Holds a Master’s degree in Engineering and is keen on her own home’s climate. Sometimes we think that Carolina owns every single product she writes about – that’s how profound and insightful her reviews always are.
For 8 years, Richard had been working as an HVAC specialist and AC unit installer since his student years. Now, he’s our main consultant on every technical aspect that may arise during our tests and research.
Last updated: December 20, 2020
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Are you looking for the best propane heater for garage use? We’re reviewing some of the best options for propane heaters for use within the garage in this post, where we look at this brilliant solution to cold garages through the winter months.
We’ve reviewed seven models of the best propane heater for garage choices in total. They come with different sizes and features, so what is best for you might vary slightly. However, our editor’s choice is the Dyna-Glo IR18PMDG-1, a brilliant and reliable model which has safety features included. If carbon monoxide is detected or there’s a lack of oxygen, this model turns itself off. It can save money on heating costs in your garage. To match up the best and most powerful propane heater to your needs, check out our full list of reviews below.
Our team have considered some of the top options for propane heaters and used a specific set of criteria and features to evaluate them. Features include the BTUs (this is a unit of heat measurement), the coverage area, type, size, weight and even how simple they are to mount in your home. Our research has been laid out as a simple overview table of the options, before we go on to more in-depth reviews. Finally, there is a buying guide which can help you to better understand the features and criteria in order to make the perfect choice for your own garage. We cover some of the terminology and important functionality.
This option is a great propane infrared heater for your garage. It is designed to be used with liquid propane, and can’t be converted to other types of fuel.
Given you’re not searching for some super-powerful heat pump, this is the option for you. The technology has been modeled on the sun, it uses infrared technology to heat up objects in the garage or home. For instance, it will warm the floor and walls first.
It gives a control knob for customizable heat settings so you can save power if it isn’t overly cold, and you can also crank it up to 18,000 BTUs per hour and heat up to 700 square feet. This is more than enough for most garages even though some of the more powerful options on this list have a higher rating.
If the electricity drops out, it doesn’t matter. The propane heater can kick in when it comes to an emergency. Also, if you want to, you can buy a WHF100 fan, also made by the same company. This means you can spread the heat around more easily. Legs to allow for free standing are also available, but these have to be bought separately.
The fact that it only heats the objects it needs to via the infrared heating technology means that it can be a great choice for efficiency. There’s even a one-year warranty to back up the level of quality.
What we liked:
Provides plenty of heat for up to 700 sq ft garages.
This model, the 60,000 BTU Variable Propane Forced Air Heater has been named the best portable propane heater on our list. In spite of being portable it has an absolutely huge level of power with up to 60,000 BTUs. It’s small and compact nonetheless, but can cover up to 1,500 square feet, so even large garages can be heated by this propane heater with relative ease.
The portable nature of this garage heater isn’t the only plus point. It can be used for up to 11 hours at a time as it has a 20lb tank to allow for plenty of propane to be included. Also, there’s a handle that allows you to easily transport this, and it is designed not to get overly hot! There are three different heat settings so you can choose which is best for the temperature at any given moment.
It also has some top features that we don’t normally expect at this sort of size and level of portability. It has an overheat shut-off which means that if it gets too hot it will automatically turn itself off. The same feature is in place for a ‘flame-out’ scenario. If the flame isn’t on then the fuel doesn’t get released, which is another safety feature.
The angle feature also helps, you can tilt the heater in order to best suit the area and make sure you’re warm enough.
It’s a bit of a loud model, but this is not a big deal for most people who are ok with a bit of noise in the garage.
What we liked:
Tilt feature for directing the heat.
Lots of safety features and auto shut-off.
Loads of power considering the small size and portable design. 60,000 BTUs.
The ProCom PCC80V is the most powerful propane heater on the list, and it is portable! This is very impressive, and has a coverage area of nearly 2,000 square feet, all from one simple portable heater. It has the ability to provide between 40,000 and 80,000 BTUs of heat.
The heater can use 20, 30, 40 or 100lb gas cylinders depending on how long you need to use it for. These cylinders are totally refillable to reduce waste.
There’s a push-button ignition system so there is no electricity required in order to get it started. This means that you don’t have to worry too much about whether you have a power outage. You may even want to bring it in the house from the garage if the power goes out.
This propane heater runs for 11 hours on a 20 lb. propane cylinder. This makes it suitable for use in the garage even if you are spending long stints out there working on something!
It is impressive how quickly this can heat the space. Within 15 minutes you can heat a huge garage with ease. You could even use this as one of the best for commercial use if you needed to.
If you know that you are going to use your propane heater in one place and one place only, it makes sense to get a wall-mount option. This can help disperse the heat better and takes up less floor space. Some of the portable options take up a lot of room.
The Mr. Heater 40, 000 BTU is a wall-mountable propane heater with plenty of power for medium or even large garages. It is another model which doesn’t need any electricity and can spark without any need to plug into the mains. Obviously, it runs on propane gas.
