The In-Depth Buyer's Guide 2019
Best Garage Heaters
Over 135+ Hours Testing & Reviewing 100+ Heaters.
- 1 Winner: Mr. Heater MH18B Portable Propane Garage Heater
- 2 Test Results and Ratings
- 2.1 - September 2019
- 2.2 4 main factors come down to picking the top garage heaters.
- 2.3 Editor's Choice
- 2.4 Mr. Heater MH18B Portable Propane Garage Heater
- 2.5 Best Kerosene Garage Heater
- 2.6 Dyna-Glo KFA50DGD 50,000 BTU Heater
- 2.7 Best Wall-Mounted Heater
- 2.8 Mr. Heater VF30KBLUELP 30,000 BTU Blue Flame Heater
- 2.9 Best Electric Garage Heater
- 2.10 Fahrenheat FUH54 5000watt Heater
- 2.11 Best Infrared Portable Garage Heater
- 2.12 Dr. Infrared Heater DR-988
- 2.13 Best 4000 Watt Garage Heater
- 2.14 Dimplex DGWH4031G Fan-Forced Heater
- 2.15 Best Natural Gas Heater
- 2.16 Modine HD45AS0111 Hot Dawg Garage Heater
- 2.17 Best with a Remote Control
- 2.18 King Electric KB2407-B2-Eco 7500Watt Garage Heater
- 2.19 Best 1500Watt Garage Heater
- 2.20 Heat Storm HS-1500-IMO Mojave
- 2.21 Only Heater with a Workspace Light
- 2.22 Optimus H-9010 Garage Heater
- 2.23 Garage Heaters Brands and Market Growth Rate
- 2.24 Garage Heaters Buying Guide
- 2.25 The devil is in the details folks.
- 2.26 Insulate! Insulate! Insulate!
- 2.27 Types of Garage Heaters depending on fuel
- 2.28 Top 10 Garage Heaters Compared
- 2.29 We like data, too. Especially data that helps you find the garage heater that is just right for you and your home.
- 2.30 Heating Time In 1500 Sq Ft.
- 2.31 Tests are paramount. Especially tests that show which garage heater is objectively the fastest at heating a 1500 sq ft room.
- 2.32 Mr. Heater MH18B
- 2.33 Dyna-Glo
- 2.34 Mr. Heater Vent-Free
- 2.35 Fahrenheat FUH54
- 2.36 Dr. Infrared Heater
- 2.37 Frequently Asked Questions
- 2.38 Garage Heater Features
- 3 Garage Heater Related Articles
Winner: Mr. Heater MH18B Portable Propane Garage Heater
9.8 out of 10
After considering more than 100 garage heaters, researching their features and eliminating the models that did not offer something unique to the homeowner, we ended up with ten best garage heaters.
Of the ten, only one deserves the top best; Mr. Heater MH18B. This model is not only lightweight and portable, but it also has a dual heating system. It heats up fast and evenly while burning liquid propane gas.
It offers both indoor and outdoor use. It provides weeks of use in the coldest temperatures up to 200F. It does not need to be vented and it auto power offs once it detects low oxygen levels. This heater is safe for everyday use as long as you have a full propane gas tank.
Test Results and Ratings
- September 2019
How We Decided
4 main factors come down to picking the top garage heaters.
UL & CSA
Mr. Heater MH18B Portable Propane Garage Heater
Why We Like It: Mr. Heater MH18B will shut off when the garage or workshop is low on oxygen levels or if you accidentally knock it over. Having been CSA (Canadian Standards Association) certified, you can rest assured it is safe to use indoors.
What’s more, this heater offers three heat options. The maximum being 18,000 BTU you can adjust it to heat at 4,000 BTU or medium heat at 9,000 BTU.
A built-in spark igniter ensures you will never use a matchbox to light this heater. And finally, it has the option to connect it to a direct gas line.
As always, you will want this propane heater at least 4ft from pets and flammable materials. Compared to other heaters on the market, this is a clear winner. For commercial and industrial application there is Mr. Heater Liquid Propane Forced Air Heater designed to provide up to 85,000 BTU . There is also Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy with 9000 BTU output.
