If you are into DIY projects and love tinkering around your garage, you know that the winter season is quite detrimental towards your hobby. As the temperature drops, your favorite place freezes over making it difficult to even operate basic tools. Chances are, with the bone biting cold and the hindrance to your productivity, a cold garage may sap all the fun from your repairing tasks. An effective garage heater can keep your garage snugly warm despite harsh weather. Irrespective of the size of your garage, the best electric garage heaters can raise the temperature of your garage in just a few minutes! These ensure that you can be in comfort as you work on your projects in your garage.
We have made a comprehensive guide for even newbies as they figure out how to find the best electric garage heaters. We are also sharing some handy tips which will make your garage heater more effective and hence the garage is warmer.
Types of Garage Heaters
The first thing every user needs to know are the types of garage heaters that are available in the market. Each of these garage heaters have their own set of advantages and disadvantages and making the choice as to which model you pick is purely based on personal preferences. To ensure that you can pick out the perfect and best garage heater for your home, the following are the most common types of garage heaters:
Fan Forced Garage Heaters:
The fan forced garage heaters have an integrated fan to maintain temperature. They are easy to install and hence seem to be the most popular type of garage heaters. It has a very simple mechanism: Electric energy is converted into heat energy. A fan throws out the cold air from inside the garage and blows in warm air heated by the heating elements. These garage heaters can generate a large amount of heat and work quickly.
Infrared or Radiant Garage Heaters:
The infrared or the radiant style garage heaters offer heat via convection, that is, direct heat falls on the items closer to the heater. The mechanism of heat delivery is quite similar to the heat received by the earth from the sun. Thus, compared to fan forced garage heaters, infrared heaters tend to offer a more comfortable kind of heat. However, at the same time, it is imperative to stand in close vicinity of this heater to fully enjoy the benefits of the garage heater. Hence, they are perfect only for smaller garages since they heat objects rather than heating the air around your garage.
Fuel-based Garage Heaters:
The fuel for powering fuel-based garage heaters could be anything: Diesel, Natural Gas, or Kerosene. Since they do not need an electric supply, they are extremely portable and can easily heat up any garage quickly and easily. They are ideal for large garages as long as proper ventilation is available for the exhaust. Using them in enclosed spaces is can result in a safety hazard.
Power Needed by Electric Garage Heaters
Every garage heater carries a power rating in British Thermal Units (BTU). Thus, you can judge the heating capacity of an electric garage heater by checking the wattage and the BTU of the heater. However, do bear in mind that this rating is the measured output under ideal and controlled environments. Hence, you must purchase a heater having a greater capacity than your requirements as it will make up for any poor insulation or draughts.
Safety Features of Electric Garage Heaters
When a user purchases any item, their primary concern is safety and security. To ensure that you can continue working in your garage without having to worry about the heater, some of them carry safety features to ensure seamless operation without any mishaps. The following are a few safety features of electric garage heaters that you should look for while making your purchase:
Tip Over Switch:
Accidents can happen at any time. It is very much possible that while working, something may topple over or knocked down while you may be busy tinkering. In some cases, it could be your heater itself! Thus, a tip over switch is an essential feature that shuts off your garage heater if you heater is accidentally knocked over, thereby preventing a major mishap.
Since heaters operate for long durations, it may be possible that the heater could get overheated. The overheat protection feature ensures that your heater turns off when it reaches really high temperatures so as to avoid any fire hazard of damage to the internal machinery of the heater.
Since the primary purpose of a heater is to blow out hot air, the heater and its surroundings such as the floor or the table would also get hot. Quite similarly, even the exterior surface and the body of the garage heater can get too hot to touch. Imagine what would happen if an unsuspecting pet or child (or even adult) would touch such a surface. This situation can really get serious. Hence, for security reasons, a cool touch heater would be ideal.
Louvers allow you to control the direction of the warm air. If you get a garage heater with adjustable louvers, you can control in what direction the air should be flowing. Thus, you will not have to keep adjusting the position of the heater and simply fiddle the knobs of the louver to get your sung, warm air in whichever direction.
Length of Power Cord:
The length of the power cord is an important item that you should consider while choosing the best electric garage heaters. A long power cord ensures that you can make your heater portable without having to unplug your appliance and look for new and closer power outlets. While using extension leads may seem like an alluring option, but given that electric heaters are high power devices, it could be an electricity hazard. Therefore, pick a garage heater that has a long enough power cord for you to place the electric heater around your garage comfortably.
