Winter temperatures slow down productivity and can even make active warehouses and workshops unsafe. When employees can't properly use tools, focus on tasks, or handle detailed, intricate work because of a workshop environment that's below normal room temperatures, businesses run the risk of decreased employee satisfaction, more workplace injuries, and the potential for tasks to be rushed or left incomplete. Workshops are more susceptible to these problems during the winter because there's less heat; thin workshop walls and garages often have less insulation, higher ceilings, and reduced central heating. The R-value for a typical non-insulated steel garage door is 0, but it's not until an R-value reaches 8 that it blocks even 90% of heat flow; this also discounts how your workshop may be opening or closing its doors frequently to allow vehicles in and out or how vehicle-sized doors may stay open at all times. The environment simply isn't designed to hold heat.

At NorTex Sales & Service, we know how important it is to have a safe and reliable heat source near where the work is getting done. In this guide, we discuss the benefits of using space heaters, why you should opt for infrared space heaters, and which of our models we recommend, and why.

When to use a space heater

Space heaters are designed to provide localized heat. They're mobile units that don't operate as part of a building's central heating, so the heater can be used at a workstation or even outside. This is useful for environments that don't have central heating or have a heating system that maintains a base operational temperature that isn't conducive to intricate work. Some of the most common environments where people use space heaters include:

  • Homes: Space heaters provide spot heating in room additions and garages, near desks in home offices, and more.
  • In workshops and garages where most of the space is unoccupied.
  • At remote job sites, either in open space or in buildings or structures without heating.

Space heaters also provide a backup plan for heating. In the event of a power outage or weather disaster, like the one that hit Texas in February 2021, space heaters can efficiently be run off a power generator or their specific fuel source. They're also useful options if your HVAC or furnace breaks in the middle of winter or you're looking for a more energy-efficient or cost-effective option than entirely retrofitting an old HVAC system.

most energy efficient space heater

One common complaint with space heaters is that they're not energy efficient. Compared to a standard residential or commercial HVAC system, space heaters cost more for the square footage they can heat and the amount of heat they can generate. This comparison often takes space heaters out of context — they're meant to be used when optimal HVAC systems simply aren't an option or shouldn't be relied on. 

However, you do have several options if you're searching for space heaters that promise energy efficiency.

Infrared Space Heaters (With Radiant Heat)

Infrared space heaters are safer and more efficient than other options like oil heaters. They offer radiant, directional heat that heat objects and people directly rather than dissipating quickly across a wide-open space. 

Heat dissipation is one of the biggest problems with non-directional space heaters. Not only does the heat flow far beyond the designated worksite and in directions that aren't needed, but the heat energy also quickly rises. For workshops and garages with high ceilings, this can leave you pumping more and more heat into the space while noticing only a small temperature change around you.

Infrared heaters also offer these key advantages:

  • The effectiveness isn't impacted by airflow or drafts caused by open doors, moving machinery, or groups of people.
  • Safety: Infrared heaters don't use oil and don't have exposed heating elements, which can burn people or objects that get too close or increase the risk of a fire.
  • Moisture retention: Traditional space heaters can dry out the air, leading to cracked skin and potentially aggravating people's respiratory conditions. However, infrared heaters leave moisture in the air.

4 Energy Efficient Space Heaters

At NorTex Sales & Service, we offer safe, energy-efficient space heaters. The Val6 heater series available in our stores are built for heavy-duty commercial use so your team stays safe and warm throughout the winter months. We recommend these four models:

1. VAL6 FIR1300

This infrared heater has a closed flame that makes it safer for both indoor and outdoor use. Its people-friendly design is efficient and produces infrared radiation that is specifically set to meet the needs of human bodies. It also offers safety features such as overheat prevention, flame monitors, and tip-over protection so it can be used in busy environments or by distracted workers safely. This unit is also quiet and emits clean exhaust.

VAL6 FIR1300 Infrared Heater


The MPX unit has both infrared and conventional heating so it can efficiently heat small and large commercial areas. It offers combustion efficiency that's 13% greater than a comparable Daystar unit. It's also safe for indoor use and use in distracted environments because of flame monitors, tip-over protection, and overheat protection.

VAL6 MPX Infrared Heater

3. VAL6 Hotgun 125NA

The Hotgun is a combustion-powered space heater that very efficiently converts fuel to 116,000 BTUs of heat energy per hour. It can be powered by either diesel or kerosene and, with a tank capacity of 14.3 gallons, can run for fifteen hours without interruption.

VAL6 Hotgun 125NA


This large space heater offers more power than previous Val6 models, with features for 20 hours of low heat operation and 15 hours of high heat operation. Along with tip-over and overheat protection, this unit also has over voltage detection and other safety features. Its advanced monitoring system includes automatic shutdown functions for safe operation in busy environments.

VAL6 EPX Infrared Heater

stay warm with an efficient space heater from nortex sales & service

NorTex Sales & Service is your go-to supplier for commercial and industrial tools that make your work easy. We have locations in Dallas, Kilgore, and Odessa for a fast, convenient supply of business tools. Contact us today to learn more about our services and inventory.

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