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Garage Heater Buyer’s Guide

Turn your garage into a work space oasis with the right garage heater.

Whether the garage is your work space, a place to enjoy your hobbies or just the “man cave,” you’ll want heat this winter. There are a few things to consider when selecting a garage heater to meet your needs.

First, think about what your garage is used for and what kind of insulation it currently has. Do you work on vehicles? Do you store paint, fuel or other combustible gases? Is your garage connected to your home? Do you have a ventilation system in your garage? Is there any insulation? Once you pinpoint the contributing factors, choosing the right garage heater is easy. There are three main types of garage heaters and you can identify them by fuel source: electric, propane and natural gas.

Garage Heater Comparison
Your garage is a treasured space, used for a variety of things. It’s home to your car, tools and more. You should be able to use your garage comfortably at any time. Find out what kind of garage heater you need to keep your garage nice and toasty.

Electric Garage Heater

These are the most commonly used heaters in home garages. Electric heaters convert electricity to heat. The electricity heats an interior coil and a motorized fan pushes the heat from the device, which circulates into the room. These garage heaters are ideal for doing automotive work or if you store any combustible materials in your garage because there are no open flames.

Pros

Electric garage heaters are easy to install and don’t require garage ventilation. With help from Blain’s Farm & Fleet, you can install an electric garage heater yourself.  Because they’re run on electricity, you won’t have to handle fuel, refill tanks or deal with natural gas lines.

An electric garage heater is low maintenance. The coil heating allows it to work around potentially harmful gases. They are typically wall mountable, so there is less risk of the garage heater tipping over. They are also portable and come in lightweight, compact designs. Freestanding designs come with a safety switch. If the unit tips over, it will automatically shut off. They generally operate quietly, and can be easily controlled with a simple thermostat.

Cons

Electric garage heaters are some the most expensive to run. You must also have enough power in your garage to power the garage heater. A power outage will cause you to lose power to your garage heater. You can’t control the heater’s fan speed.

Propane Garage Heater

Heat is created by releasing fuel from a propane tank, which is ignited by a pilot flame. The heat is stored in the heat exchanger until it reaches a set temperature and is finally released through a vent in the device. Propane tank garage heaters are great for a garage that is used as extra living space and does not contain combustible material or hazardous liquids and gases.

Pros

Propane garage heaters are durable and efficient. These fast, self-contained heat sources will continue to run during power outages. They also warm quickly, allowing you to spend more time in your heated garage or shop.

Cons

If a propane garage heater is not vented properly, dangerous fumes can escape into your garage. You must make sure the garage has ventilation, which could bring in a constant cold draft. You will have to take precautions to make sure combustible gases are clear from the heater. A propane garage heater has an open flame and leaves an odor. The cost depends on current gas prices. You also have to consider the costs of installation and a gas fitter. Propane heaters also kick up dust, which can cause problems depending on the project you’re working on.

Natural Gas Garage Heater

Heat is produced by the fuel from your natural gas line flowing through a gas valve inside the garage heater. A pilot flame ignites the fuel and warms the air. The fan circulates and pushes out the warm air from the unit into your garage. Gas heaters are perfect for enjoying the “man cave” because they heat up quickly.

Pros

A natural gas garage heater is the most inexpensive to run. It warms up quickly and can heat large work spaces in a short amount of time. It will work during power outages. This type of garage heater features low oxygen sensors.

Cons

If the natural gas garage heater is not vented properly, dangerous fumes can escape into your garage. You must have ventilation in your garage, and clearance requirements must be met in order to use a natural gas garage heater. You must take precautions to clear combustible gases of the heater. Just like propane ones, natural gas heaters have an open flame and leave an odor. Getting to a gas line may be impractical or unaffordable for your garage.

Garage Heater Size

Size selection is going to vary from garage to garage. When you’re choosing a garage heater, you need to know the square footage of your garage, and the ceiling height. If you live in a warmer climate or you have garage insulation, it will take less power and time to get to a comfortable temperature. Most residential garages will require a garage heater with a 30,000 or 45,000 BTU capacity.

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