Your garage is often the last place you think about when it comes to heating in winter. Well, that is until you need to go out there to do some chore that the wife is nagging you about! And then you realize that your garage is cold – why didn’t you think about this problem before winter came around?
But it’s ok, no-one ever does. Lucky for you, I have the answer. The best way to heat your garage in winter is with a… you guessed it… a garage heater!
The latest and top heater models are smaller than ever, and installation isn’t always the hassle that it once was. They’re safe and affordable to run and can help to make that workshop space or garage usable all year round. Here are the best garage heater models on the market today:
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Garage Heater Comparison Table
Use this table to quickly compare our best garage heaters. Keep scrolling down the page for in-depth info on the best models for heating your garage.
|Product||Details||Where to Buy|
|Fuel Type: Electric|
Heater Type: Infrared/Fan
Power: 5,000 watts
Heat Control System: dial thermostat
|Check Price Now|
|Fuel Type: Electric|
Heater Type: Fan Forced Convection
Power: 5,700 watts
Heat Control System: 40-85ºF thermostat control
|Check Price Now |
|Fuel Type: Electric|
Heater Type: Infrared/Fan
Power: 5,600 watts
Heat Control System: 45-95ºF thermostat control
|Check Price Now|
|Fuel Type: Kerosene|
Heater Type: Radiant Element
Power: 10,000 BTU
Heat Control System: Lo/Hi
|Check Price Now|
|Fuel Type: Propane/Natural Gas|
Heater Type: Fan Forced
Power: 50,000 BTU
Heat Control System: Thermostat Control
|Check Price Now|
Use our handy electric heater running cost calculator. Click here.
The Best Garage Heater
Best Garage Heater
NEWAIR G73 GARAGE HEATER
- Rugged, heavy-duty industrial type heater ideal for garages, workshops, basements or outside buildings.
- 17,060 BTU output
- Heats up to 500 sq ft
Our best garage heater is the Newair G73. While there are other heaters on our list, we can’t ignore that this NewAir heater model is the best choice available on the market. Although it is more expensive than other garage heater model, the on-board features, heating output, and ease of use make this industrial-type heater a great investment.
The louvers at the front of the unit allow you to direct the heat to the desired area and, because it has the ability to be attached to the ceiling, it poses no hazards to the kids or pets. This heater is also fan forced, so heat can circulate evenly throughout your garage.
The Best Garage Heaters
NewAir G73 – 5,000w Fan Forced Heater
- Uniform heat output
- Rugged, heavy-duty body
- Rapid heating
- Permanent fixture – includes mounting bracket
- Fan heat distribution
- Super-simple operation
- Louvered design allows you to direct heat where it’s needed
- Epoxy-coating seal to prevent corrosion
Perfect for: Permanent fixing, great for garages, basements, out-houses, and workshops
This is the newest heater on our list, and also the best garage heater in our review! If you’re looking for some serious garage heating on an industrial scale, the G73 should be your top choice. Because it’s fixed to the ceiling and hard-wired into the power supply, this unit is recommended for factories, stores, garages, basements, warehouses – basically any large, chilly areas that require rapid and reliable heating.
The unit requires a 240V power source and isn’t recommended for general use around the home. This is a dedicated garage heater unit which requires a 30Amp fuse.
The G73 garage heater is a high-powered unit that requires hard-wiring into the power-supply. While this is a possible DIY job, it’s recommended that you have it professionally installed. So, while the other garage heater models in this article are plug-in and go, the NewAir model requires a competent installation expert.
The fan operates relatively quietly, and the louvered fins at the front of the garage heater allow you to direct the heat to the areas of your garage where you need it the most. If you’re looking for a more permanent solution, this is the top garage heater for you.
This NewAir garage heater comes with an easy-to-operate thermostat control rotary knob – while it’s not temperature-controlled, you’ll discover the correct heating setting to maintain a constant and comfortable heat for your garage. The thermostat ensures that the unit is used only when heat is required, meaning that you can just install the heater and forget about it.
This garage heater’s casing is protected with a strong, rust-resistant epoxy coating, so this unit is designed to last for years with no signs of corrosion.
