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Electric garage heaters provide excellent temperature regulation, and some of them allow you to adjust the airflow, too. Whether you’re heating a warehouse or a residential house’s garage, 120 volts provide more than enough power for the best options on the market. They’re long-lasting, quiet, and relatively affordable.
The best 120v electric garage heater is the NewAir 120V Electric Portable Garage Heater. It has two heating modes that cover up to 160 sq. ft. (14.9 sq. m.), making it more than ideal for garages, sheds, workshops, and more. You can also adjust the fan’s power and direction with pivoting joints.
Throughout this article, you’ll also learn the following information about the best 120v electric garage heaters:
- What you should look for before getting a heater for your garage
- The importance of BTUs, wattage, square footage, and more
- The best options currently on the market
What To Look for When Buying a 120V Electric Garage Heater
When you’re getting a new heater, it’s crucial that you know all of the details. There are hundreds of 120v electric heaters on the internet and in-store, but most of them overheat, make too much noise, or don’t last long enough. Furthermore, the vast majority of heaters are overpriced. Fortunately, I’ve cut all out of the excess to bring the seven best options.
Here’s what you need to look for when you’re shopping for a 120v garage heater:
- Wattage and BTUs: Wattage and BTUs are tied at the hip. If you want higher temperatures, you’ll have to spend more money on watt usage. Make sure you know how many watts and BTUs your heater has before you install it.
- Square footage: The square footage should be at or above your garage’s dimensions. Measure the space’s width and length, multiply the numbers, and ensure the heater’s square footage matches.
- Overall cost: Don’t forget to factor operating and maintenance costs into the overall price. Some companies charge more for extended warranties, but they can save you hundreds of dollars down the road.
Without further ado, let’s break down each point in detail below.
Wattage and BTUs
If you read any of my heating and cooling reviews, you’ve probably seen the importance of BTUs. The more watts your heater has, the more BTUs it produces. Unfortunately, that means you have to spend more money running the heater if you want to increase the temperature. Since most heaters have one setting, you’re forced to stick with the price.
However, there’s a way around this issue. Find a heater with multiple settings or a fan. Some garage heaters have both options, making them easy to use and affordable. If you can adjust the temperature, you can control the operating costs. Lower the temperature a few degrees or notches, then turn the fan higher to move more air.
Another option to save money is to put a portable fan in front of your heater when it’s in a low setting. It might not be as effective, but it improves airflow and spreads heat quickly.
If you don’t know where to start, you can determine the wattage and BTUs by comparing them to your garage’s square footage. Let’s explore your options in the next section.
According to Better Life Technology, the average garage ranges between 162 to 384 sq. ft. (15.1 to 35.7 sq. m.). Your garage likely falls in this range, but it’s best to measure the dimensions before you purchase a heater.
Some heaters are portable, whereas others are permanently mounted on the wall. You wouldn’t want to drill a heater into the wall and find out it’s not good enough.
So, how can you find the square footage and get the correct BTUs?
- Multiply the width by the length of your garage. This number is the square footage.
- Portable Fireplace explains you can heat 1 sq. ft. (0.09 sq. m.) with 20 BTUs. Multiply your garage’s square footage by 20 to determine the required BTUs. This number will also show the watts since one watt equals 3.41 BTUs.
- Get a heater at or above the square footage requirements. Anything below won’t be enough. It’ll take too long to heat, costing you more money in the long run since you’ll have to extend the operating hours.
For example, if you have a 15′ x 15′ (4.6 m x 4.6 m) garage, the square footage comes out to 225. Multiply 225 by 20 to get 4,500. Find a heater that has at least 4,500 BTUs (~1,320 watts).
Most shoppers check the heater’s price and decide if it’s in their budget. Unfortunately, this process can result in countless problems. For instance, you might lose the opportunity to get a warranty or adjustable features.
The price is broken down into a few parts, as shown below.
- The initial sales price is the biggest chunk, in most cases. Most 120v electric garage heaters cost between $50 to $300, but prices fluctuate frequently. Remember, the more you spend, the more features and warranties you’ll likely receive. It’s up for you to determine if they’re worth the trade-off.
- Maintenance costs can’t be overlooked. If you have a warranty, then you don’t have to worry about this step for the contract’s duration. Some come with one-year agreements, whereas a few include a massive 5-year warranty. Repairs can range from $20 for a thermostat to $100 or more for a heating element. Don’t forget hourly repair costs, too.
