These cold mornings or winter days, perhaps that late night work out, whatever the reason you need to use your garage, a heater is always a great piece of equipment to have around.
The concept behind the garage heater is simple; it’s a stand-alone unit, connected to the electric mains and heats up small spaces quickly. There are also larger units to heat up larger spaces too. This guide is a look at the top 11 garage heaters we tested out of hundreds that applied for a quality check during 2018.
|Photo||Product name||Power Source||Dimensions||More information|
|1. Profusion Heat||Corded electric||26 x 14.4 x 4.8 inches||View on Amazon|
|2. TPI Corporation OCH46-120V-SS||Corded electric||46 x 6 x 6.5 inches||View on Amazon|
|3. King KBP2406 5700-Watt||Corded electric||11.5 x 10 x 13.5 inches||View on Amazon|
|4. Optimus H-9010||Independently powered heat and light||26.4 x 14.6 x 5.1 inches||View on Amazon|
|5. Modine HD45AS0111||Propane||26 x 12 x 16.5 inches||View on Amazon|
|6. Infrared Heater DR-988||Power Cord||12 x 12 x 15 inches||View on Amazon|
|7. Fahrenheat FUH54||Corded electric||11.2 x 14 x 12.5 inches||View on Amazon|
|8. Heater DR966 240-volt||Hardwired; Power cord not included in the unit.||14.5 x 14.5 x 13 inches||View on Amazon|
|10. Cadet RCP502S||Corded electric||21 x 10.2 x 18.5 inches||View on Amazon|
|11. Heater MH60QFAV||Propane||16 x 8.8 x 13.5 inches||View on Amazon|
- Let’s take a look at best garage heaters:
- 1. Profusion Heat: Ceiling-Mounted Workshop and Garage Heater with Halogen Light HQ1500
- 2. TPI Corporation OCH46-120V-SS Quartz Electric Infrared Heater
- 3. King KBP2406 5700-Watt MAX 240-Volt Single Phase Paw Unit Heater, Almond
- 4. Optimus H-9010 Garage/Shop Ceiling or Wall Mount Utility Heater
- 5. Modine HD45AS0111Natural Gas Hot Dawg Garage Heater 45,000 BTU with 80-Percent Efficiency
- 6. Infrared Heater DR-988 Garage Shop 208/240V, 4800/5600W Heater with 6-30R Plug
- 7. Fahrenheat FUH54 240-volt Garage Heater, 2500-5000-watt
- 8. Heater DR966 240-volt Hardwired Shop Garage Commercial Heater, 3000-watt/6000-watt
- 9. Dimplex DGWH4031 4000-Watt Garage/Workshop Heater
- 10. Cadet RCP502S 5,000-Watt Portable Garage Heater
- 11. Heater MH60QFAV 60,000 BTU Portable Propane Forced Air Heater
Let’s take a look at best garage heaters:
Profusion Heat fabricates standard garage heating units that provide both low cost, high temperature and small space holding heaters. This is their HQ1500 model that offers you a 90o tilt, and an easy to pull on-off switch. The size of this unit makes it easy to place it just about anywhere overhead, just make sure you can reach the pull cord, and secure the unit onto the wall properly.
Dimensions: 24.8” x 7.5” x 13”
This is the TPI Infra-Red (IR) heater that uses quartz tubes to generate heat. OK, now that we have the name started out, let look at this properly. IR is just a fancy way of saying heat since all heat is generated in the IR range. Now, this unit produces a lot of directed heat to a small area very efficiently. The reflecting agent is a gold colored anodized aluminum surface. Aluminum is a better conductor of heat since it needs to heat up its entire surface (quantum heating).
Watts: 1,500 to 3,000
Dimensions: 48” x 5.375” x 6.5”
This is a bigger unit in comparison to other models, but it does heat up more efficiently. It comes with a minimum 60o angle, which is fine, and it does provide three forms of heat transfer; convection, conduction, and radiation. Pricewise its great value for money.
The KBP2406 is a versatile ceiling hung garage heater that lets you set the level of heating with a three-way dial switch. It blasts heat out at the rate you need to heat up your garage space based on CFM.