You need to make sure that it is mounted 34 in. from the ceiling and 30 in. from the sides of the heater. Also, it’s best for buildings that have ceilings which are over 12 feet in size.
The power can be enough to heat a full 1000 sq ft garage, which is a fair size, and more than enough for most peoples’ needs.
It has an adjustable thermostat which is ideal for having plenty of control and getting to the exact comfortable heat you are looking for.
The fact this can be wall mounted means that you can install it in shops and other commercial buildings and it doesn’t cause any sort of trip hazard.
What we liked:
Plenty of BTU power, up to 1,000 sq. ft coverage.
Made with non-corrosive materials so it won’t rust easily.
Doesn’t need any electricity to get started. Sparks without mains power.
What could be better:
Fairly strict regulations on how to mount and install.
If you’re looking for a heater which isn’t overly noisy, then the Mr. Heater MH60QFAV could be worth looking at.
This is a forced air type heater and has been designed for jobsites, but this can easily include your garage! As long as you’ve properly ventilated then you can use this portable heater in your garage.
There are plenty of safety features included to keep everything running as it should be. It comes with a standard 10-feet hose and this has a regulator attached. There are also high limit switches and safety valves so there’s no need to worry.
Unfortunately, it does need to be plugged into an electric output.
The QBT Technology is what makes this a quiet model. It has been claimed to be 50% quieter than most other propane heaters. If you are sick of not being able to hear yourself think in your garage, then you should go for a quieter model.
What we liked:
Quiet propane heater with QBT technology to cut 50% of unwanted noise.
Coverage for areas up to 1.500 sq ft.
Portable model can be used in your garage and elsewhere.
What could be better:
Doesn’t have the build quality and longevity of some other options.
Buying a propane heater isn’t all about getting the biggest and most powerful propane heater for garage. It may be that you don’t have a huge space and you need to find something that is small enough and lightweight enough, but also has a suitable little boost for your garage to ensure there’s enough heat.
The Mr. Heater MH25LP fits this bill exactly. As well as being a compact and lightweight heater (it weighs just 3lbs), it has the benefit of being shipped to the customer already constructed. There’s no awkward construction needed, you can just mount it to the wall following the manufacturer’s instructions.
For safety, there is an automatic shutoff if it is overheating.
Like some of the other propane heaters, this has a radiant heat technology. This warms objects directly, rather than wasting energy heating up the surrounding air. This is one of the most efficient ways to heat your garage and mimics the way the sun’s rays heat our surroundings. This technology makes it a very energy-efficient space heater.
The power is decent, 22,000 BTUs can cover up to 550 feet of space. While this isn’t amazing for huge garages it is perfect for those who need ease of install and a small boost for their garage.
What we liked:
Clever heating technology doesn’t waste energy.
Ships fully constructed and simple to mount.
What could be better:
Not a huge level of power.
Some users have had issues with the heater not staying lit for long periods of time.
The Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy is a mini portable heater, it is affordable and very easy to take out and about with you. Not only is this suitable for your garage, if you have to go onto building sites for instance, or are working on a home with no central heating, this could be perfect for keeping a room warm.
It isn’t huge, so, as you might expect, it doesn’t fill the biggest rooms with heat. It’s designed for up to 225 ft in space. Fortunately, it works outdoors as well as indoors, so you can take it just about anywhere. 4,000- to 9,000-BTU radiant heat is the range that the Mr. Heater offers.
The clean burning is very efficient and this doesn’t use a huge amount of protein. Also, there’s a fold-down handle to make it easy to pick up and take where you need it.
Safety sensors turn this off if it overheats or if it should accidentally tip over. Oxygen depletion is another sensor that can cut off the heater and protect the user.
The price point is another big plus for this propane heater. If your garage is 225 sq ft or less then this is a suitable option which can save you some money.
What we liked:
Lots of safety features included, it will automatically shut off if it is tipped.
Great value for money.
What could be better:
Only suitable for smaller garages up to 225 feet.
No propane tank included.
Only gives three hours of use before refilling required.
Things to Сonsider
A lot of the people who want to use a propane heater may have never bought one before, or even bought a similar product. If you’re in the market for a propane heater, you may actually not know what you are looking for. Some of the terms you will see on product descriptions for propane heaters can be a bit confusing if you haven’t heard of things like “BTUs” before. We’ve put together a buying guide to help you to discover what these features mean and decide which to prioritize when making your purchase. It isn’t as simple as just asking what the best convection propane heater is, you need to know what your own specific needs are before you make a purchase. Our buying guide will equip you to understand what you should consider.
Choosing the best propane heater for garage
The following features are the ones we’ve picked out as the most important when you are in the market for a propane heater. There are specific features that can measure the important aspects of a heater such as the power, durability and ease of install. The categories below are the main criteria we used when making our propane heater reviews. There’s a lot to consider, but the functions that jump out at you are probably the most important for your unique needs
There are a few different types of propane heaters. Consider the ‘type’ when making your purchase. Do you need something with a wall mount? Do you need sold base legs to allow for floor mounting? Are you looking for a portable option? The different types of propane heater may be more appropriate for individual needs.
