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Some of you are probably wondering why you even need a garage heater in the first place.
I mean, it’s not like your car’s going to get cold or anything, right?
Of course not, it’s just a hunk of metal, glass, and circuits. But you, my friend, are not a hunk of steel. If you’re anything like the average homeowner, then your garage probably serves as a workshop, tool shed, and lounge; it’s like your very own home away from home, but still right in your home.
Unfortunately, most garages are not insulated and don’t have AC. So you can imagine how painful, uncomfortable and impractical it’s going to be working with frozen fingers.
Working at extremely low temperatures is no fun, but it’s nothing that a little heat can’t fix. We’ve done the hard yards to bring you the best garage heater for the job and everything you need to know about these appliances.
But for our more impatient readers, we’ll dive right into the top 10 best heaters for your garage.
Boasting a compact design that can pump a serious amount of 45,000 BTU, the HD45AS0111 is definitely one hot dawg.
But that’s not even the best part guys!
Throughout our entire list, we are yet to see heat coverage that even comes close to Modine’s unit. People with enormous garages, workshops, cellars and commercial spaces will appreciate the large 1000 square feet of coverage.
So, what else can customers look forward to apart from the versatile operation and one heck of a powerhouse?
I’m glad you asked. The HD45AS0111 Hot Dawg Garage Heater also boasts of a highly compact, space-saving design, neutral color and quite the silent operation even on full blast. Not to mention how the 85 percent energy efficiency rating makes it worth every red cent. There are also some attachments that can be hooked up for when you need extra ventilation of exhaust.
What we liked:
Superior industrial strength heater
The ability to use two fuel systems is quite remarkable
Quiet operation with easy installation
Excellent energy saving capabilities
What could be better:
One of the most expensive garage heaters on the list
For those of you who are new to the brand, Dr. Infrared is fully committed to bringing quality alternatives and supplementary heating products to us at factory pricing. This is why it’s common to see one of their premium heaters priced at a very affordable range. Today, we’re checking out their pride and joy made right here in the USA; the Dr. Infrared Heater DR-988 Garage Shop Heater.
The DR-988 is the ideal solution for warming non-insulated garages, construction sites, workshops, basements, and any other enclosed spaces. Just one look at this bad boy and you can tell that it was built for heavier duty tasks.
The garage heater runs at a powerful 5600 watts and can effectively heat up an impressive 600 square feet. The unit comes with a built-in thermostat that can be adjusted from low setting to high and a built-in cord that keeps your space clean and tidy.
Since it’s an electric garage heater, you simply have to plug it in to enjoy it. But while electric models are known to be more efficient with their power usage, they definitely take much longer to heat a room than gas models.
To save even more power, the Dr. Infrared Heater allows you to toggle between 4800 and 5600 watts. But it’s the safety features that really grabbed our attention on this bad boy.
Aside from the usual fair that includes auto shut-off and overheat protection, the DR-988 also comes with finger proof protection and discharge grills to keep you safe at all times.
What we liked:
Impressive heating capabilities of up to 600 square feet
Automatic energy saving features save on power
Full year USA warranty shouts confidence to customers
UL and C-UL listed
What could be better:
Barely any complaints on this bad boy, except that it’s bright red and sticks out like a sore AC thumb
Let’s be frank for a quick second here. Don’t you just loathe it when the power fails?
Apart from power failure over the winter, there are also some areas where it’s not all that reliable. But you should not have to miss out on your duties just because there’s a little chill in the air or the thermometer is at minus.
Introducing North America’s most popular portable gas garage heater, the Mr. Heater F232017 MH9BXRV Buddy is certainly a sight for sore eyes (and fingers too). It is incredibly effective, efficient and covers a heating space of up to 225 square feet.
But that’s not even the best part!
The F232017 actually burns cleanly and is rated safe for indoor use. That’s all thanks to some pretty advanced features that make it possible to use this propane-powered garage heater without needing any ventilation. The 1 pound cylinder is perfect for enclosed spaces and it promptly delivers anywhere between 4000 and 9000 BTUs of comfortable, life-saving radiant heat. Since it is fully portable, you can place it directly in your heat path to reap maximum benefits. As for the safety features, Mr. Heater really went all out on this one.