If you are looking for a garage heater that will not rack your energy bill, Mr. Heater MH18B is the perfect match for your needs. It burns liquid propane and is capable of medium-sized garage heating up to 450 sq. ft.
With a dual heating system, Mr. Heater MH18B gives you around 220 hours on only one 20-pound propane tank. Think of all the time you wished you could get a heater that gives you fast heat for an extended period, and this heater got you covered.
It takes approximately 20 minutes to heat its maximum space size thanks to its dual heating system. For those with single and double garage sizes, you will be warm even before you are done setting up your workspace or gym.
The heater combines both radiant and convection type of heating. As such, it releases warmth that will heat the things around it including you in a shorter time. It is quiet, 95% fuel-efficient, and gives you instant heat when you need it.
Additional Pros: Does not need direct venting Sturdy carry handle allows portability, Can operate on 4D batteries
Best Kerosene Garage Heater
Dyna-Glo KFA50DGD 50,000 BTU Heater
Why We Like It: Dyna-Glo KFA50DGD does not need any assembly. It lights up using an electric igniter that works each time responsively. It is CSA-certified, portable, and requires minimal venting when used indoors. The heater has a low fuel and overheat sensor that shuts it off in any of the two circumstances. You can’t go wrong with this multi-fuel heater.
Warm up your double or triple car garage with a heater made for the job. Dyna-Glo KFA50DGD is a multi-fuel forced air heater that operates on K1 kerosene, # 1 diesel, and # 1 fuel oil. For garages, we recommend K1 kerosene because it not designed to be used with an external flue.
This heater offers an incredible 50,000 BTU of heat. It can heat any garage setting up to 1200 sq. ft. in around 30 minutes. It has a thermostat that makes it easy to set the temperature. You don’t have to cycle it on and off.
The 5-gallon fuel tank provides up to 10 hours of runtime. It has a fuel gauge for timely refills too. You will like that it is 98% fuel-efficient. When using the right kind of fuel, this heater burns clean without any odors. It can heat uninsulated garages, and you can also use it outdoors.
Additional Pros: Ideal for medium and large-sized garages, It has a handle and cord wrap, Burns clean and fume-free with K1 kerosene
Best Wall-Mounted Heater
Mr. Heater VF30KBLUELP 30,000 BTU Blue Flame Heater
Why We Like It: This heater can be mounted to the wall or the floor. It comes with the mounting brackets and fasteners for fast and easy DIY installation. At a burn rate of 1.389lbs/h, it gives you 30 hours of use on a 20-pound propane tank. We find that it uses gas faster than its MH18B cousin, but it’s open for direct line installation. Note that this heater requires a low-pressure hose and regulator. This makes a smart industrial heater.
Mr. Heater VF30KBLUELP burns fuel efficiently without the need to do any ducting or installing conduit pipes. Unlike other heaters that rely on electricity to run the fan-system, this one uses natural convection to drive hot air out and cold air in it.
It means you will still be warm and comfortable during power outages. It can output 30,000BTUs to heat spaces as large as 1000 sq. ft. It has an efficient thermostat that helps set your ideal temperature. The heater also comes with a low-oxygen sensor, and a battery-operated ignition system.
The built-in fan of this heater is super quiet. It distributes heat more evenly, and since it heats the air, your garage or workshop will remain warm even after you shut it off.
Additional Pros: Low oxygen sensor, The blower is virtually quiet, Easy temperature regulation on the thermostat
Best Electric Garage Heater
Fahrenheat FUH54 5000watt Heater
Why We Like It: Fahrenheat FUH54 is built with safety in mind. It cuts out power if it overheats. It then turns back on when temperatures normalize. It should be installed on a 240V line with a 30-amp breaker since it is rated for 20 amps. As such, it will trip most home breakers rated at 20 amps. Overall, Fahrenheat FUH54 is a reliable electric heater, masterfully designed to output heat fast and quietly. It is straightforward to install and use in the coldest of months. For industrial application there is the Fahrenheat Ceilingmount Industrial Heater 7500W
Fahrenheat FUH54 does a decent job to warm garages up to 400 sq. ft. It gives you peace of mind since you don’t need to worry about any carbon monoxide. It can be installed on the ceiling such that it can radiate heat in the direction you want.
