Garage Heaters Calgary

Garage Heaters Calgary

Garage Heaters In Calgary

As I write this it feels like winter is closing in all too fast.  I am seriously wondering about garage heaters in Calgary, because I have a single car detached garage, and it gets cold here in Calgary.

If you are anything like me you are wondering the same thing.

What are my options for garage heaters in Calgary?

Why is a Heater Important?

In Calgary heat is VERY important.  Obviously you can manage without heat in your garage, but it does make things significantly more difficult.  I have a single car detached garage, and although parking the car in there does help with snow removal and wind it does keep anything warm.  It also doesn’t provide a storage solution for things that can’t freeze.  So all of our paint, dap, lawn sprays, caulking, drywall mud and other items have to be stored inside.  you can imagine how much of an inconvenience this is for us.

Helps Keep Your Home Warmer

If your garage is attached to your home then it is currently leaching heat from your house, but it will still be cold in the winter.  It won’t be nearly as cold as a detached garage, but it will still be cold.  It will also not provide any additional heat for the rest of your home.

If you put a heater in your garage, it can help heat your home, including the bonus room or your master bedroom that is usually above the garage.  Heat rises so it will definitely help your home stay warm.

Better for your Car

Another major issue is wear and tear on your vehicle.  Obviously, with the cold there is a number of things that can affect your car.  From the battery to the fluids to general comfort there are a number of really great reasons to get a heater in the Garage.

Hobbies and Projects all Winter Long

One of the big garage projects in the spring is clean up and organization.  But what if you didn’t need to do much in the spring because you could use your space all winter long.

Another major benefit of having a heated garage in Calgary is that you can use the space as an additional living space in the winter.  You may not sleep or watch TV in the garage, but many people do use the garage for woodworking, working on the car or boat, playing music with friends and fixing things around the house.

The garage gives you a really great place for all of these activities, not to mention the extra storage for everything, including things that can’t freeze.

Do You Need a Permit To Put a Heater in your Garage?

It really depends on your garage, and what kind of heater you are going to put into it.  If it is just electrical you will not likely need a permit, but if you are doing serious electrical work or installing a forced air gas heater, you are going to need a permit.  This is where Bedrock Construction can help you out.  We have been working in the City of Calgary for 30 years and are very familiar with permitting and construction.  If you are looking for a garage renovation, or even a full build from the ground up we can help.


In Calgary, we have two types of natural gas heaters that will work in the garage.  A forced air heater and an infrared tube heater, which is also known as a radiant heater.  Natural gas is still the most economical choice when it comes to heat in Alberta, although you can use electricity it will be more expensive in the long run.

Both of these options listed above require a gas line and an exterior vent.  You will need a permit and a professional installer to help you with these items.  You will also need an electrician to hook up the electrical to the heater unit.  Although they do not run on electricity, the power is still needed for the switching and monitoring.

Insulation Considerations

In order to get the most out of your heater, you should only install one if you have a minimum of 6 inches of insulation in the attic and 4 inches of insulation in the walls.  If your garage was built without a heater in mind like mine was, then you may need to add insulation before you install the heater.

It is also good to know what your concrete pad is like and what kind of insulation and expansion properties it has.

How Much Heat Do I need?

As a rule of thumb you will need 80-115 but per square foot of space, depending on the r-value of the insulation that is installed.  If you have a high r-value you may need less than that, but that is a good starting point.  The more BTU’s you need the more expensive heating your garage will be.

Forced air heaters are great for that warm feeling because the air is moving and more instantaneous.  However, for the woodworker the air may be a problem, blowing sawdust around the garage and potentially ruining things like paint and stains.

Radiant heat takes a little longer to warm up the garage, but it is silent and also doesn’t make a mess with the air.

There are ways to make both setups work and it really depends on your situation and what you will be doing with the garage space.