The Greatest Propane and Electric Heating Devices for your Garage
Just what is the best garage heater on the market in 2018? If you find yourself asking that question then you’ve come to the right place. Your garage might seem like the perfect place for your home workshop. After all, it provides a decent amount of work room and most garages are only partly finished, meaning that making a mess in it is certainly going to less stressful that tackling a complicated project inside your home. But when the temperature begins to drop, a cold garage is probably the last place you’ll want to spend hours of your time.
That’s where garage heaters come in! Garage heaters are available in many shapes, models, and styles. Different models are powered in different ways. The most common power systems use electricity, propane, natural gas, or kerosene to warm work areas. And with a range of options out there, from heavy-duty large heaters to small portable models, determining which heating device is right for your needs can be very confusing.
What is the Best Heater for a Garage in Winter?
In this guide to garage warmers, we do all the dirty work so you don’t have to. We looked at all of the models out there and narrowed your options down to the best heaters of 2018. During our research, we considered the pros and cons of specific units, including their performance, what features they offer, how they operate, and how well they’re made.
When it was all said and done, we’ve come up with our list of the 10 greatest heaters for your Garage in 2018. After reading our breakdown of the top heaters presently on the market, you’ll easily be able to decide which model is the perfect choice for you.
Buyers Guide Questions
How to Install a Garage Heater?
While a garage is the ideal spot for a workshop, the winter months can make spending long hours in an unheated workspace miserable. Luckily, there are several styles of heating units on the market that are perfect for keeping your workspace warm and comfortable. The way you’ll install your warming unit depends on the power source and style of your particular unit. Here we’ll look at how to install the various kinds of garage heaters on the market, including natural gas and electric models that can either be corded or hardwired units.
While these steps are easy, if you’re not sure about how to go about it yourself, it’s advised to hire a professional simply because you are working with gas and electricity. But if you’re an experienced DIYer and have tackled projects like these before, installing your garage warming device shouldn’t take longer than an hour or two.
Electric Garage Heaters
There are two styles of electronic garage heaters on the market, hardwired and corded. Corded models are the easiest to install and require the least amount of work. Most of the corded electronic heaters are the easiest models to operate and install and, since many of these heaters are floor units, they’re incredibly portable. Simply plug your corded garage warming appliance in an area of your garage, normally by the back wall facing the door, and turn it on.
Another style of corded garage heater is the ceiling or wall-mount model. For these warming devices, you install the unit with a mounting bracket in your desired location. The main things to keep in mind here is that you need to make sure that the unit’s power cord can reach your intended electrical outlet and that the area directly beneath the unit is clear for at least 2 or 3 feet, to ensure optimal heat flow and prevent unnecessary safety hazards.
Installing a hardwired model is slightly more complicated but can easily be tackled by yourself, though if you are inexperienced with these kinds of projects, hiring an electrician is advised. To install a hardwired garage heater, sheathed cable is run from your circuit breaker box to a junction box that is installed where you intend to mount your warming unit.
You can also install a thermostat by running cable to the thermostat first and then from the thermostat to the junction box. Once all the wiring is done, your new warming tool will run off your home’s electric system and all that needs to be done is to mount the unit on your wall or ceiling with the help of a mounting bracket.
Gas-powered Garage Heaters
Installing a natural gas or propane garage heater involves steps that are similar to what’s required to install an electronic model, with one exception. Since these models produce fumes, a vent needs to be installed as well. When installing a gas-powered garage warming device on either the wall or ceiling, you want to select a location that is at least 3” from the ceiling and ensure that all objects are at least 3 feet away, to avoid safety concerns.
You’ll want to aim the blower of the unit at the areas of maximum heat loss and ensure that the placement allows for optimal air flow.Use a mounting bracket to install the warmer and allow for the vent outlet, gas connections, and electrical cord to be either to the right or left of the fan, depending on the model. Choose the appropriately sized gas pipe, according to the heater’s manual, to allow for proper gas pressure and make the pipe connections.
