Garage heater


Old 12-17-04, 08:10 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 84
Garage heater

Withe cost of fue goiing up, am I better of with an electric heat in my garage or natural gas. 800 sq ft , 15 foot celing

Cost wise on consumption.

Thanks John
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Old 12-17-04, 10:07 PM
jughead's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Davenport, Iowa
Posts: 597
In my area the cost for heating with electricity is at least twice as expensive than with natural gas. I just completed these calculations to decide which way to go myself. There were no surprises as I've always known that electric heat is the most expensive way to go. Your area may be different. The only way to know for sure is to look at your utility bill and do your own number crunching. Size of the garage won't make any difference. Think about it this way. To get heat you must burn fuel. That fuel may be, for instance, natural gas. That could be termed the primary fuel. Now you can burn the primary fuel yourself and use the heating value of that fuel to warm your hands in the can let the power company burn the primary fuel, generate steam, send the steam to a turbine, let the turbine turn a generator to generate the electricity, send that electrical power thru a bunch of lines to your house were you will convert that electricity back to heat to warm your hands. Power companys usually use natural gas in a gas turbine generator, but the argument is the just costs more to use millions of dollars worth of equipment to do what a $100 gas burner/heat exchanger can do.

Last edited by jughead; 12-17-04 at 10:18 PM.
Old 12-18-04, 04:54 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
This is a complicated question. The answer depends on how much heat you want and how much you want to spend on the heating equipment.

If you are only talking about heating your garage for a few hours per week, then your decision may be quite different than if you plan to heat it every day for 8 or more hours per day. Where you live plays into this, as does how much you want to heat it. Do you want to just take the chill off, say go up to 50 degrees or so, or do you want to heat it to the same temperature as your house, say 70 degrees?

When I had my basement redone, I faced that same decision. Do I install electric heat or natural gas heat? The cost of a natural gas heater to do the job was going to be several thousand dollars. The cost of a few baseboard electric heaters was going to be several hundred. The difference would be in cost to operate.

I went with the electric baseboard heaters. It turns out, we only need the heat on down there when it's real cold outside, and then only for a few minutes. Once the room heats up, it retains the heat for a long time. In the time frame I live in the house, I don't think I would spend enough on electricity to heat the basement to equal the cost of the gas heater.

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