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How To Find the Right Heater for Your Garage or Workshop

We’re often asked, "what is the best way to heat a garage"?, "how can I best heat my workshop"?, or "how do I size a heater for my space?" There are many variables involved in selecting just the right heater or heaters to meet your specific criteria.

To choose the correct size of heater for your garage or shop space, begin by answering the following questions:

  • How big is the space to be heated (square footage and ceiling height)?
  • What is the building constructed of? Steel, Wood, Brick?
  • How well is the space insulated? Insulated walls, ceiling, overhead doors, etc.?
  • What is the climate in your area? Northern climate? Southern climate?
  • What fuel do you have available? Natural or LP gas? Electricity only?

Once these questions are answered, it’s just a matter of doing a quick heat loss calculation to come up with the BTU heat load requirement needed to do the job effectively.

So how do I conduct a heat-loss calculation? Simple. You don’t. A qualified heating professional – usually a heating equipment distributor – can to do that for you. Call around until you find someone willing to do the calculation. It is important to not undersize or oversize the heater for your application.

Once you’ve determined the actual heat load requirement for your given space, the next step is to search out the various heater types and heater methods available in the marketplace. Are you looking for a portable heater or a fixed heater? Forced air or radiant (infrared)? Vented or vent-free? Don’t know for sure? Then get on the internet and begin searching. Type into your browser such keywords as:

  • "garage heater"
  • "workshop heater"
  • "forced air heater"
  • "gas infrared heater"
  • "electric garage heater"
  • "infrared tube heater"
  • "vent free heater"

Searching keywords and phrases with any combination of the above will get you well on the road to viewing a lot of options from a lot of manufacturers.

Next, search from companies that specialize in the type of heater or heating products that you feel would be best suited to your application. This is critical. A little research can pay off big. After-all, not all heater manufacturer’s are alike. There can be substantial differences between brands, heater quality, warranties, return policies, etc.

Once you’ve narrowed down your search, do a few phone interviews. Find out more about the company you intend to buy from. Of course you want a good heater. But buying from a reputable re-seller is just as important. Find a company with the strength, reputation and staying power to offer you whatever support you may need right now as well as in the years to come.

The company you choose to buy from should be friendly and have the technical expertise to help you make the best heater selection.

Scott Workman owns and operates Infra-Red Products Supply, Inc. of Draper, Utah. Since 1986, Infra-Red Products has become recognized as one of the foremost leaders in energy saving heating system design and sales for residential, commercial and industrial consumers.

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