If you’re looking to find the Best Portable Heaters For Garage or any other freezing cold space – you’ve come to the right place! If you do any work in your garage and live where winter temperatures can stay below freezing for days or weeks on end you know it’s practical – almost essential – to own the best garage heater for your budget and get the inside temperature up to a comfortable level.
In today’s garage heater reviews, we show you the 10 best garage heaters on the market for 2021. Let’s get started by explaining a few of the different “types” of garage heaters you can buy:
The Five Types of Garage Heaters:
(And the garage heating systems we recommend most for bringing temperatures up in cold weather)
1). “Forced Air” Propane Heater
Many consider this type to be the best gas garage heater you can buy. Forced-air garage heaters use an electric fan to forcefully blow and distribute air quicker and more efficiently than any other garage heater. Air that has been heated by the combustion of propane gas quickly turns any freezing cold garage into a comfortable space to work.
This favorite type of forced air propane heater – is also called a “Torpedo heater” design, and is used outdoors or indoors with minimal ventilation required.
Besides being a highly energy-efficient shop heater for the garage, a torpedo propane garage heater does not require garage heater installation – like a Natural Gas or 240 Volt wired garage heater would.
The Torpedo design heater is considered a portable garage heater, as it can be located anywhere that an extension power cord can reach.
Whether you’re working on your car, bike, or setting up your workbench for some DIY fixes, you simply plug the garage heater into a 115V outlet, connect the space heater to a 20 lb. LP propane tank – and you’re ready to go.
Another type of “forced air” heater we heartily recommend to warm up any garage – is the Mr. Heater Big Maxx – Natural Gas Heater–
Note: The Big Maxx model is a permanent wall installation model, which requires a Natural Gas and 115V electrical hardwire connection. Please see our review for the Big Maxx below.
2). “Radiant” Propane heater
Another variety of portable heaters for the garage is the Radiant Electric Heater. This efficient, but not quite as powerful type of electric garage heater, relies on infrared heating elements – to “radiate” and distribute heat to your garage— with clean-burning effectiveness – rated at nearly 100% efficiency.
Most radiant electric heaters test at zero-carbon monoxide levels – but it’s good to be safe and use some fresh air ventilation.
Editor’s Note – All Propane Heaters we review require a 20 lb. Lp Gas tank with a Hose and regulator. Some models include or offer a gas hose and regulator at purchase (Amazon). The actual 20 lb. LP gas tanks are not available online – you can easily buy or exchange yours at any Home Depot, Lowes, or Walmart, Etc. )
3). “Kerosene” heater*
Kerosene heaters work on a similar principle to forced air and radiant propane heaters but operate with kerosene or diesel fuel as the source of combustion.
*Note – Kerosene or Diesel Fuel can emit harmful fumes from combustion. Kerosene heaters are to be used only in “Open – well-ventilated spaces.”
4) Natural Gas Garage Heater
Natural gas heaters are connected directly to your local Natural Gas supply – and require specific gas connections – usually provided by the manufacturer.
5). 240-volt Electric Garage Heater
Two great options for heating a garage are 240-volt electric and natural gas heaters. However, these aren’t ordinarily practical for most people, since the majority of homes do not have the necessary hookups for them in the garage.
Neither of these Garage Heater types is truly considered “Portable”. Because of this fact, this review will mostly focus on portable propane, 110-volt electric, and kerosene heaters*.
Don’t miss our 240-volt electric heater and natural gas garage heater options, at the end of this article.
And If it’s cold enough outside for a new garage heater, check out a “cordless” snowblower Here.
The Best Garage Heaters You Can Buy In 2021
|Editor’s Choice||Runner Up||Best Value||Best Heater with Stand|
|Mr. Heater MH60QFAV 60,000 BTU Portable Propane Forced Air Heater||Protemp Portable Fan Forced Variable Output Propane Heater 30000 Btu 1250 Sq. Ft. 10 Ft.||Dura Heat Propane Forced AIR Heater, 30,000-60,000 BTU, White||Heat Storm HS-1500-TT Infrared, 13 ft Cord, Tripod + Heater|
|SEE ON AMAZON||SEE ON AMAZON||SEE ON AMAZON||SEE ON AMAZON|
Best Forced Air Propane Heaters
Editors Choice: Mr. Heater Forced Air 60,000 BTU Heater
Why we like it
Manufactured by one of the top manufacturers in the world for space heaters, and this torpedo heater model from Mr. Heater is no exception. In fact, it is our top choice as the best portable garage heater to buy.
