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The 9 Best Garage Heaters for Winter Warmth

Keep your garage cozier with these electric, propane, and natural gas heaters.

best garage heaters
Staff, Courtesy of Dyna-Glo

Has your garage become an extension of your living space? Faced with more time at home in recent memory, many people have found refuge in their garages. These structures have been transformed into everything from a home gym or hobby workshop to a socially distant gathering spot or movie theater.

The challenge is that most garages are unheated, which limits how many months you can comfortably enjoy them. A garage heater is the best option to prolong thermal comfort even through deep winter. As there are several different categories of heaters, check out our buying guide and the nine best garage heaters below.

Size Matters

Just like buying a furnace or air conditioner, square footage is your first consideration. The size of your garage and what portion you want heated influence how much power, measured in BTU or watts, is needed. The larger the garage, generally the more BTU your heater needs to generate. However, if you only need targeted heating, a smaller unit will still keep you toasty. Another consideration is your average outdoor temperatures. Garages that are subject to extreme weather conditions might need higher BTUs to keep pace with below-freezing temperatures.

Heating Method

There are four categories of garage heaters: fan, radiant, infrared, and gas. The first three are electric but differ in how they create and distribute heat. Forced air versions generate heat and then move it using a built-in blower. Both radiant and infrared heaters emit warmth within a small but powerful radius. The most powerful option, gas heaters are best for cavernous, industrial garages, though be aware that the resulting carbon monoxide needs to be safely vented. Depending on the model, gas-powered heaters can run on natural gas, propane, diesel, or waste oil.

Plug-In or Permanent Installation

Some heaters are portable, which means they are a cinch to move around your garage as long as there is an available outlet, they run on batteries, or they use an integrated fuel source. This is a major advantage if you want to heat a specific zone within your garage or during a certain task, like around a workbench, next to a car during an oil change, or while assembling a children’s bike before the holidays. Portable units are also a plus in the off-season when you want to store them away.

For electric models, review your outlet compatibility. Some garages have the same 120-volt outlets found inside homes. These are rated for average electrical loads and can support power tools, tech, an extra refrigerator, and more. However, some garage heaters need the extra juice of a 240-volt outlet. These outlets are used for heavy-duty appliances, such as dryers, ovens, and hot tubs. If you need to upgrade your outlets, you’ll also need a corresponding 240-volt circuit breaker, along with the correct load amperage, on your electric panel.

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Any hardwired models need to comply with local and national electrical codes. Unless you are experienced with electrical work, it might be best to call in a pro for installation. The same goes for permanent propane or gas units, which require additional fuel lines and venting.

How We Evaluated

I have been covering the architecture, engineering, and construction sector as a trade journalist and freelance writer for nearly 12 years. I enjoy learning about everyday technology—like HVAC—and uncovering how it improves our lives behind the scenes. Accounting for the significant variety in residential garage sizes, I started my selection process for the best garage heaters by researching the four categories of fuel sources. It was important to find a range of models that could warm a petite historic garage originally meant for a Model T all the way up to an industrial garage that houses a semi cab. I then based my choices on consumer reviews, model features, and price.

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Electric Hardwired Heater
Dr. Infrared Heater DR-975 Heavy-Duty Hardwired Shop Garage Heater
Dr. Infrared Heater
$238.60 (20% off)

Key Specs

  • Type: Infrared
  • Power Supply: 240 V, hardwired
  • Size: 15 x 19 x 13 in.
  • Weight: 26 lb

Blast warmth with this 7,500-watt, 240-volt unit that mounts on the wall or ceiling and heats your space between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Its adjustable louvers direct air where you need it most.

  • Compact size

  • External thermostat is sold separately
Two-Stage Heating
King Two-Stage Electronic Garage Heater

Key Specs

  • Type: Electrical fan coil
  • Power Supply: ‎240 V, hardwired
  • Size: 13.5 x 15 x 16.5 in.
  • Weight: 31.5 lb

This heavy-duty 240-volt model provides two-stage heating, which is ideal for climates with major temperature swings. A lower heat output satisfies mildly cool days, whereas a higher stage can handle single-digit temperatures.

  • Heats up to 450 sq. ft.

