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Your Guide to Home Heating and Cooling Systems

9 Best Gas Garage Heaters - Reviewed and Rated 2021

Last Updated on May 27, 2021

If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time in a garage. Some people have a woodshop or metalworking area, while others love to tinker on cars. Others simply enjoy keeping busy outside in their workspace. However, once it starts getting cold, the enjoyment can quickly turn into misery — and who wants to be miserable trying to do something they enjoy?

I love my woodshop, and I hate it when my hands get too cold to work comfortably. I set out to find the best gas garage heaters I could, for my garage as well as yours. Here are the top gas garage heaters available to warm up your favorite space. Please don’t operate these heaters in a fully-enclosed environment without a carbon monoxide detector for your safety.

One of the best designs for garage heaters I have ever used is the forced air propane heater. The hot air is thrown out into the garage, quickly heating it to a comfortable level. I chose this specific heater as the top choice because it has 125,000 BTUswhich heats approximately 3,125 ft2.

The heating capacity makes this the top choice for garages because most other models don’t even come close to the Mr. Heater’s max capacity. This ensures you use less propane because you’ll use it on the lowest setting, so it will not be required to run continuously to maintain a comfortable level in your garage. If you’re looking for the best and fastest way to heat your garage, look no further than the Mr. Heater 125,000 BTU Forced Air Propane Heater.

How to Choose the Best Gas Garage Heater?

Choosing the most efficient gas garage heater for your garage can be challenging. You’ll need to know your garage’s size and estimate the heat loss so your heater can overcome it and keep your garage at the temperature you want.

Estimating Heater Output Needed

One of the most extensive considerations when choosing a gas garage heater is the amount of space you want to heat. Most heaters advertise the square footage they are rated for, based on average ceiling heights and how your garage is constructed. When you consider your garage’s height, you end up with a cubic foot result, which is not advertised by manufacturers.

Square footage is calculated by multiplying the length and width. To get cubic feet, multiply the square footage by the ceiling height. This gives you the volume of the room, which you can multiply by 20 to get a rough estimate of the minimum amount of BTUs your heater will need. 

The multiple of 20 is generally used to estimate the amount of heat needed to heat a room. This number is a simple estimate and doesn’t account for heat loss that occurs when a garage is not insulated, has other air leaks, or any other way that heat escapes from a garage.

For example, a 10’ x 12’ x 9’ garage is 1,080 ft3. Using the multiple of 20, you’d need a heater with a thermal rating of 21,600 BTUs or more to heat it. We recommend using a BTU rating higher than the result you get from the calculation. A higher rating heats the room faster and allows you to turn the heater off when it gets comfortable (if there isn’t a thermostat on the heater to do it for you).

The Output of Heater and Time Used

Once you determine the thermal output you need, estimate how much time you’ll be running it. If your garage cools rapidly, a very powerful heater can still run for long periods to keep up with the heat loss. If your garage is well-insulated and retains heat, you could choose a lower output model to run for the entire time you are in the garage or choose a more powerful one to heat it quickly so you can turn it off.

You should also consider the cost of fuel to heat your garage. Check the fuel consumption of each model you’re considering and weigh that against your estimated usage to figure out a fuel cost estimate.

Put Them Together

When you figure out the amount of heat output, fuel usage, and running time you need, use them all to help you decide which model will work best for your garage. The best choice for each person depends on your unique workspace. Any of the garage heaters on this list can help transform your garage into the workshop you’ve always wanted in the chilly weather.

9 Best Gas Garage Heaters - Reviews

1. Mr. Heater 125,000 BTU Forced Air Propane Heater MH125QFAV: Best Overall

Key Features:

  • 75,000-125,000 BTU output
  • Included gas hose is 10’ long automatic solid-state ignition
  • Electric components use 100vac
  • QBT technology for 50% noise reduction

The Mr. Heater MH125QFAV is one of the most powerful heaters available. To turn it on, you merely turn on the gas and plug it in. The unit self-ignites and the electric fan begins to hurl hot air into a cold garage. 

The heat output of this heater is enough to heat a 1-car garage within a few minutes to a comfortable level. Larger spaces do take longer to heat, but if your house has a 1-, 2-, or 3-car garage, you can be toasty warm within a short time with this heater. 

