Tools & Equipment
9 Best Garage Heaters of 2020
As you keep your house warm during winter, you should also consider warming up your garage, especially if you are planning on working on your car or doing other DIY projects. This is because fiddling with nuts, bolts, and other tools is not fun when your fingers are frozen.
Again, it is not ideal to postpone such projects just because it is cold. For this reason, you should install a garage heater so as to continue working uninterrupted.
To help you pick one, this article reviews some of the best garage heaters in the market, with the intention of helping you find the one that suits your needs most.
9 Best Garage Heaters - Reviews
1. Mr. Heater F232000 (Best Portable Garage Heater)
2. Fahrenheat FUH54 (Best Electric Garage Heater)
3. Dr. Infrared Heater DR966 (Ceiling Mount Electric Garage Heater)
4. Mr. Heater F272200 (Best Radiant Garage Heater)
5. Modine HD45AS0111 (Most Efficient Garage Heater)
6. Cadet RCP402S (Practical Electric Garage Heater)
7. Mr. Heater F260550 (Best Space Heater for Garage)
8. Patton PUH680-N-U (Energy Efficient Garage Heater)
9. Dimplex DGWH4031G (Good Garage Heater)
1. Mr. Heater F232000
(Best Portable Garage Heater)
2. Fahrenheat FUH54
(Best Electric Garage Heater)
3. Dr. Infrared Heater DR966
(Ceiling Mount Electric Garage Heater)
4. Mr. Heater F272200
(Best Radiant Garage Heater)
5. Modine HD45AS0111
(Most Efficient Garage Heater)
6. Cadet RCP402S
(Practical Electric Garage Heater)
7. Mr. Heater F260550
(Best Space Heater for Garage)
8. Patton PUH680-N-U
(Energy Efficient Garage Heater)
9. Dimplex DGWH4031G
(Good Garage Heater)
1. Mr. Heater F232000 – Best Portable Garage Heater
- Heat Range: 225 square feet
- BTU: 4000-9000
- Fuel Source: Propane
A couple of factors favor this affordable MH9BX garage heater as the most portable unit. For starters, it is quite compact, and has a lightweight steel-, plastic-and-nickel construction, weighing in at only 9 pounds.
The unit also has a fold-down handle for easy transportation and requires a 1-pound propane cylinder as the fuel source. This means you can use either indoors or outdoors, where there is no mains AC power.
Despite its small size, the heater performs really well, featuring 2 heat settings that produce 4000 and 9000 BTU/hour respectively.
A built-in piezo igniter for auto-ignition is also included, as well as a large porcelain coated heating surface for directing the radiant heat widely and a high-temperature wire guard for protection. Combined, these make it the top-rated garage heater in this review.
Some safety features are also built-in, and these include low-oxygen safety shut-off and tip-over safety shut off. The only issue is that the burner cannot operate at altitudes of over 7000 feet above sea level, making this unusable if you live in a high-altitude area.
2. Fahrenheat FUH54 – Best Electric Garage Heater
- Heat Range: 400 square feet
- BTU: 17065
- Fuel Source: Electric
If you are looking for an electric garage heater, then this is one of the best options in the market, primarily because it has a particularly high heat output (17065 BTUs) as compared to other electric units, making it a fast heater that is ideal for larger garages.
The unit also has a single pole thermostat that enables you to regulate the temperature between 45 and 135°F while an internal fan blows out the hot air up to 16 feet in calm conditions. On turning on, this fan action is delayed at first until the heating element is warm enough.
While not easily portable, this heater features a built-in ceiling mount bracket, which can be used to fix it out of your space in a vertical or horizontal mounting setup, and this lets you create a vertical or horizontal airflow or any angle in between.
Other features include adjustable louvers for directing the heat to the desired area and a high-level cutout that automatically cuts off the power supply in case of overheating.
3. Dr. Infrared Heater DR966 – Ceiling Mount Electric Garage Heater
- Fuel Source: Electric
This heavy-duty garage heater is similar to the FUH54 above in many ways, such as being electric and having a ceiling mount bracket that lets you secure it safely out of your space.
The heater is also quite heavy, weighing in at 27 pounds, which means it is not easily portable. However, this weight means that it packs it a ton of features such as 5 adjustable louvers for directing the airflow and a rugged stamped steel mesh front cover.
Inside, durable spiral steel heating elements with low sheath temperatures are used to provide uniform heating, while an enclosed, thermally protected, heavy-duty ball bearing motor rotates an 8-inch fan to provide efficient airflow for maximum heat distribution in low noise.
