Why would anyone want to get a garage gas furnace? No, they do not want to keep their cars warm, but to keep themselves warm whilst using the garage for other purposes. Most residential garages have a dual purpose for the homeowner, such as a workshop for the DIY enthusiast, a playroom for the children or an arts and crafts center, or even additional living space, at least on occasion.
Unfortunately garages usually have a cement floor and this can be extremely cold in the winter, which can lead to wasted space or the extra space in the garage just being used for storage. This often leads to the garage looking like a store-room for a rummage sale and becoming a junk jungle in which nobody can find anything.
Investing in a garage gas furnace suddenly opens up a whole new space that you can utilize for whatever you wish, whilst still being nice and warm. Just imagine being able to get away from the hubbub of the family and that kiddies party that is noisy and driving you nuts when all you want is some peace and quiet or to watch the game in peace. If you had a gas furnace in your garage you would have the perfect space in which to hide away from the madness.
The only thing left for you to do is to decide which type of gas furnace would be best to install in your garage, according to space, needs, and efficiency. If you do not have much extra floor space or have small children that are likely to wander in and out of the garage, it is probably best not to have a freestanding unit on the floor, which could be a potential fire hazard. Installing a unit that is wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted would be a better choice for you. Many of the available gas furnaces suitable for use in a garage offer different kinds of mountings.
How a Garage Gas Furnace Works
There are various types of gas furnaces, including freestanding models, hanging heaters, and those that are wall-mounted. Garage gas furnaces generally blow air horizontally and have adjustable louvers for vertical or horizontal adjustment so that you can direct the warm airflow where you need it.
- Natural gas flows through a gas valve inside the furnace and a spark or pilot flame ignites the fuel to produce a flame inside a heat exchanger.
- Once the heat exchanger reaches a pre-determined temperature the fan will switch on
- Air is either pulled in from the outside or the air in the garage is used depending on the type of garage gas furnace installed
- The fan then blows space air through the now warm heat exchanger
- The air that enters the heat exchanger absorbs the heat from the heat exchanger and discharges the warm air throughout the garage
- As the fuel burns it creates combustion by-products which are then exhausted via a vent pipe to the outside of the garage
Types of Garage Gas Furnaces
There are different types of gas furnaces for garages:
Gravity Vented Garage Furnace
A gravity vented propeller unit garage gas furnace is a good choice for certain types of garages because they vent naturally without the need for a fan. These furnaces utilize the air in the garage for combustion. A flue pipe to the outside allows all of the combustion by-products to be vented to the outside.
This is the least expensive type of garage gas furnace, but should only be installed if there is no negative air pressure in your garage. Vertical venting through the roof of your garage is preferred, but sidewall venting can also be used although it is more difficult. This type of furnace is not recommended if there are any combustible dusts (woodworking) or fumes in your garage.
Power Vented Garage Furnace
The power-vented garage gas furnace works in a similar fashion to the gravity vented furnace, except for the addition of an integral flue vent booster fan. The booster fan turns on automatically to ensure the correct venting of combustion by-products.
A booster fan also allows for much greater flexibility in the routing of the flue pipe, making horizontal venting extremely easy. Most venting is done through a sidewall, which avoids costly roof modifications.
Separated Combustion Garage Furnace
A separated combustion garage gas furnace is the best type of furnace to install as they are sealed off from the space. They have two flue vent pipes; one draws the air from outside and the other exhausts the by-products from combustion back outside. The fact that the air is drawn from outside eliminates any concerns about burning the air inside the garage and are a must for garages where any type of woodworking takes place, so that the possibility of fine dusts being ignited by an open flame is negated.
Although two separate pipes are used for the operation of this unit, it may be necessary to only make one hole in your roof as most manufacturers offer concentric vent kits which means that one pipe is inside the other. This design is also more efficient as the warm flue exhaust automatically warms the air in the cold intake pipe.
Natural Gas Infrared Garage Heater
Infrared heating is considered by many to be the most economical and comfortable way of heating a garage as the heating principle has been derived from the way the sun warms the planet. An infrared garage gas furnace uses a burner box and booster fan in order to heat.
Infrared heat only heats objects and people; the warmth penetrates the area in waves, radiating out and only turning into warmth once it makes contact with surfaces and human bodies. As the surfaces warm they become radiators and in turn spread the warmth, increasing the temperature of the entire area.
Benefits of a Garage Gas Furnace
The benefits of installing a gas furnace in your garage are many:
- They require no electricity so even if you have a power failure you will still have a heated garage in which to work or relax.
- They can be linked in to your main line if you have natural gas piped in to your home
- A garage gas furnace is far more eco-friendly than using electricity
- Garage heaters can provide between 24,000 and 400,000 BTUH of heat to keep your garage nice and cosy.
- It is efficient so saves you plenty on heating bills
- These kinds of furnaces are fast and self-contained, which means that you need not rely on a centralized heat source
- Adjustable louvers allow you to direct the heat to where you need it and away from any small items or dust which may occur as a result from any work you are doing
- These furnaces are very durable as they are generally manufactured from tough steel
- They are corrosion resistant as they are usually finished in a baked-on, high solid paint
- There is a vast range of furnaces from which to choose which enables you to select the correct one for your needs.
- They can serve a dual purpose as you can use just the fan in the summer to cool the same space so that you can still work in comfort even in the hottest weather.
- Heating your garage affords you extra, comfortable space which can be utilized for far more than just a workshop; you could even add a bed or two and use it as an extra guest room in a pinch, such as when relatives come to visit over the holiday season.
- A natural gas heater is always ready to be used, so you never need to worry about getting fuel, just enjoy the warmth it provides.
Garage Gas Furnace Efficiency
The efficiency of a garage gas furnace will depend on the type of furnace that you install, but in general they are very efficient, as can be evidenced by the vent-free garage heater which claims 99.9% efficiency.
These types of furnaces usually achieve the correct temperature very quickly, which means that they use less fuel, and once at the correct temperature they maintain that temperature very easily and with minimal fuel usage. The heat is distributed evenly and where you need it, which means that you are not unnecessarily heating space that is not being utilized.
Of course, in order to make the best of your furnace’s efficiency it is necessary that you ensure that there are no drafts, and that windows and doors are closed whilst you are heating the garage, or all the hot air will just escape. If the area is going to be used for more than just an area where you are intending to do a bit of handyman work or crafting, then it would be worth your while to insulate your garage.
In order to choose the perfect garage gas furnace to suit your needs and space, it is important that you do your research carefully first, including researching the different types and models on the Internet and getting advice from experts.