The MH125 does use quite a bit of fuel to keep a garage warm if run continuously. The manufacturer recommends that you use a 40-lb. propane tank, but you’re able to use the 20-lb. tank from your grill as long as the connections are the same. 

This fantastic little heater can keep your garage warmer than you’d like if you let it. This is the best gas heater for garages available today for the price, output, and portability.

Pros

  • Attaches to grill-size propane tanks or larger
  • Heats a garage very quickly
  • Small for the amount of heat output

Cons

  • Gas must be turned on/off at the tank
  • No on/off switch
  • High fuel consumption

Who Should Get This? 

The MH125QFAV is a heating powerhouse for someone who wants to heat a large garage or heat a small- to medium-sized one very quickly.

2. STANLEY ST-60HB2-GFA Propane Heater: Best for the Money

Key Features:

  • Heats up to 1,500 ft2
  • Push-button ignitor
  • 10’ LP gas line and regulator included
  • Lightweight – only 12.1 lbs.

The Stanley ST-60HB2 is our choice of best garage heater for the money. For the price you pay, you receive a fantastic little heater. It is lightweight, coming in at around 12 pounds, and kicks out the heat at 60,000 BTUs

To start it up, turn on the gas and push the igniter to light the flames. Garages of up to 1,500 ft2 will be warm within a short time; if yours is smaller, it will be toasty even quicker. 

The only downside to this heater is that it forces the heat to exit parallel to the floor, causing the floor to become very warm (possibly damaging floors, such as linoleum). This can be fixed by attaching something to the heater’s front to elevate the nozzle and force the heated air up away from the floor. If you have cement floors in your garage, you don’t need to worry about this factor.

There is no assembly required out of the box. You simply attach the gas line, and you’re off and heating. Other than the low heated-air projection angle, the ST-60HB2 is an excellent purchase for someone needing to heat a garage.

Pros

  • Heats up to 1,500 ft2
  • Push-button ignitor
  • 10’ LP gas line and regulator included
  • Lightweight – only 12.1 lbs.

Cons

  • Might overheat the floor in front of the unit

Who Should Get This? 

This is an excellent choice for a garage hobbyist on a budget. It can heat a 1- or 2-car garage in a minimal amount of time. 

3. Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy: Best Small Gas Garage Heater

Key Features:

  • Small, portable size
  • 4,000-9,000 BTUs
  • Nearly 100% efficient
  • 200 ft2 heating capacity
  • Oxygen depletion/carbon monoxide sensor
  • Tip-over shuts off the heater

I have used this series of heaters for years in a smaller garage. When you purchase this heater, you’ll have to buy a 1-lb. propane bottle to go with it or buy the Mr. Heater authorized 5’ LP hose to attach to a propane tank. I have the 12’ Big Buddy hose with a regulator hooked to a 20-lb. propane tank and love it. I can run this little heater for hours at a time for a few weeks.

Attaching the hose is simple enough. You screw it onto the fitting used for the 1-lb. bottle and hook the regulator end up to your 20-lb. tank with the hand nut.

There isn’t much to this heater; you simply attach the tank, turn on the gas, and light it with the igniter. The plates heat up, and your small garage will warm in a decent amount of time. The Buddy’s heating capacity is 200 ft2, so it works best in a single-car garage with a low ceiling or placed near you for heat. I usually put a fan behind mine on low to move the heat around the space.

Pros

  • High heat output for the size
  • Easy to start
  • Runs for 3 hours on 1 lb. of propane

Cons

  • Need to purchase a hose for a larger tank

Who Should Get This? 

I highly recommend this heater to anyone wanting to heat a smaller garage, who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on either the heater or fuel.