The F232017 MH9BXRV Radiant Heater comes with an integrated auto shut-off feature that activates in different scenarios. This feature shuts off the heater in case it is tipped over, if the pilot light goes off or if oxygen levels get too low.
What more could you ask for in a garage heater?
What we liked:
Compact, lightweight and economical design
Packed with an interesting array of safety features
By using the latest and most advanced technology, NewAir continues to give us appliances that make daily life much easier. When it comes to their garage heaters, the NewAir G73 Hardwired Electric Garage Heater is all the evidence you need to become a believer.
The G73 allows you to transform your garage, cellar, basement or any other enclosed area into a warmer, more inviting environment. Just because it’s storming or snowing outside doesn’t mean that you have to hide away in your duvet. Make the most of your time at home by beating the cold with your very own portable heater.
As long as you’re working with an area below 500 square feet, then the NewAir G73 Hardwired Electric Garage Heater will feel right at home. From the outside, the unit features a tough and rugged steel design that just shouts durability.
And that’s just the half of it! You’ll be impressed by how easy and flexible the installation is.
That’s right; you won’t need any plugs or fancy connections. All that’s required of you is to simply hardwire it to where you need the most heat, and you’ll never have to worry about that again.
However, the mounting bracket is built on a swivel so that you can at least target the airflow to where you want it. And speaking of targeting airflow, the G73 makes use of adjustable louvers that boost the directionality even more.
Last but not least, you have all the safety features you expect in a good heater. This includes auto shut off as well as finger proof grills to keep your fingers safe.
What we liked:
UL and CUL listed for safe operation
Durable construction means more value for your money
Ever wondered why some heaters come with such a hefty price range?
Well, we’re here to demystify that for you. The Fahrenheat FUH54 240-volt Garage Heater might be small, but its strength and attitude make it worth its weight in gold pound for pound. According to Popular Mechanics, this model is perfect for homeowners looking for some occasional heating in mild winter seasons.
The FUH54 240-volt Garage Heater from Fahrenheat measures 13 inches high and almost the same width; making the small but mighty powerhouse able to fit in even the most cramped spaces. But don’t be fooled by the small size.
The garage heater effectively heats workshops, garages, basements and any room smaller than 500 square feet. And what’s more, the appliance comes with a mounting bracket to attach it to either a wall or ceiling. The mount can also be rotated to face any direction you want the heat blasting.
One feature that we definitely have to mention is the unit’s ability to produce 2500 to 5000 watts that are more than enough to keep your garage toasty throughout the winter. Now, while most homeowners believe that they need a high-powered propane heater with tens of thousands of BTUs, chances are that you’ll find yourself cracking a window to let the heat out.
The FUH54 Garage Heater offers fewer BTUs that your standard propane heater, but all without the unpleasant fumes, gases, and exhaust. With a thermostat, an easy to install mounting bracket and peak performance, this just might be the only heater your garage will ever need.
What we liked:
Great for small and medium-sized garages, workshops and cellars
Built in bracket makes installation a breeze
Longer lifespan thanks to robust construction
Extremely quiet operation
What could be better:
Requires complicated electrical installation since the FUH54 has to be hard wired into a socket
If you’re looking for a versatile, economical way to heat up your garage, cellar or basement, then you’ll need to pull up a chair and take a seat because we may have found your perfect match. The Dimplex DGWH4031 4000-Watt Garage/Workshop Heater is the epitome of economy for when you need to occasionally heat up a room.
Tipping the weighing scales at only 12 pounds, the DGWH4031 is practically just 4000 watts of pure heat contained in a super compact 11 by 72 by 9-inch stainless steel package. And get this; this volcano monster actually runs at an unbelievable 13,640 BTUs that let you tune the mercury to anywhere between 40 to 80 degrees.
Apart from the powerful capabilities of the DGWH4031, the manufacturer was also kind enough to incorporate a convenient mounting bracket. It allows you to mount this puppy up on any wall, ceiling or attachment you can find hanging around.
Furthermore, the DGWH4031 heater from Dimplex is encased in a corrosion-resistant material topped off by a powder coat epoxy finish.So whether you have an extremely damp and humid garage or a dry one, the environment won’t affect your heater’s exterior. But like all products, there’s the good side and the bad side.