The sturdy steel construction offers years of safe use. With its adjustable louvers, it can direct the heat accordingly. You will like that it has a single-pole thermostat that does an excellent job of controlling temperatures to the ideal level you put it. Temperatures for this model can be set between 450 and 1350F.
This heater will never turn on the blower until temperatures are at a minimum. This means it will never blow cool air in an already cold garage. With a heating capacity of 5000 watts, most single and two-garage homeowners will be pleased with it.
Additional Pros: Auto shuts off if it overheats, Five louvers direct heat accordingly
Best Infrared Portable Garage Heater
Dr. Infrared Heater DR-988
Why We Like It: Dr. Infrared Heater DR-988 provides lots of heat for medium-sized garages. It does not need any kind of installation except plugging in. Because this heater draws 30 amps, it will need a 40-amp breaker when installing it. It should be pretty easy with a professional. And don’t forget, it needs to be used on the floor and not the wall or the ceiling.
Dr. Infrared Heater DR-988 is a popular, industrial-grade space heater. On top of its portable design, this heater will warm your garage using clean, infrared heat. It has a max capacity of 5600W that you can set down to 4800w for comfortable heat.
The heater is UL-certified and C-UL listed. It cuts off power once it detects any overheating. This way, it won’t be a fire hazard more so when working in a crowded garage workshop. The thermostat gives you a wide range of temperature settings between 45 and 95F on a simple dial.
It toggles between your comfortable temperature settings and the minimum automatically. You don’t have to go back and restart it once the room cools down. Better still, it outputs only 48dB noise, and with a regular vacuum, you’ll be able to clean it so that it does not clog and become noisy.
Additional Pros: Comes with thermostat control, Finger-proof stainless steel housing
Best 4000 Watt Garage Heater
Dimplex DGWH4031G Fan-Forced Heater
Why We Like It: Dimplex DGWH4031G is fan forced heater that uses a propeller type of fan. It means it can accurately give off heat in all directions. It helps you work in the comfort of warmth without worrying about carbon monoxide or an empty tank. Everything about it spells performance. It can raise temperatures from 200F to 700F in 30 minutes when its chilling outside. You don’t have to be cold tolerant when you could have Dimplex DGWH4031G.
Built with 20-gauge stainless steel, Dimplex DGWH4031G offers incredible long term performance. Its panel design involves a fan that helps distribute heat in small-sized garages up to 250 sq. ft. It is energy efficient thanks to its fan delay feature
With its adjustable thermostat controller, you will find it easy to set optimum temperatures between 410F and 1090F. After that, the heater does all the work for you.
This heater allows you to install it either in the ceiling or against the wall. At only 12 pounds, this heater can be used in different areas of your garage since it also integrates a comfortable handle. It works on a 240V outlet and needs a 30-amp breaker.
Additional Pros: Powder coated stainless steel construction, Automatic temperature control
Best Natural Gas Heater
Modine HD45AS0111 Hot Dawg Garage Heater
Why We Like It: Modine is a unique brand. With this heater, you get ten years of warranty on the heat exchanger. You can even choose between a separated-combustion and a power vented heater. Both have their advantages. You will want to explore which of the options applies to your situation. The dependability of this heater is just amazing as you can count on it in the coldest months.
If you have a triple car garage, Modine HD45AS0111 Hot Dawg offers the right combination of efficiency and power requirements. It is quiet, blends with most garages, and has overheat protection. It is gas fired from a natural gas line, or you can use liquid propane. Modine offers conversion kits if you need to change your heating source.
