Can I Heat My Garage With My Home Furnace?

A robust heater or furnace is necessary if your living area has harsh winters. Otherwise, your house will become an icebox. But if you have a garage, you might wonder whether you can heat your garage with the same home furnace. That’s what we shall share today. 

Running a heating duct from the furnace in your home to the garage can heat the garage. However, it is not recommended because the garage does not need the same heat as the house. Besides, a garage is an enclosed area that requires specialized units running on natural gas or propane. 

You can use several methods and individual furnaces to heat the garage. This article will explain the possibility of using the home furnace for the garage and other options to heat the garage. So, let’s begin without further delay. 

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Can I use the house furnace in my garage?

Adding a furnace is necessary if you live in a very cold region. 

In many areas, garages do not require the same heat capacity as the living space needs. 

But some people use garages as their workshop, storage space, or music studio. 

Thus, having the same amount of heat as in the living space is very important. 

Adding a heating system in the garage can maintain comfort and allow you to spend as much time as you need. 

You can install a new garage heater, or you take the furnace from home. 

Running the furnace from your home to the garage is one of the easiest methods for heating the space, but there are better options. 

It comes with a few pros and cons. 

Adding the furnace from the house to the garage is beneficial because:

  • The fix is very easy and does not require any separate installation process. 
  • You do not have to add any additional units for installation.
  • You can do it on your own. 
  • The process is the cheapest option. 

Despite these good points, there is a big drawback. 

The house furnace might be unable to handle the extra demands to heat the garage evenly. 

Why should you not add a furnace from the home to the garage?

Though some people recommend running a heating duct from the furnace present inside the house, it is not a very good idea to follow every time. 

The garage is an enclosed space. So, to add any heating system in this area, you need specialized units designed for such enclosed spaces. 

Some people use gas heaters for their garages. 

These heaters need to run on either natural gas or propane.

Garage heaters have their own flue, and ventilation needs differ from house furnaces. 

Besides these, the garage does not contain enough safety features as the home has for the furnaces. 

So, adding a separate furnace or any other heating system for your garage is better. 

Also read: Can a Furnace Be In A Closed Room?

Factors determining the heating system of the garage

Since it is suggested not to add the home furnace to the garage, you must select a heater specifically for the garage to keep it warm. 

You must consider several factors before selecting the right heater for the garage.

For example, location is very important.

Colder regions require a powerful heater that can release a high volume of heat and spread quickly and evenly throughout the garage. 

Other factors are discussed below:

Insulation quality.

Not all garages have good quality insulation, and some do not have any insulation, especially old houses. 

This ignorance is because a garage is not a living place. 

You visit the area less often, whenever required.

Depending on the lack or quality of insulation, you have to get an efficient heater for your garage that can keep the space warm enough.

The insulation value is measured in R-value per inch of thickness. 

The value will help you know the quality of insulation and whether it can keep the heat from entering the garage. 

Higher R-value means the insulation is much better and, thus, will keep the cold from entering your garage. 

Intended usage

How you intend to use the garage will affect the type of heating system to install. 

Garages can be used for several purposes, like:

  • Working on projects for several hours, especially throughout the winter.
  • Keeping only vehicles from being exposed to freezing temperatures.
  • Using it as a music studio.
  • Using it as a small storage space.

It completely depends on the way you use the garage. 

For example, you want to use it for hours, like for a music studio or working on projects. 

In that case, you need a good heater that can warm the garage evenly for longer periods. 

If you want to use it for storage or vehicle security, you do not need a powerful unit. 

A unit keeping the garage slightly warm will be fine. 

Fuel source

The efficiency of the heating system in the garage depends on the source of fuel you wish to use in the unit. 

When you decide on garage heaters, you get two options – electric and gas heaters. 

Electric heaters are very efficient, and most need the standard 110V outlet. 

Based on the heater type, it can produce around 40,000 BTU of energy per hour. 

So, the heater will warm up your garage evenly. 

Electric heaters will be the best for your garage if your house is powered by solar. 

Gas heaters require natural gas and propane to run. 

If you do not want to use any electricity in your garages, gas heaters are the best. 

These have separate flue and ventilation requirements.

Garage size

The size of your garage is very crucial. 

Large garages will require powerful heating systems to spread hot air to every garage corner. 

Find out the square foot of your garage and get the right heater that releases enough BTU energy per hour to warm up the whole space.

Climatic conditions

Your location is another important factor. 

The climatic conditions can affect the type of heater for your garage, especially during the winter.

If the region is warm enough, you might need a heater to keep the garage slightly warmer in winter. 

But if the winters are very cold, you need a powerful heater with a higher BTU so your garage remains warm throughout the space. 

What are the best heaters for a garage?

Not running the home furnace to the garage is a great idea. 

But you will require a separate heater to add in the garage. 

There are multiple heating systems for the garage. Here are some of them:

Mounted garage heaters

Comfort Zone CZ230ER 7,500-Watt, 240v Hard-Wired Digital Fan-Forced Ceiling Mount Heater with Full-Function Remote, Overheat Protection, Digital Thermostat, and 12-Hour Timer, Silver

You can install these permanent heaters in the garage’s ceilings or walls. 

The mounted heaters are considered the large and powerful heating options. 

You can benefit highly from these heaters if the winter is cold and your garage is big enough.

Portable garage heaters

Sunnote Space Heater for Indoor Use, 1500W Fast Heating, Electric & Portable Ceramic Heaters with Thermostat, 5 Modes, 24Hrs Timer, 80°Oscillating Room Heater with Remote, Safe for Office Bedroom Use

Portable heaters are free-standing heaters that are smaller in size. 

Thus, you can mount them in smaller spaces.

Stay relaxed about the heater size. 

Though it is smaller in size, it can evenly spread the heat all over the garage at the same time. 

