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The Best Garage Heater for You

Aside from the obvious reason to heat your garage – to have a warmer garage – there are many other benefits to placing a heater in the place where your tools, car, trash can, and other random items exist. Especially if you live in an extra-cold climate, where temperatures drop below freezing and snow is a common occurrence, a garage heater is practically a must. They typically run on propane or gas, making them inexpensive and relatively clean to run. Garage heaters are also surprisingly affordable to purchase. Finding the best garage heater depends on a variety of factors. To choose the one best for you, read through this guide and the following best garage heater reviews.

5 Best Best Garage Heater Comparisons

Model
          Features
Comfort Zone Ceiling Mount Heater



  • Watts/BTUs: 5,000W
  • Weight: 16 lbs
  • Dimensions: 17.9 x 13.8 x 14.6 inches
  • Fan: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 year
Dyna-Glo Forced Air Heater



  • Watts/BTUs: 125,000 BTUs
  • Weight: 25 lbs
  • Dimensions: 25.6 x 11.8 x 16.1 inches
  • Fan: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 year
Dr. Infrared Heater with Plug



  • Watts/BTUs: 5,600W
  • Weight: 12 lbs
  • Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 15 inches
  • Fan: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 year
Fahrenheat Garage Heater



  • Watts/BTUs: 5,000W
  • Weight: 24 lbs
  • Dimensions: 11.2 x 14 x 12.5 inches
  • Fan: Yes
  • Warranty: 1-5 years
Mr. Heater Portable Radiant Heater



  • Watts/BTUs: 9,000 BTUs
  • Weight: 9.5 lbs
  • Dimensions: 14.17 x 8.97 x 14.37 in
  • Fan: No
  • Warranty: 1 year

What is a Garage Heater?

 

A garage heater varies in size and usually uses gas and forced air to create a sort of convection oven in your garage. It’s best to install your type of garage heater in an unused corner of your garage and have it pointing at a 45-degree angle toward one wall. The heat generated and blown through the vents should bounce off that wall, toward the perpendicular wall, and then back toward the heater.

There are also infrared garage heaters that tend to heat the floor and the objects in the room, but it may not work for all situations. Propane-powered garage heaters are also popular, as well as kerosene-powered units, but they will require you to have some serious venting going on – like your large garage door. You can also set up powered venting to push the fumes through a pipe and out a vent and out of the room.

Then there are electrical garage heaters, which work similarly to the gas garage heaters in comparison, except they use electricity to warm coils and warm the room. These are much safer to operate, and they require little maintenance.

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You might also like:  The Best Ways To Heat A Garage And More! 

Reasons You May Want a Garage Heater

Walk into your garage in the dead of winter and you’ll get the number one reason why you want a garage heater: It’s cold out there. And garage walls aren’t insulated the way your house’s walls are. Rarely do garages have carpeting, either. Between the lack of insulated walls and the concrete floor, you have a room that gets colder than any other in your home.

A garage heater can keep your coldest room warm, which offers plenty of benefits you may not have considered before. A warmer garage means not having to put gloves on before heading to your car in the morning. Plus, your car won’t have to suffer through a cold start in the mornings, which your engine should also be happy about.

Often, families will have pets use the garage during the winter for bathroom breaks or for sleeping when the snow is piling up outside. If your outdoor pets tend to stay in the garage in the winter, don’t they deserve a warmer place to do their business and sleep?

A garage often doubles as a laundry room, a workshop, or even a bonus room for ping pong, TV, or other events. During the winter, those trips to the unheated garage laundry room are brutal. And forget about football in the garage, unless you bundle up in three layers of sweaters. Having a garage heater can make the garage a viable place to work or play in throughout the year.

Can a Garage Heater Be Used in Other Rooms?

Even if you have central heating and a garage heater set up in your garage, you could benefit from getting another unit for another room. All you need to ensure is that you have a way to hook up the heater and, if necessary, a way to vent any fumes.

A guest house, pool house, or mother-in-law unit will require heating for the winter, but you may not want to put in central heating for a small space. A garage heater would be an ideal solution that shouldn’t take up too much space and can quickly heat those small spots.

You can also use a garage heater in a barn, workshop for those fun DIY projects, or even outdoors in the elements, if you have to, say, do work on your house. Always remember to use proper ventilation and power.

How to Choose the Proper Garage Heater for Your Home

 

So, what is the best heater for your garage? When you start looking at the available garage heaters, it might be a bit overwhelming. Which one is right for you and your sized garage? How many BTUs do you need? You don’t want to over- or under heat your room. So, here’s an easy formula to figure out how much power you need.

