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The Best Garage Heaters 2021

Best Garage Heaters

Garage heaters are an essential device for heating up the garage when the temperatures drop on those cold winter days. Trying to work on your car with frozen fingers is not fun and it will reduce your efficiency.

The best garage heater is the NewAir G73, which is a hardwired electric heater capable of producing over 17,000 BTU. If you require a portable unit, the Mr Heater Buddy is the best option, which uses propane gas to produce 9,000 BTU.

You can purchase a heater for your garage as an electric or gas system, which both offer different levels of heating. If you do not wish to use natural gas, many brand will provide a conversion kit to run the heaters from propane gas.

Table of Contents

Garage Heater Comparison

Garage HeatersTypeBTU
NewAir G73Hardwired Electric17,060
Modine Hot DawgNatural Gas45,000
Dr Infrared Heater DR988Hardwired Electric14,335
Mr Heater F260550 Big MaxxNatural Gas50,000
Mr Heater MH9BX BuddyPortable Propane Gas9,000
Cadet RCP402S The Hot OnePortable Electric13,648

The heat that is output by garage heaters are measured in BTU (British Thermal Unit). It is defined as the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit when water is at its highest density. Therefore, the higher the BTU rating of a garage heater, the more heat it is able to produce.

Depending upon your garage setup, you may wish to install a permanent heater that will be able to provide greater performance. However, if you are underneath cars or in areas where no heat will pass, portable units are the best option.

Below is a list of the best garage heaters that are available as electric or gas units and provide enough heat for the whole garage.

The Best Garage Heaters

1. NewAir G73 Electric Garage Heater

The NewAir G73 is a hardwired electric garage heater that features over 17,000 BTU of heating capacity. This is made possible using 5,000 watts of electrical power, which will require 30 amp circuits when setting it up.

In terms of the heat coverage, the brand state that this electric garage heater is able to provide enough heat for 500 square feet.

Other features of the NewAir G73 include:

  • UL certified and meets the strictest electric safety regulations
  • Auto temperature control
  • Suitable for wall or ceiling mounting
  • Durable stainless steel construction
  • Powder coated finish
  • Includes a 1 year warranty

Overall, it is one of the best garage heaters for the money that uses a hardwired electric power supply. The NewAir G73 is the only heater you need for warming up your garage in the cold winter months.

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2. Modine Hot Dawg HD AS0111 Heater For Garage

If you spend the majority of your time in the garage, investing into the best possible heater is recommended. The Modine Hot Dawg HD is one of the most powerful heaters available and it outputs a huge 45,000 BTU of heat.

Installation of this gas garage heater is fairly straightforward with pipe holes located on both the right or left side of the unit.

Other features of the Modine Hot Dawg HD AS0111 include:

  • Low profile design
  • Measures at 26 x 12 x 16.5 inches
  • Runs from natural gas
  • Heats up to 1,000 square feet
  • Quiet operation even at full power
  • 80 percent efficiency

Although the Modine Hot Dawg HD AS0111 comes with a premium price tag, it is the best gas garage heater that is suitable for large garages or workshops. If required, you could potentially convert it to run from propane gas.

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3. Dr. Infrared Heater DR988 Electric Garage Heater

The Dr Infrared is a popular electric garage heater that runs from a wattage of 5,600W and is both UL and C-UL listed. Unlike many other garage heaters, the Dr. Infrared Heater DR988 is one of the quietest with a noise level of just 45 dB.

In terms of the heating performance, the brand state is has a BTU rating of 14,335 and it can provide 600 square feet of heating coverage.

Other features of the Dr. Infrared Heater DR988 include:

  • Available in grey, red and yellow
  • Durable steel casing
  • Temperature range from 45 to 95 degrees
  • Thermostat control
  • Includes a NEMA 6-30 plug
  • Automatic shut off protection

Overall, it is an excellent all-round electric garage heater that offers great value for the money. The heavy duty steel casing and UL/C-UL certification ensures that it is built to the highest of standards and will be long lasting within a garage environment.

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4. Mr. Heater F260550 Big Maxx Gas Garage Heater

Mr Heater specialize in heating appliances and the Big Maxx is one of their highest performing garage heaters. It uses natural gas to produce the heat but included is a conversion kit to convert it to run from propane gas if required.

The heating performance of the Big Maxx model includes 50,000 BTU, which is able to cover up to 1,250 square feet.

Other features of the Mr. Heater F260550 Big Maxx include:

  • Easy outside access to internal components
  • Powered exhaust for vertical or horizontal venting
  • Self diagnostic control module
  • Includes 2 angle brackets for ceiling mounting
  • Low profile design for compatibility with most garages

The Big Maxx model by Mr. Heater is a high performing and well-made unit that provide quiet and reliable heat. For peace of mind, the brand provide a 3 year factory warranty on all parts and a 10 year warranty on the heat exchanger.

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5. Mr. Heater Portable Buddy Propane Heater For Garage

One of the most popular garage heaters is the Buddy model by Mr Heater, which is a portable propane radiant heater. It is able to heat up to 225 square feet of space and can also be used outdoors or indoors to suit your requirements.

In terms of the heat control, it offers two heat setting that provide 4,000 or 9,000 BTU/HR with a run time of 3 hours at max BTU.

Other features of the Mr Heater Buddy Garage Heater include:

  • Liquid propane heater
  • Available in green, red or grey
  • CSA Certified
  • 14.17 x 8.97 x 14.37 in size
  • Fold down handle for easy transportation
  • Swivel out regulator and connects to a propane tank
  • Auto shut-off if tipped over or low oxygen levels

Overall, it is the best portable garage heater that provides excellent performance from propane gas. It doesn’t have to be used only in the garage because it suitable for many other application as it doesn’t require a power supply.

