Reviews

LAST UPDATED: October 9, 2019

Best Garage Heaters: Stay Warm While Working on Your Car

These top garage heaters will allow you to tackle projects all winter long

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    19 Products

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    10 Reviews

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PUBLISHED ON October 9, 2019

If you tackle projects in your garage or in an outdoor workshop, it can get chilly in the winter. Instead of putting off car repairs or other tasks, invest in a garage heater. There are a variety of options to choose from, and our buying guide will lead you in the right direction. Check out the best garage heaters that will warm up your space in no time.

  • Best Overall
    Fahrenheat UNIT HEATER
    Summary
    Summary
    This heater's built-in, the single-pole thermostat adjusts from 45 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit. It features a built-in ceiling mount bracket for easy vertical or horizontal mounting.
    Pros
    Pros
    This heater is ideal for garages, workshops, basements, or outside buildings. Its adjustable louvers direct heat to the desired area, and it features overheat protection.
    Cons
    Cons
    The heater may break after 12 months of use, and it may be underpowered for some garages. Also, the fan may vibrate loudly.
  • Best Overall
    Fahrenheat UNIT HEATER
  • Best Value
    Mr. Heater Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater
    Summary
    Summary
    This unit connects to propane and can heat spaces up to 225 square feet. It automatically turns off if it is tipped over, the pilot light goes out, or it detects low oxygen levels.
    Pros
    Pros
    The heater is easy to use and set up, and you get roughly an evening's worth of heat off a single bottle of fuel. It's also compact and portable.
    Cons
    Cons
    The control knob may break or the whole heater may stop working within a short period of time. It may be too small for some garages.
  • Best Value
    Mr. Heater Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater
  • Honorable Mention
    Dr. Heater 240-volt Hardwired Shop Garage Commercial Heater
    Summary
    Summary
    This heavy-duty, 240-volt commercial electric heater has five adjustable louvers to direct airflow and can be mounted on the ceiling or wall.
    Pros
    Pros
    It keeps your garage warm even when it's bitterly cold outside and heats up space in a reasonable amount of time. It’s quiet and doesn’t require a cool-down cycle.
    Cons
    Cons
    The thermostat may break after a short period of use. There may be little temperature difference between the high and low settings.
  • Honorable Mention
    Dr. Heater 240-volt Hardwired Shop Garage Commercial Heater

    If you tackle projects in your garage or in an outdoor workshop, it can get chilly in the winter. Instead of putting off car repairs or other tasks, invest in a garage heater. There are a variety of options to choose from, and our buying guide will lead you in the right direction. Check out the best garage heaters that will warm up your space in no time.

    Best Garage Heaters Reviews & Recommendations 2020

    Best Overall

    This heavy-duty heater is so powerful, it can be used both inside and out. It features between 208 and 240 volts, depending on your needs. The built-in, single-pole thermostat adjusts from 45-135 degrees Fahrenheit. The heater also has a built-in ceiling mount bracket, so you can mount it either vertically or horizontally.


    Installation is simple, and the wiring is straightforward. The mount is well-made, and the heater stays in place. The heater is not too loud. It's very versatile and can be used in a garage, workshop, basement, or outside the building. The unit's adjustable louvers direct heat, and it features overheat protection.


    Unfortunately, the heater may break after one year of use, and it may be underpowered for some larger garages. Also, the fan may vibrate loudly.

    Best Value

    This 4,000-9,000 BTU radiant heater connects to a propane tank and can heat spaces, both indoors and out, up to 225 square feet. It automatically turns off if it is tipped over, if the pilot light goes out, or when it detects low oxygen levels. It's made of steel, nickel, and plastic, is nearly 100-percent efficient, and is clean-burning.


    This compact heater is easy to use and set up and features a fold-down handle for portability. The controls are simple, it puts out a lot of heat, and every bit of gas is burned. It provides roughly an evening's worth of heat off a single bottle of fuel.


    One problem with this unit is the control knob may break or the whole heater may stop working within a short period of time. It may be too small for some garages, and it may shut off at altitudes above 7,000 feet.

    Honorable Mention

    This heavy-duty, 240-volt commercial electric heater can be mounted on the ceiling or wall and features five adjustable louvers to direct airflow. The adjustable thermostat has a high and low setting, and the eight-inch fan generates minimum noise. It's designed for garages, workshops, and other cold spaces.


