Portable vs Mounted Electric Garage Heaters: Pros and Cons

The types of electric garage heaters available to you include a wide range of both radiant and convection heaters. Rated for different size spaces to heat, some are mountable while others are portable. Given that the heating requirements for each garage are different, one type of electric garage heater may be more suitable than the other. Before settling on one, compare the pros and cons of each. Both types, though, are electrically powered, so, with an exception or two, they are equally energy efficient. The main differences lie their positioning.

Portable Electric Garage Heaters

Portable electric heaters are freestanding units designed to plug into a standard wall outlet. Their biggest advantage is that they can be moved around the room to accommodate different areas within your garage. If you use a radiant electric heater in your garage, portability is important as radiant heat works to heat objects directly in the path of its element. A wall- or shelf-mounted radiant heater, then, is at a disadvantage because the heat it emits only travels in one direction. That may be all you need for warmth while seated at your garage workbench, but if you utilize a larger space, a mounted heater is not extremely effective.

The danger of portable heaters is tripping over their power cables or accidentally being burned. Small children or pets, should they get too close, may be burned by a portable electric heater positioned on the floor. In addition, plugged-in portable heaters may get in the way as you walk back and forth in your garage. This problem can be largely solved by using an electric convection heater which heats the air in the room. It takes longer to heat up, but you don’t need to be directly in front of it to feel warmth.

Mountable Electric Garage Heaters

The advantage to affixing a mountable electric garage heater to a wall or shelf is that it stays out of the way. If it is directly wired into the circuit, there is no power cord to get in the way. Even if there is a cord, though, it is easily kept high enough so as not to be a tripping hazard. Mountable radiant heaters are useful if you are accustomed to sitting in one place while working in your garage. They provide an ample amount of heat in their line of sight. Convection heaters spread heat around a space. Mounted convection heaters with a fan heat a garage even quicker, for the fan blows the heated air faster than it can spread on its own. Mounted electric garage heaters are not mobile. This means the heat they provide cannot be extended to different areas of a room as with a portable heater.

Both types of electric heaters take a large amount of the current to operate, usually 12 amps or more. Considering that most circuits run on 15 or 20 amps, that leaves less for other outlets. Too much power will overload a circuit, which electric heaters can do. An electric garage heater that combines portability with efficient heat distribution and can be kept out of the way is the best means of taking advantage of the positive attributes of both portable and mountable models.