Mr. Heater’s features include heat settings of 30,000-60,000 BTU’s, QBT (50% quieter operation), 14 hours of operation on the 30,000 BTU setting, upwards directional heat flow design, comes with a built-in garage heater thermostat, and oh yeah, it’s made by Mr. Heater.
- Continuous Ignition
- Adjustable Temperature settings
- QBT quiet technology
- Heats up to 1,500 Square feet quickly
- Includes:10 ft. gas hose and regulator (LP tank not included)
If you’re looking for a dependable, space-efficient heater and your budget allows it – we think this is the one to buy.
Mr. Heater – Torpedo Heater
Runner Up: Pro-Temp 30,000 BTU Propane Heater
Why We Like It
With its high heat output and variable heat settings, the Pro-Temp torpedo is considered one of the best heaters for garage and workshop for the price. Unlike older models, this is a safe choice for indoor use – with sufficient ventilation, making it easy to heat any medium-sized garage even with frigid temperatures outside.
- 30,000 BTU output
- Heats up to 1,500 square feet
- Up to 11 hours per tank
The Pro-Temp heater is well built and per reviews appear to be extremely reliable. Its heat output is more than enough for any standard-sized garage, even under the coldest conditions.
Like most forced air heaters, it is fairly loud, but the noise is simply a part of using this type of heater.
Pro Temp – Torpedo Garage Heater
Best Value: DURA HEAT 60,000 BTU Forced Air Heater
Why We Like It
As one would expect with a DURA HEAT product, the DURA HEAT Forced Air propane forced air heater is of excellent quality and provides plenty of heat for most applications. The construction standards of this heater are solid, and we believe it to be one of the best garage heating options out there.
- 30,000- 60,000 BTU heat output
- 300 cubic feet of air movement per minute
- Push-button ignition
In our evaluation of this garage heater, we found that the DURA HEAT propane heater provides plenty of heat to make a garage comfortable during cold weather – for spaces up to 3,000 sq. Ft.
If you’re looking for an economical heater that will allow you to work on your car or tinker with projects on your workbench during the coldest months of the year – this heater is a great economical option.\
DURA HEAT – Garage Heater
More Garage Heating Options
Best “Cordless” Propane Heater – DeWalt DXH70CFAV 68,000 BTU
Why We Like It
While all of our Top Place forced air propane heaters are awesome – They All require an extension cord to power the built-in blower. The DeWalt propane heater fixed that problem by creating a “battery-powered” propane heater. Simply plug in a 20V DeWalt lithium-ion battery – connect it to your 20lb. propane tank and you’re done.
- Up to 68,000 BTU
- Stainless steel – Powder coated finish
- Variable adjusted heat control
- High-temperature limit switch
- QBT Technology (Quiet Burner Technology) built-in
If you find yourself using a portable heater often in places that don’t have AC power – like job sites – Then the DeWalt portable propane heater is likely your best choice. In addition, if you already use DeWalt power max 20-Volt battery system, you already own the battery and charger to power this impressive space heater!\
DeWalt Garage Heater
Best “Hybrid” Portable Heater – Ryobi: 18V – 120V – or Propane
Why we Like It
The Ryobi Garage Heater could be considered as “Revolutionary”. And while it does offer some limitations – if your intended use is, well, limited – this could be a great one to consider 🙂
The Ryobi 18V Hybrid offers the unique option of using either a 1 lb. propane tank (up to 1.5 hours), the 18V Ryobi Battery (up to 5 hours – battery sold separately), or Using an extension cord for unlimited 120 volt AC power.
The versatile power options, and the lightweight design of the Ryobi Heater – make this one of the most Portable Garage Heater designs on the market.
- Up to 15,000 BTU capability
- Up to 5 Hour Run Time using 4.0 Ah Ryobi Battery (sold separately)
- Propane Tank Option
- Compact Design – Great Portability
Check out this video for the Ryobi propane heater:
Suffice it to say, the Ryobi Portable Heater is a one-off – extremely versatile design. And while it offers super convenient options, we only recommend using it to heat small to medium-sized spaces effectively.
