Many people have garage spaces that they would like to use as workshop space or as warm storage during the cold winter months, but are unable to find a heat source that can protect their belongings and be low maintenance. With the advancement of natural gas and propane heating appliances, installing a garage heater has never been easier or cheaper. The use of heat exchanger is also very effective for it.
Ventless Gas Appliances
Ventless gas appliances work on the basis of near total combustion. The 99.9% efficiency rating of ventless appliances is based off of the premise that these heater burn 99.9% of the fuel that the flame from the igniter encounters. This uses less fuel to create the same amount of heat as a vented gas appliance because the fuel that is typically wasted is consumed. This also means that with almost no fuel waste, there are no bi-products of combustion such as carbon monoxide and soot. This eliminates the need for vent piping cutting the cost of a 20,000 BTU heater down to $200 total (price as of 12/13/2010 acehardware.com). All you need is to have a plumber run a gas line and hook it up.
When installing a ventless garage heater, it is important to adhere to a few safety standards:
1) 1) Since this is a gas burning appliance, there should be a carbon monoxide detector and a smoke detector in the garage to alert you in case of improper operation. This is especially important with carbon monoxide detection as carbon monoxide is odorless and tasteless.
2) 2) These gas heaters can output a significant amount of heat. This means that they should mounted on an area that is noncombustible, such as Type X drywall or a dense glass type of sheeting. Under no circumstances should the any gas heater be mounted on a combustibles surface. The other issue is to have proper clearance from any combustibles items such as wood, cardboard, or any flammable material. Generally, three feet is an acceptable distance for combustibles to the gas heater.
3) 3) These heaters should not be placed under windows as the heat will cause condensation on the windows above them and cause a mold and mildew issue. Once this issue begins, it is hard to correct without significant measures that may require removal of drywall or wall paneling.
Ventless garage heaters are a great way to take a space that is virtually useless in cold weather, to a space that will keep all of your belongings safe and warm during the winter.