Propane garage heaters are ideal for keeping your garage or workshop toasty in the winter, enabling you to utilize this space even in the colder months.
In the following article we have reviewed several of the best and most popular propane garage heaters currently on the market, and highlighted the advantages and drawbacks associated with each model.We have also put together a Garage Heater Buying Guide, in which we will outline the various factors and features you should consider when preparing to purchase one of these units.
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Modine HD45AS0111 Hot Dawg Garage Heater
With its compact size, the Modine HD45AS0111Hot Dawg Garage Heater boasts a very quiet operation, but do not let the silence fool you; this is one very powerful unit that is guaranteed to heat any garage to your ideal temperature.
Made by the Modine Manufacturing Company, one of the leaders in thermal management since just after the turn of the 20th century, the Modine HD45AS0111Hot Dawg Garage Heater utilizes a standard power exhaust that greatly simplifies side-wall or roof venting thanks to its small diameter vent pipe. The heaters have been used in almost every corner of the world and they continue to be one of the best buys available in the garage heating industry.
- No special wiring needed. Because of the 115 volt power source, there is no special wiring needed with the Modine HD45AS0111Hot Dawg Garage Heater.
- Compact. The heater has a very low-profile design.
- Simplified exhaust. The simplified exhaust on the Modine HD45AS0111Hot Dawg Garage Heater helps to make venting easier.
- Heavy. At a weight of roughly 60 pounds, the Modine HD45AS0111Hot Dawg Garage Heater is a fairly heavy and bulky heating unit.
Mr. Heater Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater
The Mr. Heater Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater produces between 4,000 and 9,000 powerful BTUs to heat garages and workshops that are as large as 225 square feet.
- Very Efficient. With nearly 100 percent clean burning, the Mr. Heater Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater is extremely efficient.
- Versatile. Due to the way this heater is built it provides heat in places where electric heaters simply cannot go.
- Durable. The shock-absorbing insulation on the Mr. Heater Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater makes it very durable.
- Smaller heating area. Compared to some similar sized units, the Mr. Heater Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater has a slightly smaller heating area.
Heatstar F125545 Radiant Overhead Garage Heater
Although the Heatstar F125545 Radiant Overhead Garage Heater is not the greatest looking propane garage heater on our list, it is one of the most functional units.
- Built-in thermostat. The Heatstar F125545 Radiant Overhead Garage Heater has an integrated thermostat.
- Industrial grade. The Heatstar F125545 Radiant Overhead Garage Heater can be used in both residential and commercial settings.
- Not very aesthetically pleasing. The Heatstar F125545 Radiant Overhead Garage Heater is not the greatest looking heater on our list.
- Can produce an odor. In rare cases, according to users, the Heatstar can produce a slight odor.
Garage Heater Buying Guide
Propane is a very effective fuel for heating your garage, workshop or even greenhouse. However, before you make a final purchasing decision on a propane garage heater, you may want to read the following information.
Here we have outlined the various things to look for—and the factors you should consider—before purchasing a propane garage heater for your home or business.
Heat Exchange Material
When buying a propane heater you essentially have two choices when it comes to the heat exchange material: stainless steel or aluminized steel.
Aluminized steel is the standard material used for heat exchangers in propane garage heaters. This reliable material is renowned for its unique ability to reliably transfer heat over many years of use. In most standard applications, you can’t go wrong with aluminized steel as a heat exchanger material.
Stainless steel is a stronger, more expensive option as a heat exchange material that comes with two primary benefits. The first advantage is that it will typically last longer than an aluminized steel heat exchanger, as it is able to withstand more stress over a longer period of time.
The second is that it can better handle corrosive elements found in workshops and similar environments—materials that might otherwise damage your heater. If your propane garage heater will be exposed to corrosive chemical fumes or excessive moisture, stainless steel is definitely the way to go.
When you opt to go with a propane garage heater that heater will absolutely have to be vented to the outdoors. This is necessary to prevent combustible gases and carbon monoxide from building up inside your work space—an eventuality that can prove fatal in large levels. Propane garage heaters have two primary styles of venting from which to choose—styles that will depend largely on your building’s architecture and your personal preferences.
Power Vented Systems
As the name suggests, power vented garage heater systems utilize a fan to assist in the pushing of exhaust to the outside of the building. Rather than relying on the hot combustion gases to naturally rise up and out of your space, a power vented system can drastically speed up the process. When using a power vented system you will be able to either vent the gases vertically through the roof or horizontally through the wall. Although power venting is a wonderful option for many propane garage heater systems, keep in mind that this process relies on the air inside your space for the combustion process. In short, this means you will not only be venting air you’ve already heated to the outside, but certain negative pressures can also be created by drawing indoor air through the unit heater without replenishing it. This, in turn, can cause unwanted and potentially damaging air leaks in your walls, doors, and/or windows.
Direct Vented Systems
Direct vented systems, also known as sealed combustion systems, are ideal when dealing with small, tightly sealed spaces. In smaller garages and spaces that are fairly sealed, a propane garage heater will rapidly exhaust the air that is available for combustion. This type of venting system will draw outside air in for combustion, which also augments the overall efficiency of the unit, largely because you will not be exhausting air that you have previously heated.
Direct vented propane garage heaters are also the type of units you will want to use in environments containing a high concentration of airborne particles, or even smaller amounts of combustible airborne particles. Because the intake air in direct vent systems is drawn from the outdoors, you will not have to fret about these dangerous particles getting pulled into the heater and potentially causing a large explosion—which we can all agree is the worst possible outcome.
Choose High Efficiency
The advent of direct venting in propane garage heaters has brought about remarkable improvements in heater efficiency. Not all direct vented propane garage heaters have efficiencies over 90 percent—and these are the ones you will want to avoid. There are many propane garage heaters that boast efficiencies well over 90 percent, whether you choose aluminized steel heat exchangers are those made from stainless steel. Without these high efficiencies, you can expect to pay a lot more over a longer period of time—money that will quickly add up.
Portable vs. Wall Mounted Heaters
Propane garage heaters can either be portable or mounted to a wall. Portable propane garage heaters are great when you want to “move the heat” around to various work areas, giving you a greater concentration of heat right where you need it most. However, portable propane garage heaters can also take up floor space and can get under foot when working. Also, they are much more difficult to vent. Wall mounted propane garage heaters are probably your best bet.
With these heaters, venting through a roof or side wall is much easier than with a portable propane heater, and they save much needed floor space in your garage or workshop. They also tend to be much more efficient and aesthetically pleasing.
Finally, be sure to look for a propane garage heater with a good warranty—at least 5 years. Although these products do not have a proliferation of moving parts, the heat generated by these units can potentially cause damage to the systems, which a good warranty will help protect you against.