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Best Portable Electric Garage Heater

I spend a lot of time in my garage. Whether it’s working on my car or on one of my many unfinished woodwork projects, taking time out to focus on a hobby over the weekend is always a pleasure. It’s great in the summer when I can open the doors and enjoy the heat. But the cold days of winter are a different matter: working with icy fingers and feet is no fun for anyone.

Here's a list of Best Portable Garage Heater

In previous years, when the weather got colder, I added extra layers of clothing to keep warm until I was wearing so many clothes I could hardly move. And I still had cold feet and fingers. My summer projects had to be abandoned for the winter months and I retreated (rather grumpily) into the house to read.

The problem is that my garage is well insulated but does not have any heating. The answer, of course, is to add some. I could not afford to add permanent heating so the solution had to be portable and plug-in. Once I started looking I realized that there were more than a few small space heaters which would do the job and I began to research in earnest.

Eventually, I found a space heater which is portable, efficient and perfectly suited to my needs. I can potter in the garage all-year round and no longer need to add more than a sweatshirt, even on the coldest days of winter.

I also discovered that there is a huge range of garage heaters available, and what worked for me won’t work for everyone.  Here are a few of my top tips for choosing the best garage heater for your needs.

What to Consider When Choosing a Garage Heater


The main thing I want to know before purchasing a garage heater is how much heat it produces. The level of heat you need will depend on your local area and the insulation (or lack of) in your garage. A 750 watt heater will produce far less heat that a 5000 watt heater so always check the power of the heater you are considering to see if it will suit your needs.


The best choice of heater also depends on the size of the space you need to heat; a small workroom within the house will need far less heat than a large workshop, or a three or four car garage. Working with a too-small heater which needs to be moved around to keep you warm is inconvenient and irritating and could result in you needing two or three separate heaters to adequately warm the space which one more powerful unit could have done alone.


For the purposes of this article I will be looking at portable plug-in heaters as they are inexpensive and convenient, and are not limited to the garage but can be used elsewhere if needed.  Weight and ease of handling will be important factors.


A moveable heater needs to be light enough to easily carry but sturdy enough stand without falling over. This is especially important if you are likely to have pets or small children in the area of the heater; ideally they would be kept well away but certain safety features will help with peace of mind. An auto switch-off function will prevent the heater overheating and minimize the danger of fire or burns.


Fan heaters can be quite noisy and the level of noise varies a lot from heater to heater. Some poorly made heaters will also rattle or vibrate as they are working; the cheapest option is not always the best. If you play music while you work, or intend to use it in a an otherwise noisy space, the sound a heater makes might not matter to you as much as it would if you want to warm a quiet office space where you need to concentrate.

Top 5 Portable Garage Heaters

1. Patton Milk-House Utility Heater

This rugged looking heater is not pretty but it does have a few clever features which make it worth considering.

Patton Milk-House Utility Heater


  • Tough metal housing
  • Thermostat
  • Auto shut-off
  • 1000 & 1500 watt heat settings
  • Lightweight
  • Large carry handle
  • High visibility power light
  • Extra Safety Features

    The ‘guards’ on the sides of this heater prevent it from falling flat, reducing the risk of fire if it does get knocked over. In addition, there is an automatic shut-off function which switches the heat off it the heater does tip over.


    • This little heater is lightweight and easy to handle, making it a great choice if you need a portable heater to use in different rooms.
    • The tough exterior is good enough to withstand bumps and knocks without damaging it.
    • Extra safety features give peace of mind


    • The heater needs to be placed carefully on a flat surface to ensure that it doesn’t wobble.
    • The top handle does not come attached and can be tricky to screw on.


    This is a nice little heater for small spaces but will struggle to keep you warm in a larger garage or workshop. The auto shut-off if the heater falls is a handy feature for peace of mind, especially if you have pets that may knock it over. 

    Patton Milk House Utility Heater Video Review

    2. Comfort Zone CZQTV5M Ceiling Mount Quartz Heater

    Comfort Zone CZQTV5M Ceiling Mount Quartz Heater


    • Simple pull-string control
    • Overheat protection sensor
    • Metal safety grille
    • 750 and 1500 watt heat settings

    Ceiling Mounted

    The Comfort Zone heater is designed to be mounted on the ceiling. This keeps it well out of the way in smaller spaces and eliminates any danger of tripping on power cords or tipping it over while you work.

