Some people use their garage for storage or to park their car. Others, however, spend long hours in their garage, whether they use it to work on vehicles or they have a get-together spot for friends. Regardless of the reason for the long hours though, when it gets hold, keeping that little space warm is necessary for your comfort. It is for this reason that a heater for the garage comes in handy. By the end of this review and guide, you should have no problem choosing the perfect one for you.
The 5 Best Garage Heaters:
These heaters are sure to be great choices for your garage. When you do finally make a purchase, be sure to check out how to install a garage heater for some useful tips before you get started.
This 240-volt heater for garages is designed to be hard-wired into your home’s main circuit. At its lowest setting, it operates on a level of 2,500 watts and on the highest setting, it operates on a level of 5,000 watts. This means that regardless of the temperature that you prefer in your garage, it gets the job done.
Though this heater looks small, you will find that it is very solid. Its industrial construction is heavy-duty and rugged, with the outer being made of a solid stainless steel construction. The louvers help you direct air flow, warming the most important areas of the garage first. Inside the package, you will find a ceiling mounting bracket. Though its consider for the ceiling, you can just as easily install it on the wall of your garage. As an added benefit, though it is as strong as an industrial heater, this model remains quiet and will not bother you while you are trying to work.
The major downside of this unit is the internal thermostat. The thermostat does not always function as well as or as long as you would like it to. This can cause the area that you are trying to heat to become sweltering hot or it can cause the room not to warm to temperature. Since the unit itself works well, you can always have an external thermostat wired to the device. If you are unsure of how to do this, an electrician is the safest way to install the thermostat.
If you want to skip over the hardwiring and choose a simpler, plug-in unit for your garage, this halogen light heater is an excellent option. It requires 120-volts to put out 1,500-watts of power (or 5,200 BTUs of heat). With the heater, you will find a 120v AC power cord, which allows you to easily plug the unit into the wall. Additionally, the cord is 6-feet long, so you are not overly limited on where you install the unit.
Unlike the previous models, this unit uses a 25-watt halogen lamp and a high-efficiency quartz heating element to generate heat. This quickly radiates into the air, warming your garage to your preferred temperature.
Another benefit of this unit is that it is easy to operate. To turn the unit on and off, you simply use the pull-string that is attached to the device. It does not have a thermostat, but you can set it for a low or high-temperature setting. It is also easy to direct heat with this unit, as the heater is held securely in place by a tilting arm that operates vertically at 90 degrees. You also have less of a chance of leaving this heater on when you leave the garage than other units because the bright, red halogen bulb will catch your attention.
If you have a large garage (like one with high ceilings or that holds 4 cars), then this model is not going to be powerful enough. The output is slightly less than the heaters that have been discussed previously, but it is perfect for keeping a 1-2 car garage nice and toasty.
This Dr. Heater model keeps things toasty, being able to heat a cold, 700 sq. ft. garage to 65 degrees, even if it’s only 20 degrees outside. Instead of needing to make room for it on the floor where you have to worry about tripping it, you can mount this heater using the included mounting bracket. There is a low and high setting, as well as an adjustable thermostat so you are in control.
In addition to its great heating capabilities, you can choose where you want the air to go. There are five adjustable louvers that let you direct the air where you need it most. This feature will be helpful after you first turn the unit on so that you warm up first. This is also a single-phase unit so it will heat the room quickly.
One of the disadvantages of this heater is that it does not come with the wires and cords necessary to hardwire it into the circuit of your home. Also, something that you should note is that when following the manufacturer’s installation instructions, the heater for the garage might overheat or not perform well enough. To avoid this issue, consider setting up a 240v connection directly into the circuit breaker to install. If you do have experience with electrical, then check out the video below for help.
If you do not have experience doing this, you may want to choose another unit or hire an electrician to set up the 240v connection for you.
This 240-volt heater can use up to 17,000 BTUs, or 5,000 watts of heating power. It is controlled with a single pole thermostat, which you can easily set. Then, the heater gets to work. You install it by hardwiring, as you would the previous listed model. Inside the package, you will find a swivel bracket, which allows you to control the direction of the air and holds the garage heater securely in place on the ceiling or wall.
Another great feature of this heater is its ability to withstand the cold when it is not in use. The outside of the heater is constructed of stainless steel, which resists rust and corrosion on its own. It is also coated with a weather-proof powder, ideal for ensuring that your investment will last several years. Additionally, the heater is UL certified. In addition to adhering to these safety guidelines, the machine features an auto temperature control. This control will shut the machine down completely if it begins to overheat, preventing fires and other mishaps.
The one downside of this garage heater is that its maximum temperature is 70 degrees. While this is a comfortable temperature to be outside in, it does take quite a while for the garage to reach that temperature. Fortunately, the swivel mounting system ensures you can point it in your direction so wherever you are working comes to temperature first.
This is also a unique option for heating, being a propane powered unit. This is a radiant heater, which is designed to work by heating your garage from the floor up. Even though this is a propane unit, it is clean-burning which makes it safe for indoor use. To ensure safety when using this unit, the garage heater senses the level of oxygen in the room and shuts off when the oxygen levels drop severely. There is also a safety shut off when this unit is tipped over. Another safety feature is the high-temperature wire guard.
