Garages are one of the areas of the home worst affected by extreme weather. In the summer, it gets too hot in there, and when the weather changes and cold season sets in, it again becomes wintry in the garage – compared to the rest of the home.
It’s partly because garages are not as weatherproofed as the rest of the home. Insulation in the garage, for instance, is rarely as good as in the living rooms. That results in easy heat entry in the summer and an escape in the winter.
A supplementary heat source can help you beat the chilly conditions this cold season. Specifically, I think you should acquire the best radiant heater for garage. I’ll tell you why shortly.
But, first, let’s understand what radiant heaters are and how they work
Best Radiant Heater For Garage Comparison Table
What is Radiant Heating?
Radiant heating is a form of heat transfer where the heat is transmitted in electromagnetic waves. These electromagnetic waves are invisible to the naked eye.
Radiant heaters are usually contrasted with convectional heating where heat is transferred to air particles surrounding the heat sources and transferred to objects via these molecules.
The best example of radiant heating is what happens when you bask in the sun. The rays from the sun reach you via radiation.
It’s worth noting that all objects radiate energy in some form. Even predominantly convective heaters transfer some of the heat through radiation. What differentiates radiant heaters is that nearly 99% of the heat is transmitted through radiation.
Pros of Radiant Heat
Radiant heaters come with multiple advantages as well as a few drawbacks. The following are some of the pros and cons you should be aware of;
Radiant heating is one of the most natural ways to absorb warmth through the skin. It is gently and very safe heat. The following are some of the reasons you should consider radiant heating in the garage;
Convectional heaters take longer to heat objects in the room (including you) because it relies on movement on the air in the room. The surrounding air must absorb the heat first, heat up, and circulate throughout the space for you to feel the warmth.
Radiant heating doesn’t rely on air movement. The electromagnetic waves heat you directly. Therefore, unless there are obstructions between you and the heater, you’ll feel the heat right away.
Increased Savings from Zonal Heating
A significant challenge with convectional heating is that the overreliance on air movement means that there’s a risk of cold spots in the home. A slight wind, for instance, can push the heat in a different direction – maybe even away from the areas of the home you’d like to heat.
The problem is further compounded if the fan isn’t strong enough. Sometimes the heat doesn’t reach the intended zone. Heat loss is also a possibility.
Radiant heaters solve this problem by allowing you to direct the heat where you want it. Additionally, since radiant heat doesn’t warm air, the wind doesn’t affect heating. Thus, heat loss is significantly reduced.
Improved Indoor Air Quality
Radiant heaters don’t alter indoor air. Convective heating, though invaluably useful in certain situations, tends to drain indoor air of humidity, resulting in dry air.
Dry air creates the risk of inflamed sinuses and dry skin which can lead to more severe health issues. Dry air is also notorious for static electricity – precisely what you don’t want in the garage.
Radiant air doesn’t dry up indoor air. It also doesn’t interfere with the oxygen composition of the atmosphere. Therefore, you’re guaranteed a much higher indoor air quality.
We’ve already mentioned that there’s very little heat loss due to environmental factors (such as wind). But, that’s just the start.
Radiant heaters also burn incredibly efficiently and are excellent at heat retention. Most of them are 99% efficient or higher, with a few as efficient as 99.9% efficient. It means that very little heat, if any, is lost, making one of the most energy-efficient garage heaters.
A ripple benefit of this high efficiency is the low toxic byproducts. You don’t have to worry about poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide or even smoke.
Cons of Radiant Heaters
Despite the many advantages of radiant heating, however, the heating method is also known for a few drawbacks, including;
They Get Very Hot
When the coils inside a radiant heater heat up, they can become red hot. This often results in hot housing. Although most manufacturers try to minimize the hotness of the housing using various technologies, it’s still advisable to keep the kids and pets away from the heater.
It also helps to consider models with cool-to-touch housings. The downside with cool-to-touch models is that they often have a fan. This negates any of the advantages you’d experience with radiant heating otherwise.
