No matter what exactly you use your garage for – be it merely to park a car, stash your old clothes, or something entirely different – there is a universal rule that the vast majority of garage users can subscribe to: the colder it gets outside, the less they utilize it. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be this way – and, fortunately, cold weather is indeed no longer an excuse to not use your garage whenever you please.
There are plenty of ways to increase the temperature inside, especially if you consider the vast array of the best garage heaters on the market that are literally only one click away from you. This time, we are going to be focusing only on certain elements of a garage and delve into the specifics of heating them.
Unfortunately, a lot of people simply forget about a ceiling when it comes to heating garages, which is actually one of the biggest mistakes one can make. The fact of the matter is that due to the sheer area that a ceiling covers, it is one of the main components of a garage, and, thus, can’t be ignored. One of the things you can do is finish your garage ceiling with wallboard – even though it sounds simple, it is also one of the most effective ways of heating the place.
Even though they might not be quite as important as a ceiling, windows are certainly one of the first elements people consider when they think of how to heat a garage during cold seasons, and the more windows you’ve got, the more important it is to take proper care of them. The best decision here would be to use windows with double-pane or triple-paned glass. It is known for its ability to keep the cold outside, which is exactly what is needed in our case.
Last but not least, we need to talk about a garage door. The main thing to consider here is the so-called R-value, short for “the level of resistance to energy loss”. Experts say that the best way to heat a garage is to have a door with an R-value of at least 10-12 points (for comparison, a typical wooden door has an index of around 5 points). The consensus is that doors made of fiberglass, steel, and aluminum filled with polyurethane foam are the way to go.
Making Your Garage Warmer
Preserving the necessary amount of heat in your garage is very important. The correct temperature helps to avoid damaging anything you have in your garage. However, the heating solution should not be too expensive. Therefore, heaters for a garage are a combination of a good price and the required amount of the generated heat. The first step of getting your garage heated is finding the appropriate model that can provide you with the necessary amount of heat. The garage dimensions should be the factor that determines how powerful the model should be.
There are two major classes of such models – gas and electric ones. The price of the models that use natural gas ranges from $300 to $800 or even more, while the electric solutions can cost you from $110 to $200.
After you found the best electric garage heater you need to install it, installation is quite fast and easy. There are two major groups here – “corded” and “hardwired”. If you use a corded model that – you just put it in the right place and plug it in. Make sure that nothing blocks the hot air that the heater generates. It is recommended to place it near the wall and make it face the garage door. The hardwired mounted solutions require you to install the brackets, and then install the heater itself and connect it with the electrical system using a special sheathed cable that comes from a circuit breaker box to the heater.
If you want to make the heating system more versatile, then consider adding a thermostat. You need to install it between the breaker box and the heater.
Such models require you to use a gas line. Therefore, you need to be extremely careful and consider getting professional help. However, the first step is to check the manual of the heater (do it before buying one – manufacturers provide downloadable manuals) it helps not only understand how to install a garage heater, but also check if your gas line meets the requirements. Since gas is volatile – you need to use high-grade components only. Installing a garage heater that uses natural gas you need to connect it with the gas line and install the vent. These models also have electrical components (a thermostat), which are not difficult to connect. Place a thermostat about five feet from the floor since warm air rises. After installing this model, you need to seal everything properly and check the pipes to make sure you have no leaking.
What should you choose?
Electric-powered models are easy to install and they are not very expensive. You can buy one, plug it in and have your space heated, while gas-fueled models are more expensive (they also have more additional components to be installed) and you may require professional aid, which, in turn, increases the installation costs. However, gas fuel is cheaper and it may save your money in the future. Moreover, gas heater solutions are good for large garages.
Infrared heating models for your garage: yes or no?
Keeping your garage warm is extremely important, especially if you have a car there. Low temperatures affect various parts and fluids in a negative way. Choosing and finding good garage heaters is extremely challenging because you need to consider a great number of factors. Various models use different kinds of fuel, but if you need a fast solution for a not very large area, then you should pay special attention to an infrared garage heater.
Even waves distribution
Before you start looking for a model that you need, you should understand how such models work. It will help you decide where you should install a solution you get. Infrared heaters for garage emit rays (we cannot see them because we cannot see the infrared spectrum). The rays travel across the room and they “hit” everything you have in your garage – various tools, boxes, walls, etc. When the ray hits something it “gives” the energy to the object and it becomes warmer. Therefore, warm objects start heating up your garage. Such solutions distribute heat waves evenly, so the whole room becomes warmer.
These models are a good option even if you do not have high-grade insulation.
Fuel types and other expenditures
This kind of models uses various types of fuels, but electric solutions are the most common type – they are safe and are easy to use. However, electricity is quite expensive as a fuel and this can be an option if you are not going to use a heater too often.
Natural gas as a fuel is cheaper, but it is inflammable and leaking may lead to an accident.
Unlike other types of fixed models, this one does not require any installation costs. Some natural gas-fueled models require using a gas line, which requires you to hire a professional who will do everything for you. Moreover, you need to have a proper venting system installed.
Infrared models combine the low price and the installation cost absence. Such models are not very expensive and their price ranges from $65 to $290 and more.
Do you need it?
This is a good solution if you have a small garage since some models are not big and you can easily place them wherever you need. There are also options for larger spaces – the models with a radiant tube. Such models do not require too much power and they are 100% efficient.
Infrared heater pros and cons
- Cost-effective – such models do not consume too much electricity and almost 100% of the generated warm is transferred out
- They heat up space fast and they can also be directed, which helps to warm up a certain area
- Silent. There are no parts which may cause any noise
- Environment-friendly. Some models do not generate any hazardous by-products
- Easy to maintain. Such solutions do not have any motors or fans. The generated waves are reflected by special polished parts (reflectors) – the only thing you need to do is to clear those reflectors
- Stops heating immediately. It stops emitting heat waves when you turn it off and since the air is not warmed, space becomes cold very fast
- Hot parts. The coils get extremely hot and such solutions are not the best option if you have children or pets. However, manufacturers introduce various safety systems, but still, such models are quite danger
- Warming a certain area only. These models emit waves that travel in a direct line. Therefore, to heat the whole space, you need to move it around.