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5 Best Garage Heaters Tested: Electric, Gas, and Diesel Models

Last updated on November 28th, 2023

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Best Garage Heaters for small workshops and garages – Electric, Gas and Diesel Heaters

When it comes to heating a garage or even a small workshop (I needed heating for both), there are a few options to choose from, all with their pros and cons. Over the years, I have tried electric fan heaters, gas space heaters, and even larger diesel space heaters. We used the diesel space heaters to heat a small workshop/packing area in our nursery and we also have them as backup heaters for the polytunnels if, for some reason, the built-in gas heaters were to become faulty in the middle of our growing season. We mainly used them to heat the workshop/packing room, though.

10KW Small gas space heaters alongside a 3KW electric blow heater

I personally also use a couple of different heaters in my small garage/workshop at home, as shown in the picture above. I have two at the moment, one is a small gas-powered space heater, while the other is an electric space heater.

Firstly, let’s just go over each of the different types of garage heaters, along with a couple of my recommendations and what I like and what I don’t like. How much success you have with your heater also depends on how insulated your garage or workshop is. If it’s insulated well, it will hold the heat more effectively, and the heater will be much more economical to run; a smaller rated heater would also be good enough. You can add insulation to the garage doors and walls as well as the ceiling. I’m guilty of not doing this but I will be doing this within the next few months with the way energy prices are now.

5 best garage and workshop heaters in the UK

  1. Kingavon 3 kW Industrial Heater – The best garage heater for most people; powerful, easy to use and affordable.
  2. GardenMile 10Kw Industrial Space Electric Fan Assisted Heater – A great choice for larger garages and spaces that are perhaps not that well insulated.
  3. Sealey AB458 Space Warmer – Paraffin Kerosene & Diesel Heater – Compact and great for large garages/workshops.
  4. Honeywell Heavy Duty Heater
  5. Kingavon BB-FH207 Industrial Heater

Electric garage heaters

The safest and easiest to use are electric fan heaters. Hands down, for convenience, you can’t get better, and they are safe to a point where I’ll leave it plugged in while I nip to B&Q for 20 minutes. Something I definitely wouldn’t chance with my gas or diesel space heaters, that is a no-no for me for sure.

I currently have this Bio Green PAL 2.0/GB 2KW Palma Heater as pictured above and it also doubles as my greenhouse heater because you can actually set a specific temperature you want using the digital thermometer. It’s also IPX4 rated, which means it’s basically splashproof. The downside is that it’s only 2KW and is expensive compared to a run-of-the-mill garage heater such as this Honeywell CZ2104EV1 Heavy Duty Heater, which is much more affordable, and pretty much gives out the same heat.

The Kingavon 3KW fan heater is probably the best affordable garage heater – Not to be mistaken for the smaller 2KW version!

For most people, this Kingavon 3 KW Electric Industrial Heater (pictured above) is what I would recommend. This is a great alternative and is much more affordable than my Bio Green heater, less than half the price, and its heat output is slightly better than the Honeywell CZ2104EV1 Heavy Duty Heater.

The Kingavaon heater is rated 3KW and gives out more heat, which is why it’s a better choice. Something I have noticed is that so many electric fan heaters are only 2-2.5KW, and for me, these are just not large enough even for a small garage, especially if your garage is not particularly well insulated like mine.

This Kingavaon heater, however, is a great model for small garages and probably what I would recommend for a small garage or workshop to 95% of people who ask. I’ve been super impressed with it overall during testing, but it does take some time to get the garage to temperature. Bear in mind when considering this model for yourself, is that my garage is not insulated either. However, once to temperature, it does do a good job at keeping it at a nice working temperature.

I think this would be a good time to point out that the one that will be the best garage heater for you, also depends on whether you are trying to make your garage a comfortable temperature to work in or, you just want to take the chill out of the garage in the winter.

If you have a larger garage or even a garage that isn’t really well insulated (like a lot of us do), or you might have a small workshop or shed then would I highly recommend looking at getting a gas space heater or a diesel space heater? I have experience with both types and love them. These things give out much more heat than any electric heater does. Electric vs gas or diesel, there is just no comparison.

