As the winter weather moves in and the days get shorter, it’s time to starting thinking about heating a garden room. Lots of options are available to maintain a warm and comfortable atmosphere.
During the spring and summer, a garden room can often go for months without requiring any heating. Due to thick insulation and mild temperatures outside, garden buildings do a fantastic job of holding onto heat. As autumn begins and the temperature outside drops, the need for heating becomes apparent, especially during the mornings.
Garden rooms are used for a huge range of activities, including everything from home gyms to bars without needing to go out. Over the last few years, a lot more of us are also using them as a garden office. An office in the garden is perfect for working from home and still maintaining a separate environment to work from.
For activities such as a garden office, where the outbuilding is used during all months of the year, it’s essential to invest in a good-quality heating solution. With lots of options available, we will recommend our favourite choices to keep a garden room toasty whatever the weather is outside.
Is there much difference between electrical heaters?
To heat a garden room, electrical heaters are the best solution for both efficiency and ease of installation. Most do not require any additional steps to use and can simply be unboxed and turned on. Believe it or not, there’s a lot of difference between various types of electrical heaters.
When heaters are powered using electricity, they can produce either radiated or convected heat. Convected heat is preferred for larger garden rooms as it can move heat around faster. During convection heating, the air is warmed and rises, circulating around the room to warm up all of the interior.
On the other hand, radiant heaters will warm up objects instead of the air and give the feeling of warmth. This makes them ideal for places where air can escape easy such as near a window or rooms with poor airtightness. The ideal heat is a combination of both, which is achieved through some electrical heaters such as oil-filled radiators.
Best heaters for a garden room office
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A great garden room heater can allow the building to be enjoyed throughout the year. Finding the perfect model can be a long process, luckily we have narrowed down our favourite recommendations below.
VonHaus Free-standing Oil Filled Radiator (Amazon)
The VonHous brand produces a full range of heaters and similar products that can be relied upon. This oil-filled radiator makes an excellent choice to keep a garden room warm. Several models are available including a 2kW and 2.5kW power output radiator. The 2kW model is suitable for most garden rooms, and the 2.5kW will provide fast heat up in even larger garden rooms. Two colour choices are also available in both black and white to match different interior styles.
Three power settings are available for maximum efficiency and an adjustable thermostat to achieve the perfect temperature. The long cable and wheels allow the heater to be moved around the garden room to where heat is required. For peace of mind, a 2-year warranty is included and the cable can be tied up when not in use.
Amazon Basics Eco Oscillating Heater (Amazon)
We find the Amazon Basics brand to offer surprisingly good value and quality products. The large tower heater looks great in a contemporary garden and doesn’t take up too much space thanks to being tall and thin. Two performance models are available with a power output of 2kW or 2.2kW. The higher-powered unit also has an extra heat setting with three options for adjustment. The energy efficiency setting can reduce heating costs by lowering the amount of power being used.
Oscillation allows the heater to project its output across the room, quickly raising the temperature. The grey and white design looks smart and blends in with a room easily. As this heater has a remote control, the heat settings can be adjusted without walking over to the heater. Safety features include tip-over protection and a built-in dust filter.
Pro Breeze Mini Ceramic Heater (Amazon)
Pro Breeze heaters are a popular choice with lots of different options available. The mini ceramic heater is perfect for if a portable solution is required or there is not much space inside the garden room. Despite its small footprint, this heater still produces 2kW of heat output, plenty to quickly heat up a room. The fan design also distributes heat quickly, making it a good choice for heating up a garden building fast on a cold day.
Two power settings are available and the heater can be turned down to 1.2kW for use during the autumn when less heat is required. The heater also features 60-degree oscillation and fall over protection to cut out if knocked. If the heater is going to be used inside the house and garden room, this model provides a flexible solution that is easy to move around.
Duronic HV102 Heater (Amazon)
The powerful Duronic heater produces excellent output and quickly provides a feeling of warmth. Using mica panel technology, the heater is able to produce both convection and radiant heat. For a comfortable atmosphere and warm environment, a combination of both is essential. Three programmable settings are available to turn the heater all of the way up to 2.5kW of power. The lowest setting is 1kW for economical use when the temperature is not as cold.
With its unique design, this heater features wheels on one side to allow for easy movement. An optional remote control is also available so the heater can be controlled from across the room. Safety features include overheating protection to prevent the heater from getting too hot. The heating element is also protected by mesh to prevent it from being touched.
Electriq Smart Oil-Filled Radiator (Amazon)
The digitally controlled radiator provides additional options for controlling heat settings. Using the smart application, heat settings can be adjusted from a mobile phone, allowing the garden room to be pre-heated before entering. Three power settings are available with a maximum power output of 2.5kW for cold winter days. During warmer temperatures, the heat output can be reduced to 1kW.
The black design stands out and looks modern in a garden office. A digital screen provides information on the current temperature and heat settings. Using the timer, the radiator can be set to turn on and off at a time that suits. Four wheels on the bottom of the radiator allow for easy mobility and the cable tidy keeps the cable wrapped up when not in use.
Best heater features
The price and features of electrical heaters vary massively from one model to the next. Whilst not all of the features are needed, there are some that make a great choice for use in a garden room. As with any electrical item, more features will increase the cost so we recommend choosing the features that bring the most comfort to a garden office.
The biggest feature affecting a heater’s performance is the power output. An electric heaters power is measured in Watts and Kilowatts (kW). A large range of different power outputs is available from below 1000W to above 3000W. Higher power usually comes with an increased price tag.