- Robust and corrosion-resistant
- Quiet operation
- Great for fast heat
- Requires professional (or competent amateur) installation
- If attached to the ceiling, it can be difficult to adjust the thermostat
King KBP2006-3MP 5700-Watt Electric Garage Heater
- Complete with mounting bracket for simple, long-term heating
- The fan works without the heating element to cool your workshop during the summer.
- Dual Pic-A-Watt element
- Temperature-controlled rotary knobs
- Heats an area of up to 600sq ft
- 5-year Warranty
Perfect for: Ceiling- or wall-mounted unit providing a long-term solution to chilly garages and out-houses
Another best model that you can pick up is the King KBP2006-3MP, which is a great model for garages and workshops. Once installed, you can forget about it – the thermostat will regulate the temperature, so there’s no need to switch the unit on or off manually. King is a USA-based manufacturer who has been making heating solutions for 60-years.
The KBP2006-3MP is a 1 or 3 phase garage heater, which means that you can easily control the temperature output using the temperature-accurate rotary knob on the front of the unit. The built-in thermostat regulates the heating level, so the heater could be left on all-year-round; only kicking in when heat is required. But this garage heater is not just for eradicating the chill during cold snaps. The heater element can be switched off, and the fan can help to cool your garage down during the summer, making this one of the most versatile heaters featured in this article. This fan-assisted electric garage heater from King is capable of heating a garage up to 600 square feet. It is capable of providing a maximum power output of 5700W.
If you want the garage warm and toasty without dramatically increasing your electricity bill, the Pic-A-Watt heating element is a blade unit that allows you to select a lower wattage consumption for a gentler, more energy-efficient heat.
The heater includes a patented Smart Limit Protection feature that cuts the power if there’s a surge on the electrical grid or if there’s any disruption to the electricity supply.
This garage heater’s body features a flow-through design which draws air in through the louvered slits at the back of the unit and pushes it through the front grille, distributing the heat with the help of the built-in fan.
- Cools and heats
- Temperature-accurate control
- Heats a large space efficiently
- Safety power cut-off
- Needs to be hard-wired into the electrical circuit. Professional installation recommended
The King KBP2006-3MP is available on Amazon.
Is your garage too hot in summer? Check out our article about the best garage fans.
Perfect for: Heating a room of up to 600sq ft, dedicated garage heater
Dr. Infrared is a well-known brand in home-heating and regularly appears in the top rankings of best garage heater reviews. The DR-988 has an impressive heating area of 600 square feet. It also comes with a thermostatic control that will maintain a heat of between 45ºF and 95ºF. The unit requires a 220V power source and isn’t recommended for general use around the home. This is a dedicated garage heater unit which requires a 30Amp fuse.
The heat distribution of this heater is impressive. The Patton PUH680 has a front-facing rotator switch – the fan kicks in when the machine detects the appropriate ambient temperature has dropped. Although there’s no precise temperature gauge, you’ll quickly discover how to achieve the desired temperature for your garage.
The DR-988 uses an infrared heater element to build heat and a fan to distribute it. It’s got to be said that the fan certainly isn’t the quietest, so if you’re sensitive to a rather persistent, low-level drone, this might not be the heater for you. This garage heater model is not recommended for general domestic use and has a 6-30R plug, which includes a rounded earth-pin for extra safety, requiring a specialized power socket. You may need to hire an electrician to rewire your garage’s outlets.
The Blazing Home says that “Infrared heaters are especially effective for garages because they heat larger areas very efficiently.”
The electric garage heater can heat your garage rapidly, and the portable design means that you can place it anywhere in your garage that needs a quick blast of heat (power cable allowing).The sturdy, metal body is robust, and its mesh-fronted safety grille is stylish while protecting stray fingers from making direct contact with the heating element.
- Safety power-plug for extra reliability and safety
- Heats a room of up to 600sq ft
- Easy to use
- Thermostatically controlled
- Loud fan
- Requires a specialist for the safety power socket
The Dr. Infrared Heater DR-988 is available on Amazon.
