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Best Portable Garage Heater Reviews

As the weather cools each fall it becomes easier and easier to put off your outdoor chores in the garage or other buildings due to the chill in the air. Come to the cold winter temperatures, and you may avoid working in the garage at all. Luckily, there is an easy way to take the bite of the winter seasons off with the addition of a portable heater in those spaces you wish to utilize for work or hobbies.

Portable garage heaters come in a variety of choices for various sized areas and temperature needs. There are also different types of heaters to choose from for efficiency, as well as personal preference surrounding the type of heat being produced. Our picks for portable garage heater reviews can be found below to provide you an idea of what is available for you to use when heating up your workspaces.

5 Best Portable Garage Heater Comparisons

Model
          Features
Pro-Temp Propane Forced Air Heater



  • Type: Propane
  • Dimensions: 18.2 x 7.8 x 12.7 inches
  • Weight: 13 lbs
  • Mounting abilities: No
  • Warranty: 1 year
Cadet Electric Portable Garage Camo Heater



  • Type: Electric
  • Dimensions: 8.2 x 15.8 x 17.5 inches
  • Weight: 30 lbs
  • Mounting abilities: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 year
Mr. Heater Natural Gas Heater MHVFB30NGT



  • Type: Natural gas
  • Dimensions: 23.8 x 11.2 x 27 inches
  • Weight: 27 lbs
  • Mounting abilities: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 year
Fahrenheat Ceiling-Mount Industrial Heater



  • Type: Electric
  • Dimensions: 17 x 16 x 15 inches
  • Weight: 31 lbs
  • Mounting abilities: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 year
Dura Heat DFA50 Kero Forced Air Heater




  • Type: Multi-fuel
  • Dimensions: 13.3 x 31.9 x 16.7 inches
  • Weight: 30 lbs
  • Mounting abilities: No
  • Warranty: 1 year

What is a Portable Heater?

Portable heaters are exactly what they sound like- a heater that can be moved to where you need or want it. Many times these can also be mounted or fixed in a position, but are not permanently placed there, which allows you to move them again if needed. There are various sizes and power availabilities of these types of units to address a variety of needs and spaces.

Many portable heaters are used in homes or offices to support a central heating system that doesn’t quite warm certain areas of use to the degree wanted. These are low watt, low volt (750-1500 wattage, 110v / 120v plugs) units that are specific to small spaces and are not what you would look to for garage or outdoor workspace heating. For a garage, you will want to specifically look for 240-volt capabilities which will have a higher BTU output to warm larger spaces.

Why Would I Want a Portable Heater in my Garage?

Fixed heaters require installation and a hookup to your main gas, propane, or electric lines in order to heat your spaces. These essentially become a permanent part of your building, and may not always be the most economical in the long run depending on how it is being used. They are the more powerful choice though, so if you have a very large space being utilized on a regular basis, this may be a choice you would want to consider.

Portable heaters allow you the flexibility of not only moving and mounting them where you need them but also providing complete control over when they are being used. They are often powerful, compact designs that can get the heat where you need it so you can continue with the work you need to get done outdoors year round. Although they may not heat as large of a space as a fixed unit, many can easily keep a consistent temperature in 2 two car garage through the winter when needed. You also can run multiple units to heat even larger areas is needed, plus heat may be able to be direct to blow exactly over the spaces you need to work in for maximum efficiency.

Types of Portable Heaters

Portable heaters provide heat through a variety of different ways. Depending on your needs, space size, and economics, you can choose from what works best for you to provide the heat and comfort you need to your work.

Electric heaters convert electrical energy to heat energy through the use of an electrical resistor. A fan draws cool air from the garage over these coils that retain heat and then pushes the warm air into your workspace.
    The heat produced by these heaters is a product of invisible light. Infrared may not be seen by the naked eye, but it can be felt. These heaters work in various ways, but all generate heat through propane, gas, electrical, or diesel means, and then direct their heat to nearby objects. Some may also have good conductors that collect the heat and a fan that blows it where needed.
These types of heaters work in a similar manner to electrical or infrared heaters, but do not require an electrical source as they are powered by one of the mentioned fuels.

Concerns about Portable Heaters

Some portable heaters can cost quite a bit to run depending on their power source. This is especially true if you are trying to heat a larger space than what the heater is rated for. Plus, some can overheat, so be sure to look for those choices that have safety measures built-in to shut down if they have a thermostat that reaches a certain point. Unmounted portable heaters could tip over if bumped or run into. This is especially dangerous if you are using a fuel-powered product.