As a comparison, however, most electric heaters are 2/3KW; a small gas propane heater (like the one I have above) will be 10/15KW or higher. The difference is night and day, and you really feel it. It’s the difference between heating a garage up in 30 minutes using an electric heater or within 2-3 minutes using gas or diesel. If you’re worried about the size there really is not much difference.

Small gas space heater, which is ideal for a small garage. There isn’t much difference between these models and most will do the job

Gas garage heaters

Be warned, these things kick out a lot of heat and can use a good amount of gas. However, they can warm a small garage or even a larger garage or workshop within a few minutes. The downside is that most of the models I have used don’t have thermostats so you will need to keep them running and turn them on or off manually. Personally, I’d go for this GardenMile 10Kw Industrial Space Heater or even this Sealey Space Warmer Propane Heater.

Screw in the high-pressure adjustable propane regulator for propane gas bottles

The downside to these is you obviously have to connect them to a gas bottle like you do a gas BBQ using a regulator, as shown in the picture above. The type of regulator you will need depends on the gas bottle you use or have. So you may need a 27mm clip-on regulator for a patio gas or a screw-in high-pressure adjustable propane regulator for propane gas bottles.

This obviously means you need the space for the gas bottle in your garage as well as your heater, and you need to also plug them into a plug socket because the electricity powers the fan in these heaters. These types of heaters are all fairly good regardless of brand. Personally, I’ve not seen much difference in them, and I’ve had a few different sizes over the years. However, for a smaller garage or workshop, you definitely want to choose the smaller 10-15KW models. The larger models are better for smaller units or warehouses. Trust me, from experience, there is such as thing as too hot! For a standard garage, even a larger double garage, 10-15KW is plenty.

Nearly forgot, make sure you get a carbon monoxide detector. This is a must!

Clark space heater which run on diesel and is great for larger sheds and workshops
The Clarke space heater which runs on diesel and is great for larger sheds and workshops

Diesel space heaters for garages and workshops

Probably more efficient than gas due to fuel cost and ease of use, the other option is to get a diesel space heater, again for a garage or workshop, you need one of the smaller models (without the wheels). The one I currently use is this Clarke diesel space heater, as shown in the picture above. We use this to heat a fairly large packing room for mail orders.

This latest model we purchased is a little overkill, it kicks out too much heat even though is a fairly large working area and it’s open fronted too. It’s worth noting you can run them on paraffin, kerosene, or diesel. We use red diesel because we already have it for tractors and forklift trucks. You can also use red diesel in these, and it’s cheaper than using the standard motor diesel from your local petrol stations.

Thermostat on diesel space heater makes them a great choice for heating larger garages and workshop

With this in mind, I would now recommend this Sealey AB458 Space Warmer Paraffin Kerosene & Diesel Heater instead to use in a large garage or workshop. They do burn clean if running well but can be noisy on startup as they kick in. These heaters also have a built-in thermostat which the gas models generally don’t seem to have. They are usually compact because the fuel tank is underneath them, so they are great for smaller spaces too. Plus, you don’t have to make room for a gas bottle. However, they still need to be plugged into the mains to power the fan.

I have also found them to be more affordable to run than my electric or gas heaters too.

If you need some robust garage shelving or racking, you can see why I recommend the G-Rack Extra Wide Garage Storage Shelving and Storalex Garage Shelving Racking by Tufferman here.

I have also reviewed the best garage floor paint as well as garage workbenches. I have also reviewed garage wall-mounted organisers here. If you are worried about security, check out these garage alarms here.


The Top 5 Garage Heater Reviews

1. Kingavon 3 kW Industrial Heater

BEST PICK

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Kingavon 3 kW Industrial Heater

This Kingavon 3 kW Industrial Heater is probably the best garage heater for most people with a small garage. Now, I have been using this in my own standard-sized garage and it heats it up in around 10-15 minutes on a day when it’s around 0° outside. Now my garage is a little drafty and not well insulated, yet this heater still does an excellent job in getting it to a comfortable temperature where I could easily wear shorts and a t-shirt.

