If you have a garage that is not connected directly to your house, or if you did not think to link up your garage to your central heating system, there is a need to set up an electric garage heater. This becomes all the more important if you do some sort of woodwork or general home repairs in your house, or simply put if you use your garage for anything else apart from parking your car.
Buying an electric heater is certainly slightly more expensive than other options, but the initial equipment and setup cost is a lot cheaper for an electric heater than other variants. We have listed a few steps to help you set up an electric garage heater by yourself. But before that there a few points to be kept in mind:
- A 100 square ft room requires a heater of 1000 watts. For an increase of every 50 square ft, you need to increase the heater capacity by 500 watts. This is a rule of thumb and varies depending upon the temperature of the area you live in, building materials used and the general architecture of your garage.
- It is advisable to have a separate circuit connecting the electric heater to the main panel, rather than using it as a plug-in heater. This carries the risk of overloading the circuit. It is also imperative that you use the right type of hardware (cable) that is suggested by the manufacturer or a trusted electrical store owner. This requirement changes based on the wattage of the electric heater. This helps prevent overload and fires.
- First, decide the shortest possible route from the main circuit board to the position of your thermostat, and from the thermostat to the heater. Run a sheathed wire across the distance from the circuit board to the thermostat and from the thermostat to the heater. Make sure that an area of 3 feet around the heater is free from any inflammable materials
- If you have to pass through walls, first drill the holes moving from the garage to the main circuit board, while inserting thick lengths of wire to help you identify the hole even from the other side of the wall. This makes it easier to push the cable through without having to keep moving across rooms repeatedly.
- If you have to pass the cable through the roof as well, simply connect the cable to a strong piece of string to which a small nut is tied to the end, using strong duct tape. Once you drill a hole through the roof. Just drop the nut through the hole and pull it from below to pull in the entire length of cable at once.
- Make sure to support the cable with cable straps at approximately 4 feet gaps and at corners to avoid messy, hanging wires. Ensure that you wrap electrical tape around the white wire to indicate that it is a hot wire since this will be a 240-volt
- Use your sanctioned home drawings to identify where a beam is if you have it covered with insulation. Otherwise, it should be pretty easy to spot.
- Now, hold the support stand of the electric heater onto the wall, and use a pencil to mark out the specific locations of the places where you need to drill the holes.
- Drill appropriately sized holes depending upon the specifications provided by the manufacturer of the heater. The heater will almost always carry the bolts you will require for this purpose.
- Drill the holes and fix the support stand securely. Now, hang the heater using the holder onto support stand using the equipment provided in the box. It is most often a screw-on nut and bolt attachment to ensure proper support and strength.
- Swing the heater along the free motion axis such that the holes on the body of the heater and the holder overlap, and fix screws onto it to fix the body of the heater firmly in place.
Your heater is now ready to be connected to the main circuit board by an electrician. The steps listed above are very simple and can be accomplished in a few hours easily, saving you a lot of money compared to handing over the entire project to an electrician.
- Working with and around electricity can be dangerous. Take utmost care and follow all necessary precautions before you start off with this project. If you are not confident in your ability to do so, please do not continue and seek professional assistance.
- While installing the heater and setting up the wires can be done by a layman, the connection to the main panel HAS to be done by a licensed electrician.
- Ensure that your walls and roof do not have vermiculite insulation, since this may result in a health If you have any doubts with regard to this, contact a local health department to ensure the same.
Make sure that you follow local laws while setting up a new circuit and check with the electricity department and/or fire department (depending upon local rules and regulations). Any connections which violate such rules may void insurance or expose you to legal action. It is advisable to check up on local laws and apply for a permit so that a local inspector can check and approve your work.