    Adjustable Tilted Bracket

    The tilting bracket means that you can aim the heat wherever you need it without having to move the heater.


  • The heat and light are both controlled with a simple pull card, making the heater very easy to control while you are focusing on other tasks.
  • The heater has an optional light setting which can be switched off if necessary.
  • The heat goes exactly where you aim it.
  • CONS

  • This heater does not have a fan but radiates heat out from the surface. This means that is does not distribute the heat around the room in the same way as fan heaters do; it does not heat the whole room.
  • The pull cord is not very strong and could be easily broken if handled carelessly.
  • Overall

    The fact that this heater is ceiling mounted means that is should not need to withstand any knocks or movement but construction of the unit is still rather flimsy. It would not really be suitable for heating large areas but is ideal for using over a workbench or table.

    Comfort Zone CZQTV5M Heater Video Review

    Best suited to small spaces, the TPI Corporation 178TMC portable heater is a freestanding unit with a wide base stand and a carry handle on top. 

    TPI Corporation 178TMC Fan Forced Portable Heater


    • Thermostat control
    • Fan control
    • Ceramic element
    • 1500 and 950 watt heat settings
    • Durable steel case

    Extra Wide Base Stand and Handle

    The shape and size of the base stand and handle means that the heater is unlikely to tip over and is easy to carry around without touching the heater directly.


  • The TPI Corporation Heater has a good amount of power for its size.
  • The compact size makes it a good choice for small spaces. 
  • The long cord means it’s easy to move the heater around with you.
  • CONS

  • It costs quite a lot to run compared to other heaters.
  • Overall

    This is a nice little heater which warms a small space quickly. It is best used for short periods as the cost of running it can add up fast.

    This heater comes with a lot more power than the previous ones but has a few minor drawbacks of its own.

    Dr Infrared Heater DR-988


    • Heats up to 600 square feet
    • Thermostat control
    • 5600 watt
    • Auto overheat cut-off
    • Carry handle on top

    Industrial Strength Heater

    This little red heater can heat up to 600 square feet of space. The extra power, when compared to smaller heaters, means that it can move a lot of air. This makes it a great option for larger spaces but it might be overkill for a small garage or home workshop space.

    NEMA 6-30p Power Connector

    The heater comes with a NEMA 6-30p power cord and plug and needs a 220V outlet which would need to be fitted by a competent electrician if you don’t already have one.


  • The Dr Infrared Heater can heat a relatively large space in a short time.
  • Its sturdy square shape means it is unlikely to tip over.
  • The unit stays cool to the touch so can be moved around easily.
  • CONS

  • It’s not suitable for ceiling mounting.
  • Can seem very loud in small or quiet spaces.
  • Overall

    This heater is great for larger spaces. It’s definitely worth the extra hassle of getting the outlet fitted if you have a three or four car garage space or a large workshop and need to heat it regularly.

    Dr Infrared Heater DR-988 Video Review

    Cadet RCP502S Portable Garage Heater


    • 5000 watt
    • 6 foot power cord
    • NEMA 6-30 power connector
    • Wall mount bracket
    • Safety shut-off

    Fan Only Option

    The fan only option circulates air without heat for comfortable working conditions on warmer days.

    Made in USA

    The Cadet RCP502S Heater is made in the USA so contacting the company and buying parts is easy.


  • The Cadet Garage Heater relatively quiet, compared to other similar heaters.
  • Power light remains on while heater is plugged in.
  • Can be wall mounted.
  • Heats up fast.
  • CONS

  • The NEMA 6-30 power connector is not typical for residential use; you may need to get a suitable outlet fitted.
  • Overall

    I would say this heater is good for larger spaces and keeps a 2/3 car garage or large basement nicely warm. The wall mount feature is convenient as it keeps the heater out of reach of children and pets and means that it can be placed to provide the best overall heat to the space.

    Cadet Portable Heater Video Review


    Shopping for a heater was more complicated then I originally thought it would be but once I understood the possibilities the process of selecting a heater became much, much easier. Now you also know the options and can be confident about researching and choosing a heater which fits your needs perfectly.


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