Best garage heaters – Owning a garage is great, especially since it is an excellent place to store tools, yard equipment, and your vehicle itself if you find enough space.
However, a garage tends to be poorly insulated and not connected to a home’s central HVAC, which means it gets cold quickly.
Thus, if you know you will spend a lot of time in the garage or the garage itself is your working place, and you want to stay warm, you need to find the best garage heaters.
Your personal choice can be gas or electric, but it’s important to make sure you have a safe garage heater.
We’ve reviewed five great heaters for a garage and provided a short guide to help you find the perfect model for your needs.
Best Garage Heater Reviews
Dr. Infrared Heater DR-988A Heater
The Dr. Infrared Heater DR-988A Heater is a powerful, commercial level electric heater designed to warm the largest of garages.
It functions through forced air principles and utilizes a specially designed heating element and has built-in features for improved safety and convenience.
Dr. Infrared Garage Heater Highlights
The heating element of the Dr. Infrared DR-988A Heater maintains a consistent temperature for a longer period It is a forced air model, so there is an extra-large fan that pushes air out the front and will create hot gusts of air.
The Dr. Infrared DR-988A Heater also includes some significant safety features like finger-proof intake, discharge grills, overheat protection, and a high-temperature heating limit.
Although it looks small, the Dr. Infrared Heater DR-988A Heater will work in residential and commercial spaces.
The full dimensions of the DR-988A are 12 x 12 x 15 inches, and it weighs around 18 pounds.
It is relatively small and lightweight for a garage heater, so it is excellent when it comes to portability.
The Dr. Infrared DR-988A Heater requires 208/240V or 4800/5600W and uses a 6-30R plug. It also operates at a noise level of 45 decibels and is UC and UL listed.
What We Like about the Dr. Infrared Heater
There is plenty to like in the Dr. Infrared Heater DR-988A Heater. One is that it creates a firm and consistent flow of air without being overpowering while heating an area evenly.
Second is the temperature control is accurate and doesn’t stutter.
Lastly, we love that the Dr. Infrared DR-988A Heater is convenient to carry and move around not only because of its weight and size but also because of its attached handle.
- Suitable for large garages
- Warranty included
- Automatic shutoff
- Temperature heating limit
- Finger proof intake
What We Didn’t Like
Although the heater is supposed to have a warranty included upon purchase, Dr. Infrared Heater does not live up to the promise.
It is difficult to contact customer support, and you can expect to wait on hold for a long time.
Another potential issue is how hot the Dr. Infrared Heater DR-988A Heater becomes.
Although it is supposed to shut off automatically once it reaches a certain temperature, the exterior still becomes too hot to handle, especially if you’re not wearing protective gloves.
- Poor customer service
- Hot exterior
Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy Heater
The Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy Heater is a competent radiant heater approved for indoor and outdoor use.
It does not need to be installed and is considered a portable model, so you can move it into the garage at any time.
There are many features which help the Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX stand out from other propane radiant heaters.
In particular, the automatic shutoff improves the overall safety of the system; for instance, it will automatically shut off if someone or you accidentally knock over the heater.
As such, you really don’t have to worry about the flame becoming a major fire hazard.
Inside the heater is a swivel regulator that allows you to use a disposable cylinder instead of using a remote gas supply; that is, if you have the proper equipment.
The Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX also has an oxygen depletion sensor (ODS), which warns you if your garage is becoming filled with toxic fumes from the propane.
The full product dimensions are 7.7 x 13.4 x 15 inches, and it weighs approximately nine pounds, and this lightweight nature means users can place the heater at any location they desire in the garage.
The primary fuel source of the Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX is propane, which generates an open flame inside the heater.
The run time is three hours with a full tank of propane, and you can connect the heater to one-pound cylinders of propane.
The heater uses 4,000 to 9,000 BTUs and can heat up space with an area of up to 225 square feet. The fuel consumption or burn rates at 4000 BTU is 0.044 gal/hour, and at 9000 BTU is 0.099 gal/hour.
What We Like about Mr. Heater
The presence of an ODS since it helps the Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX stand out.
It is an essential feature for any propane heater that you might use in enclosed spaces, and the one included in this model is highly accurate.
We also love that there are some beneficial safety features, including the automatic shutoff and the intelligent pilot light.
Another great feature of the Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX is its portability since many users of their garages might also need to work outdoors occasionally.
- Includes an ODS
- Warranty included
- Automatic shutoff
- Easy to install
What We Didn’t Like
As with any other heaters in the market, there are a couple of cons to the Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX.
In particular, the central knob for controlling the temperature frequently sticks, even when you first take the heater out of its box.
It also does not work well in windy areas since the internal pilot light can be blown out, so it might affect its outdoor use capabilities.
- Sticky knobs
- Not good in the wind
Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy Heater
The Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy Heater is an indoor forced air model that runs off of an installed propane tank.