What we liked:
Delivers unmatched energy savings
Durable, rust and corrosion resistant stainless steel exterior
Zero dangerous combustion and no harmful carbon emissions
Incredibly high warming capabilities for rooms up to 700 square feet
Who says that garage heaters have to be dull, plain and invisible?
If you’re looking for a unit that will add pomp and color back to your dull workspace, then look no further than the Cadet The Hot One Heater RCP502S. Aptly termed as the Hot One, it is sizzling hot when it comes to performance and aesthetics as well. You have to admit; this might just be the sexiest garage heater I ever laid eyes on.
So, what else do customers have to look forward to apart from a slamming bod?
Well for starters, she can actually pump out a serious amount of hot air that will fill a garage, workshop, cellar or any enclosed space under 600 square feet in a matter of minutes. This is all made possible by a powerful heating element and a hungry fan with a 5000-watt capacity.
When it comes to versatile functionality, the hot one stands head and shoulders above the rivals. Not only does it incorporate a thermostat control dial and two different heat settings, but there’s also an automatic control temperature switch that lets you adjust the heat depending on your preference. There’s also a fan only mode to help save power.
As for the installation, The Cadet comes with a robust bracket so you can use the heater as either free-standing or as a mountable on the wall or ceiling. The icing on the cake comes in the form of inbuilt high temp safety features that automatically turn off your heater when temperatures hit peak level.
What we liked:
Very good quality craftsmanship
Fast start up with decent heat levels
Great safety features that include auto shut off and finger proof grills
Even with a window cracked open, you won’t be complaining about feeling cold. The DR966 includes a built-in thermostat and an extensive array of safety features that we will get into later on.
The DR966 240-volt Shop Garage heater is engineered to be hardwired into your main power supply. That’s why I told you that this model is ideal for someone searching for a permanent solution. The reason why it has to be directly connected is to ensure enough power gets to the heater.
Alternatively, you could fit a plug and use your normal outlet, just make sure you have enough juice to power the hungry 3000 to 6000-watt heater. The good news, however, is that you can mount the DR966 on the wall for direct heating or ceiling for broader heating. What’s more, there’s even a nifty bracket that lets you do all this with ease. As a bonus, it incorporates all the safety features you expect in a top-class heater.
We’ve all been there; the incessant searching for that ideal product that will make everything right. If you live in extremely cold areas and want something incredibly heavy duty to warm up your super large garage, cellar, basement or room then look no further than the King KBP2406 5700-Watt MAX Single Phase Paw Unit Heater.
The KBP2406 is an excellent choice for a workshop heating solution that easily has the capacity to heat large spaces. Thanks to the incredibly high 13,000 BTU output, you won’t even have to put up with even one single cold corner of your workshop.
The Patented Pic-A-Watt heating element from King allows users to select from an array of different wattages during installation. This includes 950, 1900, 2850, 3800, 4750 and 5700 watts.
What we liked:
Superior USA craftsmanship
Accurate built-in thermostat with precise temperature control
Universal mounting bracket with durable powder coat finish
Unique, patented system
What could be better:
Apart from the higher price range, customers have nothing but praise for this unit
The heater lets you choose between 750 to 1500 watts of sun-like heat, and it even comes complete with a soft light for an added touch of ambiance. Of course, you can choose to use to use the heat without the light since both are independent of each other.
But does the substantially lower price tag mean that the quality is lowered or compromised?
Far from it; the Optimus H-9010 Garage Utility Heater actually boasts of high-quality craftsmanship and some of the most flexible operation I’ve ever seen in a heater. All this is made possible by the versatile wall mounts that really take the game to a whole another level.
It allows you to adjust and target the heat through different angles and get that heat where you want it most. The 1500-watt heater comfortably heats areas smaller than 200 square feet.
What we liked:
Incomparably cheaper and more affordable than any other garage heater
Light allows for a little ambiance while working
Highly versatile mounting bracket
Super easy and convenient installation
What could be better:
Careful not to damage the pull cord
Things to Сonsider
How We Tested
As always, we’re never shy about disclosing our entire process to our readers. If you’ve been to our site before, then you obviously know how serious we are with the testing and reviewing phases.
