When you think of the best place at home to enjoy a freshly brewed cup o’ joe, talk to your teen privately, read the next chapter of Danielle Steel’s romance collection, or even meditate, the garage is what comes into mind. The garage is no longer restricted to parking your car or storing garden machinery.
But spending time in the garage can be challenging, especially when it’s drafty. Thus, if you don’t want the frosty winter to rob you of that happy hour in the serene garage, consider investing in the best 120V electric garage heater.
Electric garage heaters warm your garage space and typically vary in size, model, and performance. Thanks to the numerous heaters on the market, finding one that suits your needs can be a herculean task. But not to worry, the reviews and buying guide below will make finding the best 120v electric garage heater, a snap!
- Product Summary
- 5 Best 120v Electric Garage Heaters
- Choosing the Best Electric Heater That Your Garage Needs
- 120v vs. 240v Electric Garage Heaters
- Fixed Vs. Portable Electric Heaters
- Infrared Versus Forced Fan Electric Heaters
- Safety Precautions for Electric Garage Heaters
- Tips for Efficient Garage Heating
- Maintenance for Electric Garage Heater
- Benefits of Having the Electric Garage Heater
- FAQS On Best Electric Garage Heater
Dr. Infrared Heater DR998, 1500W
- Dual heating system
- Built-in humidifier
- Can program time up to 12 hours
- 3 heat settings: auto, high, low
- Lifetime filter
- 1500 watts
- 3 year warranty
AirNmore Comfort Deluxe with Copper PTC
- Auto reboot memory
- Cool to the touch
- No bulbs needed (low maintenance)
- Pet and child safe
- Particle filter
- 2 years warranty
Heat Storm HS-1500-PHX-WIFI Infrared Heater
- Wall mounted
- Wi-Fi smart
- Easy installation
- Cool to the touch
- 1 year manufacturer’s warranty
Fahrenheat FUH Electric Heater for Basement, Garage, Warehouse, Factory, and Outdoor Use
- Suitable for both indoor and outdoor spaces
- Easy to mount in any position
- Louvers help to point heat on a specific area
- Output control to prevent overheating
Broan-NuTone 9815WH Grille Heater
- Built-in adjustable thermostat
- Down flow circulation of heated air
- Low maintenance motors
- 1- year warranty
5 Best 120v Electric Garage Heaters
After an extensive research of the best garage heaters, here’s our list of the best five:
1. Dr. Infrared Heater DR998, 1500W
Is your garage too big and you want a heater that can warm the entire place as you paint or carry out any activity that requires much space?
Dr. Heater can heat up a spacious room, thanks to its dual heating system that delivers an ultra-fast heat transfer rate. This feature makes the DR998 deliver 60% more heat compared to other 1500W heaters.
Sick of dry winter air that makes your skin itchy and throat scratchy? No problem at all, as Dr. Heater comes with a built-in humidifier to release a cool mist in your garage space.
The oscillation function makes it even better – it distributes warmth all over the area faster and evenly. This feature makes the heater a good fit in summer as well because it can now operate as a fan with or without the humidifier.
The 120v electric garage heater has four durable caster wheels that allow you to move the equipment between rooms to warm them. The wheels can easily move on any floor surface, including carpets.
What's more, you can control the Dr. Infrared Heater from a distance. So, if you want to change the room's temperature, program the settings, or even shut it off, you can do it without leaving your comfortable, tucked-in position.
Want the heater to run for a specific number of hours? Yes, you can! You can set it up to run up to 12 hours after which it’ll automatically shut off after reaching the number of hours programmed.
Things We Liked
- Dual heating system
- Whisper-quiet operation
- 3-heat settings: low, high, and auto
- Programmable up to 12 hours
- Can function as a fan for sweltering summer months
Things We Didn’t Like
The unit can’t heat 1,000 Sq Ft as indicated.
2. AirNmore Comfort Deluxe with Copper PTC
Heating a cold room is vital, but the safety of the heater is another paramount factor. It’s good to have a garage space heater that won’t make you worried when you have a baby or pet playing around the room.
AirNmore Comfort Deluxe has been designed with the user safety in mind. The unit has high-quality dual heat sensors to limit high temperatures and ensure the heater is cold to touch. Thus, the unit’s exterior doesn’t get hot, making it child and pet safe.
