I love the cold, but I also hate it. It’s miserable when you’re trying to get stuff done around your house and in your garage. You know that old saying – “If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes.” Well, if you live in a place where the weather is always cold, waiting 5 minutes can be an hour or more!
In addition to being unpleasant, cold weather makes it hard for you to work on projects around your home. If you have a project going in one area of your garage, such as building shelves or adding a new carport over your driveway, and it’s time to move up into the house, it’s nice to have a heater running in the area you’re working so that you can take some of the chill off.
However, what about those times when the temperature gets down below freezing? How do you keep warm while doing outdoor work without having to go inside? A propane heater is the answer to this conundrum. In fact, a propane heater is probably the best way to heat an entire garage because they provide consistent warmth throughout the day and night. The only problem with them is finding one that will fit your needs exactly.
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The first step to getting a propane heater is figuring out how much space you need heated. Propane gas heats up very quickly, so there are two things to consider. First, how long does it take you to complete your work before you need to stop and turn the heater off? Second, how many hours of work will you typically do each week, month, or year?
Once you’ve figured these things out, you’ll need to look at different types of propane heaters. Here are some common choices:
This type of heater has several tubes that run through it and are made from metal. There are two to four tubes depending on the size of the heater and the number of people who might be using it. Each tube contains hot air which rises and circulates through the room, providing even heating all the way through. This type of heater should be used if you want lots of heat to cover a lot of ground. However, convection heaters tend to be pretty loud, especially when they’re turned up too high.
A radiant heater uses a reflector to bounce light back onto itself. Radiators were originally designed to keep your house warm in winter, but now they’re popular among homeowners who use them for both heating and cooling purposes. They’re usually mounted on the ceiling or a wall and can be used in any part of your home. Some models come with an automatic timer which turns the heater on and off according to your schedule.
Space heaters are often used by people who have limited living space. Since propane is odorless, non-toxic and relatively inexpensive, it’s possible to set up a small unit next to a door or window. These units are usually no bigger than a few feet square, so they won’t heat large rooms.
Another option is to install a portable heater, which is smaller than a space heater but larger than a portable lantern. Portable heaters can be used anywhere in a room or garage and are often used by contractors during construction work. Portable heaters are often powered by batteries or solar panels.
Finally, you may want to consider a combination heater. Combination heaters combine two of the above methods into one package, so they provide extra heat where needed. For example, a combination heater might contain a convection section (for heating a large room) and a radiant section (for warming an enclosed space).
Now that we’ve looked at propane heaters in general, let’s talk about specific options for garage heaters.
Portable Gas Heater
Portable gas heaters are great for keeping a single area of your garage warm. They’re compact enough to take to work or travel with you. Most of them can stand alone, though some require a vent pipe near the floor to draw stale air out of the garage. Portable heaters can also be used outdoors, but they aren’t very efficient when operated outdoors.
Portable Gas Heater Options
There are three main types of portable gas heaters available today: oil filled, electric, and propane.
These heaters operate very similarly to conventional oil furnaces. Oil filled heaters burn fuel, such as wood pellets or charcoal briquettes, and the resulting smoke exhausts out through a chimney. Oil filled heaters are most commonly used in garages because they’re not only economical, but they also add a smoky smell to the air.
An electric heater operates similar to a standard extension cord. It plugs into an outlet and draws energy from the power grid. Electric heaters are convenient because they plug straight into an electrical socket. They’re also safe and easy to operate because the user doesn’t need to worry about igniting a fire.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, a propane heater provides consistent warmth that never changes throughout the day. Unlike oil-filed heaters, propane heaters do not emit pollutants or smoke. Propane heaters also cost less to operate, making them an excellent choice for anyone who wants to save money.
While propane heaters certainly excel in certain situations, they have their limitations. As with any device, there are potential problems related to propane heaters.
First, propane tanks are dangerous. Because they’re pressurized, they can leak. Even a minor spill can cause serious damage, so make sure you store your propane tank properly. Also, propane tanks must be stored away from other flammables, including gas stoves, grills, ovens, and kerosene heaters. Finally, the propane tanks themselves are heavy and bulky, so you will need a special cart to transport them.
When buying a propane heater, you also have to consider the installation process. To get a propane heater installed correctly, you need to hire a professional. Not only will a professional be able to handle any potential complications, but he or she will also be familiar with the local rules and regulations regarding propane heaters.
After considering how you plan to use your propane heater and how much space you need heated, it’s time to shop around. Most stores carry a variety of heaters, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding the perfect heater for your needs.