5 Min. Read

The Trick To Heating Your Cold Bedroom Over The Garage

Winter house showing close up of garage

Does your home have a bonus room above the garage? Does that room tend to be cold during the winter season? If that’s the case, then you’re not alone. A cold room (bedroom, office or any other space) over the car garage is one of the most commonly encountered issues that homeowners face. In fact, rooms that are located over garages are notoriously difficult to heat in the winter and cool in the summer. In most cases, the builders install fiberglass rolls of insulation in the cavity under the floor while constructing the house, and Dr. Energy Saver explains that this practice is usually ineffective “because the continuous flow of cold air goes through and around the insulation and comes directly in contact with the bottom of the floor.”

To make matters worse, “over time gravity pulls the fiberglass insulation away from the underside of the floor, increasing its exposure to cold air.” This results in extremely cold floors that eventually make the entire room feel cold, notes Dr. Energy Saver. It’s not one thing alone that causes the issue but in fact, several factors work together to cause the problem.

Here’s what causes the problem:

Couple have cold on the sofa at home with winter coat

First, “an over-the-garage room tends to need more in the way of heating and cooling because most of its exterior walls are exposed to the outside,” according to The Washington Post. You may not experience the same problem in the rest of the rooms because they usually share more walls with adjoining rooms.

To further complicate things, The Washington Post shares that “when a room is built over a garage, the whole idea is to take advantage of otherwise wasted space. The bonus room above the garage fits in between, with what's known as ‘knee walls’ running where the space to stand up or at least tuck in a bed or storage space runs out at the base of the sloped roof. The space behind the knee walls, which is often left accessible for storage, may be the source of your problem.”

Wait – Is there even a solution to this?

Yes, there is, and the solution isn’t as complicated as you think. To fix the problem, experts suggest incorporating an in-floor radiant heating system where the heat radiates up from the floor to warm the room. WarmlyYours offers electric radiant heating systems that don’t heat the air but instead radiate heat which efficiently warms other objects and people in the room. 

Electric radiant heating is a great solution for garages that are not be a part of the central air heating system for the main house. This is because expanding that system to the garage would be prohibitively expensive. As long as there's power going to the garage, then installing electric floor heating is a great way to install a source of energy efficient heat. 

In addition to the heating system, using an insulating underlayment like ThermalSheet or cork will provide a thermal break, that way the heat is prevented from sinking into the cold subfloor below, and more heat radiates into the floor covering and room. Radiant heating is a fascinating way to transfer heat very efficiently, actually keeping your heating bills low.

Woman sitting barefoot over floor

With a floor warming system in place, your cold bedroom will become a cozy retreat that you’ll never want to leave. Whether your room has tile, stone, carpet, concrete, nailed hardwood or floating wood flooring, a WarmlyYoursfloor heating system can be installed under all of these surfaces to add soothing warmth under your feet. Environ™ electric underfloor heating systems are ideal for adding warmth to rooms with carpet (US only), laminate or floating wood floors, while TempZone products can be used for most flooring types including luxury vinyl tiles and planks.

Consider radiant panels:

If for any reason in-floor radiant heating doesn’t make sense for your cold room, you can still utilize the power of radiant panels, which can be easily mounted on the walls to add extra warmth to your room in a stylish way. Radiant panels operate through Far Infrared heating, or FIR. FIR is the technology behind wall panels, as well as underfloor heating, many domestic hot water heaters, and wet central heating systems.  In contrast, the low-tech forced air and space heating systems that we all grew up with rely on heating the air around us. FIR, on the other hand, is absorbed by matter in the same way that our bodies absorb the heat generated by the sun, regardless of air temperature. Think of how hot you can get sitting by a window in the sun, or how hot the sand or blacktop gets on a sunny day. This process uses far less energy, effectively reducing your heating bills, while generating a tremendous amount of warmth.

Don't forget about your pipes!

If you have a residential room above a garage, then odds are that you also have water running to that room via pipes in the walls. And if you're cold in the room itself, just imagine how cold these pipes are, particularly if they're on exterior facing walls. These pipes can be especially vulnerable to freezing during cold winter temperatures and can cause very expensive damage if the pipes burst.

Before and After Pipe Tracing

One solution for this problem is to install a pipe freeze protection system (also called heat tape for pipes) to help protect your non-flowing water pipes. This type of product is generally available with either constant wattage or self-regulating wattage, both of which are offered by WarmlyYours. The constant wattage product is very DIY friendly since it has a plug-in electrical connection. The self-regulating product should be hooked up by a licensed electrician so there is an added cost there but the product is also more energy efficient and can be cut to size on site by a professional for a perfect fit.  

If you can’t resist getting an electric floor heating system installed in your chilly room above the car garage, visit our website or give us a call at (800) 875-5285. We know you can’t wait to transform your bedroom or home office into a comfortable sanctuary with radiant floor heating!

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lol - the solution isn't that complicated. Just rip up the entire floor, install a heating system, and pay to have it floor replaced.

WarmlyYours Responds...

It might seem like installing electric floor heating is a large (and expensive) project but it's typically undertaken when someone is already planning on replacing their floor already so the additional costs and labor are very marginal in those situations.

Sometimes this isn’t always the solution to everyone since some people do not own the house and only rent.

WarmlyYours Responds...

That's absolutely true! This can be a tricky situation for renters and while most of our products would require pretty substantial renovations, we do have some less invasive options for adding supplemental heating like our Ember Flex radiant heating panels paired with stand accessories. This creates a plug-in heat source that you can move (as far as the cord goes) to help provide supplemental heating in these hard to heat areas.

Indeed, using an in-floor radiant heating system or radiant panels to efficiently warm the room. Insulating underlayment can also be used to prevent heat loss through the cold subfloor. With the addition of a floor warming system, the cold room can become a cozy retreat.

WarmlyYours Responds...

Thanks for reading and those are great points!

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