Targeted Heating has Shortcomings
As we’ve seen, the targeted heating generated by radiant heaters is excellent for zonal heating. It also minimizes heating costs. However, the approach also has one significant advantage – you must be within the heating range to benefit from the warmth.
The easiest way to visualize this problem is to think about sunlight. You only feel the heat when you’re in direct sunlight. When you move to shade, the warmth is gone.
Radiant garage heaters work the same way. If you move out of the path of the heat rays, you won’t feel the heat.
Best Radiant Heater For Garage
1. DeLonghi TRD40615E Full Room 1500-watt Radiant Heater
- DURABLE & MAINTENANCE-FREE: Patented, high-quality steel assembly and the permanently-sealed oil reservoir never needs refilling
- RADIANT HEAT: 1500 watts of heating power for quiet, full room comfort
- PERSONALIZED COMFORT: Customize to your heating needs with an adjustable thermostat and three heat settings
- PATENTED THERMAL SLOTS: Unique thermal slot design maximizes heat flow into the room while maintaining a low surface temperature
- PEACE OF MIND: Features a thermal shutoff to prevent overheating
- STAY COZY AND SAVE ENERGY: Carving out a comfortable room, desk, or other cozy spot for work, focus, and learning is more important than ever. Add this heater to your designated space to keep it cozy—optimizing productivity and turning an unexpected challenge into an energy-saving win
The TRD40615E from DeLonghi is a durable, maintenance-free high-quality steel assembly oil-filled heater. As with similar heaters, the permanently sealed oil doesn’t require refilling.
What separates this 1500-watt heater from the rest, however, is the thermal chimney that provides maximum heating while maintaining low surface temperatures.
The heater features an easy-to-operate control panel from where you get to control the thermostat, variable heat settings, and a 24-hour programmable timer. The unit automatically turns on when temperatures dip below 44°F.
The unit features rust-resistant durable metal construction and thermal cut-off. It’s a very mobile unit (with wheels) and comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty.
- Modern, digital control panel
- SmartSnap wheels
- Adjustable thermostat
- Durable steel assembly
- 1-year warranty
- “Crank” and “click” sounds
- Ideal for smaller garages (in the 144 Sq. Ft. range)
2. Mr. Heater Corporation MH70KFR 70,000 BTU Kerosene Heater
- Very low odor
- Low noise output
- Large radiant heat
- Heating coverage:- 1750 square feet
If you’re strongly in love with kerosene garage heaters but feel that the Sengoku Heat Mate isn’t powerful enough for your needs, the MH70KFR from Mr. Heater will undoubtedly meet those needs. The biggest heater on this list (capacity-wise), the unit is rated at an unmatched 70,000 BTU.
The large capacity makes it ideal for two or three-car garages (up to 1,750 Sq. Ft.). What’s even more impressive is that it’s a very mobile heater that you can store after every use and even use it in other applications. A 2.75 lbs. tank is required (sold separately) and lasts 5 hours at full operation.
Aside from kerosene, the MH70KFR uses #1&2 Diesel and #1&2 Fuel oil. It uses spark ignition and is backed by a one-year warranty.
- An incredible 70,000 Btu output
- Ideal for up to 1,750 Sq. Ft.
- Portable heating
- Users other fuel types
- 1-year warranty
- Electricity required
- No ODS
- No safety tip over
3. Mr. Heater F272200 MH25NG 25,000 BTU NG Radiant Heater
- 25,000-BTU natural-gas radiant workshop heater
- Heats up to 625 square feet
- Efficient radiant heat warms objects directly, not surrounding air
- Comes fully assembled; hooks up to existing natural-gas line; how-to video included
- Non-corrosive materials used throughout construction. 1-year limited warranty
Overheat heaters are some of the most common radiant heat sources for garage use. This particular model uses natural gas and burns at 99.9% efficiency, making it one of the most efficient products on this list. The 25,000 BTU is more than enough for a medium-size (about 600 Sq. Ft.) garage.
The unit uses a unique power line thermocouple to control the valve. You don’t need electricity at all. Instead, all that’s required of you is to hook up the included millivolt thermostat with the appropriate wire (bought separately), mount the heater to the wall, and make the gas connection. That’s it!
