Best Garage Heater: Work on Your Car During the Winter

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Winters are only getting harsher, and your garage is growing colder. 

Your belongings can get damaged from excessive cold, and the concrete flooring is going to act like a blast freezer if you try to let on it and fix your car.

Fahrenheat FUH Electric Heater for Garage, Factory, Basement, Warehouse, and Outdoor Use, Beige
Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater, Red-Black
Heat Storm Deluxe Mounted Space Infrared Wall Heater, White
Dr. Infrared Heater DR-988A Garage Shop 208/240V, 4800/5600W Heater with 6-30R Plug
STANLEY ST-60HB2-GFA Propane Heater, 60,000 BTU, Black, Silver
Our Rating
4.8
4.5
4.3
4.0
3.8
MSRP
$243.29
$74.00
$79.99
$40.19
$43.47
Type
Electric
Propane
Electric
Electric
Gas
Heating Area
400 sq. ft.
225 sq. ft.
200 sq. ft.
600 sq. ft.
1,000 sq. ft. (300 cubic ft. per minute)
Power
5,000 Watts
N/A
1,000 Watts
5,600 Watts
1,000 Watts (ignition only)
BTU
17,065
9,000
3,100
19,110
60,000
Extra Features
Adjustable louvers control flow, ceiling mount/easy carry handle, cutoff thermal safety, corrosion protection
Auto tip-over shut-off, extended warranty, nickel plating for corrosion resistance, high altitude shut-off
Built-in thermostat, ELT safety certified, Wi-Fi connection available, power surge shut-off
Overheat cut-off, long daily usage limits, inclusive thermostat, UL and C-UL listed
Easy ignition switch, protected power button
Fahrenheat FUH Electric Heater for Garage, Factory, Basement, Warehouse, and Outdoor Use, Beige
Our Rating
4.8
MSRP
$243.29
Type
Electric
Heating Area
400 sq. ft.
Power
5,000 Watts
BTU
17,065
Extra Features
Adjustable louvers control flow, ceiling mount/easy carry handle, cutoff thermal safety, corrosion protection
More Information
Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater, Red-Black
Our Rating
4.5
MSRP
$74.00
Type
Propane
Heating Area
225 sq. ft.
Power
N/A
BTU
9,000
Extra Features
Auto tip-over shut-off, extended warranty, nickel plating for corrosion resistance, high altitude shut-off
More Information
Heat Storm Deluxe Mounted Space Infrared Wall Heater, White
Our Rating
4.3
MSRP
$79.99
Type
Electric
Heating Area
200 sq. ft.
Power
1,000 Watts
BTU
3,100
Extra Features
Built-in thermostat, ELT safety certified, Wi-Fi connection available, power surge shut-off
More Information
Dr. Infrared Heater DR-988A Garage Shop 208/240V, 4800/5600W Heater with 6-30R Plug
Our Rating
4.0
MSRP
$40.19
Type
Electric
Heating Area
600 sq. ft.
Power
5,600 Watts
BTU
19,110
Extra Features
Overheat cut-off, long daily usage limits, inclusive thermostat, UL and C-UL listed
More Information
STANLEY ST-60HB2-GFA Propane Heater, 60,000 BTU, Black, Silver
Our Rating
3.8
MSRP
$43.47
Type
Gas
Heating Area
1,000 sq. ft. (300 cubic ft. per minute)
Power
1,000 Watts (ignition only)
BTU
60,000
Extra Features
Easy ignition switch, protected power button
More Information

It’s a conundrum, which is why we hunted down the best garage heaters to solve it.

Depending on the materials in your garage, cold conductivity can make it just as bad as the outside. 

The heaters we’ve selected can change 45° up to 135° and heat three-car garages like it’s nothing. 

You can’t avoid repairing your car, especially when work is right around the corner and you have to get from A to B. 

These heaters will make your garage workable; the rest is up to you.

Best Garage Heater Reviews & Recommendations For 2019

Fahrenheat FUH54 Unit Heater

Fahrenheat FUH54 Unit Heater

As the best electric garage heater, Fahrenheat had a lot of competition. 

When it comes down to value for heat capability and cost, this meets that perfect price point apex. 

Project 17,065 BTUs of power out of this little marvel by setting it and forgetting it. 

There’s an automatic heat shutoff detection system in place, which kills the power when the unit overheats, and turns it back on when it meets an acceptable range. 

It doesn’t require you to do anything at all.

One reason that this hit the top of our list is the vast temperature range that it can help you with. 

It turns 45° temperatures into 135°, meaning if you use it for more than a 400 square foot space (as is recommended), you can get a refreshing 75° temperature throughout your entire workspace. 

The adjustable louvers allow you to change intensity and direction, making everything fully customizable.

But now let’s talk about the unit’s exterior itself. 

There’s a slight bit of corrosion protection (not resistance) due to the metal grade used, but one touch and you’re going to feel like you placed your hand on a filing cabinet. 

It has that similar feel. The exterior heats up a lot, so if you have to move it, wait until it cools down after cutting the power.

