Are you someone who has a new home and is looking for a heating solution for your shop or garage? Are you doing a remodel of the garage in your existing home? Did you recently hire an architect or home builder to put up a standalone shop?
Regardless of which you have, you probably need a way to heat it when you’re in your workspace during those harsher, colder months of the year. The truth is, there are quite a number of ways that you can heat your garage or shop. Of course, this will depend on how big the garage is, and if it is a standard garage or if you have converted it into something like a game room or a home office. You have to remember that some heaters will be better for certain situations, and you need to make sure that whatever heater you use, it has some important safety-related features. You might have a lot of questions about the best type of garage heater you should get, and what brands are worth looking at.
This guide is going to help answer any questions you might have about heating your shop or garage, and point you in the right direction for your specific needs.
Here Are The Things That You Can Expect To Learn In This Post:
- What Is a BTU and What Does a BTU Have To Do With a Shop Heater? – In this section, we are going to explain what a BTU actually is, and what that rating has to do with the heating device you choose to use inside of your shop or your garage.
- How Does Convection Heating in an Infrared Heater Work? – One of the best forms of heating an enclosed area, in this section we will talk about convection-style heating and how it works with infrared quartz heating devices.
- Is an Electric Garage Heater Better Than One That Uses Natural Gas or Propane? – In this section, we will talk about electric versus gas heaters for your garage space, and why one of these solutions can actually be quite dangerous.
- Does an Electric Fireplace Have Enough Heat Output for a Large Garage or Should It Only Be Used in a Small Garage? – While an electric fireplace is a great heating solution in many circumstances, this isn’t always the case. Here we will talk about when an electric fireplace might be a good idea as the heating element for your garage and when other types might actually be a better solution.
- What Type of Heater Works Well in Larger Garages or Shops? – There are many types of electrical heaters that you can decide to use within your garage or your shop. In this section, we will list many of these different types so that you can make sure you are picking one that best fits the scenario that you find yourself in.
- What Safety Features Are Found in the Best Garage Heaters? – Safety is very important when you are using any kind of large electrical appliance. Here we will list the features involving safety so that you can make sure the unit you end up purchasing is good for your shop or garage.
- Are Generic Amazon Heaters Okay and What Brands of Large Unit Heaters Are Worth Buying? – Buying the first, cheap, generic heater that you see for sale on Amazon can result in a lot of headaches for you. There are several decent brands like Dyna with their Glo, Modine with their Hot Dawg, Fahrenheat, NewAir, Comfort Zone, King Electric, and many more. It is important to examine brands carefully and see what specific features they have that will help you heat your shop or garage properly. This section will help examine those brands and explain the importance of avoiding generic brands.
- If an Electric Fireplace Is the Best Solution For Me, What Brand of Electric Fireplace Should I Get? – If you are someone that is realizing that an electric fireplace is truly the best solution for your heating needs, this section is going to highlight everything that is great about one of the best electric fireplace brands on the market.
BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. It is the amount of heat that is needed to increase the temperature of a pound of water by a single degree Fahrenheit. It is the common heating unit used when talking about anything that heats an area. It is also used as a heating unit when it comes to air conditioners but it works in reverse than a heater. It is the amount of energy to decrease the temperature of a pound of water by a single degree Fahrenheit.
What this means for your home heating devices like a heater for your garage or shop is how much heat that this device can reliably put out. A device that is rated to put out more BTUs is one that can make an area warmer. A high rating does two things: it increases the space that a heating device can reliably make toasty and it will heat smaller spaces quicker than devices with a lower rating.
Keep in mind that high BTUs aren’t always better. While it certainly means it is more powerful, it may be too powerful for the intended amount of square feet you will be using it in. This means you will be paying for a more expensive heater than you actually need, and it is possible it will actually cost you more for your heating bill. Of course, if your rating is too low, the device will be working too hard without actually producing enough warm air for space, which will also leave you with a high heating bill even if it is not heating all that well. It is important to get a device that is properly rated for space. Slightly higher BTUs are okay. Two or three times the BTUs you need for your space is overkill and will likely cause even more problems than it solves.
