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Best Garage Heaters 2019: Warm up Safely and Efficiently

A garage is more than just a place of car storage. Depending on its size, location, and your hobbies, it can serve a workshop, an auto repair shop, a leisure center, a meeting place for your friends and you, and so on. Your fantasy is the limit. To bring your ideas to life you need to create the proper environment, which is impossible if the garage is cold. Don’t get disheartened if your garage is non-heated. This problem is not as complicated as it can appear. A portable garage heater is a great universal solution that will turn a chilly place into a warm, cozy room. Read our top garage heater reviews to choose the best option.

Table of Contents:

What is a Garage Heater and Where it is Used
Best Garage Heaters: a Comparative Chart
Things to Consider When Choosing a Garage Heater
How we Tested the Best Garage Heaters
The Best Garage Heaters 2018: Our Choice
1. DR-975 Dr Heater Garage Electric Heater, Wall/Ceiling Mounted with Remote Controlled Thermostat
2. Fahrenheat FUH54 240-volt Garage Heater
3. Dr. Infrared Heater DR-988
4. NewAir G73 Hardwired Electric Garage Heater
5. Lasko Stanley 655704 High Velocity Blower Fan
6. Modine HD45AS0111 Natural Gas Hot Dawg Garage Heater
7. Dyna-Glo RMC-FA60.DGD 30,000 - 60,000 BTU
8. Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU
9. King KBP2406 5700-Watt
10. Heatstar By Enerco F125444
Top-Five Facts about Heaters
Garage Heaters Maintenance
How to Heat Your Garage Effectively and Safely
Frequently Asked Questions
Verdict and Recommendations

What is a Garage Heater and Where it is Used

A heater is a device that produces heat. A garage heater is a relatively small portable unit powered by electricity or gas that is used for quick and effective heating of large cold rooms. Apart from a garage, heaters of this kind can be used in the following places:

  • constructions sites;
  • workshops and “man caves”;
  • farmhouses;
  • at home (some types).

A good garage heater must be powerful enough and safe to use in a closed space. Modern heater are equipped with a range of safety features and meet numerous safety standards.

Best Garage Heaters: a Comparative Chart

Brand

 

 

Fuel source

Type

Power

Heated area

Adjustable thermostat

Safety features

Warranty 

DR-975 Dr. Heater

BUY NOW AMAZON Electricity Fan-forced 7500 Watt Up to 1000 sq. ft + Wire guard, overheating protection, tip-over protection 1 year

Fahrenheat FUH54

BUY NOW AMAZON Electricity Fan-forced 2500-5000 Watt Up to 500 sq. ft +

Wire guard

1 year

Dr Infrared Heater DR-988

BUY NOW AMAZON Electricity Fan-forced 4800-5600 Watt Up to 600 sq. ft + Wire guard, overheating protection, tip-over protection 1 year

NewAir G73

BUY NOW AMAZON Electricity Fan-forced 5000 Watt

Up to 500 sq. ft

+ Wire guard, overheating protection 1 year

Lasko Stanley 655704

BUY NOW AMAZON Electricity Fan-forced 1500 Watt Up to 300 sq. ft + 3 years limited

Modine HD45AS0111

BUY NOW AMAZON Natural/propane gas/electricity Fan-forced 45 000 BTU

Up to 1000 sq. ft

+ 2 years on parts and 10 years on the heat exchanger

Dyna-Glo RMC-FA60DGD

BUY NOW AMAZON Natural/propane gas Fan-forced 60 000 BTU Up to 1350 sq. ft + Tip-over shutoff, back pressure switch, overheating protection 1 year

Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy

BUY NOW AMAZON Propane Radiant 4000-9000 BTU Up to 250 sq. ft + Auto shut-off, Wire guard 1 year

King KBP2406

BUY NOW AMAZON Electricity Fan-forced 5700 Watt

Up to 600 sq. ft

+ Smart Limit Protection (Auto Shut off in abnormal situations) 5 years

Heatstar By Enerco F125444

BUY NOW AMAZON Natural gas Radiant 25 000 BTU Up to 600 sq. ft + N/A

Things to Consider When Choosing a Garage Heater

Garage heaters are quite expensive. The same is about the resources they consume. If you don’t want to waste your money without getting the desired result, make a carefully weighted decision. Here are the key things to consider when choosing the best garage heater.