A carry handle is indispensable when you wish to carry around your heater comfortably. It makes your appliance all the more portable. With a carry handle, you can easily lift your garage heater and place it elsewhere without any issue. While a carry handle may not be a mandatory inclusion, it definitely is a convenient addition.
Once again, wheels enhance the portability of your garage heater. You can easily move around the heater with the help of wheels and it will not require any lifting. Since garage heaters are bulkier and heavier than other heaters (due to the large size of their heating element), lifting and carrying such heaters can put a strain on your back. Thus, a garage heater with caster or wheels will be extremely convenient.
Tips to Keep Your Garage Warm and Safe
Whether you use your garage as a workshop or an exercise room, keeping it warm and toasty is necessary to stay comfortable in the place even during the cold winters. Following are some tips that you can follow that will boost the efficiency of your electric garage heater and keep your garage warmer for longer durations (while remaining safe):
- If you are confused about choosing between a fixed and a portable garage heater, opt for a fixed heater since portable garage heaters make use of flammable substances as fuel.
- If you do happen to pick a portable model due to some reason or personal preference, ensure that it is not placed near items such as gasoline or spray paints, which are a fire hazard since garage heaters can get very hot.
- For maximum safety, select a garage heater that has electric radiant ceiling panels, is vent-free, and operates on sealed combustion.
- Position your heater in a way so that it does not directly blow hot air on your work station or the floor region that you would be using.
- Avoid using a freestanding garage heater as it has a higher chance of being knocked over, especially when it is kept on surfaces such as table tops.
- Point the heater towards the middle of the garage so that the heat dissipates evenly throughout the garage. Through this technique, you can make the most of your garage heater.
- You can use radiant panels to absorb and reflect the heat so as to keep your garage warmer for longer durations. However, since they take a while to be effective, patience is advised in their case.
- Insulate your garage so that no heat escapes from there. Insulation also ensures that there is no draught blowing into the garage from external openings.
- While insulating your garage, it is necessary to ensure that the doors and windows are properly insulated. At the same time, even the ceiling should bear insulation to trap in the heat.
- If there are cracks and openings in your garage, seal it with caulk or a similar sealant to fill these gaps. This will prevent any droughts.
- Choose an effective garage heater which compliments the size of your garage. Also factor in the time that will be taken by the heater to raise the temperature of your garage.
- Check if your garage heater needs any ventilation and install it accordingly. Create a thorough installation plan and hire a professional, if required.
Guide to Installing an Electric Garage Heater
Now that you know all about the best electric garage heaters, it is important to also know the safest way to install the heater. Remember to thoroughly read the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines to install your garage heater properly. The following is a broad guideline to help you with the same:
Lay the Foundation:
- Begin with installing the outline of the sheathed cables of the thermostat unit to the main electric supply box.
- From the thermostat, take a cable line that heads straight towards where you wish to install the garage heater.
- Secure the junction box, using two screws, to the place where you wish to mount or install your garage heater.
- Secure the cables that you have installed using electric cable pins or straps.
- Check the circuit breaker, it should be in the off state. Install a double circuit breaker after removing the panel on the circuit breaker.
- Remove the wire sheathing of the cables in the panel box, with a wire stripper.
- Connect ground to bus. Make all the connections to the terminal lugs present on the breakers. Do NOT touch the lugs as they will still be live even though the electric breaker box is off.
- Use colored wires according to the regulations set in your region.
Connect the Thermostat:
- To ensure that your connections fit in the thermostat, unsheathe both the ends of the cables. Remember to follow the color code according to the area regulations.
- Locate the L1 and L2 and attach them to the circuit breaker. Tighten and cap the connections with the help of wire nuts.
- Attach the ground wire to the ground of the thermostat (which will most likely be coded green).
- Secure the thermostat to the wall with the help of screws.
Wiring of the Electric Garage Heater:
- Remove the cable sheathings and attach it to the junction box. Ensure that one black and one green wire runs through the cable conduit.
- Strip about 1 inch from every wire. There should be 5 wires in all which travel to the junction box located at the ceiling.
- Twist the black wires together and secure it by capping it with a wire nut.
- Color the wires in compliance with the coding followed in your area. Cap all the wires with a wire nut after twisting the similar ones.
- Replace the cover on the box.
- Connect the black wires of the heater with the black wires of the electric supply. At the same time, connect the green earth wires together for grounding.
