Choosing the Right Type of Heater to Warm Your Garage
It doesn’t matter if the time spent in your garage is used to build birdhouses or fix engines; you want to be able to properly heat your workplace. Hands that are shaky and numb due to bitter temperatures can’t provide the precise quality of work that you strive for.
Once your decision is made to heat your garage, you will need to decide what type of heater will best work for your space and for your needs. No matter what type of heater works you decide to go with, you will also need to make sure you have proper garage door insulation so you do not waste energy and money.
Electric heaters offer many great advantages and choices to heat your garage. They are easily set up, and often even portable. However, you need to consider that while they are more cost efficient up front, you may pay more on your electric bill over the long term. The bright side of this is that if you aren’t in the garage, you can simply turn it off and save a few bucks. Also, making sure you have proper garage door insulation will keep the heat trapped and help lower costs.
When choosing any type of heater, you need to consider how much time you will be spending in the area you want to keep warm. If you plan on spending a short amount of time in your garage, a small portable space heater probably isn’t going to be the best option for you. Because they are intended to heat small spaces, by the time it warms up your garage, you will be over and done with your task.
Instead, if you prefer the electric route, check out radiant panels, fan-forced heaters, or halogen heaters. Radiant panels work kind of like the sun’s rays on a cool day; they warm objects and not the air itself. They come in compact sizes to limit the amount of space used, can be mounted to the ceiling or wall, produce little noise, and can heat up a space in about 30 minutes. The only hitch is they can cost a couple hundred bucks and may require a professional electrician to install if you aren’t handy with wiring.
Fan-forced heaters can also be a great option if you prefer an electric powered heat source. These lightweight and portable heaters can warm you up in no time. Setup is as simple as plugging it in and pointing the fan in your direction. If you tend to move back and forth a lot, this may not be the best option because you will have to move the heater to face your workspace for optimum warmth.
Last but not least, consider an electric powered halogen heater. These portable heaters work similarly to the radiant panels, only the heat is produced with energy-efficient halogen bulbs. They operate quietly and often have adjustable heads for optimal position. However, like the fan-forced heaters, they are ideal for someone seated at a workbench or desk, rather than a person who needs to move around the garage for their work.
Adding Fuel to the Fire
If you don’t want to worry about adding to your electric bill, you may want to look into kerosene or gas powered heat sources. Kerosene heaters are easy to manage and can produce a great deal of heat. However, they will also require a well-ventilated area due to the odor they produce.
Gas heaters can provide consistent warmth throughout your garage and even the smaller units can heat up to 1,000 square feet. Many of them also come equipped with a thermostat so you can adjust the temperature. These types of heaters can be costly up front, but more efficient for the long haul. If you opt for this type of heater, you will need to make the choice of purchasing a ventless or vented heater. A ventless system will require sufficient air ventilation while vented units require a hole to be cut through your garage wall and a vent tube that leads from the unit to outside.
Keep Warm with Woodstoves
Maybe electric or gas is not the right fit for you, but there is the alternative of installing a woodstove. Woodstoves require a good amount of space for setup and safety and also require a chimney for ventilation. While it may take a while to heat up, it will continue to produce heat even after you stop feeding it fuel. This option is more ideal for long projects rather than short tasks.
What you decide all comes down to preference. Whatever your choice, be sure to check your garage door insulation to make sure the heat is staying where you need it most.