Ryobi Garage Heater
Too early to buy one of the best garage heaters? Check out the Best Fire Pit tables you can buy here
Best Radiant Heaters
Best Radiant Heater – Space Under 450 Square Feet: Mr. Heater MH18B
Why We Like It
Moving along to the best garage heaters in the radiant propane category, we start with the Mr. Heater MH18B, arguably the best space heater for smaller garage areas.
Mr. Heater provides a good amount of supplemental heat for spaces up to 450 square feet and can be run on a low, medium, or high heat setting, depending on the ambient temperatures.
Thanks to its high-efficiency rating, this heater is approved for both indoor and outdoor use.
- 18,000 BTU max heat output
- Heats up to 400-450 square feet (20 x 20 Sq. Ft. Garage)
- Tip over and low oxygen safety switches
- Three heat settings
If you’re heating a smaller garage, we think that the Mr. Heater MH18B is one of the best and most safe garage heaters you’ll find. Not only will it provide plenty of heat, but the radiant nature of its heating mechanism helps quickly distribute the heat throughout the space.
Overall, this is a high-quality heater that will serve you extremely well in smaller spaces.
Too early to buy one of these best garage heaters? Check out the Best Fire Pit tables you can buy here
Mr. Heater Garage Heater
Why We Like It
Like the larger MH9BXRV, this smaller unit from Mr. Heater provides a high-quality solution for RV’s, smaller garages, and sheds. Thanks to its small size, it is also perhaps the best portable garage heater on the market today, as it can be picked up and carried easily. It also offers many of the same great features that you’d find on the larger Mr. Heater models.
- 9,000 BTU maximum heat output
- Auto-Shut Off
- Heats up to 225 square feet (20 x 12 Sq. Ft)
- Tipover and low oxygen safety switches
- High efficiency
Overall, this is the best portable garage heater we’ve researched for mid-size garages (single stall).
While it is small and lightweight, it’s also more than capable of warming up small spaces quickly and efficiently.
As with the previous model in our reviews, the Mr. Heater MH9BX uses radiant heating to distribute heat quickly, and prevent you from having to wait too long for your space to warm up.
Mr. Heater – Radiant Garage Heater
Best Radiant Heater for Workbench or Camping: Mr. Heater MH4B
Why We Like It
If you’re looking for a small heater that will warm up small spaces like your workshop, this is it.
The MH4B Little buddy space heater, is a small, portable workbench heater that provides just enough warmth to keep your immediate area comfortably.
This Mr. Heater heater is excellent for use on camping or hunting trips and is easy to carry for mobile applications.
- 3,800 BTU maximum heat output
- Heats up to 95 square feet (10 x 10 Sq. Ft.)
- Lasts up to 5.6 hours on a 1-pound LP tank)
- Tipover and low oxygen safety switches
Due to its small size and low fuel requirements, we find Mr. Heater MH4B to be the best shop heater on the market for smaller workshops and colder workbench spaces. With this Mr. Heater model, you’ll be able to comfortably work on your projects during the winter months without having to burn up insane amounts of propane in the process.
Like other Mr. Heater products, this mini heater is fast-acting and will warm up your small space in very little time.
Mr. Heater – Best Camping Heater
Kerosene Garage Heaters:
Best “Forced Air” Kerosene Heater: Pro-Temp 80,000 BTU Torpedo Heater
Why We Like It
At 80,000 BTUs, this unit puts out some serious heat. For larger areas, this is perhaps the best garage heater you’ll find available today.
Thanks to its all-steel construction, this heater is also a durable machine that will stand up to practically anything you put it through.
- 80,000 BTU heat output
- Heats up to 2,000 square feet
- 5-point safety
- Adjustable thermostat
- Can run on kerosene or diesel
The Pro-Temp Kerosene forced air heater does a great job of heating large spaces, even when the temperatures outside get extremely cold.
Pro Temp’s heat output is more than enough to warm even the largest garages. We’re very impressed with the user reviews, and quality of this unit, and it appears to be built exceptionally well.
