By far the best option in terms of price and effectiveness is a natural gas heater. There are two good types for garages: a forced-air furnace or a low-intensity infrared tube heater (high-intensity tube
heaters are dangerous in a garage). They both require electrical hook-up and outdoor venting and you’ll need to choose the correct size to fit your garage according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Considering what the space is used for helps this decision. A wood shop, for example, would function
well with a tube heater because the heated coils do not stir up dust. These heaters work by heating
objects – such as the concrete floor – which then keeps the air warm. They are very effective and cost less to run over the long term, but you have to keep everything (including yourself) at least three feet away to keep from overheating.
If you’re using the garage as a home theater, exercise room or office, forced air might be a good choice. Forced air is less expensive initially (about half the price of an infrared heater) and slightly safer since you don’t have to be so careful of things near the furnace overheating. It’s also easier to install. It takes much longer to recover once the door has been opened, but you feel the warm air right away as opposed to the infrared taking a while to heat the objects in the room.
Note: if your garage isn’t insulated with at least 4” insulation, installing a heater will just heat the great outdoors. Another issue is that every time you open the garage door, you lose most of the heat - a heated garage should mainly stay closed and have an insulated door.
If you’d like to read more about how to install a forced-air furnace or low-intensity tube heater, check out this link at Family Handyman.com.
About the Author: Lauren Turner is a former construction contractor turned wife and mother of two (so far). Her daily collection of duties and pleasures range from diaper duty to researching experimental concrete surfaces and everything in between. She is delighted to discover there is a place for her blogging skills and hopes her own garage benefits from all she learns.
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