Use the handle to either move it around, or mount it to the ceiling as the manufacturer suggests. 

Between the adjustable dial, portability, and long running times, it’s the best pick for those long Sunday afternoons in the garage in the dead of winter.

Technical specifications

  • Type: Electric
  • Heating Area: 400 sq. ft.
  • Power: 5,000 Watts
  • BTU: 17,065
  • Extra Features: Adjustable louvers control flow, ceiling mount/easy carry handle, cutoff thermal safety, corrosion protection

Mr. Heater MH9BX Portable Propane Heater

If electric isn’t your thing, Mr. Heater made the best propane heater for garage use instead. Let’s say you have a smaller garage that’s under 300 square feet. 

You don’t need the big guns like Fahrenheat, you need something that’s a bit more accommodating to your space (and budget). 

Mr. Heater comes in at a ridiculously affordable price while still providing up to 9,000 BTUs, or half of our top pick.

With that, you’re not just getting the heating capabilities; this comes with a slew of safety features to give you peace of mind during use. 

An automatic tip-over function means that once this gets even halfway knocked over, it kills the power. 

This doesn’t completely nullify your chance of a fire, but the heat will quickly disperse in the cold air, so it’s unlikely.

That comes with a high altitude shutoff as well, and an extended warranty that covers both functions. 

Mr. Heater makes a ton of products, but (as you might imagine) they give extra long and comprehensive warranties to their heaters: three years on parts and labor. 

Made from plastic and steel, they included a nickel plating to help with corrosion resistance.

Last but not least, you’re probably wondering about efficiency. Electric heaters generally output 99-100% efficiency, since it’s just travelling through a wire to a converter. 

With Mr. Heater, it’s a best-selling propane heater for a reason, because it rivals the efficiency of most electric heaters. 

If budgeting propane is an issue, think nothing of it with Mr. Heater.

Technical specifications

  • Type: Propane
  • Heating Area: 225 sq. ft.
  • Power: N/A
  • BTU: 9,000
  • Extra Features: Auto tip-over shut-off, extended warranty, nickel plating for corrosion resistance, high altitude shut-off

Heat Storm Deluxe Mounted Infrared Wall Heater

Electric heaters are great, but their energy efficiency is bumped up a notch when they’re also infrared. 

As the best space heater for garage use in winter, Heat Storm provides a ton of power without spiking your electric bill. 

It’s only going to pull 1,000 watts of power, compared to around 5,000 watts for most other electric heaters. 

The output is 3,100 BTUs, which isn’t fantastic, but they make it work well.

Infrared technology helps to heat your space faster. Heat Storm can comfortably heat up to 200 square feet without worry, and isn’t just designed for the garage. 

These can be mounted in your home thanks to the heat-safe grate system. 

They’re warm to the touch, but not hot enough to burn skin, so even if your little ones get close to it you’ll be okay.

The entire point of this unit is to free up floor and workbench space. At just 7.5 lbs, you can wall mount this just about anywhere without requiring wall stud mounting. 

You could literally use two Command Hooks to hang this on your wall, and it would be perfectly okay. That gives you the option to move it around as needed.

ELT safety certified and Wi-Fi capable, this unit utilizes technology to make the entire process much easier. 

The built-in LED screen shows you the current room temperature to you can adjust accordingly, and the overheat shut-off function as well as the power surge shut-off gives you peace of mind. 

This is a smart heater that’s not going to quit on you. 

At the low asking price, you could get two of these to match the power of the Fahrenheat at the top of our list, and still save some cash in the end.

Technical specifications

  • Type: Electric
  • Heating Area: 200 sq. ft.
  • Power: 1,000 Watts
  • BTU: 3,100
  • Extra Features: Built-in thermostat, ELT safety certified, Wi-Fi connection available, power surge shut-off

Dr. Infrared Garage Shop Heater

Dr. Infrared Garage Shop Heater

This isn’t just for your home garage; this is a 220V hookup for industrial use. 

As the second-highest BTU output on this list, you’ll be able to heat up to 600 square  foot spaces with ease. 

While it uses infrared technology, it feels like it’s a straight up torch blower with the way this outputs heat. 

For tall multi-car garages, even those without insulation, this makes it feel like your own personal summer, even if the winter wind is howling outside.

Turn it up to 95° from a 45° space, and use the adjustable thermostat dial to fine-tune the heater to your liking. 

Dr. Infrared is associated with Dr. Heater, who are known for their long warranties that cover comprehensive part and labor costs. 

There have been a few issues here and there since 2017 with blower motors giving out. 

While it’s uncertain if they’ve fixed this issue or not, Dr. Infrared’s customer support quickly fulfills repair and replacement requests, but this is still something we wanted to disclose for you to keep in mind during your decision making process.

So is it the best option for a smaller garage? 

It’s a little too powerful for a one-car, but might be good for high ceiling two-cars and above. 

Many professional mechanics and shops use these in their garages for massive heating during the winter months when the buildings heat just won’t cut it.

