With the winter season comes the rain, snow, slushy pathways… and cold garages. If you have a garage that doubles as your workspace too, you know how impossible it is to work during this time of the year because of the low temperatures in the garage. This can often result in an unproductive winter season, where you have to postpone your work until spring arrives with warmer temperatures. However, if an urgent job comes up, such as fixing up your car, your garage with its walls of brick or timber with no accompanying insulation can get extremely difficult to work in. Instead of freezing while you work on your car this winter, or keeping off that interesting new DIY project you wanted to work on until spring, why not invest in one of the best propane garage heaters. It will succeed in keeping you toasty while you tinker in your garage.
What Are Propane Garage Heaters
A propane garage heater works by igniting the propane from the fuel tank with a spark. The fuel is then heated up to the required temperature that is pre-set by the user. It can operate at whatever temperature you prefer since you can set the temperature yourself. This also ensures that your garage does not end up being too warm to work in. Once the fuel is sufficiently heated, a fan in the heater will work to transfer the hot air outside, keeping your garage warm. These heaters are not only effective but are also affordable. The best propane garage heaters will last for years without requiring a replacement.
Additionally, propane garage heaters have some clear advantages over kerosene-fueled or electric heaters since they are more effective. They also do not require extensive cleaning like kerosene heaters. Unlike electric heaters, they also do not take up precious electric outlets in a garage. Thus, propane heaters are not only more economical by both monetary and time standards but are also portable. You can shift them closer or farther away from your workstation as per your need.
These advantages make them popular with people looking to buy affordable yet powerful heaters for their garages. This is the reason the market is teeming with different propane garage heaters. And this is what makes the selection difficult. Do not worry, we have put together a buying guide as well as reviewed the best propane garage heaters available in the market for your convenience.
Important Things to Consider
When looking for a propane garage heater, you must keep in mind certain qualities and factors. The most important of these are the specific requirements of your garage, such as:
- Size Of The Garage
The size of the garage that you want to heat is an important factor to consider. A small heater may not be able to adequately heat a garage featuring higher square foot floor areas. On the other hand, a larger or more powerful propane heater is unnecessary for a small or medium sized garage.
- Portability Of The Heater
If you have multiple garages, and you would like to move the propane heater around, then opt for a compact and portable heater. However, if you already have a designated place in mind for the heater, then portability does not matter much.
- Temperature Control Functions
You should look to buy a propane heater that allows you to control the temperature settings through a thermostat, a fan or other temperature control features. This will enable you to set the heater according to the temperature requirements of your garage.
- Ventilation Requirements Of Your Garage
If your garage does not have any windows, you must opt for a vented propane garage heater. It will dispose of any pollutants and carbon monoxide gas produced after combustion through its vent pipe. This will allow the oxygen levels in your garage to stay stable as well. However, if you choose a vent-free garage heater, you must make sure you have a window in your garage that you can prop open to keep the oxygen in your garage at a sufficient level.
Best Propane Garage Heaters Buying Guide
Once you have evaluated your garage and the requirements of your workspace, you may think you are ready to go buy one of the best propane garage heaters but not just yet. The requirements of your garage must correlate with the specifications of the propane heater you purchase to ensure that you receive the maximum benefit out of your heater. Since the terminology used for describing the functioning of the propane garage heaters can often be confusing, we have put together a buying guide detailing the important factors.
- The Type Of Vent Technology
There are two types of venting technologies present in the best propane garage heaters of today. These include:
- Vent-free Heaters
Vent-free garage heaters, as the name suggests, do not have any vents to dispose of the pollutants produced. This means that such heaters are more adequate at heating up the space they are put in because heat does not misplace. Thus, vent-free heaters are economical and do not require any electrical outlets either, making them noise-free and convenient to use. On the other hand, since these heaters have no vents, they can produce more environmental pollutants and carbon monoxide. This may lead to depletion of oxygen levels in your garage. You must be careful if you opt for buying a vent-free propane garage heater.
- Vented Heaters
When a vented heater works, it produces waste gases through the combustion of propane. If released into the surroundings, these gases can deplete the oxygen levels and serve as a health hazard to anyone present near the heater. However, vented heaters use a vent pipe to deliver these combustion wastes outside the garage, where they disperse into the environment. Although vented heaters are slightly more expensive than the vent-free options, they are safer due to their vent pipes and oxygen level sensors.
- Type Of Propane Garage Heaters
There are different types of best propane garage heaters present in the market. You must evaluate the requirements of your heating space before buying one. These include sizes, portability, and power of the heater.