However, we’ll go over the testing procedure just to put our new reader’s concerns to rest. Hey, we won’t beat around the bush; that’s not our style. I mean, you’ve probably been using home heaters for years, and you definitely know your way around one. But when it comes to taking manufacturers and brands apart and getting the right product for the right job, it’s no mere accident that you found your way here.
See, what makes us the most suitable resource for virtually anything and everything to do with heaters is the blood, sweat, and tears we put in testing every single product we review. So if you think these 10 meager heaters were tough, think again.
We had to invest thousands of man-hours of total testing using hundreds of different heaters in different garages. It’s safe to say that we found out everything there was to find out about garage heaters.
So calm down, relax, shop and feel at home because you’re in the safest hands possible when it comes to the best heaters for your garage or workshop.
All Types of Garage Heaters
With all the different styles, designs and types of garage heaters, making your choice can be a bit confusing. From the way they are powered to their mode of operation and even the way they create heat, there are all kinds of garage heaters to look at.
Fortunately, we’ve had time to see all the different models in action and know pretty much everything there is to know about these heaters.
Why not let our expert reviewers tell you all about the different types of garage heaters and their respective categories?
Types of Garage Heaters According to Fuel
Electric Garage Heaters
These are by far the most common type of garage heaters when it comes to the fueling type. Electric heaters stand head and foot above the rest when it comes to convenience and low maintenance. All you literally need is just an electrical outlet, and you’re ready to go. You won’t even have to worry about constantly replacing the fuel like other types.
Electric garage heaters are also the least dangerous types compared to the rest. They are a great option for forgetful people since there’s no danger of using open flames or combustible fuels. Similarly, most electric models come with auto shut off features. They are also more efficient in heating up small to mid-sized rooms and won’t require any upkeep, maintenance or ventilation.
Natural Gas and Propane Heaters
If you have a large, drafty space and are looking for a garage heater with a bit of power behind it, then the gas isle is probably where you want to be shopping. Both natural gas and propane are great options because they provide heat that’s about 5 to 10 times stronger than any electric model. Of course, they are more expensive to purchase, but they save more energy in the long run compared to electric models.
Their winning element has to be portability. Since they don’t need a power outlet, gas-powered heaters are the most portable units you will ever find. But with the exception of a few ventilated models, gas heaters may not be the best for indoor use due to the exhaust.
Similarly, they require an incredible amount of maintenance and regular monitoring of the gas levels, so you don’t run out. Gas powered heaters are extremely dangerous because they use open flames and combustible gases to get the heat going. So take full caution when operation one of these bad boys and watch out for any gas leaks or loose connections that could lead to fire.
Types of Garage Heaters According to Heat
Fuel source aside, there are generally two types of garage heaters according to the mode of operation. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
Fan Forced Garage Heaters
The concept of a forced air heater is pretty simple and straightforward, but let me recap it real quick. A forced air heater heats up some conductive coils and pushes room temperature air through it; effectively heating up the air itself. Forced air vents are probably the most popular type of heater due to their easier installation process.
Forced heaters are great for heating up a whole area even with constant moving. They are also incredibly convenient since they have thermostats that let you set the precise temperature and it can automatically run when needed to keep the space at that temperature.
Sounds great, isn’t it?
The only downside is that it takes a while to get a room at the desired temperatures. And if there are any open doors or windows, it’ll take even longer.
Radiant or Infrared Heat
As the name suggests, radiant or infrared heaters direct heat forwards to objects or people that are close by. This makes them perfect for people looking to heat small areas within a larger area such as a patio table or work bench. Their mode of operation can be compared closely to that of the sun which provides a more comfortable kind of heat than forced air heaters. That’s because instead of heating the air, it uses heat waves that pass through people and objects.
The strongest advantage of infrared heaters is that they heat up almost immediately without any delays waiting for an entire room to heat up. There’s also no fan, so there’s no incessant humming or loud noises.
The only limitation with these types of heaters is that you have to be directly in front of them to enjoy the benefits. You won’t really feel the heat if you’re constantly moving around the workshop.
Main Features to Look Out For When Shopping for Garage Heaters
When you’re out buying a garage heater, you want to make sure that it includes all the basic features you could possibly need.
Want to know the basics?
Just like any other appliance, the more customizable your heater is, the better and easier things will be. If you go for a basic unit, you might face common issues like one heat setting or a heat path that is nowhere near where you need it.
