Heating in your home is essential, but often it doesn’t extend to your garage. Keeping your garage warm is important to let you use the space during the cold months, and the heat is also important to protect your car.
Garage heaters offer a simple solution for this, and in this guide, we’ll tell you more about garage heater installation and how you can do it yourself.
Why Install a Heater In Your Garage?
It isn’t always immediately obvious why you should install a heater in your garage, but there are many reasons to do it. There are benefits to your home and your vehicle:
Benefits To Homeowners
- Prevent Freezing Damage To The Garage
Heating stops freezing and thawing, which can cause structural damage to your home. This can be costly and complicated to fix.
- Maintain Indoor Temperatures
Heating your garage stops heat from escaping from your home. This helps keep your whole house warm and lowers your energy bills because your heating system doesn’t need to work as hard.
- Create a Comfortable Workspace
Heating your garage allows you to actively use the space rather than just using it for storage. Many people are converting their garages into offices to maximize space in their home.
- Reduce The Risk of Carbon Monoxide Build Up In The Garage
Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer, and it can be really dangerous. A heated space with the proper ventilation will help prevent any build-up.
- Garage Heaters Are Compact And Quiet
Heating your garage isn’t as challenging as with other parts of your home, and if you get the right equipment, the heater will barely be noticeable.
- Garage Heaters Are Easy To Maintain
Garage heaters are also easier to maintain than other heaters, making them simple and effective.
Benefits To Your Car
- Car Will Warm Up Faster
Your car needs to heat up before it can operate properly. A well-heated garage helps keep your vehicle at an ambient temperature so it can be used immediately.
- Coolant In The Vehicle Will Be Warmer
Coolant temperate can be a real issue during the winter months, but keeping your garage heated allows you to keep it warm even when it’s cold outside.
- The Oil Will Be Less Viscous
The oil in your car mechanism will work properly because it’s kept at the right temperature.
- The Car Will Start Easier
The warmth will help your car start properly as it’s supposed to. This means no more stressful mornings worrying your car won’t start.
- Car Doors Or Locks Won’t Freeze And Get Stuck.
In very icy conditions, your car doors can freeze up, meaning you have to thaw them out before you can even get in your car. Keeping your car in a heated garage eliminates this problem and makes sure you can still get access.
- Protects The Car From Engine Wear
This will improve the overall efficiency of the car and should mean it lasts longer.
Different Types of Garage Heaters & Installation Guide
So now you better understand the benefits of a garage heater, we’ll talk you through the installation. There are 4 main types of heating for your garage, each with its pros and cons. Here’s a quick guide for each:
Electric Garage Heaters
Electrical heaters are generally very affordable and efficient to run. They work well in garages, but if you have a large garage, then you might need a more powerful heater. They aren’t too complicated to install, but you should have prior experience with electricals before attempting to carry out this work.
An electric garage heater is typically hung from the ceiling and needs a 220/240v power source. You’ll therefore need to connect it up to your power source. Once you’ve purchased your heater, follow these steps:
- Turn Off The Power
Go to your circuit breaker or fuse box and turn off the power. This is extremely important, so you don’t injure yourself while carrying out this installation.
- Connect Conduit To The Panel
You’ll need to open up a section of wall around the panel and connect a conduit so it can access the power source. You’ll need to run this up the side of your wall to the ceiling so you can hang the heater. You can buy the different conduits and connections needed from any hardware store and use a pipe cutter to trim them to the right length.
- Connect The Wires
Using red, black, and green wires, run them through the conduit to connect the heater to the power source. Feed them to the panel and then connect the green grounding wire to the ground panel, with the red and black wires connecting to the terminal screws. You won’t need a white neutral wire for this type of heater.
- Hang The Heater
Using a mounting bracket, attach the heater to the ceiling using a drill, nuts, and bolts. Please make sure everything is secure, so there’s no risk of it falling down.
- Connect The Wiring Up
Connect the wiring from the heater to the junction box. Connect the wiring to the heater and secure using wiring nuts, and then connect the wiring to the junction box by matching up the colors. Replace the cover panel on the junction box when you’re finished.
- Test The System
Turn the power back on the switch on your heater. If you feel the heat rising in the room in the next 5 minutes, then it’s all working properly.
Working with any kind of electricals can be dangerous and some vary from 110-120 volts to 220-240 volts. If you aren’t comfortable or experienced with electricals, you should consult a professional and get them to carry out the installation.
Propane Gas Garage Heaters
Propane gas heaters are a popular choice for your garage because they’re small, self-sufficient, low maintenance, and efficient.
They’re pretty easy to set up and will effectively heat a small or medium-sized garage fairly easily.
To install a propane gas garage heater, you’ll need the heater itself, access to an electrical outlet, and a wrench.
Then follow these steps:
- Clear A Space
Clear a space for the heater and make sure there are no flammable materials nearby. You should make sure it’s on a flat surface and near ventilation to reduce any risk of gas poisoning.
- Connect The Propane
Connect the gas input line into the propane tank. Tighten the nut on the connection using a wrench, turning counterclockwise until completely secured.
- Plug The Heater In
Plug the heater into the wall and turn on the blower. Leave this on for about 30 seconds to blow an excess gas from the line.
- Turn On The Gas
Twist the gas valve on the propane cylinder to start the flow of gas. You should be able to feel the pressure lifting as it flows through.
- Light The Heater
Press the ignition button on the heater. This should start the flame and allow heat to be generated, which is circulated around the room.
