Garage is not just a place to park your car. You can still use it to store your farm tools, carpentry, and even work from there. Making sure that your garage is warm enables you to work comfortably even during winter. Most garages however do not have the 220 volts outlets capable of powering commercial heaters. Therefore, this leaves the 120V electric garage heater as the commonest heaters in most households. Also, these heaters are more convenient in terms of space and efficiency. They can be mounted permanently or placed strategically such that it can move around.
If you are looking for a 120V heater to warm your garage, we have done comprehensive research about several brands. The information below will help you make the best choice from a large pool of these products. In as much as all garage heaters aim at eliminating cold for you, there are many other basic details you should consider.
Types of 120v Electric Garage Heater
Electrical Garage heaters belong to two broad categories. The classification is based on the mode of heating and portability. On portability basis, there are subgroups; fixed and portable.
- Fixed Garage Heaters : These heaters are permanently mounted on the wall or on the ceiling with fasteners. Mostly, fixed heaters are hard-wired to the electrical system. So, to install them, you might need professional assistance to assemble them.
- Portable Garage Heaters : Portable garage heaters are the easiest and most convenient for warming your garage. Instead of mounting them permanently, they are placed on strategic positions and they can be moved around. In most cases, they don’t require assembling. You just purchase and plug it to start using. Under this category is where most of the 120V electric garage heater fall.
Classification Based On The Mode Of Heating Leads To Three Subcategories:
- Radiant Heaters : Radiant heating is the most popular mode of heating in garage heaters. They use electromagnetic waves to transfer heat to the objects lying on their path. Transfer of heat to only objects makes these heaters more convenient and effective especially in large spaces. They also generate heat quickly. The major drawback associated with radiant heaters is that they are more expensive compared to other types. The most popular example of radiant heaters are the infrared garage heaters.
- Convective Heaters : They rely on high resistance electric elements. A current heat up as it passes through this resistant element. The warm air is then thrust out to the cold room and replaced with the cold air from outside. The convectional circulation of air in and out of the heater keeps the room constantly warm. For increased efficiency, some heaters use built-in fans to quickly push air out and even distribution in the room.
- Micathermic (Mica) Heaters : Mica heaters use a special heat-conducting stone called mica. It is this stone that surrounds the heating element which is more powerful than that used I convective heaters. Mica plays very critically in the functioning of this heater. It helps in transferring the heat from the heating element to all parts of the room. Also, when heated it generates electromagnetic waves. These help to increase the warmth in the room. Basically, mica heaters have both radiant and convective heat.
How Do I Choose a 120V Electric Garage Heater?
When purchasing your garage heater, there are basic features you should put into consideration. These will guide you to make the best choice depending on your needs. They include;
- Size : The size of your room should greatly influence the size of your heater. If you buy a too large hater when your garage is small-sized a lot of energy will be wasted. On the other hand, a small heater isn’t effective for a large garage either. Therefore, you should go to a heater that best suits your garage size.
- Efficiency : You should test the efficiency of the heater before purchasing it. Make sure that its output equals that claimed by the manufacturer. It will save you from spending a lot of money on a non-efficient heater. You can also base your assessment on customer reviews; these give you a glimpse of the product’s efficiency. A product with many negative reviews is worth avoiding at all costs lest the next will be yours.
- Price -to-Feature Ratio : Weigh the cost of a heater and compare it with the features. An efficient heater with advanced features may cost you more. These go hand in hand. These guarantee more comfort and a long lifespan. Although this doesn’t mean that all cheap heaters are not efficient, it will all come down to the level of efficiency and comfort you want. There are very efficient heaters that cost cheaply. All you need to do is cautious and informed to get a product equivalent to your money. Some shops may want to exploit you and face disappointments later when the heater doesn’t perform to your expectation.
Based on the parameters above and others, we have compiled a comprehensive list of the best electric heaters below;
Top 10 Best Editor’s Choice 120v Electric Garage Heater
1. KING PSH1215T Yellow Jacket Portable Shop Heater
KING PSH 1215T is a portable heater that you can use for supplemental warmth at shops or workstation. The heater is durable and affordable compared to other complex heaters especially the fixed ones. It has a flow-through compartment through which the heat circulates and the air is pulled from the back part and dissipated at the front.
