Add Warmth to Your Work Area With the Best Garage Heaters

Keep your car and tools toasty all winter long

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Whether you’re fixing up your car or toiling away in a workshop, a garage heater can keep you toasty throughout the colder months. A space heater is a convenient and effective way to quickly add warmth to your work area. Garage heaters are powered either by electricity, natural gas, or propane. Deciding which type is right for you largely depends on the size of your garage. You will need to consider the recommended coverage area and the heat output, which is measured in wattage or BTUs. 

Electric garage heaters are generally the least inexpensive to purchase and install. You don’t have to tap into a furnace or boiler, and no chimneys or vent pipes are required. Freestanding space heaters that run on propane or kerosene are another inexpensive option. Although they’re very effective at warming up smaller garages, it’s important to note that they release carbon monoxide. Be very cautious when using this type of heater in an enclosed space. If your house is already piped for propane or natural gas, a direct-vent heater is a solid choice. Direct-vent garage heaters expel exhaust through a pipe in the wall, eliminating the risks of carbon monoxide exposure. 

Whatever your needs, we've researched the best garage heaters in various categories. Here are our top picks.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Comfort Zone CZ230ER Digital Heater

4.6
Comfort Zone CZ230ER Space-heaters

Courtesy of Amazon

Dimensions: 17.3 x 13.55 x 14.4 inches | Weight: 25.4 pounds | Fuel Source: Electric | Heating Technology Type: Forced air | Heat Output: 7,500 watts (25,600 BTUs)

What We Like
  • Rugged construction

  • Automatic shut-off

  • Remote control

What We Don't Like
  • Runs on electricity, which can be costly

What do buyers say? 89% of 1,200+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

Due to its solid performance and even heat distribution, Comfort Zone's CZ230ER Digital Heater is our top pick. The ceiling-mounted design will save precious floor space in a packed garage. This commercial heater offers many convenient features, including a digital thermostat, a 12-hour timer, and a full-function remote control. Thanks to adjustable louvers and a variable mounting angle, you can control the direction of airflow. The unit comes equipped with an overheat protection sensor and will automatically shut off if it reaches an unsafe temperature. 

This 7,500-watt heater must be hardwired to a 240-volt outlet. Its heavy-gauge steel construction can withstand sudden drops and spikes in temperature. Dust is no match for the fully enclosed motor, making it an ideal choice for a high-traffic garage or workshop.

Best Budget: Comfort Zone PowerGear CZ285 1500 Watt Portable Ceramic Utility Heater

Comfort Zone PowerGear CZ285

Courtesy of Amazon

Dimensions: 8.7 x 9.1 x 8.9 inches | Weight: 4.66 pounds | Fuel Source: Electric | Heating Technology Type: Forced air | Heat Output: 1,500 watts

What We Like
  • Lightweight and portable

  • Adjustable thermostat

  • Nice selection of safety features

What We Don't Like
  • Fairly short power cord

  • Will only cover a small area

This inexpensive ceramic heater delivers 1,500 watts of power to heat your garage, workshop, or shed. Despite being a budget model, it’s packed with plenty of convenient features, including a top-mounted control panel, adjustable thermostat, and carrying handle. Weighing just over 4 pounds, this unit is incredibly lightweight and easy to move around. Fan-forced heating and a pivoting cradle base ensure even heat distribution. 

The Comfort Zone Portable Ceramic Utility Barrel Heater has some great safety features for added peace of mind. It’s equipped with an overheat protection sensor, tip-over cutoff switch, and a cool-touch exterior. The unit has a fan-only setting, which will provide airflow without heat. Since it plugs into a standard 120-volt outlet, it’s incredibly easy to set up and operate. 

Best Natural Gas: Mr. Heater F260560 Big Maxx MHU80NG Natural Gas Unit Heater

 Mr. Heater F260560 Big Maxx MHU80NG Natural Gas Unit Heater

Courtesy of Amazon

Dimensions: 27.25 x 30.12 x 21.75 inches | Weight: 88.45 pounds | Fuel Source: Natural Gas or Liquid Propane | Heating Technology Type: Forced air | Heat Output: 80,000 BTUs (per hour)

What We Like
  • Easy to install

  • Extra-large capacity

  • Quiet operation

What We Don't Like
  • Fan requires an electrical connection

With a powerful 80,000 BTU output per hour, this garage heater is capable of heating up to 2,667 square feet—making it ideal for multi-car garages or expanded workshops. Measuring 27.25 x 30.12 x 21.75 inches and weighing a little over 88 pounds, this unit is on the bulky side-but that shouldn’t be a concern once it’s mounted. Convenient features like supplied brackets, external access to power, and thermostat connections allow for easy installation. This heater has a built-in electric high-velocity fan, which pulls in cool air across a heat exchanger and releases warm air. 