The unit uses manual match ignition, is recommended for garages with a ceiling height of 7-8 feet, and is rated safe for indoor use. It comes with a one-year warranty.
- Powerful 25,000 BTU heating
- 1-year warranty
- 99.9% efficient
- Thermostat included
- Electricity no needed
- No oxygen depletion sensor (ODS)
- No overheating protection
- Hose and regulator sold separately
4. Sengoku HeatMate HMN-110 Portable Radiant Kerosene Heater
- Perfect for emergency heating or zone heating of rooms up to 380 square feet
- The large capacity 1.2 gallon/4.5 liter fuel tank will keep you warm for up to 14 hours on one fill
- Features an automatic safety shut off, easy push button start (no matches or electricity required), EZ Flame adjuster, tip over switch, and protective safety grills.
- This Heater is suitable for use inside the house, poorly insulated buildings, garages and other hard to heat spaces.
- Ideal for both everyday supplemental heating and emergency situations
The Sengoku Heat Mate is another portable heating option if you want something you can store away when the weather clears up. The first thing you note is that it’s a kerosene heater. It doesn’t need electricity at all. Even ignition uses a battery (included).
The Heat Mate is light at about 22 pounds and has a larger than the standard tank (1.2 gallons) which runs for 14 straight hours. The heaters come standard with safety features such as automatic shut-off and safety grills.
They also come with convenient features such as an EZ fuel adjustor, easy-read fuel gauges, and electric push-button ignition.
The heater is recommended for garages in the 350 to 400 Sq. Ft. range, comes with a siphon pump and is backed by a 1-year warranty.
- Runs for 14 straight hours
- Multiple safety features
- Automatic ignition
- Electricity not needed
- One-year warranty
- Requires wick replacement
5. Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy Portable Propane Heater
- 4,000- to 9,000-BTU radiant heater for spaces up to 225 square feet. Approved for indoor/outdoor use; clean-burning; nearly 100-percent efficient
- When operating the heater at altitudes over 7,000 FT above sea level the heater may shut off.
- Auto shut-off if tipped over, if pilot light goes out, or if detects low oxygen levels. Fuel Consumption/Burn Rate (Gal/Hr) at 4000 BTU = 0.044 Gal/Hr, at 9000 BTU = 0.099 Gal/Hr
- Fold-down handle; swivel-out regulator; connects to propane tank (not included); Run Time (Hrs at Max BTU): 3 Hours
- THE USE OF UN-AUTHORIZED ACCESSORIES/ATTACHMENTS WITH THIS HEATER ARE EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED, MAY CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY, AND WILL VOID THE WARRANTY.
If you’re looking for a heater that you can bring to the garage only when needed (perhaps on the cold days) rather than a permanent fixture, then the Model F232000 from Mr. Heater would be a superb acquisition.
Rated at 4,000-9,000 BTU, this heater isn’t the most powerful. However, it’s as portable as a torch. A fold-down handle allows you to pick up the unit with ease and set it up where heat is needed the most. It runs on propane (tank not included). I’d recommend you buy a 1lb. Certified LP tank. When full, the tank lasts about three hours.
This heater is ideal for smaller garages in the 200 Sq. Ft. range and works even better as a supplementary heat source. It weighs just 9 pounds and comes with a one-year limited manufacturer warranty.
- Built-in ODS
- Tip-over safety switch
- Convenient pilot lighting
- 1-year warranty
- 4-9k BTU is on the low end
- Fuel tanks sold separately
6. Heatstar by Enerco F125444 Radiant Overhead Garage Heater
- Heats up to 500-600 sq. ft. (2-1/2 car garage)
- CSA Certified
- Thermostatic control no power needed
- Mounting Height Range - 7feet - 9feet
Another wall-mounted overhead heater from Mr. Heater, the Heatstar F125444 is also a 25,000 BTU natural gas heater. As with the first one, it’s incredibly efficient, converting 99.9% of the fuel to heat. It’s also recommended for garages in the 500-600 Sq. Ft. range and ideal for ceilings between 7 and 8 feet high.