*Note – For Kerosene or Diesel Fuel can emit harmful fumes from combustion. Kerosene heaters should only be operated in “Open – well-ventilated spaces”, such as Open – Barns, Garages, and New Construction sites.
NOTE: The state of California prohibits the use of this product in any dwelling, house or unit. In the state of California, use should be limited to non-airtight outbuildings such as barns, garages, etc. The sale of this product is prohibited in the state of Massachusetts. Please check your state and local codes prior to purchase.
Pro-Temp – Best Kerosene Heater For Garage
Best “Radiant” Kerosene Heater: “Dyna Glow” 23,800 BTU Indoor Kerosene Heater
Why We Like It
Although it has less power than the 23,800 BTU heater mentioned above, the Dyna Glow Radiant heat model is still an excellent choice for medium-sized spaces. And as a lower BTU provider, the Dyna Glow heater is the most energy-efficient electric heater for the garage on our list.
It is also somewhat unique in that it disperses heat in a 360-degree pattern, making for even distribution. As such, it very much deserves a mention on this list of the best portable heaters for garage spaces.
- 23,800 BTU heat output
- 360-degree distribution
- Runs up to 12 hours on one tank of fuel
- Protective grille
Our evaluation found that the Dyna Glow Kerosene Radiant heater does a great job of quickly warming up medium to large spaces thanks to its radiant heating capabilities. Its long runtime on a single tank of fuel is also a major advantage since it can be used over a prolonged period without refueling.
*Note – For Kerosene or Diesel Fuel can emit harmful fumes from combustion. Kerosene heaters should only be operated in “Open – well-ventilated spaces,” such as Open – Barns, Garages, and New Construction sites.
NOTE: The state of California prohibits the use of this product in any dwelling, house, or unit. In the state of California, use should be limited to non-airtight outbuildings such as barns, garages, etc. The sale of this product is prohibited in the state of Massachusetts. Please check your state and local codes prior to purchase.
Dyna Glow Kerosene Heater for Garage
240V – Electric Garage Heater
Best 240-volt Garage Heater: Dr. Infrared DR988
Why We Like It
The electric garage heater is perfect for 240 voltage-equipped garages or construction sites and will do a great job of providing heat in spaces of up to 600 square feet.
With that said, most home garages may offer 120-volt service and are not set up for 240-volt power, so not everyone will be able to use this great heater. If you’re fortunate enough to have a 240-volt hookup, though, this is a great option to look at – as it cranks out an unbelievable 5600 Watts of heat!
- Up to 5,600W power
- Heats up to 600 square feet
- Thermostat control
- No fumes
This 240-volt option is overwhelmingly more powerful than the best 120-volt garage heater options on the market. And actually much more efficient.
As such, it provides a great way to leverage the convenience and safety of 240-volt electricity to heat your garage.
That is, assuming you have a 240-volt electric service.
We’ve found that the Dr. Infrared Heater does a great job of keeping garages warm and comfortable, all while producing no fumes of any kind.
Dr. Infrared – 240 Volt Garage Heater
Natural Gas Garage Heaters
Best Natural Gas Garage Heater: Mr. Heater Big Maxx
Why We Like It
If you’re looking for a gas heater for a garage – and already have a natural gas hookup in place, the Big Maxx is an excellent option as a natural gas garage space heater.
Mr. Heater’s Big Maxx is exceptionally efficient and produces up to 50,000 BTUs of heat output.
Coming from a very reputable, well-known brand like Mr. Heater – is also a major plus.
- 50,000 BTU maximum heat output
- Heats up to 1,250 square feet
- Thermostat control
For larger garages that have a natural gas space heater connection available, the Mr. Heater Big Maxx is an excellent option that will heat garages quickly and reliably.
This model requires venting exhaust fumes.
This natural gas heater can also be converted to an LP Gas source. This makes this model more versatile for homes that use liquid propane to heat their homes.
Mr. Heater – Big Maxx Garage Heater
Now that you have your Portable Garage Heater figured out – What about a Portable Generator?
Frequently Asked Questions
If you haven’t purchased a garage heater before, you may have a few basic questions about what you need.
This FAQ section answers a few of the most common questions buyers have – so you can make a more informed buying decision – and get the best garage heater for your needs.