Garage Size

Each heater model is intended for the heating of a particular area, which is commonly indicated in the spec list. Apart from the floor space, it is necessary to consider the height of the ceiling, the size of windows, the quality of insulation, ventilation holes, and so on. A too powerful device will consume much fuel and burn much oxygen. A weak heater can be insufficient for a large room, but you can place it under the table and keep your feet and hands warm if you don’t need to heat the whole garage.

The Source of Power

Based on the fuel source, three main types of heaters are normally distinguished: those powered by electricity, natural gas, and propane. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Make sure you’ve chosen the right model before making a purchase.

Propane Heaters

Garage heaters powered by propane are powerful and relatively inexpensive to run. An average propane garage heater produced five times more heat than an average electric option. They are the most effective tool for a fast and even heating of large and very large spaces. On the plus side, they are portable because they don’t need plugging in, so you can place them wherever you like. On the minus side, propane heaters are expensive, bulky (because of the gas cylinder), and dangerous. Firstly, you deal with an open flame and gas, which is fire-hazardous and highly explosive. Secondly, gas combusting produces toxic exhaust.

Natural Gas Heaters

In terms of the principle of action and efficiency they are close to the propane heaters with only one difference: instead of a gas cylinder, you connect to a gas line. The distinctive feature of a natural gas garage heater is a low maintenance cost but a high initial cost of the equipment. Gas heaters are also powerful but dangerous.

Electric Heaters

An electric garage heater is the safest and the cheapest type. It works exactly like any other electric device: via a power cord, it is connected to a power source and produces heat. Electric heaters are easy to use and affordable but in the long-term perspective, their maintenance costs are higher. They are less powerful if compared to the gas-powered options. If you have a small garage, an electric heater will be sufficient to warm it up.

Heater Type

Regardless of the power source, garage heaters can have different constructions. The popular types are fan-forced and radiant (infrared) models. Both types have their own pros and cons.

Fan-Forced Garage Heaters

As the name suggests, these heaters work like big fans. They take in cold air, push it through rotating heating elements where it warms up, and then pull it out. They heat the air evenly and can cope with larger rooms. On the minus side, the air gets heated relatively slowly. Fan-forced devices are, probably, the most popular ones thanks to their convenience, ease of use, and a possibility of temperature regulating.

Radiant (Infrared) Heaters

Instead of warming up surrounding air, heaters of this type themselves serve as heat sources. They produce heat waves that radiate from the device like sun rays. An infrared garage heater won’t heat up the entire room; instead, it will create a small isle of warmth. Radiant heaters are ideal for those who want to warm up a small working area without heating the whole garage. They work silently, which is also a strong pro argument.

Power Output Level

The power output can be measured in different units, depending on the power source. Gas-powered heaters produce heat measured in the British Thermal Units or BTU. Garage electric heater models, in turn, generate heat that is traditionally measured in watts. Choosing the best heater for garage, you can rely on the garage heater calculator.
Gas heaters:

  • A 4000-9000 BTU heater can heat up to 250 sq. feet.
  • A 25 000 BTU heater – up to 600 sq. feet.
  • A 30000 BTU garage heater can heat up to 1000 sq. feet.
  • A 45000 BTU garage heater heats around 1350 sq. feet.
  • A 75000 BTU garage heater is capable of heating more than 1500 sq. feet. For larger rooms, there is a 80000 BTU garage heater option.

Electric heaters: A 2500 Watt heater will do for a 500-ft garage.

  • A 5000 Watt heater will cope with the heating of a 600-ft+ room.
  • For larger spaces, more powerful and economic gas heaters are commonly purchased.

Safety Features

No matter what type of a garage heater you use, always keep in mind that it is a heating device. It means that it is a potentially dangerous object that can cause burns, injuries, and even a fire. Thankfully, modern heaters have safety features that prevent most hazardous situations.

High Temperature Wire Guard

Surfaces of radiant heaters tend to get very hot. If you accidentally touch it, you may receive a burn. A wire guard acts as an obstacle that prevents you from touching the hot surface but lets the heat waves out freely.