Perfect for: Emergency heating and rooms up to 380 sq ft
Lots of us are keen to live off-the-grid these days, so if you’re looking for a solution that doesn’t tie you to expensive electric models, this alternative heater could be the choice for you. You will need a kerosene source to run this garage heater.
This garage heater comes with a large capacity fuel tank. It can hold 1.2 gallons or 4.5 liters of kerosene which should keep this garage heater running for up to 14-hours, making this an excellent overnight solution if your garage is always chilly. The heat output of this kerosene garage heater is 10,000 BTU. If you know that there’s going to be a night frost, set this garage heater running before you go to bed and the garage (and your car) will be warm, welcoming, and ready to start in the morning.
The automatic safety shut-off feature ensures that the unit won’t overheat, and the tip-over switch will cut the flame if it topples. This gives you peace of mind that your garage is still intact even when the device is heating the area.
The auto-ignitor creates a quick electric charge – the same way that your gas hob lights the gas flame – so there should never be any need for potentially hazardous manual lighting with matches or a lighter. This portable kerosene garage heater is also great if there’s a power-cut and you lose electrical power – it’s suitable for use around the house as well as in the garage.
The flame can be varied to reduce or increase the heat with a simple control button at the front of the unit. The flame ignites from a wick which needs to remain dry at all times to aid ignition – we found that it can smell pretty bad if it gets wet and the unit can be reluctant to start-up.
- Quiet operation
- Great for fast heat
- Excellent emergency back-up if the electricity fails
- Cheaper to run than electric heaters
- If the wick gets wet, the heater can be reluctant to light causing the flame to exude a strong odor
The Sengoku HeatMate is available on Amazon.
Mr Heater F260550 Big Maxx Gas Garage Heater
- 50,000 BTU Heavy Duty Heater
- Heats up to 1,250 sq. ft
- Ships with propane conversion kit
- Commercial grade heating
Perfect for: Heating large open spaces that other heaters struggle with.
Although not on the top spot, this heater for your garage is worth looking at. If you are looking for the big daddy of garage and workshop heaters, then the Mr Heater Big Maxx is it.
Pumping out an amazing 50,000 BTUs per hour, this gas garage heater is sure to keep even the largest garages warm in the coldest of winters. It can heat up to 1,250 square feet – if you have a large garage, this is definitely the best garage heater for you.
One of the best things about the Mr Heater model and gas heating in general is that it can take the chill of the air almost instantly, no need to wait for the elements to heat up!
Being a gas heater, it does require a connection to your natural gas or propane system, electricity, and will also need to be vented externally. If you don’t have any experience installing a gas-powered garage heater, you can always ask professional help or hire a contractor. However, this gas garage heater does come with a propane conversion kit so you are ready to connect to whichever type of gas you prefer.
This is one big gas garage heater and it will require some serious strength to get it mounted safely, but your installer should be able to handle that for you. The effort is worth it, because the Big Maxx garage heater pumps out some serious heat – and fast. Your garage will be warm and toasty in no time!
- Great for fast heat
- Comes with propane conversion kit
- Cost effective to run
- Requires professional installation
The Sengoku HeatMate is available on Amazon.
Choosing Garage Heaters Buying Guide – How To Pick The Best
Heating your garage sounds easy right? Well… it can be. But it can also be challenging to do it efficiently and cost effectively. Heaters for the garage are the same as indoor counterparts – they release heat to the air, making the area significantly warmer. However, using heaters for the garage require special attention than what you have inside your home.
A garage can be a challenging area to heat – they are notoriously bad at retaining heat. Heat can escape through the crevices along the door. Not to mention that they are not built with thermal insulation properties in mind. But it’s not a lost cause. All you need is some DIY insulation and, of course, you will need to choose the right heater for your garage. This way you can enjoy warmth during winter days and avoid wasting money. When it comes to garage heaters, you should also consider placement, heat source, and heat output. You’ll definitely get the best model in no time.
Here are some things you need to consider when choosing heaters for your workshop or garage.
