Best Garage Heaters of 2017 – A Comprehensive Guide

Due to poor insulation, garages can get incredibly cold and it can be difficult to maintain a constant, comfortable temperature. The best garage heaters are designed perfectly for such circumstances, producing a large amount of heat within a short duration. The exact heater you require will depend on factors such as the size of your garage; therefore you need to ensure you are making the right choice.

garage heaterAs a result, we have analysed a selection of heaters and compiled the best garage heater reviews, designed to provide an analysis of the models available that may suit your needs, whether that be a gas heater, or a one of the best electric garage heaters, it’s really worth checking out the options to avoid them consideration you may not have expected.

Check out the reviews below to learn about the best rated garage heaters on the market, as well as garage heater safety and other worthwhile information to ensure you make the best use of your heater once purchased.

Top Rated Garage Heater Reviews 

  • Ceiling-Mount Industrial Electric Heater
  • PRICE : $$$$$
  • Dimensions: 17 x 16 x 15 inches
  • FUNCTIONS : Epoxy coating Cabinet
  • Watts: 7500
  • Settings: Adjustable thermostat
  • Safety : Overheating and reactivates
  • King KBP2406 Electric Garage Heater
  • PRICE : $$$$
  • Dimensions: 13 x 12 x 16
  • FUNCTIONS : Steel construction
  • Watts: 5700
  • Settings: Adjustable thermostat
  • Safety : Overheat and tip over
  • Fahrenheat FUH54 Propane Garage Heater
  • PRICE : $$$$
  • Dimensions: 11.2 x 14 x 12.5
  • FUNCTIONS : Steel construction
  • Watts: 5000
  • Settings: Adjustable thermostat
  • Safety : Overheat and tip over
  • Dr. Heater DR966 Electric Garage Heater
  • PRICE : $$$
  • Dimensions: 14.5 x 14.5 x 13
  • FUNCTIONS : Spiral steel metal sheath
  • Watts : 3000 / 6000
  • Settings: Adjustable Thermostat and high and low functions
  • Safety : Whole enclosed, thermally protected
  • Mr. Heater F232000 Portable Radiant Garage Heater
  • PRICE : $
  • Dimensions: 14.17 x 8.97 x 14.37
  • FUNCTIONS : CSA-Certified
  • Watts : N/A
  • Settings: Low/high heat functions
  • Safety : Tip-over and Low-oxygen ODS

How to Choose the Best Garage Heater 

When shopping around for a heater to keep your garage or workshop warm all year round, you may become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of models available on the market. That’s why it’s so important to choose a garage heater that has a great reputation and the ones that do are typically very efficient, helping to save you money and come equipped with a range of safety features for maximum peace of mind.

Types of Garage Heaters 

First things first, you need to be aware of the types of garage heaters available with differences they have and which may be most suitable for you and your circumstances. For instance, some types of heaters are best suited for home garages, while others are more industrial; suitable for large, commercial garages.

Fan Forced Garage Heaters 

This type of garage heater includes a built-in fan and are very easy to install. As a result, they are perhaps the most popular type of heaters for garages. They utilize electricity which is transferred into heat, a fan takes in the cold air from the environment and re-circulates it back into the garage once heated via a heating element. This has the effect of quickly heating the space.

Radiant or Infrared Garage Heaters 

Radiant and infrared heaters work by directing heat energy waves directly that are absorbed by other objects and so heating them in the process. Unlike, fan forced heaters they are more comfortable since no noisy fan is used to direct the warm air, however, the main issue is that you need to located quite close to them to experience the heat and they aren’t very efficient at heating large average to large areas.

Diesel, Kerosene or Natural Gas Garage Heaters 

These types of heaters utilize natural fossil fuels instead of an electrical power source or battery pack. They are very effective at heating up large areas and are extremely portable since they don’t require a connection to the mains. However, be cautious since they can be more hazardous in small and enclosed spaces.

How Much Power Does Your Garage Heater Need? 

garage heaterThe majority of garage heaters will provide information on the amount of power required to keep it running. This information is provided in the form of a BTU value. The higher the BTU rating and the number of watts: the more heat that is generated and the larger the space that it can heat. It is important to bear in mind that the rating provided is given with the caveat that it refers to the best conditions. Therefore, it is recommended that you select a heater that is slightly more powerful than you require, this will help cover any issues that may lead to a loss of heat, such as any draughts or poor insulation within your garage.