- Put the cover on the junction box and safely secure it.
If you are not very confident about setting up the garage heater, consider hiring a professional to do the job for you.
Best Electric Garage Heaters with Reviews
Naturally, if you wish to buy the best electric garage heaters, you may have to go through a list of the best electric garage reviews to make up your mind. Well, if that is what you seek then you have come to the right place! We have made a list of all the best electric garage heaters and compiled them with the best electric garage reviews – all in one place! So go ahead and read what our experts have to say.
1. King Electric GH2407TB:
With over 60 years of experience in making home appliances, King Electric is a well-known American brand. The King Electric GH2407TB is one of the best-selling models manufactured by King Electric and continues to receive positive reviews from those who have got the opportunity to use the appliance.
- Spiral finned heating element present in the heater
- Patented by US in smart limit protection
- Comes with a universal mounting bracket for installation
- Garage heater is prewired to allow remote thermostat control
- Easy to setup and install
- Comes with an in-built adjustable thermostat to control temperature
- Safety features such as indicator lights in case of overheating
- Spiral fins in heating element allows maximum heat exchange
- Mounting bracket and fan is composed of poor quality material
- Unit takes considerable amount of time to heat the garage
- Does not come with supplementary hardware to install the heater.
2. Fahrenheat FUH54:
The Fahrenheat FUH54 is a compact yet powerful heater that is perfect for heating up workshops, basements, and garages. It is an industrial heater with a rugged build and can heat up cold places with ease.
- It has a steel body that adds to its durability
- The lowest setting is at 2500W while the highest setting is at 5000W
- For optimum performance, hardwire the heater instead of plugging it in
- Can be easily mounted horizontally or vertically
- Even warm air dispersion
- The unit contains adjustable louvers, allowing the user to direct hot air towards desired areas
- Can comfortably heat up larger spaces such as a two car garage
- With its 5000W power rating, it can heat up even outdoor spaces
- Since the unit is hardwired, it should have had a dedicated off switch or a similar setting
- The thermostat is controlled through a dial, which makes it difficult to control and maintain temperature
- Some models have assembly issues
3. Dr. Infrared Heater DR988:
- Can heat up to 600 square feet of area
- Has an adjustable thermostat having a control dial with two heat settings
- The heater runs on 240 Volts and 5600 Watts
- Heater has a BTU rating of 14,335
- The DR988 is a portable model, which is also energy efficient
- It can be used for semi-outdoor and outdoor uses, including sheds, warehouses, construction sites, and garages.
- The automatic shutoff protection prevents the garage heater from overheating
- The heater does not require any additional assembly, parts, or installation
- Heater coils may get extremely hot and start smoking
- The fan unit does not seem to be sturdy and makes a lot of noise while in operation
- The heater does not have the capacity to oscillate, which means that it throws hot air only in one direction
- Heat has to be manually regulated since remote control is not available
4. NewAir G56:
The NewAir G56 can instantly heat up spaces such as garages, workshops, and basements. It has a highly durable stainless steel construction adding longevity to the product. The long life of the item coupled with its decent performance makes it a value for money appliance.
- Can heat up an area covering approximately 600 square feet
- Has a 6 feet long cord, which makes the heater quite portable
- User can regulate temperature from 45 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit
- Can easily be setup at any location
- It has a built-in thermal cutoff system, which prevents overheating
- Supplies a strong and steady stream of hot air and the temperature remains uniform
- Comes with a fan-only feature, which can save electricity
- The heater lacks balance and is not very steady
- The fan makes loud noises when in operation
- Installation of the heater requires professional help
5. Dr. Heater DR966:
The DR966 is the best commercial heater running on 240 Volts. It is one of the best electric garage heaters and has the ability to safely raise the room temperature in the shortest amount of time. The robust metal casing makes it last long.