- Mounted or Portable
The best propane garage heaters come in two installation variations: wall-mounted and portable. Wall-mounted propane garage heaters come with fixtures that attach permanently to a wall while you can keep the propane tank connected to it either near the heater itself or outside the garage for safety. On the other hand, you can put a portable heater anywhere in your garage as per your heating requirements. The main factors that dictate whether you choose a wall-mounted or a portable heater are the size of your garage and your heating needs. A wall mounted heater will only provide maximum heat to where it is fixed. Alternatively, a portable heater will be able to heat the space wherever you place it.
- Radiant Or Forced Air Propane Garage Heater
If you have a small garage, a radiant propane garage heater will be enough to warm the space. Its design aids the heater in providing direct heat. Forced air heaters, on the other hand, provide a much more dispersed and even heating to the environment.
- BTU And Runtime Of The Heater
The BTU (British Thermal Unit) is a term of measurement, which evaluates an object’s ability to generate the amount of heat required to increase the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. In other words, it helps us measure the intensity of the heat produced by the garage heater. The BTU is an important factor to consider when buying a propane garage heater. It allows you to choose a heater with optimum heating capabilities according to your heating needs. Before buying a garage heater, make sure to calculate the BTU required for your garage per square foot. It lets you choose a propane garage heater that efficiently and adequately heats your garage area. After this, also take into account any window and door cracks that may allow cold air to seep into your garage. The best way to deal with such openings is through garage door insulation. It will keep the warmth inside your garage without letting it escape, saving energy.
The runtime of the propane garage heaters is another important factor to consider. It is also inversely related to the BTU, meaning that the higher the BTU of a heater, the lower runtime it will require to effectively heat your garage. For example, a radiant heater relatively has a higher runtime than a forced air propane heater.
- User Safety Features
Your propane garage heater should always come with user safety features. It should include low oxygen sensors, auto shut off (in case the heater tips over), overheat protection, and cool touch. These features will keep you safe from accidents and allow for optimum use of your heater.
A manufacturer who is confident of their product’s capabilities will offer a longer warranty. They know the heater is of a good enough quality that it will last you for a long while. A longer warranty is an important factor that it should serve as a tiebreaker between two best propane garage heaters of similar quality. Most heaters come with a one-year warranty, thus if you find one with a warranty of three years or higher, you should not think twice to buy it.
General Safety Measures For Propane Garage Heaters
Like all appliances, propane garage heaters also come with certain guidelines that you should follow while handling them.
- Be careful and do not use portable garage heaters while you are drowsy. In case you fall asleep, low oxygen levels can be lethal.
- Make sure all combustible and flammable materials, fluids and gases are kept away from the heater to prevent them from turning into a fire hazard.
- You must keep the propane tank of the heater away from direct heat. It could cause an explosion.
- If you use a portable garage heater, it is always better for you to attach or remove the system outside where there is a sufficient flow of fresh air.
- If you smell propane or suspect there is a propane leakage, it is best to shut off all appliances and air out the garage.
- If the propane tank is almost empty, disconnect the gas pipes and connections. This may lead to unstable system combustion.
- Replace blocked gas pipes or nozzles immediately in order to prevent any explosions from occurring.
- Ensure you keep the heater, propane tank, and gas pipes away from any children.
Best Propane Garage Heaters Review
With all the guidelines given in the buying guide above for the best propane garage heaters, it should be easy for you to choose which one to buy now. However, if you are still confused, we have also put together a list of reviews for the best propane garage heaters available in the market these days.
- Dyna-Glo RMC-FA60DGD – The Best Forced Air Liquid Propane Garage Heater
The Dyna-Glo RMC-FA125DGD is one of the best propane garage heaters for a large and drafty garage. This forced air propane heater will adequately heat up your garage, as it has an output of 60,000 BTU per hour for an area of 1350 square feet. This portable propane garage heater comes with a powerful blower and a long gas connection pipe. These allow you to place the gas tank farther away from the heater for maximum safety. The Dyna Glo heater comes with other safety mechanisms such as a tip over shutoff system and a back pressure switch. The heater takes an around 10 minutes to heat a room of any size. It is a powerful, yet compact and portable heater. After your garage gets enough warmth, you can either turn down the heat according to your preference or shut off the heater. Costing $123.99, it is an affordable heater for a big garage.
- Heat Output: 30,000 – 60,000 BTUs
- Heating Area: Up to 1,350 sq.ft.
