If you’re like most people who have transformed their garages into working stations, you know how important it is to have the most efficient garage heater.
The garage is one place that can get freezingly cold during winter, denying you the chance to continue with your projects. But you don’t have to because a space heater is a great way to add spot heating to rooms that don’t get warm even when the central heat is running.
Not all garage heaters are the same, and picking the best garage heater can be tricky, especially if you don’t know that power and reliability are more important than price.
In this detailed garage heater review, I’ve done the research and recommended some of the best products today. I’ve included different heaters and models that promise to heat your garage without spiking your electricity bills.
Overall #1 Rated Pick
Best Value for Money
Most Energy Efficient Garage Heater Comparison Table
Reasons Why You Need a Garage Heater
- Garage heaters keep you and your car toasty: A warmer garage equals a warmer vehicle. This will help extend the life of your car’s battery. Additionally, when you have a garage heater, you don’t have to worry about the cost of fuel or electricity since you don’t have to warm the vehicle or plug it in the block heater like when you park outside. As a result, you’ll have low maintenance costs, including cleaning, sweeping snow, and scraping ice off.
- Garage heaters can also reduce energy costs and they are a more efficient way to heat your garage: A garage heater uses several times less electricity per square foot than a general heating system, which allows homeowners to save money on both their gas and electric bills. Maintenance costs are reduced due to garage heaters having no ductwork and producing 50% less humidity than traditional heating systems.
- They are less hazardous for your family: Even if it is cold outside, you should never use your remote starter because of the dangerous carbon monoxide emissions. When you have a garage heater, your car will be warm and ready to go while also keeping your family safe.
- Garage heaters are less expensive: The cost of a garage heater is determined by the amount of space you wish to heat and the speed at which you want it warmed up. In addition, propane and natural gas garage heaters require side-wall or roofs for ventilation. So, if you have a well-insulated garage, you shouldn’t experience any noticeable increase in your utility bills.
- They are compact and quiet: Unilke furnaces, modern garage heaters are small and energy-efficient. Since they don’t require ductwork, you discretely hang them on a wall or ceiling so that they blow the warm air across the room evenly.
Types of Energy Efficient Garage Heaters
Wall/Ceiling Mounted Garage Heaters
The heaters that fall under this category can be mounted either on walls or ceiling of garages and workshops. They come with special brackets that are used to mount them effectively.
For some wall heaters for garages, you can use the brackets to change the direction of heating and mount the heaters either horizontally or vertically. Such heaters provide additional functionality and enable directional heating in large spaces.
Here is how to vent a gas heater through wall
Propane Garage Heaters
Propane garage heaters are more economical and more efficient than electric garage heaters. If you want to heat your garage using propane heaters, choose a vented propane heater.
You can also go for ventless garage heaters. However, make sure they have an in-built ventilation mechanism to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
Kerosene Garage Heaters
If you want to use kerosene heaters in your garage, make sure the space is ventilated adequately since these heaters produce carbon monoxide.
If ventilation is well taken care of, these heaters can cost you up to $70 less to operate than electric heaters.
They have inbuilt reflectors that direct the generated infrared radiation in all directions in space. The radiation then provides uniform heating across the entire room by directly heating inanimate and animate objects.
The main benefit of using radiant heaters for garage is that you will avoid the noise that comes with inbuilt fans. Heaters that have inbuilt fans may be ideal for warming large and drafty rooms but are slightly noisy. Besides, the fan may end up blowing loose particles that may be lying all over a garage or workshop.
Convection heaters have large oil or water-filled radiators. The radiators convert electric energy into heat energy through a heating element. The fluid in the radiator functions in a form of a heat sink.
It stores up the generated heat energy and releases it to the atmosphere steadily. This results in a steady and uniform form of heating that is ideal for large garages.
Infrared Garage Heaters
infrared heater may be the best heater for a garage because it runs so efficiently. These heaters heat garage to an average temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit within 15 minutes. Uses only $5 worth of electricity per day, and can heat a 4 car garage on an 800 square foot wooden floor.
Forced Air Garage Heaters
Forced-air garage heaters have inbuilt fans that are used to push out and distribute the heated air. When either placed on the flow or mounted on roofs or walls, forced-fan heaters can be an effective source of uniform heat in large spaces.
The fan effectively distributes bursts of heated air all over the space. If the heater is a propane or natural gas-burning type, then it can be connected to the main gas line.
Tips for Selecting the Most Efficient Garage Heater
Garage Heater Sizing – How Many BTUs to Heat Garage
This is an important factor to consider when choosing the most appropriate heater. Garage heaters vary in terms of their heating capacity. Generally, heaters that utilize natural gas and propane tend to have higher heating capacities than those which utilize electricity.