- Operating costs depend on the wattage and local energy provider. Check how many watts your heater is using, then contact your energy company to figure out how much money it costs to run it throughout the day. Keep in mind that most heaters only need to turn on a couple of hours per day if you seal the garage.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall: NewAir 120V Electric Portable Garage Heater
- Best Compact Design: Stanley ST-300A-120 Electric Heater
- Best Eco-Conscious Heater: AmazonBasics Portable Eco-Smart Space Heater
- Best for Ease of Use: HETR Ceramic Portable Space Heater
- Best Wall-Mounted Heater: Stiebel Eltron Wall Mounted Electric Fan Heater
- Best Infrared Model: Briza Infrared Patio Heater
- Best for Longevity: KING PAW1215-W PAW Electric Wall Heater
Best Overall: NewAir 120V Electric Portable Garage Heater
The NewAir 120V Electric Portable Garage Heater is a top choice for countless people because it provides enough heat for a 160 sq. ft. (14.9 sq. m.) garage, tilts with swivels on either side, and has multiple heat settings. Adjust the mode with a knob on top of the unit sitting beside a fan power adjustment knob.
This fan is designed to withstand a beating, so you don’t have to worry about it cracking or breaking. There’s an auto-shutoff switch that turns the heater off if it gets too warm, making it perfect for those who forget to turn it off. It’s not hard to forget it’s on because the powerful fan is whisper-quiet.
Another desired feature is the handle on top of the heater. You can carry it with you wherever you go, which is essential if you’re always working in your garage. Whether you’re working on a car or building projects, you should be able to move your heater without bumping into it. You can also change the angle since it sits on two pivoting legs.
Bottom Line: The NewAir Electric Garage Heater is an excellent example of what you should look for when you’re trying to find a temperature solution. You can adjust every feature, making it as customizable as you’d like it to be. From the safety features to the durable shell, it’s built to last and perform at a high level.
|Dimensions||8.6 x 8.6 x 10.3 inches (21.8 x 21.8 x 26.2 cm)|
- It comes with a one-year limited manufacturer’s warranty. Most of the parts are protected and replaced if they’re damaged or malfunctioning from the box.
- The 160 sq. ft. (14.9 sq. m.) rating is enough for the average garage. If you’re not able to measure yours, you could use this heater since it fits most spaces.
- It’s compact enough to carry (thanks to the previously mentioned handle). This heater measures less than one foot (30.5 cm) on all sides.
- You can adjust the fan’s power and heat rating. Two knobs control almost every feature, making it as straightforward as possible.
- The outer shell is ultra-durable, making it an excellent choice for garages with constant foot traffic.
- It’s not the best choice for large garages over 250 sq. ft. (23.2 sq. m.). Unless you have a three-car garage, it’ll remain a reliable option, though.
- The power cord is only 3 feet (91.4 cm) long. You won’t be able to stretch it across the floor, so you’ll have to change the outlet (unless you have a surge-protected extension cable).
Best Compact Design: Stanley ST-300A-120 Electric Heater
Stanley is a popular company in the industry, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Stanley ST-300A-120 Electric Heater made its way onto the list. The durable, padded handle and small design make it easy to carry with you throughout the garage. It’s only 7.5 x 8 x 11 inches (18.2 x 20.3 x 27.9 cm). At 6 pounds (2.7 kgs), this heater is much lighter than most competitors.
Once you choose its location, set and lock the angle and change the thermostat. There are two settings to let you choose how hot it is, which directly impacts the operating costs. There’s also a fan power knob to adjust how fast it’s running. If you have pets or family members in the garage, you’ll enjoy the ETL-certified overheating protection.
One of the main reasons hundreds of customers prefer this heater is how quickly it heats. The company claims it starts heating within two seconds, unlike low-end heaters. Despite all of its impressive features, this Stanley electric garage heater is on the cheap side of the list’s price range.
Bottom Line: Stanley has produced another astounding heater that’s perfect for almost any garage. Change the heat settings, adjust the fan’s intensity, and bring it with you indoors or outdoors.
|Dimensions||7.5 x 8 x 11 inches (19.1 x 20.3 x 27.9 cm)|
- It’s the most portable model on the list. Six pounds (2.7 kgs) and small dimensions make it an excellent choice for those who want a compact heater.
- It’s reliable for garages up to 165 sq. ft. (15.3 sq. m.). Again, this number falls within the aforementioned range.
- There are multiple adjustments to choose from. You can customize this heater however you’d like to.
- It’s ETL-certified with safety features for overheating and tipping over. Rely on the durable legs to keep it upright for many years to come.
- You can heat any space within seconds. It runs through an efficient heating element that takes two seconds to push out warm air.
