Types of Garage Heater

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If you had the ability to warm up your garage in the winter, would you do it? A heated garage makes working on projects easier and more efficient. 

If you are considering using a space heater in your garage, ensure that the device is UL approved and that it is used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Always leave the garage door slightly open. 

This will allow for better respiration ability and reduce carbon monoxide poisoning risks, which can be life threatening if your garage doesn’t have adequate ventilation.

Some homeowners choose to use a garage heater in their garage instead of installing a full central heating system. There are several types of garage heaters that range in price and effectiveness, including propane-fueled space heaters, radiant tube, electric, gas heaters or kerosene forced air heaters, etc. 

Types of Garage Heater according to Fuel Options Natural Gas

1. Natural Gas Heaters 

Mr. Heater 30,000 BTU Vent Free Blue Flame Natural Gas Heater MHVFB30NGT

Natural gas garage heaters are the most efficient type of heater and provide even heating throughout. They are generally more expensive than other types of fuel, but it’s renewable and burns cleaner than other options. 

Natural gas is also safe to use in a garage because you won’t need to refuel or refill it. This type of heater works by having the flammable gas flow through an intake hose, which is usually located at the bottom of the unit. 

These heaters are typically quiet and provide consistent heat output throughout their operating range and cost less than electric ones to operate, but they do require a hookup to your home’s natural gas supply – a job that needs professional installation. 

Natural gas heaters are more expensive to buy but will save you money on your heating bill in the long run. In addition to that, they also require very little maintenance because they don’t have motors or fans that can fail. They typically output between 70,000 and 90,000 BTUs of energy per hour.

2. Propane Garage Heaters

ProCom PCC80V Propane Convection Heater, 80,000 BTU

Propane heaters use propane instead of natural gas. Propane is a liquid when in the bottle and expands when released into the air by way of combustion. The flames burn clean and typically do not require extensive venting if any at all to release the fumes from burning.

There are several types of propane-fueled garage heaters; some have an open flame while others have an enclosed flame. Some are hanging models that can be suspended from your ceiling while others are placed on the ground or floor. 

They operate similarly to regular indoor space heaters but function better in cold outdoor temperatures because they don’t need electricity to run them. Propane garage heaters are more expensive than other fuel options, but they are still cheaper after installation costs. 

Propane heaters also require more maintenance than natural gas heaters because the propane tanks need to be refilled regularly. They typically output between 50,000 and 70,000 BTUs of energy per hour.

3. Kerosene Garage Heaters 

Mr. Heater MH70KFR 70K BTU Kerosene Radiant Heater, Multi

Kerosene heaters are another fuel option for your garage. Kerosene is a liquid that’s been refined from petroleum and has a low degree of flammability. They have a combustion system with an enclosed flame and work well in more extreme temperatures of 30-degrees Fahrenheit or below. 

Kerosene heaters are the cheapest of the fuel options but require more maintenance, including changing or refilling kerosene tanks.

Kerosene heaters may require venting as they do emit fumes, but this can be done through existing cracks in your garage door where the kerosene fumes can escape. 

They are more efficient than using regular space heaters in cold outdoor temperatures. Kerosene garage heaters typically output between 20,000 and 40,000 BTUs of energy per hour.

Types of Electric Garage Heaters

1. Electric Garage Heaters 

CCC Comfort Zone Industrial Steel Electric Ceiling Mount Heater, 3 Heat Levels up to 5,000 watts, White

Electric heaters are the most popular type of garage heater. They use electricity to power a small fan that blows warm air out into your garage. A good thing is that they don’t require venting, but do cause humidity to build up as they don’t emit fumes like propane or kerosene models. Specifically, are best for garages that are insulated because they don’t heat up the garage as evenly as other fuel options. 

Electric garage heater maintenance is extensive with this type of unit. Electric units have motors and fans which can stop working overtime if they aren’t kept clean or serviced regularly. Service consists primarily of checking the safety controls on the unit to make sure there’s no risk of fire and troubleshooting any problems with the fan or motor so it operates at peak performance.

Electric garage heaters are safe to use in garages because you won’t have any flammable vapors and are also relatively inexpensive and very easy to install, but they can be costly to operate because electricity rates tend to be higher than other fuel options. 

However, electric heaters also do not work well in extreme temperatures and typically output between 20,000 and 40,000 BTUs of energy per hour.

2. Ceramic Garage Heaters

ISILER Space Heater, 1500W Portable Indoor Heater, Ceramic Space Heater Adjustable Thermostat Tip-Over Overheat Protection, Hot Cool Fan Electric Heater for Home Office Garage with ETL Certified

Ceramic garage heaters are the most expensive option but also have no flammable liquid fuel which makes them safest to use. 