Technical specifications

  • Type: Electric
  • Heating Area: 600 sq. ft.
  • Power: 5,600 Watts
  • BTU: 19,110
  • Extra Features: Overheat cut-off, long daily usage limits, inclusive thermostat, UL and C-UL listed

Stanley ST-60HB2-GFA Gas Forced Air Heater

Stanley ST-60HB2-GFA Gas Forced Air Heater

Stanley is a name that’s always on your radar when it comes to tools, and we’ve found that it’s the best gas garage heater in terms of BTU output. 

This doesn’t just output high heat; it practically blows it out like a jet engine. It’s not ridiculously hot near the source, but this can heat 300 cubic feet of space per minute. 

That’s intense. You can have your entire shop heated in under 15 minutes from a simple button push.

While it is gas, there’s a cable to run for ignition if you don’t want to use the piezo ignitor on the alternate side. 

That only runs 1,000 watts for startup, which isn’t bad. In the packaging, you’ll get a ten foot hose that allows you to hook this up to a fuel source for continuous use. 

60,000 BTUs is nothing to mess around with; this heats up fast, and is the best option for three-car or larger personal garages. 

Turn it on, leave the room, come back in a few minutes when it’s had time to work. Stanley keeps the price low, even without Prime deals or anything like that. 

The reason being? 

It’s not exactly packing a ton of extra features; they’re all pertinent to the primary function of heating, and nothing else. 

No LED screens, thermostats, or anything fancy apart from just what it needs to do. 

For the price and output, it’s beyond worth it. If you need a certain level of control, an LED/Wi-Fi unit might be better suited for you.

Technical specifications

  • Type: Gas
  • Heating Area: 1,000 sq. ft. (300 cubic ft. per minute)
  • Power: 1,000 Watts (ignition only)
  • BTU: 60,000
  • Extra Features: Easy ignition switch, protected power button

Garage Heaters FAQ

Garage Heater

What Type of Heater is Best for a Garage?

The most efficient garage heater is an electric unit. 

While some of the propane units we’ve reviewed here today are highly efficient, electric models are consistent and reliable to produce X amount of heat for X amount of energy used.

Propane units can endure mechanical issues with time, and they aren’t always apparent. 

If the blower motor gives out on you or one section of a heating coil dies, you’ll see a slightly decrease in output, but it will be drawing the same power. 

You’ll run it for longer or turn it up, and then you reach an energy deficit. Taking that into account, you also don’t want to get something that’s overpowered. 

Sure, you could use the Stanley 60,000 BTU unit for a small 150 square foot garage, but it’s unnecessary. The room is going to get too hot, too fast.

How Many BTUs Does it Take to Heat a 2 Car Garage?

That’s a difficult calculation to make, but we’ve done our best to outline exactly how you can determine your total space, and what you need to heat it.

  • Determine your square footage. Simply measure the length and width of your garage. Most standard requirements for single-car garages are 10×20, being 200 square feet. If you have a 2 car garage, it’s safe to assume you have 400 square feet of space.
  • Find the ceiling height at the highest point. This is where your calculations might get a bit askew. If you have a steeple roof on the garage, you can find the tallest point of the wall, then the tallest point of the roof’s peak, and find the angle for the sloped sections. Use the angle to find out how much actual space the ceiling portion of your garage has.
  • Add square footage with the ceiling height to get cubic feet. If you have 400 square feet and a 10 foot ceiling, you multiple those numbers to get the cubic footage. In this instance, it would be 4,000.
  • Determine how compromised your garage’s insulation is. For most, it’s a neglected part of the house when you re-insulate every few years. Rate the insulation by finding common draft points under the door, windowsills, and inspect the integrity of the roof. The more draft points you have, the more heat you’ll need since it will be sapped outside.

Are Garage Heaters Safe?

Garage Heater

That depends. A propane garage heater is generally deemed as safe as an electric unit, thanks to modern advances in technology. 

If you notice the reviews and products we’ve selected, each of them have shut-off features that activate when the heater either tips over, or overheats/has been running too long.

If your heater includes these features, then it doesn’t matter what type you use. 

If you pull out some archaic 70’s-era propane heaters that literally have a torch of fire shooting out from the blower, then that’s something you don’t want in your garage. 

Go for something modern; it’s not going to cost you a lot, it will be safe, and save you money on fuel/energy compared to older units or methods of heating your garage.

What is the Most Economic Way of Heating Your Garage?

To grab the best portable heater for garage and move it around with you. 

Does every single area in your garage need to be heated? 

No, only where you’re working. You’re not going to leave the heater on when you’re out of the garage.

If you’re spending 8-10 hours in the garage, you can still bring that heat around with you. 

Wall mounted units can be bought with extra brackets, so you can have 2-3 designated spots in your garage to move it around to.

Creating the Perfect Space

Those are the best garage heaters and all the information you need on them. 

The next question is, which one is going to work for you? 

Take your insulation, wall material, thickness, and garage size (as well as ceiling height) into consideration when you pick out the perfect garage heater. 

While you wait for your heater to arrive, go around the garage with some caulking and seal up any draft entry points to maximize your heater efficiency.

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