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Choosing a Portable Garage or Shop Heater

The cold weather can quickly turn your garage or shop haven into a frigid and unwelcoming place. Nobody likes the weather controlling when you can or can’t work in your own space. A portable heater can make your shop or garage feel toasty again without much effort or financial investment. Keep working on your projects, no matter the outside temperature!

Types of Portable Heaters

Infrared heaters generate radiant infrared heat and are ideal for use in any size space. Also called quartz or radiant heaters, these units start working as soon as they’re plugged in and provide high heat intensity. They work by warming up the physical objects within a space rather than heating the air itself, so you’ll feel warmer almost instantly, but the temperature of the garage or shop won’t really change.

Using a portable heater to stay warm outdoors. Infrared portable heaters are great for outdoor use because they’ll heat you, not the air!

Fan-forced heaters use an electric fan to rapidly push hot air into the space and warm the temperature within the room. They take some time to heat up and aren’t as quick or effective as infrared or ceramic heaters, making them best for smaller workspaces.

Ceramic heaters work almost the same as fan-forced heaters, but they use a ceramic heating element instead of the metal component in fan-forced options. This material difference makes them much more effective at heating large spaces. They will still need some time to heat up, but not nearly as much as fan-forced.

Factors to Consider Before Buying an Electric Heater

Garage or shop size: It’s key to purchase a unit powerful enough to heat the space without wasting energy. Generally speaking, every 1 square foot of space needs at least 10 watts of output, so a 150-square-foot garage should use a 1,500-watt electric heater. Always factor in the amount of space in the garage or shop you actually use so you’re not heating unoccupied areas.

Level of portability: The two main types of electric heaters require different amounts of effort to be installed or moved. Portable electric heaters stand on the ground, table, or other surface and can be placed wherever the heat is most needed. Mounted electric heaters are installed on a wall or ceiling and can either be hardwired into the electrical system or plugged into an outlet. These are an ideal semi-permanent heating solution for a medium to large space.

Using a portable heater on a camping trip. Electric heaters on stands are the easiest to move around and can even be brought on camping trips!

Temperature control features: Some electric heaters use auto-on and auto-off programming to maintain a consistent temperature over long periods of time. Using a heater with an adjustable thermostat is great for garages and shops that need 24-hour heating.

Safety features: Portable heaters can be hazardous if they’re not installed and cared for properly. Many models come with some accident-proof features to help keep risks low. Consider additions like overheating protection, cool-touch exteriors, tip-over mechanisms, and child locks to prevent anyone from changing the settings.

Safely using a portable heater on a construction site. Roll cages and other safety features will give you some major peace of mind.

Wi-Fi connectivity: Some electric heaters use an app, enabling you to control the heat from anywhere. This is a convenient addition, especially when using more than one portable heater.

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