Electric Garage Heaters Bring on the Heat - Safely

Anyone who has ever worked in an unheated shop or garage in the winter — especially in the North and Midwest — knows how uncomfortable it can get. Most of these spaces are not heated by a home’s central heating system.

Space heaters can make shop and garage spaces more comfortable but for some of the options available, the benefits are outweighed by the disadvantages.

That is why space heating provided by electric garage heaters is often the most practical choice. Unlike propane-powered space heaters, electric shop heaters do not require you to vent any propane fumes. Nor do you have to worry about the expense of natural gas associated with those models.

Are Electric Garage Heaters Efficient?

Electric garage heaters are also much more efficient that many other options. For example, electric heating uses 100% of the electricity and turns it into heat. Turn down the heat, and you turn down the amount of electricity you use. Propane gas uses 80% of the fuel for heat and the other 20% is a byproduct of the fuel. And when using propane gas or natural gas, you are giving off a byproduct from the fossil fuels. Electric heat does not give off any byproducts.

Flexibility of Electric Heat

Electric heaters can be mounted on walls or ceilings, making it easy to keep them out of your way while saving space in your workplace or garage. They can also be positioned to direct airflow horizontally, vertically or any position in between for precise control.

It is also important to consider whether you want a blower of some sort on your shop heater or if you prefer for it to radiate heat in the area around it. If you are trying to heat a large area, then having a shop heater with an equipped blower could be beneficial. If you want to focus the heat on keeping just yourself comfortable and do not care about heating the whole garage space, a radiation-style heater may be better suited to your needs.

If your shop or garage space is large and you will be working in various areas and are not concerned with heating the garage space, a portable heater may be a better option. It can easily be moved to where ever you go — even into other rooms in some cases.

Are Electric Garage Heaters Safe?

One great benefit of electric garage heaters is that they are safe to use around gaseous fumes. With garages being natural storage spaces for gas-fueled vehicles and lawn equipment, you don't need to worry about the exhaust and outgassing of these items around electric heaters. Moreover, unlike propane space heaters, there are no fumes to vent from the unit itself with electric heat.

Know What You’re Getting

Some models may need to be wired by an electrician or trained professional. There are other models that are portable or that can be easily mounted and simply plugged in. Be sure to check the voltage requirements. If the heater you choose is for 208 volts /240 volts and your electrical service for 120 volts, some rewiring to your electrical system will be in order.

Also, make sure that the model of heater you select is sized appropriately for the space you want to heat. Some models are sized to heat the equivalent of a one-car garage while others are designed to heat a space the size of a two-car garage.

The higher the wattage on the heater, the more heat it will produce when it is operating. If you need the heater to heat a larger space, you are going to want more wattage than if it was going to be heating a smaller room.