  • Expensive
Powerful Electric Heater
Dura Heat EWH9600 Electric Forced Air Heater
Dura Heat
$196.22 (21% off)

Key Specs

  • Type: Electric fan
  • Power Supply: 240 V, hardwired
  • Size: 16.8 x 12.2 x 15.2 in.
  • Weight: 28.4 lb

This model delivers 34,120 BTU at 10,000 watts. Choose between installing it on your ceiling or wall, as well as horizontal or vertical airflow. The EWH9600’s heating element has a steel-wrapped spiral design that produces an even heat transfer.

  • Yellow exterior for a bright spot of color

  • Requires a 42-amp circuit
Electric Infrared Heater
Briza Heater
$199.89 (20% off)

Key Specs

  • Type: Infrared
  • Power Supply: 120 V, plug-in
  • Size: 35.5 x 4 x 4 in.
  • Weight: 17.2 lb

This heater is also designed for outdoor patios, which means it will handle a dusty garage exposed to the elements. The included, adjustable tripod is also a bonus. Many portable heaters sit close to the floor, but the Briza reaches up to 7 feet.

  • Built-in safety shutoff if the unit tips over
  • Includes a tripod stand

  • Output is only 1,500 watts
Compact and Portable
Newair Portable 240-Volt Electric Garage Heater

Key Specs

  • Type: Infrared
  • Power Supply: 240 V, hardwired
  • Size: 11 x 10.5 x 14 in.
  • Weight: 16.6 lb

This 5,600-watt model quickly produces heat. Manually dial between low and high heat settings, plus toggle between an automatic or continuous fan. At just over 11 inches wide with a 6-foot cord, its portable size is easy to place on workbenches, tables, and other flat, clutter-free surfaces.

  • Heats between 560–800 sq. ft.

  • Needs 240-V outlet rather than a standard plug
Portable Gas Heater
Dyna-Glo 10,000-BTU Indoor Kerosene Radiant Heater

Key Specs

  • Type: Radiant kerosene
  • Power Supply: Two D batteries
  • Size: 22.3 x 11.9 x 19.3 in.
  • Weight: 20.9 lb

The RMC-55R7B produces 10,000 BTU. It heats up to 500 square feet, which easily covers a standard two-stall garage. One-touch ignition and extinguish buttons make it easy to start and stop the heat quickly. A full tank of 1-K kerosene lasts approximately 13 hours.

  • Suitable for garages without electricity and during power outages

  • Kerosene has a light chemical smell when burned
Most Affordable
Mr. Heater Portable Buddy Heater
Mr. Heater

Key Specs

  • Type: Propane
  • Power Supply: Propane
  • Size: 13.4 x 8.3 x 15 in.
  • Weight: 10.6 lb

The MH9BX is a propane model ideal for targeted heating. Small but mighty, it generates 4,000 to 9,000 BTU using a single 1-pound canister. Its compact size and weight makes this unit convenient to reposition.  

  • Inexpensive
  • Can use with an electrical outlet

  • Only heats up to 225 sq. ft.
Natural Gas Heater
Mr. Heater 80,000-BTU Big Maxx Natural Gas Unit Heater
Mr. Heater
$499.99 (17% off)

Key Specs

  • Type: Natural gas
  • Power Supply: 120 V, hardwired
  • Size: 30.3 x 27.6 x 22 in.
  • Weight: 88.2 lb

If you have an uninsulated wood garage or minimally insulated space, then the ceiling-mountable Big Maxx from Mr. Heater is for you. With the help of built-in electric fan, it can warm 3,125 to 4,200 square feet and runs on natural gas or propane with a conversion kit.

  • Generates 80,000 BTU

  • Ceiling mount only
Multiple Fuel Options
MorrHeat MH080 Waste Oil Heater

Key Specs

  • Type: Oil or gas
  • Power Supply: 120 V, hardwired
  • Size: 30 x 24.5 x 51 in.
  • Weight: 204 lb

Car enthusiasts who tool around in their garage year-round should consider this 80,000-BTU model that burns waste fuel. In addition to leftover motor oils, it’s engineered to use heating and diesel fuels. The efficient heater uses less than a half-gallon per hour.

  • Warms up to 2,000 sq. ft.

  • Significant investment
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