The heaters are powerful despite being small. 

These are the best ones for small garages.

Ceramic garage heaters

Lasko Oscillating Digital Ceramic Tower Heater for Home with Adjustable Thermostat, Timer and Remote Control, 23 Inches, 1500W, Silver, 755320

Ceramic heaters are a great option as they do not need any flammable liquid to function. 

The heaters do not release any harmful fumes or gasses. 

Ceramic heaters can heat a ceramic core at high temperatures. 

The hot air from the heater will evenly get distributed in the surrounding areas. 

These heaters will produce about 30,000 BTU of energy per hour. 

So, they are a great choice for colder regions.

Quartz garage heaters

Comfort Zone CZQTV5M 750/1,500-Watt Ceiling Mounted Dual Quartz Radiant Heater with 90-Degree Adjustable Tilt, Metal Safety Grille, Overheat Protection (Hardware Included)

Quartz heaters are also considered the most efficient ones for garages. 

The heating element in this heater is made up of quartz that does not release any dangerous fumes or gasses. 

These heating systems can release around 40,000 BTU of energy per hour, which is quite remarkable for the garage. 

Quartz heaters are durable and safe. 

They have high ratings in terms of efficiency compared to the other heaters. 

So, you can save time and money behind other heaters. 

Another plus point about quartz heaters is that they need very little maintenance, and you do not need to move any parts. 

Fan forced heaters

Fahrenheat FZL4004F High Capacity Fan Forced Wall Heater for Entryways and Vestibules, large, White

Fan-forced heaters are famous and affordable heaters ideal for garages. 

Once the internal heating element gets properly heated, the fan will blow out the hot air and spread it throughout the garage. 

These heaters also do not emit harmful fumes and gasses like quartz and ceramic heaters. 

They also do not need any extra ventilation and are safe to use. 

The fan-forced heaters are easy to use and require the standard 110V outlet for operation. 

These heaters are smaller than the other unit types and, therefore, produce around 20,000 BTUs of energy per hour. 

If your garage is smaller in size, then this heater would be a great one. 

Convection heaters 

Dyna-Glo RMC-LPC80DG 50,000 to 80,000 BTU Liquid Propane Convection Heater

Convection heaters generate heat by convection. 

The air currents of the heaters circulate inside the unit and heating element. 

Then the air is pushed out by the fan to get spread throughout the space. 

Some convection heaters need a separate fan to take in the cool air as it allows the unit to heat this air faster. 

The convection heaters can warm the air efficiently. So, they would be a great choice for your garages. 

The great thing about these heaters is that they can run on electricity, natural gas, or propane. 

It is completely up to you to use electricity or gas. 

Infrared heaters

Dr Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater, 1500-Watt

The infrared heaters generate the heat with the help of a low-intensity infrared tube that spreads the heat throughout the garage. 

Infrared heaters can warm up the surrounding materials much before the people in the room. 

It means the heater does not heat the surrounding air of the garage but the objects. That is how it keeps the garage warm. 

These heaters are great for the garages as most are not insulated, and the units do not lose air.

You can power this with electricity, natural gas, or propane. 

One drawback is the heat released from the heater is short-lived. 

So, it is fine if you do not spend too much time in the garage. 

But if you spend a lot of time in the garage, try other heaters.

In-surface radiant heaters

Dreo Radiator Heater, Upgrade 1500W Electric Portable Space Oil Filled Heater with Remote Control, 4 Modes, Overheat & Tip-Over Protection, 24h Timer, Digital Thermostat, Quiet, Indoor

This heater generates heat with infrared radiation. 

It heats the surface of the garage and not the surrounding areas or the air. 

You should install it on the garage floors, walls, or ceilings.

It is considered the most efficient way of heating the garage. 

The system is quite expensive, and the installation process can be lengthy, especially during the floor installation.

Will I always need electricity to run the garage heaters?

You do not always have to rely on electricity to run heaters. 

There are several heaters; some run by electricity, and some require natural gas or propane. 

If you do not want to waste electricity, you can choose heaters that operate with natural gas or propane. 

You can run the heater with the natural gas line from home to the heater. 

It will burn clean, is affordable, and is highly available. 

Propane will be the best for the houses and garages having a gas grid. 

Propane is also easily available and affordable. 

Most houses, gas stations, and grocery stores have propane tanks and tank refills. 

If you wish to have gas heaters for your garage, you may use a mounted or fixed heater or a portable heater. 

Final thoughts

A garage can help you in many ways, like giving your car extra security and room for storage or other things. 

Adding a heater to the garage is very important, especially if you visit the space more often. 

Though some suggest using your house’s furnace in the garage, it is a bad idea. 

Adding the home furnace to the garage can be fixed easily as it does not contain any installation process. 

But garages might need less heat than the houses require, or the heater may fail to fulfill the different garage demands. 

Besides, the garage is an enclosed space. 

So, it is better to have specialized units for such areas. 

Also, garages do not have enough security features as the houses have. 

So, it is better to add separate heaters for the garages. 

Some good garage heaters are mounted heaters, portable heaters, ceramic and quartz heaters, infrared heaters, in-surface heaters, etc. 

Related Articles:

Reference: Furnace Science Direct, Effects of HVAC on combustion-gas transport in residential structures, HVAC System and Part of Indoor Air Quality.

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Arthur Smith

Howdy! I am Arthur Smith, an electrical engineer who is extremely passionate about electronics. I have lived in different parts of the US and currently reside in Wisconsin. I am one of those rare children who knew what he wanted to study and do in life right from the start. I was a curious child who wanted to know how switches work and how the AC works, and I would always observe my dad whenever he would handle the wires and fix things around the house. I currently work as an electrical engineer at a reputed company and write for this blog. And I read loads of books or play video games in my free time.

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