    This unit provides a lot of heat, is very quiet, and is very easy to mount and install. The motor is entirely enclosed and thermally protected. The heater keeps your garage warm even when it's exceedingly cold outside and heats up the space in a decent amount of time. It’s also quiet and doesn’t require a cool-down cycle.


    Unfortunately, the thermostat may break after a short period of use. In addition, you may not notice much of a temperature difference between the high and low settings.

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    Benefits of Garage Heaters

    • Be more comfortable. If you do a lot of work in your garage or workshop in the winter, then you want to be as comfortable as possible. The best garage space heaters heat up the area so your body and hands stay warm, making work easier to do.
    • Protect your vehicle. Your vehicle warms up faster in a heated garage. It's easier to start, the oil is less viscous, and the coolant is warmer, even if the temperature is really cold outside.
    • Free up space in the house. If you heat up your garage, you can use it for activities that you would normally do in your home. For example, you can create a TV room or a playroom for your children.

    Types of Garage Heaters

    Fan-Forced 

    Fan-forced heaters have integrated fans and are one of the most common types of garage heaters. They are easy to install and convert electricity into heat. The fan sucks in cold air, warms it up, and then blows it out over a heating element. The best thing about these heaters is they generate a lot of heat and work quickly.

    Radiant/Infrared 

    Some of the best heaters for uninsulated garages are radiant/infrared heaters. They direct heat towards nearby objects. The heat they generate is more comfortable than fan-forced heaters. However, in order for you to feel the heat, you need to be rather close to the unit. That's why these heaters are not quite as popular as fan-forced heaters.

    Propane, Kerosene, and Other Fuels

    The best propane heaters for garages use fuel instead of electricity to warm a garage. Since they don't require electricity, they heat up very quickly. They are also very portable, so you can buy one unit and carry it from your garage to your workshop, for example. They are ideal for large areas but can be dangerous in enclosed spaces.

    Fixed vs. Portable

    If you want a heater that you can move around within your garage or to other places in your home, a portable heater is a good option. These heaters are usually lightweight and are operated using fuel or electricity. Conversely, fixed heaters are wired into your home's electrical system and are often mounted on the wall or ceiling. You don't have to worry about knocking it over, and it provides more space if it’s mounted higher up on the wall or ceiling.

    Top Brands

    Fahrenheat

    The Fahrenheat brand has been part of the U.S.-based Marley Engineered Products, LLC since 1986. Fahrenheat produces a number of heating solutions for residential and commercial purposes, including personal comfort heaters, fan-forced wall, and garage heaters, and standard and hydronic baseboard heaters. We recommend the Fahrenheat UNIT HEATER.

    Mr. Heater

    Mr. Heater is a brand of Enerco, which is based in Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. Heater has been around since 1984 and has designed a number of contractor series forced-air propane heaters as well as garage and workspace heaters. One top product is the Mr. Heater Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater.

    Dr. Heater

    Dr. Heater is based in Burlingame, California, and is a division of  TLM International, Inc., which has more than 30 years of experience manufacturing heating and cooling devices. Dr. Heater prides itself on making infrared and industrial heaters that are accessible and affordable. We recommend the  Dr. Heater 240-volt Hardwired Shop Garage Commercial Heater.

    Garage Heaters Pricing

    • Under $100: Several fan-forced and propane-powered heaters are available at an affordable price. They work well on job sites, in garages, and in workshops. However, they won't be as powerful as some larger, more expensive options.
    • Around $200: More effective heaters are available at this price point. They may be powered by either gas or electricity and are designed to pump out a lot of heat.
    • Over $200: Commercial and industrial heaters can cost several hundred dollars, such as this Modine Natural Gas Hot Dawg Garage Heater, which has 45,000 BTUs.

    Key Features

    Safety 

    The best heaters for garages have several safety features, such as a tip-over switch, overheat protection, and a cool-to-the-touch surface area. If you have a stand-alone heater, it may accidentally get knocked over, so a tip-over switch will automatically turn it off. 

    If the heater stays on for a long period of time, overheat protection will ensure it turns off if the temperature gets too high. Cool-touch heaters are important if you have pets or children near the unit because you don't want them to hurt themselves if they touch it.

    Power Output

    Different heaters generate different BTUs. Smaller gas ones generate from 4,000 to 9,000 BTUs and are adequate for spaces up to 250 square feet. Two-car garages are typically 500-600 square feet and may require a heater with 25,000 BTUs. If you're using an electric heater, look for one that is 2,500-5,000 watts for garages that are 500-600 square feet.

