7 Best Electric Garage Heater 120V | Walls Mount or Portable

Adding an electric heater to your garage can transform that part of your home. You might be wondering which model of electric heater is best for your particular space and needs.

I have personally tested many models of electric garage heaters, so I want to share what I’ve learned, during the process, I also picked up a few new models to help find the best electric garage heater 120v. 

Instead of working or playing in a freezing garage with a simple heater, you can enjoy a much more comfortable environment. Whether it’s for a man cave, a repair shop, or even to keep some plants from freezing, adding a heater to the garage is a relatively easy move. 

Best 120V Electric Garage Heaters

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B077JM5PB9&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=theyardandgar 20&language=en US

Best Wall Mounted Heater

Dr Infrared Heater 1500W

Multiple mounting positions this wall-mounted heater. 900W, 1200W, and 1500W settings. This silent heater is slimline yet powerful.

ISILER Space Heater 1500W Portable 120V Ceramic Garage Heater

Best Portable Garage Heater

ISILER Space Heater 1500W

A cool forced air heater, weighing just 2.5lbs that only produces 50dB of noise. It’s neat efficient and effective.

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07WCQZG5T&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=theyardandgar 20&language=en US

Most Versatile Heater

Briza Infrared Heater 1500W

This waterproof heater is super versatile, 900W, 1200W, or 1500W settings, it can be wall or tripod-mounted. Includes remote control.

Types of 120V Electric Garage Heaters

Electric garage heaters come in a few different styles, and these are the most common. 

They will all heat your garage, but they each have some advantages and disadvantages to be aware of before you make a purchase. 

Infrared Garage Heaters

An infrared heater uses focused energy in the infrared spectrum of electromagnetic radiation to heat the air and objects nearby. Once they reach operating temperature, they heat things up quickly, and the heat they provide lingers for a long time even after shutting off the unit. 

This lingering heat is part of the reason this type of heater is considered very efficient. 

Electric Garage Fan Forced Heaters

Electric fan-forced heaters use a fan to pass air over a heating element, and that air pushes out into the area around it. The heating element can get quite hot fairly quickly. But it will take time for the heated air to circulate enough to warm things up. 

This style of heater is affordable and reliable, but they have one consistent disadvantage – the fan…especially on less expensive models, can be quite loud when the unit is running. 

Under-Floor Electric Garage Heaters

Under-floor electric heaters are often cost-prohibitive because installation requires running electric power under your floor. In any room, including the garage, that’s a big and expensive undertaking. 

On the plus side, they are very efficient. 

Electric vs Gas Garage Heater for Garage

There are two big power sources in the world of garage heaters: Electricity versus gas. Each has its own set of advantages. 

Gas heaters are, on average, far more powerful and less expensive to run in the long term. They come in models sized for heating different sized areas, and they’re relatively durable. 

But, they can be enormously expensive in terms of the unit’s price, and they require complicated and costly plumbing of gas lines and installing a dedicated electrical connection.

Electric heaters are efficient, compact, reliable, and inexpensive. They don’t usually require special installation, and 110v models like I prefer to have simple plugs that go into a regular wall outlet. They tend to have simple controls, and some are even lightweight and portable for the ultimate flexibility. 

Electric heaters also have two other big advantages over gas units. They don’t put off fumes and by-products from combustion, and you don’t have to worry about open flames potentially causing a disaster.  

Is It Safe to Use an Electric Heater in a Garage?

Modern electric heaters are very safe when used according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and instructions. When used in a manner inconsistent with those guidelines, they can become extremely dangerous. 

Consider that it takes a significant amount of electrical energy to power a heating appliance. Electricity can generate lots of heat, especially when using an appliance in a way that asks too much of an electrical cord or a circuit in your home. 

Choosing the Best 120V Electric Garage Heater

Choosing the right electric heater for your garage comes down to a couple of factors that include its positioning, where you have an outlet, how big of a space you have, and how much warmer you need it to be. 

Where Can I Position a Garage Heater?

Positioning an electric garage heater requires you to stay within reach of an outlet. For instance, if your heater has a six-foot cord, you won’t be able to reach an outlet that’s ten feet away. 

You do have the option of using an extension cord to extend your reach, but that isn’t always recommended with appliances that get hot, like electric heaters. The cord will likely need to meet specifications for how well it can handle the thermal load, amperage, and other safety ratings. 