Make sure that you provide adequate support for the piping and that the connections are sealed with pipe compounds and tested for leaks prior to operation.With the gas connections in place, you simply make the electrical connections according to the manual. If you choose to, you can run sheathed electrical cable to a thermostat and then to the unit to allow for temperature control.
Once the unit and thermostat are connected to your electrical system, you want to run the venting system. Follow the unit’s instructions to connect the vent to the exhaust of the garage warming device and then connect the other end of the vent to a cut-out in either the ceiling or wall of your garage to allow for proper ventilation.
What Size Electric Garage Heater Do I Need?
Garage heaters are one of the smartest investments you can make if you plan to spend prolonged amounts of time tackling projects during the colder winter months. But while they’re capable of making your garage warm and comfortable, choosing the wrong size is like throwing money out the window. Why? Because if you buy one that is too small, the heat it throws simply won’t be enough to do the job and it will need to be replaced.
Plus, if the unit is too small, the warmer will constantly run, trying to keep up with the demands of your garage, increasing the cost of operating it.And if your garage warmer is too big, you’re overpaying for a model that is producing too much heat and wasting unnecessary energy. So how do you determine what size garage heater is perfect for your space?
While there are ranges available online, one of the most accurate methods is to perform the following calculation. With some accurate measurements, you can easily determine what sized heater is perfect for your needs. First, you need to determine the square footage of your garage. To do this, you will multiple the length of the interior by its width. So, that for a garage that measures 10 feet by 10 feet, your calculation will be 10 x 10 = 100 square feet.
Next, you will multiply the square footage of your garage by the height of the ceiling to arrive at the total cubic footage of your area. So, based on the previous example, if your ceiling is 10 feet high, your calculation will be 100 x 10 = 1,000 cubic feet. Now you will subtract the lowest winter temperature in your region from the temperature you want to maintain in the garage to determine the rise in temperature that your unit should generate.
For example, if the winter low in your region is 20 degrees Fahrenheit and you want to maintain a temperature of 70 degrees, your calculation will be 70 – 20 = 50. Next, you’ll want to determine the BTUs or British Thermal Units needed to achieve the temperature rise you want in your garage.
Before you do this, you need to consider how well your garage is insulated. To do this, you will assign a variable based on the insulation in your space. The variable you will use will be: “5” for no insulation, “1.5” for a little insulation, “1” for average insulation, and “0.5” for excellent insulation. With this in mind, you will multiply the insulation quality by the total cubic feet by the desired heat rise. You’ll then divide this number by 1.6. This will give you the BTU required.
Using the previous example, and assuming your garage has average insulation, your formula will look like this: (1 x 1,000 cubic feet x 50 heat rise) / 1.6 = 31,250 BTU. Finally, add 10% to the BTU number that you determined. This buffer will act as a safety margin, ensuring that the unit is capable of tackling unusually cold weather while not unnecessarily wasting too much energy.
So, using our example, you will simply perform these two steps: 31,250 BTU x .10 = 3,125 and then 31,250 + 3,125 =34,375 BTU. So for our given example, the perfect garage heating appliance would provide as close to 34,375 BTU per hour. By taking only 5 minutes to do some simple calculations, you can easily learn which garage warming device is perfect for your specific needs.
Purchasing the right unit for your needs will save you money by allowing you to buy the most affordable model for your space while ensuring that your operating costs are held at the lowest point possible. More importantly, you’ll be able to relax, knowing that your heater is perfectly capable of keeping your space warm and comfortable.
While this method is essential for some brands that don’t specify the heating coverage of their models, there is an option for anyone who isn’t interested in tackling math problems just to determine which size garage warming product is right for you. Many of the top brands out there have decided to make it easier for you.
While most models only used to list the BTU heating output that the unit was capable of, many of the more popular options now state the size of the area that they are capable of warming up a room. Simply measure the square footage of your garage, look on the box or research the model online, and choose a model that is capable of efficiently warming up your workspace – click here for the study.
If you are looking for a heater for your patio – you can view our guide here.
What is the Best Heater for a Garage?
If you’ve ever attempted to tackle a project or do some routine car maintenance in your garage during the winter, you know how unbearable the cold can be. But by buying the right garage warming appliance for your space, you can keep your garage warm and comfortable all year round. But before buying just any unit, you need to consider two things: which style is right for your needs and which brand makes the top models on the market.
