Here I’m going to go over key features when deciding on a workshop heater. Getting these next few things right will make your space much more bearable and keep it the exact temperature you need. Heaters meant for indoor use aren’t going to be as good as most meant for garages and workshops, so keep that in mind over the next few chapters.
There are a lot of fuel options for garage heaters available, so it’s best if you understand those before you purchase.
Electric, natural gas, propane – once you’ve figured out which fuel you’d like to use you’ll have an idea of which heater best suits your space.
The Range of Heat
You’re going to want to look at heaters that are optimal for heating larger spaces, as a small space bathroom heater isn’t going to cut it. You want something designed for this use.
Look to see if the heater gives you the size of space it’s meant for in the product description. If not look at what it the fuel source rating is (BTU’s for gas, watts for electric).
Electric is easy – 1 square feet is equal to 10 watt. So if your room is 250 square feet you’ll need 2,500 watts in your heater.
1 watt is 3.41212 BTU’s per hour.
Need some help in the math department? Look at our handy chart to calculate what you need for your space.
Now I can only really give you guidelines here, there’s a lot of external factors which may play a role. I don’t want to hear that my calculations didn’t work if your garage is missing half a ceiling!
Keep in mind how insulated your workshop is, if there’s noticeable drafts, and the overall size of the room.
Electric Garage Heaters vs. Gas Garage Heaters
The main two power sources to choose from are electric, propane, and natural gas. You’ll want to know a bit about each one before you decide on a heater, as they both have their advantages and disadvantages.
- No ventilation required – electricity is clean and hassle free (no refilling or storing fuel)
- Infrared electric is available as well as fan heating.
- Not completely portable
- Not as effective at heating as natural gas and propane
Propane and Gas
- Heat’s any sized area
- VERY efficient at heating large spaces and heating them quickly
- Cheaper than electric
- Burns fuel – not safe for indoor use, requires ventilation
- Smell – some have stronger smells than others, but most have a light fuel smell
Garage Heater Safety
Saftey is of number one importance when it comes to any type of heating. Most require minimal maintenance, but never skip over a good safety check.
Most units have a large number of extra features to make them as safe as possible. When you can always look for a quality constructed heated with a permanent and lubricated fan motor. Also make sure the air intake filter is strong and won’t warp over time.
A sturdy construction might cost a few extra bucks, but it will seriously save you a headache in the future. Not to mention it will last longer.
Extra Features You May Want
These are features that are exactly that – extra features. You don’t need them to heat a garage but they’re very convenient and will make life easier for you.
Ceiling mounted heater – a permanent fixed heating that goes on the roof. Out of the way and creates great air
circulation. Wall mounted heaters are also an option.
Portability – If you plan on moving your heater to different rooms or sites, you’ll want to get one made for portability. Some come with handles or easy carry designs to manage this.
Dual Purpose Fan – Some heaters allow you to use the fan separately from the heat, so you can use it as a fan all year round and only turn on the heat in the cool months.
Thermostat – Definitely makes life easier. You can keep a room the exact temperature you want without guessing or constantly turning your heater on and off.
So now that you’re well versed in the world of I think you’re ready to start choosing a model. Try starting with the best garage heater to see my top picks or if you know the fuel source you want try a more specific review like the .