A thermostat is also included to let you manually adjust the heat settings between high and low. On the downside, the unit requires to be hardwired into the power system, which means a more complex installation process.
4. Mr. Heater F272200 – Best Radiant Garage Heater
- Heat Range: 625 square feet
- BTU: 25000
- Fuel Source: Natural Gas
Mr. Heater’s MH25NG is a real lifesaver when the power goes out because it runs on natural gas, and hooks up easily to natural gas lines. The unit is shipped when fully assembled and packs in a how-to video that shows you how to set it up for easy use.
Even though a fan is not built-in for heat distribution, the heater features a chrome-plated steel grid plus reflector and churns out a lot of heat (25,000 BTU), which makes it ideal for buildings with up to 8-foot ceilings and having up to 625 square feet of space.
However, it is more suitable for heating up objects directly as opposed to the surrounding air since it emits infrared heat, but these objects can then be used to heat up the surrounding air. An adjustable thermostat is also included for heat adjustment to the desired temperatures.
On the downside, the heater is quite expensive, but since it has no moving parts, no servicing is required as it operates quietly, cleanly and odor-free.
5. Modine HD45AS0111 – Most Efficient Garage Heater
- BTU: 45000
- Fuel Source: Natural Gas
Also called the Hot Dawg, this natural gas garage heater is rated with an efficiency of 80% while producing a whopping 45,000 BTUs of heat, making it very effective for large spaces.
The unit is actually certified for residential, commercial and industrial use, and despite being this powerful, it operates very quietly and has a low-profile design that fits and install quickly in tight spaces.
AC power supply is required for running the fan, which is meant for increasing airflow and thus, better heat distribution. This fan is powered by a permanently lubricated motor, which reduces the maintenance work.
Other features include finger-proof fan guards and standard power exhausts, which simplify roof or side-wall venting using small diameter vent pipes. However, the heater is very expensive and it does not have a built-in thermostat.
6. Cadet RCP402S – Practical Electric Garage Heater
- Fuel Source: Electric
This 4000-watt electric garage heater is a compact unit that comes with a long 6-foot cable, which makes it easily movable to different spots within your garage.
Even with its compact size, the heater still has a heavy-duty bracket for use in wall mounting, ceiling mounting or as a floor stand.
However, the unit particularly very practical because it has a built-in fan-only switch that enables you to use it for air circulation in the hot summer months, which is very convenient.
High-strength-and-durable 20-gauge stainless steel is used to build the outer shell of the unit, and it has a baked-on powder-coated red or camo paint finish for extended durability.
Other features include a double-pole thermostat for temperature control, a high-temperature safety shut-off mechanism, and a polarized plug, which requires its own proper receptacle socket.
7. Mr. Heater F260550 – Best Space Heater for Garage
- Heat Range: 1250 square feet
- BTU: 50000
- Fuel Source: Natural Gas
Mr. Heater’s F260550 is the best space heater because it produces a heat output of 50,000 BTUs, which is quite a lot, and this makes it capable of heating up a space of up to 1250 square feet.
To achieve this high output, the unit is powered by natural gas and it comes with an LP conversion kit for easy change over to liquid propane.
Two angled brackets are included in the pack for ceiling mounting, and the heater has a low-profile design that enables it to fit nicely up there without extending too much downwards. However, it requires a minimum 8-foot clearance from the floor below to its base.
A built-in electric ignition spark mechanism automates the whole turn-on process while a built-in fan helps in heat distribution. However, these require mains power to work, but only 115 volts AC. On the downside, a thermostat is not included and must be bought separately.
8. Patton PUH680-N-U – Energy Efficient Garage Heater
- Fuel Source: Electric
Most electric garage heaters are rated at 3000 – 6000 watts, which means that they consume quite a large amount of power. However, this one from Patton comes with two heat settings: 1000 and 1500 watts, making it highly energy efficient.
The heater is also very compact, having a suitcase-like design with a carrying handle for easy transportation. This suitcase housing is made of rugged stainless steel for toughness and durability.
Inside is a convection coil heater, which distributes its heat using a built-in fan, and all together, the components work very quietly together.
Other built-in features include an automatic thermostat with manual settings from low to high and an auto shut-off feature if tipped over. However, there is no overheating protection built-in.
9. Dimplex DGWH4031G – Good Garage Heater
- BTU: 13640
- Fuel Source: Electric
Dimplex’s DGWH4031G is a fan-forced garage heater that features a 4000-watt stainless-steel heating element, which produces a maximum of 13640 BTUs of heat output.