Look for those that have a safety shut off features if this happens to avoid burns, spills, or fire hazards. Heaters also can become hot to the touch – even those that have features to provide cool touch surfaces will have hot spots so care is needed when working around them if they are within reach.

How to Choose the Best Portable Heater for Your Garage

Despite there being many choices to pick from, you need to determine a few factors before starting your research. You also should take into consideration what source of energy you want as well. Ask yourself the following questions to get you started.
How much space do you want to heat?
The size space you want to heat is important to consider. Most complaints in ratings of products stem from a failure to heat spaces too large for the product under review. Be sure you first are aware of what your choices can heat, and also how well sealed it is against the cold.
Is your garage insulated?
Obviously uninsulated garages will not hold heat as well as an insulated garage. You can most likely warm a larger space that is well sealed than an average one that is not. Your heater will also have to work harder and longer to get the temperature to what you need if it is leaking heat during cold months.
How cold does it get in the winter?
How cold it gets outside is also a determining factor of how well the heater will warm your area. Even the best-insulated garages will drop well below freezing in certain Northern climes. Just be aware that it will take longer to warm these spaces up, although once heated will most likely maintain.
Where would you place your heater?
Electric heaters do require a 240-volt outlet, so you need to pay attention to heater placement in order to reach these plugs. If your space is not equipped with a 240v, or you are unable to utilize it, then you will want to consider what types of heaters will work best for you.

5 Best Portable Heater Reviews Explained

Although there are MANY available portable heaters we could review, these are some of the best rated currently available you may want to consider. The many types and options surrounding use and abilities vary, but if you see a product you like- even if it doesn’t fit your criteria, it’s worth looking closer to see if the company offers something more to your liking.

Pro-Temp Propane Forced Air Heater

Quick Info

  • Type: Propane
  • Dimensions:  18.2 x 7.8 x 12.7 inches
  • Weight: 13 lbs
  • Mounting abilities: No
  • Warranty: 1 year
Offered in options ranging from 40,000 to 150,000 BTU, the 60,000 BTU version can heat up to 1500 square feet quickly and efficiently using variable heat settings. This unit heats through a propane tank that easily attaches safely for efficient and consistent heating purposes. With the ability to run for 11 hours using a 20-gallon propane tank, this is a unit you can depend on to get heat to where you need it while working in a cold garage. Not only can you literally place this product anywhere you need it since it is not constrained by cord length to an outlet, you also can adjust the angle of the heater. With a forced air fan system, you get the heat of clean-burning propane through an enclosed cylinder to ensure safe usage. As with any fuel powered set-up, be sure to provide some ventilation in closed spaces.

Pros

  • Very well built
  • Small and powerful
  • Heats very quickly and consistently

Cons

  • Loud to run
  • Not for indoor, non ventilated spaces
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Pro tip

These units are perfect for heating your spaces quickly. With variable size choices, you can effectively heat a large garage safely.

Cadet Electric Portable Garage Camo Heater

Quick Info

  • Type: Electric
  • Dimensions: 8.2 x 15.8 x 17.5 inches
  • Weight: 30 lbs
  • Mounting abilities: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 year

WIth both 4000 and 5000-watt options, as well as various color combinations, this is compact, yet powerful portable electric heater that can heat up to an average 2 car garage with ease. Perfect for a variety of uses in greenhouses, sheds, basements, and other outdoor workspaces, this can be mounted to a wall or ceiling, or simply placed as is within reach of a 240-volt outlet. The rugged, heavy-duty construction is built to last and be a true portable heater to take where needed. It also boasts a safety thermostat shut off, as well as adjustability to turn down or up depending on changes in space size and outdoor temps.

You also can take advantage of the fan only option to simply circulate air. You should always use it with some clearance for proper air circulation and to avoid overheating. It is suggested that you provide a 6-inch clearance from the back and top and 12 inches from the sides.

Pros

  • Mounts easily and can direct the heat
  • Efficient to run and dependable
  • Safe and durable

Cons

  • Must have a 240-volt outlet
  • Fan can be heard (box fan sound)
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Pro tip

This is a great choice as an electric unit, and its portability makes it an obvious choice for wherever you have reach (6-foot cord) to a 240-volt outlet in spaces that you need to provide heat to.

Mr. Heater Natural Gas Heater MHVFB30NGT

Quick Info

  • Type: Natural gas
  • Dimensions: 23.8 x 11.2 x 27 inches
  • Weight: 27 lbs
  • Mounting abilities: yes
  • Warranty: 1 year

With a 30,000 BTU heating output, this natural gas heater can heat up to 1000 feet in both indoor, and outdoor spaces with clean-burning natural gas and zero carbon monoxide output (although you should always have alarms placed within your house near all products that use fuel). It can be mounted to the wall or allowed to sit on the floor where needed. It also has safety shut off measures if the pilot light were to blow out.