4. Mr. Heater Vent-Free Natural Gas Radiant Wall Heater: Best Infrared

Key Features:

  • 30,000 BTU heat output
  • Infrared technology heating
  • Manual control system for comfort
  • 1,000 ft2 heating capacity
  • No electricity required
  • Natural gas fuel source
  • No venting required

Infrared heating uses the infrared levels of light to heat objects with lower temperatures in a space. Objects absorb the heat like they absorb sunlight, which is why you feel the warmth from this heat source. Infrared sources heat objects and not the air, so many warehouses use infrared heaters as heat sources

The Mr. Heater 30,000 BTU uses ceramic plates that absorb the heat from the flames, which radiate the heat out into the garage. I have one of these hanging on the wall in my detached 2-car garage. The detached garage is my workshop and is almost 600 ft2. This heater reaches maximum heat in my woodshop in 15 minutes on high, giving this heater my vote for the best natural gas infrared garage heater

Gas infrared garage heaters are spectacular heat sources for warming large spaces. The upper vent on this unit also collects heat as it rises from the plates and redirects it outward.

Pros

  • Oxygen depletion sensors built-in
  • Low, medium, and high settings
  • Wall-mounted for low-space use

Cons

  • No thermostat or heat cycling

Who Should Get This? 

This is the perfect heater for large garages with open wall space. If you have a natural gas connection in your garage, this heater is an excellent choice.

5. Dyna-Glo IRS 18GT: Best Infrared Gas Garage Heater

Key Features:

  • 18,000 BTUs for 700 ft2
  • Thermostat knob for heat cycling and control
  • No electricity required
  • Carbon monoxide detector built-in
  • The upper vent collects and directs heat

The Dyna-Glo 18,000 BTU heater is designed for owners of medium-to-large garages. Double car garages designed for average-sized cars are close to 600 sq ft (24’ x 24’). With a seating capacity of up to 700 ft2, the IRSS18NGT heats most double car garages nicely with some capacity to spare. 

This is a wall-hanging heater, so you’ll need to have a space large enough to hang it on. The space requirement is relatively low at 17.3” x 9.5” x 20. You can separately purchase legs to rest this heater on the floor but will have to be willing to give up additional floor space — something most garages seem to be short on.

As with all Dyno-Glo heater models, the 18,000 BTU heater has an oxygen level and carbon-monoxide sensor that shuts it off if either level gets too low or high.

Pros

  • If the electricity goes out, you can still have heat
  • Adjustable heat levels with cycling
  • The sensor shuts off the heater if the oxygen level is low

Cons

  • Legs must be purchased separately for floor standing.

Who Should Get This? 

This is an excellent heater for a medium garage with open wall space. If your garage doors are opened frequently, it also heats the space back up quickly

6. Pro-Temp 45,000 BTU Kerosene/Diesel Forced Air Torpedo Heater: Best Multi-Fuel

Key Features:

  • 45,000 BTUs for large spaces
  • Heating capacity of 1,125 ft2
  • Fuel gauge for quick checking
  • Easy to start
  • Multi-fuel capable

One of my favorites, the Protemp Air Torpedo series of heaters is phenomenal. I’ve had one of these heating very cold tents and buildings during the winter in the mountains. This particular model is rated at 45,000 BTUs, which can heat a 4-car garage

The Protemp Torpedo forced air series can use either diesel or kerosene as fuel. I have only used diesel in them, so I can’t speak for kerosene usage. However, the manufacturer says that it operates for 14 hours on a full tank of either fuel. One aspect of this heater is the sound — it is quite loud when in use. It isn’t enough to require ear protection, but you’ll need to speak louder when this unit is in use.

It does take up a decent amount of floor space. You’ll need to have enough room in your garage on the floor for this heater, as it is 30” long and 12” wide. It also requires electricity to run the ignitor and fan, so you’ll need a power source to run it.

Pros

  • The on/off switch makes it easy to start
  • Quick large-space heating time
  • Reliable for many years of use

Cons

  • Noise level is high

Who Should Get This? 

If you need a fast-heating heater but are not concerned with the noise it generates or filling a fuel tank, this heater is an excellent choice.

7. Mr. Heater MHU80 Big Maxx: Best Natural Gas Garage Heater

Key Features:

  • Can switch between natural gas and propane
  • Low profile design
  • Ceiling mounts get it out of the way
  • Powered exhaust can be vertical or horizontal
  • 80,000 BTU heat output

The big boy of this review (at least in size), the Big Maxx MHU80, is powerful enough to heat a 2,000 ft2 garage. It has a thermal output of 80,000 BTUs and only requires electricity to power the unit’s fan. 

