Features to consider when choosing a heater for uninsulated garage
The following are the key factors that determine the best natural gas, propane, and electric garage heaters for uninsulated garages.
The best space heaters for uninsulated garages are classified according to their power sources and heating mechanisms.
Electric heaters use different modes of heat transmission; convection, infrared, and panel.
- Convection models are considered the most energy efficient and consistent because they typically use fans to distribute heated air throughout the room. They are slow and noisy, but they provide greater coverage.
- Also known as quartz or radiant heaters, infrared heaters suit small spaces because they quickly warm the people and physical objects present in the room but not the ambient air. You are likely to feel cold as soon as you turn off an infrared heater.
- Micathermic panel heaters blend the strengths of radiant and convection technology to speed up airflow throughout the entire room without fans or blowers. They are quick, quiet, energy efficient, compact, and lightweight.
- Oil-filled radiators: These are portable electric models with oil-filled reservoirs that are sealed permanently to produce heat. They are hot to touch and slower since they rely on natural air circulation to distribute heat. However, they feature a slim compact profile, and you never have to refill them.
- Ceramic: They are electric models that use a self-regulating ceramic to heat up large garages and maintain target temperature. The surface stays cool.
Gas heaters: They use propane, natural gas or liquefied petroleum as a power source.
- Natural gas garage heaters for uninsulated garages require professional installation since they connect to a gas line and vents for proper ventilation. Compared to propane garage heaters, they are pricier to install but lower in maintenance as they don’t need refilling.
- Propane products come with regulators, and hose attachments for gas tanks acquired separately. They may include adapters for custom attachment and electronic ignition for quick startup. They are available as portable and wall-mounted models that are convenient during power outages.
The coverage area refers to the size of space, usually expressed in square footage, which a specific model can heat effectively and efficiently.
As a general rule, your garage will require a primary heating source with 10-watt output per square foot for effective heating. However, this rule may differ according to the specific type and heating technology of your space heater for uninsulated garage, and whether it provides primary or supplementary heat. Some portable products are also capable of extensive reach.
Measure the dimensions of your garage, keeping in mind the height, level of insulation, number of windows, and other factors that may require a heater with broader coverage.
For optimal performance, a model with greater coverage than you need would be more suitable because it would be better at managing drastic fluctuations. Besides that, you can still maximize output and reach your target temperature in a shorter time even when the heater is running on low settings. Make sure the coverage is only slightly higher than recommended to avoid huge consumption of energy unnecessarily. A heater that is too small would also be a poor choice since you risk it overheating from overworking.
British Thermal Unit (BTU) is a standard unit of measurement that indicates the heating capacity of a specific heater. Consider a larger BTU capacity when choosing the best natural gas garage heater for uninsulated garages, basements, and spaces with high ceilings to be able to maintain consistent temperature and withstand heat fluctuations.
As well as the BTU capacity, check the energy efficiency of your heater by comparing its BTU rating with its wattage.
Heaters are available in portable versions or in fixed form mounted with brackets on walls and ceilings. A natural gas garage heater for uninsulated garages is hardwired-connected to vents and gas lines by a certified HVAC technician.
Portable: Also known as standalone or freestanding units, they are compact, lightweight, and may have handles and wheels or legs for easy installation on the floor and convenient relocation to different rooms or areas. They are plugged into electrical outlets, and some have onboard cord storage. They are ideal for small spaces and focused heating in one section of the garage, and may be placed on the floor, table, or nightstand.
Mounted: They are the best space heaters for large uninsulated garages since they are hardwired into an existing connection to increase their output. Their downside is that their high initial cost for professional installation. Most are mounted on walls and ceilings to draw air from outside or to disperse warm air downwards. Baseboard models are commonly installed in basements. They are quiet and easy to install.
The best space heater for an uninsulated garage should be easy to mount or move around without taking up much space. If mounted, it needs to fit on the wall or ceiling and leave sufficient clearance from the wall and room for any venting hoses. For a portable natural gas garage heater for uninsulated garage, check that it has a handle or wheels for smooth transport.
Standalone models may feature space-saving cylindrical or tower shapes like Lasko 5160 Ceramic Tower Heater to reduce footprint.
Ultimately, the right size will be determined by the size of your space and the type of mounting. Expect fixed high-capacity heaters to be bigger in size to accommodate the larger motors and fans required to process large volumes of air.
Lasko 5160 Ceramic Tower Heater is available with a limited warranty of 3 years. However, majority of propane and natural gas garage heaters for an uninsulated garage are covered by a shorter limited warranty of one year. You will also find brands that provide different warranty periods for different components such as one year for the heater and 3 years for its motor. Wrong applications and attachments could render your warranty null and void. These instances include using garage heaters in bathrooms and damp environments or converting propane models to natural gas without confirming compatibility.
Weight: This would mostly matter in portable products that are moved regularly for precise heating. De’Longhi Oil-Filled Radiator weighs 26.6 pounds and uses wheels to improve transport.
Heat settings: Adjustable heat settings are ideal for customizing the speed and volume of output according to your needs, and for saving energy and reducing noise on low settings. Also check whether the heater is capable of directional airflow, which is achieved with tilting heads and adjustable louvers that provide precise heat distribution by directing warm air to specific areas that need faster heating.
Thermostat: This is integrated into the heater to automatically adjust and maintain your designated temperature whenever it fluctuates.
Design: Portable heaters may have a vertical tower or cylindrical shape to minimize footprint, legs, and weighted bases for stable anchoring, and onboard storage for some components. Some mountable models feature beautiful blue flames viewable on clear glass windows.
Remote control: A remote controller lets you operate the unit from afar, providing the best control method for mountable space heaters for uninsulated garages. Other user-friendly controls include a digital screen that displays feedback on active settings and responsive knobs and dials to switch heat modes and tweak the settings.
Safety features: Overheat protection shuts off the unit if the temperature is at high unsafe levels; some portable models have tip-over protection, and others maintain a cool surface despite producing warm air; oxygen depletion sensors switch off the heater to prevent buildup of noxious gases while auto-defrost sensors do the same to avoid frozen pipes during low temperature operation. For instance, De’Longhi Oil-Filled Radiator turns off automatically if the temperature is less than 44 °F.
Energy-saving features: Auto mode triggers the heater to run only when it is necessary to maintain target temperature. A natural gas garage heater for uninsulated garage that features Eco mode conserves power by running the heater on the lowest settings. A programmable timer operates the unit at a specified period to save energy, with the interval varying according to the model. Timers let you schedule the garage heater to run for 8, 12 or 24 hours.
Long cord and hose: Long length extends reach for flexible mounting options. Mr. Heater MH60QFAV comes with a regulator and 10-ft hose attachment to a gas tank.
Noise: Since fans are partly responsible for noisy output, the quietest space heaters for uninsulated garages are not fan-forced. They include radiant, oil-filled radiator and baseboard models.
Mobility: Portable garage heaters are equipped with handles for a safe grip when transporting them and wheels to improve mobility and maneuverability.
Onboard storage: To save space, some space heaters for an uninsulated garage come with storage compartments for the power cord to keep them out of the way.
Certifications: They are gatekeepers with testing laboratories who set and regulate quality, energy and safety standards. They include CSA, UL and ETL.