Watts: 950, 1,900, 2,850, 3,800, 4,750, and 5,700
BTU/CFM: 270CFM – This unit heats at 270 cubic feet per minute.
Dimensions: 13.625” x 10.5” x 11.5”
When it comes to safety, this is one of the best there is since the heating elements are not exposed to touch. It is also versatile in its heating settings, so you get more control. The real clincher for us was the price; this is one of the best value for money, or heating units per dollar price you will find.
The Optimus H-910 is your classic pull cord heating element unit. It comes with the industry standard quartz heating elements and has a pull cord for easy on/off control.
Watts: 2 x 750 (Total = 1,500)
Dimensions: 26.4” x 14.6” x 5.1”
This Modine’s Hot Dawg, which is a gas heating unit, so no heating electricity (only fan) to deal with, but you do need to consider the issue that relates to gas. This model comes with either right or left-hand controls, to make it easier for you to manage. The electricity source for ignition and fan is a standard AC inlet 115V 60Hz. It comes with a Standard power exhaust simplifies side-wall or roof venting with the small-diameter vent pipe.
Dimensions: 26” x 12” x 16.5”
This is a very powerful propane gas powered heating unit, its output is phenomenal, but then so is its price. This will make a dent in your pocket. However, if its real heat you are seeking and for larger spaces, this one will definitely warm you up.
This is the Dr. Infrared Heater DR-988, which is designed for fast heating of medium-sized spaces. The extra-large fan and high wattage work together to create immerse heat conversion within minutes.
Dimensions: 15.85” x 11.5” x 11.5”
This is perhaps one of the best units we are presenting here, its price is very budget friendly, while its heat output is exceptional. The operational costs might be high; it does eat up a lot of electricity. So this is a toss-up for cheap to buy, fast to heat, expensive to run. The extra electricity costs from this will be around $100 per month for 24/7 usage.
This is the Farenheat FUH54 model that can churn out heat within the 45º to 135º Fahrenheit range. This unit is powerful, but so is its electricity usage. However, you cannot escape an electricity bill when heating, and the average monthly increase with this unit is around $100 for constant 24/7 use.
Dimensions: 11.2” x 14” x 12.5”
This is a great heating unit; however, it is slightly more expensive to buy than the Dr. Infrared model 988, which leaves the final decision to you. This one is slightly cheaper on the overall monthly costs, but its initial price is higher (by far).
This is the Dr. Infrared heater model DR966, which is extremely powerful and is the stronger unit than the model 988.
Watts: 3,000 or 6,000
Dimensions: 14.5” x 13” x 14.5”
When it comes to overall heating power, this model is a tough one to beat. It provides more heating power than the model 988 but is also slightly more versatile.
The Dimplex DGWH4031 garage heater is a versatile model; it comes with an extension arm that allows you to swivel the heater in any direction. It also heats up from 7-25°C (45-77°F).
Dimensions: 11” x 7.2” x 9”
This is a nice budget friendly heating unit and is also economical in running since the fan delay uses residual heat for economic performance. In general, if you have the overhead space, this would be a great unit to take. Directional heat is a great plus on very cold days, especially when the garage door is open.
This is the Cadet RCP502S portable garage heater that sits on any surface and churns out heat. What is great about this model is that it doesn’t need to be fixed overhead, and you can carry it around with you for focused directional heating.
BTU: 11,372 to 17,0060
Dimensions: 21” x 10.2” x 18.5”
This is a very powerful unit, and its price reflects its versatility. Since it’s a portable model, you can take it anywhere that has a 240V AC outlet. The price, however, might be something to consider when deciding between a portable or fixed model.
This is the air blowing Mr.Heater model MH60QFAV. It’s for large spaces, and it will blast heat a 1,500 square foot room in minutes. This is a propane gas model; it still requires electricity for fan and ignition, so a 115V AC outlet is a must. This model will run up to 14 hrs on 20 lb. tank on low mode setting.
Watts: 0 (Propane Gas)
BTU: 30,000 to 60,000
Dimensions: 16” x 8.8” x 13.5”
If you want one of the best of the best, then this is the unit to buy. Its very budget friendly for the heat you get, however, it does have one downside, its gas, and that means constantly buying gas tanks and maintaining a no-fire tolerance when around it.
