If you’re thinking about heating your garage with one of the dozens of different models of electric garage heaters, 120 V may not be enough for you. Yet most of us don’t have 220 V lines in our garages. So deciding whether a 120 V model is sufficient depends on how well the garage is insulated, how much heat you want to produce, and how warm you’re trying to keep the space. Depending on those parameters, the 120V-electric garage heater has some pros and cons.
120V Electric Garage Heater
Before we get into those things, however, let’s calculate how much heat the average 120 V unit will produce. We do that by using the following formula, assuming a 15 amp (1.8kw) circuit:
1.8KW x 3412 = 6141BTUH
Unfortunately, at that rate, it would require at least several heaters to keep your garage comfortably warm on cold winter days. Even a single 120 V heater running 24/7 will barely keep the temperature above the freezing mark on a day when the outside temperature is 20°F or lower. So where do we go from here?
If your goal in using 120V-electric heaters is simply to keep the air temperature warm enough to start your car in the morning, you’re golden. For some people who live in extremely cold environments, they would prefer to use this type of heater instead of installing a block heater in their vehicles. For the purposes of this discussion, whether or not that is wise is irrelevant. The point is, the 120 V heater will do a sufficient job if it’s placed near the front of the car.
Likewise, if your heating goals consist of simply keeping the garage above freezing or warming up your work area, a single 120 V heater should be sufficient. You just have to make sure that you allow it to run for enough time in advance so that the work area is warm enough when you’re ready to begin. While you certainly won’t be able to work on your car in shorts and a T-shirt, you will stay warm enough to work comfortably.
Heating your garage so that it’s as comfortable as your house probably will not be practical with electric heaters, 120 V or otherwise. Perhaps with a 220 V heater and the proper insulation you may get close, but portable space heaters are designed specifically to heat small spaces for temporary periods of time. For comfortable heating on a permanent basis, you’re better off installing a standard gas or electric furnace just like you have in your home.
That said, sometimes local zoning laws make installing a regular furnace cost prohibitive. In some cases, it may not even be allowed. It’s then that you might consider several electric heaters placed strategically around the space and hard-wired to the garage’s electrical system. In a scenario like this, you’re much more likely to keep the garage warm for longer periods of time. And by hard wiring the units to the electoral system you reduce the chance of fire.
Protecting against fire is important for both safety and legal reasons. Obviously, a fire is dangerous to you and your family even if it occurs in the garage. From a legal standpoint, a fire could lead to charges of zoning violations, endangering the welfare of a child, and other things depending on the jurisdiction in which you live. So making sure all heaters are used safely all times is important.
In summary, if you’re thinking of heating your garage with 120 V electric room heaters, be sure to compare all the pros and cons in order to make a wise decision.
Your garage is the place where your car spends the night, where memories are stored and where you relax while pottering around with some woodwork or another hobby; however, when the garage is cold you are unable to enjoy the space and it’s unlikely that you’ll spend time there doing your beloved hobby, so this is where 120V garage heaters come into play.
220V-Electric Garage Heaters – How They Help
This is where 220V electric heaters come in handy. They come in many makes and models and vary from floor standing models to wall-mounted models. They also vary in wattage, but all of them warm the garage quickly and effectively.
As 220V electric heaters is able to heat large spaces (some even heat up to 500 square feet – 46 square meters), they are a convenient way of ensuring that you (and your family) are warm and comfortable while working outside the house. Many of these models are portable so it’s also possible to bring it indoors with you should it be required.
There are also many safety features that come with 220 garage heaters. There are built-in temperature gauges that tell you at a glance what the current temperature of the room is. It also has a reliable thermostat which helps you regulate the temperature that the heater emits. Where there are fans, many of the models feature safety grilles to prevent injuries when near the heater. This also makes the heater very child and pet-friendly.
You may also like to read the best propane garage heater.
220V-Electric Garage Heaters– Conclusion
The key to choosing 220V heaters is to know the size of the space that needs to be warmed, the amount of space you have to put the heater in or on (e.g. floor space or wall space) and the availability of an electrical outlet. Choosing the most appropriate 220V-electric garage heaters is very important as it will influence the way you regard your garage throughout the winter.