Is Getting a Garage Heater Worth It?

Garage heaters can turn your garage into a functional, usable space even in the dead of winter. But is the cost of heating a garage worth it?

In colder climates, freezing winter temperatures can make a garage unusable for anything besides getting in and out of your car. Chances are if you live in one of those cold climates, you’ve at least considered getting a heater for your garage.

While garage heaters can certainly be valuable during a harsh winter, they come with drawbacks that should be considered before you purchase one. Here’s everything you should know about garage heaters before you install one in your garage.

How Much Do Garage Heaters Cost?

That depends on the type of garage heater you want. Electric garage heaters are the least expensive to purchase and install. Some high-end electric garage heaters run well over $1,000, but you’ll more typically find them from $150 to around $500.  Propane and natural gas garage heaters start at around $400 and can cost as much as $2,000.

Installation Costs

Installation costs will vary based on where you live. If you’re an experienced DIYer, you can probably install an electric garage heater yourself. But unless you’re comfortable with detailed electrical work, it’s probably best to hire a pro. Professional installation will take about two hours. So if your electrician charges $100 per hour, the installation will cost about $200.

DIYers shouldn’t try to install a propane or natural gas heater. Working with gas lines is dangerous without proper training, and could result in serious injuries and property damage if not handled correctly. According to Angi, formerly known as Angie’s List, professional installation of a gas-powered heater will cost from $500 to $800, depending on the complexity of the project.

Operational Costs

This depends on the type of heater and the size of the garage. Although gas garage heaters are more expensive to purchase and install, they’re less expensive to operate. Running an electric gas heater for an extended period can be pricey, so factor that in before making a purchase.

Pros of Garage Heaters

  • Heating a garage adds another room to your house as a hang-out space, sports den or workshop.
  • If you use your unheated garage as a workshop, it can be tough to do much during the winter. A heater can transform your garage into a functioning year-round workshop.
  • Keeping your vehicles in a heated garage means no warming them up before you get in, saving fuel.
  • A warm garage can lengthen your vehicle’s battery life and performance. Plus, if your car needs a jump during the winter, you’ll be much happier doing it in a heated garage.

Cons of Garage Heaters

  • Gas-powered garage heaters can be loud.
  • A poorly-insulated garage will not retain heat efficiently. The cost of insulating a garage before adding a heater might be prohibitive.

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