- The grill is made of plastic, which limits its durability.
- The knobs are a bit loose, so you’ll have to keep an eye on them.
Best Eco-Conscious Heater: AmazonBasics Portable Eco-Smart Space Heater
AmazonBasics has several impressive heating and cooling units, which is why the Portable Eco-Smart Space Heater is high on the list. Four temperature settings sit on an LED display, illuminating as you adjust the thermostat. This package includes a remote, so you don’t have to stand up or walk to the heater when it’s too cold or warm.
It ranges between 65 to 85 °F (18.3 to 29.4 °C). You won’t heat a room to 100 °F (37.8 °C), but 85 °F (29.4 °C) is often more than enough for garages. The Eco-Smart feature adjusts the wattage to limit the heater’s power consumption throughout the day. It goes from 750 to 1,500 watts, keeping your energy costs as low as possible.
The user-friendly interface has three buttons. One is for the power, another to raise the temperature, and another to lower it. Feel free to use the remote or the on-unit buttons for quick adjustments. This model comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty to protect it from defects and malfunctions.
Bottom Line: AmazonBasics produced a top-of-the-line heater you can use in your garage, shed, workshop, or anywhere around your house. Use the convenient remote or LED screen for quick temperature changes. It’s budget-friendly and eco-conscious, too.
|Dimensions||11.42 x 14.53 x 14.72 inches (29 x 36.9 x 37.4 cm)|
- The Eco-Smart feature automatically monitors the watt consumption. It goes between 750 to 1,500 watts, with a 1,000-watt average.
- This heater consumes less energy while covering up to 1,000 sq. ft. (92.9 sq. m.), thanks to the powerful fan.
- It includes a handy remote for adjustments. The LED screen is modernized, too.
- You can change the temperature between 65 to 85 °F (18.3 to 29.4 °C) for the perfect garage temperature.
- This heater is much bulkier than most garage heaters on this list. However, it fits perfectly in a corner, so this might not be a downside for you.
- The remote doesn’t come with batteries, which is another minor downside and cost.
Best for Ease of Use: HETR Ceramic Portable Space Heater
If you’re looking for a simple space heater to keep your garage warm during the cold winter months, you’re in the right place. The HETR Ceramic Portable Space Heater proves that you don’t need high-end technology for a top-notch experience. If you’re not interested in remotes and LED screens shown in the previous entry, you’ll enjoy the two-button operation.
This compact heater is only 3.2 pounds (1.5 kgs) and 10.63 x 8.35 x 6.61 inches (27 x 21.2 x 16.8 cm). There’s a small handle on top you can use to carry the heater. The interior fan blows warm air, increasing the garage’s ambient temperature within a few minutes. There’s also an on/off switch for 750w and 1500w operation.
On the left side of the heater, you’ll find an adjustable knob. You can use it to change the fan’s power whenever you want to. The ceramic heating element ensures quick heating, durability, longevity, and thermal efficiency. It’s an excellent addition at an affordable price.
Bottom Line: From the powerful fan to the ceramic heating element, this heater is far below comparable models’ price. It’s designed for efficiency from end to end, so you don’t have to waste time figuring out how it works.
|Wattage||750 to 1500|
|Dimensions||10.63 x 8.35 x 6.61 inches (27 x 21.2 x 16.8 cm)|
- It’s ultra-lightweight and compact enough to carry where you want to place it. There’s a handle on top for portability, too.
- You can choose between 750w to 1500w to adjust the power usage and heater output. Feel free to change the fan’s power using the knob.
- It’s ETL-listed for safety ratings that include a one-year warranty for most of the heater’s internal components.
- This heater is designed to prevent overheating. It shuts off if it gets too warm but won’t get close to harmful temperatures, thanks to the ceramic heating element.
- You can’t adjust this heater’s direction. It sits on a stable, locked base.
- It’s a bit too small for warehouses and three-car garages.
Best Wall-Mounted Heater: Stiebel Eltron Wall Mounted Electric Fan Heater
Have you considered getting a wall-mounted electric heater for your garage, but you’re worried the installation might be complicated? Expensive professionals and materials typically make them less appealing. However, this heater can be mounted with DIY techniques in less than ten minutes.
You mount this heater on the wall, not inside of the wall, and there’s an adjustable knob on the side. You can use it to change the fan’s power and heating temperature. A wide grate pushes warm air throughout your garage for long-term, low-noise heating. The flush design keeps it out of the way, so you don’t have to move it around.
