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Garage Heater Tips and Other Garage Heating Ideas!

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If you're trying to warm your garage this winter and a have questions about garage heating, this FAQ article is designed to answer them. Garage heaters are an effective resource; below are some basics to help you use your garage effectively. A heater will keep your personal space warm enough to enjoy this winter.

1. Does a garage heater have to be hardwired?

Whether or not hardwired installation is required depends on the unit you purchase. Some garage heaters are hardwired for permanent installation. Other units plug into an outlet, either 220V, 240V or 120V. Both units heat the same; however, hardwired installation requires contacting a certified electrician. Typically, if there is any wiring that needs to be done upon installation it should be done professionally.

Before making your purchase, decide whether you plan to have your heating unit permanently installed or if you want a portable unit that can be moved around. If you want a portable heater, then choose one that's compatible with the outlet in your garage. Have a professional check the voltage in the garage and the outlets you plan to use just to make sure they can accommodate the voltage requirements of the unit.

Outlet

2. What kind of plug does it use?

The type of plug a garage heater uses depends on the size and power of the unit. Every unit varies. If your garage can only accommodate a 120V heater, then make sure the one you purchase doesn't require more voltage. Have your outlet professionally examined so you know exactly what type of heater to purchase.

If your garage space requires more warmth than what a 120V heater can provide, you can contact a certified electrician and have a 240V outlet installed.

3. Can we change the thermostat to a wall thermostat?

If you want to change the unit's thermostat to a wall thermostat you can; however, depending on the unit you purchase, changing the thermostat might void the warranty. If a wall thermostat is used, it is important to contact a certified electrician.

Before making any changes, it's important to read through the user manual and contact the manufacturer if you have any questions or would like to make any changes to the thermostat before doing so.

Thermostat and accessories

4. What is the difference between a single pole and double pole thermostat?

A single pole thermostat breaks on one side of the power line and cannot be turned off. Therefore, power is continuous to the heater even if it is not running. They usually feature one hot wire and one neutral wire. The control knob typically has a low temperature setting but no OFF position.

Double pole thermostats break on both sides of the power line. As a result, all power to the heater is interrupted when it's turned off. This type of thermostat features two hot wires, and has a control knob with an OFF position.

5. Are electric garage heaters powerful enough?

How powerful your garage heater is depends on the wattage of the unit. 4,000 watts of heating warms a 400 sq. ft. area. If you need a stronger model then increase the wattage. The higher the wattage, the more coverage you'll get.

To make the best purchase, you need to know the square footage of the garage. Basically, measure the length and the width of the room and multiply the two measurements. To calculate wattage, estimate 10 watts per square footage. Multiply the square footage of the room by 10. Convert the wattage to BTUs. A single watt is equal to 3.41 BTUs. Multiply the total wattage to 3.41.

Other factors to consider are: insulation, how high the ceilings are, and how many windows, if any, are in the space you plan to heat. For garages with higher ceilings and more than one window increase the BTUs by 10% for effective coverage.

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More Tips on Garage Heating

  • Insulation: Insulation will go a long way to making your garage and garage heating much more efficient. There will be less heat loss. Try foam, plastic, or some form of paneling, something removable if you're a renter.
  • Halogen lighting: Consider the type of lighting you're using. Some actually produce more heat than others. This will help warm the space too.
  • Garage Door: Make sure the garage door seals to the floor. If there's a gap, cold air is sure to get in. No matter how hard you try to heat the space, if cold air is seeping in through cracks and crevices, you'll be cold.
  • Windows: If there are windows, cover them and make sure they're airtight. Buy some weather stripping from your local hardware store to keep the cold air out.
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