration of flames and fumes. The building codes in your area likely prohibit any garage connection to a forced air central system. Of course, the story would be different if the garage were converted into living space. In this case, a critical factor is the size of the current HVAC system. If your house heat is hot water, it might be possible to add a zone from your boiler for in-floor radiant heat.
If you want a permanently installed heat source, the best method is using a ceiling mounted heater. These beasts provide the most heat without interfering with handyguy duties or parking a car. The ceiling mounts provide a choice of gas or electric. Lennox has one that looks nice.
Portable temporary heat
Portable heat will be much less expensive to purchase. You have several options such as portable electric, kerosene or propane. Paul has a portable propane and Brian has a kerosene heater. In Brian’s uninsulated garage, the kerosene heater barely does the trick when its cold out and is useless when its fridged out. Each kind of heater has its pros and cons. We discuss these in the podcast.
We talked about the CarMD scanner for your car back in Episode 91. The scanner is used to read errors in your vehicles computer to help you diagnose problems. When The Handyguys checked out the units, they were impressed but they didn’t have any error codes on their vehicles at the time. Things of changed and now both Brian and Paul both coincidently have their dreaded “check engine” brightly lit. The CarMD scanner read the error code *and* provided likely solutions with cost estimates for repairs! Well done, CarMD, very cool.