The heater also features a high-temperature detector that shuts off the heater when it detects overheating. Its adjustable thermostat helps to regulate the temperatures automatically. For portability purposes, the KING PSH 1215T comes with a six-foot cord. The other essential features include the switch, a lubricated motor, and an adjustable grip handle.
- The auto-reset safety feature prevents overheating.
- The LED indicator helps to know the state of the heater.
- Adjustable handle makes it more portable.
- The 1,500watt rating makes it usable in various spaces.
- KING PSH 1215T gives the best results only in small garages.
2. Black + Decker Utility 1500-Watt Heater
This is another very portable heater that you carry out for warming small garages. Even though it is small in size, Black + Decker has very high heat output. Its rugged design makes it a good fit in limited floor space areas. It also has a handle that aids its portability when moving from one point to another.
Its lower part is designed to tilt to adjust the airflow as per the user’s need. The heat settings allow you to switch it from high power which is 1500watts to low 750watts. You can also use it as an air conditioner if you switch the fan mode on.
The aluminum heating element provides high heat production and transfer. Also, it is equipped with an overheating protector to safeguard users. Additionally, it is a lightweight unit measuring about 13lbs and 15 X 13 X14 inches.
- High heating power of 1500 watt.
- Its handle enhances its portability
- Automatic overheating shutoff feature safeguards the users.
- You can use it as both a heater and a fan.
- Operates best in small garages
- The handles are not adjustable
3. Homegear 1500-Watt Infrared Portable Electric Heater
This is one of the most popular heaters. The reason is that it is a micathermic heater which is very effective. It uses infrared tubes and mica to produce power and uninterruptable heat.
Thanks to its high wattage, Home gear heater can be used even in larger spaces of up to 1500 square feet. The fan facilitates a fast flow of air through the intended area. For temperature control, it has a digital thermostat. This makes it one of the best garage heaters as this is a great additional feature.
Another important feature that comes with this heater is the led display. It helps in climate motoring in the garage plus the automatic shutoff technology in case of overheating.
It is certified by both ETL and cETL requiring on 13A to operate. Its size is also small measuring 12X13X17 inches and a weight of 11.5lbs.
- It can effectively warm a large garage of up to 1500 square feet.
- Uses mica and quart hearting methods
- It is certified by global laboratories.
- Wattage of 5100 BTU is high enough for heat dissipation.
- Experiences jerks often.
- Not very portable
4. Maxx Air HeTR Outdoor Rated Ceiling or Wall Mount Infrared Heater with Remote
It is another popular garage heater as you don’t need ground space to mount it. This heater comes with a mounting bracket that you can use to hang it on the wall or a BENCH. One of its outstanding features is the ability to switch it on and off remotely. It is a fixed type of heater so you won’t have to move it around.
The good thing about this heater is that it is tested and certified by ETL lab as safe for use. It’s also one of the easiest heaters to set up.
- It is safe as it is certified by ETL lab.
- Easy to set mount and assemble.
- Has a remote control feature.
- Doesn’t need ground space as you can mount it on the wall or the ceiling.
- It’s not portable
- Have many peripherals.
5. Infrared Heater 1500W Carbon Infrared Heater
This another portable garage heater that comes with beautiful features. It uses two heating mechanisms i.e. the quart and PTC and this helps reduce power consumption. This makes it one of the most power-efficient heaters. Unlike most other heaters, this heater generates clean and odorless heat that doesn’t have a drying effect on the air.
You can either mount it on the wall or hang it on a ceiling. If you want to use it outside, it’s coated with aluminum, therefore it can still operate there without any possible damage.
- It is equipped with auto energy save feature.
- Can be controlled with an infrared remote
- Have three heat output options.
- Its thermostat is not very reliable.
- It produces noise when on.
6. Electric Heater, 1500W Portable Ceramic Space Heater
This is another amazing portable garage heater to consider. With this, it has taken effectiveness to another level. It is so effective as it is made of VO frame resistance materials that protect it against overheating. This helps it to automatically shut off in case the temperature exceeds the limit value. It also has wide angled legs with large air outlets that allows it to heat within 2 seconds, allowing hot air to blow out as it distributes heat evenly around your garage. It brows and distributes hot air up to 180 ft wide.
