If you’re thinking about putting a heater in your garage, you may feel a bit daunted by the task. Fear not, garage heater installation can be a bit challenging, but it isn’t impossible. In most cases, you can install a garage heater yourself, but any time you are in doubt, it’s wise to call in a professional. In this article, we provide five smart tips to help you choose and install just the right heater for your garage. Read on to learn more.
What You'll Learn Today
How long does it take to install a garage heater?
No matter what kind of garage heater you choose (gas, electric or other) you can surely get the job done in just a couple of days. To make the most of the time you spend, you should choose the type of garage heater you have in mind very carefully.
Read up on installation, and whenever possible purchase a new unit that has complete instructions and some sort of warranty.
Even though a new garage heater will cost you a bit more than a used one, the service guarantee and specific installation instructions make this a very worthwhile expense. Additionally, with a new unit, you may be able to get some customer support services.
How do I install a gas garage heater?
Propane and natural gas heaters are installed in pretty much the same way. Start out by thinking about where you want to put your new gas heater. Of course, if you already have gas lines and hookups in place, your choices may be limited.
As you choose a location for your new gas heater, remember that it’s smart to place it in such a way that the unit’s fan will blow warm air into the areas where you may experience the most heat loss. The reason for this is that doing so will warm the entire space in a more even manner.
Once you’ve chosen the location for your new gas heater, make certain that you choose gas pipe that is correct for the unit you have purchased. Refer to the owners’ manual to make exactly the right choice. You should also check with your local officials to be sure that all of the choices you are making are up to code.
Once you have your heater and the right pipe, you need to be sure of getting proper connections and using the right sort of joint compounds. As you install pipe, make certain that it is secure and stable and not in an area where foot traffic or any other disturbance may endanger it.
Once you’ve connected your new heating unit to your fuel source, be sure to check the entire line and connections for leaks before turning the unit on and firing it up.
Remember that in addition to making safe and secure gas connections, you will also need a proper electrical outlet for your propane or natural gas heater. This is because the thermostat usually runs on electricity. Additionally, many units do not have a pilot light. Instead they use an electric spark to start up when the thermostat kicks them on.
To connect a thermostat to your main electrical panel, you will need to have two empty breaker spaces. Of course, if you are using a system that has a fuse box, you may be smarter to hire a professional electrician.
Either way, you’ll begin by connecting the thermostat to your electrical panel. Naturally, you must remember to turn off the power before you begin this job.
When installing your thermostat, place it around 5 feet off the floor. This will give you the most accurate reading as heat rises. Be sure to refer frequently to the wiring diagram you will find in your owners’ manual. Doing so will ensure that you don’t make potentially dangerous mistakes when installing your thermostat.
How do I install an electric heater in my garage?
If you don’t have a source for natural gas or propane, or if you would prefer not to deal with flames, you could always install an electric garage heater. There are some that are as easy to install as any space heater. You simply purchase the unit, plug it in and enjoy heat.
Naturally, this sort of plug and play unit is the simplest and probably the most popular option. Even so, you may not be able to trust this sort of unit to run consistently and keep your garage warm. If you want a permanent, ongoing solution, you may need something more involved.
When you wire a heater into your garage electrical system, you’ll need to wire a thermostat to the heater and then to the main source of electricity. This may involve behind-the-walls wiring, or you may need to run some wiring through your ceiling.
The most important step when doing this sort of wiring is planning the route. Be sure you know exactly how you’re going to run your wiring and mark the course clearly. This sort of preparation will make short work of your electrical wiring project. Naturally, you’ll want to refer to your owners’ manual frequently to avoid mistakes.
How many BTU do I need for a 2 car garage?
The basic answer to this question is that you need between 45,000 and 60,000 BTU to heat a two car garage; however, there are many variables that affect these numbers.
They include, your climate, the amount of insulation you have installed, the type of heater you have chosen and the materials of which your garage is constructed.
Is it safe to put a heater in the garage?
When done correctly, both installing and using a heater in the garage are safe activities; however, if you are unsure of your skills and/or you don’t use common sense, both activities can be very dangerous.
Both propane and natural gas are petroleum based sources of fuel that generate heat through actual burning. Flames put out potentially toxic exhaust (e.g. carbon monoxide) so it’s very important that you have proper ventilation.
Good ventilation will keep pilot lights lit and keep the air quality safe around your garage heater.
Don’t Cut Corners When Installing A Garage Heater
All-in-all, no matter what type of heater you plan to install in your garage, you are better off purchasing a new unit and following instructions in the manual very carefully.
Always check with your local authorities to make sure that you know and understand all existing codes. Whenever you’re working with electricity, be sure to turn off the main power source to prevent injury or death.
If you are concerned that you won’t be able to handle the electrical wiring or the plumbing required for gas installation, remember that you’re always better off hiring a licensed professional than doing it yourself.
Hiring a professional gives you some guarantee of proper operation and also recourse in case of unfortunate accidents.