The unit also has a thermostat control, which helps to maintain a consistent temperature from 7-25°C (45-77°F).
For better heat distribution, a sturdy mounting bracket is included for suspending the heater either from the wall or ceiling and attaches the heater via a swivel joint. Even though the unit is not portable, this allows you to aim the hot air in the direction that you want.
Other features include a long 6-foot power cord and an auto-shut-off feature for safety protection.
How to Buy the Best Garage Heater
1. Size of Your Garage
The space or size of a room is measured in square feet and the larger the room, or in this case garage, the more powerful the heater that you will need.
Most heaters are actually rated with the room size that they can warm up and therefore, all you have to do is to measure the length and width of your garage in feet, then find the area and find a matching product.
However, this is considering the normal ceiling height. If your garage has an extremely high ceiling, then you will need a larger heater because the room hosts a larger volume of air that needs to be warmed up.
2. Fixed or Portable Garage Heater
The choice between these two is ultimately left to personal preference. However, portable heaters have a slight edge of their fixed counterparts because they can be moved to the specific place where they are needed in the garage, and can also be used outside the garage.
Read More: 5 Best Electric Heaters for RV
However, they take up precious desk or floor space and the electric type presents a tripping hazard since its power cable is left to crisscross the floor.
On the other hand, fixed heaters are typically installed on the wall or ceiling, which means they are kept out of your way, and they eliminate the tripping hazard. However, once installed, they cannot be moved.
3. Conduction or Infrared Garage Heater
These are the two main types of heaters and their difference lies in how they disburse heat. Conduction heaters transfer heat to the surrounding air, floor, and walls, and they tend to use fans to pull in cold air, then release it as hot air after passing it through the heat exchanger inside.
On the other hand, infrared or radiant heaters direct their heat to the object they are pointed at, which can then be used to distribute the heat to the rest of the room.
Conduction heaters are ideal for heating the whole garage space faster but if you need to heat a particular point, say you want to warm yourself or the car engine first, then an infrared heater is best.
BTU stands for British Thermal Unit and is the traditional unit of heat. It is defined as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of a pound of water by 1°F. Therefore, the higher the BTU, the higher the heat output.
This means that heaters with higher BTU values are capable of heating up larger garages or warming smaller ones much faster.
As a general rule of thumb, for a small single car garage, a 4000-7000 BTU heater is enough. A two-car garage needs a 10000-20000 BTU heater while a 3-car one would be sufficiently warmed up by a 25000-40000 BTU unit.
5. Fuel Source
All garage heaters basically utilize one of 3 types of fuel sources, which are electricity, natural gas or propane.
While electric heaters are clean and do not have any carbon emissions, they limit you to use where there is power output. In case of an outage, you will be left cold.
On the other hand, propane or natural gas heaters produce some carbon dioxide since they burn carbon fuels, but they can be used at all times so long as the cylinder is filled up. For natural gas heaters, you can hook them directly to the gas supply line, giving you a cheaper heating option.
6. Safety Features
Since these products produce heat, they might cause an electrical or fire hazard and therefore, safety features are a must.
Things to look for include tip-over shut-off especially for gas or LP heaters, auto shut-off in case of overheating, low oxygen safety shut-off and even a wire guard to keep the flame, hot coil or fan blades away from direct contact when in use.
7. Ease of Installation
The best heater should be easy to set up. Propane units should have an easy mechanism of linking up to the propane cylinder while for natural gas heaters, they should be easy to connect to the supply lines.
As for electric units, some require to be hardwired into the wiring system, making the installation process a little bit difficult. If you are not a handy person, ensure you buy a plug and play unit that simply requires you to insert the plug into the socket.
The wide variety and different types of garage heaters available in the market is a good thing because you have a lot to choose from, but the challenge is picking the best one from the lot.
- 9 Best Garage Heaters - Reviews
- 1. Mr. Heater F232000 – Best Portable Garage Heater
- 2. Fahrenheat FUH54 – Best Electric Garage Heater
- 3. Dr. Infrared Heater DR966 – Ceiling Mount Electric Garage Heater
- 4. Mr. Heater F272200 – Best Radiant Garage Heater
- 5. Modine HD45AS0111 – Most Efficient Garage Heater
- 6. Cadet RCP402S – Practical Electric Garage Heater
- 7. Mr. Heater F260550 – Best Space Heater for Garage
- 8. Patton PUH680-N-U – Energy Efficient Garage Heater
- 9. Dimplex DGWH4031G – Good Garage Heater
- How to Buy the Best Garage Heater