For a medium-sized garden room or office, we recommend a 1500-2000W heater. Anything smaller can take a long time to heat up the space during the winter. The power output is the maximum power a heater can supply and most have buttons to lower the power when required.
Electric heaters are very efficient and a 2kW heater will use 2kW of power during the same period regardless of whether it’s a fan heater or oil-filled radiator. Compared to gas, electricity is a higher cost energy source and the cost of running an electric heater can quickly add up.
Electric heaters require the garden room to be insulated and only used for short periods to be efficient. The running costs make them unsuitable for constant use throughout the day. With the average electricity price in the UK being 17.2p/kWh, using a 1.5kW electric heater for 3 hours per week could add £40.39 to the average electricity bill.
The exact use will vary and a garden room office can go for months without needing heating during the summer.
|Usage time||4 hours per week|
Energy efficiency is essential with electric heaters and a thermostat can reduce the amount of power being used. Most heaters will feature several different heat settings, allowing the user to reduce the heat output but still keep the heater turned on as the room begins to warm up.
An adjustable thermostat helps to regulate the temperature in the room by turning the heater power down once a defined temperature has been reached. This prevents the heater from running for longer than necessary and using additional power. A thermostat is also convenient to maintain constant room temperature as the heater can turn back on when the temperature drops and turn off again when the temperature has been achieved.
Fall & over-heating protection
With the high power output of electric heaters, it’s important to choose one with plenty of safety features. Fall protection allows the heater to automatically cut out if it has been knocked over. Damage is then prevented to the floor and the heater will not start heating again until it has been stood up in the correct position.
Over-heating protection results in the heater cutting out if it gets too hot to prevent fire. In the winter inside a garden room, the heater could be running for an extended period. The over-heating protection ensures it is safe whilst it continues to produce heat.
Remote control & smart settings
A remote control is very useful for a heater in a garden office. The heat settings can be controlled when sat at a desk without the need to get up and change the settings from the heater. Tower fan heaters often come with a remote control and we recommend this option if the heater is placed across the room.
Some heaters can now be purchased as smart versions that connect to a Wi-Fi network. This allows the heater to be controlled from a mobile phone application for settings such as heat output and setting a timer. If a garden room has a reliable internet connection, a smart heater can be turned on in the morning before going inside. Pre-heating the garden room can ensure a comfortable temperature before starting work if it is being used as a garden office.
We like smart technology, but there’s currently not a lot of good smart heaters available. Better heaters can be found that use a remote control instead.
Type of heat output
When it comes to choosing an electric heater, there’s a lot of choices available for the type of heat output. Oil-filled radiators are a popular choice for heating a garden room. While they can take an initial bit of time to warm up, they also take longer to cool down so provide heat for longer once turned off. Oil-filled radiators often feature wheels to be moved around and positioned easily in different locations. Operation is virtually silent, preventing any heating noises if working from the garden office.
Fan heaters also make a good choice in a garden room. The instant heat-up provides warmth quickly and distributes it well throughout the room. Many feature oscillation to move heat around even better. A downside is the fan noise when in use, which can be annoying if they are running for an extended period. It can also quickly feel cold when a fan heater is turned off as the heat stops immediately, unlike an oil-filled radiator.
Convection heaters are a good middle-ground for a garden room. The heat is provided quickly and there’s not much noise during operation. As convection heaters warm the air instead of objects, the temperature throughout the room can quickly rise. Although most don’t contain wheels, a convection heater can be moved around before use and positioned where heat is required.
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Heating a garden room
Before heating a garden room, it’s key to make sure the building is suitable. If the garden room cannot hold onto heat efficiently, any warmth from the heater will quickly be lost. This can result in expensive heating and cold temperatures inside.
The garden room should be insulated before using a heater and most come with insulation pre-installed. If the building is a self-build or simply did not come insulated, it can be fitted after. The additional costs of insulation will start to be recovered as soon as the heating is used.
Rigid PIR insulation boards are commonly used to insulate a garden building. The walls, floor and roof can all be insulated for maximum efficiency in reducing heat loss. 50mm boards are installed tightly in-between the wooden framing to prevent heat from moving through the walls. Aluminium tape is used around the edges to improve airtightness and stop moisture from getting into the walls at the sides of the insulation board.
Double glazing can improve the energy efficiency properties even further. For a garden office, double glazed windows can also lower the volume of sounds outside. Depending on the type of garden room, many include uPVC doors and windows as standard that are great for insulating heat.
Guide: How to heat a garden room
Best way to heat a garden office
Working from a garden office is possible throughout all months of the year if using a good heater. When working from a desk, we are mostly stagnant, with little movement for hours at a time. This can lead to feeling colder quicker and may require increased heating power. The best way to heat a garden office is to first focus on keeping the heat inside the outbuilding. Practical steps above such as insulation and double glazing are the most effective methods to keep a garden room office warm.
Once the garden office is able to maintain heat, we can take advantage of one of the best heaters for a garden office. we find oil-filled radiators to be the most effective solution when working from a computer throughout the day. The silent operation allows for the heater to be used in the background without causing a distraction.
There’s a lot of choices when it comes to finding the best heater for a garden room or garden office. Understanding how electric heaters work is important before making a decision. A combination of radiant & convection heat is given off by oil-filled radiators and is best for a comfortable atmosphere.
The cost of heating a garden room can quickly add up, especially with a high powered heater. Energy efficiency features such as a thermostat are key to reducing the amount of power used. Before heating any garden room, it should be insulated to hold onto the heat inside.
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