There’s a wide range of DIY heating devices available these days that can be utilized to heat a garage. The choice depends on the energy source you want to use, the size of the structure, and what the garage is going to be used for.
For example, if your garage is used for woodworking where airborne sawdust particles are present and polyurethane finishes are frequently used, you wouldn’t want a forced hot-air propane heater or gas-fired furnace blasting hot flames into the atmosphere. In this case, you would want a safer alternative, and choose an electric garage heater to be your heat source.
There are also a lot of people who want to know how to heat a garage for free. The truth is, even with the most economical heating systems like solar power, which have the long-term potential to be free in the end, there’s always some type of initial investment involved. On the other hand, there are some ways you can make a homemade garage heater for free with items you might have kicking around the house.
Below are the directions for three different types of DIY garage heaters and how to use them:
Ceramic DIY Garage Heater
A ceramic garage heater is one of the most efficient methods for a homemade heating solution designed for medium-sized garages. These heaters utilize the design of a fan heater coupled with the thermal capability of ceramic, and the best part is the heat source is just three candles. Some of the highest recorded temperatures have reached 300 degrees Fahrenheit, and with the fan blowing, it produces constant temperatures around 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Stoneware or ceramic bowl such as a crockpot
- 2 clay bricks
- 3 short and fat candles
- Plate or tray for the candles
- Small Fan
- You’ll want to construct your ceramic garage heater in the corner of the garage, so the heater can blow the heat toward the center of the garage.
- Build the heater on top of a metal table or flat steel object.
- Place the candles in the center of your metal base.
- Place the two bricks on each side of the candles.
- Place the ceramic bowl upside down on top of the bricks.
- Position the fan about one foot behind the heater.
To run this heater, simply light the candles and turn on the power to your fan. Believe it or not, this will generate comfortable heat throughout a medium-sized garage, due to the superb heat absorption properties and radiating abilities of ceramic stonewares. This heater also heats up faster than other types of DIY garage heaters while the fan enhances the heat generated inside of the ceramic bowl.
This homemade garage heater may not look the best; however, when compared to other types of DIY heaters it’s very effective. If you want to heat your garage cheaply, this ceramic DIY heater will get the job done.
Alcohol DIY Garage Heater
Alcohol DIY garage heaters can be made with ordinary household supplies to temporarily heat the space inside of your garage. Learning how to make one of these heaters has a lot of extended benefits, especially during power outages. You can use this emergency heat source to stay warm, cook your food, and heat your garage. All it requires is 70 percent rubbing or isopropyl alcohol, so grab a few extra bottles the next time your out in order to have them on hand. This heat source does operate with an open flame; therefore, it should never be left unattended and watched carefully.
- 70 percent rubbing or isopropyl alcohol
- Metal soup or paint cans
- Toilet paper rolls
- Small fan
- Place a full roll of toilet paper into an empty paint can or partial roll into a soup can.
- Pour the alcohol over the roll of toilet paper until it’s soaked.
- Use a match and light the alcohol on top of the toilet paper.
Alcohol garage heaters are safe to operate as long as you tend to the fire. The toilet paper works just like a wick in a candle and the alcohol is the fuel for the fire. A full roll of toilet paper in an empty paint can last for more than an hour because the exposed alcohol at the top burns while the alcohol that’s in the bottom of the metal can stay cool.
It’s also a good idea to set your cans on a flat, steel object or concrete paving stones. Additionally, you can use more than one can at a time to increase the heat and use a small fan to circulate the hot air. These portable heaters can even come in handy for survival types of situations like camping, power outages, and roadside emergencies.
Steel Cylinder DIY Garage Heater
Steel cylinder garage heaters are the best source of temporary heat for a garage. They can be constructed by cutting a metal oil drum down to 18 to 24 inches in height. It’s important when using steel cylinder garage heaters to have adequate ventilation in order for the smoke to escape. If you have a vent in your gable end, that’s great, but you should also crack a window or door to let the smoke escape. This garage heater also needs to be watched carefully as the heat source is an open flame.
- One 55 gal steel drum
- Seasoned hardwood or dry lumber
- Small fan(s)
- Cut the 55-gallon steel oil drum down to 18 to 24 inches in height.
- Fill the bottom of the cylinder with kindling and ignite with a piece of paper and match.
- Once you have a good bed of coals, place seasoned hardwood on the fire.
This is a very hot heat source, and the intensity of the fire should be kept to a minimum by not overloading the cylinder with wood. Place the cylinder in the center of the garage floor, and position the fan to blow at the fire toward the cracked window or door. You can also place a fan in the window or near the door with the fan blowing outward while using another small fan to circulate the hot air in the garage.
Do not leave this garage heater unattended because an open flame can be very dangerous; however, if carefully tended? This homemade garage heater can keep you very warm, and it can also make a great cooking device by placing a metal grate over the top of it.
Are These DIY Garage Heaters Safe?
These type of instant DIY garage heaters require constant attention and should never be left unattended; however, they do work and can heat a garage safely if they’re well-maintained. On the other hand, it’s probably a better and safer idea just to buy an electric heater off the shelf to heat your garage.