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Best Garage Heaters of 2021: Fight the Cold!

If you enjoy working in your garage all year long, then you know the struggles of keeping yourself warm in the winter. Garages offer minimal insulation, and they are rarely temperature-controlled.

The Best Garage Heaters

In the summertime, you can handle the heat, but cold hands are never good when you’re working on your car. You need to wear a lot of layers of clothes and thick gloves. Of course, that’s both annoying and impractical.

1. Mr. Heater Buddy Propane Heater

The Mr. Heater Buddy portable garage heater is considered the most popular propane garage heater in North America. It’s the best solution for keeping enclosed spaces of up to 225 square feet warm in the winter.

It is a patented 4000-9000 BTU liquid propane heater that connects directly to a 1-pound propane cylinder. All you have to do in order to light the unit is rotate the “pilot” button and then press it.

This garage heater has great safety features, too. The ODS (Oxygen Depletion Sensor), as well as the accidental tip-over shut-off, will ensure that you stay warm and safe at the same time.

If you have a larger garage, you may need to purchase two of these heaters in order to heat up the entire garage. Luckily, the Buddy garage heater is affordable, so you won’t break the bank.

The heater has fold-down handles that help reduce storage space requirements. Also, since it’s pretty light, you can easily pick it up and take it with you.

2. Fahrenheat Garage Heater

The next heater on the list is the Fahrenheat garage heater. Not only is this heater perfect for garages, but it’s also ideal for basements, workshops, and outdoor buildings.

However, it isn’t portable, so you won’t be able to carry it from place to place. Once you’ve installed it, that’s it.

The wattage of the Fahrenheat heater is from 2500 to 5000 watts. It’s a heavy-duty piece of machinery with a built-in ceiling mount bracket that allows you to adjust it both vertically and horizontally. Also, the adjustable louvers allow you to direct the heat in any direction you like.

3. Modine Gas Heater

Another great garage heater is the Modine Hot Dawg garage heater. The Hot Dawg is guaranteed to keep the chill out of your garage. Not only that, but you can also use it in any workspace and outdoor building.

This heater is among the most widely recognized commercially, industrially and residentially-certified gas fire heaters. The system uses natural or propane gas and can accommodate piping from the left or the right.

4. Dyna-Glo Propane Heater

Torpedo heaters are practical for a number of reasons. They are portable, so you can easily move them around whenever you like. Also, since the heater is cool to the touch (even when it’s on full blast), you don’t have to worry about burning yourself on the heater while you’re adjusting it.

Another great safety feature is the automatic shutdown that protects the system from overheating. So, if you need to leave your garage, you can do so without worrying about potential accidents.

The Dyna-Glo garage heater is a great heating solution that will quickly heat up spaces up to 7,000 square feet! This garage heater is easy to install, thanks to its easy-connect regulator. Moreover, it can easily be adjusted to any angle you want.

5. Dr. Heater Hardwired Shop Heater

Dr. Heater has a solid metal construction that makes it safe and reliable. Since it provides immense amounts of heat, it can be used in large workspaces, garages, and commercial and industrial areas.

The heater has a built-in thermostat with automatic temperature control. It has two modes of operation (high/low), so you can choose your desired wattage.

If you like working without a jacket, then you’re in luck! This heater generates continuous warmth throughout the day. That means you will be able to work with only your vest on during the winter.

Although you won’t be using this heater for your library, you still don’t want it to be extremely noisy. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about the noise level, since it operates smoothly and quietly while heating up any space.

Also, if you have children or pets, you don’t have to constantly worry about their safety. Dr. Heater has a wire grill specifically made to protect your kids and pets from getting burned.

What to Look for in a Garage Heater

garage heater

There are a variety of options when it comes to garage heaters. They can range from small portable heaters to large units capable of heating up entire warehouses. When picking a heater you need to consider the type, safety features, and the size of the space you’re looking to heat. Let’s take a look at what makes these heaters different.

Types of Heaters

There is typically three styles of heaters. They all have their pros and cons and are used for different purposes.

Fan Forced

These types of heaters are some of the most common. They utilize a fan to force air past a heating element. This type of gradual heating is best suited for smaller rooms. Don’t expect a fan-forced heater to immediately heat up a room. With that said they can maintain heat quite well. These can be run by natural gas and propane making them cheaper to run than electric powered options.


Radiant or infrared heaters are ideal for large family living spaces and garages. These type of heaters work differently than typical convection currents and are capable of emitting targeted rays similar to how the sun works. They distribute heat so that the particles in the atmosphere circulate which makes your room warmer. Another bonus is that they are relatively cheap to operate.


These heaters rely on a heat source (enclosed flame or heating element) to warm the air. These types of heaters are the most affordable, but they do require quite a bit of time to heat up your space. Many of these are portable but they are also able to mounted which allows for a more reliable source of heat.

Safety Features

Safety features are one of the top things you should consider when looking for a garage heater. Perhaps you’d like to heat up your workspace before you start your project. Maybe you need to run a quick errand. In any case, you will most likely need to step out of the garage at some point and leave the heater unattended. For this reason, it’s important to check what safety features your heater has.

First and foremost, look for a heater that is able to auto shutoff in the event of tipping over or overheating. Most portable options like the ones we listed above will have tip-over protection as they aren’t in a designated/mounted spot. Then again, mounted options may only have an auto shut-off and won’t need tip-over protection.

Size of the Garage

You need to pick a heater that is suited for the space you’re working in. Nothing is worse than a heater that seemingly operates forever and the room is still cold. A rule of thumb for electric space heaters is to take 10 watts per square foot of floor space. Let’s look at an example:

Say our garage was spaced 20 ft. x 20 ft. The total square footage of the garage is 400 square feet. Following our rule of thumb above, 400 square feet x 10 watts = 4,000 Watts. So if you used an electric heater, you would want something that is at least 4000 watts.

What about gas heaters (BTUs)? Good question, let’s do some more math.

1 Watt is equal to 3.41 BTU. So in the above situation, we have 4000 watts. So in BTUs, 4000*3.41 = 13,640 BTU. So we would need to pick a propane/gas heater that is capable of at least 13,640 BTUs.

Final Thoughts

If you enjoy working in your garage, there’s no reason for you to have to go into hibernation during the cold winter months. Whether you’re fixing your car or working on a DIY project in your garage, you’ll need a quality heater to keep you warm in the winter.

The top recommended heaters on the list are the Mr. Heater Buddy portable radiant heater and the Dr. Heater 240-volt commercial heater. The Mr. Heater garage heater has great safety features and is very popular in North America. The Dr. Heater garage heater has a durable metal construction and can heat up spaces up to 600 square feet in no time.

If you’re looking for a great torpedo heater, the Dyna-Glo liquid propane forced air heater is your best option. It’s easy to transport, has great safety features and is easy to use.

The Modine Hot Dawg garage heater is the most expensive heater on the list, but it can be used in a variety of different workspaces and outdoor buildings.

Finally, the Fahrenheat 240-volt garage heater is the most budget-friendly solution. It comes with a built-in ceiling mount bracket that you can adjust both vertically and horizontally.

Ultimately, all of these garage heaters are quality products, and you can’t go wrong with any of them. You’ll finally be able to enjoy working in your garage no matter what time of year it is!

Richard Reed
I've been a General Manager of a moving company and I've also been a Professional Mover for over 30 years. I've driven flat beds, reefers, dropdecks, moving vans, heavy machinery, etc. In my time as a Mover I've driven over 1,000,000 safe miles. My days of moving and driving truck are past me but The Vehicle Lab allows me to share the knowledge I've gained over the past 40 years.
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