Portable Or Fixed Heater – Which One Is The Best For Your Garage?
Do you want a portable heater that you can move around the house or are you looking for a solution that you can install and forget about?
If you need a heater that can be packed away out of sight, or moved to a different area when not being used in the garage, then you need to make sure that the heater you choose is portable. Portable heaters are versatile either for garage use or around the house. However, you should know that this type of portable heater has lower power outputs than bigger counterparts. But don’t worry. If your garage is small, the best portable garage heaters can heat up an area up to 600 square feet.
For ultimate portability, you can choose a unit with caster wheels so you don’t have to carry the heater from the garage to other living spaces. Another sensible and economical solution is to purchase a stand with wheels.
Note: Just make sure that you don’t choose plastic because it will melt. Wood stands are not recommended too because they can burn.
The most practical and safest way to move a garage heater without breaking your back is by opting for industry-grade stand that can withstand extreme heat. Keep in mind there are heaters with an included stand – make sure to look out for those.
If you just want heating only for your garage or if you already have indoor heaters for your home, a fixed garage heater is the right choice. Usually mounted on the ceiling or on the wall, fixed garage heaters are, as its name suggests, permanently installed in the garage.
Fixed heaters are usually more efficient than their portable counterparts, but they often require professional installation which means more of an upfront cost. Fixed garage heaters are also more expensive than portable counterparts. If money is not a problem and convenience is more important, a fixed garage heater model is your top choice. We’ve included several fixed garage heaters in our list. You can refer to them if you’re buying a heater for your garage soon.
Best Garage Heater Fuel Type – Electric, Propane/Natural Gas, And Kerosene Heaters
There are a few different choices of fuel types to consider for your workshop heater.
Each one has its pros and cons, and each is suited to a particular type of use.
Electric Garage Heaters
Most of the heaters on our list are electrically powered. Some come with a standard electrical plug, others require a specialized safety plug or hard-wiring into the electrical circuit. But, out of the other types of garage heaters, the electric garage heater is the most convenient to install and setup. Most electric garage heaters for small to medium sized households are available in a compact or portable size and come with a standard electrical plug. All you need to do is plug and turn on the device, which makes it fast and convenient to heat up the garage. That’s why electric garage heaters are the best and very popular on the market.
However, there is one con that you should always consider with electric heating – it isn’t the cheapest. If you leave an electric garage heater overnight, you might be surprised with your electricity bill. As much as possible, choose an electric gas heater that comes with an automatic shut-off timer – or you might just receive a bill that knocks your socks off!
Natural Gas/Propane Garage Heaters
Selecting natural gas or propane garage heater is best for larger areas because it can quickly heat up the garage. Since you don’t have to turn it on for hours to enjoy the heat, this garage heater is more cost effective.
Most gas garage heaters will require a permanent connection to your gas connection or tank. You don’t have any other choice to spend extra cash for professional installation. If you don’t have a gas heating system in your home, you will need to pay for that too.
Many homeowners opt for portable gas or propane tanks. However, it’s never a great idea to have a very flammable heat source inside your garage. It is recommended to have the tanks outside of your house. In case of a leak or fire, you can have peace of mind that you have plenty of time to evacuate your home.
It’s also worth mentioning here that even though a heater may be gas powered, it still often requires an electricity connection to facilitate fans and ignition devices. It is difficult to find garage heaters that solely rely on gas or propane.
Kerosene Garage Heaters
Kerosene garage heaters are an interesting choice when it comes to heaters. People traditionally think of kerosene as being a fuel type for an old lamp – but it actually works well as a fuel for heaters too.
Kerosene is quite cheap to buy, making garage heaters that run on kerosene as the most cost-efficient models that you can get for your garage. If you want to save money while adding heating to your garage, this is definitely the best type of garage heater that you can get.
However, a kerosene garage heater can also put out a strong odour that may be unpleasant to some people. It’s also important to remember that kerosene is flammable and can be dangerous if the heater tips over or accidents occur when refuelling. If you still want a kerosene-powered heater for your garage, choose a model that comes with a safety feature like overheating prevention and tip over switch.