Overheating Protection

Overheating is not good for any electric appliance. Firstly, it can cause the breakdown of the device and secondly, it can trigger a fire hazardous situation. The feature of the overheating protection makes the heater turn off automatically when the temperature grows too high.

A Tip-Over Switch

This useful feature can be found not only in heaters, but in some other electric appliances. It switches off the device if it was turned over or knocked down. This safety feature helps to prevent spontaneous combustion and other hazardous situations.

Settings

Most garage heater models offer flexible settings that allow adjusting the device according to the user’s personal needs. The most common setting found in the majority of heaters is heat regulating. More advanced models have some extra settings and options.

  • Adjustable louvres allow to regulate the direction of a heat flow – this option is found in fan-forced garage heaters.
  • Regulating of a power cord or a hose length. Portable heaters provide much flexibility but their portability is always limited by the length of a cord (for electric models) or of a hose (for propane options). Some manufacturers offer a feature of a hose/cord length regulating, which is rather convenient.
  • A handle is a must-have for portable heaters. The device itself can be too hot and bulky. Meanwhile, a convenient handle helps to resolve this issue.

How we Tested the Best Garage Heaters

Compiling an independent ranking is always a responsible and time-consuming task. You need to study and process a lot of information, compare specs, prices, capabilities, read tons of customer reviews, and make an unbiased conclusion. To fulfill this task in the best way our experts have done a serious job. They studied over 400 positive and negative propane and electric garage heater reviews written by real customers. They thoroughly compared the chosen models using several criteria (type, price, features, warranty, power, heated area, safety, reliability, etc.). Finally, they conducted a real-life testing of the chosen models. The result is a list of top-10 garage heaters.

The Best Garage Heaters 2018: Our Choice

All the heaters presented have been tested in the real-life conditions by our experts. They differ in terms of specs and capabilities, but all of them do their job well. Meet the winners!

DR-975 Dr. Heater Garage Electric Heater, Wall/Ceiling Mounted with Remote Controlled Thermostat

DR-975 Dr Heater Garage Electric Heater, Wall/Ceiling Mounted with Remote Controlled Thermostat

Review

This is an upgraded version of the previous Dr. Heater DR-966 model. The device features an adjustable thermostat (50-90 degrees) and provides a power output of 4000-7500 Watt with a possibility of remote control. It can be mounted on the wall or ceiling, which adds some flexibility. Five adjustable louvres allow changing the direction of the heat flow.

What we think

This Dr Heater garage heater is sturdy and durable. It will cope with large rooms heating (up to 1000 sq. ft), but it takes time for the heat to be evenly distributed. An adjustable thermostat works nice.

PROS

  • exceptionally well-made & durable;
  • a lot of safety features;
  • adjustable louvres;
  • suits for larger rooms heating.

CONS

  • it is noisy;
  • it takes about 2 hours to heat up a 800-1000 sq. ft. room.
Fahrenheat FUH54 240-volt Garage Heater, 2500-5000-watt

Fahrenheat FUH54 240-volt Garage Heater

Review

Fahrenheat FUH54 is one of the Amazon’s best-sellers. Thanks to its compact design, it is a really space-saving option. It is easy to mount on the ceiling or on the wall, and its adjustable louvres allow heat flows regulating. The device works quietly.

What we think

This is, probably, the best electric garage heater for small and medium-sized rooms. It is compact and powerful enough to raise the temperature to 135 degrees! It lacks settings but does its job well.

PROS

  • a robust construction, heavy-duty materials;
  • compact but powerful;
  • heats up to 500 sq. ft. effectively;
  • easy to mount;
  • produces little noise.

CONS

  • not portable;
  • lacks some essential settings.
Dr Infrared Heater DR-988 Garage Shop 208/240V, 4800/5600W Heater with 6-30R Plug

Dr. Infrared Heater DR-988

Review

The Dr Infrared garage heater comes with an adjustable thermostat and replaceable power cord. With the maximum power output of 5600 Watt, it is capable of heating up to 600 sq. ft. The device has an adjustable thermostat, which allows an easy regulation of power and temperature. It is easy to use, powerful and well-made.