For some situations, adding an extension cord is not a safe option, so you may even have to check with an electrician and see if it’s possible to install a new outlet. Since heaters often draw significant amperage, you may even want to run a dedicated circuit directly from your fuse box to a location suitable for plugging in your heater. 

Typically, mounted heaters have a system that allows you to adjust them, so you can target the heating to where it’s needed most, even though you can’t move them around. 

Wall Mounting Heaters

Wall mounting heaters are appealing for heating a wide-open area, especially when there is an electrical plug easily accessed on the wall. 

Typically, a wall heater will have a mounting bracket to hold the unit on the wall. You may be able to aim the heater a bit to target a certain area. 

Hanging Ceiling Mounting Heaters

Hanging a heater from the ceiling offers the advantage of preserving your wall space. In your garage, where you probably want to hang up tools, sports equipment, or other outdoor gear, getting your heater up overhead might offer an advantage that helps you keep room for other stuff on the walls. 

But, make sure that the heater will adequately heat your garage space when mounted from the ceiling. An infrared heater, particularly one without a fan, will heat a limited zone right in front of the heater itself. Moving it to the ceiling might see all the heat trapped up high and never reaching your position on the floor.

Ceilings usually don’t have outlets either. If there isn’t one up there already, you might need one installed. 

Portable Garage Heaters

Portable garage heaters don’t need mounting. Instead, they have a base that sits on the ground and cradles the heater. This offers the advantage of allowing you to move them around where you need them most, even if that means someplace other than your garage. 

The smaller and portable a heater is, the less powerful it tends to be. 

How Many Watts to Heat a Garage

The number of watts you’ll need to heat your garage depends on two things that are equally significant. 

Primarily, you need to consider the overall size of the space to determine how much wattage your heater will need. Luckily, there is an easy way to do this. 

For a more exacting estimate, you will also need to consider how much warmer you need to make your garage and how well it is insulated. This is still an easy formula, but you need more information. 

How to Estimate Garage Heater Size

To estimate the wattage of a heater for your specific garage space, you can take advantage of a relatively simple formula. As a guide, it takes about ten watts to heat a single square foot of floor space.

First, let’s multiply the length of the space by its width to figure the square footage. Then, multiply that number by ten. 

For instance, if your garage is 12 feet long by 20 feet wide, you have 240 square feet of floor space. After multiplying the square footage by ten, you know you’ll need a heater with about 2400 watts of power to provide enough heat for the room. 

Even though that’s a good estimate, you can be even more precise. Consider the square footage again, sticking with our example of 240 square feet. Now let’s multiple by the height of the room, supposing it’s ten feet, to figure the volume. The garage has a volume of 2400 cubic feet of air. 

To complete the next part of this formula, you’ll need to know a little bit about how well your garage is insulated. Estimate a value based on the following scale: 

  • 5 – Uninsulated
  • 1.5 – Weak insulation
  • 1 – Average insulation 
  • .5 – Strong insulation

Now, estimate how much warmer you want the room to be in degrees. 

You should have enough info to fill out this formula: (Insulation x cubic feet x desired temperature increase) / 1.6 = British Thermal Units (BTUs)

In our hypothetical example of a 2400 cubic foot garage, with average insulation and requiring a ten-degree temperature increase, the math looks like this: 

(1 x 2400 x 10) / 1.6 = 24,000

To convert BTUs to watts, divide by 3.41

24,000 BTUs / 3.41 = 7,038.1 Watts 

So, for our hypothetical example, you’ll need a pretty powerful heater! 

Cost to Run a 120V Garage Heater

To estimate the cost of running your garage heater, consider taking advantage of an online app designed to do so. You’ll need to figure on factors like the wattage of your heater, how long it will run per day, whether it will always be at maximum capacity, and how much you pay per measure of energy from your electricity provider. 

You can use government figures or your electric bill to determine how much you’re paying per measure of electricity to get a pretty accurate estimate. 

Best Electric Garage Heater 120V Reviews

Now it’s time to take a close look at the top seven picks for garage heaters.

