Choosing The Right Type Of Electric Garage Heater



Choosing the right type of electric heater for your garage is very important. Because it will give you the best atmosphere to work. Whether you’re keeping your workshop cozy and snug or protecting your possessions from chilly nights, a garage heater can transform an otherwise unused space. Garage heaters aren’t like furnaces, however, so there are several things you need to consider before purchasing one.

Here are few things to consider when buying a garage heater:

The Available Heat Source in Your Garage

Because of the items commonly found in garages such as wood or paint, it’s recommended to stick with either natural gas or electric garage heaters. Propane garage heaters could lead to safety concerns, so it’s best to play it safe. Plus, these two options have some fantastic benefits.

Cost is benefit number one. Take a look at utility prices and consider how often you may be putting your garage heater to work. Natural gas can be the more cost-efficient option if you have access to this within your garage.

If you don’t have natural gas access, an electric garage heater may be the way to go. An electric heater is usually the least intrusive option since it can be mounted on the ceiling, creating more usable space for whatever your garage is used for.

Make sure to check the power requirements on this one. The last thing you need is to buy an electric garage heater that isn’t compatible with the voltage you have in your garage.

Choose The Correct BTU

British Thermal Unit (BTU) is the energy unit used to describe how quickly the temperature can be raised in a certain space.

To calculate what BTU you’ll require based on the size and ceiling height of your garage, check out this handy BTU Calculator and start talking garage-heater-talk. Generally, 50,000 BTUs are needed to heat a 3-car garage or a new generously sized workshop.

If you want to make it even easier, just give us a call at Crystal and we can help recommend the perfect garage heater for your specific space.

Safety Comes First

With a home garage heater, safety is always important. If your home is set up for easy access to natural gas, it’s likely you have adequate ventilation for a gas-burning heater. This safety measure is another point in favour of these bad boys, right alongside their powerful heating capabilities. So, if you’re safely equipped for a gas heater, we say go for it!

You should also evaluate what’s in your garage and who uses it. Is it accessible to pets and children? Is there a lot of dust?

If you’re working in a dusty space, an electric garage heater may be your best bet. They require minimal maintenance, unlike a gas heater which will require deeper cleaning to the air vents, motor, and burner to remove any fire hazards like dust and debris.

A ceiling-mounted unit means the burner is further out of reach, providing more safety to innocent hands and paws.

Noise Levels

Don’t forget to check out the detailed specs on your new garage heater before you buy it. You may have thought you’ve found the perfect match…until you have your heater installed and find it sounds like a jet engine taking off.

You’re in the pursuit of a more comfortable environment, so consider our Modine Hot Dog Power Vented Gas Heater, equipped with “Hush-Puppy quiet operation” so you won’t be disturbed by your heater doing its work.

If you’re going to be making excessive noise anyway, or the garage is a place for your 15-year-old son’s budding rock band to practice, maybe you don’t need to worry about sound disturbance (it may even help).

The Garage’s Environment

Every garage is slightly different. You may have an older home with less insulation in your walls and windows or maybe a door or two that aren’t sealed properly. This will affect what your new garage heater is truly capable of.

Not only that, but our fierce Canadian winters can put garage heaters through the ringer, so make sure it’s capable of achieving the temperature you’re after.

It’s typically best to play it safe and buy an electric garage heater with slightly more power (BTUs) than you may deem necessary.

Power Consumption And FAQ:

How Much Power Does My Heater Take?

Whether your heater is one that heats by resistance or by emitting infrared radiation, calculating the cost of running it comes down to how much power it consumes, in watts. You can find the wattage rating for your heater on a tag located near the point where the power cord connects to the machine. If your unit doesn’t have a variable power selector, it probably consumes 1,500 watts, whether it’s a coil or infrared heater. Multiplying this number by the number of hours you use the machine in a day gives you a daily value for the number of kilowatt-hours of electricity it consumes.

What Should I Consider Before Installing a Space Heater in My Home?

There are three things to consider when you are heating your home with electric radiators/storage heaters/infrared heaters (which all run off electricity).

The first is the size of the system you install; obviously, a higher rated unit (normally measured in Watts) will use more electricity if it is switched on than a lower-rated unit.

Say for example you were on an electricity tariff that charges 12.5 pence for each kWh used (i.e. 12.5p / kWh).

If a 200w electric radiator is on for 5 hours that will use 1kWh of electricity – so will cost 12.5 pence to run. (That is simply 0.2kW x 5 hours = 1kWh).

If a 1000w electric radiator is on for 5 hours it will use 5kWh of electricity – so will cost 62.5 pence to run (1kW x 5 hours = 5kWh).

Now, a larger room is going to need more heat compared to a smaller room, so obviously, you will need either multiple smaller rated heaters or one large-rated heater. The effect will be the same though; a big room will cost more to heat.

The second thing that is going to impact the electric heating cost is the length of time that you keep your heating on.

Take for example the 1000W electric heater we described above. If left on for 1 hour, it would cost 12.5 pence, but if left on for 10 hours, you are looking at £1.25.

This, therefore, depends on your behavior; if you are spending more time at home and you require heating during these times then it is going to cost you more to heat your home with electricity (as it would with gas).

The final piece of the puzzle is the temperature at which you heat your home. If you have some sort of thermostatic control in your home, this will send a signal to the heater to switch off when the set temperature is reached.

A lower thermostatic temperature will mean that your electric radiator is on for less time because the radiator has to work less hard to get the room up to temperature. So even if you set your radiator to be on for 10 hours during a day, it might only actually be pulling electricity for 4 hours for example. The rate at which the heating system will warm up a room is dependent on how well insulated the room is.

Running a heater continuously when no one is in the room wastes energy, and you can prevent that by running the heater on a timer. The room will stay warm for a while after the heater automatically shuts off, and if you need it again, you can always turn the heater back on. Use a plug-in timer if the heater doesn’t have one of its own. You can reduce the amount of time you have to run the heater by closing the doors and windows. One of the advantages of electric heat is that it produces no dangerous fumes.

Is An Electric Fireplace A Good Option?

Typically, electric fireplaces consume around 1,500 watts of electricity, although some may consume more or less depending on the make and model. BTUs, or British thermal units, is a form of measurement used for electric fireplaces, and a standard 1,500 electric fireplace puts out around 5,100 BTUs – this is ideal for medium-sized rooms. There are also more powerful electric fireplaces that are able to produce 7,500 to 10,000 BTU, making them ideal for heating large rooms but at an increased energy cost.

Can Extension Cord Be Used For Electric Space Heater?

An electric space heater’s power cord is not intended to be used with an extension cord.  If you are unable to plug the unit directly into a socket and have to use an extension cord, consider using a heavy-duty cord marked with a #14 gauge or larger wire (#12 gauge is larger than #14 gauge).  An incorrectly sized cord could create a fire hazard. If the heater’s plug has a grounding prong, use only a grounding (three-wire) extension cord. Not only is the wiring within a typical household extension cord too small for the power that the heater requires, but its additional length also adds to the resistance and therefore the heat that is produced within the cords. This excess heat can lead to a fire.

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