How to Choose a Shop Heater
If you want to heat a shop or other large area, then a shop heater might be just the solution that you are looking for. A shop heater will give you the amount of heat that you want exactly where you want it to be, they are easy to move and put out a lot of heat in the immediate area surrounding them. If you're looking for a more permanent solution, many shop heaters can be mounted semi-permanently on walls or other solid surfaces as well. Not all shop heaters are created equal, unfortunately. Some will have larger space requirements, some use different fuel sources or heating types, and many of them vary in the amount of heat that they can produce. Since you obviously want to choose a shop heater that will meet your specific needs, here are some considerations to keep in mind that will help you pick the heater that will serve you best.
Amount of Heat Produced One of the first things that you should look at is the amount of heat that is produced, generally represented in BTU's. The higher the BTU number is, the more heat the heater will produce while it's operating. If you need the heater to heat a larger space, you're going to want more BTU's than if it was going to be heating a smaller room. You might also check and see if the heater features a thermostat of any kind which regulates when it heats and when it doesn't based upon the temperature that you set. Check and see if the heater box has any recommendations as to the amount of room that it can heat, and use this to develop an estimation of whether it would meet your heating needs.
Size of the Heater Obviously size is going to be a consideration when it comes to choosing a shop heater. If you're going to use a heater you need to have enough room for it, so you need to choose the heater that you buy according to the amount of space you have available. Likewise you should consider options that will allow you to make better use of your space, such as the ability to mount the heater using wall brackets, screws, or other methods. This can allow you to place the heater exactly where you want it, as opposed to simply having to set it on the floor (unless you want one which can be placed anywhere on the floor.) You should also consider whether the heater you want needs to be portable or if it will be stationary during most of the time that you use it. Fuel or Power Source Different shop heaters will operate using different fuel or power sources. Some will require that you plug them into an electrical outlet for them to work, while others will need propane, natural gas, or some other fuel source. You should consider both the cost of the different fuel and power sources as well as how each would fit into your intended usage to help you decide which shop heater you want to buy. If you're going to need the heater in a location without electricity nearby or if you want the heater to be easily portable, you might want to buy a heater that uses propane or some other fuel to produce its heat. If you don't want to have to continually buy fuel or if you simply want to have the heaters relatively stationary, then an electrical heater might be a better option.
Make sure that you consider both options so that you can decide which would truly be most beneficial to you. Blowers or Radiators Finally, it's important to decide whether you want a blower of some sort on your shop heater or if you just want it to radiate heat in the area around it. Blowers can range in type from simple fans to jet-like air movers, while radiators come in a variety of shapes and sizes in order to provide you with the most heat without creating wind. If you're trying to heat a large area or if your heater is going to be at least a short distance from where you're going to be working, then having a shop heater with an equipped blower could be beneficial. If you need to keep airflow to a minimum because of paperwork or you just don't want to have the noise of a blower, then a radiator-style heater might be more along the lines of what you need.