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Top 4 Best Garage Heaters of 2018

Best garage heater reviews 2018

Best-in-class
King Electric KB2410-1-B2-ECO

King Electric KB2410-1-B2-ECO Electronic Control Garage Heater

High-end energy-saving design

Smart garage heater incorporates advanced technologies to guarantee heating efficiency.

King Electric KB2410-1-B2-ECO Review

The King Electric KB2410-1-B2-ECO is an exceptional garage heater built with energy efficiency in mind. Its Smart energy-saving design features a two-stage spiral finned element that provides sufficient heat for up to 1,000 square feet and incorporates a built-in thermostat that allows for a smooth control of the unit’s performance. Perhaps the best feature of this unit is the ECO mode designed to use the lowest possible wattage to warm up the environment while the built-in fan dissipates the heat, boosting the performance.

The heater also comes with a universal mounting bracket that allows a suspended or wall-mounted positioning; furthermore, the remote control allows for a simple operation regardless of the unit’s position. Capable of heating a large garage effortlessly, energy-efficient and easy to operate, the King Electric KB2410-1-B2-ECO encompasses all qualities required from the best garage heater on the market.

Best value
Dr. Heater DR966

Dr. Heater DR966 6000-Watt Commercial Garage Heater

High-level industrial heater

Industrial-grade heater warms up environments up to 4800 cubic feet in a breeze.

Dr. Heater DR966 Review

Perfect for large industrial areas, commercial settings, or your garage, the Dr. Heater DR966 boasts an impressive heating capacity of 6000 watt. With a recommended heating capacity of 1.25 watt per cubic feet, this heater is a true monster. It has two heat settings and intuitive analog controls that make it a perfect primary heat source. Heating efficiency is also ensured by the rugged spiral steel metal sheath elements developed to provide uniform warmth.

Ideal to use in ample spaces, this electric heater comes equipped with a dynamical 8-inch fan that provides maximum airflow while the built-in thermostat allows for an easy control of the temperature. Easy to mount on a ceiling or wall and ideal to use in all spaces, the Dr. Heater DR966 is by far the best garage heater your money can buy.

Also great
Fahrenheat FUH54

Fahrenheat FUH54 5000-Watt Garage Heater

Ideal for residential use

Dependable heater comes with an adjustable thermostat and 5,000 watts of heating power.

Fahrenheat FUH54 Review

Developed for heavy-duty residential use, the Fahrenheat FUH54 boasts an industrial type design and a rugged construction developed to work in interior and exterior areas. It is ideal to use in spaces up to 500 square feet and comes with adjustable temperatures that range from 45°F to 135°F, meeting all heating needs.

Adjustable louvers and the built-in ceiling mount bracket allow for flexible placement options. Safety features include a high-level cut-out that deactivates the unit if it overheats and turns it back on when it returns to normal. Slightly weaker than our best-value product but powerful enough to heat most residential environments in a breeze, the Fahrenheat FUH54 makes an outstanding runner-up pick.

Best budget
Mr. Heater F232000

Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy Portable Propane Radiant Heater

For small and mid-size spaces

Mid-range residential heater suitable to use in interior and exterior spaces.

Mr. Heater F232000 Review

The Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX is a reliable garage heater capable to serve light and medium-duty demands. It’s powered by propane gas and is ideal to use in a garage or basement but also in your home.

One of the greatest qualities of this radiant heater is its portability. The unit is lightweight and comes equipped with a fold-down handle for easy transport. An auto shut-off function turns down the apparatus if it detects low levels of oxygen or if it’s tipped over. Moreover, the ceramic burner adjusts to either 4,000 or 9,000 BTU and provides an excellent heating efficiency in spaces up to 225 square feet. Ideal to use indoors and outdoors and easy to take from one place to another, the F232000 MH9BX is an excellent garage heater to consider if you don’t want to break the bank.

2. Types of garage heaters

Garage heaters come in all styles and sizes and can be powered by either fuel, electricity, or alternative sources.

Liquid fuel garage heaters

Are powered by either natural gas or liquid propane and are ideal to use in garages that lack electricity or in cold climate areas if you want to save on your electricity bills throughout the winter.

  • Natural gas heaters: Draw natural gas directly from your gas line if accessible and are the least expensive to run. Fairly efficient in terms of performance, these heaters are ideal for small to mid-size garages but they are less popular due to the permits and inspections required for installation. An improperly installed unit can be extremely dangerous and potentially life-threatening, that’s why some areas have strict rules in regard.
  • Liquid propane heaters: Are a great alternative to the natural gas units. These heaters are typically portable, inexpensive to buy and inexpensive to run, but they need constant monitoring of the fuel levels and constant maintenance. Improper burning of the fuel can release noxious fumes and defective units may release carbon monoxide which can eventually kill you.