What we think

This is a small garage heater for medium-sized garages and basements. It’s a pity you can’t hang it on the ceiling, though it does its job very well while standing on the floor. You’ll appreciate it when you’ll need to fix your car in winter.

PROS

  • robust and durable;
  • powerful enough to heat a 600 sq. ft. room;
  • a lot of safety features;
  • an adjustable (low to high) thermostat.

CONS

  • can’t be mounted on the ceiling;
  • no adjustable louvres.
NewAir G73 Hardwired Electric Garage Heater, Heats up to 750 square feet

NewAir G73 Hardwired Electric Garage Heater

Review

This is a heavy-duty heater for severe weather conditions – it will never let you down even in the coldest months of the year. The device is non-portable: it is intended for mounting somewhere on the wall and hardwiring. It is recommended to hire a professional electrician to install it. Despite its compact size, the heater is powerful enough to warm up 500 sq. ft. A built-in thermostat and regulated louvres add it flexibility.

What we think

This Newair garage heater is an excellent option for medium-sized workshops and garages. It is small and surprisingly powerful. If you find an optimal position for it to hardwire, you’ll never experience problems with heating anymore, even in winter. But be prepared to see hefty bills in the end of the month because it consumes a lot.

PROS

  • a very robust all-steel body;
  • consistent operating;
  • basic safety features available;
  • a swivel plus adjustable louvres allow changing heat waves direction.

CONS

  • it is not portable;
  • power-consuming.
Lasko Stanley 655704 High Velocity Blower Fan, Yellow

Lasko Stanley 655704 High Velocity Blower Fan

Review

If you need a cheap garage heater, Lasko Stanley is the one to consider. It allows setting up the intensity and direction of hot air flows, according to your needs. Though it won’t heat the entire room larger than 300 ft., it will warm you up if you place it nearby. Due to its versatility, the fan can be applied at home, in a garage or a workshop, or anywhere you need an intensive flow of hot air.

What we think

It is a great 120V electric garage heater for a non-professional use. Its spheres of application are numerous – from drying and ventilating to heating. Simply put, Lasko Stanley is a versatile, very compact, lightweight, and very handy device that will quickly warm you up in winter and will fit almost anywhere.

PROS

  • cheap but surprisingly effective;
  • the power is regulated;
  • adjustable airflow direction;
  • lightweight and portable;
  • a spare 120 V outlet included.

CONS

  • made of plastic;
  • can’t cope with large (300 ft. +) rooms heating.
Modine HD45AS0111Natural Gas Hot Dawg Garage Heater 45,000 BTU with 80-Percent Efficiency

Modine HD45AS0111 Natural Gas Hot Dawg Garage Heater

Review

 Modine HD45AS0111 is a dual-fuel option with impressive characteristics. With a 45 000 BTU output, it copes with the heating of large rooms. The device features a standard power exhaust system with vent pipes on the left and on the right.

What we think

If you can’t decide what garage heater – electric or gas powered suits your needs best, try this universal heater from Modine: it has both options on board. If you have a super-large garage or a cold workshop, consider it too – it is a serious tool that is worthy of buying with a view of a regular long-term use.

PROS

  • runs on gas, propane or electricity;
  • can quickly heat a huge 1000-ft room;
  • a super robust construction;
  • easy to use and versatile.

CONS

  • expensive;
  • requires a good ventilation.
Dyna-Glo RMC-FA60DGD 30,000-60,000 BTU Liquid Propane Forced Air Heater

Dyna-Glo RMC-FA60.DGD 30,000 – 60,000 BTU

Review

Searching for the best portable heater for garage? If your garage (workshop or other room) is larger than 1000 ft., consider Dyna-Glo RMC-FA60DGD model with a power output of up to 60 000 BTU. Thanks to the adjustable angle and a swivel handle, the device is easy to install and set up in any room. A 10-ft hose is included; alternative options are purchased separately.

What we think

We rank Dyna-Glo as the best propane garage heater. It has a lot to be loved for: great design, power, versatility, ease of use, safety, and adjustability. It is the best option for a quick heating of large rooms.