Start with the length, height, and width of your garage. Multiply those numbers together to get the volume (V). Then subtract the temperature outside from the temperature you want inside (T). Multiply the volume by the temperature, and then divide that number by 1.6. That final number is the number of BTUs you want.

So, V*T/1.6 = BTUs. For example, if your garage is 12 x 24 x 8, the volume is 2,304. If the outside temperature is 10 at its coldest, and you want it to be 60 in your garage, the temperature number is 50. So, 2,304 times 50 divided by 1.6 is 72,000. That’s if you’re planning to get a propane-powered heater – and that’s to heat the entire room (but this might be overkill).

For an electric heater or to more modestly heat a room, it’s even easier to figure out. Find the square footage, or area, of your garage, which in the example above would be 288 square feet. Then just multiply the square footage by 10, and you’d find you need a heater with 2,880 watts. Finding the BTUs is also easy. You’re just going to double the number to 20. So, a 288 sq. ft. room would need at least 5,760 BTUs to heat effectively.

Top 5 Best Garage Heater Reviews

Comfort Zone Industrial Steel Electric Ceiling Mount Heater

Quick Info

  • Watts/BTUs: 5,000W
  • Weight: 16 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 17.9 x 13.8 x 14.6 inches
  • Fan: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 year

Winter could be more bearable in your garage, workshop, or barn with the Comfort Zone Industrial Steel Electric Ceiling Mount Heater set up and blowing warm air throughout. When it comes to ratings, you get three levels of heat from which you can choose: 3,000, 4,000, and 5,000 watts. Simply flip the switch to your preferred wattage, and then adjust the dial from low to high. Once the heater reaches the approximate temperature you want, it’ll shut off and then cycle back on automatically to keep it warm and toasty.

At 3,000 to 5,000 watts, this little heater has the power to warm up a room as big as 1,000 square feet, which means this is suitable for a three-car garage. Part of the reason it’s capable of heating such a large space is the fan-forced heat. It pushes the warm air in one direction, and as it circulates the room, it heats up all around. You’ll need to purchase a few extras to hook this up and run it unless you already have a 30A double pole breaker, flexible conduit, wire, and connectors. It only has a one-year warranty, so if your unit shows signs of defects, be sure to return it for repairs or a replacement as soon as possible. Heating a room can be pricey, and this unit is likely to bump up your electric bill a bit, depending on the temperature you plan to keep it at.

Pros

  • Quiet operation
  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Maintains temperature
  • Three heat levels
  • Fan-forced
  • Safe to use

Cons

  • Short warranty
  • Expensive to run
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PRO TIP

If you’re looking for an electric garage heater that will heat a space as large as 1,000 square feet, this could be perfect for you.

Dyna-Glo RMC-FA125DGD 70,000 – 125,000 BTU Liquid Propane Forced Air Heater

Quick Info

  • Watts/BTUs: 125,000 BTUs
  • Weight: 25 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 25.6 x 11.8 x 16.1 inches
  • Fan: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 year

The Dyna-Glow RMC-FA125DGD Liquid Propane Forced Air Heater is meant for use inside or outside, which means you can work in your garden shed, garage, or even in the great outdoors in the dead of winter. With 70,000 to 125,000 BTUs per hour, you’re getting versatility and power to heat up to a 3,100 square foot space. You will need a propane tank, of course, but this heater comes with the hose and connector you’ll need to run it.

The handle on the top makes this easy for you to pick up and carry to any spot, so you can use this on construction sites, or even in an outdoor tent for your winter dinner party. You’ll need to make sure there’s some sort of ventilation, obviously, but you’re likely to have a warm experience with this garage heater. Given that this runs on a propane tank, it’s more of a temporary solution for warmth, but you could keep this in one spot if you need to. The fan and the continuous ignition can be loud, but it’s easy enough to drown out with a bit of music.

Pros

  • Adjustable angle
  • Heats up to 3,100 square feet
  • Has auto shut-off
  • Portable
  • Fan-forced
  • Safe for indoors, outdoors

Cons

  • Short warranty
  • Limited run time
  • Needs ventilation
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PRO TIP

If you’re looking for a way to heat an indoor or outdoor area quickly and effectively, this propane garage heater could work well for you.

Dr. Infrared Heater DR-988 Garage Shop 208/240V, 4800/5600W Heater with 6-30R Plug

Quick Info

  • Watts/BTUs: 5,600W
  • Weight: 12 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 15 inches
  • Fan: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 year

Something you may notice about the Dr. Infrared Heater DR-988 Garage Shop Heater is that it seems to instantly heat up the immediate area you place it. Thanks to infrared heat, the results are almost instantaneous. However, the heat would just sit there in that one spot if not for a fan forcing the hot air to blow about. This unit is powerful enough to heat an uninsulated area of about 600 square feet. That’s not a huge area, but it would likely be enough for a standard two-car garage.