You have 3 settings to choose from, these are, fan on only, 1KW and then 3KW output. You also have a turn-style thermostat so you can regulate the temperature and keep it consistent.

In terms of size, this thing is small and compact, it’s around 30cm (1ft) tall, maybe slightly taller, so for its size, it really kicks out some heat once on. The main reason I considered this model in the first place is that it was 3KW, whereas, most other models are 2KW. The only other electric model that was close was this Honeywell Heavy Duty Heater, which is also a great heater but slightly less powerful.

Something else I like is that this heater is metal cased and well-built, and the little handle is useful too for when you need to move it about. I have also noticed the heater itself does get particularly hot even though it kicks out a lot of warm air. It has the safety features you would expect, it automatically turns off if it gets knocked over as well as overheat protection too.

This heater is sold as suitable for heating up to 60 metres squared, so I took it to my dad’s garage. This is a timber-type garage with stables attached, it’s a good-sized garage and more of a workshop, really. Now it’s not insulated, but it is what I would call airtight (not drafty) and it did get the garage to a reasonable temperature and maintain it in around 30m minutes. Despite this, I feel the gas or diesel heaters, such as the Sealey AB458 Space Heater or GardenMile 10Kw Industrial Space Heater would have been a much better option (this is what he usually uses). So I would say this heater was better for smaller garages or maybe well-insulated larger garages and workshops.

Finally, it has a rating of IP44 and which means that it is safe for use and has passed UK safety standards.

Pros

  • Heats up to an impressive 60 metres squared of space effectively (probably half this if you have a drafty garage).
  • Features 3 adjustable heat settings with thermostat control, fan only, 1000KW and 3000KW.
  • Powerful twin heating elements.
  • Full metal case for extra durability and heater overload protection.

Our recommendation

This Kingavon 3kW Industrial Heater is probably the best choice for small garages, it’s easy to use, kicks out a lot of heat for its size and is well built. The metal housing is also a nice touch. What it isn’t suitable for is larger garages, especially if your garage can get a little drafty, for this I would go with a gas or diesel space heater, which is much more suitable.

If you have a small garage, maybe you use it as a workshop, home gym or games room, then this heater is, without a doubt, one of the best electric heaters I have used. If you have a small well-insulated garage, then you would probably get away with using this Honeywell Heavy Duty Heater, which is 2.5KW or even the smaller Kingavon BB-FH207 Industrial Heater, which is only 2000KW.

That being said, I would always choose the more powerful Kingavon 3 kW Industrial Heater because you can use a lower setting but also have the option to use the full 2kW setting if needed. Overall, it’s a great little compact heater that kicks about its weight.

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2. GardenMile 10Kw Industrial Space Electric Fan Assisted Heater

BEST FOR LARGE GARAGES

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GardenMile 10Kw Industrial Space Electric Fan Assisted Heater

This GardenMile 10Kw Industrial Space Electric Fan Assisted Heater is one of two I now recommend, the other one is this Sealey Space Warmer 18-30 kW Propane Heater which is better in terms of heat output, but maybe a little too big for a single style garage with brick walls and metal sheet roof.

Before I get into this heater in more detail, I just want to discuss what to expect. So with a well-insulated single garage/workshop, a 3kW electric heater will heat and maintain a temperature from freezing to a reasonable working temperature with no problem. However, if it’s drafty or you need to leave the door open to air the garage like I do, for example when I’m spraying projects or using my laser cutter, the electric heater will be okay for heating the spot I am standing working, but not the whole garage if you know what I mean. This is why I also use a gas powered space heater in my own garage as well as an electric one.

This is where this GardenMile 10Kw Industrial Space Heater comes in, this thing will easily heat up and keep a garage toasty warm even with the door open. I place mine by the door pointing inwards and it works great. For a very large garage or workshop, you probably need the larger Sealey Space Warmer Propane Heater, although it is much more expensive it has an output of 18-30kW. This is much more than the 10kW this GardenMile 10Kw Industrial Space Electric Fan Assisted Heater kicks out but it’s still good enough for a single or double garage.