If you’re a bit confused about what function you need and what you don’t, why not have a look at all the main features and see which one suits you best.
If you’ve been paying attention to recent heater designs, adjustable louvers are usually the first feature you notice. See, not all workshops and garages are designed the same.
As such, people need something to help direct heat to where it’s needed the most instead of having to move, spin and turn your heater all the time. Adjustable louvers come to the rescue by pointing the heat through a series of directions for a maximum heating effect.
Power Cable Length
When you’re out shopping for a garage heater, it helps if you can find one with a long enough power cord. This will allow you to place the heater as close to the workstation as possible to receive quicker and more efficient results.
Imagine installing an infrared garage heater 10 to 20 meters away from your workstation. There’s no way the heat is getting to you unless you move closer. In case your heater comes with a short plug cable or it requires some hardwiring, get an extension that maintains high voltage.
Carrying Handle and Wheels
If you’re looking for a light and portable heater for your garage, it helps if it comes with as many mobile features as possible. One of these features is a carry handle that lets you carry and reposition the heater easily.
Sure, this may not be an essential feature initially, but you’ll be cursing yourself when you have to awkwardly ferry your heater from one place to another. Similarly, the handle lets you carry the unit without burning your fingers off.
Castors and wheels are both extremely useful features to have on a garage heater. These little accessories enable you to move your heater without needing to lift it off the ground. As garage heaters are getting larger and more powerful, lifting them can be bad for your back and dangerous for your health. Wheels let you ferry the whole thing even while it’s still in operation.
We’re still on the same topic of features, but I feel obligated to mention that the following features should be treated as mandatory and not optional. When it comes to you and your family’s health and safety, not a single compromise should be made no matter how much money it will save you.
The top, must-have safety features on garage heaters include:
Tip Over Off Switch
It’s not entirely uncommon for all sorts of items to get knocked over every now and then, especially in a busy garage or crowded workshop. Getting a heater with tip over sensors guarantees that the unit will shut down if it falls over and avoid any horrible fire hazards and accidents.
Since heaters generate massive amounts of heat, using them continually for long periods of time puts the machine at risk of overheating. Once your heater becomes too hot, it’s prone to getting damaged or too hot to function. Overheat protection comes in the form of an automatic shut off system and in-built safety switch so the heater turns itself off it hits critical internal temperatures.
Cool Touch or Wire Guard
When you’re running a heater anywhere near people, the last thing you want is for it to get too hot to the touch. Whether there are pets, children or even adults, accidents do happen and someone may end up touching the sweltering heater. Buying a heater with a high-temperature wire guard or a cool touch surface helps avoid any accidental burns.
Tips and Secrets for Heating your Garage Safely and Efficiently
As with any other source of heat, there are certain precautions that have to be taken to ensure proper use and user safety.
Did you know that heaters have been pointed out as the sole cause of over 50,000 fires in the US every year?
This is why you need to take superfluous care when using your garage heater. Hopefully, the following tips will help you heat your workshop or garage safely and efficiently.
If what you need is total efficiency, then the first thing you will have to do is insulate your garage or workspace. This will help prevent any heat from escaping and as a result, save you a lot of heat and energy.
As a matter of fact, some homeowners start insulating their garages and find that they don’t need a heater after all. But if your home is still cold and frigid after insulating all the garage walls and ceilings, then go ahead and buy a garage heater.
Check all the Windows and Doors
It doesn’t make any sense to heavily insulate the walls and ceilings of your garage only to leave the doors and windows as they are. Any gaps around the windows or doors are very likely to cause draughts and will allow plenty of heat to escape from your workshop. If your windows are not insulated, go ahead and add some sealant or caulk to fill in all these gaps, keep the heat high and the heating bills low.
Choose the Right Heater
Both the safety and efficiency of your garage heater will be influenced by the type or model you get. Before you even buy one, you should make sure that it is designed for your size garage; no more, no less. So make sure you measure your workshop accurately to get the right heater in there.
Check Out Local Ordinances
You have to know your area code before you install any type of heating appliance in your detached garage. As you will no doubt find out, there are some things that local authorities will not allow.
For example, some states require you to have a permit before installing a heating unit. Others require an inspector to come and inspect if your garage meets the clearance requirement rules. This will really help you avoid any problems with the authorities.