Type of Garage Heater
There are several styles of garage heaters available allowing these units to control temperatures differently. The three styles you’ll find on the market today are convection, radiant, and forced air models. Convection garage heaters are designed with an enclosed flame or heat element that warms the air inside the unit. This warmed air then rises without the use of an internal blower. These are the most affordable units on the market and are come in mounted or portable models.
While they are great for a small space and are perfect for someone on a tight budget, these models will take a long time to warm your workspace. Radiant garage heaters are designed with reflectors that redirect infrared heat – click here to read the review, making them great for spot heating, or, in the case of high-end units, warming up a large space.
These models radiate heat into the workspace without the use of a fan, so if you are a DIYer who wants to eliminate dust being blown around and ruing a project’s finish, radiant models are ideal for your needs. And since these warmers are available in various sizes and come in electric, gas, and propane-powered models, you can easily find the perfect unit for your specific needs.
Forced-air garage heaters work by blowing hot air into your workspace. These models are also available in different sizes and fuel types. Gas-powered models are the most expensive but since they are connected to your home’s gas line and are incredibly efficient, they’ll save you money in the long run. Electronic models, while cheaper than gas-powered units, will cost more money to operate since they’ll be using electricity to generate the heat needed to warm your space.
Portable or Mounted
Once you’ve determined the style of garage warmer that’s right for you, you need to decide if you want a portable or mounted model. Stationary and portable models each have their own specific pros and cons. But by looking at each style individually, you’ll be able to decide which style is perfect for your needs. Stationary garage heaters are attached to either the ceiling or wall of your garage. They are available in a variety of fuel, size, and price options and most are capable of providing incredible performance.
The drawback to these models is that they usually cost more than their portable siblings but if you spend a lot of time in your garage, you’ll enjoy the fact that these models don’t take up space on the floor and you’ll never have to worry about knocking the unit over or tripping on a power cord. Portable units are also available in electric, natural gas, and propane models and allow you to maneuver them to where you need heat the most.
Plus, if you need to use your unit somewhere else, you can just pick it up and go. There are a variety of styles out there, some are ideal for use as a spot heating tool and others are perfectly capable of warming up large rooms easily. They’re also much cheaper than gas models but, since the cost of operating them is higher, they’ll end up costing you more money in the long run.
Which Garage Heater is the Perfect Choice for You?
Once you’ve considered the choices out there, you’ll be able to decide what style of heating device, portable or stationary, and which fuel type, gas, propane, or electronic, is perfect for your needs. If you’re looking to purchase a portable heater that is very effective for small or medium-sized workspaces but costs less to operate than an electric model, the Mr. Heater F232017 is one of the top options on the market.
This durable, efficient portable garage heating product runs on propane and offers up to 9,000 BTU. And if you’d rather connect it to your home’s gas line, you can use the swivel regulator to connect the unit to your home’s natural gas line. Compact and sturdy, this lightweight model takes up less floor space and since it was designed with a number of safety features, you can count of years of safe, efficient heating.
If you’ve decided that a ceiling-mount unit is the best model for your needs, one of the smartest choices on the market is the Fahrenheat Industrial Heater. This impressive model can warm garages measuring up to 1,300 square feet and provides a thermal output of 25,600 BTU. Durable, reliable, and built with a thermostat for efficient temperature control, this is one of the most popular ceiling-mount electronic garage heaters on the market.
Electric or Propane Garage Heater?
Since different garage heaters are capable of operating with different fuel sources, you need to decide which is best for you, an electronic or gas model. To help you decide which model is best for you, let’s look at the pros and cons of each of these popular options.
Gas-powered garage heaters are very efficient and will heat up even large work areas very quickly, meaning that the cost to operate them regularly will be fairly affordable. Because of this, if you are going to be operating your unit for daily or have a large area that you want to keep warm, they’ll save you money in the long run.