As similar to the last Mr. Heater model, included in the design of the F215100 MH4B Little Buddy Heater is an ODS for improved safety.
Mr. Heater Little Buddy Highlights
The safety features included in the Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy Heater constitute its main product highlights.
First is that the ODS functions perfectly, and second, there is an automatic shutoff function, so if the heater gets knocked over by accident, it will switch off on its own.
The product also comes with a warranty ranging from one to two years, depending on the option you choose. This means you don’t have to worry about paying for basic wear and tear.
It has a dimension of 11 x 11 x 11 inches and a weight of approximately five pounds, and it can heat an area of up to 95 square feet.
The Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy Heater has an adjustable head so that you can determine where the air blows in the garage.
It is also continuously odor-free and can operate at a perfect angle of 45 degrees. It generates 3,800 BTUs and can run continuously from five to six hours, depending on your chosen temperature.
The maximum elevation level is 7000 feet above sea level, so don’t try to use the Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy Heater in higher regions.
It also requires a minimum area of four square inches for adequate ventilation during operation, and you must not place it in a vehicle.
What We Like about the Little Buddy Heater
Undeniably, there is plenty to like in the Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy Heater like its size that makes it work in most average garages, including tiny one-car areas.
It is also highly portable, so you can use it in other locations like tents, ice fishing cabins, trailers, and storage buildings.
We also love that the bottom is weighted to prevent the heater from being accidentally knocked over, plus the automatic shutoff is highly effective.
- Adjustable head
- Highly portable
- Automatic shut off
- Suitable for small areas
- Warranty included
What We Didn’t Like
No product is perfect, and with the Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy Heater, one problem is the internal pilot light.
It does not remain lit if there is a breeze in the area, and this can be an issue if your garage is not well insulated or has poor ventilation.
The head which contains the fan is also supposed to be adjustable, but it jams easily and can be hard to control.
- Pilot light blows out easily
- Hard-to-remove head
DeLonghi TRD40615E Full Room Radiant Heater
The DeLonghi TRD40615E Full Room Radiant Heater is a powerful product with a primary power source of electricity.
You just need to plug this model into an outlet in your garage for it to function properly.
There are also some excellent automatic features, such as an option that will turn on the heater if the temperature drops to 44 degrees Fahrenheit.
DeLonghi Full Room Radiant Heater Product Highlights
The DeLonghi TRD40615E Full Room Radiant Heater has a high-tech control panel which includes some great features like an adjustable thermostat, variable heat settings, and a 24-hour programmable timer.
You can also set it to turn on and shut off automatically, depending on the temperature of your garage.
Additionally, inside the heater is an automatic eco-friendly option, which reduces how much energy it uses.
The DeLonghi TRD40615E Full Room Radiant Heater uses 1500 watts of heating power but can operate with a minimum of 700 watts, and these watts are the equivalent of 5120 BTUs.
It has a dimension of 16.4 x 10.3 x 26.1 inches and a total weight of around 26.6 pounds.
Still, it can heat garages or space with a maximum area of 144 square feet.
This heater also has wheels, so you can move it around as needed without any hassles.
The exterior of the DeLonghi TRD40615E Full Room Radiant Heater is made of rust-resistant durable metal, and the front has a tall vent to push out heat but does not generate any unwanted breeze.
What We Like about DeLonghi Radiant Heater
There are some excellent features included in the DeLonghi TRD40615E Full Room Radiant Heater. What we like most are its three-heat settings, the adjustable settings, and the electronic controls.
Another thing is its eco-friendly feature that functions well and does not affect how well the DeLonghi heats your garage.
Plus, the DeLonghi TRD40615E Full Room Radiant Heater’s portability is astounding because of its wheels and lightweight.
- Does not create any breeze
- Adjustable thermostat
- Radiant heating
- Multiple power settings
What We Didn’t Like
One problem with the DeLonghi TRD40615E Full Room Radiant Heater is that when you turn it on, it makes an odd clicking noise that can get annoying.
It is also loud when in operation, which isn’t great if you are doing something intensive in the garage.
- Makes a clicking sound
- Loud operation noise
Mr. Heater MH60QFAV Forced Air Heater
As the third model from Mr. Heater, the MH60QFAV Forced Air Heater is exactly what it sounds like: it is a powerful forced air heater utilizing standard propane as the primary power source.
It is one of the most powerful portable garage heaters around, so it can heat a large area.
Mr. Heater Forced Air Heater Product Highlights
The Mr. Heater MH60QFAV Forced Air Heater has rugged stainless steel construction, dimensions of 16 x 8.8 x 13.5 inches, and a weight of around 13.1 pounds.
It is meant for busy garages and construction centers. The heater is CSA certified and can provide reliable, steady heat for many hours.
