Best Electric Garage Heaters (2021 Review)

Looking for an inexpensive, convenient way to keep your garage warm?

Many of us dread the thought of being (or working) in the garage during cold winter months, and rightfully so!

Keep reading as we look at some of the best electric garage heaters on the market.

In this proHVACinfo guide, you’ll learn the following:

  • What are electric garage heaters?
  • What are the different types of electric garage heater? (and why they aren’t all created equal)
  • How do electric garage heaters work?
  • How Much Power do I Need to Heat My Garage? (learn one trick you’ll never forget)
  • What do you look for in the best electric garage heaters? (look out for these 4 things)
  • And much more!

In a rush? Below is a quick roundup of our top 5 electric garage heaters. Read on to learn more!

ImageProduct
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Stiebel Eltron Electric Fan Heater
  • Wall Mount Design
  • Exceptional Quality
  • Even Heat Distribution
  • Wall Mount Design
  • Exceptional Quality
  • Even Heat Distribution
View on Amazon
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TPI Fostoria Quartz Electric Infrared Heater
  • Long Service Life
  • Slim Design
  • Made in USA
  • Long Service Life
  • Slim Design
  • Made in USA
View on Amazon
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HETR 5120 Ceramic Space Heater
  • Portable
  • Overheat Protection
  • Excellent Customer Service
  • Portable
  • Overheat Protection
  • Excellent Customer Service
View on Amazon
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TPI 198TMC Portable Heater
  • Shockproof and Scratchproof
  • Fast Heating
  • Low Maintenance
  • Shockproof and Scratchproof
  • Fast Heating
  • Low Maintenance
View on Amazon
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Briza Infrared Heater
  • 93% Heat Efficiency
  • Remote Control
  • Built-In Timer
  • 93% Heat Efficiency
  • Remote Control
  • Built-In Timer
View on Amazon

What Are Electric Garage Heaters?

Electric garage heaters are devices designed to provide warmth to typically unheated spaces like your garage.

They are simple, and standalone, so there’s no additional ducting required from your home’s central air and heat if you have it.

Quick note: this guide is primarily intended for residential garages (like those you’d find in your home). For that reason, our roundup focuses on 120 volt heaters.

While there are some 240v electric heaters, not all houses are equipped to handle 240 volts. For that reason, our guide focuses on only those heaters you can be sure to use safely.

Some electric garage heaters are portable, while others are fixed or mounted to a wall, or even to your ceiling.

What Are The Different Types Of Electric Garage Heater?

There is a wide selection to choose from when it comes to electric garage heaters. Join us as we take a look at the most popular types:

Fan Forced Air Electric Garage Heaters

This is probably the most commonly found type of electric garage heater.

The principle is simple, electricity is used to heat up an element – a common example being a wire mesh or coil.

Behind the heating element, a fan is mounted, which while running, will force air warmed by the element out into the room, and this has the net effect of increasing the room’s temperature.

Infrared Electric Garage Heaters

Infrared heating technology is a little more advanced than simple forced air.

They make use of a special lamp that converts electricity into radiant heat.

Unlike heating elements, they don’t warm the air, but rather, they directly warm the people and objects that come into contact with the infrared light.

One of the biggest advantages of this type of heater is the feeling of instant warmth, a massive plus when compared with the wait time you’ll experience with other types of heater.

The heat from infrared heaters is often compared to the feeling of being out in the sun – and for good reason: it’s the same type of radiation, albeit with much lower energy!

Another big plus with infrared heaters is that, because there are no fans or moving parts, they also operate in almost complete silence – some models may have a slight buzzing noise from the bulb, but it is significantly quieter than fan driven heaters.

Ceramic Electric Garage Heaters

Much like fan forced air electric garage heaters, ceramic type heaters feature a heating element, the key difference is that the element is used to heat a ceramic plate, rather than to directly disperse warm air into the room.

The ceramic plate then radiates heat into the room. In the case of convection ceramic heaters, they utilize a fan to speed up the circulation of warm air.

Check out our review of the Best Ceramic Space Heaters!

How do Electric Garage Heaters Work?

Using the technology described in the above section, electric garage heaters provide safe, reliable heat, in the exact place you need it.

