5 Best Space Heaters for Garages

What’s the best space heater for a garage? Which heater is best for your garage depends largely on your garage’s size, the power source you want to use (electric or fuel-based heating), and your willingness to install things.

In this article, we’re having a look at the best garage space heaters. And I guarantee you, you’ll know exactly which model is right for you after reading.

We’ll have a look at the best heaters for different garage sizes.

Quick answer: The best space heaters for garages are regular electric heaters for 1-2 car garages, portable propane heaters for 2-3 car garages, and vented gas heaters or heavy-duty electric heaters for 4 car garages or larger.

Best Space Heaters for Garages by Size

Let’s have a look at the best garage heaters. We’ll check the following garage sizes in order, starting with the smallest and ending with the largest:

  • small garages (1 or 2 cars)
  • regular garages (2 or 3 cars)
  • large garages (4 or more cars)

1. Best for Small Garages (1 or 2 cars)

The best space heater for small garages is this Dr. Infrared heater (click here to view it on amazon).

My two main reasons are:

  • Sturdiness: The Dr. Infrared heater has a wooden casing that can take hits. It doesn’t just break. And it blends in well in most garages.
  • Infrared heat: The Dr. Infrared heater, as the name suggests, emits mostly infrared heat. This makes it very quick to heat up. And on top of that, your garage doesn’t need insulation.

Of course, a well-insulated garage always heats up better than a non-insulated garage.

In any case, the Dr. Infrared provides a lot of heat very quickly. Just perfect for a garage.

Sometimes, infrared heaters are not ideal, because their exposed heating elements get very hot. I measured the temperature of my infrared heater’s heating elements. It was >800°F.

Infrared heaters are, therefore, only safe to use in small garages if you don’t use your garage as a space in which you work with easy-to-ignite materials.

Don’t worry, infrared heaters won’t just randomly ignite things. Metal and wood have ignition points well above what an infrared heater can output.

But petrol can easily catch fire. Or, tires can melt or deform if you face the infrared heater directly at them.

So, while an infrared heater is the best small garage heater in most cases, it’s not the best in all cases.

Extra-safe for Small Garages: Oil-filled Radiator

If safety is a concern in your garage, I highly recommend getting this DeLonghi oil-filled radiator (click here to view it on amazon).

Oil-filled radiators are the safest space heaters by design. They have no exposed heating elements and, instead, distribute the heat evenly over the large finned metal heating body’s surface.

Because the heat is not focused in one point, the surface temperature of an oil-filled radiator is much lower than that of any other space heater.

Meanwhile, oil-filled radiators provide the same heating power as infrared heaters.

The only difference is that infrared heaters focus the heat in one direction only, while oil-filled radiators heat the whole room evenly.

It’s a matter of preference.

And, of course, the DeLonghi can take hits as well. It’s a full-metal device.

2. Best for Regular Garages (2, 3 cars)

For well-insulated 2-car garages, you can usually use the same electric space heaters recommended in the previous section:

But for poorly insulated 2-car garages and all 3-car garages, I recommend upping the heating power.

Unfortunately, 1,500 Watts is the most heating power regular electric space heaters provide. Beyond that, you’ll need special electric circuitry and installation.

So, it’s time to switch power sources:

For most 2-3 car garages, I recommend getting the Mr. Heater Big Buddy propane heater (click here to view it on amazon).

It outputs 3x more heat than a regular electric space heater.

Of course, you can also run it on lower heat settings.

Additionally, propane heat is much cheaper than electric heat.

In general, once you want to heat spaces beyond a certain size, you can’t reasonably rely on electric heat anymore. Propane heaters beat electric heaters in cost & power.

The Mr. Heater Big Buddy is also portable, which, combined with its strength, makes it a perfect emergency heater.

In an outage, you can bring it indoors and keep your family warm. I love it.

mr heater buddy propane heater in garage
I have the Mr. Heater Buddy model. That’s the smaller version of the Big Buddy. If I could pick again, I’d pick the Big Buddy!

3. Best for Large Garages (4 or more cars)

The best overall space heater for large garages is this Mr. Heater Big Maxx vented gas heater (click to view it on amazon).

I already crowned this model the best vented gas heater.

It is just perfect for garages. You can mount it to the ceiling, so it doesn’t take up floor space.

And it outputs enough heat to keep even the largest garages toasty.

This model runs on natural gas by default but a propane conversion kit is included with the heater.

If you need more than 50,000 BTU/h of heating power, then you can get the larger 80,000 BTU/h Big Maxx heater (click to see it on amazon).

It’s even available as a 120,000 BTU/h version.

But for most large household garages, the standard 50,000 BTU/h model (the one I linked first) is the most suitable.

For commercial garages, large workshops, and warehouse-size garages, you should definitely get one of the larger variants.

mr heater big maxx vented gas heater
The Mr. Heater Big Maxx is the best heater for large garages!

Why Vented Gas Heaters are Best for Large Garages

There are plenty of reasons why you should always prefer gas-based heating over electric heating in your garage.

First of all: cost.