In terms of technology, the Comfort Deluxe garage space heater is on a new level; it uses the latest Copper PTC heating element technology, resulting in a more efficient equipment.
The better part?
The technology eliminates the need for bulbs. In other words, no worry about having to replace the bulbs, which reduces the maintenance costs of this heater.
The deluxe heating feature has two power options: a high of 1500W or a low of 1000W. Depending on the size of your garage's space, you can choose a suitable option. This feature makes this space heater ideal for both large and small rooms in your office or home.
The auto reboot memory makes this 120v infrared garage heater the favorite for most users. In other words, if you had saved some settings and the power goes out, the heater will remember those settings for you.
Things We Liked
- Child and pet safe
- Low maintenance costs (no bulbs)
- Energy efficient
- Cool to the touch
- Particle filter to trap dust and protect the heater’s interior parts
Things We Didn’t Like
- It’s a bit louder than most infrared garage heaters.
- The temperature range is missing
3. Heat Storm HS-1500-PHX-WIFI Infrared Heater
If convenience and compactness are your strong suit, then you may want to take a good look at the Heat Storm HS-1500-PHX hanging garage heater.
The 120v electric garage heater is wall-mounted, which saves your floor space so you can store other equipment or add seats for a meeting, if it’s an office setting, for example. You can still use this unit in your bedroom or even kitchen.
When connected on a power outlet, you can hide the cord within the heater. The outcome is a neat and organized room devoid of distractions and hanging wires!
This infrared garage heater stays cool to the touch and it won’t overheat your wall. This feature adds an element of safety to your space, especially if you would like to unmount the unit from one room to the other.
The hanging garage heater is also Wi-Fi smart, which means you can control the unit right from your smartphone. Not only is the Wi-Fi easy to set up, but it remains connected while the heater is running and automatically reconnects in case of a power interruption.
Things We Liked
- Saves floor space
- Wi-Fi enabled
- Easy to install
- Safe to touch
- Quiet operation
Things We Didn’t Like
- Heater plug is hot to the touch when unplugging
- When the heater is plugged in but not running, a blue LED light is ever on, which can be distracting in the dark
4. Fahrenheat FUH Electric Heater for Basement, Garage, Warehouse, Factory, and Outdoor Use
Working in a large drafty space can be challenging for anyone, which is why you need an effective heater for that purpose. Use the Fahrenheat FUH heater to warm a cold store, garage, spacious basement, service station, and even outer spaces, such as patios. The heater has a built-in single pole thermostat, which adjusts between 45 and 135 degrees F.
One of the reasons people like this heater is that it’s easy to use. It comes with a ceiling mounting bracket for both horizontal and vertical mounting, or any other position that works for your space.
Want to warm a specific spot? No worries, as this radiant heater for the garage has adjustable louvers that allow you to aim the heat directly toward a particular area and change if necessary.
The Fahrenheat FUH heater has an output control with a high-level cutout to automatically shut off thus preventing overheating. When temperatures drop back to normal, the control reactivates the heater.
If the place is too chilly and you wish to adjust the heat level, you can set it using the built-in thermostat and deliver the required amount of warmth.
Things We Liked
- Easy to install
- Can warm a large space
- Compatible with most electrical systems
- Overheating protection
- Comes with a remote control
Things We Didn’t Like
- Some users have reported weak soldering on wires
5. Broan-NuTone 9815WH Grille Heater
You hastily prepare in the morning, take breakfast, head to the office, school, or work, sometimes even before the central heating system can heat the whole house. That sounds inefficient and spot heating is the solution.
And speaking of spot heating, the Broan-NuTone’s wall heater comes in handy when you want to warm up a chilly room. This garage space heater is perfect for entryways, lobbies, vestibules and other places that require high wattage heating. The unit is wired at 1500 watts at 120v, making it suitable for your home heating needs.
What’s more, the heater has a rapid warm up time, thanks to its efficient alloy heating element. This feature ensures that your space warms up in record time whenever the heater is on.
The motor is quiet and won't wake up a sleeping baby if you choose to heat up one of the spaces in your home. Besides, the motor is thermally protected so it can shut off in the case of overheating. There’s a transverse blower to circulate heated air downward for evenly warming of the room.
The radiant heater for the garage has a beautiful white grille that’s not only heat resistant, but also durable.