Briza Infrared 120V Portable Garage Heater 1500W

Most Versatile Electric Garage Heater

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07WCQZG5T&Format= SL300 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=theyardandgar 20&language=en US
  • Maximum Wattage: 1500W
  • Type of Heating: Carbon Infrared
  • Dimensions: 36x4x4”
  • Cord Length: 10 Feet

This device is my pick for the most versatile electric garage heater. It can be mounted or used as a portable unit. If you decide to mount it inside your garage, you can opt for a position on the ceiling or the wall. And if you decide you’d rather have the ability to take it with you, you can upgrade your purchase to include an optional tripod. 

It’s a fantastic choice for a user that needs flexibility. 

A series of adjustment knobs allow you to aim the heater fairly accurately. That’s important because, as an infrared heater, this unit will excel at heating things it’s aimed at, but it might struggle to warm up an open space. Keep in mind that the angle for aiming is limited to about 45-degrees, so you might not be able to target as precisely of an area as you want to, depending on the mounting location. 

It comes with a remote control that makes turning it off and on simple, even if it’s mounted high off the ground or otherwise difficult to access. You can also change the timer settings (between one and nine hours) and choose from three heat levels (900W, 1200W, 1500W) using the remote control. For added safety, the heater has a tip sensor that will shut it off automatically if it’s knocked over. 

This heater is also waterproof, so it’s designed to handle the rigors of an outdoor site if you need it to. But it is only going to keep you warm if you’re right in front of it. 

This is a great heater for keeping you warm on a couch on your enclosed patio, but it won’t heat up a wide-open space. It’s also pricey, so make sure you know how you will be using it before you commit. 

ISILER Space Heater 1500W Portable 120V Ceramic Garage Heater
  • Maximum Wattage: 1500W
  • Type of Heating: Forced Air
  • Dimensions: 7×6.6×7”
  • Cord Length: 4.9 Feet

This unit is an affordable forced air convection heater with a ceramic heat element. 

At less than 2.5 pounds, it’s very light, so you could easily bring it along to a job site or other remote location. It’s my top recommendation for a portable garage heater.

I like keeping mine in the garage, where it keeps things quite warm. However, It’s not just for the garage. I brought mine along with my daughter and me when we took a trip to my barely insulated hunting cabin.

Even though there was snow on the ground and in the middle of winter, we were warm enough to play cards after a day in the tree stand. We were comfortable in regular clothes like t-shirts with the heater running. 

Unlike some heater models with a heating element and a noisy fan, this one’s fan only makes about 50 decibels of sound while it’s running. That’s quieter than a refrigerator and barely above the sound level of the quiet countryside.

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B077JM5PB9&Format= SL300 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=theyardandgar 20&language=en US
  • Maximum Wattage: 1500W
  • Type of Heating: Carbon Infrared, Radiant
  • Dimensions: 35”x8”x4”
  • Cord Length: 6 Feet

This infrared heater from Dr. Infrared is my top pick for a mounted unit. Part of the reason I like it so much is because of its flexible mounting options. Using the provided brackets, you can easily attach this heater to the wall or the ceiling, aiming it where you need it.

As a big bonus, you can even purchase it with an optional tripod if you don’t need or want to mount it. Before I put it on the wall in my garage, I set it up over one end of a project table, and it warmed up the table significantly in a short time. 

It’s adjustable to three power settings (900w, 1200W, 1500W), so you can dial in the heat you need when you need it. It also has a timer you can program to run for anywhere from one to nine hours. Conveniently you can adjust the power level and the timer from the provided remote control. 

Since it’s an infrared model, it doesn’t have a noisy fan. It’s not waterproof, but it’s constructed from tough aluminum that can stand up to the elements, and it carries an IPX4 splash resistance rating.

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B06XCJGNJK&Format= SL300 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=theyardandgar 20&language=en US
  • Maximum Wattage: 1500W
  • Type of Heating: Electric Fan
  • Dimensions: 11”x8”12.5”
  • Cord Length: 6 Feet

This electric heater sits in a stainless-steel stand and offers protection from splashing. It’s portable and well-suited to keeping a space up to about 150 square feet quite warm. Put that all together, and it’s perfect for use in a greenhouse or similar space.

This unit offers the user a lot of flexibility. It offers a ventilation-only mode, where it doesn’t heat anything, but the fan circulates air. Alternatively, you can run it in heating mode from the integrated panel. Finally, you can also opt to plug the unit into the included thermostat unit, and the unit will operate per the settings you provide. 