If you are trying to heat something bigger like a garage or a shop, you want to avoid using a radiant heater. Instead, using a convection-style heater that has an infrared quartz heating device inside of it.
The way this works is that cool air is pulled from the room you are heating into the heating device. As the air cycles through the device, the infrared quartz heating coil inside of it warms that air instantaneously. The now warmed air then gets blown gently back into the room to circulate and warm the entire room. Infrared quartz is incredibly efficient at heating the air that is cycled through these devices. They use the least amount of electricity possible to do their job. On top of their efficiency, they don’t need time to warm up. Once you turn on a heater and set the thermostat, the infrared quartz heating coil should start working immediately. After turning one of these heating devices on in your shop or garage, you should feel the warmed air pouring out of the blowers almost immediately. While it may take a couple of minutes for the air to circulate and heat the room, the space directly next to the heater will feel the warmed air right after the device is turned on.
Many infrared heating devices use an adjustable thermostat. An adjustable thermostat lets you set the temperature to whatever your preference is. Whenever the temperature drops below this number, the heating coil will work a little bit harder to put out more heat and bring the temperature back up. Whenever the temperature is right or above the setting, then the adjustable heating coil will work less or stop completely until the temperature drops back down. This is very similar to the way a central heating and air conditioning system works.
There is some danger that is present when using a gas garage heater like propane gas or other gas as the heat source in your home. The truth is that a propane heater or gas heater produces a lot of carbon monoxide that will fill your garage. This can be very harmful to your health and even deadly if you inhale too much. This is one of the main reasons that you should avoid using a propane garage heating device or even one that uses natural gas.
The other major concern with propane, liquid propane, or other types of gas in your shop or garage is that burning gas requires there to be flame present. Any time there is a flame at all present, you are automatically increasing the chance of what could end up being a catastrophic house fire. This is an even higher risk in a shop or a car garage where fumes can be released into the air. As those fumes become more concentrated, a gas unit heater with an exposed flame will spark a fire. While a gas unit heater like the Dyna Glo, Big Maxx, Modine with the Modine Hot Dawg, and others try to work around these safety issues, the concerns are still present. For this reason, it is usually best to try to just avoid any kind of space heater that utilizes gas as its fuel source and instead stick with electric solutions that are safer and, in many cases, more energy-efficient.
Electric fireplaces are great for in homes and can even be good in home garages or shops of a certain size. They are especially great in a garage that has been converted into another room such as a home office, a game room, a movie room, or even an extra bedroom. These kinds of rooms having higher interior design requirements in order for them to look good, and since these rooms built out of a converted garage aren’t usually tied to the main heating of the rest of the home, a beautiful electric fireplace is an excellent choice.
An electric fireplace, such as the luxurious ones that MagikFlame makes, puts out 5,200 BTUs of heat. This is a great rating for an electric fireplace and with it, you can easily heat an area of up to 1,000 square feet. If you have a standard size garage, an electric fireplace can actually heat it pretty well.
Here is the problem with electric fireplaces in shops or garages though. Sometimes the area of the garage or shop is well over the size that the electric fireplace can reliably keep warm. This really isn’t an issue inside of a normal home because you can set up zone heating. This is if your home is over that 1,000 sq. ft. limit, you’d simply get a second electric fireplace in another part of the home. You’d then only turn on a fireplace in that zone of the house when people are using it. You keep the doors closed between these zones to keep the heating bill low. However, with a larger garage or shop that is over this limit, there aren’t doors to close between the space and you actually won’t be saving much on your heating bill by trying to do a zone heating setup in these larger garages. Instead, you will usually be better off getting a higher-rated heater that is specifically made for huge spaces.
On top of this, if you are doing work in a shop or a garage, you may need to keep the large door open or open the windows for some air to flow through. This is usually because you are working with something that has dangerous fumes that can build up and affect your lungs. In cases like this, you would basically need an electric heating device that is rated for outdoor use so that you can keep your garage relatively warm even with the door open. Keep in mind that this will definitely increase your heating bill, so you’d want to only do this when it is absolutely necessary. Electric fireplaces are made for enclosed areas to work efficiently. They aren’t made to work with large doors open where the heater has to make up for a draft of cold air constantly pouring into the room.