    Settings

    Ideally, the heater you choose will permit you to adjust the level of heat in your garage or workshop. Most heaters have both high and low settings or a thermostat that lets you change the temperature. When the mercury drops and it's really cold outside, you can use a higher setting, while if it's just a spring chill in the air you can use a lower setting.

    Other Considerations

    • Accessories: If you're shopping for a portable garage heater, then look for one that has a carrying handle. This allows you to transport it more easily. Another convenient option is wheels and castors. You can roll the unit around instead of lifting it up, which can be better for your back.
    • Power Cord Length: If you're using an electric garage heater, think about where you need to use it and whether or not it's near a plug. It can be dangerous to use extension cords with high-power output heaters, so you need to find one that has a power cord that's long enough to reach the plug.

    Best Garage Heaters Reviews & Recommendations 2020

    Best Overall

    This heavy-duty heater is so powerful, it can be used both inside and out. It features between 208 and 240 volts, depending on your needs. The built-in, single-pole thermostat adjusts from 45-135 degrees Fahrenheit. The heater also has a built-in ceiling mount bracket, so you can mount it either vertically or horizontally.


    Installation is simple, and the wiring is straightforward. The mount is well-made, and the heater stays in place. The heater is not too loud. It's very versatile and can be used in a garage, workshop, basement, or outside the building. The unit's adjustable louvers direct heat, and it features overheat protection.


    Unfortunately, the heater may break after one year of use, and it may be underpowered for some larger garages. Also, the fan may vibrate loudly.

    Best Value

    This 4,000-9,000 BTU radiant heater connects to a propane tank and can heat spaces, both indoors and out, up to 225 square feet. It automatically turns off if it is tipped over, if the pilot light goes out, or when it detects low oxygen levels. It's made of steel, nickel, and plastic, is nearly 100-percent efficient, and is clean-burning.


    This compact heater is easy to use and set up and features a fold-down handle for portability. The controls are simple, it puts out a lot of heat, and every bit of gas is burned. It provides roughly an evening's worth of heat off a single bottle of fuel.


    One problem with this unit is the control knob may break or the whole heater may stop working within a short period of time. It may be too small for some garages, and it may shut off at altitudes above 7,000 feet.

    Honorable Mention

    This heavy-duty, 240-volt commercial electric heater can be mounted on the ceiling or wall and features five adjustable louvers to direct airflow. The adjustable thermostat has a high and low setting, and the eight-inch fan generates minimum noise. It's designed for garages, workshops, and other cold spaces.


    This unit provides a lot of heat, is very quiet, and is very easy to mount and install. The motor is entirely enclosed and thermally protected. The heater keeps your garage warm even when it's exceedingly cold outside and heats up the space in a decent amount of time. It’s also quiet and doesn’t require a cool-down cycle.


    Unfortunately, the thermostat may break after a short period of use. In addition, you may not notice much of a temperature difference between the high and low settings.

    Tips

    • Many garage heaters will not work with a home's standard 110- or 120-volt outlets; they require 240-volt outlets. So, you may need a professional to upgrade your electrical system so it can accommodate larger garage heaters.
    • Some types of garage heaters use a fan in conjunction with the heating element, which can blow dust into the air. Be sure to position it properly if you're painting or working on other tasks that need to be dust-free.
    • A garage heater around 1,500 watts will work well in smaller garages that are less than 150 square feet. Heaters around 2,500 watts are good for medium-sized garages up to 250 square feet, while heaters with 4,000-5,000 watts are recommended for large garages that are up to 500 square feet.

    FAQs

    Q: Are garage heaters safe?

    A: Many features overheat protection that turns the unit off if it gets too hot. Look for those that include a tip-over switch that turns the unit off if the heater gets knocked over. Finally, some models are cool to the touch to prevent burns.

    Q: Do I need to clean my garage heater? 

    A: Some heaters require less maintenance than others, but most need to be cleaned occasionally. The most durable garage heaters are solidly constructed, include a self-lubricating fan motor, and feature an air intake grille that filters out debris.

    Q: Will a heater work in an uninsulated garage?

    A: Without insulation, your garage loses a lot of heat. To get the best performance out of your garage heater, make sure the walls and doors are insulated, as well as any cracks, outlets, and light switches.

    Final Thoughts

    Our pick for the best garage heater is the Fahrenheat UNIT HEATER. You can mount it vertically or horizontally, and it features overheat protection for added safety.

    For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Mr. Heater Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater.