Having a heated garage makes it an accessible and useful room no matter what your climate is. Whether you use your garage for a workshop, a workout room, or a studio, no one wants to freeze in the winter.
A garage heater can be a perfect solution to a cold garage. When choosing the best garage heater, there are a few things to consider. These include your budget, your access to gas and electricity, venting, what type and how much heat you need.
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Portable or Permanent :
Fortunately, several garage heater options can suit just about any need. You can even use a portable heater in a pinch, but if you’re heating a large space or wanting a long-term solution, you can install a permanent heater.
There are costs and installation challenges to consider when choosing your heater. When it comes to electric heaters, you can select a regular electric heater or an infrared electric heater.
Infrared Garage Heaters :
Infrared heaters cost less to run. Heat produced by an infrared heater radiates downward, warming objects and people in the room. It’s also the same type of radiant heat produced by the sun.
If you’re using an infrared heater in your garage, it won’t warm the air faster than a regular heater. But then, once other objects in the room are warm, it will make the garage feel warm. The real advantage to infrared heaters is the energy-saving costs.
The simplest infrared heater to use would be an electric infrared heater. You can mount it on the wall or ceiling, and you’re good to go. There are also gas and propane-powered infrared heaters because radiant heat can be generated through the combustion of gases.
Gas Garage Heaters :
Gas heaters require additional installation such as hooking up to a gas line and venting. There are also some natural gas wall heaters that don’t require venting. A ventless natural gas infrared heater can be an easy and affordable option to run and install.
If it has battery-operated ignition, you won’t need electricity, so it can be used during a power outage. Imagine everyone hanging out in the garage to stay warm when the power is out. You can also increase the heat output with a fan, but then, electricity will be required.
How To Install A Garage Heater
Installing an Electric Garage Heater :
An electric garage heater can be mounted from the ceiling or wall. It should be at least six feet from the floor or seven feet from the floor if it’s an infrared heater. The manufacturer instructions should have specific safety information for the placement of your particular heater.
If you’re installing an electric heater, you’ll want approximately 1000 watts for every 100 square feet. This means if your garage is 200 square feet, you’ll want at least a 2000-watt heater. If your garage is 350 square feet, get a 3500-watt heater.
If you’re using a small electric heater and you already have the appropriate plug-ins, you can just plug it in and go. If you’re hard-wiring your heater, you’ll need to call an electrician, because you’ll have to install a new circuit breaker and new cables.
Once you have the proper circuits and the cables, then your heater will need to be hardwired, and the thermostat will need to be wired. The extra costs of having an electrician help with the installation can make a gas heater seem more affordable.
Installing a Gas Garage Heater :
A gas heater will need to be vented. Choose the properly-sized gas heater for your garage. You can mount your garage heater to the ceiling and cut a hole in the roof to run a flue to vent the fumes. You’ll also need electricity if it has a fan for circulation and an electric thermostat.
Gas garage heaters are designed to hang from ceiling joists. You can also get fancy and create a corner mount by attaching two-by-sixes to the joist and hanging the heater from those. If the heater is heavy, use a block and tackle to raise the heater to the ceiling, and then use carriage bolts to mount the heater to the joists.
Once your heater is securely fastened in place, cut a hole in the roof for the vent. Install flashing and insert the vent pipe. Make everything waterproof with a weather ring, vent cap, and sealant.
Use the diagram included with your heater for the electrical connections. Always err on the side of caution and see a professional if you aren’t sure what you’re doing with electricity or gas. You’ll also need a plumber to run the appropriate gas lines to your garage.