A garage is known to be a utility space of the home, and that’s true. They’re a safe place for the cars and storage, and they’re a sanctuary of sorts for craftsmen and craftswomen to get away from everyday distractions of the house in a space made for utility.
It’s not uncommon for a garage to lack central air, heat, and insulation. But there’s real value in temperature controlling this valuable space, especially in the winter, to keep equipment from freezing and make working in the garage comfortable.
Keep reading to learn how to choose the right garage heating solution for your space.
Things to consider before looking at heaters for your garage:
- Consider your garage size. A 4 car garage will require a lot more power to heat than a one-car garage. Know the dimensions (or at least the number of square feet) of your garage.
- Pay attention to specs. Each heater has its own list of specifications. Pay attention to those so you’re sure the one you choose meets your needs.
- Know your goal. Some garage heaters are better suited for maximum heat in a short amount of time, others are more energy-efficient and suitable for long heating sessions.
- Choose your energy source. Whether you need an electrical or propane heater – or something else – will depend on your energy source. For example, choose an electric heater if you want to plug it into a wall, or a propane radiant heater if you want it to be self-reliant.
Heating a garage requires a lot of energy. With high ceilings, concrete floors, and less insulation, a garage isn’t just a matter of throwing in a small space heater and calling it a day. A small space heater would be lost to a space that size, even if it’s just a one-car garage.
This electric heater is intended for large, open spaces and provides serious heat with a high-powered thermostat, best utilized with above-head placement. It has a thermostat of its own, but it can also be wired into a wall-mounted thermostat for easier control.
Best for thermostat-controlled electric heat in large spaces.
The biggest advantage: This heater can be wired into your wall-mounted thermostat for ease of use. Once it’s installed, it can be controlled according to your preference.
- Runs between 2,500 and 5,000 watts depending on the setting
- Can be wired into a wall-mounted thermostat
- Designed with a mounting bracket that can be mounted horizontally or vertically to a wall or ceiling, with louvres so it faces whatever direction you need it
- Can power a large space
- Compatible with most electrical systems, and it won’t overload them
- Thermostat controlled for continuous comfort
Keep in mind:
- If you opt to wire it into a wall-mounted thermostat, request help from a professional
- It’s not energy efficient, despite the thermostat, so use it only when you need it
An electric heater isn’t for everyone, and that’s where a gas-powered heater comes in handy. With natural gas powered heat, this heater is won’t drain the electric utilities bill.
It’s designed for mid-sized garages, and it uses a hookup kit that’s sold separately to attach to your home’s natural gas connection. It does require access to an electrical outlet for its electrically powered fan, but the fan alone uses minimal electricity. The real power comes from the natural gas, which is more efficient on the wallet.
Best for mid-sized garages (two or three cars) that need natural gas heat.
The biggest advantage: This brand is known for putting out some heavy duty heat, so if you plan to spend time in the garage this can be trusted for continual heat.
- Emits 80,000 BTU per hour
- Can heat up to 2,000 square feet
- 8-foot clearance under unit required
- Heats a large space for its size
- Uses natural gas so it’s more cost-effective to use than an electric unit
- Small enough for use in low-ceiling structures
Keep in mind:
- Requires a natural gas connection
- Not intended for more than a 2,000 square foot space
- Requires 120V connection to power the fan
You might not want or need a heavy-duty heating solution, and that’s ok. For a short-term, portable, flexible garage heating solution, think about an infrared space heater.
This might be the best fit for you if your garage is small, well insulated, and has relatively low ceilings, especially if you just want some temporary heat while you work on a project.
Best for periodic short-term temperature control in small, well-insulated garages.
The biggest advantage: This design is entirely flexible: it is safe anywhere and can be used elsewhere when you don’t need it for your garage.
- Heats up to 1,000 square feet
- Dual infrared heating system
- 1500 watt heater
- Portable and safe for use anywhere
- Energy-efficient when used in small timeframes
- More powerful than it looks
Keep in mind:
- This is a small space heater and isn’t intended to heat your entire garage all season long
- Best used for short-term projects in the garage
Maybe you need to utilize electric power, but with something more heavy-duty than a portable space heater. This King ECO heater is fully electric, mounts on a wall, and heats up to 600 square feet of space efficiently.
While a portable heater is great to set up if you’ll be hanging out in the garage doing a project for a bit, something like this is better for climate controlling your garage during cold months so that it doesn’t drop below freezing.
Best for small garages that need electric climate control.
The biggest advantage: This type of heater has the power of a gas heater but it’s electric.
- Heats up to 600 square feet
- Has fan-only capability for warmer months
- Thermostat controlled
- Extremely energy-efficient for small garages
- Great solution if you don’t have access to a natural gas or propane hookup
- No risk of carbon monoxide poisoning
Keep in mind:
- This is safest when installed on the wall or ceiling
- You might need two of these for a 2 or three-car garage
While electrical garage heaters have become much more efficient in recent years, the truth is that gas can give off more heating power than electricity. That’s why if you require heavy-duty, long-term heat and have access to gas, it’s best to consider a gas solution.