They feature a ceramic core with rear-venting outlets for hot air to flow out. Ceramic models are rear-vented models that need to be placed about 20 inches away from any wall or object due to the heat they put off. 

A good thing is they don’t emit fumes or gases, a reason why they are considered one of the safest options. They also tend to be more durable than other models because ceramic is more sturdy and less likely to shatter into small pieces should it be dropped or tipped over.

Ceramic garage heater maintenance consists primarily of replacing filters yearly and vacuuming dust from motor areas annually as needed. Ceramic units typically output about 30,000 BTUs of energy per hour.

3. Quartz Garage Heaters


Quartz Garage Heaters are the most efficient type of garage heater. The heating element is made of quartz which is a mineral that does not emit any fumes or gases so it is safe to use.

A quartz garage heater is a good option for those looking for a durable and safe space heater. The energy efficiency ratings for quartz heaters are much higher than other types of garage heaters which allows you to heat your garage faster and more efficiently. 

Quartz Garage Heaters require very little maintenance as they have no moving parts or motors. Quartz Garage Heaters typically around 40,000 BTUs of energy per hour.

4. Fan Forced Garage Heater

CCC Comfort Zone Fan Forced Portable Shop Heater/Fan

Fan-Forced Heaters are the most versatile type of garage heater. This type of heater has a heating element inside that heats up, which in turn heats the air surrounding it. A fan blows the heated air out towards your garage where you stand to enjoy its warmth. 

They don’t require venting nor do they emit any gas or fumes and are safe to use in any garage environment, even tightly insulated spaces like garages because you won’t have any flammable vapors. 

Fan-Forced Heaters are the most inexpensive type of garage heater and also very easy to install as they only require standard 110v socket-outlets for them.

The maintenance and upkeep of Fan-Forced Heaters is minimal and typically consists of changing or cleaning the filters annually or vacuuming dust from motor areas as needed.  Fan forced Garage Heaters typically around 20,000 BTUs of energy per hour.

Types of Garage Heater based on Mounting Options

1. Mounted/Fixed 

Garage Mounted Heaters are mounted on the wall or ceiling of your garage typically with brackets. These types of heaters are mounted to the wall but some models may also be ceiling mounted. 

Mounted/Fixed Mounted Garage Heaters typically provide around 20,000 BTUs of energy per hour.

2. Portable

Portable Garage Heaters are easy to move around the room. They typically have wheels attached for easier mobility and can be used in garages because they don’t have any flammable liquid fuel and thus emit no fumes or gases. 

Portable Garage Heaters require a standard 110v socket-outlet for power and typically provide around 35,000 BTUs of energy per hour.

3. Forced Air

Forced Air Garage Heaters are more powerful than other types of garage heaters and need to be placed at least 10 feet away from any wall or object. It uses fans that blow air onto a heating element which then heats the surrounding air. 

Forced-Air Heaters require a standard 110v socket-outlet for power and need to be ventilated as it emits fumes. They should not be placed near flammable objects such as gasoline or paint thinner cans and is the most expensive type of heater that requires more upkeep than other types of garage heaters. 

Depending on usage, it needs to be serviced every 3 to 5 years. Forced Air Garage Heaters emit fumes and gases so it is required to ventilate the room. This type typically provides between 30,000 and 40,000 BTUs of energy per hour.

4. Tank Top 

Tank Top Garage Heaters are the second most efficient type of garage heater after Radiant Heaters. 

They have a heating element that heats up and emits radiant heat into your garage, but they also have a water reservoir inside that heats up to generate more heat. This allows for higher output in energy which is usually around 40,000 BTUs of energy per hour. 

Top Garage Heaters require a standard 110v socket-outlet for power and they need to be vented as fumes are emitted from the heating element inside this type of garage heater. 


All of the above types of garage heaters have their pros and cons and it is up to the consumer to research and purchase which type is most suitable for their garage and heating needs. 

Fan Forced Garage Heaters are the least expensive type of heater but are also less powerful than other types. Portable Garage Heaters can be moved around easily but are more expensive than Fan Forced Heaters. Forced Air Garage Heaters are powerful but emit fumes so will require proper ventilation. Radiant and Top-Tank Bottom are the most efficient types of garage heaters but are also the most expensive due to higher output of energy per hour.

It is important to take into consideration how much time your garage is going to be used for, whether your garage is vented well enough, how much heating power you need and what type of heater is most suitable for your needs. With this information in hand, we hope you find the best type of garage heater that suits your needs.

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