This propane-based garage heater has a maximum 700m bar output of 320m³ per hour and should heat up a 200m2 garage. In the real world though I would say it’s suitable for a run of the mill garage, so around 60m2. If you have a well insulated large workshop, then maybe it would be okay for 200m2.

This mighty machine is economical to run as it uses around 0.73kg in a given hour. I would maybe look at using a larger gas bottle to bring the running costs down.

What we like about this heater is that can run on LPG gas or propane gas and comes with a regulator that you can use. Not all models come with a regulator, and this would be an extra expense. If you have a large area to heat, this is the unit that you can rely on. If you already have patio gas (the green bottle), you can change the regulator to a 27mm clip-on regulator which is cheap enough to buy online or from B&Q.

What this model does lack is a thermostat, so you cannot set it to a specific temperature, this is where I recommend looking into a diesel model instead. You would need to manually turn it off if it gets too warm. I usually let it run for 30 minutes, then turn it off for 30 minutes, and then turn it on again, usually 30 minutes later when it’s feeling a little chilly again.

Pros

  • Perfect for larger garages and workshops where electric heaters are ideal.
  • It is of good construction and is stable.
  • Fair price for the features provided.
  • It runs quietly.

Cons

  • Not recommended for use in unventilated areas.
  • No thermostat control.
  • Needs to be plugged into a plug socket to power the fan as well as being connected to a gas bottle.

Our recommendation

The GardenMile 10Kw Industrial Space Heater is great for the big areas that still require ventilation or larger garages where the smaller electric heaters wouldn’t be as effective.

The fact that it can consume small amounts of gas per hour makes it rather economical to run. The only real downside is that you need to purchase the gas separately, this will be an added cost for you to consider and extra work.

For industrial and commercial functions, this unit is perfect. Smaller spaces should look for a smaller unit because it does kick out a lot of heat. It would be too much for small garages.

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3. Sealey AB458 Space Warmer – Paraffin Kerosene & Diesel Heater

Sealey AB458 Space Warmer used to heat large garage

I really believe that you can’t beat space heaters that run on paraffin, kerosene and diesel. They are very efficient, burn cleanly with no fumes when they go out and have a good running time. They will easily run for 18 to 14 hours on a single tank of fuel so you get a few days’ work out of a full tank.

When it comes to fuel, I have always used red diesel because it’s cheaper than getting diesel from your local petrol station, although I believe kerosene might be even cheaper. Paraffin can be expensive when I’ve shopped around in the past.

So it has all the features you would expect from a decent diesel space heater, safety cut-out features, and a more thorough burn of fuel which means greater fuel economy and maximum heating effect. It has a flame-out device that cuts the flame should there be a problem and overall, the build quality of these Sealey diesel space heaters is much better than most of the alternatives we have used over the years, these are built to last.

One last thing worth noting is that they also need to be plugged into a plug socket as the electricity powers the fan and thermostat.

Pros

  • Great for heating large garages or workshops or other large drafty rooms where an electric heater isn’t up to the job.
  • Compact so don’t take up to much space.
  • It is efficient on fuel and can be run on Paraffin, Kerosene or Diesel (Red diesel is cheaper).
  • Built-in thermostat for better automatic temperature control.

Our recommendation

This diesel space heater is probably the most efficient to run if you need to heat a large garage or workshop, especially if it is not well-ventilated. What I like is that they also have a built-in thermostat because this means you don’t need to keep turning it on and off manually as you do with gas alternatives. I also like that it’s more compact than a gas space heater, and safer than gas. Gas is very explosive, but diesel is not.

Overall, these diesel space heaters are excellent and I’m surprised they aren’t more popular. For large garages, this is what I would get.


