For some a garage is strictly a place to park a car. To others it provides space for do-it-yourself projects, hobbies and a place to get away. Unfortunately, most people only take advantage of their garage space during warm weather. They operate under the incorrect assumption that a heated garage was a luxury they couldn't afford? You might be surprised how affordable a heater for your garage can be.


What you are planning to do in your garage? Is it just a nice place to putter on a Sunday afternoon? Are you a car buff who likes to work on cars all winter? Maybe you like to refinish furniture. Some people use their garage as a mini-gym with cardio equipment and weights. Whatever the activity, garages are a great place to spread out.


There are several other advantages to having a heated garage. If you have a garage that's attached to your house the rooms adjacent to the heated garage will be warmer. Ice and snow that builds up on your car during the winter will melt off in a heated garage. Since this ice and snow can carry street chemicals and salts, ridding the vehicle of these chemicals will extend the life of your vehicle's finish and undercarriage.


Heating your garage does not have to be expensive. Let's look at some options. Garage heaters fall into several categories:


Obviously, the choice of which type of heater you'll choose depends on the fuel that's available. If you live in a house with natural gas heat, a natural gas garage heater might be a great choice for you. If your home is heated with electrical heat, it probably would make sense to purchase an electric or infrared heater.


There are three costs to think about before choosing your garage heater. The first is the cost of the heating unit, the second is the cost of installation and finally, the third is the ongoing utility costs of the unit.


While none of the heating units mentioned above are too expensive, infrared heaters are usually inexpensive when compared to some of the other choices. Of course infrared heaters heat a smaller area than some of your other options. Propane, natural gas and electric heaters are all comparably priced, however costs in installation can vary.


Installation costs depend on the type of unit you select. Some propane and natural gas units will require venting which will add to the cost of your installation. Of course you will have to run your fuel source to the location of the heating unit.


Placing your heater in the correct spot is very important. You want the heater up and out of the way. This gives you more room in your garage and also prevents items from being moved in front of the heater and causing a fire. You want the heater towards the back of the garage to insure good circulation of heat after the garage door is opened and closed. The best location is in the back of the garage suspended from the ceiling or wall. Be sure to allow an adequate amount of space around the heater for good cooling and ventilation of the unit.


We recommend a thermostat for your garage heater. This allows you to control the amount of heat and energy you're using and also allows you to lower the temperature significantly when you're not going to be using the garage area. Most heaters offered by QC Supply either come with a thermostat included or as an option. For ideal heating it's best to place the thermostat well away from the heating unit. This will insure the entire garage area is receiving adequate warmth.


Utility costs for the units vary considerably. Electricity for electric and infrared heaters usually costs more than either propane or natural gas. If you plan on keeping your garage warm all winter, this is obviously an important consideration.


Purchasing the correct size of garage heater is very important. Proper size can depend on several variables. Total square footage, height of your ceilings, insulation and whether your garage is attached to your home are all factors to consider when sizing your heating unit.


Here's a quick example of the types of numbers we're talking about. Say you have a one car garage (approximately 450 square feet) with eight foot ceilings and good insulation in both the ceiling and walls. You'd like to keep the garage at least 50 degrees on a zero degree day. If you were purchasing an electric heater you'd need one with about 14,000 BTUs and about 3,660 watts.


When purchasing a heating unit, some make the mistake of thinking bigger is always better. If you purchase too big of a heating unit for your garage you will simply reduce the efficiency and waste energy. The heating unit will cycle on, blow a large amount of warm air in a short amount of time and shut down. It will never reach its optimal efficiency if it only runs for a short time.


Here at QC Supply, we strongly recommend you call one of our heating experts when you begin shopping for your garage heater. We can help you determine the correct type and size of unit for your garage space as well as answer the many questions that will come up.


When you bought your home you paid for every square foot. Why not get the use of this square footage during every season of the year. Heating your garage is a wise investment!