Choosing the Best Garage Heater for you
To decide which heater, you need you to have to consider three factors:
Size: How big is your garage or room space that needs to be heated?
Energy: What power source do you want to use; Electricity or Gas?
CPH (Cost per hour): What is the estimated cost per hour of using the unit, and will it perform that heating job as you want. This is not the purchase price; it’s the purchase price + the operational costs. This is where you take the purchase price and split it over three years (expected lifetime for depreciation) and add the monthly O/H.
By answering these questions, you will be able to ascertain which unit falls within your budget constraints.
Now, within the category of choice, you have to decide whether you want a wall fixed unit or a portable model. In general, portable models give you more freedom to focus the heat on a specific direction, while the wall mounted heaters are used to heat up general areas.
Let’s take a look at the two different power sources more closely:
Gas powered heaters are more economical to use than electric heaters, and the best versions are the natural gas heaters.
Natural Gas Garage Heaters
These provide clean heating and come in two varieties, a fan forced heater or an infrared tube heater. The fan forced is the better delivery method, but remember both methods are dangerous. Natural gas, when burned, can leave toxic gases, so you need to install a proper exhaust system, and your room should have good ventilation. Another issue with gas heaters is their fire risk.
Electric Garage Heaters
Electric garage heaters are still the most popular choice, mainly due to their easy installation, lack of replacing gas bottles, and being safer and less toxic to the environment. On the other hand, they are more expensive to run, and the higher the wattage, the higher the electricity bill you get every month.
These heaters come in two versions, the radiant and the fan-forced. The fan forced heaters to tend to work faster at dispersing heat over larger areas, while the radiant heater units tend to be more localized, focused and better for heating smaller spaces.
The downside of a fan-forced heater is that it will dry out the room and suck out the air quickly, so you need good ventilation. The downside of a reflective heater is that it works best at close range or in small spaces.
Power Output Levels
BTU (British Thermal Unit) is the preferred power output test for garage heaters, CFM is another option, but CFM only gives you the time it takes to heat a space to the temperature you desire, while BTU gives you the absolute temperature you can reach. Watts are used when an electric heater is a preferred choice. However, Watts is not a heat measurement only a power usage measurement. You still need to know how many BTU’s or Fahrenheit your electric unit will generate at the watts they provide.
250’ garages are best heated with 4,000 to 9,000 BTU; you don’t need more than that.
500’ spaces will need a larger unit, and preferably a gas one that generates 25,000 BTU’s and up.
Never underestimate the dangers of a heating unit, whether electricity or gas powered. These are one of the main causes of house fires and as such, must be properly maintained and operated.
When installing any heater, make sure the connections are secure and safe. For gas this means no leaks, for electricity, this means closed circuits and no water.
Touch-safe: Make sure your heating element has either a cool touch surface or a wire guard to protect you from touching the heating element by mistake. Remember, the right guard is also hot, so don’t touch that either.
Overheating Protection: One of the biggest issues with heaters is overuse. Sometimes, on very cold days, you will turn the heater on and leave it on even after finishing your work. This can lead to overheating and will either damage the unit or pose a health risk. Find a unit with an overheating safety switch; this means the unit will turn off automatically when the integrated sensor registers pre-set danger levels.
Tip-over Switch or Sensor
The best models today come with a tip over safety switch. This means that when a portable model falls over, the unit will recognize this through an integrated tumbler switch that will turn the unit off.
The best heater units will come with a heat adjustment setting. The most basic ones will come with a pull cord, this will either turn the heater on and off or go through two or more modes of heat.
The more versatile models will come with adjustable switches that allow you to choose the heat levels, either by increments or by smooth curve adjustable heat levels.
Certain fans come with adjustable louvers that can direct the flow of heat to a specific location, these are usually found on fan blown heaters and are very useful in smaller confines or on portable models, where you want to control the direction of the heat.
Power Cord and Gas Hose Length
Always make sure that your unit has enough power cord and gas hose length. Electric units only need a power cord, and the fixed ones just need to connect to a main. The portable ones should come with enough length to enable you to position them wherever you want in your room.
Gas models should come with enough hose length to allow you to keep the gas tanks safely secured away from any heat sources.