If you like tinkering with your cars or motorbikes, this heater makes it all better in winter. Its 45,000 heating capacity is unbeatable even in uninsulated garages. Modine allows you to use regular-sized vent pipes for your side wall or the roof. It can be piped from either side of the heater so no worries there.
Additional Pros: Offers versatile installation, Aluminized heat exchanger with a 10-year warranty
Best with a Remote Control
King Electric KB2407-B2-Eco 7500Watt Garage Heater
Why We Like It: King Electric KB240-B2-Eco will provide efficient heating for a two car garage. It offers up to 7500 watts of heat so you may want to use two or more for a larger space. The best thing is that you’ll not be dealing with fumes and complicated installation systems. It comes with a universal mounting bracket for the wall or ceiling. And thanks to the remote control, you never need to be physically close to the unit.
It is compact, technologically advanced, and energy-efficient. King Electric KB2407-B2-Eco is perhaps the most effortless garage heater to use. With a two-stage heating system, the eco mode maintains steady garage temperatures by automatically applying the lowest needed wattage for your particular space.
With the digital control panel, you get to choose from room temperature, fan only, eco mode, or use the timer to set ideal heating times. It has adjustable louvers that you use to direct the heat upwards or downwards. Its metallic screen prevents any contact with the rotating blades.
Additional Pros: Permanently oiled bearing motor, Stores temperature settings for the next time it’s used
Best 1500Watt Garage Heater
Heat Storm HS-1500-IMO Mojave
Why We Like It: Heat Storm HS-1500-IMO Mojave is such a compact heater, but it works like a massive heavy-duty model. It uses unique heat exchangers to account for the tons of heat it outputs. It combines a thoughtful design and moisturized heat which is why it is ideal for the dry winter weather. With an adjustable thermostat, LED display, and ETL safety features, nothing could keep you from enjoying the convenience of this heater.
Bring your infrared heater to the garage and back to the main house hassle-free. With the Heat Storm HS-1500-IMO Mojave, it’s all about convenience, safety, and portability. This heater outputs 5,200BTUs such that it can heat 1000sq. ft. of garage space.
It utilizes a unique heating system in which a copper heat exchanger provides moisturized heat so that the air in your garage won’t be dry. It includes a fan that comes in handy to distribute the heat much faster in every corner. It offers stable heat that won’t stop as soon as you switch the unit off.
Heat Storm Mojave has a thermostat temperature controller and a remote control. Changing the heat settings comes easy even from the other side of the workshop. The heater is also cool to the touch, and so is the wall you place it against. It is still advisable to keep it 3ft. from combustibles to be on the safe side.
Additional Pros: Uses a standard plug, Comes with a remote control
Only Heater with a Workspace Light
Optimus H-9010 Garage Heater
Why We Like It: It’s not usual to get a heater that has a usable halogen light. But Optimus H-9010 works great for its size. It saves you space, warms you up and promises long term usefulness. No assembly or hard wiring is required. It works excellent when temperatures are in their 30s which means you won’t be shivering when the cold months hit. It takes the chill out even when used by four persons. Its dependability does not equal its size which is why it is a favorite pick.
Optimus H-9010 Garage Heater offers heating and lighting benefits. Its heat output is between 750-1500 watts enough to warm a small sized garage. It lets out a soft halogen light that can be independently operated with an on/off pull cord.
This heater features a compact, space-saving design with flexible mounting options. It emits infrared heat that warms you up much faster than models that first heat the air. This heating method saves you energy. It is focuses on where you need the heat.
You get to enjoy a decent time of use thanks to the durable metal housing. It is sleek, modern, and will fit in any garage setting. Whether it’s a gym or home office, it does not detract from your décor.
Additional Pros: Auto shuts off if it overheats, Ultralight at only 8.25 pounds
Garage Heaters Brands and Market Growth Rate
The need for domestic space heating is at an all-time high as we face serious weather changes due to global warming. A CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 4.96% is forecasted in the 2018-2023 period by the HVAC Equipment Market Report of 2018.
This growth also includes garage heaters which have been in consumer market for decades.
