Garages have a bunch of different uses. You can store your cars or belongings, treat it as a separate room, or even use it as a workshop in your spare time. However, temperature control is vital when people spend extended time there. Nobody wants to be too hot or too cold! Fortunately, you can open the door for ventilation in the heat. But when it’s cold, it is not so easy!
If you plan to spend time in your garage this winter, you need heat. Most house heaters don’t reach the garage, so you’re at the mercy of the weather. We all know how cruel Mother Nature can be, so you’ve come to the right place.
In this article we’ll highlight the different options that are available for heating your garage, how and where to set it up, and how to choose the best option for you.
Different Garage Heater Options
There are three major types of garage heaters to decide from when choosing how to heat your space. They each have some advantages and disadvantages, which we’ll review below.
Radiation garage heaters
Radiation heaters are a heat source that directs the heat produced by infrared waves outwards from the source. The source can aim to the floor, to an object, or to a person. This method heats the object the waves are directed at and is effective because the heat doesn’t rise through convection. That way, the heat lasts longer. Other advantages include the absence of a fan for decreased noise. They also come in electric, natural gas, and propane models that allows you to choose the best option cost-wise for your fuel source.
A forced-air heater works by heating the air and then blowing it through the room with a fan. This allows for a more even dispersal of heat and are efficient at heating a room quickly. Some models will have a 1,000 sq. ft. room up to the desired temperature within 30 minutes. There are also choices between electric, natural gas, or propane for this type that you can choose depending on your needs and pricing.
Convection heaters work by superheating a heating element and transferring the heat through convection because the warm air rises. Because there is usually no fan, these models are also quiet. However, they usually require more time to heat a room because the heat doesn’t spread evenly or overly effectively with no fan. This usually makes them cheaper than other types of heaters, but they can still be effective.
Where to Place your Garage Heater
Along with all the options for different kinds of garage heaters, you also have options for how you will deploy them. It is recommended that you place the heater in the coldest corner of the room and face it to the center of the space. This way the heat generated by the model heats the corner, and directs the heat outwards. You should also be careful to keep enough room for ventilation (if required) between the heater and the wall, specifically for convection heaters. If the room is too large for a single model to heat entirely, you can consider a portable heater. This would be transferred between locations depending on where you planned to work. Portability allows for convenient targeted heating.
Deciding on a Ceiling, Wall, or Table Heater
If using a portable heater, you would place it in a way that allows it to target your desired area. This would most likely be on a table or other object directed towards you. This would work best for radiation heaters because forced-air may be a nuisance because of the fan blowing on you or your work. Alternatively, you can place the heater closer to the floorboards. This is where convection heaters are commonly placed because it allows the heat to rise and circulate with more room above it while being out of the way.
Many forced-air and some radiation heaters work best when placed on the wall or ceiling towards the middle of the room. Radiation heaters can reach very hot temperatures, so keeping them further away from the center of the room allows for the safest practice. Their waves have no trouble reaching your bench or the center of your room from the corner. For forced-air systems, the fans can be very strong. If the unit isn’t placed on the ceiling or wall, the air may interfere with projects by blowing directly on you or your work. Mounting the units also makes ventilation and cable management simpler because it will be in a static location.
Garage Heater Buying Guide – What to Look For
As stated previously, each type of heater has advantages and disadvantages to its use. They also can have various features that make them more convenient for you. Here are some key points to look at when deciding if which heater is best for you.
You want to make sure you have enough power to either heat the room or the area you’ll use it in. Power will vary on the type of heater, the power source, and whether it is portable or not.
If you have a preference for whether you want natural gas, propane, or electric as the fuel for the heat source, keep an eye on the descriptions of the heater. They should tell you what kind of fuel you would need.
If you plan to use the heater in multiple rooms or for concentrated heat in a smaller area, you would want portability. Wheels or handles are usually included for portable models.
If noise or dust spreading is a concern of yours, you want to avoid a fan. Fans make the heat disperse faster but they can be noisy or be too direct of heat.
Accessories and Other Features
Many electric models come with a thermostat or timer that allow for more efficient use and control. They can also come with safety features, like automatic shut off to prevent fire hazards
Best Garage Heater Options in 2020
Now that you know the difference between the options, where to install them, and what to look for, you can choose a model. Listed below are some of our recommendations.
This variable-power electric heater offers a whopping 5000-watt setting capable of heating 500 square feet to 70 degrees Fahrenheit in less than 30 minutes. Because it is electric, it is safe to use indoors and requires little ventilation if any. It also includes a ceiling mount for convenience. It is priced in the upper tier, but one of the higher quality electric heaters you will find.
This model comes with a thermostat and automatic shutoff, which can be very convenient for those not wanting to have to monitor the heater. It has a full 90 degree swivel capability on the wall mount as well. This heater has a fan that disperses the heat created by a heating element, but is listed as convection. It is priced middle tier but can handle most rooms customers have put it up against.
An upper-mid range option, this forced-heat option is capable of heating 500 square feet on its own, quite the feat for its size. It includes mounting brackets for the wall and ceiling and allows you to direct the heat using the grate on the front. The heater is also electric, so no ventilation is required.
The highest rated and luxury-priced natural gas heater is for those who want the best experience possible. This model is capable of heating commercial, residential, and even industrial building with its whopping 45,000 BTU. Customers have reported it single handedly heating a 1,000 square foot room easily. It can also operate on natural gas or electric depending on the heating capabilities you need.