The adjustable thermostat means this unit runs for as long as it needs to reach the low, medium, or high level of heat, then it shuts off. It turns back on when the temperature drops below the setting you’ve chosen. You can also choose to have the heat and fan run continuously. The fan itself is a bit loud, and the resulting vibration of metal on whatever you place this on top of makes for an even noisier experience.

Pros

  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Has auto shut-off
  • Portable
  • Fan-forced

Cons

  • Only rated for up to 600 sq. ft.
  • Noisy operation
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PRO TIP

If you need a small garage heater that can provide your workspace a bit more heat during the cold winter months, this one might be right for you.

Fahrenheat FUH54 240-volt Garage Heater

Quick Info

  • Watts/BTUs: 5,000W
  • Weight: 24 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 11.2 x 14 x 12.5 inches
  • Fan: Yes
  • Warranty: 1-5 years

The Fahrenheat FUH54 240-volt Garage Heater is a bit on the small size, but give it 30 minutes and it can turn a 20-degree Fahrenheit room into 60 degrees of warm bliss. Well, it can do that for a space that’s about 400 square feet. Larger rooms are going to take a bit longer – especially if they’re not insulated. The dial lets you choose between low, high, and somewhere in between, which can be frustrating because you can’t just pick 55 degrees, or 65 degrees, to get an exact temperature.

Still, this small garage heater can keep your garage or workshop warm in the winter, if you give it enough time. It’ll maintain the temperature, too, as long as it’s plugged in. The built-in fan pushes the hot air wherever you want it to go, but only in one direction (with adjustable blades to push the air forward, up, or down). Compared to similar units, this one is a bit pricey. And its warranty is a bit confusing, as the manual states it only has a one-year warranty, but the box claims a five-year warranty.

Pros

  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Has auto shut-off
  • Quiet operation
  • Fan-forced

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heats up to 400 square feet
  • Confusing warranty
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PRO TIP

If you want an attractive, small heater to stay put and keep your workshop, small shed, or garage warm, this could be the one you want.

Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Radiant Heater

Quick Info

  • Watts/BTUs: 9,000 BTUs
  • Weight: 9.5 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 14.17 x 8.97 x 14.37 in
  • Fan: No
  • Warranty: 1 year

When winter comes, you may think you have to miss out on certain outdoor events, or you give up your garage or workshop and the projects they contain because it’s just too cold. The Mr. Heater Buddy Indoor-Safe Portable Radiant Heater helps you reclaim those projects and events. This small, portable heater won’t heat a huge area – only about 225 square feet. That could be enough to warm up a one-car garage, a tent, or a small workshop, though. It runs on propane, so you’ll have to make sure there’s ventilation to keep you safe.

The good news is that there’s an auto shut-off in case the unit is tipped over, or if oxygen in the area gets low. This is a super quiet unit because there’s no fan built into it. Of course, without a fan, the heat doesn’t go far. But it’s meant to heat the smaller spaces, so a fan isn’t totally necessary. You’ll have to be extra careful with this heater, as there’s no thermostat, and it has an exposed flame, so there’s extra potential for danger.

Pros

  • Has auto shut-off
  • Quiet operation
  • Portable

Cons

  • Has exposed flame
  • Heats up to 225 square feet
  • Requires ventilation
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PRO TIP

If you need a small heater for camping, tailgating, or to temporarily heat your workspace, this portable garage heater could be ideal for you.

Conclusion

The perfect garage heater doesn’t quite exist, as everyone has different needs and wants. You may prefer electric-powered appliances, while someone else doesn’t mind filling a propane tank to power a heating unit. And then there’s the space you need to heat – if it’s small, you can get away with a smaller unit, but those with three-car garages or barns are going to need something bigger and more powerful.

Overall, the best garage heater has to be the Dyna-Glo RMC-FA125DGD 70,000 – 125,000 BTU Liquid Propane Forced Air Heater because it can heat a large space, it’s portable, and it can be used indoors or outdoors. Not all portable units include a fan, but this one does, which means your space will be heated quicker. It can warm up a room up to 3,100 square feet, which is more than other comparable units. Regardless of which unit you choose from above, though, you’re bound to have a warmer winter in your workshop, garage, tent, or other space.

About The Author

Candace Osmond

Award Winning Designer, Candace Osmond has been in the industry for over a decade. She studied Interior Decorating & Design and is also an accomplished writer and multi-published author. When she's not typing away from the comforts of her desk, Candace can be found travelling to warm destinations, tending to her garden, or enjoying the outdoor haven that is her backyard. Candace currently resides in the breathtaking Maritimes of Eastern Canada with her husband, two beautiful kids and one slobbery bulldog.

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