But it was not after the introduction of Mr. Heater’s Buddy Heater in the year 2000, that the indoor heating industry saw major changes. Portable infrared heaters quickly grew in popularity because they gave off instant heat without the need to be hard wired. Other leading brands include DR Heater, Comfort Zone
As the Mr. Heater brand became and still is a name to reckon with in this industry, brands like Dr. Infrared heater and Dyna-Glo were also inventing their low-cost and consumer-friendly garage heaters. And with Modine, Heat Storm, and King Electric already in the picture, they contributed in developing technologies to cut out low-cost competition from China making the garage heating industry what it is today.
You can find innovative, low-cost designs that include accurate thermostats, remote controllers, smart integration, and the combination of electric and radiant heat. With an aim towards reliability, efficiency, and comfort, we can say that these top brands lead the pack in modern-day garage heating.
READ THE MANUAL
When looking to buy a garage heater, it’s important to look at the specifications of each model. There are those that will work with an existing setup like a gas line while others need hard wiring and installing of vents.
Also, be keen to read the manufacturer’s instructions manual. The last thing you want is to have a fire hazard because of incorrect installation and setup. This way, you won’t void your warranty if something is wrong with the heater.
Garage Heaters Buying Guide
The devil is in the details folks.
Insulate! Insulate! Insulate!
Garage heaters do not save you money on energy. That’s a fact. It can’t be any more accurate if you are choosing an electric heater. Not weatherizing the garage means you will be losing heat through the windows, door, the roof, and the walls. If the rest of the house is already insulated, why not get it through to the garage? It pays off with time since you won’t be paying a racked up energy bill for nothing. You better get to it now; at least 6 inches in the ceiling and 4 inches in the walls. Ensure that you use an energy efficient door. We are talking about a double or triple layered garage door with a high R-value from 10. Choose insulating materials like steel, wood, and composite wood. Also, use the same type of windows that you use for the house. You will find that you don’t have to use the heater all through the day. Look at these types of garage insulation to consider.
Types of Garage Heaters depending on fuel
There are different heater types depending on the fuel they use;
Considered the cheapest type of fuel, gas heaters are a cheap option to heat your garage. Gas garage heaters are in two types.
Liquid Propane Powered Garage Heaters
These are freestanding heaters that require a propane tank. The heater will not need to connect to a gas line, so they are convenient portable heaters. The only negative to it is that they can produce carbon monoxide are not recommended to use at night.
Garage heaters that use natural gas are ideal if you already have a gas line installed for other heating purposes like your furnace or oven. This way, you can have a professional extend the line to the garage. Natural gas heaters require direct venting to the outside to make it safe for you to work without risk of suffocation. If you are the DIY kind of guy, here’s a little help to do it correctly. Choose a natural gas heater with the highest BTU rating you can afford.
These are still a great option if your power rates are affordable. They come in three types including panel, convection, and infrared heaters. You must have an electric outlet in your garage since they work by converting electricity into heat.
Infrared Heaters/ Radiant Heaters
People use portable radiant and infrared heaters interchangeably. But this is because they heat the things around them like furniture, the floor, the wall, people, pets, etc. They do not heat the air. As such, they are the fastest way to get warm and toasty in winter. They should, however, always be at least 4ft from flammable items. Radiant heaters are not capable of heating large rooms while infrared heaters can heat large spaces.
These are the most common type of heaters. They use the science of convection. Warm air rises while cool air falls as they heat the air around them. You will find different designs of these heaters from radiators to baseboard, and ceramic heaters. Because of the fan in a convection heater, you will be dealing with noise which is something you want to consider if you want a convection heater. The good thing with convection heaters is that they can warm the garage more evenly.
Panel heaters combine the benefits of radiant and convection heaters. They use fans to distribute heat around the room so they can fill a large space with toasty warmth.
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Top 10 Garage Heaters Compared
We like data, too. Especially data that helps you find the garage heater that is just right for you and your home.
4,000 – 18,000 BTU
450 sq. ft.
1200 sq. ft.
1000 sq. ft.