What is the Best Garage Heater for an Uninsulated Garage?
If you have an uninsulated garage with exposed studs (no drywall) and intend to heat your garage – we highly recommend at a minimum, you install “Rolled Batt Insulation” between the wall studs – and if possible, the exposed roof rafters.
Roll Insulation is cheap and very easy to install; all you need is a utility knife, staple gun, and a ladder. So, while you may be able to raise the garage temperature without insulation, the cost to do so over time – will far outweigh the one-time cost to Install Batt Insulation.
If you don’t plan on insulating your garage for a while, just pick the highest rated BTU garage heater you can afford for that space. We recommend selecting a top-rated propane heater like the 60,000 BTU forced air propane heater from Mr. Heater at Amazon.
What size Propane LP Gas tank do I need for a Garage Heater?
All of the 60,000 BTU forced air – torpedo style garage heaters we feature above – require a 20 lb. Propane tank (same size as needed for your grill).
If you bump up to one of the larger models (80,000 BTU or higher), you will need to use 40 lb. Propane tanks, which are trickier to find already filled.
BTU Calculator – How many BTUs To Heat My Garage?
This one is a bit complicated to answer since it depends on several variables – outside temps, insulation, etc.
Here is the general rule of thumb, however, on how big a heater is needed for garages:
Forced Air Propane or Kerosene Garage Heaters
45,000 BTU’s to heat a 2 /12 car garage.
60,000 BTU’s to heat a 3-car garage
With that said, you may require more or less, depending on your average outside temperature, the size of your space, and the level of warmth you’re looking to achieve.
Like whether your standing still at a workbench vs. training to be the next champion Ninja warrior 🙂
If you live in a more moderate climate (Not Alaska) you may be more than comfortable buying the 18,000 BTU Electric radiant heater from Dynaglo – It’s available at Amazon and is highly rated, and can be floor or wall-mounted.
Worth noting, a Forced Air propane heater will heat cold spaces much quicker than a Radiant type heater. Check with your local heating contractor to get a recommendation for your region.
Is Propane Better Than Kerosene?
While not necessarily better, propane is more widely available than kerosene. The propane heaters we feature operate at nearly 100% efficiency so they are safer to use indoors, and with less concern than Kerosene heaters require.
Propane heaters tend to be less expensive, however, many Kerosene heaters can provide greater fuel capacity and BTU output – For Barns, Unheated Construction sites, etc.
How Important Is Ventilation?
Even the most efficient heaters will produce some fumes. It’s always a good idea to place your heater in a well-ventilated space where fresh air is continually introduced, and any fumes the heater produces can disperse harmlessly.
While propane heaters we feature are considered safe to use indoors, we still recommend allowing fresh air for ventilation. Many propane users crack their service door or garage door a couple of inches to allow some fresh air – and in a lot of cases – to cool the garage down!
Kerosene heaters that operate on Kerosene or Diesel Fuel, require fully open ventilated spaces to be operated safely.
Are Garage Heaters Expensive to Run?
In most cases, no. Since a portable garage heater is used just while you are there to monitor it, you’ll only use it for a few hours at a time.
Given the efficiency of today’s modern heaters, auto heat settings, etc. the cost of using them is relatively low.
How Much of a Role Does Garage Insulation Play?
One of the best ways to ensure your garage loses less heat is by making quick trips in-and-out of your garage, this, by way of using the universal garage door opener with remote you can afford. Otherwise, If you need to manually open and close your garage door, your heat loss is substantial.
When selecting a heater, you should keep in mind the insulation status of your garage. The more insulated your garage is, the easier it will be for your heater to bring it up to temperature.
If you have a garage with little to no insulation, you’ll likely be best off overshooting the usual BTU recommendations to compensate for the added heat loss.
While all the garage heaters we’ve reviewed offer great heating options, we suggest being very selective on “which garage heater” makes sense for your space.
Make sure you select a garage heater that is “appropriate” for your air quality. For instance, you wouldn’t want to order a kerosene heater for use in a closed garage or workshop space.
We recommend the “Mr. Heater forced air propane garage heater” as the best choice for spaces up to 1500 sq. ft. We also suggest many other fine heaters as well – all dependent on the size of space you plan to heat.
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