The size of your garage is an important thing to consider when shopping for a heater, for instance, smaller garages would benefit most from a radiant or infrared heater. These types of garage heaters operate best in smaller spaces since they directly heat objects rather than the air, as a result, they don’t typically lead to heat loss from ventilation or large draughts. However, fan forced heaters can work in small garages too, for example, a 1.5kw heater would work in a small garage, whereas a large garage or workshop would be best suited to using a heater of around 4,000 – 6,000 watts.

Garage Heater’s Safety Features 

When shopping for your garage heater, it is wise to choose a model that comes equipped with safety features such as those listed below to keep you safe whilst you are working.

  • Overheat Protection 

Since you will probably be operating the heater for prolonged periods of time, it is probable that it will occasionally become overheated, which is, a potential hazard. As a result, the best models are equipped with overheat protection which means the heater turns itself off to protect itself from high temperatures that can potentially lead to a fire hazard or damage the components of the heater.

  • Tip Over Switch 

Unfortunately, accidents can happen and sometimes the heater can get tipped over especially if the wire is in a walking zone. Active environments such as garages and workshops are even more likely to pose a hazard, therefore, securing a heater that has a tip over switch is a good option. If the heater is knocked over, it will automatically turn itself off.

  • Cool-Touch 

When you are operating a heater around people, and in places of work such as table-tops or floors, if possible you want to avoid it becoming too hot to touch. Children, pets and even adults often don’t consider such risks, making heaters that get hot potentially very dangerous. As a result, always opt for cool-touch heaters for maximum safety.

Garage Heating Advice 

garage workshop heatingIn order to keep your garage at warm as possible, even throughout the winter months, you’ll need to ensure that it is heated as well as possible. While using a garage heater can certainly help, it’s important to consider other factors which contribute to keeping out-buildings such as garages warm and comfortable throughout the year.

  1. Insulation – One of the most important things to think about is the insulation of your garage. Outside buildings such as garages are not intended to be well-heated, so good insulation is not often considered meaning draughts are common and heat is easily lost to the outside environment. Therefore, use a high-quality type of insulation on the walls and the ceiling to slow down the loss of heat.
  2. Installation – If you are opting to use an infrared heater, it is important to install it at a  minimum of 7 ft. above the floor.  It’s essential that you make sure objects below are not too close for safety purposes. In addition, if you opt for using a gas heater, you will need to consider ventilation, while an electrical heater will need easy access to the mains.
  3. Type of heater – Ensure you carefully consider the type of heater that is most suitable for heating your garage. For instance how big is your garage? You will need to measure the size of your garage and decide on how quickly you’ll want the garage to heat up. Ensure you check the BTU rating and watts which provide an indication of the intended area it is designed to heat.

A basic guideline for forced-air heaters is 45,000 Btu from a two – two and a half garage, and 60,000 for a three-car garage.

How To Heat Your Garage Safely & Efficiently 

garage heating tipsWhatever you plan on using your garage or workshop for, whether that be a home-gym or storing a car or two, you will likely want to warm it up during the colder months of the year. So if you want some hints and tips on how to keep your garage well-heated safely, then continue reading.

One of the first considerations is whether to use a portable heater or a fixed heater in your garage. It is strongly advised that you opt for a fixed model as portable garage heaters can be hazardous since they are easy to tip over and utilize flammable gas. In addition, many materials frequently used in garages are highly flammable, such as gasoline and turpentine.

There is a wide selection of garage heaters including vent-free, sealed combustion, and electric radiant ceiling panels. It is a wise idea to avoid smaller models since they are typically unable to heat poorly insulated or large garages very well.

It is also important to consider the most appropriate way to use a heater in your garage. For instance, it is recommended that you position your heater well above the floor and away from any work surfaces that are in frequent use. A freestanding model is likely to be inappropriate since they can block exit routes and are easy to tip over. Alternatively, you should mount your heater on to the wall or the ceiling. The majority of heating models enable you to direct the transfer of heat, therefore point it towards the center of the garage, or towards any workbench area where you may be working. This will ensure maximum heat pay-off from the heater.

You should also consider the type of door and insulation used in your garage; both in terms of energy efficiency and fire safety. This is a topic I will get into in a future blog post, but the best rated garage doors and building materials are something for you to consider if you are replacing your old door or building a new garage from scratch.

How to Install & Wire Your Electric Garage Heater 

Prior to installing your garage heater, you will need to ensure you have the correct wiring in operation. In addition, ensure you always follow the necessary guidelines and laws outlined by your local authority. The below instructions will vary depending on whether you have selected a gas or electrical model.