- Continuously Variable BTUs
- Adjustable Heat Angle
- Ignition: Continuous Electronic Ignition
- Overheat Auto-Shut-off Protection: Yes
- Warranty: Standard 1 year
- Provides good value for money
- Ideal for heating large garages
- High heating intensity
- Compact and portable
- Overheat auto shut-off protection
- Adjustable leg and carrying handle
- Generates noise
- Requires you to hold down the ignition button for longer than 30 seconds in order to start
- Propane cylinder not included
- Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy – Best Radiant Propane Garage Heater
With a heat energy output of 4000 to 9000 BTU, the Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy is the best propane garage heater in the radiant category. It can provide sufficient heat to warm a small garage of about 200 square feet. The manufacturer says, it can work double; means it is ideal for both indoor and outdoor operations. It comes with some safety features as well such as tip over auto shut-off and oxygen level sensors. In case the oxygen levels in the garage fall below a certain level, the heater will stop working. Furthermore, it is an economical heater as it is can heat up your garage to a comfortable level utilizing only a one pound propane gas tank, ensuring that neither the heater nor its fuel tank will take up much space in your garage. Since it is a compact and portable radiant heater, you can easily move it near your workstation on colder days to stay warm using the foldable handle present on top of the heater. With two heat settings, high and low, and a 4 position-control and built-in igniter, it has a durable porcelain-coated heating surface and a high-temperature resistant wire guard that serves to protect you and your belongings from getting too close to the hot heating surface. The Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy, with all its qualities, only costs $74.97. This makes it one of the most affordable propane garage heaters.
- Heat Output: 4,000 – 9,000 BTUs
- Heating Area: Up to 225 sq.ft.
- Ignition: Built-in igniter present
- Tip-Over Auto-Shut-off Protection: Yes
- Oxygen Level Detectors: Present
- Warranty: Standard 1 year
- Ideal for quickly heating a small garage
- Compact, lightweight and portable
- Automatic shut-off safety mechanisms
- Propane tank not included
- May malfunction if used at altitudes over 7000 ft above sea level
- Not suitable for larger garages
- Dyna-Glo BF30PMDG – Best Blue Flame Vent-free Wall-mounted Propane Garage Heater
The Dyna-Glo BF30PMDG is the best vent-free propane garage heater, which works through igniting a blue flame instead of radiant heating or forced air heating. The blue flame gives off more heat than a yellow flame. It also radiates heat upwards, which allows it to circulate around your enclosed garage space. Since it is wall-mounted, the upward heating makes sure that the heat disperses evenly across the area. With a heat output of 30,000 BTUs per hour, the heater is capable of heating an area of 1,000 square feet sufficiently. Since it is vent-free, the heat also stays within your garage instead of escaping to the outside. This blue-flame propane garage heater costs $141.84.
- Heat energy output: 24,000 to 30,000 BTUs
- Heating Area: 1000 square feet
- Heat settings: Low- 24,000 BTUs, Med- 27,000 BTUs, Hi- 30,000 BTUs
- Electricity: Not required
- Warranty: Standard 1 year
- Provides more heat due to blue flame
- Heats through convection method
- Quickly heats up a large area
- Not portable
- No automatic safety mechanism
The Mr. Heater MH40LP is a unique heater on our list of best propane garage heaters. It is not portable or wall-mounted. Instead, it hangs from the ceiling and due to its infrared heating mechanism, it can efficiently heat up a large area through heat radiation from the heating surface. Since it has no moving parts, this garage propane heater needs very low maintenance and is easy to use. With a heat energy output of 40,000 BTUs per hour, the heater is capable of heating a 1,000 square feet area sufficiently and quickly. The Mr. Heater MH40LP is an expensive option in our list of the best propane garage heaters. It costs $308; however, its efficient heating is worth the price. As it requires no electricity, the heater can work even during power shortages. You can also control the heat according to your preference with the thermostat available on the heater.
- Heat energy: 40,000 BTUs per hour
- Heating area: 1000 square feet
- Vent-free heater
- Heat settings: Available due to the included thermostat
- Warranty: Standard 1
- No noise generation
- Odor free operation
- Does not take up any floor space
- No maintenance required
- Requires ventilation due to being vent-free.
- Mr. Heater MH80CV – Best portable propane convection heater
The Mr. Heater MH80CV is a powerful propane convection heater that supplies 80,000 BTUs per hour for quickly warming up an area as large as 1,900 square feet. As it generates heat with such a high intensity, it also comes with a thermo-electric safety valve, which cuts off the gas supply if the flame goes out. It also has a 10 feet long gas connection pipe to attach to a propane tank. It allows you to keep the fuel tank at a suitable distance from the propane heater for enhanced safety. The Mr. Heater MH80CV is designed to supply heat all around the place, thus it efficiently heats up a large space quickly. It costs $178.80, meaning that it is also an affordable heater in our best propane garage heaters category.
- Heat energy output: 30,000 to 80,000 BTUs per hour
- Heat area: 1,900 square feet
- Ignition: Built-in igniter
- Safety mechanisms: Present
- Quickly heats a large area
- Powerful heater
- No noise generation
- Supplies 360 directional heat
- Does not come with a propane fuel tank