Our Top Pick for 2017: Fahrenheat FUH54 240-volt Garage Heater
Read our full review.
Why is it that the garage always seems like the coldest part of our houses? They can be damp, musty, and in the winter, downright freezing. Where we store our cars, family knickknacks, and seasonal items is an integral part of our lives as families, but sometimes it’s hard to simply go into the garage and retrieve an item without half freezing to death and that’s where the garage heater comes in. A good garage heater will keep your entire garage area nice and toasty; even when the weather outside is frightful. There are a plethora of great models out there on the market, but which one is the best for keeping your enclosure warm? We’ve done some detailed research and compiled a list of three of the best garage heaters on the market as well as a great portable model that isn’t overly expensive if you’re trying to keep your cost down.
Table of contents
- #1 Gold Pick (1st Place Winner)
- #2 Silver Pick (2nd Place Runner-Up)
- #3 Bronze Pick (3rd Place)
- #4 Budget Pick (Best Cheap)
#1 Gold pick (Winner): Fahrenheat FUH54 240-volt Garage Heater
View it on Amazon: $258.90*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Marley Engineering’s Fahrenheat line of heating products has been providing quality heating appliances since 1922 when it was called the Power Plant Equipment Company. Since then, the company that would eventually be called Marley Engineering has invented several of the key heating technologies that we utilize to ward off the cold today. Our Gold Pick entry, the Fahrenheat FUH54 240-volt Garage Heater, continues this tradition of innovation by being one of the best, most feature-rich home heating appliances available on today’s market.
As with many garage heaters, the FUH54 is designed for utility and functionality. It is 11.2 inches wide, has a 14 inch depth, and is 12.5 inches in height. The unit weighs around 24 pounds, which makes it easy to set up anywhere in your workspace. The unit comes in a “natural grey” coloration that blends well in any garage, shed, or outdoor space. This heater is also exceptionally rugged; it’s comprised of a very durable metal that will protect the chassis from the majority of external environmental factors.
What’s most noticeable about this excellent garage heater is the adjustable ceiling mount that it comes with. This mount is just as rugged and durable as the remainder of the heater’s body and is perfect for mounting the unit where it is needed most. This mount allows for all types of placement situations, from vertical placement to horizontal. Simply mount it through the three available holes in the top of the bracket or utilize the two, similarly shaped holes along the sides of the bracket for another style of heater placement. This placement versatility will ensure that the area of your garage or shed that most needs to be heated will get the warmth that it needs.
In addition to its overall adjustability and maneuverability, the FUH54 is constructed with maneuverable louvers. On a heating unit, louvers are the adjustable slats that help direct the flow of thermal energy that is being generated by the heating coils/heating system. You can simply lift up on the louvers if you need heat projected straight ahead of the unit or press down on the adjustable slats if you need to project heat towards the floor of your workspace or garage. This adjustable louver functionality, coupled with the maneuverability of the attached mounting brackets really help the FUH54 to project heat to almost anywhere that your workspace needs additional warmth.
A major issue that many users have with this type of heater is that sometimes when you start up the warming process, the garage heater will send out a stream of cooled air. This is eventually fixed when the heating elements start to gain warmth and warm air is eventually projected but that initial output annoys many people. The FUH54 actively avoids this situation by employing a system that actively prevents its heat distribution fan from activating until the internal heating element has reached a temperature that isn’t too cold to circulate comfortably.
This feature also ensures that heated air is projected much more quickly than the types of heaters that disperse that initial cold burst, as the heat isn’t dissipated by the running fan during the warm up process. Finally, to extend the life of the components, when the appropriate heat level is attained, the fan will continue to circulate the cooling thermal energy of the heating element, as this helps expel the excess heat it adds years to the appliance’s operation.
The controls of this garage heating unit are simple and very intuitive. To adjust the output warmth there is a knob centrally placed along the bottom of the unit that you turn to regulate the temperature. The integrated thermostat actively regulates the temperature of the area that you want to heat and the range of the thermostat is from a cooler 45 degrees, to a balmy 135 degrees Fahrenheit. The thermostat is also fast-working; you can start up the heating sequence in a 40 degree Fahrenheit, large workspace and leave. When you come back in less than 30 minutes, your workspace will be warmed to a very comfortable 60 degrees. Any Gold Pick product should perform well under these types of situations and this quick operation and strong performance is why this appliance is one of the best on the market today.
