Electric heater suggestion for a garage

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Forum topic by TennZappa posted 01-22-2013 10:33 AM 1980 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1977 days

01-22-2013 10:33 AM

I would like to get an electric heater for my garage that is not terribly expensive but will warm it up for working in winter. My garage is 16×20 with insulated walls on three sides. There is an attic overhead and one wall opens in to the house.I only have two 110v plugs so I cannot run anything too big unfortunately and I want to stick to electric to avoid flames. Does anyone have a suggestion or a heater they have used to suggest. Also the coldest it ever gets is around 20 degrees Fahrenheit but typically stays around 40 degrees. Please help as I want to work but am too cold to want to go out and make sawdust.

10 replies so far

View kepy's profile


293 posts in 2299 days

#1 posted 01-22-2013 10:52 AM

I just purchased a ceiling mount heater from Northern Tool that was on sale for $34. Have it hung and it works great.

-- Kepy

View Ross's profile


142 posts in 1998 days

#2 posted 01-22-2013 11:38 AM

Check this out. Very efficient and safe.

-- "Man Plans and God Laughs"

View tsdahc's profile


107 posts in 2377 days

#3 posted 01-22-2013 01:15 PM

I use an electric radiator heater from home depot. I think it was about $45 or so, heres a similar one. Heater
I have a car and a half garage, its about 20×12 (give or take its not square) and the other day with this heater on my thermostat read 68, which was more than good for me. I actually had to turn it off because I was getting warm. I find low to mid 60’s perfect for the shop as its warm enough to not need a jacket but not too hot. For reference Im near DC we very rarely see temps below 20 as well. I had looked at the eheat that Ross mentioned and was intrigued, I just dont have any open walls to put it on that have outlets. Another major enhancement I made this year was an insulated garage door. It has made a noticable difference in both the winter and summer.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4948 posts in 3986 days

#4 posted 01-22-2013 02:32 PM

I use the elec. oil filled radiators. No fire danger (Unless sompin REALLY wierd happens), thermostat to regulate, not expensive, and makes my shop quite comfy. My shop is fully insulated and double paned windows. One unit usually does the job. When it gets really cold, I plug in the second unit.


View TennZappa's profile


2 posts in 1977 days

#5 posted 01-22-2013 07:47 PM

I may give the radiator a try I have had them in the past but they didn’t seem to work however I was trying to heat a big old house that was not insulated. Upper 60’s would be great so as to not get too hot to work but allow finish to dry. Do you have an estimate on cost of running? Thanks again for the replies.

View cdarney's profile


104 posts in 3056 days

#6 posted 01-23-2013 03:47 PM

I bought two of these ceiling mounted heaters for my unheated shed:

The ceramic type heaters don’t heat air…just objects. I mounted one over my table saw and one toward the workbench. Once the heater starts warming up the table saw, the shed gets noticeably warmer. I haven’t checked the temperature but even on a windy, sub-freezing day I would estimate 40-50 degrees F.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2996 days

#7 posted 01-23-2013 04:00 PM

Cost to run; depends on the watts of your heater and your local utility company’s rates, but for a 1800 watt heater running continuously with an electric rate of $0.12 per KWH that costs 1.8 x .12 = .216; so that is $0.216 per hour cost to run.

Most electric heaters are 1800 watts or less because that’s about all a typical outlet will operate continuously.

View TheDane's profile


5441 posts in 3688 days

#8 posted 01-23-2013 04:20 PM

In my last shop, I had a Fahrenheat 5000 Watt Unit Heater

I did a review on it that can be found here:

It was a good unit, and did a good job of heating the space.


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Biff's profile


126 posts in 2039 days

#9 posted 01-23-2013 04:23 PM

Wiring in a 220V plug would be the best but if that isn’t an option then a radiator type or parabolic reflector ceramic heater is the best bet.

If you can get 220V, then I would look at a ceiling mounted unit with a fan or a radiant

The oil filled units work great because they heat all the contents of the room to the same temp, the drawback is they need to be on almost continuously and don’t provide any directed heat.

The parabolic reflector heaters are great for concentrating heat right where you are working and for knocking the chill off a cold room.

-- Interested in Oregon property? Visit me at

View MarkwithaK's profile


370 posts in 3203 days

#10 posted 01-23-2013 05:18 PM

I honestly think that you should reconsider this and at the very least run a dedicated 220 line if you are set on electric heat. In all my years in the HVAC field I have yet to run across a 110VAC rated heater that would sufficiently do what it is that you want. I know that you mentioned that the walls are insulated on 3 sides but you also have factor the ceiling height as well as the floor into your heat loss. If your floor is concrete, as most garages are, then that will be a huge load on that little heater and you may find that it runs continuously. This brings up another issues because of the fact that a 110VAC heater is likely to draw a pretty good amount of amperage and if you try to operate anything else on that circuit it would most likely trip the breaker.

You mention that your decision to stay with electric heat is due to “avoid flames” but you have to remember that most electric heaters will have their heat elements open to the surrounding environment. Any saw dust, or other combustible material for that matter, will react the same whether it is electric or gas fired.

-- If at first you don't succeed then maybe skydiving isn't for you.

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