Can I use an Infrared Heater in my garage? 

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infrared heater use in garage

If you want to protect your vintage cars from rust or use your garage as a workspace, it’s important to ensure that it has an appropriate heating system. Besides, many homeowners rarely use their garage for parking the cars or for storage nowadays. Instead, some use these spaces as garage workshops, laundry rooms or even convert them into beautiful living spaces. Unfortunately, most garages are poorly insulated, making them hard to use, especially during the winter months. As a result, many people are looking for various devices to heat these spaces, such as the best infrared heater for garage. But, is it safe to use an infrared heater in your garage? 

Read on to discover whether infrared heating is the perfect solution for heating your garage!

What makes your garage always feel cold! 

Garages always feel cold since they’re not designed to be living spaces. Instead, they’re usually designed to be workspaces or storage spaces. As a result, most garages are constructed of durable concrete. 

Unfortunately, concrete has a high specific capacity. In other words, they require a higher amount of energy to increase their temperature by 1 degree celsius, which makes them trap cold. However, if you warm concrete up, it will stay warm for several hours, which is where infrared heaters come in! 

Specifically, garage IR heaters emit infrared rays that penetrate the concrete to increase its temperature. Afterward, when you turn off the heater to save electricity, the concrete surfaces in the garage will continue emitting heat for many hours. Also, if you spend a lot of time in the garage, it’s economical to insulate it. 

How the cold in your garage affects your car 

Storing your car in a cold garage can have some negative impacts on its components because of the dryness and low temperature. For that reason, it’s important to keep your garage warm by installing IR heaters, instead of leaving the vehicle in a cold environment for an extended period. 

First, rubber components in the car like engine belts and windshield wipers are susceptible to cold weather. Subjecting them to low temperature makes them less pliable, thus increasing their chances of breaking, ripping or tearing. Also, cold rubber in the wipers doesn’t conform to the shape of your windshield, affecting their effectiveness. 

In addition, low temperature can affect the pressure of your car tires. In essence, a tire loses a pressure of about 1 pound per sq inch for every 10 deg F decrease. As a result, your tires will not perform well and are susceptible to damage. 

Another drawback of storing your car in a cold environment is that the battery can die. For instance, extreme cold of about 30 deg F draws voltage from the battery, making it more difficult to start the car. Similarly, low temperature conditions reduce the reliability of the spark plugs, which also makes the card hard to start. 

Lastly, low temperatures cause  fluids like transmission, oil, power steering and brake fluids to thicken. This makes it almost impossible for your car to work, especially if the transmission fluid is not flowing quickly. Thankfully, you can avoid getting into these problems by getting an IR heater for your garage! 

Importance of using Infrared heaters in your garage? 

An infrared heater for a 2-car garage should have a minimum of 30,000 BTUs, while a 3-car garage heater should at least have 50,000 BTUs.  As you know, an infrared heater produces radiant heat instead of using a conventional blower fan. 

Moreover, these heaters are available in various styles, ranging from tube to infrared heaters. Similarly, these heaters come in different sizes, ranging from units designed for larger spaces to smaller electric or propane infrared heaters. Either way, infrared heating works well when you only want to heat a specific area instead of an enclosed space. 

Moving on, if you’re planning to undertake a woodworking or painting project in your garage, infrared heaters are the best option for heating the space. This is because they will not keep dust airborne or raise dust. On the other hand, forced-air heaters will stir-up dust, which is common when undertaking DIY projects like staining, sawing and painting in your garage. 

The only issue with using infrared heaters in your garage is that you may not feel warm quickly, since it heats the objects first instead of air. But once the objects and the garage floor warms, you will feel more comfortable since IR heat offers even and consistent warmth as opposed to heat dissipated by blower fan heaters. Plus, forced air systems take longer to reheat the garage once the door has been opened and closed. Not to forget that the air is warmer at the ceiling, but cooled at the feet with forced-air heat. 

  • Installation

It’s recommended that you keep items at a distance of about 3-4 ft from the heater for safety reasons. Also, you should install these heaters at least 7 feet above the garage floor and hang them down about 4 inches from the ceiling. In most cases, IR garage heaters are fitted at the back of the garage pointing towards the door and aimed downward at an angle of 45 deg. However, you can also install them between car bars if you don’t have tall vehicles like SUVs or trucks and if your garage door opener rail allows. 

Benefits of using Infrared Garage Heaters 

Although IR garage heaters are mounted up high, the waves of energy they radiate only converts to heat when they strike objects and floors at the ground level. This heat is then stored in these objects and radiated back to the surrounding air. More importantly, this results in better energy use, warm feet and warm floors. 

Other benefits of using infrared heaters to warm up your garage include; 

  • Efficiency 

Infrared heaters for garages use significantly less energy compared to conventional heaters. To be precise, they can consume about 50% less energy than forced air models. Better yet, they emit almost 100% of the heat produced by these units. 

In addition, they don’t depend on natural convection to distribute heat throughout the space. Instead, they transfer the energy to the specific object, allowing them to heat large areas very fast. For instance, some gas-powered IR garage heaters can heat up to 4500 sq ft. This makes them a perfect heating option for jobsites and warehouses. 

  • Minimal maintenance 

Like other infrared heaters, these garage models don’t have any moving parts. As a result, they require minimal maintenance since there are air filters or worn-out motors to replace. 

  • Safety 

Most infrared heaters for garages are equipped with a series of inbuilt safety features to prevent accidental burns and fires. As an example, their heating elements are covered with fireproof grating or protective metal sheath to prevent direct contact with the coil. Moreover, they have tip-over switches that shut down the heater if it falls overs and automatic shut offs that prevent overheating. The features make garage IR heaters very safe and protect users from being burned. 

  • Eco-friendly 

Since IR heaters operate without carbon combustion, they don’t produce any toxic by-products. Also, they don’t move dust or make noise during operation since they don’t have any fan blades or moving parts. 

  • Comfort 

You can feel heat from a garage IR heater several yards in front of the device. Moreover, they heat objects and people directly, instead of heating air. Therefore, their heating power will not be affected by wind or drafts, while ensuring they heat the room immediately. Overall, this makes them ideal for heating small spaces such as residential garages. 

Is it good to use an infrared heater in your garage? 

In one word; Yes! In fact, infrared heating is one of the best and most energy efficient ways of keeping your garage warm at all times. Moreover, IR garage heaters do not produce any form of toxic by-products or harmful radiation like Ultraviolet rays. Therefore, they will not crack the plastic or damage the paint on your vehicles. At the same time, they will help you save money on your utility bills, since they usually use a small amount of electricity to produce a lot of heat! 

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