Types Of Garage Heaters – Radiant, Infrared, And Fan-Forced
All garage heaters are designed to provide heat for your garage. They may look the same, but the type of heater you choose can be a big factor in how well it heats your garage.
Radiant and Infrared Garage Heaters
Infrared and radiant heaters work by directing the heat (radiating) from the source usually in a single direction.
While these types of garage heaters can make your garage warmer, you may not be happy with its immediate effect – it can take significant time to heat up the entire garage. If you need warmth ASAP, you’ll have to sit closer and directly to the heater. These garage heaters are not ideal for households that require immediate heat and warmth inside the garage.
There’s an upside though. Because these garage heaters have no fan, they are almost silent. It won’t disrupt you and your neighbors.
Fan-forced Workshop Garage Heaters
These are one of the most common styles of garage heaters. They are also regarded as heavy-duty garage heaters out on the market because of their size, heat output, and on-board features. They work by forcing the heated air out of the device via a fan. This means that the heat spreads out quickly around the garage. You can immediately notice your garage getting warm – almost all fan-forced workshop garage heaters claim quick heating.
Heat Output Of Different Heater Models
The heat output of garage heaters is measured in two different ways. This depends on the type of heater you choose:
- Watts – usually used for electric heaters
- BTU – used for gas and kerosene models
The most powerful units are the ones with the higher wattage or BTU. Garage heaters with higher heat output can also cover more square feet.
Beware! Although a high watt unit is capable of faster heating, garage heaters with higher heater output wattage draw more power from the grid, causing much higher electricity bills.
If you only have a small garage, a portable garage heater model can be a more sensible and economical solution. But, if you have a larger garage space, it is better to get a model with higher watts or BTU than installing several small garage heaters. Make sure to look out for workshop garage heaters with fans because they can spread the heat faster. This means you don’t have to keep the heater turned on for hours.
It’s often the fan that requires more power than the element. If a heater is capable of raising the temperature rapidly, the fan will only kick back in when the temperature has dropped. Finding the correct, comfortable heat in the room takes a little trial-and-error, but once you know how to control your heater, you can set your thermostat only to operate the fan when needed.
Best Heater Safety Features
Safety should be one of your first considerations, luckily most residential or industrial garage heaters come with a good variety of safety features. If you want your garage warm and intact and safe from burning down, here are the top garage heater safety features you should look for are:
This is as it sounds, it means that the garage heater stays relatively cool while operating so if the external casing is touched inadvertently by you, your pets, or little fingers, then it won’t cause injury. If you ever want to move your portable heater from the garage to your kitchen area, having the Cool-Touch is definitely one of the best safety features that you can truly benefit from – you can save your fingers from sustaining burns!
Tip over Switch
This feature will be found on most portable garage heaters. When the heater detects that it has been tipped over, it shuts off automatically. If there is high foot traffic in your garage, the tip over switch feature is a must have – especially if you have pets and kids around.
However well your garage heater is designed, faults do happen – especially for overnight heating. Unfortunately, these faults can sometimes mean that the heater may become so hot that it catches on fire. The best way to prevent overheating is simply choose a heater with an overheat protection.
Overheat protection means that if the heater goes over a safe temperature, it will shut down automatically long before it gets hot enough to self combust. This gives you extra peace of mind that your garage is safe and sound during overnight heating – or if you forgot to turn the garage heater off.
Make sure you are aware of what safety features the model you are interested in has, remember – safety first!
Additional Features Of The Best Garage Heater
As with any modern appliance – there are many additional features like adjustable heating and heat direction control that the manufacturer can choose to include with the heater. Some are a great feature, others are little more than a gimmick and just something else to go wrong! If you want a more reliable and effective heating solution for your garage, you should also consider these additional garage heater features:
Heater with Thermostat Control
Some garage heaters have little more than On/Off or High/Low controls. That’s great if you just need a heater to switch on and heat the garage area up.
But if you want to maintain a particular or best temperature consistently and efficiently in your garage, then you should consider garage heaters with thermostatic control.