Choosing the most appropriate heater for your garage can help you save on heating costs. If you use a small heater that cannot heat your garage, you will end up having cold spots in the room. Using a heater that has excess capacity will be a waste of either electric power or the hydrocarbon used.
So, how many BTUs to heat a garage?
First, you have to determine the size of your garage. Get a tape measure and calculate the dimensions of the garage: length, width, and height. This will give you the total size of your garage in cubic feet.
Next is to find your garage heating capacity in BTUs.
Since most garage heaters come in watts, calculate the necessary wattage by multiplying the square footage by 10
For example: if your garage is 2,000 ft³, the correct wattage is;
2000 x 10 = 20,000 Watts
However, since other heaters are labeled in BTUs, you convert this wattage into BTUs. 1 Wattage is equal to 3.41 btu/h.
Since our wattage (from the example above) is 20,000, the right BTUs is 20,000 x 3.41 = 68,200
Take this final number and round it to the nearest thousand to estimate your total BTU needs. So, in this case, the total BTUs is 70,000
If this is too much calculation for you, use the chart below to find your ideal BTU measurement
|Garage Size||Power in Watts||Power in BTUs|
|240 sq ft (12×20 1 car garage)||2,400 W||8,200 BTU|
|440 sq ft (22×20 2 car garage)||4,400 W||15,000 BTU|
|620 sq ft (31×20 3 car garage)||6,200 W||21,200 BTU|
|800 sq ft (40×20 4 car garage)||8,000 W||27,300 BTU|
|1000 sq ft||10,000 W||34,100 BTU|
|1500 sq ft||15,000 W||51,200 BTU|
Keep in mind that your garage’s efficiency can affect the overall size of the heater you choose. If you have a poorly insulated garage, and you’re hoping that the 70,000 BTUs will heat the garage efficiently, there’s a good chance you’ll be disappointed.
In that case, you’d be better off investing in a higher BTU heater (about 10 percent of the total BTUs) to compensate for the heat loss.
Additionally, you can invest in a ceiling fan to improve the circulation of heat across the room, especially if it has high ceilings.
The level of controls on a heater can help you maximize its efficiency. Control features allow you to change the heating levels of the heater as well as determine when the heater is on or off.
This helps to minimize wastage of the fuel type that the heater uses to provide energy. Therefore, go for heaters that have advanced control features that you can use to regulate the temperature and overall operation of the device.
Some heaters have inbuilt fans and louvers that you can use to enhance their performance. The louvers can be changed to direct the heat to specific locations where it is needed most. The presence of these features can help to ensure efficient utilization of the heater to provide warmth in particularly large and drafty spaces in garages and workshops.
Safety features help to reduce the chances of accidents and enhance the overall usability of heaters. In the end, the features maximize the level of efficient use of heaters. When choosing a heater for your garage, it is advisable to go for electric models that have inbuilt safety features such as automatic shutoff when they get tipped over.
Also, when going for heaters that burn either natural gas or propane, go for the models that have the oxygen deficiency sensor. Such brands automatically go off when the oxygen levels in your space go down to very low levels.
Here are some of the features you need to look at:
- Tip-over-protection: A heater equipped with a tip-over protection switch detects if a heater is being knocked over or pushed into something, causing an immediate shutoff of the heater if it senses the unit is falling.
- Overheat protection: A garage heater with overheat protection detects when the internal components of heater overheats and shuts it off until the unit cools down.
- Flame Failure Protection ; Detects when there’s no flame in an oil-filled space heater, gas heater or propane heater and shuts off heating elements quickly to reduce the fire risk.
8 Most Energy Efficient Garage Heaters
1. Modine HD45AS0111Natural Gas Hot Dawg Garage Heater
- Quiet operation
- Certified for residential, commercial and industrial use
- Low profile design and neutral color
- Installs quickly and easily with field wiring connections and knockouts for quick access to gas and electricity
- Standard power exhaust simplifies side-wall or roof venting with small-diameter vent pipe
The Modine HD45AS0111 is a small-sized but robust garage heater that is suitable for use in domestic, commercial, and even industrial settings. The heater can be used to conveniently cozy up garage spaces that measure as much as 1,125 square feet, thanks to its 45,000BTU value, silent operation, and an over 80% efficiency score.
You can use either roof or sidewall venting for this heater because it uses standard power exhaust and requires a small – diameter vent pipes. However, the venting components are sold separately.
The only drawback of this heater is that the installation process is long and technical enough to require the services of a certified professional.