Propane and natural gas are much cheaper than electricity.

And, on top of that, large garages need a higher heat capacity than regular-sized rooms.

That’s why you can’t rely on electric circuits. Electric circuits in the US trip once you draw more than 1,800 Watts from the outlet.

That equates to a measly ~6,100 BTU/h.

Garages need more than that. And you can’t supply more with electricity only.

So, you need a different source of heat energy.

And I find gas heaters are the best overall. See how the “smallest” heater I recommended in the previous section is almost 10x stronger than what electric circuits can supply.

Of course, there are ways around:

Alternative for Large Garages: Electric Heater

Another great heater for large garages is this Dyna-Glo Dual Power heater (click here to view it on amazon).

This heater is a 15,000 Watts electric unit, which is very high for electric heaters.

For comparison, the strongest regular electric space heaters provide only 1,500 Watts of heating power in order to not trip circuits.

This heater is an exception.

dyna-glo powerful 15000 watts electric space heater
The Dyna-Glo Dual Power outputs much more heat than most other regular electric space heaters!

You’ll need to hardwire it into your garage’s electric circuit, on a circuit that can handle a heavy-duty circuit breaker that can withstand high amperages.

Ideally, hire a technician to install this electric heater for you.

These heavy-duty currents can be very dangerous, so only do the installation yourself if you know what you’re doing.

And that’s precisely why I generally don’t recommend electric heaters for large spaces. Their installation requires expertise and things can easily go wrong.

Additionally, electricity is so much more important.

A gas heater is simply better.

At least when it comes to heating large garages.

The Dyna-Glo Dual Power is a very powerful electric heater. And it’s a great choice. But overall, for large garages gas heaters should be your heaters of choice.

How to heat a large garage without heaters that require installation

Hold on! After reading the previous section, you probably think you have to get a large vented heater or a heavy-duty electric heater to heat your garage.

That’s not the case.

There’s a workaround!

To heat a large garage without heaters that require installation, you can combine a standard electric 1,500-watt heater with a portable propane heater.

The portable propane heater recommended earlier provides up to 18,000 BTU/h. That’s an equivalent of 5,275 Watts.

You can top the heating power up by an additional 1,500 Watts with an electric space heater.

That adds up to 6,775 Watts, which is in the ballpark of many garage heaters. I’ve seen many garage heaters rated at 5,000 – 7,500 Watts.

This way you use two portable space heaters to reach a very high overall heating power without installation.

You can use the portable propane heater and the portable electric space heaters recommended earlier.

propane heater mr heater buddy and oil-filled radiator space heater in garage
You can combine your propane heater with an electric space heater (such as the oil-filled radiator in the image) to get more heating power!

How can you improve heating efficiency in your garage?

Everybody knows that garage insulation helps. If your garage holds more heat, you need less heating power to heat your garage.

That’s obvious.

There’s a simpler way to easily improve the heat efficiency of any poorly insulated garage.

Instead of thoroughly insulating everything, just fix what causes the largest heat loss.

20% of critical insulation is responsible for 80% of heat loss.

Most garages have one weak spot:

Most heat leaves your garage through gaps below doors.

So, simply add a Garage Door weather seal (click here to view it on amazon) to your garage door. This eliminates a large portion of the air drafts and saves you a lot of electricity and gas (for heating) in the long run.

Also, if your garage has regular doors, add this door weather sealing (click to view it on amazon).

These two types of insulation take under an hour to install and make a huge difference.

Why you might not need the perfect-size heater for your garage

So far, we checked out the best heaters for different garage sizes and how to add simple insulation to your garage.

The goal: Provide enough heating power to keep your garage at comfortable temperature levels.

But oftentimes, you might not even need the perfect-size heater for your garage.

For some of you, keeping your garage from freezing is enough. And for some others, mild temperatures are more than enough. Especially, when you are actively working and moving.

Possibly, you don’t need a cozy garage. You just need a working space in which your fingers don’t freeze off.

In this case, I recommend getting one of the 1,500 Watts electric heaters recommended in the first section (“Best for Small Garages”).

In the freezing wintertime, an electric space heater is more than enough to elevate temperatures to a mild level. Even in 4-car garages.

Likely, it won’t get cozy warm. But if you don’t need that, feel free to get a regular space heater.

I recommend getting the infrared heater!


The best garage heaters are regular electric space heaters for small garages, portable propane heaters in moderately-sized garages, and vented gas heaters for large garages.

The heaters for large garages, however, require installation.

You can work around this by combining a portable propane heater with an electric space heater. Their heating power adds up since the energy sources are independent.

You can’t run 2 electric space heaters at once, since that would blow fuses.

Also, it oftentimes makes sense to add simple under-door insulation. This takes under an hour to do properly but pays off for decades!

And, last, but not least:

You might not need to install the strongest possible heater in your garage if you are constantly moving around and working in your garage.

Any regular space heater can keep the temperature in a mild range, even in the freezing wintertime, even in a large garage.

If that’s enough for you, don’t worry about getting a perfectly sized heater.