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Ebook Preview Part 4: Garage Heater Setup, Maintenance, & Troubleshooting
Normally, a garage heater is small and comes with a mounting kit that allows you to mount your heater anywhere on the wall or ceiling, so that it does not come in your way and gives you more floor space.
Some models may need you seek technical assistance in wiring and first time operation. Then there are other models that come with a DIY mounting kit that allows you to mount the heater yourself, plug it in the outlet and your heater is on the roll.
- These garage heaters are only for those who intend to use a heater in a single room. If you plan to heat up different places with just one heater, you need to get a portable one.
- A portable garage heater does not require any technical installation or professional assistance. All you need to do is connect the heater to an electrical outlet and simply hit the power button.
- Different types of garage heaters are installed differently. Make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions in the installation manual that comes with your heater.
There is no such thing as "maintenance-less". And just like every other electrical appliance, garage heaters need maintenance too. However, you can minimize the need to maintain a heater by getting a heater that features a lastingly lubricated fan motor. As the term suggests, this feature will save you from lubricating the motor which is otherwise an important part of the maintenance cycle.
Also, try to find a heater that contains an air intake grill. It will prevent the debris and dirt from damaging the unit. Garage heaters that contain these features require almost zero maintenance.
Following is the step by step process on how you can clean a garage heater:
- Turn off the heater and allow it to cool down. Make sure it is completely cooled before you perform any cleaning or maintenance procedure.
- Wipe the surface of the heater with the help of a clean microfiber duster.
- Now remove the cover of the heater. Some heaters contain a cover that is screwed to the surface. In such cases, you will have to unscrew the cover first, then pull it up and lift it out.
- Now grab a vacuum and run its brush gently across the entire interior compartment. You can also use a slightly damp sponge to remove the sticky debris and dirt off the interior; however, if you are performing this step, then allow the interior to get completely dry before moving on to the next step.
- Clean the cover of the heater. You can do so with the help of a vacuum, a soft cloth or a microfiber duster.
- Once the cover is cleaned and dried, put it back on the heater.
As summer approaches, it is time to give your garage heaters a rest. Also, now that you will be using air coolers and air conditioners during summers, it is best to pack up your heater and place it in storage. Not only will it keep your heater safe, but will also save your room from getting congested with two appliances.
That being said, it is important that you store your heater properly, or else you may have to deal with rust or may even have to go for professional maintenance, in order to make the heater run again in winters.
Following are a few tips that will help you store your heater in the right manner.
- When it is time to store the heater, turn it off and pull the plug from the electrical outlet.
- Allow it to cool down completely. Do not ever perform any storage or maintenance procedure on the heater while it is hot.
- Remove the cover off the heater.
- Clean the heater thoroughly both from the insides and outsides.
- If you are using any liquid cleaner or sponge to clean, allow the heater to dry before moving on.
- Make sure the exterior and interior is completely free of debris, dust and moist.
- Check the parts of the heater. Check for wear and tear. If anything needs maintenance, handle it right away.
- Check the motor mounts and framework support. Look for any lose bolts and frayed wiring. Repair or replace as required.
- Tighten the loose bolts and electrical fittings.
- When the cleaning and maintenance is done, wrap the heater with a heavy plastic sheet or a cover. Make sure the heater is entirely wrapped or else the exposed part may corrode. If the cover is loose, you can use a rope or string to secure it to the heater.
Following are few common issues, along with their respective solution, that people face while using garage heaters.
If the fan is not working,
If such an issue arises, first check the switch to make sure it is working. Next, check the blades and ensure they are not obstructed by anything. If the switch and blades are fine, check the fan motor; it might have burned out. You can use an ohmmeter to check the fan motor. If the motor is receiving electrical current, yet it is not working, then it is time to replace the motor.
If the fan is working yet the heater is not producing heat,
This is the most common issue that people usually face with their garage heaters. There could be several reasons why a heater is not producing heat even if the fan is working properly. These are listed below:
- Defective heating element
- Thermostat not working
- Thermostat is set too low
- Loose or frayed wiring
- The circuit breaker the controls the furnace is either tripped or blown
- If it is a gas heater, the gas control valve could be closed or corroded
Following are proposed solutions to the above problems, respectively:
- Repair or replace the heating element.
- Clean the contacts in the thermostat. Also, make sure that the thermostat is in the heat mode.
- Reset the thermostat by increasing or decreasing the temperate by a few degrees, as required.
- Tighten the electrical wirings, or replace them if needed.
- Reset the tripped circuit breaker.
- Clean the valves, or replace them if needed.
If the heater is turning off and on rapidly,
If you are facing any such issue, there could be two reasons behind it:
- The flow of air is obstructed by something. It could be furniture, drapes etc.
- The thermostat or the control switch is malfunctioning.
Following are proposed solutions to the above problems, respectively:
- Check the part of the heater from where the air gets into it. Make sure it is not blocked by anything.
- If possible, repair it or else replace the defective thermostat or the control switch.
People are normally concerned regarding the safety of using a heater. Following are a few common concerns that you may have in this regard along with several preventive measures that will help put your concerns at ease. The most common concern that people have when it comes to using heaters is ignition. Well, it is true that electric garage heaters can ignite if kept near materials like drapes, sofas, clothing, paper and flammable items. Make sure you place your heater as far as possible from such things and that is all it requires to keep yourself and your garage safe from an explosion.