Electric fireplaces work very well for smaller garages or shops where you won’t be needing to open the big garage door with the type of work you will be doing. They are specifically perfect if you did a garage conversion turning it into one of those other room types like a movie room or a playroom. They are not ideal for much larger garages where the garage or shop doors will be opened regularly. In those gases, get a higher rated electrical heater made for garages and shops.
Any kind of powerful infrared electric heater that is made for large garages and shops will work. There are types that are permanent fixtures that you can mount on a ceiling or on the wall. There are some that are large freestanding-style devices that can be moved around as necessary. There are tower-style heaters that go in the center of an area and warm the air directly around it. There are some that specifically blow warmed air in a specific direction so that you aren’t wasting heat in parts of the shop where people won’t actually be.
Regardless of what type best suits your needs, you simply need to make sure it is rated to warm the area that you need to be warmed. You may need to make sure that it is an efficient heating type like infrared quartz electric heating, and if you will be keeping the doors to the shop or garage open to the cold while you work, you need to make sure something is even more powerful to make up for the heat loss that will come with that. This last point is why it might be a decent idea to get a heater that is rated for outdoor use as well as indoor use.
Also, here is an extra little tip. Remember that these large heaters pour out a lot of warmed air, much more than your typical electrical fireplace. Because of this, the air can get very dry. If you are regularly using one of these, it may be a wise decision to invest in a basic humidifier to keep the air within your shop or garage from being too dry. With a garage or a shop that is too dry, you will notice your throat starting to hurt after an extended time working in there.
There are a couple of safety-related features that you should keep in mind when buying any kind of electrical heater to warm up your shop or garage. of course, these features will somewhat be dependent on the kind of heater that you end up getting.
The first feature, one that all should have, regardless of what type of electrical heater it is, is overheat protection. You want to make sure that your heater can detect when it is overheating, usually due to the blowers on the heater being blocked by something. If you accidentally drop a shop towel or a tarp in front of the blowers of an electrical heater, it needs to know if the heat isn’t escaping, otherwise, it will build up inside of the device and cause all sorts of issues frying the internal electronics. Proper heating devices will have sensors that detect this type of overheating and can trigger an automatic shutoff. They will usually have an error code displayed somewhere so that you can check the owner’s manual and see what the cause is. Usually, it is often just a blockage in or in front of the blowers of the heater.
The other major safety-related feature that some electric heaters should have is a sensor that triggers an automatic shut off when the device is tipped over. While many devices don’t need this because they are wall devices that are permanently installed, any free standing devices should have this featured included. Let’s say you are moving something around in your shop or just pulling on a large extension power cord when using a power tool. If the free standing heater gets knocked over because of this, it can cause some serious internal damage if the heater continues to run while tipped over.
Generic heating device solutions are always a recipe for you being completely unsatisfied with your purchase. While the very cheap price tag is enticing, it actually can cause you a lot more in the long run due to higher heating bills from an inefficient device, repairs that are needed after only a year or two, or a complete replacement when you realize that it just doesn’t perform as well as it should.
Instead, you need to stick to electrical heater solutions for your shop or garage that are from trusted brands. There are quite a lot of brands out there that are worth looking at like Fahrenheat, NewAir, King Electric, Mr. Heater, Comfort Zone, and more. While all of these brands are decent for larger garages or shops, they tend to specialize in different features.
Some of these heaters have louvers and are ceiling mount portable garage heater. Others are freestanding direct air heater with tons of airflow in one direction. Some can be plugged into a standard 120-volt electrical outlet. Others require more amps and need to be plugged into a special 240-volt outlet. Some are heavy-duty for huge shops, while some are smaller for smaller areas.
Check the features and ratings of the heater you are looking at carefully and make sure it meets the needs of your specific shop or garage heating situation.
