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Heat Alternatives for Detached Garage

WI_WoodGuy's picture

I am building a detached 26 x 30 garage/workshop with an office on the second story.  I had intended to use a woodstove as a heat source but just found out that local building codes prevent this.  What are the options for heating this building?

(post #109493, reply #1 of 11)

"I am building a detached 26 x 30 garage/workshop with an office on the second story. I had intended to use a woodstove as a heat source but just found out that local building codes prevent this. What are the options for heating this building?"

You don't give any details. Nor do you tell specificially what about the wood stove is against code.

Solar, electric resistive, air to air heat pump, ground source heat pump, natural gas, propane, oil, wood FURANCE, pellet furance, kerosene, geothermal.

. William the Geezer, the sequel to Billy the Kid - Shoe

(post #109493, reply #2 of 11)

Nuclear reactor?

(post #109493, reply #3 of 11)

Waste Oil Burner?

Fart Gas Burner?  oh wait... do they really make one of these?  My secret.  LOL


(post #109493, reply #8 of 11)

WHW:  Waste oil is a prohibited (circa 1987) heat source in WA state, probably others, new wood requires "state certified" stoves.  

Put in some cheap baseboard electric heat units to start, have a woodstove for "atmosphere", no one's to say you ever have to turn the elec. heat on, just that it is available.  

(post #109493, reply #4 of 11)

Are all woodstoves prohibited? What about an external one that heats water/antifreeze for heating purposes in the building?

David Thomas   Overlooking Cook Inlet in Kenai, Alaska

David Thomas   Overlooking Cook Inlet in Kenai, Alaska

(post #109493, reply #6 of 11)

All woodstoves are prohibited.  My spouse does not like the idea of an external furnace given our limited green space.  Its a drag given that outside of town I have about 20 acres of woodlot which I use to heat my house in town.

(post #109493, reply #5 of 11)

Damn.........I built the exact same size detached garage two years ago.  The second floor is a game room and office.  First floor is a woodshop (cars outside.....priorities).

I heated the second floor with a thermostatically controlled pellet stove.  It works great!  Fire it up about an hour before you want to go out and it is nice and toasty!  Costs half as much as propane!

Next year..........programable thermostat!


(post #109493, reply #7 of 11)

If you are in a north central state or N.E. I would insulate seal the frame work and insulate the floor of the office and the rest of the walls and overhead like an house. Then  I would get a small, high efficiency, propane or natural gas, condensing  heater, using outside air for combustion, thermostatically controlled.

There are, for good reason, building codes about heating units in a garage. be sure to check this out if you haven't already. If there are no local codes about the later, I would use a code for guidance to a safe and healthy installation.

I think of the benefits as: no smoke odor in office papers and files. Clean instant heat only when you want it. No wood to collect, cut, and chop. No ashes to haul. More time for hobbies, and office work.

You must be located in a dense population area for the "no wood burning appliance" ordinance. I visited a friend one winter day in such an area and I nearly suffocated from all the wood burning appliances being used.

Stay warm, somehow :-)

Upper Michigan

(post #109493, reply #9 of 11)

Electric radiant heat is nice. No foced air to move dust, it mounts up high on the wall, its unobtrusive.  There are also radient ceiling panels.  I don't know about cost to install or how the cost of use compares in your area, but here in Nebraska, electric is often cheaper than propane, but not natural gas.


I would also look into wood burning  furnaces.  They make a unit that resembles a boiler and is the size of a chest freezer.  maybe your inspectors will go for that.

(post #109493, reply #10 of 11)

I don't know what state you live in but in N.C. you can have an open flame source in a garage as long as it is 16" above the floor level. Check your building codes as it pertains to gas water heaters located in garages.

(post #109493, reply #11 of 11)

I have a 30 x 36 detached garage I am converting into a wood shop with a second floor office - the 2 top choices at this point is a propane heater attached to the wall and direct vented - the other is a pellet stove, I like the convenience of 40 lb.bags and the ability to direct vent - hope the concrete guys get there - say hi to Robin for me - TK - PS: that damn grass keeps growing