It ranges between 41 to 86 °F (5 to 30 °C), perfect for any time of the year. Feel free to cool your garage during the summer and warm it during the winter. This year-round model is simple, easy to install, and as quiet as can be.
Bottom Line: This heater is perfect for garages because it’s quiet, stays out of the way, and it’s easy to operate. You can install it yourself or hire a professional for additional assistance. Enjoy a 3-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
|Dimensions||4.81 x 13.19 x 18.13 inches (12.2 x 33.5 x 46.1 cm)|
- You don’t have to cut a hole in your wall, unlike most electric or gas-powered wall heaters. It’s easy to install, too.
- It’s pressed against the wall, so you don’t have to worry about bumping into it all the time.
- Adjust the settings with convenient knobs for instant access. It’s as simple as possible.
- This heater comes with an impressive 3-year manufacturer’s warranty, one of the longest on the list.
- The grate prevents burns by using a cooling fan and heavy-duty plastic.
- You can’t change this heater’s direction since it’s wall-mounted.
- It requires installation, unlike most heaters on the list.
Best Infrared Model: Briza Infrared Patio Heater
Infrared heaters have quickly grown in popularity. They’re easy to use and heat efficiently, saving your wallet from unwanted energy expenses. The Briza Infrared Patio Heater is designed for indoor and outdoor use, making it an ideal solution for garages. You can use the preset timers to set and forget this heater.
The broad face emits heat, spreading throughout your garage in seconds. It comes with a compact remote, allowing you to control it from anywhere in the room. This heater comes with a stand, but you can dismount it and place it wherever you want. Furthermore, it can withstand moisture, thanks to the IP 55 rating.
Bottom Line: The Briza Infrared Heater is a top-notch choice for garages. You can place it wherever you want, use the handy remote, and enjoy a fan-free design. It’s ultra-quiet, producing almost no noise. With an adjustable timer, it’s as modern as it gets for infrared heaters.
|Dimensions||35.5 x 4 x 4 inches (90.2 x 10.2 x 10.2 cm)|
- There’s a remote that lets you set timers, adjust the temperature, or turn it on and off.
- The IP 55 rating withstands rain, humidity, and varying temperatures.
- You can feel direct heat up to seven feet (2.1 m) away from the source.
- It comes with adjustable legs that can be removed if you want to mount the heater.
- It doesn’t include a fan, which may or may not be a downside. Infrared produces heat without needing airflow, so it’s nearly silent.
Best for Longevity: KING PAW1215-W PAW Electric Wall Heater
Although it’s last on the list, the KING PAW1215-W PAW Electric Wall Heater has a lot to offer. For example, it’s a long-term solution for garage heating and cooling. You can attach it to an LED thermostat for modernized adjustments. Furthermore, it’s compact and flush with the wall to stay out of the way.
The steel design is durable and long-lasting. It comes with a squirrel cage blower to limit its noise output and provide safe heating. You’ll enjoy the 5-year manufacturer’s warranty, too. Many customers claim it’s easy to install for a wall-mounted heater. It takes about an hour, but I suggest hiring an expert if you’re not familiar with electric installations.
Bottom Line: This heater is small and out of the way, making it an excellent option for those who want to heat their garage without unplugging and moving the unit. It’s compatible with most LED thermostats and uses a whisper-quiet squirrel cage blower to limit its noise output. The steel design is as tough as you’ll find in a wall-mounted heater.
|Dimensions||13.5 x 4 x 7.5 inches (34.3 x 10.2 x 19.1 cm)|
- It’s much quieter than most garage heaters. There’s a unique blower that doesn’t rattle.
- This heater is a long-term solution for those who want to heat their garage for many years to come.
- You don’t have to deal with loose cords and countless buttons or knobs.
- It includes a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty. This company has been in business for over three decades, so they’re reliable.
- It pairs perfectly with most LED thermostats, allowing you to decide how modernized you want the heater. KING sells several thermostats to use with this heater. You can find them here.
- You have to get an external thermostat, which could drive up the price quite a bit.
- The installation process takes a while and requires you to cut a hole in your garage’s wall.
With several adjustments and levels, it’s hard to beat the NewAir 120V Garage Heater. However, you might prefer many other choices for various reasons, so let’s explore your options below.
- For a small design, try the Stanley ST-300A.
- If you want an eco-friendly model, get the AmazonBasics Eco-Smart Heater.
- Those who want simple instructions should use the HETR Ceramic Heater.
- If you prefer a wall-mounted heater, install the Stiebel Eltron Heater.
- The Briza Patio Heater is the top infrared model.
- For a great warranty, choose the KING PAW1215-W Heater.