If you have converted your garage into a workshop or home office, you are sure to need heating in one form or another. This is because most garages are not built to the same standards of insulation as the main residential building. However, that need not present a difficulty. You may even have the opposite problem during the summer, as garages often do not have windows, or at least large ones, either.
Ventilation could be another issue that you will have to deal with, but we will come to that later. If you have a plentiful supply of dead wood, you could install a pot-bellied stove, but you will have to vent the flue outside. This is very easily done, since most garage walls are only one brick or block thick. However, if they do not burn correctly, there can be a smell, which you may find unpleasant.
Or you could use a paraffin/kerosene heater. They are cheap to buy and are readily portable. These heaters do not necessarily have to have a flue. They are easy to turn on as many of them have an electric starter. Some also have a thermostat to regulate the temperature. They can be a hazard if there are children around as they can be tipped over. However, for most people, the glitch would be the smell given off.
You could use an electric hot air heater. They are quite cheap to buy, are easily portable and do not require a flue, but they can produce a very dry atmosphere and are costly to run.
One of the most popular choices these days is a gas heater. There are many different types of gas heater, but most run on butane or propane. Most of the models are fairly reasonably priced. The main advantage of a gas heater is that they give consistent heat, are fairly cheap to run and are portable. Or at least many of them are.
You could have one built in, but it is hardly worth it, unless you are using gas that needs to be vented. Propane gas heaters also come with or without thermostatic controls. A propane heater could also double as a patio or deck heater on chilly evenings.
These gas heaters come in two forms: vented and unvented. The unvented models are the portable ones. They use the air from the room and the vented models have a flue that vents straight out of the garage. The slight disadvantage of the unvented model is that you have to keep the room airy at all times.
Therefore, if you choose a portable, unvented propane heater, you must leave a window partly open in order to allow the exchange of air and these heaters can be used as patio or deck heaters during the spring and autumn/fall. However, the vented gas heaters are fixed and have a flue attached, so they cannot be taken outside. Furthermore, if you decide on a vented model, you would be better off getting a professional in to install it for you by the book.
Owen Jones, the writer of this piece, writes on many topics, but is currently involved with the propane outdoor heater. If you are interested in patio heaters too, please click through to Residential Patio Heaters.