General Safety Tips
There are a few common general safety tips that anyone who owns a garage heater needs to observe. The first rule involves never leaving your heater unattended. If you’re going out, make sure the unit is always turned off.
Similarly, make sure the heater is disconnected before you carrying out any cleaning and maintenance practices. Additionally, you should make sure that flammable substances such as sawdust and debris don’t come into contact with the heater. Last but not least, it’s highly advisable to you keep a fire extinguisher nearby in the event of a fire.
Garage Heater Care and Maintenance
When it comes to garage heaters, the care and maintenance practices differ with the type of model as well as the kind of fuel used. For electric heaters, the maintenance practices are virtually non-existent save for the usual cleaning up.
It’s the gas-powered models that require a mountain of maintenance practices. For starters, you have to monitor the heaters regularly so you don’t suddenly run out of gas. Secondly, you have to remain very vigilant for signs of gas leaks or any loose connections that could pose a serious fire hazard. And lastly, gas-powered models will require you to constantly replace depleted fuel canisters once it runs out.
Did you know that all garage heaters produced are usually modified by the next version?
That’s right; this is exactly why foreseeing or predicting the quality of fabrication and shelf life of a specific heater becomes a nightmare. Fortunately, the length and extent of the manufacturer’s warranty is always a sure way to know what to expect.
It indicates the calculated level of trust and confidence that the brand itself has placed in their own product. Which is why going through heater warranties and their terms are the best reliability indicator you could possibly find. Manufacturer’s warranties for heaters typically range anywhere between a few months all the way to years.
However, some recognized and established brands may even give decades on their warranty. So ensure you check out the warranty length, its terms as well as what previous buyers are saying about the garage heater before you buy.
If you’re going to install a heating unit in your detached garage, then you will have to get an extra insurance cover for it. That’s because detached garages and workshops don’t fall within home insurance coverage. As a result, any accidents or incidents caused by these appliances will not be compensated.
Making sure that your garage heater is tightly secured and equipped with all the latest protection features really helps prevent accidents. However, getting extra insurance will guarantee you protection in the event of an unforeseen incident.
If you’re looking to change your garage heater’s thermostat and turn it to a wall thermostat, then nothing’s stopping you. You might, however, want to know that depending on the unit you purchase, tampering or changing the thermostat might void the warranty. That’s why it’s vital to read through the user manual and proceed to contact the manufacturer directly before doing anything.
While hardwiring a heater offers safer and more powerful operation, this heavily depends on the model. Some electric heaters will require permanent hardwiring while other more portable models have plugs for plugging into any outlet. In the end, the decision whether or not to get hardwired installation will depend on the unit you purchase.
Some heaters for garages will have to be hardwired for more permanent installation. However, other units just plug into an outlet. Either way, both units heat the same way. The only real difference is that with hardwired installation, you will have to contact a certified electrician. Since there will be some serious wiring that needs to be done, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.
So before making any purchase, make a conscious choice whether to have your heating unit permanently installed or if you prefer a more portable unit that can be moved around. If you want a mobile heater, then choose one that’s more compatible with the very same outlet in your garage.
Typically, the type of plug your garage heater will use depends on the size and power of the unit. Every model varies with regards to power consumption.
If your garage outlet can only accommodate a 120V heater, make full sure the one you purchase doesn’t need more or less voltage. Have your outlet looked at by a professional to you know exactly what type of heater to purchase or if you’ll have to install another compatible outlet.
As always, we can’t leave without giving our customers a few worthy mentions. We know our heaters inside out, that’s why our buyers appreciate having some recommendations from guys who have experience with these units.
If you’re looking to go all out with super fast heating for your large workshop or garage, then the only unit you will ever need is the Modine HD45AS0111Natural Gas Hot Dawg Garage Heater. Boasting of a compact design that can pump a serious amount of 45,000 BTU, the HD45AS0111 is definitely one hot dawg and probably the best garage heater. But that’s not even the best part guys!
Throughout our entire list, we are yet to see heat coverage that even comes close to Modine’s unit. People with massive garages, workshops, cellars and commercial spaces will appreciate the large 1000 square feet of coverage. No more braving those cold, chilly mornings or working with almost all your fingers frozen stiff. Get your commercial space warm and toasty with this Godsend heater today.