How to Choose a Garage Propane Heater

Gas garage heater
Gas garage heater

It is convenient to have a portable gas heater in your garage during the cold winter months. This guide is intended to assist you in selecting the best portable propane heater for your garage or pole barn from the many available options. The square footage of your garage will play a significant role in determining the sort of space heater you should purchase.

How to Choose a Garage Propane Heater

BTU Rating

The higher the BTU rating of a portable propane heater, the more heat it can produce. Before purchasing a portable propane heater for your garage, you may want to measure its square footage to determine how many square feet you wish to heat. Once you have the square footage of your garage, you can input that information into a calculator to determine how many BTUs a space heater would need to properly heat that area. It would require at least 30,000 BTUs to efficiently heat a two-car garage, according to the calculator, thus you would need to purchase a portable propane heater with at least 30,000 BTUs of output.



Because you are searching for a portable propane heater for your garage, you should avoid any wall-mounted propane heaters. If your two-car garage is rather modest, a smaller portable propane heater should suffice. If you are trying to heat a four-car garage or a pole barn, you should consider purchasing a portable propane heater with the highest BTU output feasible. Ensure that it is not too enormous that you cannot transport it, as this would compromise its portability. Some of the smaller portable propane heaters can use 1-gallon propane tanks. If you have a very small garage, these 1-gallon propane tanks would be sufficient for limited use. However, consider purchasing a heater that is compatible with the standard 20-pound propane tanks used for a propane grill. If you would be utilizing the space heater frequently, this would reduce the frequency with which you must refill the 20-pound propane tank. With the 1-pound propane canisters, you will have to replace the canisters frequently if you intend to use the space heater frequently.



The price of the portable propane heater that you ultimately decide to purchase will play a role in your decision. Generally, propane heaters are less expensive the smaller they are and the lower their BTU output. If you need to heat a large garage or pole barn, you should expect to pay extra for a larger gas heater that can adequately heat the space.



Unlike electric space heaters, portable propane heaters do not contain any moving parts, making them more reliable. Things can go wrong with portable propane heaters, but they have more to do with the pilot light and the burning process.

Safety of Portable Propane Heaters

Remember that portable propane heaters can emit carbon monoxide gas, which is toxic to humans and can kill you if you are not careful. Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, odorless gas that, in high concentrations, can cause unconsciousness and death if you do not leave the vicinity.

Therefore, if you intend to use a propane heater frequently in your garage, you need to get a carbon monoxide detector for your garage to alert you if it detects high levels of carbon monoxide in the air. As long as the propane heater is operating properly, it should consume all of the propane it produces.


Protection against topple-over

If you will be moving your gas heater frequently and may unintentionally knock it over, you may want to consider purchasing a portable propane heater with built-in tip-over protection that turns the heater off if it detects it has been knocked over. This would prevent a fire from occurring if the heater was mistakenly knocked over onto something combustible, as it would turn off upon sensing that it had been knocked over.


Automatic Shutoff

In general, the majority of the portable propane heaters on this list will contain safety mechanisms that can shut off the gas heater if they detect a problem. In addition to the low-oxygen sensor and overturn protection measures described previously, these safety features can also include a high-temperature sensor and electrical sensors that can detect an overload and shut down the circuit.