Although you will need to install this heater in such a manner that it hooks up to your existing natural gas line (please have this professionally done), this does not mean it is in a permanent ‘fixed’ position that could not be moved in the future to where it is needed. This is especially true since you will have already run an accessible gas line to it.

Pros

  • Safe and functional
  • Very efficient and heats quickly
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • May not function properly over 4500 feet in elevation
  • Added cost to hook up to the gas line
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Pro tip

Indoor offices, basement workshops, garages… this powerful heater seems to be able to heat them all safely and efficiently according to consumer reviews. Just be aware that in elevations over 4500 the pilot light may not function properly.

Fahrenheat Ceiling-Mount Industrial Heater

Quick Info

  • Type: Electric
  • Dimensions: 17 x 16 x 15 inches
  • Weight: 31 lbs
  • Mounting abilities: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 year

With a ceiling mounting bracket for horizontal or vertical flow capabilities, this 7500-watt unit is capable of heating your 2 car garage to a comfortable working temp. It also has an adjustable vent to ensure your flow of heat is placed exactly where you need it. With a solid steel constructed body with an epoxy coat finish, moisture and humidity are well sealed out and provide you a durable body for as many years as you need it.

A built-in single pole thermostat allows you to adjust the output from 45 to 135 degrees, and the fan is considered quiet and efficient. It does need to be mounted and be within the range of a 240-volt outlet, but reviews state it is a simple installation with easy removal if needed, plus more than one unit can be run for larger spaces or severely cold climates.

Pros

  • Preheat and cool down features
  • Average half hour heat up time for 2 car garage
  • Very efficient

Cons

  • Long run times equals high electric bills
  • Works best in insulated areas
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Pro tip

Excellent for cold climates, the mounting capabilities of this unit allow you to get the heat where you need it and to keep your space at a consistent temperature.

Dura Heat DFA50 Kero Forced Air Heater

Quick Info

  • Type: Multi-fuel
  • Dimensions: 13.3 x 31.9 x 16.7 inches
  • Weight: 30 lbs
  • Mounting abilities: No
  • Warranty: 1 year

This is a multi-fuel capable heater that can run off kerosene, diesel, JP-8, and Jet-A fuels- making it versatile and more easily used in a variety of settings. With a 5-gallon tank capacity, it can run for approximately 14 hours of continuous use. This is a product that is meant for well-ventilated areas only due to carbon monoxide issues since it is a fuel run product that has an exhaust.

If using in an enclosed garage, be sure to use it near a cracked door to allow proper air flow. This is a product that needs to be used with care as it uses flame ignition that can come out past the front (normal for this type of product) upon getting started. After that, it will heat consistently, and many reviews state they use it in garages, barns, and other outdoor spaces with no worries, and suggest for indoor use to use with a compatible thermostat.

Pros

  • Incredibly fast heating capabilities
  • Heats garages efficiently
  • Can be used with an optional thermostat (sold separately)

Cons

  • May smell depending on the type of fuel used
  • May need adjusting out of box- read manual
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Pro tip

If you have well-ventilated areas that need to be heated quickly and efficiently, this is a great, product to consider. It is inexpensive to run and can literally be moved to any space (indoor and out) you need to provide heat to.

CONCLUSION

Much of your final choice of a portable garage heater will depend upon personal choice, as well as power capabilities. Personally, although I have a lot of experience with fuel-powered machinery, I prefer 240-volt electric heaters as they are efficient, and you have no added concerns surrounding fuel hookups or exhausts. Because of that, my top pick is the Cadet Electric Portable Garage Heater.

It is a compact, powerful, durable unit that can be used in various ways if needed.I also like the cordless options fuel powered setups provide, so never rule out your heater type until you are sure you have done your homework and weighed your pros and cons. If you have any experience with any of the mentioned heaters, we’d love to hear about it below. And if you have any questions or comments, please let us know! As always, please share!

 

 

About The Author

Danielle McLeod

Danielle McLeod cuts a tragic figure in the High School English classroom teaching literature by day, and moonlighting as a writer and graphic artist by night. Published in a variety of travel magazines, and now a blog, Danielle enjoys coming up with home and garden projects to complete with her two young boys. A native of Michigan, she resides in Southeastern New Mexico with her variety of horses, poultry, and variable mix of rescue dogs (there’s a cat or two in there as well). In her free time she enjoys travel, art, photography, and a good book!

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