This unit is ideal for a greenhouse, but you could use it in a garage as well. 

Comfort Zone 1500W Portable Utility Garage Heater
  • Maximum Wattage: 1500W
  • Type of Heating: Forced Air
  • Dimensions: 10.5”x7.5”x14.25”
  • Cord Length: 6 Feet

This extremely affordable unit has two power modes, enabling it to run at 1300 or 1500 watts. Don’t let its size fool you. It gets things toasty pretty quickly. It can also operate in fan-only mode, where it won’t heat anything, but it will still circulate the air. 

It has an integrated, sturdy handle on top so you can move it easily, especially since it weighs less than four pounds. One thing I didn’t like about this heater was that it has an older-style two-prong plug, so it’s not grounded like the three-prong cords that are more common these days. To me, that’s not as safe. 

But, this could be advantageous for someone who only has access to a two-prong outlet in their garage. The unit has an internal sensor that will shut it off automatically if it overheats or has any electrical issues. 

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07JXRWJ8D&Format= SL300 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=theyardandgar 20&language=en US
  • Maximum Wattage: 1500W
  • Type of Heating: Infrared
  • Dimensions: 19”x16”x4”
  • Cord Length: 3 Foot

This unit offers a feature I never thought I’d see on an electric heater: WiFi control. This feature is handy, offering the ability to control the heater’s temperature from your smartphone. I really liked that little trick when I could warm up the garage a little bit before I even entered the room, giving me the chance to preheat my work area. 

It needs to be mounted on the wall as it doesn’t have a stand. I don’t usually like the looks of a wall-mounted heater because they tend to look industrial. This model has a sleek white finish with a digital control panel and a grill at the bottom. It looks more like something you’d see in a doctor’s office than in an unfinished garage.

So, if you have a nicer garage with smooth, painted walls, this might be the best model for you. It also has a feature that can be a bit of a double-edged sword. The back of the unit has a little storage space for the power cord, so the cord is invisible when positioned right. 

To make storage possible, the cord is quite short. So if you don’t want to mount it right over an outlet, this might not be your number one choice. 

Comfort Zone 120V Portable Electric Garage Heater
  • Maximum Wattage: 1500W
  • Type of Heating: Electric convection
  • Dimensions: 8”x6.75”x8”
  • Cord Length: 6 Feet

This portable heater has an all-metal design, so it’s pretty rugged. However, it weighs more than five pounds. So, while it might be a bit more durable, it’s a bit heavier to move around than the other models I tested. 

If you’re not going to be carrying very far or very often, you might prefer this model to some of the other portables.

It has three operating modes that range from fan-only to low-heat (1300 watt), and finally to its high-heat (1500W) setting so that you can tune it to your needs on specific days. It also has a thermostat, a switch that will shut it off if it tips over, a power indicator light, and other safety features to make it safe for use in the garage.  

I have one tip with this unit. The first time you start it up, run it at full heat for about an hour with the door open in your garage. The heater seems to have a bit of a coating, perhaps for anti-corrosion, that puts off an unpleasant smell the first time it gets really hot. It dissipates quickly, but you probably want to air out the space. 

Verdict: Best 120V Electric Garage Heater

For my money, the absolute best of this bunch is the Dr Infrared Heater 1500W Infrared Electric Garage Heater. It has unmatched mounting versatility, and while it’s a bit more expensive, it very neat when wall mounted taking up no floor space.

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B077JM5PB9&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=theyardandgar 20&language=en US

Best Wall Mounted Heater

Dr Infrared Electric Garage Heater 120V

Multiple mounting positions this wall-mounted heater. 900W, 1200W, and 1500W settings. This silent heater is slimline yet powerful.

It doesn’t lack power, the fan is reasonably quiet, and it seems quite durable. But, since I also wanted something truly portable for my cabin, so I choose to keep the ISILER Ceramic Garage Heater. You can confidently pick either of these options for your own garage.

ISILER Space Heater 1500W Portable 120V Ceramic Garage Heater

Best Portable Garage Heater

ISILER Space 120V Garage Heater

A cool forced air heater, weighing just 2.5lbs that only produces 50dB of noise. It’s neat efficient and effective.

FAQs: Best Electric Garage Heater 120V

Leave a Comment