Preparation Work 

  1. To begin, you will need to install insulated cabling from your main Electric box to your thermostat unit.
  2. Next, you will need to take the cable from the thermostat and run it to the location where you want your garage heater to be installed. Typically in a corner, near a gas line and an electrical outlet (needed to power the blower).
  3. Using screws; fix the junction box in position and remove the panel cover from the circuit breaker and install the circuit breaker.
  4. Use wire strippers to unsheathe the wire that you will install and fix within the panel box.
  5. Next, connect the ground to the bus wire, which are connected to the terminal lugs. It is vital that you remember the lugs will be live when the breaker box is off. Take extra care not to touch them.

Note: The instructions will indicate the precise spacing needed to be made between the unit and the sidewalls or ceiling.

Wire The Thermostat To The Heater

  1. To allow the heater to run properly, you will need to fit the thermostat. To begin, unsheathe some of the wiring at both ends of the cable you are going to use.
  2. Ensure you color the wires accordingly and ensure you abide by your area’s regulations.
  3. Find the wires marked line or L1 and L2 and then attach both wires that feed to the circuit breaker.
  4. Use the wire nuts to secure and cap the connections.
  5. Fit the ground wires to the thermostats ground wire, which is typically color-coded green.
  6. Screw the thermostat onto the wall.

Garage Heater Wiring 

  1. Connect the metal conduit to the junction box with the help of an FMC connector.
  2. Connect the other end of the metal conduit to the heater using the FMC connector.
  3. Using wire strippers unsheathe the end of the cable at the heater end.
  4. Place the cable in the junction box.
  5. Twist the wire and the remaining black wire and cap with a wire nut.
  6. Put the cover back on the box.
  7.  Connect the black heater wires to the black supply wire.
  8. You should connect the green wires together for ground.
  9. Place the cover back on the junction box and ensure that it is secured.

Note: Ensure that you color all wires so that they meet all codes and local ordinances.

Is it Safe to Use a Gas or Propane Garage Heater? 

Using a propane heater to heat your garage is fine and many people do this, but it is essential you do it safely and are aware of all the potential hazards. For example, there should be adequate ventilation in the space to allow for safe oxygen levels to be maintained during use. In addition, you should avoid using flammable materials in your garage if your propane heater is operating, as this is a potential fire hazard. This includes common workshop materials such as spray paints or gasoline. If this is an issue you may want to consider using a different heating system and not a propane garage heater.

If you decide to opt for a propane heater to heat your garage, then you may want to consider using those marketed to do so. This doesn’t mean you will need to keep the heater outside, but the indoor propane heaters typically hold smaller propane cylinders. If you think you might need a larger tank, then you will likely need to choose a larger model and therefore keep it outside only.

Don’t forget that there is a vast array of other types of heaters available, so before you consider a propane heater, it’s a wise idea to think about all your options. There are many models that have been designed entirely for garage use.  If you have an electric supply, for example, it’s likely that an electric garage heater may be more suitable. 

1. Ceiling-Mount Industrial Electric Heater

If you are looking to install an electric garage heater with maximum convenience then you should consider this industrial garage heater that is accompanied with ceiling brackets for easy ceiling mounting.

The brackets allow you to easily fix the heater to the ceiling and can be easily adjusted enabling both vertical or horizontal heat flow. The heater can be adjusted as necessary, ideal for when you want to work in different areas of your garage but still feel maximum heat pay-off.

To prevent rust and environment wear and tear, this heater is finished with an epoxy coating. This extremely durable and water resistant material guards the components of the heater from the typical damp atmosphere found in garages.

This heater also comes equipped with an automatic shut off to prevent overheating. This provides added peace of mind and ensures maximum longevity for the hearer by preventing heat damage.

A possible disadvantage of this heater is the fact that it doesn’t come equipped with thermostatic control. This means you will be unable to choose the output temperature; there is simply an on or off button. With all things considered, this is certainly one of the best electric garage heater models you can buy.

2. King KBP2406 Electric Garage Heater

This heater is ideal for heating average to large sized garages, workshops and out-buildings. The heat output of up to 13,000 BTU ensures a good level of heat, even at the most chilly times of year. In addition, this model allows you to select from 950 to 5700 watts meaning it can be used on a wide range of circuit boards for maximum safety.

Equipped with several heat settings and a powerful 270 CFM blower, you can be confident that the heat produced will be recirculated throughout your garage space efficiently to prevent any heat spots. However, bear in mind that this model doesn’t come with any remote control features, so ensure you install it where you think most heat will be required and where it is easily accessible.

For maximum safety, this garage heater is fitted with a thermal cut off. This means that if the heater gets too hot or reaches a temperature deemed unsafe, it will cut off preventing damage to the heater itself. Therefore, this feature may be appropriate for those not looking to mount a heater, but instead use elsewhere, since it also comes with an anti-tip-over sensor for added security.

