Having a heated garage can make it an extension of your home and current living space. When trying to decide the size of heater needed for your garage, there are a few things to consider.
The first thing you’ll need to consider is the type of heater you’re using. A gas heater will be measured in BTUs, and an electric heater will be measured in watts. There are a certain amount of BTUs or watts needed to heat a certain amount of square footage.
The amount of output needed to heat a specific area also depends on two other factors. Temperature rise is the amount of heat required to raise the internal temperature of your garage. The R-value measures thermal resistance or how well your garage is insulated.
You can use very complicated mathematical equations to find the precise size of the heater needed for the specific size of your garage. It’s also possible to do a rough estimate and have a very comfortable result.
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What Size of Heater Do I Need for My Garage?
Measure the Square Footage of Your Garage :
Square footage is a very simple calculation. You just multiply the length by the width of the garage interior. Using something like a laser distance measurer, you can make the calculation even simpler.
You won’t have to worry about having someone hold the tape or obstacles that may be in the way. With this tool , you can measure the length and save it, then measure the width and save it, and then get the square foot calculation automatically.
Estimate Watts (For Electric) :
Once you know the square footage of your garage, all you have to do is to calculate the amount of watts required for an electric heater, or the amount of BTUs required for a gas heater.
If you have an electric heater, calculate 10 watts per square foot of floor space. This means if you have a 500-foot garage, you’ll need a 5000-watt electric heater.
Estimate BTUs (For Gas) :
If you’re using a gas heater, calculate the approximate BTUs by multiplying the wattage by 3.412 because 1 watt is approximately 3.412 BTU per hour. You’d need approximately 17,060 BTUs for that 500-square foot garage.
You can consider other factors when calculating a more accurate BTU such as ceiling height and insulation. Many online calculators can be used for these more complex calculations, or you could just get an 18,000-BTU heater for that 500-square foot garage.
Calculate Outside and Inside Temperature :
Another factor that can be used when calculating what size heater you need is temperature rise. This is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of your garage to the desired level. Temperature rise could be a factor to consider if you live in icy climates, or want an extremely accurate measurement.
To get your temperature rise, subtract your desired room temperature from your average outside temperature. If it’s 30 degrees outside and you want your garage to be a toasty 78 degrees, the temperature rise would be 48.
Garage Insulation :
Insulating your garage will keep it warmer or cooler and cut down on your heating cost. Insulation is rated by R-value. Materials with higher R-values insulate more effectively. Understanding the R-value can help to determine the degree of heat loss when calculating the size of your garage heater.
Other Cost-Efficient Ways to Keep Your Garage Warm
Keeping your garage warm and comfortable while still being efficient is essential. Installing better insulation is always a good way to increase the efficiency of heating and cooling.
You can also look into efficient heating systems like space heaters, infrared heaters, ductless mini-split systems, and radiant heating. The most appropriate system for you always depends on your unique circumstances and needs.
Having the correct size of the heater won’t only keep you more comfortable, but it will also be an efficient way to heat your garage. Safety is also at the forefront of any heating decisions. Many people use their garages for woodworking. The combination of heating elements, flames, wood, sawdust, and combustible vapour can lead to fires and explosions.
You want to make sure that your heater is installed correctly and vented properly if required. Safe operation and use of gas and electricity are essential for safety. You also need to consider the placement of your heater.
You want it in a spot that will heat the area, but is a safe distance from anything that could cause a fire hazard. With some research, common sense, and preparation, you can enjoy your garage space year-round, regardless of the weather.