How To Heat A Cold Garage
What is the best way to heat my cold garage? How to Install Electric Wiring for a Floor Heat System, and the Electrical Circuit for a Floor Heating System.
Electric Heat for a Cold Garage
Electrical Question: What is the best way to heat my cold garage?
I use my garage as an art studio and am trying to determine the effective and cost efficient way to heat the garage during the winter, (it gets down to the low 30’s and even 20s here).
- After doing my research, I’ve realized that I have 2 options:
- Go all out and get a good 240 volt garage heater.
- Buy a few 120 volt space convection heaters to heat up the area.
The problem with the first option is that all outlets are standard 120 volt.
- That said, if I did try to go the garage heater route, what steps do I need to take?
- I am definitely not going to try to wire things on my own, and I would have a professional electrician do it.
- Would I go to my power company to do this or should I contact an electrician?
- Can you estimate about how much the process will cost?
- And finally, and sorry if this is a dumb question, is there anyway I could instead use the same outlet as my refrigerator to plug in and run the 240 volt garage heater? Frigidaire refrigerator model #FRT21LR7DS3.
- We could easily run the wire into the kitchen if needed.
Thanks for any help!
This electrical wiring question came from: Rachel, a Homeowner in Athens, Georgia.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Rachel.
How to Install Electric Wiring for a Floor Heat System
Application: Installing Electric Floor Heat.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best installed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and install electrical circuit wiring.
Precaution: Identify the panel circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional electrical circuit wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
Electrical Circuit for a Floor Heating System
- Rachael, the first thing I would recommend is to seal up any air leaks and insulate the walls and the ceiling of the garage where ever possible.
- Unfortunately your refrigerator circuit will typically not support the additional electrical load of a heating system, especially one that will heat your cold garage.
- If you must use electricity to heat then a 240 volt heater unit would be much more energy efficient than a 120 volt heating system.
- If the space will be used continuously then I would highly recommend installing a heat cable system into the floor.
- A typical floor heat system requires a dedicated 240 volt circuit. The amperage of the circuit breaker providing the power will depend on the size of the specific heat system.
- Floor heat systems are controlled by a thermostat which can have a variety of settings to enable energy savings and maintain warmth when you need it most.
- The floor cable systems heat from the floor up which makes it much more comfortable for the conditioned area.
- If the garage has a high ceiling then consider installing a ceiling fan as well which will help bring the heat down from the ceiling.
More about Garage Electrical Wiring
Electrical Circuit Breaker
A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring. When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.
- Wiring Electrical Outlet for the Home
- Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how wiring electrical outlets for the home are done.
- Electrical Wire for the Home
- Complete listing of electrical wire types and parts used for home projects with electrical code information serves as selection guidelines.
How to Install Garage Electrical Wiring
- Garage Electrical Wiring
- Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Garage Electrical Wiring with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects.For more information about 220 Volt Wiring Diagram
- 220 Volt Wiring Diagram
- Wiring 220 Volt Electrical Outlet
- Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how electrical outlets for the home are wired.
- This is helpful as a Homeowner: Do-It-Yourself Electrical
The following may also be helpful for you:
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.
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We have a cold garage that only has 220 volt wiring. So we purchased heating units with fans to boost the room temp. The only thing is, this didn’t heat it to a warm degree and it threw the circuit breaker out. What would be our best bet to use?
The type of electric heat that will be installed to heat a cold garage will depend on more information about the garage, including but not limited to the following:
Are the garage has the walls and ceiling finished off with sheet rock? if so then baseboard heaters may be an option.
If the walls and ceiling are not covered with sheet rock or the garage is drafty then you may consider portable heater units that produce direct radiant heat that is either infra red or a quartz tube type of heater, however keep in mind that portable heaters should have built in safety switches that turn off the unit automatically if the heating unit tips or falls over.
The type of heating units that can safely be used in the garage will also depend on what is stored in the garage, such as flammable materials and substances which can pose a potential fire hazard or harmful condition.
The type and size electric circuit to the garage must be clearly identified to fully understand the size of heater that can be installed, however as mentioned above, all of the other factors about the garage must be considered as well.
I hope this helps,