Things We Liked
- Rapid warm up time
- Heat resistant and durable grille
- Easy to install
- Permanently lubricated motors for low maintenance
- Quiet operation
Things We Didn’t Like
- Temperature display is missing
Choosing the Best Electric Heater That Your Garage Needs
When shopping for your garage's best electric heater, you'll definitely be needing a powerful, reliable machine that will serve your needs. You have to consider certain factors that will benefit you in the long run. These appliances are designed with other details you need to explore before making your investment.
Here are pointers to help you shop for an electric garage heater with the best functionality.
The Size of the Heater
Size is very important when choosing your electric garage heater. The heater size you're looking for will depend on how much garage space you want to heat, the climate, and the insulation level. A small garage will need a different radiator from a larger one. Remember also that an insulated garage is more energy-efficient than an uninsulated one.
Here's how to estimate the size of the electric heater for your garage:
First, measure your garage's length and width, then multiply them to get the room's total square footage. The average 2-car garage can be 22 by 22 feet (484 sq. ft.) or somewhere between 400 and 600 feet.
Check the insulation in your garage to see if the walls and ceiling finishing are insulated. If they are, you’ll use a smaller heater (with fewer BTU or watts). A garage with open rafters will accelerate heat loss.
Once you get the total square footage of your garage, divide it by 200. Multiply the answer you get by 9,000 to determine how much BTU or watts you’ll need for an uninsulated garage. If your garage is insulated, you can multiply the answer by 6,000. In terms of watts, the general rule of thumb is that when buying an infrared garage heater or any other type of electric garage heater, consider 10 watts for each square foot of your space. For example, the Dr. Infrared Heater DR998 has 1500 watts, meaning it can effectively and easily heat up a space of 150 square feet.
When buying your electric garage heater, find one with a BTU output matching the results above. For instance, if your garage is 484 square feet and uninsulated, calculate it as 484 ÷ 200 × 9,000 or 21,780. This means your ideal heater should have at least 21,780 BTU output.
Your heater's heat settings should be compatible enough to deliver the right amount of warmth your garage requires.
The Electric Heater Location
Your garage heater should be fitted in a convenient place to enable it direct heat to places you use most in your garage. For many, the central part of the garage is ideal, but if your workshop area is in another room, you can offset the machine to direct the airflow to a specific spot.
While considering your heater location, you may have to decide whether you prefer a ceiling or wall-mounted garage heater or a portable option.
The Safety Features of the Heater
The safest electric garage heaters have heavy-duty housing that keeps things that may cause fires away from the heating element. Some models will keep your hands far from the heat to reduce your risks of getting burned. You can also opt for a ceiling-mounted heater if you have pets or children. Don't also forget to look for models with overheat protection. These types of heaters often shut off when they overheat.
The heater’s tip-over and cool touch mechanism are vital if you want to keep everyone safe. After installing the electric heater in your garage, the chances are that it may trip, even so, when you have kids around. But thanks to technology, some machines are designed with a tip-over switch that activates and turns itself off when the heater tips over, shutting down all the working mechanism to keep everyone safe.
The cool touch feature is another safety feature that keeps the outer body cold when the heater is hot. This prevents the risks of getting burned. So when purchasing your garage heater, choosing one with these mechanisms will benefit you and your loved ones.
The Convenience of Control
Sometimes you want to be able to control your garage heater without distracting yourself from whatever you're doing. If you want a convenient product, look for one with features like remote control and digital displays, which allow you to control garage temperatures, adjust the thermostat or program the machine's heating to a particular duration before it turns itself off.
An adjustable thermostat will be of great help, especially if you live in an area that is cold most times of the year. You'll be able to adjust your electric heater's temperatures if you buy one with this feature. The thermostat will be sensing the temperature and adjusting the heat accordingly. A machine with a built-in thermostat will be beneficial to you at all times.
120v vs. 240v Electric Garage Heaters
Should you purchase a 120v or 240v heater? This is a question most people keep asking and while there are many good-meaning answers on online forums, most are misleading.
If you have two heaters, one 240v and the other one 120v, both having the same watts per Sq. Ft. (12w/sf is the industry standard), both products will use the same amount of power and watts.
The reason is the 120v system will draw twice the amps/Sq. Ft of the 240v system while the 240v system will draw half the amps/Sq. Ft of the 120v system. According to Ohm’s law, power equals to the product between voltage and current (amps).
For instance, if you’d like to heat 100 Sq. Ft room, both systems will use 1200 watts, and since we know the voltage, we can determine the current or amps for each unit.