However, there are a few differences between the two products. For one, unlike the F272200, this model (the F12544) uses automatic electric pilot ignition.
Secondly, while the F272200 only gives a blanked one-year warranty, for this model, you get a one-year warranty on the gas control and 5-year warranty on the burner.
All the necessary installation materials, including the mounting brackets, wall vents, and mounting diagram, are included in the package.
- 25,000 BTU heating
- Up to 99.9% efficient
- Thermostat included
- Durable steel build
- 5-year burner warranty
- No oxygen depletion sensor
- No overheating protection
Factors to Consider when Buying a Radiant Garage Heater
There are more than a dozen things you want to consider when buying a radiant garage heater. Top of the list should be the following;
The first thing is how much power you want in the garage. Heater brands typically indicate the heating capacity of the product on the product label.
But, before you get there, determine the amount of heating you need. As a general rule, an average size garage requires about 5,000 watts, equivalent to about 20,000 BTU.
Type of Heater
Radiant garage heaters come in a wide range of options. Some are fan-forced, while others are fan-free. Others are also electric, while others are gas-powered.
There’s also a choice of quartz vs standard infrared heaters. These options all have advantages and disadvantages. Spare a few hours to research each to make an informed decision.
Portability and Mounting Style
This is another critical factor. Radiant garage heaters can install permanently (semi-permanently) onto the wall or stand on the floor.
Ideally, choose a wall-mounted heater if you use the garage a lot and don’t want to carry the heater around all the time. Freestanding models, meanwhile, are best in smaller spaces or for supplemental heating.
Convenience features range from ease of assembly to digital controls. For wall-installed models, you may want to consider the ease of wiring and whether the installation brackets (and other materials) are supplied.
Also, think about how easy it is to install the unit. For freestanding models, meanwhile, the length of the power cord and anti-tip-over protection are some of the factors to prioritize. Remote control, adjustable thermostat, and multiple heat settings are other factors to consider.
Safety and Other Factors
Safety factors include the tip-over protection for freestanding heaters and overheat protection for all the heaters. An in-built oxygen depletion sensor (ODS) and cool-to-touch housing is another thing you may want to consider.
Other factors include certifications from recognized laboratories and compliance with national/international standards (such as ETL and CSA). Above, make sure you’re getting a warranty.
Garage Radiant Heater FAQs
If you still can’t make up your mind on whether to invest in a radiant heater or settle on a particular model, the following FAQ answers should help;
- Why do I need a garage heater?
The frigidity in the garage during the winter is mostly because of the inadequate insulation and airtightness. A heater will keep you warm whenever you need to use the garage during those cold seasons.
- What’s the difference between radiant and convectional heat?
Convectional heaters heat the air, which in turn heats objects (including you). Radiant heaters don’t heat the air. Instead, the heat reaches you directly in the form of electromagnetic rays.
- What is better – radiant or ceramic heaters?
Ceramic heaters are convective heaters. The only difference between them and standard convective space heaters is that they use a unique ceramic heating element rather than a standard resistance wire. For the garage, radiant heaters direct heat better. However, ceramic heaters are a great option too.
- How many BTUs do I need for my garage?
It depends on several factors, including the size of the garage, insulation factor, your climate, and how many people typically use the garage. However, the generalized requirement is 10 watts or 34.1 BTU (1 watt = 3.4 BTU) per square foot.
- Are garage propane heaters safe?
In general, yes. The appliances are designed to be as safe as possible. However, how you use it also matters. Make sure that there’s plenty of oxygen in the room to avoid CO poisoning. You may also need to invest in a CO sensor. Also, keep the gas cylinders (if any) safe, ensure sufficient clearance, and monitor the kids and pets (if any).
A radiant heater for garage could be just what you need to beat the winter cold this year. Powerful and incredibly efficient, these heaters leaving nothing to chance. They ensure that you’re getting more than enough heat to keep you toasty and comfortable throughout your time in the garage. If you were already dreading the cold season, you should get one.