Determining the Best Heater for Your Garage
Our neighbor John seemed to live in his garage year-round. Recently retired, he had a complete woodshop set up, with benches, saws, drill press, and a stack of lumber. John enjoyed making furniture. He would be at it spring, summer, fall, and winter.
John’s wife was a smoker who didn’t like to smoke in the house. She would join her husband in the garage for stretches at a time. For ventilation, the garage door was raised much of the time. But winter months can be chilly in East Tennessee, and John sought out the best choice in a garage heater.
Factors In Finding The Right Garage Heater
- Size of garage: a 3-car garage obviously calls for a heater with more capacity than one designed for a single car garage. Most heaters are promoted as best for a certain square footage.
- Insulation: Should your garage be insulated, you can likely get by with a smaller capacity heater.
- Portable or fixed: Do you want your unit permanently mounted to the wall or ceiling? Tied into your household’s gas supply? Or do you want to move the unit around the garage, or even move to different locations, like a patio or deck? Most portable units sit on the floor; keep in mind this may be a trip hazard.
Garage heaters generally fall into 3 categories:
- Forced air: These units blow cycles of hot air into the space. They vary by size, fuel type, and price. Gas-powered units are considered most efficient, but cost more upfront and may require installation by a licensed pro.
- Convection: These include water- and oil-filled radiators. They rely on a heating element warming air within the unit; the air rises without the help of a fan. Convection units are affordable and portable. Note they can take a while to warm your space to a comfortable temperature.
- Radiant: These units have reflectors that direct infrared heat outward. Use for spot heating or choose a large overhead unit to heat an entire garage. Radiant heaters are a favorite of hobbyists and DIYers since emit steady warmth without blowing air (an advantage for woodworkers concerned with stirring up dust. Choose from units portable or permanently mounted.
Safety Considerations Should Top Your List
It’s been estimated that most home heating fire deaths (81%) involve space heaters. Manufacturers insist garage space heaters can be used safely by following some common-sense guidelines:
- Never leave them unattended!
- Always maintain an open zone of 3 to 5 feet around your heater.
- Flammable items should not be near a heat source. In fact, it is recommended that you do not store flammable liquids in your garage.
- If you smell gas, oil, or other fumes, do not use your heater.
- Keep sawdust away from the heater. Clean it regularly to prevent debris building up and catching fire.
Best Option for a Garage Door
For added warmth in a closed garage, consider a premium Thermacore® insulated garage door from Overhead Door Company of Knoxville. The door is the envy of neighbors: it’s beautiful from the street. The door’s construction includes continuous foam insulation in each panel, as well as thermal seals between each section. You’ll love the R-value of up to 17.5.
Let us help
Ready for an insulated garage door? If you live in Knox, Anderson, Roane, Union, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Sevier, Blount, or Loudon county, Overhead Door Company of Knoxville can serve all your garage door needs. Click here or call 865.635.9320 to tell us about your concerns. We will happily provide you with a professional service call or estimate.