The amps for the 240v heating unit = 1200 watts/240v = 5.0 amps.
The amps for the 120v heating unit = 1200 watts/120v = 10 amps.
Thus, while the 240v may seem to have twice the power, it produces the same quantity of heat per Sq. Ft as the 120v heating unit, heats up at just about the same rate and may cost approximately the same amount per Sq. Ft to heat your space.
We recommend that you use 120v electric garage heaters in spaces below 150 Sq. Ft and 240v heating units for spaces above 150 Sq. Ft. This is because a single thermostat has the ability to control 15 amps. Going with our earlier example, 120v can draw at least 15 amps across a 150 Sq. Ft space and so, manufacturers provide 240v heating units for bigger spaces.
More importantly, you want to ensure your garage space heater’s voltage matches the voltage of your power supply. This is particularly important if you want to replace your current heater.
If you mismatch the voltages, you’ll only receive 25% of the heat and it could be unsafe as well. For example, connecting a 240v heater to a 120v power supply will only give you 25% of heat which isn’t efficient.
(120v/240v)2 = 25%
On the other hand, connecting a 120v electric garage heater to a 240v power source is likely to overload the system, damaging the heater and its thermostat. It’ll also result in costly reinstallation.
(240v/120v)2 = 400%
But in some cases, you may be forced to mismatch the voltages between your heater and power source. The standard power supplies are 120v and 240v but some people’s indoor supplies have 208v rating. In such a case, you can connect a heater with a 240v to a 208 power supply. Note though, that the heat produced will be lower by 25%. In other words, the unit will run at 75% power.
(208/240)2 = 75%
Fixed Vs. Portable Electric Heaters
Electric garage heaters can be portable or fixed. The fixed design needs to be installed in a permanent location. They include ceiling, wall, and freestanding models and are created for large garage spaces. Mounting and wiring should be done well to make them work efficiently. So you'll have to engage the services of a professional electrician to install the unit.
Portable electric garage heaters are compact, and you can move them to any place in the garage as needed. The only drawback of these portable designs is that they do not have enough power to heat large garage spaces. They're only sufficient for smaller garages (at most 2-car garages). Most models are designed for ceiling or wall mounting to direct the heated air to particular areas.
Infrared Versus Forced Fan Electric Heaters
Electric garage heaters come in two types – infrared and forced fan. Depending on your preferences and needs, you’ll choose a type that best suits you.
Also known as radiant heaters, infrared heaters generate their heat by running the electrical current through infrared light bulbs that emit infrared light energy. This energy then radiates outward to heat the objects in its way. The infrared light energy is often invisible, and you'll not see the light, but you can feel the heat.
Forced Fan Heaters
Forced fan heaters are also called convection heaters. They generate heat when they run an electric current through coils that get hot. A fan will then blow air across the coils to distribute the heat around the room.
Both heaters have their pros and cons, so you’ll have to weigh your needs before choosing the best heater of the two.
Which type Is the Best for My Garage?
To find the best electric heater for your garage, you have to determine your needs first. What will you use the heater for? Do you need heat in the whole garage or a section of it?
If you aim to keep the entire garage warm, you can go for the forced fan heater. Since it uses convection to heat the air and distribute it in the room, it can keep your large spaces warm at all times.
But if you want your electric heater to serve a smaller space within your garage, the infrared heater will serve you better. Infrared heaters emit heat by radiating it outward. This means it only heats those objects in the heater's direct path. They can only keep small spaces warm.
Safety Precautions for Electric Garage Heaters
Electric garage heaters can generate large amounts of heat. With continual usage, they may overheat and damage the unit or even start fires. If not well maintained, they can also cause other adverse effects. It’s best to keep all flammable objects like oil and gas bottles, and fuel sources far away from your electric heater. Some high-end models come with built-in overheat protection features that shut it off when temperatures get too high.
Portable heaters that aren't mounted can tip over when you bump into them, causing damage to the unit or even starting a fire. Keep the electrical heater in a secure place where there's no foot traffic or any other movement. You can also get a technician to mount them on the ceiling or wall to avoid the possibility of knocking it over. Although they come with tip-over systems, it's better to take precautions with fire risks.
The heaters can be warm or very hot to the touch at times, which can burn you or any other family member. Some models have cool-touch systems, but it's better to be cautious in order to avoid getting burned.
