Maintaining a well-insulated garage provides you with a useable workspace year-round. However, even if you don’t plan to use your garage much, or at all, during the freezing winter, there are still reasons to winter-proof your garage. If your garage gets too cold, it could damage equipment or vehicles stored inside. For example, if you have a power washer and the temperatures reach freezing levels, the water inside the hoses freeze and crack. The paint in your garage may also separate as temperatures drop during winter. To protect yourself against these problems, winterize your garage before winter hit.
Install a Garage Heater
Heat your garage with minimal construction costs and space requirements by installing a heater. The first choice is whether to select an electric or gas-powered heater. A gas-fired heater is typically cheaper to run, but more difficult to install, as you need an exhaust vent and a gas supply. Electric heaters are easier to install, but they cost more to run than a gas unit. Generally, if you live in an area where you need occasional heat or have mild winters, an electric unit is the best way to go.
Finally, you may want to consider installing a mini-split heat pump. Capable of providing year-round cooling and heating while only requiring a narrow hole through the garage wall, a heat pump is an efficient way to control the temperature in your garage.
Replace or Fix Weatherstripping
Weatherstripping produces a seal between the garage door opening and the garage door. As time goes by, the weatherstripping cracks and becomes brittle, which lets air pass through the door. An easy way to check if your weatherstripping needs repair is to feel near the garage door for air. If you feel air entering, take off your existing weatherstripping and remove any sealant. Try to make the surface as smooth and clean as possible to create the best possible seal. After removing the old weatherstripping, close the garage door and simply align your new weatherstripping against the garage door.
Heat travels through solid surfaces, which is how the warm air in your garage escapes. To prevent this, insulate your garage walls and door. Even if you have a heater installed, not having proper insulation leads to wasted energy and a high utility bill. Insulation must be installed securely and snugly, and in most cases, it’s best to hire a professional to handle the job. A knowledgeable installer knows how to pick insulation with the correct thickness for your walls and has the experience to install insulation that’s snug but not too tight.
Replace Your Garage Door
If your garage door is properly insulated and you still feel cool air entering, then consider installing a new door. Some modern garage doors have recessed panels and an insulated design, providing immediate protection against the cold and making it easy to replace the insulation in the future if needed.
Cracks and gaps allow heat to escape your garage, and caulking is a useful way to cover existing cracks and gaps near your garage door, windows and other damaged areas in the garage. If you’re caulking the garage yourself, focus on areas where two different materials meet, such as wood and brick. Before starting the job, clean the area where you’ll be caulking and make sure the area’s completely dry to stop moisture from being sealed in.
All of these garage-warming repairs can be performed by yourself, or you can hire a professional to do the job. Depending on your level of confidence, you may want to handle the easier tasks yourself, such as caulking or replacing weatherstripping, and then hire a professional for the more difficult tasks like installing a garage heater. In some cases, your heater’s warranty is only valid if you have it installed by a licensed professional.