Additionally, the device is extremely conducive to use around your garage. This is because it is designed with extremely quiet fans that emit less noise. Its heating panel does not omit annoying red lights that are harmful to your eyes.
- It is made of overheating protection materials making it safe for use.
- It’s quiet and conducive.
- It’s portable hence convenient to use.
- It is a multi-purpose heater to use both in the garage, office, and home due to its stylish design.
- It’s not mountable on walls/ ceilings.
7. NewAir NGH160GAOO Electric and Portable Garage Heater
Your list cannot be complete without the mention of this amazing model. It’s among the best garage heaters to consider thanks to its amazing features. It comes with an internal thermostat with an automated shutoff feature that shuts it off automatically to avoid overheating. This makes it hazard-free.
It also has a convenient tilting feature to ensure heat is evenly distributed across every side of your garage. It can tilt and distribute hot air across 160 ft wide. Its durable ability is on another level. Thanks to its heavy, strong, and durable shell that makes it rigid against harsh conditions.
- It is light in weight for soft portability.
- It is made of rigid and durable materials.
- It’s flexible. Thanks to its 120v, this gadget makes it possible to connect to any outlet around you.
- Doesn’t use batteries hence no power backup.
8. 4900 Lasko Pro Performance High-Velocity Utility Garage Electric Heater
As the name suggests, this device is a pro when it comes to heating up your garage. It is small in size, regardless it’s super powerful in blowing out hot air at a speed of 3 high velocity.
This high velocity blower is not only perfect in omitting hot air on cold, wet or dump garages, but also perfect in distributing cold air to cool off your extremely hot garage.
- Has a wide pivoting head to evenly distribution of air.
- it has inbuilt handles to easily carry around.
- Its 120v makes it compatible with many power outlets.
- It’s not as effective as an air conditioner when cooling off your garage.
9. 198TMC TPI Corporation Portable Garage Electric Heater
This is another amazing durable heater suitable to use both as a heater or cooler thanks to its fan-forced and radiant elements of heating. It comes with adjustable settings to set and control its warmth as per your desire. Above that, TPI is light in weight hence easy to carry around. It also made of robust and durable steel coats making it corrosion, scratch, and shockproof.
Fretless about noise because its fan emirs less noise hence conducive for your garage. It also comes along with 3 ‘6 inch long 120v power codes hence compatible with several outlets.
- Suitable to use in garages, offices, industries, warehouses, etc.’
- It’s made of strong and durable materials.
- Not very suitable for outdoor activities.
10. TPI Corporation 178 TMC Fan Forced Portable Garage Electric Heater
We will close our list with this amazing, easy to install, and control fan heater. It is also light in weight thus easily portable, made of durable materials that guarantee its longevity.
It comes with two different heat setups, 6 inch long cords, and automatic thermal control. This makes it effective, convenient, and safe to use.
- It’s safe to use.
- It’s light and easy to carry around.
- Easy to install.
- Only suitable for small rooms.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a 120v Electric Garage Heater
- Wattage/BTU : The fact that you are shopping for a 120V garage heater doesn’t mean all of them are rated the same. Different units have different wattages and others in terms of British thermal units (BTU). You’ll find 120V electric garage heater rated at 1500, 1200, 2500 wattages, etc. Therefore, it’s prudent to consider the rating you want before making your choice. Note that; the higher the unit wattage/BTU, the great the heat value.
- Size of the garage : The size of your garage plays important role in the choice of your heater. A heater required to warm a 500 Square feet room isn’t the same as for 200 square feet. If you are looking to heat a room between 400 to 600 square feet, a 120V rated at 1,500 watts is enough. Other factors such as insulations and ceilings should also be included. The good thing is that the garage heaters display their commended coverage area.
- Ease of installation : In terms of installation, you should consider whether you want to use the DIY method or professional technician. The fixed garage heaters are always the hardest to install and you’ll need to hire a qualified technician. If you don’t want to incur such extra costs, you may go for the portable ones. These are easy to install as they are not hard-wired.
- Convenience controls : Features that give you more control over your garage heater are worth considering. These include the digital displays, remote controls, and timers. These give you the freedom to control your garage temperatures conveniently. The digital displays give you the heater levels and it’s easy to make your adjustments. The remote control feature helps you to regulate the garage climate while not physically present. The timers allow you to program the heating hours after which the heater powers itself off automatically.