It’s important to note that the Big Maxx heater requires access to an electrical outlet for the fan. The heater itself runs on natural gas or liquid propane. You can supply your own natural gas connection or use the heater with a liquid propane tank. A universal hookup kit (for connecting to a gas source) can be purchased separately. Since the Big Maxx relies on an electrical connection, it’s not a good choice for a garage that lacks electrical wiring or areas that experience frequent power outages.

Best Propane: Mr. Heater MH60QFAV 60,000 BTU Portable Propane Forced Air Heater

Mr. Heater MH60QFAV 60,000 BTU Portable Propane Forced Air Heater

Courtesy of Amazon

Dimensions: 19.75 x 11.5 inches | Weight: 20.2 pounds | Fuel Source: Propane | Heating Technology Type: Forced air | Heat Output: 60,000 BTUs (per hour)

What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Easy to ignite

  • Quiet operation

  • Generous runtime

What We Don't Like
  • Must maintain ample propane supply

  • Proper ventilation is required

With a heat output of 60,000 BTUs per hour, this unit can warm rooms up to 1,500 square feet. According to the manufacturer, this model is 50 percent quieter than standard propane heaters. It has an impressive runtime for a fairly small unit—it can run up to 14 hours on a low setting—if used in conjunction with a 20-pound propane tank.

No hardwiring or installation is required. This heater plugs into a 115-volt outlet and includes a 10-foot hose and regulator to connect to a propane tank. It also has solid safety features that users will appreciate, such as a high-temperature limit switch, thermoelectric safety valves, and an automatic ignition that runs continuously.

Best Portable: Mr. Heater Portable Propane Radiant Heater

Heater

Courtesy of Amazon

Dimensions: 14.25 x 9 x 15 inches | Weight: 10.6 pounds | Fuel Source: Propane | Heating Technology Type: Radiant | Heat Output: 4,000 to 9,000 BTU (per hour)

What We Like
  • Lightweight and portable

  • Nice selection of safety features

  • Cost-efficient

What We Don't Like
  • Limited runtime

  • Cannot be sold in Canada or Massachusetts

The beauty of the Mr. Heater Portable Buddy Heater is that you can take it on the go—and position it close by for direct warmth. Since it runs off a 20-pound propane cylinder, no electrical wiring or installation is required. Measuring 14.25 x 9 x 15 inches and weighing about 9 pounds, it’s one of the most lightweight and compact models on the market. This heater produces between 4,000 and 9,000 BTU per hour, and it’s intended for use in spaces up to 225 square feet.

This heater has some great safety features—it will shut off automatically if it’s tipped over, the pilot light goes out, or low oxygen levels are detected. Thanks to the built-in O2 system that ensures safe air quality, this clean-burning radiant heater is approved for indoor and outdoor use. This heater will run for three hours at maximum BTU and six hours on low. 

Best for Large Spaces: KING KB2410-1-B2-ECO KB ECO2S Garage Heater

KING KB2410-1-B2-ECO KB ECO2S Garage Heater

Courtesy of Amazon

Dimensions: 13.5 x 15 x 16.5 inches | Weight: 42 pounds | Fuel Source: Electric | Heating Technology Type: Forced air | Heat Output: 10,000 watts

What We Like
  • Energy-efficient

  • Incredibly powerful

  • Bracket included

  • Adjustable thermostat

  • Remote control

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Larger units require higher amps

If you’re looking to heat a large area, such as a three-car garage, this powerful electric heater from King will get the job done. This unit delivers a whopping 10,000 watts of power and is capable of heating garages up to 1,000 square feet. Compared to other models, King heaters are some of the most expensive on the market. However, they are known for being eco-friendly and energy-efficient—saving you money in the long run. This heater utilizes a two-stage heating process and will automatically use the lowest wattage to heat a room. 

For your convenience, the King heater comes equipped with a wall and ceiling bracket, thermostat, and an infrared remote control. There are more powerful options available in the ECO2S series, including 12,500- and 15,000-watt models, which can heat garages as large as 1,250 and 1,500 square feet, respectively.