- Has a sturdy build with a stamped steel front cover
- Contains 5 adjustable louvers, which allow the user to control the direction of air flow
- The spiral steel metal sheath heating element offers a uniform heating
- Adjustable thermostat allows the user to control temperature
- Mounting brackets are included with the unit and it can be mounted on a ceiling or a wall
- Installing the heater is easy and does not require expert DIY skills
- The ball-bearing motor is thermally insulated, permanently lubricated, and enclosed
- It is a low maintenance heater and can be easily installed anywhere due to its compact size
- The fan in the heater makes rattling noises
- The thermostat present in the heater is quite sensitive, due to which the unit may abruptly turn on or off
- Additionally, the thermostat has no prefixed values due to which user has to guess the temperature
See Also: 8 Best Electric Fireplaces To Buy
6. Comfort Zone Industrial Electric Ceiling:
- Has a compact build, which allows it to be mounted in any location
- The heating unit has to be hardwired rather than plugged
- Comes with an auto thermostat adjustment to maintain ambient temperatures in large areas
- Has adjustable louvers to direct hot air in the required directions
- Offers even circulation of heat in all areas
- The safety overheat feature prevents the unit from getting too hot
- Can be easily cleaned due to the ease with which the front grill can be removed
- Comes equipped with a power indicator
- When operating in a high power mode, it may take a heavy toll on your power consumption, which may reflect on high electricity bills
- The fan makes rattling noises, which can be quite distracting
- Does not have a temperature display and has only two temperature modes: High and Low
- Takes up more than half an hour to heat up a moderate size room
See Also: 10 Best Tankless Water Heaters Reviews
7. King Electric GH2405TB:
The King Electric GH2405TB is ideal for large and exposed areas due to the spiral finned electric heating element, which throws out uniformly heated air in large volumes. It is low a maintenance appliance which consumes less power.
- Comes with a spiral finned element
- Has a durable and long-lasting build
- The heater is equipped with an inbuilt thermostat
- It has a Smart Limit Protection mechanism which shuts off the unit in the event of power surges
- Offers a strong and steady flow of hot air
- Extremely easy to install
- Comes with a detailed set of instructions
- The fan operates quietly
- The heater is not recommended for areas over 500 square feet
- Is incapable of providing heat instantly
- The schematic diagram outlining the wiring can be quite confusing
8. NewAir G73:
- Can be easily mounted on walls or ceilings
- The unit has to be hardwired to the power supply
- Comes with a pre-installed thermostat, which features automatic shutoff to protect the unit from overheating
- Has a durable stainless steel housing, which makes it an appliance which is built to last
- Due to its compact build, it can easily be mounted on the wall
- The mounting bracket allows the user the swerve the heater in different directions
- User can direct the flow of the hot air in whichever direction they please
- It is easy to operate and use
- The heater may be too compact to be effective and the heater loses its efficiency in low temperatures
- It makes noise when in use, which can be annoying
- The installation may require professionals since hardwiring requires access to the junction box
- The built-in thermostat may be inaccurate at times and it is also located inconveniently at the back of the unit
9. Optimus H 9010 Garage Ceiling Utility:
- Has a quartz heating element
- The in-built halogen light is pleasing to the eye and can illuminate your workspace
- The auto shutoff feature protects the unit from overheating
- Compact build which can be mounted on walls or ceilings
- Durable metal casing and bracket, which can make the heater last for a really long duration
- The overheat protection features ensures safe operation of the unit
- The heater takes just 20 minutes to raise the temperature to ambient levels
- The garage heater is easy on the pocket
- The pull-cord on and off has design issues since it is susceptible to wear and tear, which leads to fraying and snapping of the cord
- The heater does not have a blower
- Does not have a defined range of heating temperature
- Needs to be placed in close vicinity to the object or area that needs to be heated
10. Patton PUH680 Milkhouse Utility Heater:
- It is equipped with a handle, which makes it more portable and easy to carry
- The tip over safety mechanism prevents any mishaps if the heater falls
- A flick of the button can change the heat setting from high to low and vice versa
- Can heat up spaces very quickly
- The unit shuts off automatically, allowing it to operate safely
- Provides instant fan forced and focused heating and users can select between high or low setting
- It has a compact and lightweight build, which in addition to the handle allows it to be more portable
- The unit has a power cord having an adequate length
- The heater makes too much noise when on
- Due to the aesthetic build, the durability may have been compromised to a small extent
- The unit lacks an on off switch, which is replaced with a high and low setting
- Instances of the heating coil burning have been noticed
There are many best electric garage heaters available in the market and making a choice is purely based on your requirements and preferences. Irrespective of whether you wish to use it in your garage or in your workshop, electric heaters are easy to use and maintain. Additionally, they can also heat up the areas quickly. Even though they may cost more than their gas alternatives, electric heaters are not only more efficient but also highly dependable.
If you wish to enjoy the best of services and products, opt for well-known brands such as King Electric and Dr. Heater items. The DR966 and GH2407TB are excellent electric garage heaters that are worth the investment.