Which is the Best?
If you're looking for a great way to heat your garage and lower your overall energy bills, garage heaters are a great way to go. If your garage is properly insulated, a garage heater can take some of the strain off of your homes heating system. Many homes have heating vents that try to heat the garage, but due to the construction of the garage (large metal or wood door, concrete floor, direct open access to attic) most of the heat is lost. But then there's the question of which kind of heater to go with for the garage. There are many models that produce different types of heat in different amounts, but it boils down to one difference: gas or electric.
Electric garage heaters have their pros and cons. They consist of electric coil heating elements and a fan. The coils heat up without any noise and the fan, located behind the coils, moves air across the coils to heat the room. They are easy to install because they just need an electrical output. They run off of a minimal amount of electricity and generally pay for themselves because they take some of the weight off of your house's energy. Now, that being said, electricity cost more than gas. If you compare the price of heating a typical two-car garage with electricity with using gas to heat it, it takes roughly 20% more energy to properly perform the job. If you're thinking about getting an electric space heater to do the job, don't. Most of those space heaters only put out about 1.5kw of power, and in order to heat a typical garage you need at least 5kw. The most popular garage heaters put out anywhere from 7.5kw to 10kw of energy. If you spend your money on a smaller heater, you're just throwing it away to keep a small portion of the garage relatively warm. However, electric garage heaters usually cost less to install than gas heaters because gas heaters require a gas line to run out to the garage.
Gas garage heaters are very similar to small furnaces. They use a flame to combust gas to heat air which is then moved out by a fan. Most people don't want to deal with the mess of installing one of these because, in the past, you would have to install a vent in the garage to remove all of the smoke and carbon monoxide. However, great advances have been made in this area and vent-less gas garage heaters are now available. They use natural gas and propane to burn cleanly and don't require a vent of any kind, thus, "vent-less" gas heaters. However, the cost of installation is still relatively higher because most garages don't have a gas line readily wired into them. Another downside to gas heaters is that there is concern that they deplete oxygen levels in a room and increase humidity. Increased humidity could lead to mildew and mold build up. However, most of these systems come with oxygen depletion sensors and walls can be treated for mold and mildew.
Gas heaters also bring the danger of unwanted combustion. Most people store paint and other chemicals in their garages. Since gas heaters use flame to heat the air, there is always the chance of combustion and fire. If you decide to go with a gas heater, it is important to always store these chemicals away from the heating unit.
Similar to most things today, there are a variety of different options to choose from with either gas or electric garage heaters. There are many models with different special features and some can even be integrated as part of the room.
As with anything else having to do with your garage, you can always contact your local garage door and garage service provider to help you decide which option would make sense to your home and your budget. But realize, that no matter how much you heat your garage, if it is not properly insulated you will lose whatever heat you produce. Garage door service providers can also help you figure out which route would be best in the insulation of your garage to make sure that you get the most bang for your buck out of your garage heater.
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