Home Heating Heroes
Your Guide to Home Heating and Cooling Systems
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Home Heating Heroes
Your Guide to Home Heating and Cooling Systems
Back in the day, it was common to have beautiful, crackling wood-burning stoves installed in your garage to warm your fingers and toes when you were working on cold days or nights. Today, however, there is a multitude of modern-heating options that don’t require all that kindling.
Garage and workshop heaters come in dozens of styles and sizes and are packed with features to help keep your fingers warm and nimble, even on the coldest nights.
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In this article, we’ll talk about the crucial characteristics for the best workshop or garage heater for your specific needs, then we’ll review our Top 15 picks.
Some models might not be as simple as throwing some wood on the fire, but the garage and workshop heaters available these days will keep you warm throughout the winter.
There’s no reason to let the weather sideline your long-awaited home-improvement projects or your regular auto maintenance. Start by thinking about the space you want to heat and how much work you intend to do in the area during the coldest months.
Our pick for the best overall garage heater is the Fahrenheit FUH54, which mounts either horizontally or vertically from hanging brackets.
This Fahrenheat heater operates at 208/240 volts, providing the perfect heat for a home shop or garage. And it comes with adjustable louvers to direct the heat where you want it.
The Fahrenheat heater comes with a pole thermostat to tailor its heat output to your comfort, between 45 degrees and 135 degrees Fahrenheit. An automatic shutoff provides security by shutting off the unit when it reaches the set temperature, preventing overheating and possible damage from fires.
One of the best portable propane garage heaters is this handy workhorse from Mr. Heater. It runs between 4,000 and 9,000 BTU, which heats an area of up to 225 square feet. It’s perfect for both indoor and outdoor use, so you can heat your workshop or carry it to your ice shanty for some ice fishing.
The Mr. Heater garage heater runs for three hours on a single tank of propane. Read the instruction manual, though, as the unit does have an exposed flame in it. It also features an instant shut-off in case it gets tipped over, detects low oxygen levels, or its pilot light goes out.
One of the most powerful and affordable heaters we came across is the Dr. Heater DR966 hardwired shop heater, which delivers between 3,000 and 6,000 watts of heating power.
This durable garage heater is strong enough to heat 1,000 square feet of space, including large garages or workshops. It has an adjustable thermostat with two settings – high and low – which provides a little customization for comfort.
The Dr. Heater DR966 might require professional installation, as it is a hardwired unit requiring high power output. There is no automatic shutoff, only a visual alarm warning you when the unit is overheating.
The Dimplex Garage and Shop heater is small enough to fit comfortably in almost any shop or garage while providing maneuverable heat for a reasonable price.
It’s simple to install and made with a stainless-steel heating element, giving it durability and longevity. At the same time, it pumps out 13,640 BTUs to heat to temperatures between 45 degrees and 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Dimplex heater is louder than other heaters we reviewed, but it’s also fully maneuverable, pivoting on a swivel and tilting up and down for directed heat. Unfortunately, the thermostat is located on the back of the unit, making it difficult to adjust.
Another inexpensive electric heater worth considering is the Dr. Infrared heater, which heats up to 600 square feet of space.
It uses a thermostatic control to detect when the unit drops below the set temperature before kicking on the fan. Unlike the other electric units we reviewed, however, this heater can’t be installed on a wall or ceiling.
This garage heater includes finger-proof intake and discharge grills to prevent accidents. It heats the room to between 45 degrees and 95 degrees and includes an automatic shutoff.
But it might not be suitable for domestic use because of the high power requirements and 30-amp fuse. The cord is an insulated safety plug long enough to maneuver where needed.
On the more expensive side of the portable electric garage heaters on our list is the Cadet RCP502S, which offers 5,000 watts of heating power and 20-gauge steel construction. This heater can easily switch between 3,333- and 5,000-watt output and includes a six-foot-long power cord and decent portability.
This Cadet heater allows you to switch to fan-only mode to help keep you cool in the summer. And it comes with a durable, pre-installed bracket for mounting it as a wall unit or using it on a swivel base. It requires a safety outlet to operate, so be sure your workspace has one.
If you have an ample space that you want to heat and aren’t afraid of high price tags, the Modine garage heater is a great choice.
This garage heater pumps out 45,000 BTUs of heat, which might be too much for small spaces but ideal for large garages or home shops.
The Modine Natural Gas Hot Dawg mounts to walls or ceilings and can convert to a propane garage heater with an adaptor, which is sold separately. It has no external thermostat, so the only options are on or off, but it can heat a large garage in 30 minutes, making it quite an investment.
The best overhead natural-gas heater we found is the Heatstar Garage heater, which begins producing a respectable 25,000 BTU’s of heat instantly. The thermostatic controls turn the unit on and off when needed, conserving energy and fuel. And it has no moveable parts, so it lasts longer and requires less maintenance.
The Heatstar Garage Heater puts out enough heat to warm up a small or medium-sized garage and comes with a refillable 40-pound propane tank. It is easy to set up and, with no moving parts, and is completely noiseless, but customers have reported that it generates a lot of moisture when in use.
The NewAir garage heater isn’t cheap, and you’ll have to add in the cost of professional installation.
