How To Heat A Shed For Free This Winter

A shed is a must for every garden. They are invaluable for keeping tools in, even if those tools only include a mower. They can also be truly lovely little havens away from the backbreaking work of weeding, digging and planting – you can have a cup of tea in your shed, or stand in the doorway and survey all your hard work! Or a shed could simply be used to just store all the stuff that doesn’t fit in the house!

Whatever your needs for your shed, wouldn’t it be nice to have it a bit warm on those cold Winter days? Obviously you don’t want any extra money piled onto your heating bill, so why not look into how to heat a shed for free? There are some very useful and surprising ideas out there on how you can do this.

How To Heat A Shed For Free

Some of the following methods are not entirely free, but they will work out considerably cheaper than hooking your shed up to your electricity and running up another bill on top of your house bills.

If you spend a lot of time in your shed you will need it to be comfortable, and even if you don’t spend hours out there it’s nice to have it be warm enough to move your fingers. Here are a few ideas you can try:

Infra Red Heat Bulbs

You may have seen these clever little bulbs in a barn, keeping a nest of chicks warm. But they are amazingly versatile, and you don’t have to have livestock to use one! Especially if you are heating a small shed or conservatory, an infra red bulb will make a lot of difference very quickly.

This will require an electricity source, so if your shed is at the bottom of the garden with no way of connecting it then this idea is probably not for you!

Wood Stove

A wood burning stove is a great solution to a cold shed. You will need to ensure that you buy the right sized burner – a giant stove in a tiny shed will negate the whole purpose as it will be too hot to go in there!

You also need to ensure that you have a good chimney to remove smoke from the building, and you will have to use heat resistant materials behind the burner to ensure that the walls of the shed don’t get too hot or damaged.

A wood burner is a fantastic answer to the question of how to heat a shed for free – once you have bought the stove you can just feed it with any old scrappy wood and know that it will keep you toasty.

Gas Heater

Most people can remember the old gas heaters that you insert a gas can into and four little panels at the front light up to keep you warm. This is a quick and easy answer to your cold shed, as they heat up very quickly and, as long as they are not burning all the time, are very economical.

One thing you have to watch out for with gas heating though, is condensation and damp. Keep an eye on windows and places where condensation can gather, as you don’t want to start a colony of mould just because you’re trying to keep warm.

Solar Panels

If your shed is designed to be a place where you spend a lot of time, then it may be worth investing in solar panels. These can be connected directly to a radiator inside to warm your shed through, and beyond the initial outlay for the panels themselves this is a very inexpensive solution.

It is well worth looking into this option if your shed is something like a workshop rather than just somewhere to store the bikes.

Solar Heating

We’re not talking about expensive solar panels that you connect to a radiator, or to your generator in order to store power. This is a far more simple solution!

All you need to do is replace the south facing wall of your shed with clear plastic panels, or strong thick plastic sheeting, and your shed will heat up in no time. This idea works on the same principle as a greenhouse, but like a greenhouse it is not ideal for the winter months.


This is probably the most simple solution to how to heat a shed for free. If you have good insulation it will keep the heat in (and conversely keep it cool in summer too).

If you can, insulate the floor with foam insulation boards, and fill the wall cavities with rock wool, fibreglass or sheep fleece. If your shed is already built and you have no way of changing the insulation, plenty of thick rugs on the floor (and the walls!) can make a huge difference.

Halogen Heaters

This is another option which needs an electricity supply, but it is a great space saving option if you have somewhere to plug it into. They tend to only warm up the air in front of them, but many of them have an oscillating function so they can move around the space making warm air wherever they’re pointing.

Final Words

As you can see, there are many options on how to heat a shed for free. Which option you go for depends on what your shed is designed to be – is it a workshop? A place where you can put extra guests? Somewhere to go and tinker about with a small project?

Whatever you use your shed for, you are sure to be able to find a heating solution to keeping it warm that suits both you and your budget. Whether you want to invest in solar panels or simply cover the place with thick rugs, hopefully we’ve given you an idea or two to be going on with.

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