However, it utilizes a continuous ignition system and has an open flame, so you must watch the heater at all times and not allow children around while in operation.
That said, the Mr. Heater MH60QFAV Forced Air Heater has a high-temperature limit switch, and the controls are simple and straightforward.
There is also a dial on the front so that users can control the temperature easily and quickly. Plus, it comes with QBT technology, which makes this heater 50% quieter than other comparable models on the market.
The Mr. Heater MH60QFAV Forced Air Heater produces 60,000 BTUs during regular use, but can also run as low as 30,000 BTUs on lower power settings.
It can run for up to 14 hours and utilizes a 20-pound propane tank that you can change as needed. On full blast, it has enough power to warm areas as large as 1,250 square feet.
What We Like about Mr. Heater
We love how powerful the Mr. Heater MH60QFAV Forced Air Heater is, making it suitable for medium-sized and large residential or commercial garages.
Also, although it doesn’t have many safety features, it is easy to adjust the settings and measure how much propane is left in the tank.
The Mr. Heater MH60QFAV Forced Air Heater is also surprisingly portable since it only weighs around 13 pounds, which is excellent if you need to move your work to another location.
- Quieter than most heaters
- Multiple settings
- High-temperature limit
- CSA certified
What We Didn’t Like
As noted, one of the things to make a note of is that the Mr. Heater MH60QFAV Forced Air Heater doesn’t have enough safety features.
It has a flame that is only partially covered by the main funnel through which hot air is blasted. There is also no automatic shutoff, and the exterior of the heater can reach extremely high temperatures.
The required propane tanks can also be difficult to install and can become expensive over time.
Best Garage Heaters Buyer’s Guide
Not all of the best heaters for garages are built the same. There are many features you need to consider before you can decide that a model is truly the right one for you.
It is important to take a look at the method in which the heater will warm your garage, whether or not the model is portable, its total heating capacity, and the attached fuel source.
You might also want to consider getting a good garage heater that includes extra safety features like an automatic shutoff system.
Let’s understand some of the key features that you need to look at when purchasing a garage heater.
One of the most critical steps in choosing the right garage heater for you is selecting a heating style or type. Most modern heaters fall into one of three categories: forced air, convection, and radiant.
A forced-air garage heater is one of the simplest options. In this device, the air is pulled into the machine, heated by an energy source, and then blasted out at incredible speeds.
The result is the quick dispersion of heat through a large area with little difficulty.
Aptly named, a convection heater uses the scientific principle of convection to heat air over a more extended period. Inside each device is an enclosed flame or filament, which serves as a primary heat source.
For this machine, cold air is pulled into the machine and passed over the source until it is warmed. The warm air moves up and then blasts out of the heater.
The cycle continues with the heater, pulling in cold air to be warmed continuously.
Radiant heaters are the hardest for the average person to understand, and they also supply heat over time rather than emitting huge gusts of warm air.
In a radiant heater, there are highly polished reflectors that direct infrared heat outward.
These reflectors are heated from an internal power source and provide a steady supply of warmth without disturbing dust or particles in the garage.
So, which one should you choose?
The right heating type for you will largely depend on the size of your garage and the type of activities you plan to complete.
If you are into woodworking, for example, you might like a radiant heater because it will not stir up shavings and splinters while working.
A lot of great heaters for garages can also be portable if you know where to look. A portable heater will be small and will often have a temporary power supply like propane that can be emptied and refilled.
Since portable options are small, they tend to heat a smaller area than their permanent counterparts.
Therefore, if you do not need to worry about moving your garage heater around, you can consider permanent options.
One of the best choices for a garage is a device that you can mount to the wall or even the ceiling for regular use.
Mounted heaters often include extra features like adjustable thermostats, built-in safety features, and remote control options.
You can also connect them to your home’s primary heating source, so you don’t have to worry about having a separate one.
The main downside to using a mounted option is not having heat aimed directly where you need it. Instead, these units will focus on warming the entire room. If you want a heater that can move with you and directed at your workstation, go portable.
Before purchasing any heater, you also need to consider its capacity. It might be tempting to get the largest heater you can afford, but does it really suit your needs or lifestyle?
Capacity refers to the output of the heater, which is measured in British thermal units (BTUs).
Since manufacturers often list BTUs with the heater, you thankfully do not have to complete any equations.
Manufacturers know the average buyer doesn’t want to calculate just how many BTUs they need, so most heaters will also list how much square footage the heater can cover in a given time.
How to Identify the Right Capacity You’ll Need
To learn your desired capacity, you need to measure the area of your garage or workstation. You can do this by multiplying the length and width of the area.
If you want to be more complex, you can also add the height.
When thinking about capacity, you also want to take a good look at the garage insulation, plus if there are any areas where heat is likely to escape.
Are the doors and windows properly installed? Are there any cracks in the walls?