- Convenient for use in small garages because of its low profile and quiet operation
- Great performance with a heating capacity enough for a 1,125 square feet space
- Easy venting and management because the heater uses standard and small-diameter vent pipes
- The installation process may be detailed and require a skilled and certified individual to complete it
2. Mr. Heater F260550 Big Maxx MHU50NG Natural Gas Unit Heater
- 50,000 BTU per hour heats up to 1250 sq. ft.
- Powered exhaust allows for vertical or horizontal venting
- Easy outside access to thermostat and A/C terminals and gas connection
- Natural Gas to Liquid Propane conversion kit and 2 angle brackets for ceiling mount included
- Minimum 8 ft clearance from floor to base of heater required; Limited 3 year warranty on parts and burners and 10 year warranty on any defects in the heat exchanger
The Mr. Heater F260550 can be an excellent and reliable source of heat in your small-to-midsized home or commercial garage. With a BTU level of 50,000, this heater can provide a cozy environment in spaces that measure as much as 1,250 square feet.
The LP conversion kits maximize the level of usability of this heater. You can use the kit to alternate between natural gas and propane as the fuel of the heater.
The heater has a powered vent; therefore, you can use either horizontal or vertical venting. It all depends on your preferences. Moreover, a thermostat is available for providing enhanced control. However, you will have to purchase the thermostat and venting components separately.
- An LP conversion kit is included for easy shifting between propane and natural gas
- Uses either horizontal or vertical venting, thanks to a powered exhaust
- A great heating capacity that corresponds to 50,000BTUs
- The venting components and thermostat are sold separately
3. GreenTech Environmental pureHeat Garage & Patio – Energy Efficient Floor Heater
The pureHeat Garage & Patio is an innovative heater that can be used to provide warmth in indoor and outdoor environments. It has been specially designed to withstand the effects of the elements and provide uniform heat across mid-sized spaces.
Unlike modern garage heaters that utilize ceramic or oil-filled radiators, this heater utilizes a special fiber heating element. This heating method delivers value for money because it has a lifetime of over 5,000 hours.
However, using this heater comes with several risks. Most notably, the heater can easily get knocked down when you mount it on the stand and leave it standing on the floor of your garage.
The good news is that you can either mount it on the wall or ceiling to avoid such accidents. Besides, it has a safety feature that enables it to automatically shut off when it gets knocked.
- Highly portable because of its slim design and small footprint
- Advanced inbuilt security features, including a 360-degree tip-over protection
- The carbon fiber heating element has 5,000 hours lifetime
- The heater can easily get knocked down when left standing on the floor of the garage
4. Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater
The Mr. Heater F23200 MH9BX has several features that make it one of the notable heaters that you can use to warm your small garage. This propane-burning heater utilizes the radiant heating method to create a cozy environment in outdoor spaces.
The reflectors guide powerful infrared radiation to all areas of the space to create a conducive environment for working even during wintery weather.
It is very convenient to use this heater. You can easily transport it from one place to another, thanks to its small size and the presence of a fold-down handle.
However, there are some Mr Heater Buddy problems that you’re likely to face. The heater has a limited capacity. It can only run for three hours when its propane tank is full. Moreover, it can be used to heat spaces that do not exceed 225 square feet. This means that you cannot rely on it to heat large garages.
- Highly portable because of the compact design and the inclusion of a foldable handle
- Has an auto-shutoff and oxygen deficiency sensor for enhanced safety
- Utilizes radiant heating to create a cozy environment for outdoor spaces
- Unsuitable for use in large spaces that exceed 225 square feet in size
5. Infrared Heater DR-988A Garage Shop Heater
- Infrared Portable electric 208 (4200 watts) -240 (5600 watss) volt heater
- At full power produces ~18,500 BTU
- Fan switch: on or automatic; thermostat control switch. 6-feet heavy duty 3-prong power cord - Plug is: NEMA #6-30P
- Size: 12" x 12" x 16" h
The Dr. Infrared DR-988A is a versatile heater ideal for use in garages, construction sites, and other indoor and outdoor settings. It features a built-in digital thermostat that can be used to regulate the temperature.
When set on the low-temperature mode, the heater maintains the temperature at 45 degrees Fahrenheit. When operating on the high mode, the heater maintains the temperature at 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
It utilizes a dual heating system to provide uniform temperature in large spaces. The radiant and forced air systems are effective enough to eliminate cold and hot spots in the entire garage. This makes the environment conducive for extended use.
- It has an inbuilt thermostat for enhanced temperature control and safety
- The infrared/radiant and forced-air heating systems provide uniform heat to eliminate all cold spots
- The fan may be noisy at times when the heater works for a long time
6. Fahrenheat FUH Electric Heater for Garage
- HEAVY DUTY HEATER: Warm-up just about any large space with this heater that provides long-term comfort solutions with its built-in single pole thermostat that adjusts from 45 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit. .Heating Coverage:400 sq ft
- CONTINUOUS COMFORT: If you have a large drafty space, this heater is ideal. Its powerful output warms up garages, workshops, warehouses and more
- EASY TO USE: This heater includes a ceiling mounting bracket for vertical or horizontal mounting. Adjustable louvers so you can aim your heat directly toward your desired area.
