It is not just people living in those regions of the USA where the temperature can plummet to below freezing that might want to install residential garage heaters. If you do live in an extremely cold part of the USA then having residential garage heaters might just make the difference between being able to easily start your vehicle at home or not. However, many people don’t just use their garage as a place to park their car; but will store all sorts of things in their garage, not to mention using the garage as a workshop.
Where to Locate a Heater
Even if fitted correctly you shouldn’t really heat a residential garage with a solid fuel or oil fired heater. Such heaters need to be located at floor level in order to safely be able to refill or replenishing their fuel reserves. So, the issue with having a solid fuel or oil heater is that with it being located on the floor of the garage – all of the heat is concentrated over a particularly small space, rather than being ‘thrown’ all over the garage.
The only solution to this would be to use the solid fuel or oil heater to warm water in pipes around the garage walls; and then pumping the hot water around them. In all honesty this would complicate the task of heating a residential garage, not to mention add to the costs unnecessarily. However, one thing you could consider here if your garage is attached to your home; and you have a central heating system, would be to extend the radiator system into your garage.
Residential garage heaters need to be fixed above ground floor level on the walls or even the ceiling of the garage. Note the point here – fixed to the wall or roof. It might be tempting to use a space heater out that spends most of the year in your garden – please don’t be tempted with this thought. Space heaters on stands are fine for in the garden or yard, but you do not want any remote possibility of a heater with a naked flame being knocked or falling over in your garage!
Types of Garage Heaters
The most common residential garage heaters are ones burning either propane or natural gas and electric ones. Of these three options, electric residential garage heaters are by far the simplest to fit for the DIY home enthusiast. For an electric residential garage heater, if you’re not properly qualified yourself, you will need to get someone to run a power cable to the heater and connect it up for you; otherwise all you need to do is fix the electric heater to the wall.
A propane or natural gas heater not only needs the pipe work fixing to deliver the gas to the heating unit, but could also mean locating a place for the gas container, inside or outside the garage, as well as creating a vent for the gas heater. All of which must be done by a gas engineer, which could turn out to be quite expensive. However; and here’s the real conundrum, a propane or natural gas residential garage heater will be cheaper to run than an electric one.
So you need to do some calculations such as how many times a year will you need the heater on and at what sort of temperature – which will then help you to calculate how long would it take to recoup the extra money paid to have a gas heater fitted. Another point to throw into your thoughts is that, unless the gas heater is using the regular gas supply to your home, you’ll need to monitor the gas container to know when it needs replacing/refilling.
The vast majority of residential garage heaters you can buy from your DIY store will be designed to heat an average sized garage of around 500 square foot (45 square meters). So before setting off to your DIY store check the surface area of the garage floor and you’ll quickly be able to size up how many garage heaters you’ll need.
Photo by Photo Monkey, Creative Commons License