Your garage used to be a cluttered, junky mess. It wasn’t a particularly pleasant place to be. But then you called TLC Inc. for a garage makeover. And now you have a clean, well-organized garage. There’s lots of space for puttering on home projects. There’s lots of space for having fun, too.
But now there’s a new problem. It’s wintertime. And all of that wonderful garage space is c-c-c-cold!
That didn’t matter much in the past, when your garage wasn’t much more than a glorified storage shed. You didn’t spend much time in your garage anyway, summer or winter.
It’s different now, though. If the arctic nip in the air runs you out of your garage, it’s a real loss. But there’s no need to wait for the springtime thaw to resume enjoying your garage. Just select the right space heater for your garage, and carry on as usual.
Choose the Best Space Heater for Your Situation
There are several options for heating a garage. Each comes with it’s own set of advantages and disadvantages:
Electric Space Heaters. There’s a wide assortment of electricity-powered space heaters that might be suitable for your situation.
Small, portable space heaters such as ceramic heaters, fan heaters, and oil-filled heaters are great for quickly heating up a small area. If your garage is partitioned into smaller areas, a portable electric space heater might be perfect for heating just the area you’re working or playing in. But if you need to heat the entire garage, a portable electric heater probably won’t be up to the task.
Another option is to install electric baseboard or wall-mounted heaters. They’re much more effective at heating large areas than the smaller portable electric heaters. But be aware: While electric heat is easy and clean, it can be very expensive. If you live in a cold climate and you’re relying on electric heat to warm your entire garage, it’s going to cost you.
Propane, Kerosene and Natural Gas Heaters. Space heaters that burn fossil fuels such as propane or kerosene can be very effective for heating garage-sized spaces. And they’re reasonably cost-effective, too. But they come with some downsides.
Unless you vent the exhaust to the outside, the by-products of combustion will build up inside your garage. That means that carbon monoxide and moisture will accumulate within the atmosphere of the garage. So you’ll have to carefully monitor how long the unit runs to keep indoor pollutants within acceptable levels.
Direct vent heaters eliminate concerns about a build-up of indoor pollutants. Since these units are vented to the outside, you can run them as long as needed without any concern about combustion by-products. The downside, though, is that these units are considerably more expensive. And you’ll probably need to hire a professional to install them.
If you choose a ventless heater, consider selecting a unit that comes with an oxygen-depletion-sensing shutoff system. This safety feature indirectly keeps tabs on the build-up of indoor pollutants by monitoring the amount of oxygen in the air. If oxygen levels fall too low, the unit automatically shuts down – a nice safety feature.
And with all units that use flame to generate heat, you’ll need to take certain precautions. You’ll want to be sure the unit doesn’t run while you’re doing woodwork, for example, or while you’re painting. Any activity that can generate airborne combustibles like sawdust or fumes could lead to a fire or an explosion.
Nothing Like a Clean, Well-Organized, Toasty-Warm Garage
Make the right choice for heating your garage, and it will be a pleasant place to putter away year round. And you’ll reap the full benefits of converting your garage from a junky mess to a clean and roomy place for both work and fun.
After all, it’s a shame to have all that free space, and no one but Jack Frost occupying it for half the year!