Benefits of Infrared Garage Heaters
Most central heating systems do not cover places like the garage leaving it cold and uncomfortable. Even when the central heating system can cover it, people opt not to do so, since it means huge costs for a space that is used so rarely. Therefore, the best choice for these spaces is the space heater which can be used when required and switched off when the garage is not in use. A natural gas space heater is very economical because it does not require electricity to run. It is also convenient since it can be moved around and even taken outside. Even within the category of natural gas space heaters, there are various kinds of heating devices available. The most common two varieties are the forced air garage heater and the infrared garage heater. This article talks about their respective uses and advantages. The forced air garage heater, as the name suggests, works on the lines of a conventional furnace blowing out warm air while the infrared garage heater uses low intensity infrared rays that emit heat.
Some of the things to consider when choosing between the two include the below:
Since it does not blow air, the infrared garage heater does not raise dust. The forced air version on the other hand not only raises a considerable amount of dust but keeps it airborne. This is an important difference to consider if the garage is to be used for carpentry, painting, or any other such activity. Apart from hampering work, the dust can also be a serious health concern for asthmatics and children. Even if the nature of work does not require use or creation of any kind of dust, garages, and other less used places have a tendency to accumulate it anyhow.
The second point to consider is that the heating principle of the forced air and infrared heaters are very different. A forced air garage heater first heats the air and then objects, while the opposite is true for an infrared garage heater. This means that a person will take longer to feel warm with an infrared heater but ultimately the heating will be more uniform. It will also be more cost effective as the heater will warm the floor, objects in use as well as the person but not the air around them. This means better efficiency for the dollar. Additionally, they have a better recovery time if the garage door is opened for any reason against the forced air version which also translates to savings.
The third difference is the structure of the cost equation. Forced air units cost as little as half the cost of an infrared version to procure and install but are more expensive to run as explained in the second point above. It is best to calculate your personal usage, and thereby calculate what works out to be a better bargain. If the usage is one time, a forced air may be a better option. However, otherwise infrared garage versions will work out cheaper in the long run due to their better efficiency.
There are other differences that include the optimal installation height or location and usage comfort. But it is best to discuss your requirements with the dealer and let him make a suggestion. An infrared garage heater comes in versions that require no venting or ductwork making them very easy to install. They are also silent in operation and require very little space. The absence of an open flame translates to better safety within an enclosed space. They are also easier to maintain as they have fewer functioning parts. It is important to remember that an infrared garage heater can heat up objects and should be kept at some distance to prevent accidents. Those approved for residential uses are of low intensity as against the high intensity variety which glows red when used.
In summary, on most counts an infrared garage heater beats the forced air garage heater by a long margin. It is however always advisable to share your exact requirements as well as objectives, with the space heater dealer that you are buying your equipment from. Even within these two broad categories there will be several kinds of heaters available with power differences. While the technology is relatively straightforward, it is always advisable to buy from a reputed name which offers service in case of problems. It is also important to get the installation done professionally, however qualified you may feel to do it by yourself. Car enthusiasts or other professional using the garage as a work place would do well to invest in the comfort of their garages since that will mean better productivity. However every electrical or natural gas device for that matter comes with a list of do's and don'ts. It is therefore important to be familiarized with the working of the device before using it. It is also important to switch off your forced air or infrared garage heater when not in use as they could be a safety hazard if left unattended.