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6. Cadet The Hot One RCP402S Garage Heater

If you have damage previous garage heaters in the past, the Cadet Space Heater is the best option. It uses a rugged USA made 20 gauge steel construction with a powder coated finish for superior durability within the garage environment.

The brand offer this garage heaters in a red or camo design with the choice of a 4,000W or 5,000W motor.

Other features of the Cadet The Hot One RCP402S include;

  • Built-in fan only switch for air circulation in the summer
  • Includes durable bracket for mounting to the wall or floor
  • Uses a 6 foot long power cord
  • High temperature safety shut-off
  • ETL listed to UL standards
  • Made in the USA

The Cadet RCP402S is a high performing electric garage heater that packs plenty of power for heating up large garages. The only main negative is that it require a 20 amp plug, which is required in order to power up this unit.

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Garage Heaters Buying Guide

Working in a cold garage is not a pleasant experience and will not allow you to work to the best of your abilities. Investing into a garage heater is highly recommended and they are available in several different types to suit your requirements.

Gas garage heaters offer the most amount of heat for the money but many people prefer the ease of use with electric alternatives.

To help you make an informed buying decision, we have produced the below guide regarding garage heaters.

best heater for garage

Why is the Garage Cold?

Before purchasing an expensive garage heater, you will want to target the inefficiency within your garage. One of the main areas that loses heat is the garage door, which is made worse if there are any gaps around it. However, this can be easily fixed and improved by using a garage door insulation kit.

Other areas to look at include the weather stripping of the garage and any cracks within the walls. If everything looks as it should, investing into one of the best garage heaters mentioned above can transform your garage.

Gas vs Electric

The main factor to consider when purchasing a garage heater is whether you want to power it by electricity or gas. Depending upon the garage setup and whether you are confident with using gas will determine which best suits your requirements.

Gas Units

Using natural gas is considered as the most efficient heating source and is environmentally friendly too. You can even convert the garage heater to run from propane gas if that is what you would prefer.

It is important that the installation of a permanent gas garage heater is done professionally because it may pose as a danger with the open flame. Most gas units will also need a ventilation system to avoid the build up of carbon monoxide.

Electric Units

Using electric to produce heat is becoming increasingly popular and available as a portable or mountable unit. Most will require a certain electric source specification but once up and running, they can be maintenance-free for many years.

The main drawback of electric gas heaters is that they are usually more expensive to purchase and run for long periods. Cheaper units may also overheat causing the safety features to kick in and turn the unit off.

best electric garage heater

Fixed vs Portable

Another consideration to take into account is whether you need the heater to be portable. If you are constantly on the move to different areas of the garage, investing into portable garage heaters would be the best option.

If the garage is large and you spend the majority of your time inside of it, fixed units may be the preferred option. They are more powerful, reliable and safer because they are less likely to be knocked over.

Heat Production

Garage heaters can produce heat in a variety of different methods with certain manufacturers preferring certain types. Below are some of the different heater production styles that are used in most of the garage heaters available.

Fan Forced

By far the most commonly used is fan forced heaters, which simply pass air through a heated electrical element. The fans force the heated air through the room and benefit from being the cheapest and simplest type of heat production.


Instead of using an electrical element, ceramic garage heaters use a ceramic element, which gets pushed into the room via a fan. They are more expensive but provide more heat and suited for larger rooms.

Radiant or Infrared

These types of garage heaters provide heat in a similar fashion to the sun by using metal reflector sheet to direct the heat. The main issue is that to get the most amount of heat, you need to be closer to the heater.

Natural or Propane Gas

Gas garage heaters are very popular as they are able to provide heat quickly and for extended periods of time. They are available as fixed or portable units and work by using a controlled flame and a fan to push the heated air into the garage. They are very effective and affordable but can be unsafe if not correctly used.

best gas garage heater

Heat Rating

The amount of heat that garage heaters can produce is measured in British Thermal Unit (BTU) metric. Every heater will list a heat rating output with the higher values resulting in more heat being produced from the heater. Deciding on the amount of heat that you garage requires depends on the size.

Safety Features

Due to the amount of heat that garage heaters produce, it’s critical that they have intuitive safety features. You will also want to ensure that the unit you choose meets all the regulations and is UL listed for safety.

The most important feature to look out for is an overheating protection function, that will switch off the heater if it gets too hot. This will prevent damage to the internals of the heater and reduce the chances of a fire.

Another excellent safety feature is a tip over switch, which will automatically turn off the heater if it’s knocked over.


If you choose a fixed garage heater, you will need to assemble and mount it in a secure location. The installation differs between electric and gas and it is highly advised to seek professional assistance if you haven’t installed one before.

Portable Units

If you choose a portable unit, you will not have to worry about the installation. All that is required is an electrical power source or a supply of propane gas to begin heating the garage. If you are using an electric unit, you will want to make sure it has a long enough power cord to reach outlets in the garage.

Other features that are desirable with portable gas heaters include an ergonomic carrying handle, casters, and adjustable louvers.


If you have taken all the steps to insulate your garage and it is still cold, investing into the best garage heater will make a big difference.

All of our recommendations are suited to a range of different budgets and can be powered by gas or electric. Depending upon the size of your garage will determine which heater is most suited to provide the best heat coverage.

procarreviews author

Written By Dan

About the Author

Dan is an automotive journalist and owner of over 10 cars ranging from supercars, tuned cars, classics and your good old beater cars. He always likes to get his hands dirty with nut and bolt restorations or detailing sessions using the best products on the market.

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