400 sq. ft.
600 sq. ft.
250 sq. ft.
1000 sq. ft.
750 sq. ft.
1000 sq. ft.
150 sq. ft.
WHY BUY A GARAGE HEATER?
That said, the garage is that room in the house that is often ignored. But there are those of us who get more than just parking cars, bikes, storing garden tools, and random junk. It may be your creative space, a home gym, a workshop, or even a home office.
The cold months can be bitter, and if your garage is not heated like the rest of the house, you may never step foot in it. But with the best garage heater, that valuable space can be used all year round.
Heating Time In 1500 Sq Ft.
Tests are paramount. Especially tests that show which garage heater is objectively the fastest at heating a 1500 sq ft room.
Time to Heat in 1500 Sq Feet // Minutes
Mr. Heater MH18B
Mr. Heater Vent-Free
Dr. Infrared Heater
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you hook a programmable thermostat to a model that has an internal thermostat?
The best advice is to use the heater with a wall thermostat. This option allows tinkering with the heater’s internal thermostat which will probably void your warranty. There are two options, One you can turn the internal thermostat all the way up and let the wall thermostat do all the work, or you can uninstall the internal thermostat entirely and again, the wall thermostat will still do all the work.
Which is the safest type of garage heater?
Any type of garage heater can be safe as long as it is used correctly. You’ll want to apply conscious effort on safety practices around any of them. Overheating can happen to any type, and so is dangerous levels of carbon monoxide emissions on gas-powered garage heaters.
Which is the best place to position your garage heater?
For small garages, you’ll want the heater to be on the floor away from anything that could knock it over including your feet. For mounted heaters, aim for at least 18 inches from the floor. But if you have a large garage, they should be at least 7ft from the floor.
How much of an electricity bill increase should you expect?
It depends on the heater you have. With a model like Fahrenheat FUH54, you can expect around $100 per month depending on how often you use it. Other heaters fall more or less in this energy increase rate.
Garage Heater Features
Learn about the top features of a garage heater before you buy
- Heating Capacity
- What about the BTU
- Safety Features
You should match your garage heater to your heating needs in terms of the size of your garage. When getting an electric heater, the capacity is measured in watts.
Know your garage size and match it to the watts in a ten-to-one ratio. For example, if the heater has a 4000W rating, divide that by 10, and you have the recommended area size in square feet. In our case here, 400 sq. ft. If the heater is not heating the garage sufficiently, check the heating element or the thermostat.
WHAT ABOUT THE BTU
BTU (British Thermal Unit) is the energy unit required to heat a pound of water by a degree Fahrenheit. In heating units, it is BTU per hour (BTU/h). Most manufacturers don’t bother with the h.
1000 BTU= 293 watts
1 watt = 3.41 BTU
If a heater has a BTU rating of 45,000 BTU, it is equivalent to 13,188 watts. That means it can heat a garage that is around 1300 sq. ft. A high BTU rating indicates a high heating capacity which is what you want in your garage heater.
Here’s a good BTU calculator to help you know your exact needs.
ADEQUATE SAFETY FEATURES
Consider only heaters that are UL & CSA certified and ETL listed. UL (Underwriter Laboratories) and ETL (Edison Testing Laboratories) both have safety standards that appliances must meet. Make sure to look for a mark by these three institutions.
A safety mark means the heater has passed the stringent standards of these companies. This is because heaters are considered a top cause of fires in homes.
Other safety features include auto turn off when the heater reaches its temperature limit or if it knocked over.
More on garage heating safety tips.
A thermostat and a remote control are nice features to have in any garage heater. They allow you to set the amount of heat and temperature with convenience. With a thermostat s you won’t need to turn off the heater once it gets warm enough and on again when it cools down. The heater maintains the heat for you.
PLACEMENT - DON'T COMPROMISE!
Look for heaters that allow versatile placements. A long power cord, for example, will enable you to set the heater in a practical space.
Again, a heater that comes with a ceiling mount bracket is excellent when you want the heater out of the way.