The Big Maxx requires a bit of space, but luckily it mounts to the ceiling so that it is out of the way. Mounting a heater on the ceiling generally means you must be dedicated to your work in the garage, so this may not be a fit for people who only need some part-time heat in the garage.

If you’re like me, however, you spend a lot of time in your garage. The Big Maxx is designed to keep these spaces very warm by recirculating the air through your garage to keep it flowing through the heat-exchanger for continuous, efficient heat output.

You can use either natural gas or propane with this heater. All you need to do is use the included conversion kit to connect your propane source.

Pros

  • Heats up fast
  • It is solidly built to last
  • The powered exhaust gets rid of fumes

Cons

  • Thermostat sold separately
  • Need a dedicated exhaust vent

Who Should Get This? 

The MHU80 is designed for warming a dedicated workspace. If you’re working a lot in a garage and have some DIY skills, this heater should work for you.

8. Mr. Heater MHU50 Big Maxx: Best Natural Gas Garage Heater Runner-up

Key Features:

  • Can use natural gas or propane 
  • A gas and propane conversion kit is included
  • Low profile design
  • 50,000 BTU thermal output
  • Heats up to 2,667 ft2

The MHU50 is the little brother of the MHU80. It has the same features as the MHU80, except that it is smaller and has a lower thermal output of 50,000 BTUs. A lower output doesn’t mean that this heater isn’t worth it; however, you should be happy with this powerful heat source. 

The natural gas or propane fuel source heats the exchanger, and the fan pulls cold air from the back of the unit and forces it across the exchanger, which heats the garage.

It is ceiling mounted and requires at least 8’ of clearance between the bottom of the heater and the floor — just like the MHU80. You’ll also need to ensure you have a dedicated exhaust system in place to route the fumes out of your garage. Make sure you check with your state for regulations on exhausting fumes.

As with the MHU80, everything you need to mount the heater is included in the box. However, you’ll need to buy the thermostat separately if you want one to control your garage’s temperature.

Pros

  • Quick installation with included hardware
  • Forced air moves heat quickly
  • Heats large spaces quickly

Cons

  • Might require an insulated garage to heat effectively
  • More expensive than other heaters

Who Should Get This? 

If you are looking for an easy-to-install dedicated heating unit, have the budget for it, and have some DIY skills, this heater is an excellent choice.

9. Mr. Heater MH60QFAV: Best For Mid to Large-Size Garages

Key Features:

  • Continuous ignition ensures constant heat
  • Rugged build for outdoor use
  • A high-output fan throws the heat out
  • 10’ LP hose and regulator
  • Lightweight for portability

From the same manufacturers as our editor’s choice, the MH60QFAV is another powerhouse of a heater. It includes the same quiet burner technology that lets it run 50% quieter than other forced air heaters. It also has a 60,000 BTU thermal output and a 1,500 ft2 heating capacity.

The heating capacity sets this little heater right up there with some of the big boys. The MH60 can be hooked up to any size propane tank of your choosing, but the manufacturers recommend a minimum of a 20-lb. tank is used.

The same safety features of the MH125 are used in this heater. It comes with a high-temperature limit switch and includes a certified regulator for hooking into a propane fuel source.

Pros

  • Small but powerful
  • Minimal assembly required
  • Quick space heating times

Cons

  • Loud, but quieter than other forced-air heaters

Who Should Get This? 

The MH60 is designed to heat medium-sized areas of up to approximately 1,500 ft2. If you don’t mind the noise and want a quickly heated garage, this is an excellent choice.

Final Verdict: Our Top Choice

The best choice for a gas garage heater is the Mr. Heater MH125QFAV. The thermal output of 125,000 BTUs and the price make this the best choice on the market today. The MH125 can heat garages to 3,125 ft2 — a 56’ x 55’ garage.

Mr. Heater is one of the best names in the gas heating business. With a purchase price of $.0015 per BTU, you’re paying less per BTU by purchasing the MH125 than any of the smaller models and getting more heating power out of it. If you need the best on the market, you’ll not regret the Mr. Heater MH125.

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