Garages and external workshops can be comprised of dry, often flammable wooden components, so utilizing a projected heat source can present unique dangers that should be headed off by a device’s safety features. In the event of overheating, the FUH54 has a emergency cut-off the depowers the unit and then repowers it when the internal temperatures return to a more normal range of warmth.
Consumer reviews for this heating unit are overwhelmingly positive and this garage heater consistently scores very high on many “best of” lists. On Amazon, reviewers have granted this unit an overall positive rating of 94 percent reviewer approval. This is comprised of 73 percent of reviewers granting this device a five star rating and another 21 percent of reviewers feeling that this garage heater deserves four stars. A great illustration of the type of experience consumers have with this appliance on Amazon can be found in the reviews, “An excellent, easy to install heater. We needed to heat our open unfinished 1500 sq ft. basement. This basement has several windows and also walkout access through sliding glass doors. Even in the coldest weather this heater maintained a very comfortable temperature in the entire basement space. Our basement is insulated but I think this unit might have even heated it if it were uninsulated.”
This unit goes for $258.99 on Amazon and is covered by a one year warranty from Marley Engineering.
#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): Dr. Heater DR966 Hardwired Shop Garage Heater
View it on Amazon: $159.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Dr. Infrared Heater is a brand that specializes in providing warm experiences for nearly any space. While they primarily specialize in producing indoor infrared heaters that heat objects to provide warmth for living spaces, our Silver Pick is one of their more high tech heaters and is designed with garages, outdoor workspaces, and workshops in mind. In any situation, this is an excellent device that can heat up your workspace very quickly and is constructed to be durable and wear-resistant.
To start, this device has a very utilitarian design that provides strong heating function and adjustability. Insofar as form factor and weight, the device measure in at 14.5 inches in width, 13 inches in depth, and 14.5 inches in length. It weighs around 27 pounds, so if you are planning on installing this device, a second set of hands will be useful. Outside of its utilitarian design, this unit somewhat resembles a industrial fan, especially considering the heat dispersion fan is so prominent when you look at the unit. As mentioned previously, this unit is constructed of durable materials, the shell is comprised of rugged stamped steel that is coated in a grey epoxy paint that won’t chip or fade, even after years of usage and transportation.
This unit also comes with an adjustable mount bracket that will allow you to place the unit either horizontally or vertically. This versatility will allow you to place the warmth exactly where you need it in your workspace and ensure that you have full heating coverage for your work area. To do this, you’ll simply have to run a bolt or screw through the hole in the bracket’s assembly and screw into a ceiling, wall, or even a workbench. For adjustment purposes, there are two manual adjustment cranks positioned along the sides of the bracket that allow you to set the angle you wish the unit to project heat at. This external adjustability ensures that it’ll be easy to set the angle of the heat projection without having to touch the chassis of the unit at all.
Like the Gold Pick, this unit also utilizes louvers to add additional warm airflow adjustability. These five-way louvers ensure that you will be able to project the heat that you need, independent of the mounting brackets positioning, which ensures even greater airflow customization. These louvers are manually adjustable, so be sure that there is minimal heat flow when setting the most useful angle.
Insofar as heat regulation, the integrated thermostat on this unit allows you to select the power of the warmth output. Along the left side of the attached console is a red two-way power switch which lets you choose between low, or 3,000 watts of output, or high, which grants 6,000 watts of powered output. To the right of this switch is a temperature regulation dial that allows you to regulate the temperature settings to low temperature or high. A great, energy-saving feature of this model of garage heater is it’s temperature regulator. Once you set the desired temperature, the unit will intermittently turn off when the air is at the desired level, which means that it will be drawing no power during these periods.
As safety is always a concern when using a heating item in a potentially dry environment, Dr. Infrared Heater has included a few features in this unit that will help ensure its safety. First of these is an internal alarm that alerts you via a tone and a light on the console when the internal temperatures are reaching a dangerously high level. In the event of overheating, the chassis is also designed to have a high degree of thermal protection; meaning, if the unit gets hot, the objects in the immediate environment won’t heat up dramatically.
