Natural Gas vs Electric: How to choose an effective garage heater
Winter brings a chill to the air even in more temperate climates. In some areas, it can be crippling, and definitely slows down the pace of life you get used to during warmer seasons. If you enjoy working in your garage, or other types of outdoor buildings, this may come to a complete halt due to how difficult working in cold weather can be.
Adding a heating source to your space doesn’t just create a much more comfortable atmosphere to work within, but it also can support the longevity of your vehicles, keep stored items from being exposed to extremes, or allow tender plants to be more easily stored through the winter. Of course, this is dependent upon how you choose to use a heating source, but no matter whether you pick a garage heater, gas or electric- the benefits justify the effort it takes to pick the best that works for you.
- Can often be modified to work with propane
- Can be hooked directly to your existing gas line
- Efficient and powerful
- Do not take up much space
- Provides heat even during a power outage
- Installation is permanent and cannot be easily moved
- Ventilation may be required
- Professional installation is recommended
- Quiet operation
- Easy to install
- Much more portable if needed
- Not dependent upon the running of gas lines to where they may not exist
- May run up the electric bill
- 240-volt outlet required- which may need to be installed
- Professional electric source connection recommended
Most gas heaters also need a ventilation system of sorts as well to avoid a buildup of carbon monoxide. This can add to the overall installation cost if what ventilation you have is not considered sufficient. And, even though it is considered a fairly clean, sustainable fuel, it also is a non-renewable resource and contains methane, a potent greenhouse gas- which over time may play negatively into environmental factors.
Although a bit more convenient due to being powered by an electrical source rather than a connection to an existing gas line, electric heaters are also available in the same types of heat sources as gas. With the same ability to heat as a natural gas source, the main differences between the two have more to do with how much electricity is used to heat your spaces versus the amount of gas being used.
Radiant, forced air, and convection heat all work on the same premise as described above. Rather than creating heat through combustion, however, coils are heated through energy -making these heating options efficient, and incredibly easy to include within your space.
Electric units are also mostly used to heat a space for a short period of time while you work within it, and not to necessarily keep your garage at a constant temperature when not in use. These units can also overheat, and although many are equipped with a shut down if this occurs, they do pose a fire risk- especially if they are portable and are tipped over (again, safety measure do exist for this as well).
Electric heaters have some more variances in choices surrounding portability, and mounting- but may not put out as much of an efficient heating source for larger spaces- and consequently raise your electric bill exponentially. It’s important to weigh the uses of each within the space you need it for before making a choice.
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