Electric garage heaters

These heaters are perhaps the most popular among homeowners and professionals. They come in various types and sizes and can employ different heating technologies, including radiant and infrared heating. Electric heaters can be divided into fixed and portable units:

  • The portable electric heaters are small home-use units that plug into a traditional 120V wall outlet. They are often equipped with wheels and handles and are easy to transport from one room to another.
  • If you need a heavier-duty unit, a fixed electric heater could be more appropriate. These heaters are mounted on the wall or ceiling and use 240V electricity which requires professional installation. Despite this minor drawback, fixed (or permanent) garage heaters are the most effective, quietest and unobtrusive you can find.

The main downside of the electric heaters is their running cost. These units are the most expensive to run, so that’s a thing to consider if you live in a cold climate area.

Wood stove garage heater

Wood is a primordial source of heat and a wood stove turns into a reliable garage heater if you can obtain cheap wood to fuel it. The heat efficiency is among the best but wood stoves come with downsides too.

The main drawback is the installation requirement. Wood stoves need proper clearance between them and any flammable materials, including the wood. The burning process releases carbon dioxide and a series of noxious fumes, therefore the stove must also be connected to a chimney.

These units also take longer to heat up and are unsuitable for quick heat-up needs. On a positive side, they keep emitting heat long after you’ve turned them off, which reduces running costs in the long run.

Hot water garage heaters

Rarely used but quite effective if you already have a hot water boiler, the hot water garage heater uses the hot water from your boiler to heat up the elements, called heat exchangers, while a ventilator blows the air across the elements, heating it up.

The hot air is then blown out of the heater, warming up your space. Although inexpensive to run, these heaters have a very scarce performance.

3. Permanently mounted vs. portable heaters

Electric units are widely considered the best garage heaters, so let’s have an in-depth look at the two types.

Permanently mounted heaters

Come as compact yet highly efficient units designed to be mounted on a wall or suspended from the ceiling. These heaters must be wired into the main electrical circuit due to their voltage requirements and are harder to install, but the effort is well worth it.

These heaters typically use radiant or infrared technologies to heat up the environment and are suitable to use in large spaces of 1,000 square feet or higher.

Because they are fixed up high, they don’t take up any floor space and you’ll never have to worry about knocking the heater over or keeping it too close to your stuff. On a downside, these units have high consumptions and are costly to run.

Portable garage heaters

Typically employ the same technologies as the units above but have lower heating capacities, thus are suitable for more restricted environments. Their main advantage is the portability. Most units come with wheels and handles that allow for an effortless transition from one place to another.

Some portable garage heaters are ideal for spaces up to 500 square feet while the best electric garage heaters can be used both indoors and outdoors.

4. Heating capacity

The most important feature to consider when choosing a garage heater is the heating capacity which determines the unit’s suitability for your space. There are two factors to consider. One is the size of your garage. The other is the power of the heater. While the former is easy to calculate, the latter is somewhat trickier.

How to assess BTU?

The output of a heating unit is measured in BTU (British Thermal Units), a measurement unit that designates the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1lb of water by 1°F at sea level.

Figuring out how many BTUs you need to warm up a square foot of your garage is tricky, as there are involved many variables like the insulation and climate. But in broad lines, you’ll need around 20 to 40 BTU per square foot.

By using the lower value for the warmer climates and higher value for the colder climates you can simply multiply your garage’s area with the corresponding number to find out how many BTUs you need.

How to assess wattage?

Another way to determine the heating power is by considering the heater’s output in watts. There is a simple formula to use, and all you have to do is divide the heater’s wattage by 10 to obtain the approximate area the unit can handle.

Compare the number with the square footage of your garage to determine the wattage you need.

5. Safety features

Some safety features to look for include:

  • Overheat protection: Shuts off the unit if the element’s temperature exceeds a preset threshold. This prolongs the unit’s lifespan and lowers the risk of fire. The best garage heaters come with an automatic system that turns the unit back on when the element’s temperature has dropped.
  • Tip over protection: Shuts off the unit if it is accidentally knocked off. This feature is particularly important on the fuel-powered models.
  • Cool-touch: Maintains the unit’s surface cool to the touch. This feature is particularly important on the freestanding or portable units as it reduces the risk of burns.

6. Other features to look for in a garage heater

  • Thermostat control: A nice thing to have on an electric garage heater is the thermostat control that maximizes the energy efficiency. This device gives you the possibility to set the desired environmental temperature and turns the heater on and off as needed to maintain it within the set parameters.
  • Adjustable temperature: finding the perfect size heater for your garage is often impossible. If you have to invest in a more powerful unit, the adjustable temperature helps you regulate the heater’s output for an easier control of the room temperature.
  • Remote control: Some garage heaters come with remote controls that allow you to adjust the temperature or turn the unit on and off from a distance.
  • Louvers: Invest in a garage heater with adjustable louvers if you want to control the direction of the heat.
  • Portability: Just because a unit comes with wheels and handles it doesn’t mean it’s portable. Check the weight too, the reliability of the wheels and sturdiness of the handles.
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