Best for Small Spaces: Dr. Heater DR966 240V Hardwired Shop Garage Commercial Heater

Dr. Heater DR966 240-volt Hardwired Shop Garage Commercial Heater

Courtesy of Amazon

Dimensions: 14.5 x 14.5 x 13 inches | Weight: 27 pounds | Fuel Source: Electric | Heating Technology Type: Forced air | Heat Output: 3,000 to 6,000 watts

What We Like
  • Rugged construction

  • Adjustable thermostat

  • Quiet operation

What We Don't Like
  • Limited capacity

  • Runs on electricity which is costly

With a heating capacity of up to 6,000 watts, this electric heater is well-suited for smaller garages. This unit is equipped with a handle and measures 14.5 x 14.5 x 13 inches, so you can easily move it around. If you’d prefer to mount the heater on a ceiling or wall, brackets are included. Other convenient features include an adjustable thermostat and a dynamically 8-inch fan that maximizes airflow and keeps noise and turbulence to a minimum.  

Keep in mind that this unit must be hardwired to a 240-volt electrical supply; it won’t work with a standard 120-volt residential outlet. Since the Dr. Infrared Heater DR-966 has a rugged steel front cover and a thermally protected heavy-duty motor, you can use it in any exposed area.

Final Verdict

If you're looking for a reliable garage heater that’s a great space-saver, the ceiling-mounted Comfort Zone CZ230ER Digital Heater is our top pick (view at Walmart). Those who don't have electrical wiring in their garage might opt for a propane-powered model like the Mr. Heater Big Maxx Natural Gas Unit Heater (view at Amazon), which is capable of heating garages up to 2,667 square feet. Both of these units are highly praised for their quiet operation and safety features.

What to Look for in a Garage Heater

Type

The two most common types of garage heaters are natural gas and electric. Natural gas heaters are very cost-efficient, but they take up space and require careful cleaning. Electrical heaters, on the other hand, are more compact and require less maintenance. The type of heater you choose will depend on what you have access to, how big your space is, and your personal preferences.

Power

Check the BTU and wattage on the garage heater to confirm it will heat your entire workspace. If you're heating a larger space like a multi-car garage, then finding a larger heater will be your best bet. Also, consider the voltage of the garage heater. If the heater plugs in, you'll need to make sure it won't trip the outlets in your home.

Features

Many garage heaters come with great features to ensure ease of use and your safety. From having wheels and overheat protection to cool-touch housing and a tip-over switch, there are plenty of features to consider. These features can be especially important if you plan to move your heater around. You don't want to burn your hand while picking it up or worry about it starting a fire if it's accidentally knocked over.

Noise

Some garage heaters can be very noisy, so check out the specs before purchasing. If you prefer a quiet workspace or are worried about waking up others in your home, an electrical heater is your best bet, as their gas counterparts are usually noisier.

FAQ
  • What is the most efficient type of garage heater?

    When compared to electric models, the operating costs associated with natural gas heaters are generally much lower, making them the preferred choice when it comes to efficiency. Installing natural gas in your home will cost more upfront, but you will save money in the long run because you’re not relying on electricity—a costlier power source.

  • Are garage heaters safe?

    These days, most garage heaters come with specific features to ensure your safety. If you plan to move your heater around, look for a model with a cool-touch exterior or wire guard to prevent burns from a hot surface. Another important safety feature to look for on a portable model is a tip-over switch or sensor, which shuts the unit off automatically if it's knocked over. Should the heater reach an unsafe temperature, an automatic shut-off system will ensure it turns off if it gets too hot. If you’re considering a gas-powered heater and concerned about carbon monoxide, a built-in O2 system can detect unsafe oxygen levels.

  • How do you install a garage heater?

    Not all garage heaters require installation; some electric models can be plugged into a standard 120-volt outlet. Other electric heaters will need to be hardwired, which means they must be connected to household wiring via an electrical cable. Units that need to be mounted on the wall or ceiling usually come with brackets and mounting hardware. A propane heater connects to a tank of liquid propane using a hose and regulator, while a natural gas heater connects directly to your home’s existing gas line. 

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was written by Sage McHugh, a freelance writer who covers home appliances for The Spruce. A native of New England and no stranger to cold weather, she’s thoroughly researched space heaters, heated blankets, and more in the home heating sector.

For this round-up, Sage considered dozens of garage heaters, carefully evaluating each model’s power source, heat output, and safety features. To find the top-rated products on the market, she consulted hundreds of customer reviews, as well as write-ups from third-party websites.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American Gas Association. Every-Day Affordability.