Best Garage Heaters in 2018 – Top 8 Gas & Electric Models Reviewed

If you spend a lot of time in the garage, then you know that it can be hard to keep it warm and comfortable. Whether you’re working on your car or doing other projects on your own time, it’s critical that you can work in accommodating conditions. Not only do you want to avoid freezing your butt off, but colder temperatures can affect your work as well.

Thus, it’s imperative that you have a high-quality garage heater installed. Rather than suffer through the cold months of the year, you can maintain a reliable temperature inside your space without spending a fortune on heating bills.

Today we’re looking at some of the top models on the market, so let’s see what they can do for you. 

Best Garage Heaters - Comparisons 

8 Best Garage Heaters - Reviews 

1. Ceiling-Mounted Workshop Garage Heater

When picking out the best garage heater, one of the more critical elements is the size and output of the machine itself. In some cases, you don’t need a massive heater to warm up your whole space. Instead, it’s better to have something more compact that can heat a particular area, such as a work table or station in the garage.

The benefit of having targeted heating is that you can save a lot more money on your energy bill. Since you don’t have to worry about warming tons of square footage, you can keep your costs to a minimum. Also, it takes less time to get to the temperature you want since you are relying on direct heat, rather than ambient warmth.

In this case, we have an electric heater from Profusion Heat. It says ceiling mounted, but the fact is that you can put it almost anywhere. Its compact size allows you to place it on the wall just as easily, making it a versatile option for most garages. Also, because it doesn’t take up as much room, you can install multiple units without any issues.

What we like most about this particular heater is that it comes with a 90-degree swivel mount. If you do put it on the ceiling, this allows you to get more versatility from the machine because you can move it to either side depending on your needs. It also works on the wall because you can have it point downward directly onto your work area, making it much more efficient.

Speaking of efficiency, this model uses a quartz heating element to deliver more warmth with less power. It uses 1500 watts, which is much less than some of the other, larger garage heaters we’re going to see. It also comes with a 25-watt halogen lamp on the side, making it a practical addition to any garage. Now you don’t have to worry about installing a light in addition to the heater, so you can save time and money in the long run. Unfortunately, the lamp doesn’t operate independently of the heater, so you can’t use it when you don’t want the added warmth.

Overall, if you’re looking for directional heat and you want something that’s easy to install, this is an excellent option. While we aren’t 100% on board with the string switch (since it can break), the heater itself is reliable and effortless to use, making it a viable choice in our book. 

What we liked

  • High-efficiency design
  • 1500-watt operation
  • Long-lasting quartz heating element
  • Easy to mount with swivel bracket
  • Chain on/off switch for convenience
  • Rugged metal housing 
  • Halogen lamp on the side for better visibility
  • Delivers up to 5200 BTUs of heat
  • Compact design is perfect for work tables
  • Lightweight and easy to install

What we didn't like

  • In rare cases, the quartz may crack under pressure
  • String switch is not the most reliable method

2. Dr. Heater DR966 240-volt Commercial Heater

When it comes to personal space heaters, Dr. Infrared Heater is one of the better brands out there. Unlike the name of the company, though, this model doesn’t use infrared technology. It is an electric heater, but it uses coils and a fan to blow hot air throughout your garage.

With a 3000 to 6000-watt output, you have to make sure that your electrical system can handle this amount of power. It uses 25 amps and 240 volts, so you want to get your outlets verified before plugging it in. Otherwise, you could either trip your breaker or blow a fuse, and you won’t be able to use the machine until you get it fixed or upgraded.

What we like most about this garage heater is that it comes with an adjustable thermostat. It uses a dial to change the temperature output, and it also has a switch for you to go between high and low settings. Thus, you can control how much heat you get at any given time, making it a versatile and easy-to-use heating solution.

As far as airflow, this model uses an eight-inch fan to distribute the heat throughout your garage so that you don’t have to wait too long to feel it. However, because it’s directional, you can position it however you like. It comes with a swivel mounting bracket, making it an excellent choice for both the ceiling and the wall. Adding to the power and performance of this heater is five adjustable louvers on the front. You can customize the direction of the airflow for maximum efficiency.

If you do choose to put it high up, however, be aware that it doesn’t have a remote. Thus, you have to be able to reach the switches and buttons so that you can turn it on and off. However, it’s compact and relatively lightweight design means that you can put it almost anywhere without any issues. Just be sure that you’re near an outlet so that you don’t have to use an extension cord.

Overall, if you want a powerful garage heater that doesn’t use gas or propane, this is an excellent choice. It has a robust, low-maintenance motor, and it’s built to last. 

What we liked

  • High-powered electric heater
  • 3000/6000-watt heating element
  • Generates up to 20,000 BTUs
  • Swivel mounting bracket for convenience
  • Compact design fits almost anywhere
  • Adjustable thermostat with dial
  • High and low settings available
  • Power indicator light
  • Overheat protection and warning system
  • Adjustable louvers allow you to direct the heat
  • Eight-inch fan distributes heat evenly
  • Relatively quiet operation
  • Low-maintenance motor

What we didn't like

  • No remote control - has to be within reach
  • In rare cases, the heating element may be faulty upon arrival

3. Modine HD45AS0111 Natural Gas Heater

Although electric garage heaters are nice because they are super easy to install, they are severely limited in how much heat they can deliver. Since you can only use so much electricity at once, you can’t heat a massive space with them. Thus, if you’re looking to provide heat for a full-size garage, then you will want something like the Hot Dawg from Modine.

