The In-Depth Buyer's Guide 2019

Best Garage Heaters 

Over 135+ Hours Testing & Reviewing 100+ Heaters.


Contents

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

- August 2019

How We Decided


4 main factors come down to picking the top garage heaters.

​BTU
Heating Capacity


UL & CSA​
Safety


Controls
User Friendly

$89-$700
Value

Editor's Choice

Mr. Heater MH18B Portable Propane Garage Heater

9.8
out of 10
Pros
Cons
  • Burns clean and odor free
  • Efficient Low oxygen and tip-off sensor
  • Dual heating system for fast heat
  • It does not have a thermostat
  • Cannot operate beyond 7000ft above sea level
  • The high setting will not work well with a 1-pound LP tank

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.

Best Kerosene Garage Heater

Dyna-Glo KFA50DGD 50,000 BTU Heater

9.7
out of 10
Pros
Cons
  • One-piece aluminum motor improves durability
  • Up to 50,000 BTUs for large garages
  • It has a safety flame-out sensor
  • The electric cord could be longer
  • Indoor use with other types of fuel requires a lot of venting- it does not have a low oxygen sensor

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.

Best Wall-Mounted Heater

Mr. Heater VF30KBLUELP 30,000 BTU Blue Flame Heater

9.6
out of 10
Pros
Cons
  • Can work without electricity
  • Floor or wall mounted
  • Low oxygen sensor
  • It does not have a multi-output valve
  • Lacks handles to make it portable
  • Low runtime with a 20-pound propane tank

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.

Best Electric Garage Heater

Fahrenheat FUH54 5000watt Heater

9.4
out of 10
Pros
Cons
  • Thermostat is replaceable
  • Comes with mounting accessories
  • Cheaper to run than other garage electric heaters
  • May need professional installation due to the need for a 30-amp breaker
  • Controlling it from the ceiling without a remote can be difficult

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

Best Infrared Portable Garage Heater

Dr. Infrared Heater DR-988

9.1
out of 10
Pros
Cons
  • Heats medium-sized garages super fast
  • Includes fan to distribute heat
  • It has overheating protection
  • The surface runs hots
  • It sends heat one way only

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.

Best 4000 Watt Garage Heater

Dimplex DGWH4031G Fan-Forced Heater

9.0
out of 10
Pros
Cons
  • Fast heat through convection
  • Offers wall and ceiling installation options
  • Economical fan delay function
  • The thermostat is at the back
  • It does not oscillate
  • It is a bit noisy

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.

Best Natural Gas Heater

 Modine HD45AS0111 Hot Dawg Garage Heater

8.9
out of 10
Pros
Cons
  • 80% thermal efficient
  • It uses 3-inch vents
  • Electric ignition system
  • It does not come with a thermostat though it is compatible with one, even smart thermostats
  • It looks bland in bright garages
  • It needs professional installation

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.

Best with a Remote Control

 King Electric KB2407-B2-Eco 7500Watt Garage Heater

8.7
out of 10
Pros
Cons
  • Offers fan-only and eco modes
  • The epoxy-coated motor is enclosed
  • Comes with an infrared remote control
  • The timer cannot be set in intervals
  • It clicks when cycling which can be annoying
  • It does not satisfy large-garage heating needs.

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.

Best 1500Watt Garage Heater

 Heat Storm HS-1500-IMO Mojave

8.4
out of 10
Pros
Cons
  • Overheat protected
  • Lifetime washable filter
  • Digital LED control panel
  • You have to hit the off button twice for it to stop running
  • It has plastic parts that may reduce durability
  • It can take longer up to an hour to heat a large garage

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.

Only Heater with a Workspace Light

Optimus H-9010 Garage Heater

8.1
out of 10
Pros
Cons
  • Heater and light are independent of each other
  • Wall or ceiling mounting options
  • Sturdy metal housing
  • The quality of the brackets could be better
  • It does not have a thermostat
  • It’s slower than models that have fans

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.

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.

1

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.

2

Types of Garage Heaters depending on fuel

There are different heater types depending on the fuel they use;

Gas Heaters
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.

Natural Gas
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.

Electric Heaters
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.

Convection Heaters
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
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.

#

Devince Name

Heating Capacity

Size

Rating

1

4,000 – 18,000 BTU

450 sq. ft.

2

50,000 BTU

1200 sq. ft.

3

30,000 BTU

1000 sq. ft.

4

5000 Watts

400 sq. ft.

5

5600 Watts

600 sq. ft.

6

13,640 BTUs

250 sq. ft.

7

45,000 BTU

1000 sq. ft.

8

7,500 Watts

750 sq. ft.

9

5,200 BTUs

1000 sq. ft.

10

1500 Watts

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. 

Rank

Product Name

Time to Heat in 1500 Sq Feet // Minutes

1

Mr. Heater MH18B

23

2

Dyna-Glo

25

3

Mr. Heater Vent-Free

28

4

Fahrenheat FUH54

28

5

Dr. Infrared Heater

33

Garage Heater Features

​Learn about the top features of a garage heater before you buy

  • Heating Capacity
  • What about the BTU
  • Safety Features
  • Controls
  • PLACEMENT

​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.

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