Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: June 17, 2021
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Propane heaters are a safe and efficient energy-saving solution to your garage heating problems. They use propane fuel to produce heat energy that insulates your garage from the external winter cold all season. Although there is other indoor heating equipment such as kerosene and electric heaters, neither are as efficient as the propane heater. It is cleaner than the kerosene heater and taps more power than the electric heater which also needs a plug to function, unlike the propane heater, making it quite portable and economical.
However, deciding on the best garage propane heater for your needs may be tough, as manufacturers have realized the utility factor that the propane heater has over its alternatives, and so now a wide variety of propane heaters exist on the market. Lucky for you, we have gathered all the best heaters in this article. After long hours that culminated into days going through product descriptions, as well as user and expert reviews, we came up with the following list of the best propane garage heaters in different categories. In our quest for the best, we considered factors, such as BTU and coverage, runtime and size, mount-ability and portability, together with value for money among other things, to ensure that these heaters suit the basic household needs of the common user.
As you continue to read this article, you will not only get a glimpse at the best garage propane heaters on the market today, displayed in the table below and reviewed in detail further down the article, but also learn more about propane heaters from the buying guide. That includes how to seek out the factors that matter when buying one for yourself, or how to utilize one effectively to serve you best.
The Mr. Heater F274830 is designed to provide the ultimate safety and efficiency, making it the most popular propane heater in North America. The 4,000-18,000 BTU heater sports two 1lb. cylinders that enable it to achieve a longer runtime. It also has an integrated fan that enhances the heating capacity of this liquid propane heater which applies a combination of radiant and convection heat styles for better and more comfortable heat distribution within the room. It also has two swivel regulators that broaden your propane supply options from the disposable cylinder to a remote gas supply.
Mr. Heater F274830 is also popular due to its portability feature. It is designed to heat enclosed spaces providing comfortable heating for up to 450 square feet. And you can regulate the heat using the easy-to-use Hi-Mid-Low heat settings.
On the safety aspect, the Mr. Heater F274830 performs exceptionally well. It spots an Oxygen Depletion Sensor and accidental tip-over automatic shut-off. Nonetheless, this propane heater aside from being efficient and safe is also quite affordable for a heater of its standards.
Why are we impressed?
ODS safety mechanism that enables automatic low oxygen shut-off systems
Two propane cylinders that give it a longer runtime
The Dyna-Glo propane heater is here as the best forced-air propane heater and for a good reason. It sports a BTU level of 300,000, enabling it to heat a space of up 7,000 square feet. With that level of heat coverage, the Dyna-Glo Fan-Forced Propane Heater can be used not only in large enclosures but also in external work areas including agricultural buildings, industrial workspaces, and construction sites among others. It also features a 100 lb propane tank which fuels its high-intensity heating system.
This propane heater also offers efficiency with its portability alongside its hose assembly and electronic ignition features that enable easy installation and a quick start-up. It also offers you control as it is equipped with adjustable heat angles for convenience.
The Dyna-Glo Fan-Forced Propane Heater is also designed for safety as it is equipped with an automatic shut-off feature in the unlikely event of overheating.
What makes it special?
Very high BTU of up to 300,000 units
Utile for both indoor and outdoor use
Wide coverage of up to 7,000 square feet
Electronic ignition that prevents delayed start-up
The Mr. Heater MH40LP is a hot product both figuratively and literally. With its BTU level, which reaches 40,000 units, it is legible to heat an indoor space of up to 1000 square feet easily. One stand-out feature in its design is its infrared heating technology that makes this propane heater heat people or objects directly unlike other propane heaters. This makes it more efficient in conserving and adequately utilizing heat energy.
The Mr. Heater MH40LP also spots smooth operation quality with an odorless and noiseless running. However, this propane heater is the only utile in ceilinged rooms preferably at a height range of 12-15 feet, so this is not one for the basements. Also, make sure your garage lighting system, as well as the garage door opener, leave enough space for installing this unit.
Why is it special?
Infrared heat technology
Clean, quiet and odorless running
High BTU of up to 40,000 BTUs
Comes with thermostat for eased control
Covers a large indoor space heating of up to 1000 square feet
The Mr. Heater F232000 is yet another North American favorite which shares plenty of similarities with our best all-around pick. And just like its counterpart, this ventless propane garage heater is designed to offer safety and convenience. For one, it is quite portable with its size and exterior design that includes a carrying fold-down handle making it easy to move around with. The 4,000-9,000 BTU heater is utile in warming up small garage spaces and can comfortably cover a maximum space of 225 square feet.
It also spots utile safety features including an accidental tip over and low oxygen automatic shut-off systems.
Mr. Heater F232000 is equipped with the Piezo sparking mechanism for easy ignition. It also has a swivel regulator that allows you the convenience of adapting from a disposable cylinder to a remote gas supply. The unit is so compact (at only 7.7 x 13.4 x 15 inches) that you can easily place it on one of the shelves of your garage storage system.
What makes it special?
