Best Garage Heaters Buying Guide
When it comes to buying the right garage heater for your needs, there are several different types you can choose from:
Infrared – infrared heaters use tubes to radiate heat into your garage. Rather than heating the surrounding air, infrared heaters emit heat directly and so you will feel the warmth quicker. However, an infrared heater will take some time to heat up an entire area.
Space or fan heaters – a popular and easy to use choice, fan heaters work as convection heaters, in that they use a fan to circulate warmed air around a room. They tend to be a little noisier than other types of garage heaters, but they are fast at heating up air and circulating it around. Space heaters need an electricity supply to work.
Ceramic – swapping the electrical element with a ceramic heating element, these types of heaters can push out more heat than a fan heater and so can be effective in larger spaces. You can also get oscillating ceramic heaters where the element moves sidewards as it heats, ensuring a more even coverage of your room.
Radiant Heaters – using metal reflectors that are highly polished, radiant heaters effectively direct heat waves to objects that surround them, creating a steady supply of warmth without actually heating the air. The bonus of a radiant heater is that it won’t disturb dust or create air particles which could ruin a paint job so are a good choice for workshops.
Quartz Halogen – best suited to larger garages and outdoor spaces, a quartz halogen heater uses reflective metal sheets and infrared radiation to target heat where it is required.
Natural Gas – typically propane, natural gas heaters use fossil fuels rather than electricity as the power source. This makes natural gas heaters such as a propane heater portable and so a good choice for a garage when you need to move it around. Natural gas heaters can also push out a high rate of sustained heat but should always be used in a well-ventilated space and away from any combustible materials.
Your garage heater will be expected to work hard, especially on those colder days so should be robustly built and feature some essential safety features. Here is what you need to look for in your new garage heater to protect against fire hazards and possible electrical faults:
- Tip over switch – especially if you have a busy garage or workshop, it is possible for your garage heater to get bumped or knocked over, which if left undetected could cause a hazard or even fire. To help protect against such accidents, your heater should be fitted with a sensor that can detect if it has been tipped over and will trigger the heater to switch itself off.
- Overheat Protection – a heater that is used for prolonged periods or is used during very cold days run the risk of overheating. Which is why your garage heater should have an overheat protection or auto shut off safety feature. This feature can detect if your heater is pushing out too much heat and will trip the off switch to prevent things getting too hot, and potentially dangerous.
- Remote controls – many heaters also enable you to remotely control its functions so you can be in full control of its settings, including reducing its heat and switching it off.
When considering safety, also consider where you want to position your new garage heater and whether a free-standing model or a wall mounted heater is the safest option. Free-standing heaters are portable and so can be moved out of the way should you need to bring in objects or items that could be a hazard if placed in the line of direct heat. But they can be a bit of a trip hazard so if this is your concern, look for a heater that can be mounted on the wall and out of the way.
Knowing which heater you need for your garage can be confusing, so you need to take certain things into consideration before choosing the best garage heater for your space and heating needs. And these include the size of your garage, the location inside the building, how it can be installed and, of course, your budget.
You also need to ensure the heater can emit sufficient warmth for your particular garage space. And to do this, you need to look at its heat output, which will be measured in Watts (W). Once of the easiest ways to calculate the heater you need is to use the formula – 10W for every square foot of floor space you want to heat. For example, if your garage is 10 ft², then you need to multiple 10W by 10 and you get 100. This means you need a heater that can emit at least 100W of power to get sufficient warmth in your garage.
However, this is a guide as it doesn’t take into account the height of your ceiling, how well insulated your garage is and whether your doors and windows are prone to draughts. If in any doubt, speak to the store’s heating specialist to ensure you are getting the right power and the best garage heater for your garage space.
As a powerful garage heater, the Benross Industrial Fan Space Heater scoops our top pick for its versatility and value. With a 3000W output, and two heat settings, you can also use this fan heater as a cooling fan during the winter months. You get the key safety features and a convenient carry handle and the whole operation is pretty quiet. Plus, it can be used both in and outdoors. A good buy if you like comfort in your garage space, whatever time of year.