The heater plugs into a standard household outlet for power, and in most cases can be used with standard extension cords, although you should always check to make sure that the power draw doesn’t exceed the maximum for your extension.

How Much Power do I Need to Heat My Garage?

This is a very common question when looking for a garage heater, “how do I know if I’m getting a big enough heater?”

The good news is that the answer is pretty straightforward.

To answer this question, we can generally refer to something called the “10-watt rule”.

Simply put, the 10-watt rule means that for every square foot you want to heat (in your garage, for our purposes), you need 10 watts of power.

So, for example, a 150 square-foot garage needs 1,500 watts to effectively heat it.

Aren’t sure how many square feet your garage is?

Easy!

Just grab a measuring tape and measure the length of your garage from one end to the other.

Then do the same with width. Multiply the length by the width, and you have the square footage!

So, a garage that is 20 feet long and 10 feet wide is 200 square feet!

If that sounds like too much hassle, take a look below for average sizes of various garages!

  • 1-car garage: 12 feet wide x 22 feet deep = 264 square feet
  • 2-car garage: 18 feet wide x 22 feet deep = 396 square feet
  • 3-car garage: 32 feet wide x 22 feet deep = 704 square feet
  • 4-car garage: 36 feet wide x 22 feet deep = 792 square feet

Are Electric Garage Heaters Safe?

Safety is, of course, another common question when it comes to electric garage heaters.

This can be a particular concern when you realize that your garage often stores fuels for cars lawnmowing equipment, and the like.

Not to mention a small amount of fumes from your car’s exhaust lingers in the air every time you enter or exit the garage!

Fortunately, there’s more good news here when it comes to electric garage heaters, as they are among the safest options for your garage!

Unlike other types of heaters (such as those that use propane), there is zero risk of fume emission and no risk of gas leaking from an electric space heater.

What Do You Look For In The Best Garage Heaters?

Because there are so many different kinds of garage heaters on the market, there isn’t really a way to fairly compare different models with regard to features, having said that, this list highlights some of the highlights to look out for on any make or model.

Energy Savings

Many people will tend to shy away from electric heaters for fear of racking up huge power bills. With that in mind, when shopping for an electric garage heater, look for the energy star certification.

A truly efficient garage heater will offer maximum output for minimal power draw.

Safety Features

As mentioned above, electric heaters are generally a very safe option for heating your garage.

Having said that, we’d be remiss not to mention safety again here as a top consideration.

If safety is your #1 priority, you can look for touch-safe heaters to ensure they won’t cause injury to you or anybody else in the event of accidental contact.

Timed shut off and overheat lockouts are also great features to look for, either of these can help prevent fires in the event the heater is left to run long enough to cause a hazard.

Overall Size

Unless you go with a wall-mounted option, one of the main purposes of investing in a garage heater is portability, so it goes without saying that having the ability to move yours around your garage to direct heat exactly where you want it is paramount.

Look for electric heaters that are lightweight, and have insulated carry handles to enable you to pick up the unit while it’s still hot.

Ease Of Use

Ease of use is essential, especially if you’re working in your garage, as you probably have a lot going on while your heater is running.

Being able to easily turn your electric garage heater on and off, or to make adjustments (especially while wearing gloves) is a huge plus!

We always recommend fully familiarizing yourself with the instruction manual before using any new equipment, but if you are able to operate an electric garage heater and don’t actually need the instructions, then that’s definitely a good thing.

Certain models feature easy-to-use remotes and user interfaces that make simple operations a breeze.

Our Reviews Of The Best Electric Garage Heaters

Final Thoughts On The Best Electric Garage Heaters

The vast majority of homes don’t have central heating that extends to their garages, and in colder regions of the country, especially in winter time, this can result in underuse of valuable space in your home.

By investing in one of the electric garage heaters we’ve discussed in this proHVACinfo guide, you’ll be able to effectively heat your garage to comfortable temperatures without having to make modifications to your home or main HVAC system.

Not only that, but because they run on 120v, they operate on standard household outlets, so you’ll be up and running in no time!

Stephen Marks

Stephen Marks

Stephen is an HVAC and home-repair enthusiast. He's here to answer any of your questions about HVAC!

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Stephen Marks

Stephen Marks

Stephen is an HVAC and home-repair enthusiast. He's here to answer any of your questions about HVAC!

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