3. Fahrenheat FUH54 Propane Garage Heater

Many people believe that traditional gas heaters or propane heaters are most suitable for heating a garage due to the amount of BTUs they give out. But the truth is that you will find yourself having the window and doors open for ventilation causing heat to escape as a result. A good alternative is an electric garage heater such as the Fahrenheat FUH54. Although it provides less BTUs than traditional propane heaters, it produces no toxic or unpleasant fumes meaning you won’t need to ventilate your garage and therefore lose as much heat.

Even better is the fact that this heater is easy to install and is equipped with a mounting bracket that enables you to easily mount it to a wall or ceiling. Like the aforementioned models, you can also direct the heat wherever you would like thanks to the rotating mount.

A thermostat is also included with this heater, which will allow you to regulate the heat output and therefore the temperature of your garage, allowing for a comfortable work space at any time of the year.

It has to be mentioned that this heater does come with a fan, which can concern some people due to the association with noisy fans, however, this fan is not particularly noisy compared to other models, therefore, you can be confident knowing you can work at your garage in peace.

4. Dr. Heater DR966 Electric Garage Heater

This reputable and highly regarded garage heater offers flexibility. Equipped with an adjustable thermostat, you can effortlessly control the volume of heat with ease. Select from high or Low heat settings, which offer a power of 6000 or 3000 watts.

Designed with the intention of being fitted into existing wiring it is ideal for those looking for a tidy installation. Equally, it can be easily plugged into an outlet for those looking for a quick and easy installation process.

The heater also comes with an accompanying bracket for easy installation and mounting on any appropriate ceiling or wall. On the front of the unit are 5 louvers that provide the ability to direct the heat flow in the desired direction.

Although the heater comes with a fan, it is quiet when in operation and helps to move the warm air throughout the garage space to provide a steady and comfortable stream of warmth.

5. Mr. Heater F232000 Portable Radiant Garage Heater

If you are struggling to install an electric garage heater due to the power supply, installation or other issues, then you might want to consider the Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX instead. This is one of the best propane heaters for garage spaces and it is approved to be used indoors and provides an adequate amount of heat for the average-sized garage.

The heater provides adequate heating for areas of up to 225 square feet and will be able to provide between 4,000 and 9,000 BTU of comfortable radiant heat. For maximum heat pay-off, it is recommended that you position it so that you are in direct line with the heat.

For added security, there is a built-in auto-shutoff system. This ensures that the heater will turn off immediately should it be tipped or otherwise knocked over. It also turns off should the oxygen levels in the room drop too low or if the pilot light is extinguished.

For maximum portability, the heater is equipped with a fold-down handle. This is ideal for storing it away easily and taking it out of your garage for use around other parts of your home. In addition, it can be connected to a propane tank easily with the use of a connecting kit that is sold separately to the unit.

Best Garage Heater Comparison Chart 

PRODUCTPRICESETTINGSWATTSSAFETY FEATURESDIMENSIONSFUNCTIONS 
Ceiling-Mount Industrial Electric Heater$$$$$Adjustable thermostat7500Overheating and reactivates17 x 16 x 15 inchesEpoxy coating Cabinet
King KBP2406 Electric Garage Heater$$$$$Adjustable thermostat5700Overheat and tip over13 x 12 x 16Steel construction
Fahrenheat FUH54 Propane Garage Heater$$$$$Adjustable thermostat5000Overheat and tip over11.2 x 14 x 12.5Steel construction
Dr. Heater DR966 Electric Garage Heater$$$Adjustable Thermostat and high and low functions3000 / 6000Whole enclosed, thermally protected14.5 x 14.5 x 13Spiral steel metal sheath
Mr. Heater F232000 Portable Radiant Garage Heater$Low/high heat functionsN/ATip-over and Low-oxygen ODS14.17 x 8.97 x 14.37CSA-Certified

Final Words 

garage heating guideGarage heaters are ideal for poorly insulated workshops and other out-buildings. They provide adequate heat to maintain the warmth and comfort you require throughout every season of the year. In addition, they can help prevent other types of damage caused by mother nature including frost damage and mould and spore growth.

The reviews of some of the best garage heaters will help you find the best type of heating solution, whatever your situation or circumstance and that includes those of you with a limited budget. Even if you don’t have wiring in your garage for a suitable electric garage heater, there are many other options available.

As well as electric models, there are others, but typically, you will find that electric garage heaters are the safest and most efficient. If you already have an electric supply in your garage,  then it will be easy to install one of these with very little trouble.