Electric Garage Heaters Versus Wood Stoves

When it comes to heating your garage or workshop, consider electric garage heaters as an alternative to a wood stove. 

Electric heaters are a simpler option in many ways over their wood burning counterparts. They are easy to install, they don't require venting and usually don't require extensive structural alterations. With proper mounting or placement, electric heating is plug-and-go.

Even though wood is the most cost effective energy source for heating, in comparison, wood stove installation can be involved and expensive. It needs a hearth below it, usually made from brick or stone, a chimney or pipe to exhaust the smoke, and proper clearance from combustibles. Additionally, city or county permits may be necessary for installation in your area.

Electric garage heaters are a cleaner alternative to wood stoves because they do not create waste and can be visually inspected for cleanliness and safety by any do-it-yourselfer on a regular basis.

By comparison, wood stoves create ash, smoke and trace amounts of carbon monoxide. The ash is contained in the chamber needs to be cleaned between uses.  A proper cleaning of the chimney to remove the buildup of creosote deposits (the cause of most chimney fires) can also be messy and difficult, and should be performed by a professional or handy do-it-yourselfer.

Electric garage heaters also offer more options in terms of placement and product variety than wood stoves. Electric heaters can be either convection (which heat the air) or radiant (which heat objects and people). They can also be mounted on the ceiling and walls or placed along the floor.

Wood stoves, on the other hand, provide only radiant heat and can only be safely installed in certain spaces in a garage, with the middle of the room being the most effective position, negating the garage’s original purpose: parking a car.

Wood stoves also take time to heat up, though they will continue to generate heat long after you stop tending them. However, if garage workshop projects involve sawdust or fumes, the wood stove becomes a safety hazard, even if you are vigilant with the flames.

Electric garage heaters in general are more versatile than wood stoves. They require less intensive installation and regular maintenance efforts, and tend to be safer for workshop areas, especially if fumes and sawdust are created in your garage.