70 percent of reviewers on Amazon thought that this product deserved a five star rating. Another 15 percent of reviewers thought that it was more deserving of four stars. In any situation, a 85 percent product approval rating, as well as a staunch feature set, and great design is why this unit is one of the best on the market. One Amazon user thought this of the Dr. Heater, “This heater is doing an excellent job since installation. I have it hanging in the corner of my attached insulated garage which measures about 700 sq.ft. Ambient temperature during the winter is high 40s. Takes the heater about 30-45 minutes to warm the air up to ~68 degrees. After that, it nicely heats the space to around 72 degrees in no time at all and starts to cycle. If I can’t be working in a short sleeve t-shirt, I’m not happy! It is, by far, the best electric heater I’ve had in the garage.”
You can get this appliance on Amazon for $189.59, and it comes with a one year warranty from Dr. Infrared Heater.
#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): Dr. Infrared Heater DR-988 Garage Shop Heater
View it on Amazon: $86.89*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Another great Dr. Infrared Heater product, the DR-988 comes equipped with all of the features that you need to warm up to a 600 square foot workspace. Created to provide an even more portable and workspace-ready experience than our Silver Pick, this unit is rugged and will warm even large garages quickly and efficiently.
The first thing that you might notice with this appliance is the fact that it is colored a bright, yet professional-looking red. The casing is composed of durable, yet light steel that is coated in a red-hued epoxy paint. Since this unit is designed for portability, it wouldn’t do for it to be hard to maneuver or be excessively heavy. For ease of transportation and placement, this garage heater is almost perfectly square at 12 inches in width, 12 inches in depth, and 15 inches in height. The unit also weighs an impressively light 9.5 pounds.
As the first heater on the list that doesn’t employ a mounting bracket, you’d think that this heater is of a lower quality than its fellow picks; this is not the case. This unit is designed to sit safely on any surface and provide a high warmth profile for the entire space that it is set in. Along the top center of the heater is a strong metal handle that makes this garage and workspace heater able to be easily and quickly placed wherever it needs to be. As this unit comes with a six-foot power cable, Mr. Infrared Heater also included a assembly around the handle where you can wrap the cable for easy storage and tangle-free transportation.
The aforementioned power cord also sports a unique design and has some great built-In features. This NEMA 630p power cord is designed to work in the most rugged of work conditions. It will operate in -40 degree Fahrenheit conditions and has a built in 240 watt voltage, which is significantly higher than the standard 120 watts.
This unit can emit temperatures from 45 degrees to as high as 95 degrees Fahrenheit, which gives a lot of temperature range for your work area. This device is also very quiet when operating as Mr. Infrared Heater designed the single fan to move air from the heating system without an overabundance of noisy moving parts. As a result of this quiet design, this unit’s maximum sound generation only reaches a very quiet 45 decibels.
Similarly to the other Dr. Infrared Heater on our list, this device features a power control two-way switch. Power output from this switch ranges from a 4,200 watt output on low, to a 5,600 watt output on high. Also similarly to the Silver Pick, there is a temperature dial that ranges from low to high. To save on electricity, when your workspace reaches the desired temperature, you can power down to low and the unit will shut off until your space needs to be warmed again.
Insofar as safety features, this device comes with several protections that shut the device down in situations where the intake vent is clogged, the device is beginning to overheat, or if the device is positioned accidentally along its face. To protect you from unintended mishaps, both the front and the back of the device is protected by a finger-proof grated cage that will ensure that you cannot be burned by the components or cut accidentally by the spinning fan.
When it comes to Amazon reviewer rating, 76 percent of all reviewers gave this garage heater a rating of four stars or above. This overall positive level of experience can best be summed up by one reviewer who said in the review section, “I bought two of these to replace an old wall furnace and they work great. Being portable, they are much more flexible for different applications than the old furnace and even though the combined output of these two units is about the same as the old furnace, they outperform the old furnace in every way.”
You can purchase this garage heater on Amazon for $110.49 and it comes with a one year manufacturer’s warranty.
#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy Indoor-Safe Portable Radiant Heater
View it on Amazon: $69.84*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Just because you’re ballin’ on a budget doesn’t mean that you have to endure working in a below freezing garage! Our budget model will heat your work area so that you can wear a t-shirt in your garage or shed, even when it’s blizzarding outside. The Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Radiant Heater is also unique from the other garage heaters on our list because it uses propane and D batteries to heat the intended workspace. This unique functionality makes it so that this is the perfect heater to utilize when you have either a power outage, or are in a completely unpowered shed or outdoor workspace, and of course, it’ll not affect your power bill at all.