These models will require a larger up front cost since they are more expensive than their electronic counterparts but since they run on your home’s natural gas line, they are very efficient and run on a clean source of energy. There are two styles of gas units, forced-air and radiant garage heaters.Forced-air models use a heating element or open flame to generate heat which is then circulated throughout the area with a fan.
Radiant models use an infrared tube heater that radiates heat for even heating throughout your space. Both are very effective but radiant models are more expensive. Radiant models are ideal if you are a DIYer who does a lot of woodworking projects because, since they don’t use a fan blower, they won’t cause dust to flow throughout your workshop so you don’t have to worry about debris and dust particles ruining a finished surface before it dries.
One other consideration of gas-powered garage heaters is that, since these models emit fumes, you’ll need to install a ventilation system that allows fumes to exit your space through the wall or roof. For more information on the effects of Gas heating systems – read this Iowa State study here.
Electric garage heaters are popular for several reasons. One of the major benefits is that they are less expensive than their gas-powered siblings. These units are available in forced-air and radiant models as well as portable or mounted designs.
Due to their power ability and the fact that it costs more to operate an electronic model than it does a gas unit, these garage heaters are used for small and medium-sized areas. When it comes to driving heated air or radiant heat in large garages, these often aren’t the most effective option simply due to the higher operation cost.
During our search for the top garage heating devices of 2018, it was clear that one model was the best choice on the market today. The Mr. Heater F232017 MH9BXRV Garage Warming device is simply one of the best models you can buy. This lightweight propane-fueled garage heater receives consistently great reviews due to its performance, durability, reliability, and price. Easy to operate, it’s capable of warming up a garage measuring up to 225 square feet. Plus, operating it is easy. Simply turn the knob and push the button, allowing the Piezo igniter to make the ignition spark.
Capable of providing between 4,000 to 9,000 BTU, this garage warming device will keep you warm during the coldest winter days. With the ability to connect this garage heater’s swivel regulator to either a propane tank or a remote gas supply, it can be used for several applications. And since it only weighs 9.5 lbs and features a fold-down carry handle, it can be transported practically anywhere.
With Hi-Low heat settings, this heated garage tool lets you choose the right temperature easily. And with safety in mind, Mr. Heater has designed this garage warmer with a number of features including Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS), high-heat, and tip-over safety shut-off mechanisms – click to read the study on safety. And thanks to its compact size, this impressive radiator makes a small footprint, minimizing the valuable floor space it takes up in your garage or workshop.
With impressive reviews and exceptional design and performance, it’s clear that the Fahrenheat Ceiling-Mount Industrial Heating device is the best premium choice on the market in 2018. Capable of warming up large spaces up to 1,300 square feet, this garage warmer is one of the most popular electric-powered models available. Capable of providing up to 25,600 BTU, this garage heat device is designed to be mounted on the ceiling, reducing clutter on your garage floor.
Its built-in thermostat makes regulating the temperature easy, eliminating the need to turn it on or off. And built with a durable design and an epoxy paint finish, it’s capable of throwing heat for years while being resistant to rust and corrosion.
Priced at just over $400, the Fahrenheat Ceiling-Mount Garage Heater is certainly a premium choice. But if you’re looking for a heating unit that is durable, easy-to-use, and capable of making even the coldest work areas comfortable and warm, it’s one of the best models on the market today.
Our pick for best value of 2018 is the ProFusion Ceiling-Mounted Garage Heater. This compact, lightweight model performs very well and is one of the most affordable garage heaters on the market. Capable of keeping your work area warm, this electric-powered garage heating device from ProFusion also features a 25 watt halogen lamp that is great for lighting up your work area.
The quartz heating element and halogen lamp are easily operated thanks to a pull string. And its durable metal housing allows it to withstand corrosion and rust. Plus, the fact that this model is ceiling-mounted means that it won’t take up valuable real estate on your garage floor while allowing you to install it directly over the area that you usually work in.
This ProFusion Garage Heater is better served as a spot heater simply because it won’t heat an entire garage effectively. But with a sticker price around $40, this garage warming device provides solid overhead heat-generating performance and can also illuminate your work area. It’s one of the best, and cheapest way to heat a garage in winter out there for anyone on a tight budget.