Your propane heater should be fitted with a safety shut off which stops the device as soon as the oxygen levels in an area drop below a certain level. However, if you do start smelling gas, then you should turn off the device and get it looked over by a professional. It may also be worth getting a professional to review your work before you start using it.
Natural Gas Garage Heaters
Natural gas heaters are often favored by homeowners because they offer a lot of power. They can heat an oversized garage without any issue, but they are less energy efficient than other options. They are fairly simple to install, but you need to make sure the heater is adequately ventilated.
To install a natural gas heater, you need to follow these steps:
- Mount Your Heater
Your heater needs to be at least 18 inches from the floor and should be installed to a mounting bracket. Your fan needs to direct the heat to the coldest parts of the room, so make sure it’s installed in the right place. Connect the vents, gas, and electrical outlets to each side of the heater.
- Connect The Gas Pipe
Look at the make and model of your heater to determine the size of the gas pipe needed. Make sure you use proper joints, and you may want to get professional help here because your gas pipe will have to pass local codes.
- Install The Thermostat
Mount your thermostat on a flat and vibration-free surface about 5 feet from the floor. Make sure you install it in a location that will accurately show the average temperature of the room and then follow the wiring instructions to connect it all up.
- Test The Device
Make sure your gas is flowing correctly, and turn the device on to test it’s all working.
Some people have concerns over the safety of natural gas heaters in an enclosed garage space, but they are perfectly safe as long as they are installed correctly. If you have any concerns or can smell gas, turn it off and consult a professional immediately.
Floor heating isn’t always something people consider for their garage, but it’s a great way to keep moisture from building up on the floor. It is a slightly less effective way to heat the whole space, though, so it may not be suitable for you, depending on how you plan to use the garage.
To install floor heating, it’s best to do it when you’re laying the floor. If not, then you’ll need to dig it up and relay it. Here’s a quick guide:
- Lay The Tubing
If you are laying the concrete floor, then the liquid tubing or electrical heating coils can be laid in the concrete itself.
- Connect The Power
Wire up the heating source to the thermostat and connect to your power source. This should allow it to be turned on and off at the flick of a switch.
- Lay The Concrete
If you’re laying the floor for the first time, then you can pour the concrete on top of the heating coils. If not, then you can lay an extra layer on the top of your floor. Let the concrete dry before you test the device.
- Test The Heater
Switch the heater on and leave for a few minutes. If it’s all working, you should be able to feel the heat on the floor by touching it.
Underfloor heating isn’t the most effective way to heat your garage, but it is very efficient and cheap to run. Fitting the heating isn’t difficult but will require you to lay concrete which makes it a more physical job.
Where To Install Garage Heaters
(Proper Placement Guide)
The placing of your heater is just as important as the installation of the heater itself. If you don’t have the heater in the right place, it won’t operate efficiently, and you can be left paying more to run it without any results.
Garage heaters can be fitted to walls or ceilings, but most models have a fan, and it’s important to direct this towards the coldest area of the room. Your fixed garage heater will need to be installed near a power source and gas supply (if needed). For safety, they should be about 18 inches from the floor and 4 to 5 inches from the walls, so a mounting bracket is essential. This will stop them from overheating near your walls and becoming a fire hazard.
Garage heaters need to be installed away from windows or doors, but most will require ventilation. It’s important you place your heater in an area where you can adequately ventilate it as needed.
How To Vent a Garage Heater
Gas heaters need to be vented appropriately. Otherwise, you may end up breathing in harmful gases in an enclosed space which can lead to injury or even death. Most heaters are vented through the ceiling, and we’ve given a quick guide to show you how to do it:
- Fit A Ventilation Port
You should have a ventilation port at the back of your garage heater. Install a vent duct elbow, so it’s pointing upwards towards the roof.
- Mark The Lines
Using chalk, mark out the path the vent line will take up to the roof.
- Drill The Sheathing
Use a drill to make some holes in the underside of your roof, the sheathing. This should be wide enough to let the ventilation pipe pass through it. Use a wood cutting blade to finish cutting out the circle.
- Fit The Upper Flange
Fit an upper flange under the row on shingles above the hole you just drilled.
- Fit The Vent Pipe
Connect 2 pieces of 35 inch vent pipe together (they should just snap together securely) and run the line up from the heater to the roof. Fit a vent cap to the top and screw it in place. The top of the vent should be 24 inches above the height of the roof, so add extra pipe as needed.
- Secure In Place
Secure the pipes in place using plumbers tape and screws to support the vents. Make sure the gap in the ceiling is sealed around to prevent any heat loss.
People Also Ask (FAQ)
How much does it cost to install a garage heater?
It can cost anywhere from $1500-$5000 to install a garage heater. But, of course, it all depends on the size of your garage and how you’ve chosen to heat it.
Will an infrared heater work in the garage?
Yes, infrared heaters can work well in a garage, and because they don’t rely on airflow, they won’t cause any dust to be blown around the room.
What size infrared heater do I need for my garage?
A 30,000 BTU heater Is suitable for a 2 or 2 ½ car garage. A 50,000 BTU heater is suitable for a larger 3 car garage. Many heaters will give a guide as to how big an area it will work for, so it’s worth looking at the specifications and packaging.
Do garage heaters use a lot of electricity?
Most garage heaters are efficient and don’t use much electricity, but it varies depending on the make and model. You can save money by investing in better insulation for the room, so you don’t have to use the heater as much.
Garage heaters allow you to use a whole extra room in your house. They aren’t complicated to install, but for safety, it may be worth getting a professional involved to make sure it’s all done correctly. Hopefully, this guide has helped explain the benefits of garage heaters and showed you how to install a garage heater yourself.
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