But this heater’s maneuverability and heavy-duty steel construction make it one of the best heaters on the market. With only 17,000 BTU’s of heat, it is not ideal for large spaces, but if you have only a small garage, it’s a terrific investment, capable of swiveling and directing heat right where you need it.
The NewAir Garage Heater is a hardwired unit, which means you might need a professional electrician to install it directly into your 30-amp breaker. This heater doesn’t have an on/off switch, and customers report that the fan is relatively noisy.
Much like our No. 1 entry, the Fahrenheat affords you a comfortable workspace, but this unit requires a little more installation know-how to get working correctly. Fahrenheat includes a mounting bracket for mounting on the ceiling — which allows it to pivot — and moveable louvers to provide additional direction for airflow.
This unit operates at 7,500 watts, lending it more heating power and range than the FUH54. Still, it has most of the same features, including durable construction and an automatic shutoff to prevent overheating. The higher power means spending more on energy, and it could require professional installation.
The King Mult-Wattage Compact Unit Heater offers features similar to many of the other heaters listed but includes a few features unique to this heater.
The ‘pick-a-watt’ system allows you to select the wattage for your particular space, helping you save energy and prevent overheating. The unit has two controls: one for the thermostat and the other controlling the fan speed.
The King puts out up to 5,700 watts of heat, capable of warming a space from between 240 square feet to 600 square feet. But, it’s one of the more expensive units among its competitors.
The Mr. Heater Big Maxx might not be the most expensive natural gas heater on our list, but it is unquestionably one of the best garage heaters for large spacious garages.
This unit puts out 50,000 BTU’s, capable of heating a space up to 1,250 square feet. It has all the features we’ve come to expect from the best heaters on the market – including moveable louvers and powered vertical or horizontal venting.
The Mr. Heater Big Maxx includes a natural-gas-to-propane converter, as well as a three-year warranty on all parts and burners.
As we’ve seen already, Mr. Heater produces some of the best garage heaters on the market today, including this overhead infrared garage heater that maximizes efficiency. With an available natural-gas line, it’s easy for a professional to install, lightweight, and powerful enough to warm 625 square feet.
Radiant heat works by heating objects and people directly instead of warming the air around them, which means it works fast. But Mr. Heater sells its natural-gas hookup kit separately, and customers report its thermostat isn’t perfect.
On the plus side, radiant heaters work without electricity, so it has no energy requirements other than a natural-gas source.
The Heatstar is another overhead natural gas heater that can warm a large garage or workshop.
It features a spark ignition for an easy start, and it pumps out 50,000 BTU’s of energy, which can heat up to 1,250 square feet of space. But it requires a natural-gas hook-up or a propane conversion, which is not included.
The Heatstar Garage heater provides a ½-inch gas conversion to make the hookup to your standard gas line easier. But there is no external thermostat, so temperature modulation gets a little tricky. For best results, hire a professional installer to hook up the gas line properly.
Mr. Heater offers a significant upgrade to its 25,000 BTU heater listed above (No. 13) that will keep you toasty in a bigger garage or workshop, for a higher price, of course.
This 40,000 BTU, high-efficiency natural-gas garage heater features the same elements as the smaller unit, including a thermostat for moderating the temperature, and installation brackets. But it’s a much stronger unit, capable of warming a space up to 1,000 square feet.
With the added heat comes a few shortcomings, though. This infrared garage heater requires at least 12 feet of clearance under the unit, so it might not be suitable for smaller garages or workshops. And you can’t convert it to propane.
Choosing the best garage heater depends on a lot of factors, including your available outlets, space, and heating needs. But if you’re looking for something with a little of everything without breaking the bank or requiring pricey installation costs, the Fahrenheat FUH54 unit heater is the best electric garage heater available today.
Compared to its competitors, it’s inexpensive, doesn’t require professional installation, and has excellent features making it versatile enough for any workspace. Even without the power of other heating units, its moveable louvers and swiveling mount make it capable of getting the warmth where you need it most. Get cozy!
You don’t need icy, aching fingers when you’re working to replace the oil in your truck inside a garage that’s hovering near zero degrees. But that doesn’t mean you have to wait until spring to change it!
Warm up your life with one of the latest and greatest garage heaters on the market today. We’ve taken the time to do the research for you and will provide reviews of the top 15 here.
Start by considering the size of the space you need to heat. Even if you have ample space, like a three-car garage or a large woodshop, you may not need to warm the entire area, so consider. Some garage heaters allow you to direct the air in a specific place, while others heat the entire room.
Garage heaters come in three basic types: electric, natural gas or propane, and infrared radiant heat. In this section, we’ll briefly review all three and discuss their advantages and disadvantages.
Electric heaters are typical for use in garages and workshops. As you would guess, they plug into a wall and comprise a heating element, often combined with a fan to help direct the warm air where you need it most. They’re often not as powerful as other heater types, but they’re usually easier to install and maintain.
Natural-gas heaters typically involve hooking into a natural gas line. They often are quite efficient heaters, capable of warming entire rooms. Natural-gas heaters come in various sizes, in the form of everything from small portable garage heaters to units that you install on walls or ceilings.
Infrared garage heaters use a source of natural gas or propane and a heating element to warm a panel of infrared heating materials. These do no use electricity and can heat an entire garage or workshop, at virtually no cost to you. Infrared heaters directly heat people and objects, ostensibly heating the surrounding air.
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