PROS

  • a great price/quality ratio;
  • powerful enough to heat 1350 sq. ft.;
  • lightweight, portable, easy to install;
  • industrial quality;
  • packed with essential safety features.

CONS

  • it is rather noisy.
Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Radiant Heater

Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU

Review

This smart device from Mr. Heater can be described in two words: portable and safe. Take it wherever you go: it will warm you up on a chilly night both indoors and outdoors. It doesn’t use a fan; instead, it acts as a heat source. Multiple safety features include auto-shut off when it’s knocked down and when the oxygen level is too low. A wire guard will protect you from burning.

What we think

We believe that Mr. Heater garage heater is best for heating home in a chilly weather, camping tents and other smaller rooms. If your garage is smaller than 300 ft., it will do also. It’s a great, compact, lightweight and safe heater for enclosed areas that you will immediately love.

PROS

  • an indoor-safe model;
  • affordable;
  • portable and lightweight;
  • a lot of safety features;
  • efficiency close to 100%.

CONS

  • not enough power for heating a large room.
King KBP2406 5700-Watt MAX 240-Volt Single Phase Paw Unit Heater, Almond

King KBP2406 5700-Watt

Review

King KBP2406 is manufactured in the USA and boasts an increased 5-year warranty. It is a compact lightweight heater with a built-in adjustable thermostat. Thanks to its versatility, the device can be used in small, medium, and large rooms. It is slightly more expensive than most counterparts but its quality and features definitely make it a worthy option.

What we think

If we put aside the question of price, King KBP2406 lays claim to being the best electric garage heater 240V. Its main selling point is versatility. With the maximum power output of 5700 Watt, it offers a range of other options, starting from 950 Watt. The heater is mounted to the wall or to the ceiling and easily copes with effective heating of rooms up to 600 square feet.

PROS

  • compact and ergonomic;
  • versatile – the choice of wattages from 950 to 5700 available;
  • the Smart Limit Protection feature;
  • durable and high-quality materials;
  • an increased 5-year warranty.

CONS

  • relatively expensive.

Heatstar By Enerco F125444 Radiant Overhead Garage Heater MH25NG Natural Gas

Review

Heatstar by Enerco F125444 is a radiant heater powered by natural gas. Its distinctive features are 99.9% fuel efficiency, ease of use and a good adjustability. The device is mounted to the wall and hooked up to a gas line. The wiring is not included, so you’ll need to buy it separately; once installed, the heater will provide hassle-free heating all year round.

What we think

If you want a quiet and cost-effective heater for a small or medium-sized shop or garage, this Heatstar model is what you need. Install it once and enjoy comfortable temperature all year round. The heater is quieter than fan-forced models and doesn’t consume expensive electricity.

PROS

  • an excellent price/quality ratio;
  • easy to install and use;
  • energy-saving;
  • adjustable heat settings.

CONS

  • medium power output – not for large spaces;

Top-Five Facts about Heaters

A Garage Heater

  1. Improper use of home and garage heaters is one of the most frequent reasons of fires. Before switching on a heater, make sure there are no prone-to-fire objects around.
  2. The oldest US municipal natural gas system was established in 1836 in Philadelphia.
  3. Fan-forced heaters are more effective when they are installed on the floor; radiant heaters, on the contrary, must be placed higher on the wall or on the ceiling.
  4. Infrared radiation is not 100% harmless. A low-quality or improperly mounted heater can cause certain harm if you stay close to it for too long.
  5. Fan-forced heaters are not recommended to people suffering from asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory disorders.

Garage Heaters Maintenance

Generally, garage heaters are easy to maintain. Some general recommendations include the following simple tips:

  • An electric heater usually requires nothing but usual cleaning/wiping and regular inspection of the wiring system. Don’t forget to disconnect the device before cleaning.
  • A gas heater is potentially a more dangerous installation. Check the gas supply equipment (the cylinder, hoses, etc.) for leakage regularly.
  • Gas cylinders must be replaced timely; otherwise, you’ll be run out of gas.