Tips for Efficient Garage Heating
You can get your ideal electric garage heater, but you also have to take other measures in order to keep your garage safe and heat it efficiently, especially if you have other things in the room. Here are tips to help you.
Have Your Garage Insulated
Understandably, your garage was not built to be warm. So when you decide that you need an electric heater, you should have the garage insulated to prevent the heat from escaping. Insulation will keep the temperatures warm without the heat escaping.
Choose the Right Type of Heater
Before you buy your heater, make sure it's the best electric garage heater you need - one that will adequately heat your garage. Check the features and specifications against your needs and preferences to make sure you've got the right product. Read through all the details and get affirmation before you decide.
Don’t Forget the Doors and Windows
When insulating your garage, don’t leave out the windows and doors. If you can afford it, get garage door openers that come with insulation kits for door protection. Your garage may not be able to keep warm if the heat is escaping through the doors and windows.
Maintenance for Electric Garage Heater
Once you have your heater in the garage, you have to ensure it continues working optimally so it can serve you for longer. That’s why its maintenance is vital. Here’s how to keep your electric garage heater functional at all times;
- During use, dust particles and other debris may settle on the heater, and if left to accumulate for long, the heater may malfunction. You can dust it once every week to get rid of all the foreign particles.
- If the heater has grime, you should wipe it away using a damp microfiber towel and dishwashing liquid.
- Vacuum all the fans, grilles, or vents regularly to clear the airflow.
- If you notice the reflector is rusty from accumulated dust, scrub the surface or use rust remover to remove the rust.
Benefits of Having the Electric Garage Heater
More people continue to install heating systems in their garages because of the benefits they provide. Built with advanced technology, garage heaters are now more effective and safer to keep in your garage. Ideally, your garage needs the best electric garage heater so you can enjoy the benefits it offers.
Here are additional benefits you can enjoy if you get a garage heater right away:
You’ll have a More Comfortable Working Area
You probably have turned your garage into a remarkable space for working on your cars or home renovations. So you spend long hours doing what you love most in there. Although you have adequate lighting, it is not enough to keep your workspace warm and comfortable, especially during cold climates. A heater will keep the room warm, and you’ll work in your garage for as long as you can without freezing.
You’ll Prevent Damage from Freezing Temperatures
Freezing temperatures can damage most of your car parts, including the battery. Any other appliances and components you have in your garage will not be spared either. But if you have a heater, you can protect all the hardware and other possessions you have in the garage by keeping them at optimal temperatures.
You’ll Be Adhering to the Neighborhood Code
If your homeowner's association or neighborhood code demands that you install a heater in your garage, it is best to comply. But that's not all you'll be doing. Having a heater will also protect your home from the wear and tear of harsh weather conditions. Your family and pets will also be kept warm at all times.
You’ll Make Future Renovations Easier
In the future, when you decide to transform your garage space into a living room or an extra bedroom, having installed a heater will make the renovation process easy. You’ll not need to install a heater to keep the space warm, which will save you time and money when making any future developments.
FAQS On Best Electric Garage Heater
When investing in your electric garage heater, you need as much information about the product as possible. A lot has been covered in the buying guide, but you might still have some questions you need answers to as listed below:
Are Electric Garage Heaters Safe?
Electric garage heaters are very safe, thanks to new technology. They are integrated with safety features that activate the safe mode when it’s needed. So yes, electric heaters are safe and very much reliable.
Average Electric Garage Heater Cost？
A better-performing 120v electric garage heater with exceptional features may cost a little bit more, but it’ll offer you comfort for longer. It’ll also provide you with greater efficiency and consistency. The average price for a standard electric garage heater will range anywhere from $100 to $400.
Where in the Garage Should I Place My Electric Heater?
To place your electric heater strategically in your garage, find the coldest area in the room. Then evaluate the distance between the ceiling and the floor and put the heater at the corner to allow air to circulate well throughout the room. Make sure the heater is seven feet above the floor and far from any combustible objects.
When shopping around for the best electric garage heater, it's easy to get confused with the many choices you're presented with. In the end, the heater you'll settle for will be determined by factors like durability, ease of use, adjustability, type of installation, your garage heating needs, and more. The electric heaters in this review are among the best that will provide the warmth you need while working in your garage in cold weather. They have excellent features and functionalities, are safe, and will work efficiently.