Automatic accidental tip-over and low oxygen shut-off systems
For a portable radiant heater, the Mr. Heater MH35LP is quite utile especially in heating relatively larger spaces including the outdoors. It spots a BTU level of up to 35,000 units which is quite high for a portable heater and can heat up to 875 square feet. This heater is also quite convenient given that it operates so smoothly alleviating any issues of noise or unwanted odors as it provides you warmth.
Regarding safety, this heater is equipped with a thermoelectric safety valve and a tip-over safety shut-off system, so you do not have to worry about any fire accidents.
However, it will require a 20-pound propane cylinder which unfortunately does not come with the product.
What are its best features?
Tip over safety automatic shut off
High BTU of 35,000 units
Wide coverage of up to 875 square feet
Quiet and odorless operation
What could be improved?
Requires a 20lb propane cylinder bought separately
This portable forced-air garage heater spot features that make it ideal for efficient and comfortable warmth supply. It is quite hot, featuring a BTU range of between 75,000 to 125,000 units, thus making it utile for large spaces as well, including the outdoors, take for instance a construction site.
Speaking of space, the Mr. Heater MH35LP heat covers a maximum of 3,125 square feet with ease. It also spots a split barrel design that allows for ease of maintenance.
This forced-air liquid propane heater also comes with standard Quiet Burner Technology making it 50% quieter than the average quiet propane heater. It is also equipped with a ten-feet hose, a regulator, thermoelectric safety valves and high limit switches to enable convenience and a safe performing of its function.
Why is it special?
Large space coverage of up to 3,125 square feet
Up to 125,000 BTU
High-temperature limit switch making it safe
Quiet Burner technology
What are the flaws?
Things to Consider
We may have given you the best propane heaters on the market from different categories, but that does not necessarily make it easy to go online or the nearest store and just pick one to use. That is because it does not only have to be the best on the market but be the best for you. This is the only way to ensure that the propane heater that you end planting in that cabin, basement, or garage best serves your needs and interests.
Mountable vs portable
Different propane heaters come with different options of either being mounted or being portable. Both these installation options have their merit, which all depends on you – the user – and the environment in which you would like a particular garage heater to perform for you in.
Mounting garage heaters usually are designed strictly for indoor spaces. In our review list, we have the Mr. Heater #MH40LP which is designed to be mounted on ceilings. This shows a specific installation area (a ceilinged room) thus this kind of garage heater cannot be used outside or even in a basement.
Portable garage heaters, on the other hand, widen your options because they enable you to change their location as conveniently as you please. Consider the BTU of the portable heater you choose, and you can utilize it in different locations more efficiently. For instance, the Mr. Heater F271390 with a 125,000 BTU can work in different external environments including construction sites and agricultural buildings whereas the Mr. Heater F232000 with a 9,000 BTU works quite well to heat the different rooms in your home, camping tents, or even portable garages.
The bottom line is, consider the use you want whether it is singular (mountable heater) or variable (portable heater) then make a pick.
Radiant Vs Forced-Air Propane Heaters
A radiant heater is designed to heat objects directly, and so its effectiveness depends on its positioning with the garage or room it is set in. Unlike the radiant heater, the forced-air heater is meant to heat the air within the environment to generate the required warmth.
These distinct specs in the characteristics mentioned make it imperative that you first consider the size and nature of the area that needs to be heated before determining what type of heater will be utile for it in terms of heat type.
Radiant heaters given their design are therefore meant to warm up a small room. Thus they have relatively low BTUs as you can see in the case of the Mr. Heater F274830 heater, for instance. On the other hand, the forced-air propane heaters with high BTUs, such as the Dyna-Glo Fan-Forced Propane Heater, are designed to heat large areas including the outdoors.
You should also consider the fact that by virtue of the different BTUs, the different kinds of garage heaters consume distinct amounts of energy and thus have relative runtimes. The radiant heaters, for instance, consume less and therefore have longer runtimes compared to forced-air heaters whose case is opposite.
British thermal unit (BTU)
The British thermal unit, better known as BTU, is the standard measure of heat energy in the system of Imperial Units. The BTU standard measurement system is based on a relevant object’s ability to generate the amount of heat which is necessary to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. This is the concept applied to the measurement of the heat intensity of propane heaters.
It is important that you know what BTU range is suitable for your garage or any indoor space that you need to be heated based on the size in square feet.
This helps to ensure that the propane heater you buy works in the most efficient and effective way possible to achieve its purpose. Of course, you do not want to overheat that little room you so need to be warm or get inadequate heating for that garage or cabin because you bought the wrong propane heater.
The following calculation procedure can guide your buying process. Here is how to calculate the BTU per square foot in order to determine the propane heater that you need relevant to your available space, courtesy of WikiHow.
Step 1. Establish the Square Footage
For the room in which you intend to set-up the propane heater, you need to evaluate and establish its size by calculating its square feet. To do this, the primary starting point is determining the shape of the floor space that makes the room. Then the shape can be used to make the square feet calculation. Here are some simple formulas you can use:
Rectangle and square – length multiplied by width
Triangle – length multiplied by width then divided by two
Circle – 3.14 multiplied by the square of the radius (distance from the center of the room to the edge of it)
We acknowledge, however, that some rooms are not built in conventional shape structures. If you find yourself in such a scenario, you can divide the area into more relatable shapes from which you can make your calculation and later on add together.