You might think that a portable propane heater is the best as it can be used wherever you need, but these heaters take up floor space whereas the wall mount options typically do not. You can position them on the wall and have them facing the area you most need heated.
BTUs are a measurement of heat. This measurement is based on the heating of water, and without wanting to get too much into the science of this, it is a good way of generally comparing the power of a propane heater. If you need a heater that can chuck off a lot of power, then you will be looking for a higher BTU rating. This also has some relevance to the size of the room it can heat, but a more powerful propane heater doesn’t always mean it can fill a bigger room.
The BTU rating is just one piece of the jigsaw.
Though you shouldn’t base your purchase just on BTUs, you should always look at this to check you are getting a propane heater with enough power. A low BTU rating will not be good enough for a large garage. This is why the makers of propane heaters display the BTU ratings so prominently.
Another aspect of this is how the hot air is distributed around the room, which leads to the next point nicely…
The air flow relates to what happens to the hot air that is generated by the heater. Some use infrared and do not even heat the air, instead, they heat the objects in the room such as the walls or surfaces. One method of air flow used is ‘forced air’ which can push the hot air into certain positions rather than keep it to just one place. Some options, such as the editor’s choice, the Dyna-Glo IR18PMDG-1, have an optional fan that can be purchased to help with the air flow.
The coverage area is a combination of a lot of these factors. As well as advertising a BTU rating, most propane heaters, portable and otherwise, will advertise the coverage area they are designed for. This is usually measured in square feet, so be sure that you have considered the square footage of your garage before purchasing, and match up the right propane heater in terms of size.
The largest coverage area of any of the propane heaters on this list is the ProCom PCC80V. In spite of being portable this can actually cover up to 1,900 square feet, more than enough for a huge garage.
Dimensions and weight
The dimensions and weight of the heater are also considerations you need to make before buying. You need to know you have room for the heater. Also, if you are going to wall mount it, you need to both mark out the space and be sure that it is lightweight enough to easily mount on the wall. We named the Mr. Heater 40, 000 BTU our best for wall mounting due to the fact it is so lightweight and comes already assembled.
The weight of a product like this is definitely a consideration if you plan to buy a portable propane heater. If you want to take it to other places besides your garage then you will need to be able to carry it with ease, and don’t forget you will also need a tank of propane to go with it.
A one-year warranty is really the minimum you should be expecting from this sort of product. Naturally, with a product like a heater, the longer the warranty, the better. If you can get a long warranty it protects your purchase and ensures you can get a replacement if anything goes wrong. What’s more, the companies offering long warranties tend to be more confident in the build quality of the product. For this reason, a long warranty is usually a sign of a quality product.
Some extra features may be included based on the individual design of the product or even the brand simply trying to give themselves an edge.
A huge amount of the extra features we see when it comes to propane heaters are to do with safety. They need to ensure that there aren’t gas leaks and that the heater doesn’t overheat and cause any form of fire hazard. For instance, the Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy has a feature whereby it shuts off if it gets knocked over. Many of the products on this list have overheat protection, too.
You will need some sort of ventilation in the garage. This can come in the form of a window or other form of vent. This can stop harmful gasses building up and causing potential issues and is a useful safety feature.
Don’t worry, the benefits of a propane heater far outweigh the cold of having a window open to let the air in and out of the room.
The cheaper end of the market can offer some affordable propane heaters under $100, and in some cases significantly under $100. As you go for mid-range products they are between $100-250 and the very best on the market can be above $250. These are rough, ball-park figures to help you to get an idea. Obviously, there are elite products at the top end of the heating market which are well above $250.
Also consider the fact that you will be buying propane to use with the heater and this isn’t always the cheapest.
The windows in your garage (if you have some) should give enough ventilation for your needs. If you need to add your own ventilation it makes sense to have multiple ventilation grills to be on the safe side.
Portable propane heaters can be used in other rooms. As long as you ventilate, it is absolutely fine to use your Propane Heater wherever you wish. However, it isn’t the most efficient way to heat a home.
BTU stands for British Thermal Units, it means the amount of heat required to increase the temperature of 1lb of water by one degree. This is a standard measurement used when measuring the effectiveness of heating products.
Our editor’s choice is the Dyna-Glo IR18PMDG-1. It’s flexible as it can be installed either as a wall-mounted option or with feet as a floor mount. There are lots of accessories available, too. There’s plenty of power for most, clever infrared heating, and the Dyna-Glo IR18PMDG-1 is very reliably built, it gets a 9.9/10, which makes it the best propane heater for garage.
For a huge level of power, the ProCom PCC80V is the best propane heater for garage heating in a large space. It has up to 80,000 BTUs of power and automatic shut off features. It’s also totally portable. It gets a rating of 9.5.