Will A Wood Stove Heat An Uninsulated Garage?


Will A Wood Stove Heat An Uninsulated Garage

Whether you use your garage as a workshop for hours at a time or a storage space for temperature-sensitive items, you have probably considered ways to heat the area. Particularly if you are in a cold climate most of the year, an uninsulated garage can be tough to heat. One method you might have heard of involves using a wood stove. So, will a wood stove heat an uninsulated garage?

A wood stove can heat an uninsulated garage, but there are certainly more efficient ways to approach the situation. Without insulation, heat will rise and escape through your roof vents quickly. A wood stove may not have the power to maintain the heated area.

Continue reading to learn more about if a wood stove will heat an uninsulated garage. Along with the practicality of heating your uninsulated garage, there are also a few risks to consider when using a heater – particularly a wood stove – in an enclosed space. See below for the advantages and disadvantages of different methods.

Will A Wood Stove Heat An Uninsulated Garage?

In short, yes, a wood stove will heat an uninsulated garage. However, it will take some time. If you have used a wood stove before – even in an insulated area – you are probably familiar with how long it can take to heat a room. If you are planning on staying warm from your wood stove, your best bet is to activate it hours before benefitting from its warmth.

Because it can take so long to heat a room, you may not opt for a wood stove. Still, if it is your only option, it can work. If used safely and properly, a wood stove will heat at least certain areas of your uninsulated garage. 

As you have learned, the first problem with using a wood stove to heat an uninsulated garage is that wood stoves take a while to heat up and eventually push warm air into the room. This is because, as a convection heater, the purpose of a wood stove is to heat the entire area it is in. Of course, a wood stove will utilize radiation and conduction as well, but convection is the main component.

Even if you do not have insulation, your garage likely has some sort of ventilation. With a wood stove working slowly, the heat output may simply be filtered out of the garage through the ventilation.

Pros And Cons Of A Wood Stove In An Uninsulated Garage

There are advantages and disadvantages when using a wood stove to heat an uninsulated garage. If you think the pros outweigh the cons, you might be satisfied with a wood stove. However, you might come to find that the disadvantages are too much of an inconvenience for your time and money.

ProsCons
Cheaper option initiallyEasy functionHeating nearby spaceHeating timeVentilation Fire hazardCostly in the long runFloor space

As you can see, the biggest problem with using a wood stove to heat an uninsulated garage is overall efficiency. Learning more about how a wood stove works in an uninsulated garage might help you decide whether it is the right choice for you.

Advantages

A wood stove is typically going to be a cheaper option than a mini-split or propane heater, which can be a huge factor if you want to save money upfront. However, short-term convenience does not always lead to long-term effects. Still, a wood stove is easy to use and can typically be hassle-free.

A wood stove is also useful for fast heat in a small area. Yes, the heat will exit through ventilation quickly, but if the wood stove is positioned close to your work area, it can keep you warm. You will learn later that this may not be the best idea, as a wood stove poses the risk of a fire hazard.

You should also note that using a wood stove in a garage without ventilation is a bad idea. The ventilation is a nuisance since it sucks warm air out, but no ventilation in an enclosed space with a fire burning is highly dangerous.

Disadvantages

Obviously, the heating time and loss of heat through ventilation are big factors. There are additional considerations to think about before choosing a wood stove to heat your uninsulated garage. 

Wood stoves are much more of a fire hazard than other heaters. Especially in an enclosed space, where you may be working with wood/sawdust, flammable, airtight cans, paint, and more. In this case, you should have your stove on the opposite end of your garage, which, if it is a wood stove, may not give you any noticeable results for heating.  

Because a wood stove takes longer to heat than other stoves, you will be burning quite a bit of wood. If you choose to begin heating your garage hours before working, that is a lot of wood going into just a bit of heat. You will use more wood when you are not in the garage than you will while you are working. If you buy your lumber rather than cut it yourself, this can cause a substantial dent in your wallet.

Lastly, a wood stove can take up a lot of space in your garage that you could otherwise use for storage, a work area, etc. Smaller, more practical options for heating can be placed more conveniently or even hung on the wall.

Can I Heat My Garage If It Is Not Insulated?

Another question you may have involves the ability to heat an uninsulated garage. Is it even possible? With the right tools, yes. As you have learned, even a wood stove can warm your uninsulated garage, but it will take some time.

You can heat an uninsulated garage, but it will certainly be more difficult than doing so with an insulated garage. The largest factors include the elements of no insulation allowing more cold air into your garage and ventilation helping heat escape more quickly. 

You will have to place your heater in the right location, make sure it works efficiently, and be careful around stoves and equipment that could be fire hazards.

Will A Wood Stove Heat An Uninsulated Garage

How Can I Heat My Uninsulated Garage?

If you do not choose to use a wood stove to heat your uninsulated garage, there are other options. Propane heaters are a great choice. Especially when equipped with a blower, a propane heater works quickly and efficiently without disrupting your work. The blower will help the heat spread throughout the garage quicker than a wood stove.

You can also go for a mini-split heater, which uses a pump system to draw air from outside into a compressor and change the temperature of the room you are in. Keep in mind, however, that the efficiency of a propane or mini-split heater is likely going to cost you much more than a wood stove. However, the initial installment can be well worth minor prices after the fact.

Takeaway

A wood stove will heat an uninsulated garage, but there are far better options out there. While a wood stove is cheaper upfront, easy to use, and effective for immediate surroundings, the efficiency, cost of lumber, and fire hazards may not be worth your time and money. You can heat an uninsulated garage, but a wood stove may not be your best bet.

Sources

Rasmus

Hi, my name is Rasmus. I'm a huge fan of alternative living arrangements and the many ways people are escaping the 9 to 5 grind. Whether it's van dwelling or homesteading, if it allows for more freedom in your life then I'm all ears! I've been exploring different aspects of this lifestyle for over three years now and have learned so much. From solar power to worm farming, if there's something out there that helps us live differently - I want to know about it!

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