Will you have the primary garage door open when the heating system is running? Such issues will increase the heating capacity you need to remain comfortable.
Finally, know that your desired capacity will affect the type of garage heaters available to you.
If you need to heat a small area, for example, a forced-air heater might not be right for you because these models are intended for large spaces and will often blast too much heat.
You need to figure out what kind of power source you want to use for your heater, especially since the power source is how the device will generate heat.
In the modern age, you have a couple of options to choose from, including electricity, natural gas, and propane. Each of these energy sources has its own pros and cons.
Electricity can often be connected to your home’s power source or might just require plugging into an outlet in the garage.
Some options can also use powerful batteries that you can charge as needed. The downside is that electricity can be expensive and might increase your energy bills over time.
Natural gas often requires having a natural gas hookup in your home. These heaters are powerful and beneficial, but can once again be expensive if you don’t have the setup for it.
Propane is another popular option, particularly for portable heaters. These heating devices have connections where you can attach a propane tank.
They are often the most affordable to operate but can be a significant fire risk if you don’t use them safely and in open areas.
Besides these main choices, some manufacturers also make heaters that use diesel and kerosene. However, these are not good for garages because they often emit fumes that can make an enclosed space toxic quickly.
They are also often expensive and difficult to keep operational for the average person.
Finally, you want to consider whether the heater has any safety features.
These features become more important if you choose models that have an open flame or pilot light since these can quickly become major fire hazards.
Some of the features to search for include an automatic shutoff and an ODS.
Automatic shutoff is a feature that will switch off the entire heater if the device is knocked over or becomes too hot.
It stops flammable gas from being released and will also switch off any pilot light, so you don’t have to worry about the flame spreading or burning the internal mechanisms of the heater.
Most modern options are required to include this feature, but not all of them have it.
An ODS or Oxygen Depletion Sensor is the other main safety feature to look for and stands for. It is a light or alarm that will switch on if toxic fumes like carbon monoxide start to fill the garage.
This feature is particularly essential if you plan to use a model fueled by propane or natural gas since it will alert you if there is a leak in the primary power supply.
Some additional features are a heat-resistant exterior and protected dials to ensure you don’t burn your fingers.
Garage Heater FAQs
What Type of Heater Is Best for a Garage?
Most garages are small, enclosed spaces that do not require tons of power to remain heated. For these reasons, the best types of heaters are convection or radiant models.
These will drum up consistent temperatures without disturbing too much dust or too many wood shavings.
The one model to avoid in a small garage is a forced-air heater because these devices are intended for larger spaces and will generate too much force and hot air.
You can use a hot air heater, though, if you have at least a two-car garage or something larger.
How Many Btu Does It Take to Heat a Two-Car Garage?
It is difficult to create an accurate estimate of how many BTUs are required for a two-car garage since the garage itself could be of any size.
That said, most people and experts estimate that at least 45,000 BTUs are needed to keep the entire area heated, while 60,000 BTUs will work if you are looking for a warmer or more comfortable temperature.
You must also keep in mind, though, that a different amount of BTUs might be needed depending on the type of heater you want to use.
The above numbers work well with forced air heaters, but lower numbers would be needed for convection or radiant models.
How Can I Heat My Garage Cheaply?
Besides getting a good garage heater, there are other ways you can keep your garage warm without too much cost.
One of the most popular is by maintaining good insulation. The spaces around windows and doors are often the places where warm air will leave and cool air will enter.
You need to make sure these cracks are properly sealed by applying a regular coat of sealant and filling any cracks. Some construction companies are also willing to install insulation.
Where Should I Place My Garage Heater?
There are multiple options for where you can place your garage heater.
Most experts, though, recommended choosing the coldest corner or location and using that as the primary place of installation.
If you have a small, portable heater, you can usually place it on a table so that it heats the air at a head level.
If you choose a permanent model that you need to install on a wall or the ceiling, try to place it at least seven feet above the floor.
Once again, this helps ensure the air around your head will be heated properly and keep you warm even during the winter months.
Will Insulating My Garage Keep It Cooler?
Insulation isn’t just meant to keep an area warm during the cold months. It can also stop heat from escaping from your home or garage during the summer.
It does so by restricting airflow and keeping the desired temperature of the atmosphere inside rather than outside.
Best Garage Heater Recommendation
The five products we reviewed are some of the best garage heaters on the market, but there can be only one winner.
Out of the five models, our personal favorite is the Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy Heater because it has plenty of reliable safety features, such as an automatic shutoff and oxygen depletion sensor.
It is also inexpensive to keep fueled and is highly portable.
For individuals who would like something more powerful, though, the Mr. Heater MH60QFAV Forced Air Heater is a great choice.
It can heat a large commercial garage without difficulty and also comes with easy to use controls. It could even work in a greenhouse!
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