What this does is allow you to choose the best temperature you want the room to be at, and the heater will stay on until that temperature is reached. It will then maintain the desired temperature by only activating when required – leading to greater efficiency and comfort.
Garage Heater with Direction Control
Especially important for fixed heaters, the ability to control the direction of the heat out of your unit can make all the difference.
A garage heater with adjustable louvers can provide the best heating control. Louvers will allow you to control the direction of the heat, ensuring you can quickly and effectively heat up the garage.
Heater Power Cord Length
My pet peeve is having to get an extension power cord out every time I want to use a particular appliance.
If you are needing to sit your heater more than a meter away from a power outlet then you will want to find out exactly how long the power cord that comes with your chosen model is. You don’t want to place a garage heater on an area that can disrupt proper heat circulation. It’s best to have a long power cord to help you position the garage heater. Experts recommend placing garage heaters at the coldest spot in your garage.
Heating Your Garage More Efficiently
Before buying the best heater for your garage, it is important to get the best option possible. To help you even further, here are five questions you should ask yourself when selecting the best heater:
- Are there are any power sources in your garage? The best heaters that you can get today are powered by electricity. Some have the standard plugs while others use industrial power supplies. Just check what you currently have in your garage. If you don’t have a special plug, opting for an electric gas heater is the best option for you.
- What type of heater do you prefer? Whether you like electric gas heaters or kerosene heaters, you should know that each kind has its own pros and cons. If you want to keep your electricity bill low, the kerosene powered gas heater is definitely the best heater type that you can get.
- How powerful heat output do you need? Don’t get a heavy-duty industrial electric heater if you don’t need it. Refer to our BTU or watts calculation above. Remember, there are external factors that you need to consider.
- Do you need professional installation? Fixed garage heaters need professional installation. If you don’t have the budget or skills to do it on your own, you can always choose a portable model. Just make sure that it can run directly from the plug. There are some models that require rewiring. For hassle-free and quick installation, it’s best to go for portable electric gas heater models.
- Do you need safety features? Although it is your prerogative to choose just a regular heater without safety features, it never hurts to have them. Sure they can make the model more expensive, but safety features like tip over switch can prevent fires. Some of the best safety features that you can get from popular heaters on the market are cool-touch, overheat protection, and tip over switch.
Garage Heater FAQ
How Do I Calculate Electric Heater Running Costs
As mentioned garage heaters are available in two different heating outputs – watts and BTU. For electric powered heater models, the fastest and easiest way to compute for your electricity bill is using our electric heater cost calculator.
All you have to input is the power rating of the heater (watts), cost per kWh, and hours per day you use the heater. Within seconds, you will get the cost per hour, per week, and per month.
If you prefer the old-school way, you can always use this formula:
kW per hour X cost of a unit of electricity = cost per hour to run your unit
If you want to heat the garage without increasing your electricity bill, the best option is a kerosene gas heater. However, this type of heater may not be recommended for all households – especially if you have kids. When a kerosene heater tips over, there is a huge risk of a fire.
How Many Watts Or BTU Do You Need To Heat Your Garage
In order to take advantage of a garage heater, you should always consider the maximum output. If you are unsure if a heater with 5000W maximum output capacity is best for your needs, here’s a fool-proof guide in figuring how many watts or BTU you need for your garage.
As a rule of thumb, 1 square foot equates to 34.1 BTU. Let’s say you have a garage for one car. That’s around 240 square feet, a heater with 2400W or 8200 BTU is optimal for maximum heating.
However, it’s important to know that this is only an estimate. There are factors such as insulation and ceiling height that you need to consider. These two can make garage heaters either work harder or more efficiently.
What Is The Best Way To Heat A 2-Car Garage
The best way to enjoy a toasty and warm garage during chilly winter days is by choosing the right heater size and heat output. As mentioned, use the 34.1 BTU to 1 square feet conversion. For a 2-car garage with 440 square feet measurement, your best choice is getting a 4,400W garage heater. If you prefer BTU, select a heater model that can output 15,000 BTU. Again, always consider the ceiling height and insulation of your garage before making a purchase.