- OUTPUT CONTROL: The high-level cutout automatically shuts off to prevent overheating and reactivates the heater when the temperature returns to normal. The built-in thermostat allows you to set your heat level to deliver as much warmth as you need.
- COMPATIBILITY: Whether you need 208 or 240 volts, this heater is fully compatible with either electrical system.
One of the most notable features of the Fahrenheat FUH Electric Heater is the level of control that you can enjoy when using it. Its ceiling mount brackets and louvers allow for directional heating.
This can be quite useful when you need to deal with cold spots in your garage or any other space. Besides, you can mount the heater either vertically or horizontally.
Moreover, the heater has a built-in thermostat that you can use to regulate its temperature. This helps to keep the heater functional for a long time and avoid the damages that may occur as a result of overheating.
- The adjustable louvers allow for spot heating to eliminate cold spots in the room
- Brackets for horizontal and vertical ceiling mounting are included
- Enhanced control via the built-in thermostat and a high-level cutout
- The heater is slightly noisy when one needs a quiet environment
7. Dr. Heater DR966 240-volt Hardwired Shop Garage Commercial Heater
- Heavy Duty 240V Single Phase 3000/6000W Commercial Electric Heater. In high power mode, the heater will operate at max power of 6000W and in low power mode at 3000W.Heating Coverage:600 sq ft
- Hardwired; Power cord not included in the unit. Dimensions: Overall Height - Top to Bottom: -14.5". Overall Width - Side to Side: -13". Overall Depth - Front to Back: -14.5".
- UL/CUL Listed Wall or Ceiling Mounted Heater; Bracket Included
- Adjustable Thermostat with HIGH and LOW Setting. A dynamically 8 inch fan provide maximum air flow with minimum turbulence and noise, gently distributes warmth through your area
- 5 Adjustable Louvers for to Direct Airflow
The Dr. Heater DR966 is a heavy-duty heater that is effective for use, particularly in drafty or large spaces. It has a powerful fan that forces heated air out and distributes it evenly across large spaces.
Besides, the five adjustable louvers of the heater can be used to direct the heat to spots in the room where it is needed most.
Moreover, the heater is long-lasting because its body is made of high-quality and durable steel and other metals. Thus, using the heater delivers value for money because you will not have to replace or repair it often. However, the heater is slightly noisy because of the forced fan system.
- Great heating capacity, thanks to the use of the forced air system and the inclusion of louvers
- Enhanced performance control using the thermostat and louvers
- Highly durable due to a sturdy design and the use of high-quality steel
- The fan of the heater is noisy
8. Cadet RCP502S 5,000-Watt Portable Garage Heater
- 5000-watt premium utility heater at 240 volts provides warmth for large hard to heat areas like garages and workshops
- Note: Included 6 foot cord requires a NEMA #6-30 (polarized) 30 amp receptacle for operation. Please check your receptacle and/or with your electrician before purchase
- Includes bracket for wall mount or floor stand use
- Rugged USA made 20-gauge steel construction, with a baked-on powder coated paint finish for long-lasting wear
- Built-in fan-only switch provides comfortable air only circulation for summer months
Cadet RCP502S has been specially designed to be used in conventional garages and workshops. The casing of the heater is made of high-quality 20-gauge steel to protect the internal components and keep the heater functional for a long time. You do not have to worry about replacing the heater often.
Also, this heater is capable of providing a steady and reliable source of heat for areas that are as large as 1,125 square feet. Its forced fan system is strong enough to ensure a uniform supply of the provided warmth in large spaces.
The only thing that you need to watch out for when using this heater is a possible buildup of debris. Accumulated dirt can easily damage the heater, causing you to incur additional expenses.
- It can either be mounted on the walls or used on the floor
- The use of 20-gauge high-quality steel and baked-on powder coated paint enhances durability
- The high-low switch provides great control
- The heater can easily get damaged as a result of debris buildup
Don’t abandon all your projects in the garage because it’s winter. Invest in the most efficient garage heater, and you’ll work not only comfortable but also not have to worry about your energy bills.
Keep in mind that you have to take precautions when using space heaters for garages. According to Energy.gov, these units are one of the common causes of fires in households so it’s important to use them safely every time.
Make sure your heater placed in the right position where there is no foot traffic or where children and pets can’t get burned. The best way to prevent all the risks is by using ceiling or wall-mounted heaters.