7 super ideas for heating your shed in winter – without electricity

7 super ideas for heating your shed in winter – without electricity

We had someone ask: “What’s the best way to heat my shed in winter … without electricity… safely … and relatively inexpensively?”

It’s a good question.

If you live somewhere that gets a bit nippy in the middle of the year and you want to spend time in your shed and it’s not wired for power (and wearing a couple more layers of clothing defeats the purpose a bit), what are your options?

Most of our suggestions are things you can make yourself, if you’re so inclined, but if you’re not up for a self-build, chances are someone else is and has built one you can buy online.


This won’t work for everyone, but if it gets cold overnight and the shed really cools down, but the sun generally shines during the day, consider replacing the most exposed side of the roof with transparent sheeting or panels to let the natural warmth of the sun penetrate all the way to where you’re working (or hanging out). There’s the added bonus of more natural light, too.

DIY solar space heater

This is one of the best ideas we’ve come across in a while. As The Good Human explains in this post, if you take an old window frame (with glass intact) and a bunch of aluminium cans (painted black), you can whip up a pretty decent solar space heater!

Indoor propane heater

First, the warning: don’t use a propane heater designed for outdoor use inside an enclosed space as you will run a high risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Look for a propane heater designed for indoor use, as those produce what’s known as an “ideal burn” and present no risk of CO poisoning. To get fully up to speed, check out this piece from Potato Feed or this review and buying guide on the Home Air website.


DIY pot-belly stove

These take a bit more effort to make and install, given they need to be flued, but we’ve seen lots of great examples, including making them out of truck brake drums and used gas bottles. The Self-Sufficient Living has pulled a bunch of these ideas together in one post. If making your own is too big a project to undertake, a quick search on Gumtree found plenty that others had made.

DIY barrel stove

This isn’t the best option for a small shed, partly because it takes up a bit of your space and partly because it throws out so much heat (so you need a solid hearth as well). But, if you’re interested in checking out this idea, here’s some step-by-step instructions and here are the kits you can get.

DIY rocket stove

A rocket stove might be the ideal option for many, because it’s relatively compact, doesn’t need a lot of fuel (small diameter wood works well), and puts out a decent amount of heat. As the Bug Out Bag Guide explains in this post “A well designed DIY rocket stove can create the same amount of heat as a wood stove using up to 90% less fuel”.
For extra ideas, Homesthetics has pulled together “27 insanely cool rocket stove plans”!

Heated water

Another idea is to have your heater, for example a barrel heater, outside the shed, have it heat some water (maybe coil some copper piping around the barrel), and pump the water into an old-school radiator inside the shed – a makeshift hydronic heating solution.

Remember the warnings

Make sure that you stay safe by following all local building codes and keeping flammable substances away from any heat sources.

Never leave a heater unattended.

Make sure your heater isn’t eating up all the oxygen in your shed and suffocating you OR pumping out carbon monoxide poisoning you.

Safety first with everything you do in your shed.

Give us a call or drop us a note if you want any more information or specific advice.