How to Heat Your Garage Effectively and Safely

It’s important to choose the right garage heater, but it is not enough. To make the most of using the device, you need to do certain preparatory work and think about precaution measures. Here are universal tips and recommendations for garage heater users.

Insulation

It is pointless to buy and install a heater if the heat immediately escapes through the holes in the walls, roof, and windows. Insulate your garage properly and make sure that it can keep the heat. Chances are, it will turn out that you can do without a heater at all.

Choose the Right Heater

To choose the proper heater you need to know all the parameters of your workshop or garage – its size, communication lines (e.g. availability of a gas line, wiring), and the height of the ceiling. Use the heater calculator to choose the needed power output and type of the device. Price is another aspect that matters: for example, propane vs kerosene garage heaters are considered a bit more expensive but safer.

Legal Issues

Make sure that you don’t break the law by installing a chosen heater. It can turn over that you may use only a 110V electric garage heater, not 240 or it is necessary to get permission before mounting a heating unit. It’s a good idea to consult a fire inspector before installing anything.

Check Doors and Windows

When making insulation, don’t forget about doors and windows – if there are holes, insulation of walls and ceiling won’t help to preserve heat. Remember that heat escaping is equal to money escaping.

Some General Tips

Availability of safety features in your heater doesn’t mean you need no precaution measures. A strict compliance with these measures can save not only your garage but also your life one day. Firstly, never leave a hot or working device alone. Try to switch it off in advance before going home. Secondly, don’t cover a heater with anything and don’t place any objects and substances that are prone to fire near it. Thirdly, turn off and disconnect the device before cleaning. Fourthly, buy a fire extinguisher and keep it in the garage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How many BTU does it take to heat a 2-car garage?

A. It depends on the garage size, the height of the ceiling, the heater type, and the desired temperature. Commonly, it is considered that a 2-car garage is 1200-1400 square feet. A fan-forced propane heater must have a power output of 45 000 BTU to heat such a garage efficiently and quickly.

Q. How do I calculate a garage heater’s thermal output?

A. Depending on the heater type, its thermal output can be measured in BTU or Watts. Use a special heater calculator to know what power output you need. As an example, by multiplying the room size by 8, you’ll know the wattage you need for its heating.

Q. How can I heat my garage cheaply?

A. Firstly, insulate your garage as thoroughly as possible. Secondly, buy the right heater that best suits for its size: electric models are cheaper but more expensive to run; gas models are expensive but low-maintenance.

Q. Can I heat my garage with a propane heater?

A. Yes, you can. Mind that it is crucial to choose the right model that correlates with the size of your garage and can be installed inside it without scarifying safety.

Q. Can a garage heater be used in other rooms?

A. Yes, they can. They are often used for heating workshops, construction sites, farmhouses, and other non-residential rooms.

Q. How to install an electric heater and wire it?

A. The best approach is to hire a professional electrician, but you can try to do it on yourself if only you have the needed skills and qualification. The detailed guide comes with the heater. Here is a brief instruction:

  1. Check the wiring system in your garage and make the necessary preparatory work. Mount a junction box and run a sheathed cable to the place where the heater will be located.
  2. Wire the thermostat carefully and screw it onto the wall. Don’t forget about grounding.
  3. Wire the heater itself in accordance with the manufacturer’s manual.

Verdict and Recommendations

A garage heater is a useful device that will turn a chilly room into a cozy and comfortable place. The choice of the model will depend on the room size, your climate zone, the communication lines available, the desired temperature, and price.
The price of garage heaters varies depending of the type of the device, its power output, and features approximately from $50 to $500. When choosing the top-rated models, we tried to find the best price/quality ratio.
Our top pick is King KBP2406 5700-Watt – an extremely sturdy, durable, compact, and versatile electric heater. It falls into a mid-priced category – for approximately $300, you’ll get a full-featured device that will effectively heat up a room up to 600 square feet (or a 1-car garage).
If you are looking for the cheapest option, consider Lasko Stanley 655704. It serves as a fan and a ventilator, allows three blowing speeds and can quickly and effectively warm up the needed zone. This option will cost you slightly more than $50.
Finally, the best propane heater for large rooms is Dyna-Glo RMC-FA60DGD – super powerful, flexible, and relatively affordable.

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