How can I heat my garden office?

The benefits of working from a home office are wonderful, the short walk down the garden, watching the wildlife, peace and quiet. However, when the cold weather arrives things are not that wonderful! New purpose built garden rooms are very well constructed and insulated but rarely come with heating fitted, and converted sheds or outbuildings can be far colder and even damp feeling in the winter, our bodies cannot build up any warmth if we are sat still at a desk all day!

The romantic ideal would be a wood burner, a cosy real fire with a kettle singing away and a jacket potato wrapped in tin foil cooking for later. But the reality is, lugging a basket of logs a day, disposing of hot ash, unbelievable amounts of ash dust over your work and no control over the heating, so at weekends when you are not at work the room becomes really cold. If your garden office is more of a workshop then maybe you can put up with these issues.

Gas heaters do throw out a lot of heat, so are good for really cold buildings, however you should take care not to place items on top or directly in front of the heater, not easy if you are working in a small space. Ensure there is adequate ventilation too. These heaters are bulky and do take up space, that includes storing it when not in use.

Electric panel heaters are available in an array of colours and modern designs, these can be fitted along the skirting area or on the wall, offices with fully fitted furniture may struggle to find the appropriate space to fit this type of heater. These radiate warmth without “blowing” as convector or fan heaters do. Heaters may be rated at low wattages for economy but please check with the supplier the actual area the panel will heat, you may find you need up to 2kw.

Infrared heating panels are a relatively new idea in the UK but have been widely available in Europe for more than ten years. Infrared rays warm people and objects rather than the air between, this is warmed as a secondary effect, just the same as sitting in the sun and feeling the sun’s rays soak into your body. Slim line panels should be fitted onto the ceiling above the desk and are therefore neatly stored out of the way ready for chilly mornings, panels can work with simple timers or complex programmers. The best feature of these panels is the low amount of electricity used so substantial savings can be made on running costs. An 850watt panel will heat an area of 16square metres of solid construction, so will heat a smaller garden office if not well insulated.

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