Step 2. Determine the heat capacity as per square foot
Using the BTU figure labeled on the propane heater that you intend to buy you should multiply that figure to the square feet figure acquired in step 1 above.
Note that the BTU labeled on heating equipment usually account on the units per hour. And so whatever figure you arrive at after these two simple steps becomes the amount of heat energy covering each square foot of the intended room per hour.
In the case of the above-reviewed propane heaters, there are BTUs ranging from as low as 4,000 BTU to as high as 125,000 BTU. This clearly shows the distinctive range of heat energy emitted by the different heaters. And therefore, helps in determining the room size each would be most effective in. To give you more of a perspective in this article we see that Mr. Heater F232000 (4,000-9,000 BTU) is equipped to handle a maximum floor space of up to 225 square feet whereas the Dyna-Glo Fan-Forced Propane Heater (300,000 BTU) is legible to heat up to 7,000 square feet.
Also, pay attention to the fact that warm air can seep out through leaky doors. A good way to prevent it is garage door insulation. By insulating all the leaks and cracks, you can be sure that your heater doesn’t heat the outdoor space.
While conducting our research on propane heaters, we realized an inverse correlation in the runtime factor to the BTU of any particular propane heater. To put into perspective, compare these two garage heaters as reviewed above; Mr. Heater F271390 with a 125,000 BTU and 11 hours runtime and Mr. Heater F274830 with 18,000 BTU and a week plus runtime. In their comparison, we realize that the higher the BTU the lower the runtime and vice versa. This is because of the energy output in relation to the amount being preserved.
And so, when looking at the runtime as a factor in your buying guide, the question you then need to ask yourself is, what aspect of warmth do you want more, longevity or intensity?
The size of the warranty expresses the manufacturers’ confidence in the ability of the product they have made to perform and last a good long while as it delivers. In cases where you are tied down by indecision, where the qualities cancel each other out between two products the warranty figure suffices quite well as a tiebreaker. Take for instance the best propane heaters mentioned above, most of which have a one-year warranty. But one, Mr. Heater #MH40LP stands out with a total three-year warranty which definitely gives it an upper hand in proving its reliability as a garage heater.
When all the qualities you want on a propane garage heater check out, yet you have not yet narrowed down that choice list to one, the extra features come into play. The extra features are the manufacturers’ way of improving the convenience in the service that their product provides. This convenience may come in many forms including safety and ease to use or even easy to install just to mention a few. It can add to the cost, however, so make sure these features are necessary. Also, consider getting a good garage alarm to keep your heater and other appliances safe. Here are some of the extra features that make propane garage heaters more convenient.
Thermostat, which eases thermal control to allow you to regulate the room temperature
Oxygen Depletion System mechanism, which is a system that makes the heater automatically shut-off to enhance your indoor safety – this is a great feature if you have a ventless propane garage heater, as it’ll ensure the safest experience
Tip-over automatic shut-off, which switches the machine off automatically if it is accidentally tipped over. This safety mechanism helps to reduce the possibility of fire
In the event that the above section of the article has not been helpful in your quest for knowledge on propane garage heaters then here are some frequently asked questions about this topic that will hopefully help you out:
Yes, it is completely safe, especially considering that most manufacturers design propane heaters with safety mechanisms. However, it is important to consider certain safety measures such as: keeping combustible materials away from the heater and making sure that the room is sufficiently aerated to allow combustion.
Propane heaters, especially the efficient ones, are designed to be as quiet as they can. However, if you hear any noise, try to determine what kind of sound it is because that may be an indication of a problem more so with your propane tank.
Propane is a very flammable substance with the potential of not only causing a fire but also an explosion. It is therefore important to consider the necessary precautions to prevent any possibility of a fire accident. Beware of gas leaks, and make sure combustible materials are kept away from the heater.
The standard measure is usually a fresh air opening of at least 3 square feet for every 100,000 BTU output of a heated room.
Based on the above reviewed best propane garage heaters here is our top three. Our top favorite is Mr. Heater F274830. This radiant heater has been designed to offer convenience and safety. It is quite portable given its size and exterior easy-to-carry design. It is also equipped with safety systems and above all is its incredible runtime making it utile for a great variable uses including camping. Dyna-Glo RMC-FA125DGD is our second favorite propane heater given its high BTU which is adjustable. Add the portability factor as well and you have yourself a propane heater that can be used anywhere. Third on the top three has to be Mr. Heater #MH40LP which is not only designed with advanced infrared heating technology but also operates quietly and with no odors. It also has a high BTU and thus vast coverage for indoor heating which is easily adjustable using the thermostat that it comes with. Not forgetting its 3-year limited warranty which is the highest on this review list and many others. All in all, these might be our favorites but not yours, anyway, the rest of this article should be helpful in guiding to finding the best propane garage heater for you.