Jan 25, 2021
Don't relegate heating this winter to just inside your home. Find out ways to heat other spaces that may make life a bit easier.
Winter can be a drag and sometimes made worse when you're forced to stay inside. Thankfully, your homes heating and cooling systems (HVAC) take on most of the work when it comes to keeping you comfortable. There are thousands of techniques and practices (some of which we've written about ourselves) about how to heat the inside of your home properly. But what about when you have to leave? There are other spaces of your home that don't get the same attention? Like your garage or the driveway? These spaces could benefit from proper heating as well. Luckily, we're here to help with some tips, tricks and information on how to take care of your exterior interior...if that makes sense?
When it comes to heating a space that you're not regularly familiar with (like a garage) one of the most important things to figure out first is the size of your space. How big your garage space is will help determine what size heater you may need. According to BobVila.com normal portable heaters you find in home improvement stores may not be strong enough to heat your entire garage space. Instead, it's recommended to consider a more consistent/stronger source of heat like a ceiling-mounted forced air heating unit. BobVila.com and HVAC Advocates both suggest taking the square footage of your garage space into consideration to help find the best unit. Once you've found the right unit make sure you consider the right placement to get the maximum heat you need for your space.
Insulation to The Rescue.
When heating a space like your garage there are several factors you have to keep in mind. One being the constant drafts that could be affecting your heating potential. One of the main culprits of drafts can come from your garage door. These thin, metal barriers to the outside world are infamously cold in the winter time. Insulating your garage door will help keep that draftiness on the outside while also providing another protective barrier between you and the elements. Especially for homeowners who have transformed their garage spaces into extra living or activity spaces (like a gym). According BobVila.com, insulating your garage door could keep the average temperature inside 10 to 12 degrees warmer in the winter. To find the kits and supplies necessary to insulate your garage reach out to an HVAC Advocate expert for help.
Radiant Heat for a Radiant Home.
Whatever you're using your garage space for, making sure it's at a temperature worth maintaining is important. If you're a new homeowner or building your dream home another way to take care of your garage is by potentially installing a radiant floor heating system. Of course, this option only works if you're building (or replacing) your garage since it requires installing materials into the floors. It may be difficult to do this on an existing garage floor without a complete gutting. With that being said, the floor heating system involves installing a boiler, piping, liners etc. and will require the help of professionals. (You can find all the materials needed here). The results of the radiant floor heating system are pretty effective though. Warming up your space without the noise and dust of a forced air heater.
Radiant heat isn't only relegated to the interior of your house and it's floors. It can also be used outdoors for your driveway too. Of course, you want to make sure you take your budget and your homes needs into consideration before installing.
Driveways and Byways.
If you've made the decision to install a heated driveway there are somethings you should know. Two of them being the type of heat you choose to use. There are two popular systems that most HVAC experts will suggest (including BobVila.com) an Electric System and a Hydronic System. According to BobVila.com an electric system involves "heating cables and mats made of cables, woven together in a grid pattern and embedded beneath the surface of your driveway." This keeps snow and ice from building up. As for a hydronic system, it involves "installing resilient PEX tubing beneath the driveway's surface. This tubing is filled with non-freezing water solution circulating through a boiler (usually located in your garage) to maintain a consistently warm temperature." Choosing the best system to work for your driveway will take some consultation from an HVAC Advocate along with help from professionals to install.
You've Installed A Heated Driveway...Now What?
A few things to keep in mind when considering to install a heated driveway are the affects it will have after you're done. Like most things there are always "pros" and "cons" to any idea. With the help of BobVila.com we've listed some below to keep in mind:
*For a full list of pros and cons click here*
Regardless, if you're heating your garage space, your driveway or other spaces infrequently traveled, maintenance is always a priority. When installed correctly heated driveways can give you up to 20 years of consistency. Radiant heat can also be very dependable. But just like any system in your home, both will require constant checks and upkeep to make sure they're running smoothly during the winter months. Get with an HVAC advocate today to figure out what heating options could be a potential game-changer for spaces around your home.
For more on this topic and others don't forget to check out the "10 Minute Tips" podcast.