Garage Heater Selection

The Garage Heaters – What You Should Know Before Buying

A garage heater offers an excellent alternative for warming up a rather unusual space. Unlike other rooms in a typical home, the garage almost never has a full connection to the main heating system. The reason behind this is obvious; developers do not foresee much of a need to heat a room that houses your car. However, an increasing number of people are starting to use their garages as an alternative living space. They are creating everything from workshops to apartment suites. As a result, garage heaters are becoming more important than ever. Unfortunately, not too many people know what is out there. In turn, they end up buying units that are not appropriate for their situation. To avoid doing such things for your own garage, you should know the basics behind what is available.

There are five types of garage heating systems: electric, propane, dual, natural gas and infrared. The sections below will discuss each of these systems in detail, including their advantages and disadvantages. This way, you will be in a better position for determining which unit deserves your time and money.

1. Electric Garage Heaters

Electric heaters are the easiest option for warming your garage. They require no installation, and can be used straight out of the box. All you need is an electrical outlet, which is available in most garages. In addition, many units come with a variety of temperature controls, giving you more power over your heating.

The downside to all of this is that most electric heaters are not powerful enough to heat an entire garage. Producing about 1.5 kilowatts of power, electric heaters are about 3.5 kilowatts off the mark for heating an average-sized garage. So, you may need two or three just to feel comfortable. In exchange, be prepared to pay a very high utility bill, as these units require a lot of juice to run.

But if you are looking for a very easy solution to your heating problems in the garage, especially if you only need to heat it up every once in a while then this type of garage heater fills the bill perfectly.

2. Propane Garage Heaters

When it comes to the garage heater, propane units are very popular. Running from specialized propane canisters, they require no electricity to operate, yet they produce a very powerful stream of heat. However, you will need basic handyman skills to install the system.

There are some ventless models that are easier to set up, but they tend to be more dangerous to use. This is due to how they deplete your garage’s oxygen supply. When this happens, your garage becomes more susceptible to mold and bacteria. You also risk suffocation, if you do not turn off the unit in time. This is why many ventless models come with monitors to let you know what the current oxygen level is. If it gets too low, the unit will shut off.

Yet, do not think that vented propane heaters are a panacea. They are hard to install, and still require caution when in use, as the concerns of carbon monoxide and overheating are not fully eliminated. Also, you should not put solvents around your heater, as they might catch on fire.

3. Dual Workshop Heater

Dual garage heaters work through a connection to your main heating system. A special zoning system is put into place so you do not waste energy. If you decide not to use your garage, you simply power off that zone. Such an arrangement gives you the safest and most efficient option for heating your garage. However, implementing such systems require professional installation. This could cost you tens of thousands, especially if your home is already built. If you are in the process of building a new home, a dual system could be implemented as a cheaper, add-on feature.

4. Natural Gas Garage Heaters

Natural gas heaters work from your existing gas line, but unless you get a dual unit, they work independently from your main system. This gives you some level of freedom, but you still have to think about the installation, (which resembles the process involved with installing propane units). And like propane heaters, you have the option of getting vented or vent less. Either choice comes with the same concerns mentioned above regarding propane units. But on the upside, since natural gas units work from your gas line, you will not have to replace canisters or worry about electricity. You will also save more money, since gas heating is usually cheap to begin with. Historically heating with natural gas has been the cheapest alternative when the service is available in your area.

5. Infrared Heater

The infrared unit is the most unique garage heater featured on this list. It can operate from any source of fuel, (whether it is electricity, propane or gas), but its method of heating differs from the units mentioned above. Instead of heating the air, infrared units heat objects in the room. The heat then builds up, and radiates everywhere else…at least in theory. In practice, many feel that infrared units do not produce enough heat to keep them warm. Yet, if you have a small garage they might be worth considering, as infrared units tend to be safer around solvents and other combustible materials.

The fact is there a many different options when it comes to garage heater selection.  Part of the choice is determined by what services are in your area and part is determined by your own likes and dislikes.

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Are you looking for up to date information on Garages, Floors, and Coatings? If so, this is the place you need to be.

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