If you have a propane hookup, consider a propane heater. One like this ProCom propane heater is simple and provides one function: heat. With no blower included in its design, it only requires access to propane and won’t be a drain on your electric bill.
Best for heating a mid-sized garage efficiently and manually.
The biggest advantage: This is the ideal energy-efficient solution as it uses propane to heat a relatively large space.
- Heats up to 1,400 square feet of space
- Emits 28,000 BTU
- Extremely energy efficient
- Great for power outages, as it uses no electricity
Keep in mind:
- Having a carbon monoxide detector installed nearby is recommended to register dangerous gas leaks
- This has no thermostat and heats with “low, medium, high” settings
As we’ve discussed, there are several modes of heat to choose from when it comes to a garage heater. Some heaters utilize a fan to blow heat into the room and heat the air. Others, however, use radiant heat to directly heat nearby objects.
This radiant heater utilizes electric energy to heat the garage from the ceiling. Because it’s electric, it’s safe for use in insulated spaces and is simple to install.
Best for spot heating a garage workspace efficiently.
The biggest advantage: This electric garage heater is easy to install and safe to use, making it low maintenance.
- Heats a 60 degree radius from the unit
- Requires a 12 foot clearance from combustible materials
- Built with 45 degree tilt adjustment
- Cost-efficient and energy-efficient
- Straight-forward design heats nearby objects
- Can be used without access to gas
Keep in mind:
- Best installed in the ceiling, and includes a 6 foot cord to the electrical outlet
- Do not plug into a power strip
- Ensure any drop cords allow for 240 volts
#7 AgiiMan Electric Garage Personal Heater
If you’re looking more for a personal heater than something to keep your entire garage at a consistent temperature in the cooler months, consider something like this. It’s much more affordable and appropriate for short-term personal use than a large heater.
A personal garage heater like this has many of the same capabilities as heavier-duty heaters – like a fan to blow heat around the area and temperature controls – but it’s designed for small-scale heat while you’re in the garage.
Best for heating a larger section of the garage on a budget.
The biggest advantage: This affordable solution offers personal heat without sacrificing all the features of more expensive, large-space models.
- 89 inch electrical cord.
- Overheat protection.
- 90 degree tilt rotation.
- Heats in 3 seconds.
- Safe to place almost anywhere.
- Utilizes electricity for easy use.
Keep in mind:
- Not intended to heat large spaces or outdoors.
- Best for short-term use.
- Keep flammable objects at a safe distance.
#8 Sunday Living Electric Infrared Heater (Wall-Mount or Freestanding)
How you use your garage space will determine your priorities in a garage heater. If it doubles as a shop, utility is your biggest concern. But if you have a fully finished, insulated garage that you try to keep looking sleek, aesthetics will play a big part in your decision.
This heater provides a good amount of heat for a 2-car garage, but with the sleek, minimal look needed in a finished space. The electric heating mechanism is safe for an insulated area, and the included remote control means you can adjust your heat by popping your head out the door into the garage with the press of a button.
Best for small to mid-sized fully finished, insulated garages.
The biggest advantage: The sleek design won’t take away from a finished space and is safe either on the floor or mounted to the wall.
- 1500W heater.
- Child lock function.
- Energy saving mode available.
- Sleek design.
- Energy efficient.
- Versatile design with wall mount or floor stand options.
Keep in mind:
- Not intended to heat a large garage on its own.
- Intended as supplemental heat or short term heat.
What to Look for When Choosing a Garage Heater:
#1: Does the unit have good reviews?
It’s important when spending a few hundred dollars (which most garage heaters cost) to make sure others are satisfied with the product, because this is a great indication for how it will work for you. Take note of negative reviews and determine whether their issues apply to your situation and whether it’s worth the risk in your case.
#2: Is the unit energy efficient?
This is where you need to be very aware of your purpose in a heater. Are you interested in heating your garage during the winter, all winter? Or are you looking for something to keep you warm while you work on a project? Make sure if you’re trying to heat for long periods of time the unit you choose is cost efficient while running, or else you might end up with a huge power bill in a couple of months. Make sure your garage door is insulated for maximum heat efficiency.
#3: Can your space accommodate?
It would be terrible to have an expensive heating unit shipped to your house only to find that you don’t have the required setup for it. For example, a ceiling-mount propane-powered heater that requires 12 foot clearance wouldn’t make sense in a fully-finished garage without ventilation and a 10 foot ceiling. Likewise, if you have a large, open garage with no insulation, a portable space heater isn’t going to do much for you. Know what energy source is appropriate for your space and pay special attention to every specification of a heater before you purchase it.
#4: Does the unit provide enough power?
The most common customer complaint when it comes to garage heaters is that they don’t heat the garage effectively, and avoiding this problem is a matter of becoming an aware consumer. Know how much power you need to heat your space, and unless the unit you receive is defective you’ll achieve your goal. Here’s a helpful chart to reference:
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