Garage heaters like this use natural gas and combustion to provide the warmth you need for your space. In this case, you get 45,000 BTUs of heat blasting out of the heater at all times. While we would prefer for this unit to have adjustable temperature control, it’s an ideal choice for large-scale heating needs.

What’s cool about this model is that it doesn’t require a lot of clearance. Some natural gas units need several feet to ensure that it doesn’t become a safety hazard, but the Hot Dawg is so well insulated that it just needs one inch of space on all sides. Thus, you can mount it in almost any size garage without any issues.

Another excellent design element is the fact that you can connect the natural gas pipe from either direction. Thus, rather than having to add extensions or additional brackets to your piping, you can send it directly to the heater from anywhere. It also has a small-diameter exhaust, so you don’t have to do as much for installation as you would with other heaters.

Modine Hot Dawg Garage Heater video by - jmc6000

Overall, the Hot Dawg is a high-performance and high-efficiency garage heater. It has a low-maintenance motor that gives you incredible heating without running up a massive energy bill in the process. As long as you have a professional install it for you, there shouldn’t be any problems when using this heater. 

What we liked

  • 45,000 BTU output
  • 80% energy efficient
  • Slim profile fits in tighter spaces
  • Connect to natural gas from either side
  • Small diameter exhaust for easy installation
  • Relatively quiet operation
  • Only one-inch clearance needed on all sides
  • Mounts to the ceiling
  • High-performance design

What we didn't like

  • No variable temperature control
  • No wall-mounting bracket available

4. Mr. Heater 40,000 BTU Gas Garage Heater 

With most heaters, they work by using a heating element and a fan to distribute the hot air around your space. While these are effective, they use a lot of energy, and they can have side effects, such as drying out the air and removing oxygen from the area. If you want something more efficient, then you may prefer an infrared heater instead.

Rather than having hot coils, this model creates direct heat via infrared radiation. Technically speaking, it heats surfaces, not the air itself. Your clothes, your body, and anything else in the heat path will get hot, but the air and the heater will stay about the same temperature.

What’s nice about having an infrared model is that it doesn’t require any electricity to operate. Thus, if you experience a power outage, you can still use it. Also, no electricity means that your utility bill will be much lower compared to other models on this list.

The downside of infrared heat is that you have to be in the path of the heater to feel its effects directly. While it can generate ambient heat from the surfaces it hits, it takes longer for it to work that way. Nonetheless, if you know how infrared heating works, you can make the most out of this machine.

We also appreciate that this unit comes with a thermostat so that you can adjust the temperature. Since it’s built as a ceiling model, you have to have a professional hook it up and attach the thermostat correctly, but once it’s in place, you will love how easy it is to use. Also, it doesn’t require direct ventilation (unlike most other natural gas heaters), so as long as you have a window or some other way for gas fumes to escape, you’ll be fine without cutting holes in your wall or ceiling.

What we liked

  • Gas-powered infrared heater
  • Delivers 40,000 BTUs
  • Swivel bracket for directional use
  • Heats an area of up to 750 sq ft
  • Maintenance-free design
  • No electricity needed
  • Thermostat for temperature adjustment
  • CSA design certified
  • No direct ventilation required

What we didn't like

  • The pilot light can go out relatively easily
  • Requires extra clearance on all sides (high ceilings are a must)

5. King EKB2450TB 240-volt Garage Heater

As we mentioned, electric garage heaters are super easy to install, and they provide excellent directional heat. In this case, we have a high-performance model from King, which offers both directional and ambient heating. The construction of the various components of this heater make it an exceptional choice for most garages.

The secret to this heater’s performance is the NiChrome heating elements. They get hotter in less time, and they ensure better heat transfer while working. Also, the system uses a flow-through layout, meaning that it draws air from the back and pushes it forward. This kind of setup can heat a space much faster and more efficiently than other electric models.

We like the construction of the heater itself as well. It’s made of heavy duty Muscovite Mica, and it has a powder coated finish to ensure that it will last a long time. It comes with a swivel bracket so that you can mount it to the ceiling or the wall. That being said, there is a thermostat knob on the front, so you still have to be able to reach it to turn the unit on and off.

When it comes to safety, this heater has a smart sensor system. It will shut off if the unit gets too hot or if it’s been on too long. It can heat up to 500 square feet, and it’s lighter than most other heaters in its class. Overall, this is an excellent electric model for any garage. 