Because this unit is propane, you can carry it anywhere. This means if you have any sheds or other small areas you need to heat, you can use the same heater that you use in your garage. At its low heat setting, this portable heater for garages puts out 4,000 BTU. At its high heat setting, the output is 9,000 BTU. This quickly heats your garage, especially since there is a porcelain coating on the heating surface the projects the radiant heat across a wider area.
The major downside of this unit is the lack of a thermostat, though you can still set it on low or high. This means that the unit will continue running until you shut it off manually.
What to Consider When Buying a Garage Heater
I hope that you like the top heaters we have shown you so far. However, there are more heaters on the market today and you might like some of them. However, you need to understand the key features and this will be compiled together in this buyer’s guide. Here are the top features consider when buying your next garage heater:
Another important aspect is the power output. Gas heaters feature a power output that is generally measured in British Thermal Units or BTU. Most of the smaller heaters can produce heat up to 9,000 BTU. This is ideal when your garage is smaller than 250 sq. feet. However, the 25,000 BTU medium heaters are ideal for a garage with a size of more than 500 sq. feet.
If you have a massive garage like a hangar, you might need to consider one of the larger heaters. These gas heaters might be a little expensive, but they have a power output of more than 30,000 BTU’s. These heaters work well for garages that are up to or larger than 1000 square feet and you need to use all the space.
Lastly, the electric heater is measured in wattage and the wattage should be directly indicative of the size of your garage. Some of the top electric heaters have a power output of 2000-watts, which should be enough to heat up a 600 square foot garage. However, the gas heaters work much better for these large garages.
Constant or Occasional Heating
Do you plan every waking moment in your garage or is it something that you only want to heat when you are inside? The heaters in this article are ideal for when you do not want constant heating to your garage. If you do need constant heating, then you may want to consider attaching the heating inside the garage to the same heating system you use inside of your home.
Having your garage insulated is one of the best ways to get the best value out of your heater. If the garage is fully insulated, you need not worry too much about the heat escaping. I have seen how high electricity bills can run when the garage does not have any insulation, meaning the heater needs to constantly work harder. This is even more so if your heater is connected to the one in your home.
Gas vs. Electric vs. Propane
When choosing a heater for your garage, you will need to choose between propane, gas, or the electric heaters. Each of them has their own benefits and safety features that you will need to take under consideration when you buy. Here is a short breakdown of each to ensure that you do get the best possible value for your money:
- Natural Gas: The natural gas heater is one of the most popular options and it is widely used by many people. While it might heat up large areas quite fast, it can be a little dangerous in enclosed spaces. These heaters also require the installation of gas lines that might be expensive. The upside is the long-term costs that will be saved.
- Propane: Propane gas is much similar to the natural gas heaters, but propane works much faster. The upside is the burning rate that will definitely heat up your garage in a matter of minutes. These tanks are also portable but can be expensive in the end with your refill costs building up.
- Electric: The electric heater is the most popular and it offers you the most functionality and versatility. These heaters can be used for large and small garages, but they have high running costs. However, they are safe and most of them must be approved by safety regulators before they can be released.
The Size of the Garage
The size of your garage is going to matter for two reasons. First, you should choose an efficient heater by selecting one that best fits the range for heating that you need. Find out how many square feet your garage is and find a heater that fits into that range. The second reason this information is important is that your heater will need to sit somewhere. If there is no room for it to safely sit on the ground area, consider a heater that is installed on a wall or the ceiling.
Should you choose a heater that is too powerful, your garage will be hot and stuffy, making it virtually impossible for you to continue working there. We recommend playing with the heaters to find out exactly how much power you will need for your garage.
Forced Air or Radiant Heat
Many electric space heaters used forced air, which operates using convection. Basically, the radiator pulls air inward and the blows it across a heated surface, before returning it into the room. By contrast, a radiant heater often uses a quartz or infrared set up to radiate heat into the floor of the garage. The heat then radiates from the floor into the surrounding air. You can learn more about the differences between these types of heating here. Convection heaters are best for non-drafty, enclosed garages while radiant heaters are ideal for non-insulated or drafty garages.
Yes, safety is extremely important when looking for a new heater. Sometimes you might have a portable heater and it could potentially tip over. To ensure you avoid any potential hazards, it is much better to look for these safety features. They are generally indicated on the heater as part of the certification process before it is released.
Safety, efficiency, and the ability to bring the heat are just some of the things that you should expect from a quality heater for your garage. All of these options have been highly valued and tested to ensure that you get the best value for your money.
We would like to thank you for reading this article and encourage you to share your thoughts on these heaters. Be sure to drop us a comment if you disagree or have any other great heaters we might have missed.
From the above options, the best heater for a garage is:
This unit was chosen because it is very affordable when compared against the other models, but it is also efficient. You should note that this is not a good choice for, especially large garages. For a small-to-medium area, however, it quickly provides heat. It is also easy to turn on and off because of the pull-switch and does not require electrical knowledge or professional installation, like some of the other models on this list.