There are quite a few propane garage heater options available today. Here we will look at some of the best options around so that you can decide what type of propane garage heater will work best for your individual situation. Factors that will influence your decision will be the size of your garage, ventilation, cost, comfort and frequency of use. In this article we are going to compare the three main choices that could be used in your garage. They are radiant heaters like those that would go atop a propane tank, portable forced air propane heaters (the ones with the tube-like construction) and finally, convection type propane heaters for your garage.
Tank Top Radiant Heaters
These are probably the least expensive options. They run from $40 to $60 for a single tank top unit and from $85 to $100 for a dual tank top unit (has two radiant burners, not two tanks). They also have ones with three radiant burners in a row that can cost around $120. So whatever the number of burners you like, they are very inexpensive and very cheaply made as well, these are not very sturdy units that probably wouldn’t fair well in an area where it is likely to get banged around from time to time.
As far as effectiveness, they can work quite well actually, the single burner units generally put out up to 14,000 BTU while double headers put out up to 28,000 BTU and triple tops put out about a maximum of 42,000 BTU. So their heating capability puts them in line as a great choice for those that don’t quite need the power of a propane forced air heater and don’t want to spend the money on one either.
Portable Propane Forced Air Heaters
These are the types of heaters that you often see on construction sites for “heat in a hurry” type situations or in warehouses where they only want to heat a particular section instead of the entire warehouse. They are very powerful heaters and come in several sizes ranging from as low as 30,000 BTU and all the way up to over 200,000 BTU.
These need ventilation, so may not be perfect for a garage that is left close all the time. You would need to leave the door open at least part way to provide adequate ventilation in most cases. You would want to refer to the manufacturer’s specific directions for proper operating instructions of course, but this will give you an idea of what to expect. They could be perfect for some of you who only go out and work in the garage occasionally, but for everyday use, a mounted convection heater would be more efficient and safe.
However, these monsters will keep you warm in a three car garage in the middle of winter if you have a unit that puts out over 125,000 BTU. They are meant to keep the specific area that you are working in warm. So you can put it on the opposite side of the garage from where you will be working and point it towards you and you will be nice and toasty!
Don’t get too close though, they can be a touch dangerous if you are not careful not to get close to the hot end and you do not want to have any items too close to it while it is running either. Portable propane forced air heaters can cost anywhere from $100 to $500 depending on the size and the brand.
Propane Convection Heaters
These are more for the person who works out in the garage a lot or spends a great deal of time in the garage. If you want to heat the garage for an extended period of time and frequently, this would be a great choice for your garage. Some of these types of heaters are also referred to as “blue flame heaters”.
The vent free types in particular have a heating range from 10,000 BTU for a smaller unit and about 30,000 BTU for a larger unit. The smaller models can cost around $129 while the larger vent free models cost about $225. These make a good heater for people that want to keep their garage heated for longer periods of time. While they are not as powerful as some of the forced air heaters, they are meant to heat the garage more slowly and maintain a certain temperature rather than to heat it instantly.
Other types of convection heaters are forced air models that require ventilating and are commonly ceiling mounted. These types can provide a lot more heat faster and can put out from 45,000 to 75.000 BTU in most cases. They are the most permanent type of installation and require the most work to install, but are also the most efficient and best performing heaters available for your garage. The ceiling mounted vented propane convection heaters cost from around $500 to upwards of $900. If you work in the garage for a living in the winter, these are the way to go.
That pretty much covers the three most practical options for heating your garage. Hopefully you will be able to make a more informed decision now. Don’t keep yourself out in the cold.