What we liked

  • Powerful 5000-watt heating element
  • Adjustable temperature with knob
  • Range of 40 to 80 degrees F
  • Durable Muscovite Mica construction
  • Swivel mounting bracket for convenience
  • Powder coated finish for longevity
  • Easy to install
  • Flow through design is more efficient
  • Smart protection system
  • NiChrome coil elements transfer heat rapidly
  • Heats up to 500 sq ft
  • Lightweight at just 14 pounds

What we didn't like

  • Can drive up your electric bill
  • In rare cases, the unit may shut off unexpectedly

6. Heatstar By Enerco F125444 Garage Heater

Next, we have another infrared heater that will help you get the results you want without spending a ton of money. In fact, this model is so well designed that it boasts 99.9% energy efficiency. Infrared heaters are already great for your utility bill, but this one takes it a step further.

Although the heat output for this model is not the highest we’ve seen, it’s sufficient for most medium garages (two cars or less). It delivers up to 25,000 BTUs and can heat an area of up to 600 square feet.

This is an overhead heater that comes with a mounting bracket that installs quickly and easily. Best of all, because it’s infrared, you don’t need a ventilation shaft, nor do you need that much clearance for safety. It will work for garages with seven-foot ceilings and not have any problems.

Overall, if you like the idea of infrared heating, then this is an excellent choice.

What we liked

  • Delivers up to 25,000 BTUs
  • 99.9% fuel efficient operation
  • Heats up to 600 square feet
  • Overhead design works faster
  • Mounting bracket included
  • Doesn’t require too much clearance
  • Infrared heating system
  • No electricity required
  • Quiet operation
  • No direct ventilation needed
  • Durable construction

What we didn't like

  • The pilot light can go out relatively easily
  • Not ideal for ambient heating 

7. King Electric GH2405TB 240V Garage Heater

For the most part, electric garage heaters are really easy to install and set up. All you have to do is plug them into an outlet directly, and you’re ready to go. However, this particular model from King Electric doesn’t have that kind of operation. Rather than plugging it in, you have to wire it directly into your system. While this does require some expertise on your part (or a professional), it can ensure that you get the best performance.

One issue with using a power cord is that it can get hot from the amount of electricity flowing through it. When you have a 5000-watt heater, you have to be careful to avoid overheating. By installing this unit directly into your electrical system, you can alleviate this issue and deliver better results.

Also, the benefit of hooking it up this way is that you can connect it to a wall thermostat. There is a dial on the front for direct operation, but if you put it high up that can be a pain to use.

As with the other King Electric heater, this model uses a flow-through system to deliver more heat in less time. It has a high-powered fan and adjustable vents so that you can control how much heat is distributed and where it goes. Overall, if you’re comfortable with the wiring setup, this is a reliable garage heater.

What we liked

  • High-powered 5000-watt heater
  • Low-maintenance motor
  • Mounting bracket included
  • Smart limit protection
  • Durable construction
  • Adjustable thermostat 
  • On/off indicator light
  • Overload protection and warning light
  • Adjustable vent for directional heat
  • Built-in fan for flow-through operation
  • Can be connected to a wall thermostat

What we didn't like

  • No power cord provided
  • Must be installed professionally

8. Mr. Heater MHQ38FA Portable Space Heater

So far, we’ve been looking at permanent garage heaters. However, what happens if you need heat on a remote job site? If you’re looking for a high-powered space heater, then this model from Mr. Heater is a great choice.

This unit runs on both electricity and propane. The gas is to create up to 38,000 BTUs, while the power cord operates the fan inside. Combined, you can get a lot of heat in a short period, which makes it the perfect addition to any remote area.

Whenever you’re using propane, one thing you have to worry about is how long you have. Fortunately, this is an energy-efficient model, so you can get up to 12 hours of continuous operation with a 20-lb tank. That being said, you do need to hook up to 20 lbs or more to ensure that you get the best results. It comes with a 10-foot hose, so you have extra flexibility when positioning the heater.

Because this is portable, it weighs less than 13 pounds, and it comes with a carrying handle on top for convenience. 

What we liked

  • Portable design with handle
  • Offers targeted directional heat
  • Delivers up to 38,000 BTUs
  • Works with liquid propane
  • Comes with a 10-foot hose
  • Built-in regulator for safety and efficiency
  • Lasts up to 12 hours with a 20-lb tank
  • Piezo ignition switch
  • Fan operation for faster heat transfer
  • Quiet operation compared to other propane heaters
  • Weighs less than 13 pounds

What we didn't like

  • Must use 20lb propane tank or higher
  • In rare cases, the ignition switch may be faulty

Final Verdict 

When picking out the best garage heater, one of the first things you have to pay attention to is how it operates. Thus, when we’re deciding on our top picks, we understand that some people will need a natural gas model while others may prefer an electric version. So, here are the recommended heaters for both situations.

Natural Gas: Although we don’t like that it can’t be adjusted, the Hot Dawg is by far the best garage heater overall. It has the best operational efficiency of anything we’ve seen, and it’s much easier to install than you might think.

Electric: Dr. Heater’s adjustable model is the perfect addition to any small garage that needs directional heat. We appreciate that it has customizable temperature outputs as well as the ability to direct the heat wherever you need it to go. Although it does use a lot of electricity, it’s a reliable unit that will last. 

Sean J. Stone
 

Sean has been a woodworking enthusiast for 8 years, and in that time has written huge resources on woodworking and tools.

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