Designed to be very portable, this unit is both light and compact. Measuring in at only 14.2 inches in width, 9 inches in depth, and 14 inches in height and weighing only 9.5 pounds, this unit will go with you to any work area and can be safely stored nearly anywhere when powered down. Comprised of durable, heat resistant plastic, the design of this garage heater is quite functional yet stylish. This unit also includes a fold down handle that you can utilize when you the heater is not being transported.
To attach this heater to a propane source, simply deploy the swivel out connector and attach the tank. If you are using a larger capacity tank, you can employ a Mr. Heater hose (not included) to ensure hours of heating for your workspace.
Since this is a propane powered heater, you might think that this unit is less safe than those listed above; this is not the case as there are several great safety features which ensure that you’ll be able to heat your workspace and stay confident in your safety. This Mr. Heater unit utilizes a system that will automatically shut off the unit if it is tipped over, or there is a lower amount of oxygen in the ambient environment. There is also a tempered wire cage to prevent the heating coils from causing damage to anyone or anything in the immediate environment. This unit is also designed to emit very little fumes, so you can run it safely in a garage environment.
For such a low cost device, this unit has an incredibly high amount of positive reviews on Amazon. Of the 1,449 reviews, an incredible 91 percent of these were of a four star quality or above. To illustrate, here is one of the reviews: “Hmmm, Where do I start with this little gem? This item deserves more than five stars, it’s very rare that you purchase a product and it exceeds all your expectations My first time using this was on a Klondike Derby in a ten inches x ten inches EZ-Up tent with attached sides. Outside temp was hovering around 30 degrees and was a bit cloudy. The heater worked flawlessly and kept the interior comfortable enough for a heavy shirt or sweater.”
You can purchase the Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Radiant Heater for $84.70 on Amazon and it is protected by a one year manufacturer’s warranty.
Obviously, these are hot items and you want to be as close to as 100 percent positive that they won’t inadvertently cause damage to you or your home as a result of a faulty component. When purchasing one of these types of items, be sure that it has all of the safety features that will make you feel comfortable when using it in a garage or shed. Your prospective device should have safety features that protect against overheating, falling over, and should have protections such as a grating or a fine mesh that will keep the heating elements coming into contact with objects in the heater’s immediate vicinity.
Keeping your garage warm shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg when it comes time to pay your electric bill. Many garage heaters that are currently on the market have settings which will help save you from a massive utility cost. Some shut down when the desired temperature is reached, some simply have settings which simply draw less power at a lower output, and some like our budget entry, don’t utilize your home’s electric at all. It takes a bit of due diligence, but you’ll find that finding a garage heater that’s energy efficient and warms your workspace is well worth the effort.
It would be fairly useless to have a garage heater that simply doesn’t warm certain key areas of your work area. Louvers and mounting brackets can help ensure that you have maximum coverage in the area that you want to heat.
Speed in Heating
No one wants to do industrial work in a parka and mittens. Simply put, to ensure that you can get down to business quickly, you want a garage heater that can at least warm a 200 square foot space from 40 degrees Fahrenheit to around 60 degrees Fahrenheit in about a half an hour. This will ensure that you can start your garage activities in short order.
Plug-in vs. Hard Wired
We are all familiar with plug-in technology, simply run a wire to a power source and turn the unit on. Some garage heaters are hard wired though; meaning, that you plug the unit directly into the power current in a wall or ceiling. These types have cables that are compatible with the circuit. This type of connection is best when you’re heating a area permanently as you don’t want to have to keep detaching your heater from the circuit to move it. Of the electric units on our list, the bracket mounted heaters are hard wired and the portable unit uses a standard power cord.
Conclusion (Wrapping it up)
If you use your work space often, maintaining warmth in your garage space is as important as having a reliable set of tools for your work. There are many great garage heaters on the market today that use a variety of heating systems, safety systems, and mounting methods to provide a warm environment to anyone looking to spend time in a garage or shed. We’ve provided a list of four great models that are rich in features and will works excellently in your garage. When searching for a good header, take a look at our picks, consider what to look for before buying, and you’ll find a great garage heater.