- Safety features : This being an electrical device, safety should be a top priority. A major hallmark of all electrical equipment should be recognition by global laboratories such as CSA, ETL, or UL. Besides certification, check for safety features that enhance safe operation. These may include but not limited to anti-tip protection, overheating protection, thermostat regulators, etc.
- Electric Garage Heater Maintenance : After you’ve installed your heater, the next thing should be proper maintenance. It helps to keep you’re your unit working to the expectation and giving the best results. Below are some of the best options you can consider to keep your heater in excellent shape;
- Dusting : In the process of working heaters tend to accumulate lots of dust particles. Convective heaters especially are the most notorious in dust harboring. The convectional air circulation brings in a lot of dust in the device. To remove these particles and maintain your heater in a health state, you should dust it at least once every week. Also, depending on where it’s used, even if you do more than once it’s still okay.
- Remove grime : Just like dust, soot can greatly affect heater operations and lifespan. You can use a damp microfiber and dishwashing detergent to wipe the grime. Before wiping, make sure that the unit is completely powered off.
- Vacuum : For effective air circulation, you need to vacuum your heater frequently. This is particularly important for garage heaters with fans, vents, and grilles. The process of vacuuming helps to clear the airflow effectively.
- Wipe heat reflectors : Garage heaters that use shiny surfaces should be occasionally wiped off the dust to keep them clean. With time, these parts also accumulate dust and you should unscrew the grille and clean them with a towel.
- Remove rust : With time, reflector surfaces catch rust especially if you don’t dust them frequently. In case you notice the presence of rust, use rust spray removers or scrubs to eliminate it. Something worth noting is that to undertake all these practices, you should turn it off and let it cool down.
FAQ – Frequently Ask Questions
Where Should I Place My Garage Heater?
The position of your garage heater depends on its type. You should place your heater at the coldest place in your garage. If not sure of that spot, you can use a thermometer to get these metrics. You should also consider the heater’s mode of heat transfer. The good thing with the portable heaters is that you can change their positions as your preferences change.
The fixed heaters can be fitted on the wall or ceilings with fasteners or screws. With these, you should be more precise as you won’t change their position after mounting.
How Many BTU Does it Take to Heat a 2-Car Garage?
It will depend on the heat dissipation mode. With the forced air heater, you’ll need up to45,000 BTU. If you own the infrared heater, you’ll need up to 30,000 BTU.
What is a good temperature for a garage?
The cardinal rule is that you should maintain your garage temperatures always above condensation levels. This means about 40F for the inland places and about 650F for coastal regions. These are variables though that can change depending on where you live plus the weather patterns.
Are Infrared Heaters Good for Garages?
Yes. For small spaces, infrared heaters give enough heat to eliminate cold. They are also easy to install and run on natural gas. Instead of broadcasting heat in the entire room, these heaters focus their heat to objects and persons. This ensures that there is maximum utilization of the available heat. Additionally, their maintenance cost is low compared to other heaters. People whose garages are below their living rooms prefer them as they are less noise and odor.
What is the Safest Heater for a Garage?
It is hard to categorically state the safest type of garage heaters. The safety level of a heater is determined by features present. Gas-powered heaters are however deemed more dangerous because of the gas flammable aspect. Although there are those that come with safety sensors and are very secure. Overall, infrared and forced air heaters are the safest.
Are Electric Garage Heaters Expensive to Run?
No. Even though most people have this perception that simply because they are electric-powered, they must be expensive. In a real sense, when you consider the maintenance, operation, durability, and installation costs, they are the cheapest.
Can you run a 240v heater on 120v?
No. If you connect a 240V electric garage heater to a 120V socket, it won’t work. If by any chance the heater runs, it will produce a very minimal amount of heat not enough to warm the garage.
Keeping your garage warm will help you in various from motivating you when working, protecting your equipment against rust, etc. After all, no one enjoys working in an extremely cold environment. Depending on why you need a garage heater, there are various varieties that can save you from the adversity of cold.
If you are looking forward to purchasing a 120V electric garage heater, take your time, and identify the best type that fits you. You don’t need to rush as this is a product that you will take years with. Therefore, you need to consider every aspect of your garage and what you want. This guide will help you to make the best decision based on your budget and the needs of your garage.