If you are someone that has a much smaller garage space or a converted garage where you’ve turned it into an extra bedroom, family room, movie room, game room, home office, or something else, you may have realized that an electric fireplace is actually the best thing for your specific situation. If this is you, then you can not go wrong with a MagikFlame electric fireplace. Here are all of the reasons that so many people say it is not only the best electric fireplace on the market, but it is actually better than the real thing:
● 3D Holographically Projected Flickering Flames – Every single MagikFlame electric fireplace includes Holoflame technology. In the fireplace is a physical log set and an ember bed underneath it. When you turn the MagikFlame electric fireplace on, there will be moving, dancing, flickering, 3D holographic flames projected right onto the physical log set. These flames look ultrarealistic and most of your guests won’t even be able to tell it is an electric fireplace, rather they will think that it is a real wood-burning fireplace. MagikFlame doesn’t just have one style of flicker flames. Because your mood can change, MagikFlame electric fireplaces have 30 different flame styles that you can cycle through and select at the simple push of a button.
● Crackling Log Sounds and Nature Sounds – The super realistic visuals of the flame effects inside of MagikFlame fireplaces are already quite impressive, but to further immerse you in the atmosphere and ambiance of a real fireplace experience, MagikFlame electric fireplaces also include the sound of crackling logs. As you see the flames flicker and tiny embers shoot off, you will also hear the crackling of wood as if it were burning. In addition to the amazing crackling log sound effects, MagikFlame fireplaces also have nature sounds that you can select if you want to add some additional relaxing audio effects.
● 5,200 BTU Infrared Quartz Heating Device – What is the use of all of that realistic visuals and audio if the fireplace can’t actually keep you warm? With MagikFlame electric fireplaces, this isn’t an issue at all. They have a powerful and extremely efficient heater with an infrared quartz heating coil inside of it. The heater puts out 5,200 BTUs of heat, and can easily warm an area of 1,000 square ft. This is enough for small to medium-sized homes, condos, or apartments to stay nicer and cozy with just a single MagikFlame fireplace. If you have a home that is a lot larger and needs more heat, you can get a second MagikFlame electrical fireplace for an added supplemental or zone heating setup. You only run a fireplace when people are actually using that part of the home. When nobody is using a specific zone, you will keep doors closed to that area. By doing this, you actually keep a surprisingly low heating bill, even for a very large home.
● Smartphone App Remote Control – Instead of your typical, boring remote that requires batteries to change and is easy to lose on your couch, MagikFlame electric fireplaces have once again pushed things even further. MagikFlame fireplaces are controlled with an incredibly intuitive smartphone app. The app is very easy to use and has large, graphic buttons so you can see exactly what it is that you are doing. The app works on your smartphone or even your tablet if you prefer a larger screen. With the app, you can turn your fireplace on or off from anywhere within your home, you can set the temperature to your exact preferences, you can select one of 30 flame effects, you can control the audio, and much more.
● Many Beautiful Mantel Package Models to Choose From – MagikFlame electric fireplaces have many beautiful mantels that come with their models. There is a range of sizes and styles to properly fit the home decor that you already have. On top of the traditional fireplace mantel packages where the MagikFlame fireplace sits against a wall, there is a corner unit for people that prefer a corner based fireplace or even an electric fireplace insert to convert your existing wood fireplace into an electric fireplace, allowing you to continue using the fireplace housing and mantel. On top of this, you can use one of the inserts if you want to go with a third-party mantel that is better suited to your specific home decorating style.
MagikFlame fireplaces aren’t just great for your converted garages, they are great for the main part of your home as well. Here are all of the benefits that you can expect to enjoy with a MagikFlame electric fireplace over traditional fireplaces:
● There is no flame present so there is no extra fire hazard.
● They don’t produce any harmful emissions like smoke or carbon dioxide.
● Since there is no smoke, you don’t have to worry about wall stains or a bad smell.
● They are simple and easy to use compared to wood fireplaces that require a lot of work.
● Installation is easy, involving setting it down and plugging it in.
● You can easily put them in any room of your house instead of just your living room.
● Due to their infrared quartz heaters and no need for ventilation, they are very heat efficient, saving you a ton on your heating bill.
● Because of the beautiful, completely realistic flame effects, you get all of the benefits and nostalgia of a traditional wood fireplace, without any of the hassles that come with them.
If you have a shop or garage that isn’t too big and you think a MagikFlame electric fireplace is going to be the best solution for you, here is a lot more information that you might find interesting: