Electric Garage Heaters
Many people fail to realize just how much workable space they have in their own garages. Unfortunately, one of the reasons people overlook this valuable space is because of the fact that it not temperature controlled.
While opening a garage door in the warmer months can cool down the garage, there is no natural way to heat the area in the colder months, making proper use of the space an issue in areas with harsher Winter temperatures.
There are, however, several types and styles of electric garage heaters on the market that can turn a cold and uninviting garage into a warm and comfortable workspace in a matter of minutes.
Types of Electric Garage Heaters
There are two basic types of garage heaters, classified primarily by the method they use to heat the garage itself. These are convection heaters and radiant heaters.
Convection heaters work on the basic principle that if you heat an object and then proceed to blow air through or over it, the resulting air output will be warmer than it initially was.
Most of the time, this is achieved with a set of coils, often made of ceramic or similar materials. Behind the coils is a fan device that works to pull in air from behind the heater and, in turn, force it over the coils to be warmed and then forced out into the room.
This method is also referred to as forced air heating.
Forced air heaters are ideal for closed in spaces and smaller garages. Since the fan is working to pull colder air in and force warmer air out, the heater unit creates a convection movement in the room, gradually achieving a stable temperature throughout the room.
The larger the room is, the larger size convection heater you will need.
Keep in mind, however, that forced air units are not always the best choice for larger rooms and, while they will work in a larger room, they may take a great deal of time to reach optimum temperature throughout the room.
Also, they do not do as well in areas where strong drafts are present or where they are in areas primarily exposed to the elements.
Radiant heaters, on the other hand, are better designed for open area heating and can handle drafty areas with ease. This is due largely in part to the unique way radiant heaters work.
Instead of forcing air over a heating element and out into the room, radiant heaters operate in a different manner. Similar to the way the sun operates, a radiant heater works by heating the objects and people in the nearby area, instead of the air itself.
Since the heat is not being carried on an air current, drafts have no effect on the heating ability.
Radiant heaters are also popular choices because of the fact that they provide instant heating ability, warming up nearby objects in a matter of moments once turned on.
The downside to most radiant heaters is that the objects and people needing to receive the effects of the warmth must be in a clear unblocked line of the heater.
Radiant heaters are most often found at outdoor social and sporting events, ideal to keep guests warm while they are standing around a radiant unit.
Radiant heaters are also ideal for use as overhead heaters, often built into long strips and used in doorways or loading docks. These placements provide instant warmth for loading dock and warehouse workers while not being affected by outside elements.
Alternative Garage Heater Power Sources
Electric heaters are, by far, the most common style available on the market. They are cost effective to purchase and easy to operate.
While their operating costs may be somewhat higher than other heater types, they require no venting, allowing them to be suitable in nearly any size garage that has a power outlet.
There are, however, several other options to consider depending on your specific needs.
Another choice for heating is natural gas. These are typically only an option if the house the garage is attached to is already using natural gas lines as a power source, primarily because the installation of natural gas lines can be extremely costly.
While natural gas garage heaters are extremely cost effective to operate, they do require professional installation and must be mounted to an exterior wall for ventilation purposes.
The unit themselves are also more expensive upfront than many other designs.
Propane heaters work in a manner similar to natural gas heaters, requiring outside ventilation and often professional installation.
Propane heaters are more convenient due to the fact that they can operate on portable propane tanks and do not require the home to be set up with gas lines already.