4. Honeywell Heavy Duty Heater

BEST FOR SMALL GARAGES

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Honeywell Heavy Duty Heater

This Honeywell Heavy Duty 2.5kw Heater is a good alternative to the Kingavon 3 kW Industrial Heater if you are looking for a heater that is a little more affordable. However, this is not quite as powerful but is still better than most other electric heaters. If you have a well-insulated single garage, this will be more than good enough. If it is drafty, go for the Kingavon model instead. 

Back to this Honeywell garage heater, it’s made of durable metal and is another very good heater for a small garage or workshop. If you look at the whole construction of the unit, you will understand why it is called a heavy-duty heater. I always look for steel-cased heaters for garages because they can (unintentionally) get knocked about a little. At least in my garage, they do anyway.

One feature this model does have that the more expensive Kingavon model doesn’t have is the frost watch function. If the temperature falls below 5°C the unit will re-activate itself keeping the room at a reasonable temperature at all times. This feature cannot be found on all models and it’s also worth noting that this model could also double up as a greenhouse heater because of this feature. It’s also good because it helps maintain a consistent temperature, so if you have sheets of thin plywood in your garage or workshop (something I have) it can help prevent it from warping.

The fan can also be used independently as a cool fan on those hot days but most other electric heaters have this feature too. Back to what we really need the fan for, it ensures the heater can effectively heat up 30m². In comparison, the Kingavon 3 kW Industrial Heater can heat double this amount of space which is why this heater is better suited to well-insulated smaller garages. However, this may be enough for some people who do only have a small workshop or shed to heat.

It does have a thermostat so that you have control over the temperature, and it has two heat settings. A tip-over switch makes this heater all the safer to use around children and pets or in case you knock it over by accident. So that the safety measures are optimum, it also has an overload prevention mechanism. Basically, it’s about as safe as heaters get.

Something that cannot be overlooked is that it comes with a 3 year warranty while most other heaters only include a 12 month warranty. We struggled to find a heater that came with a warranty as long, so 3 years is very impressive.

Pros

  • Well-constructed metal casing.
  • 2 heat settings with thermostatic control.
  • Frost watch function that keeps the room above 5°C.
  • Fast heat circulation thanks to the powerful fan.
  • 3 year warranty for full peace of mind.

Cons

  • Is limited to warming smaller spaces.

Our recommendation

The Honeywell Heavy Duty Heater is a really good heater if you have a garage or workshop smaller than 30m².

Overall, this is a very good heater but do make sure your garage or workshop is well insulated and not too big first off. What I do like about this model though is the frost watch. This could be handy if you have a washing machine, fridge etc in the garage and want to keep the temperature above 5°C to stop the pipes from freezing.

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5. Kingavon BB-FH207 Industrial Heater

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Kingavon BB-FH207 Industrial Heater

The Kingavon BB-FH207 Industrial Heater is another good product, but again, only really suitable for small garages or workshops because it’s only 2kw. This brightly coloured unit is hard to miss. 

To control the temperature settings, you will find that you have 3 heat settings. You can select between 650 watts,1300 watts or 2000 watts. The 650w heat setting though is actually cold.

The unit also has received an IP44 rating making it safer to use in environments with high moisture levels.

Like most models, it also has a fan to make sure that the warm air is circulated around the space. It also features a simple thermostat that is adjustable to aid you in your need to control the heat.

This model doesn’t give off any emissions or smells so it is safe to use in sealed areas as no ventilation is needed. For a small garage or shed, this unit will do just fine. However, anything larger and you will not feel the benefit.

Pros

  • Nice, robust design.
  • Affordable price.
  • Easy to use with 3 heat settings and a thermostat.
  • IP44 rated.

Cons

  • Can only heat smaller areas.

Our recommendation

The Kingavon BB-FH207 Industrial Heater is dependable for heating small spaces. You will realise that the unit cannot support heating larger rooms due to its lower-powered design.

With this heater, you get what you pay for. For a unit in this price range, it is not a bad product. If you need something with more power you would be better off investing the extra money in a more powerful unit. For those who do not want to spend much and still need to warm up a small space, this is the unit for you.

Overall a nice little heater that is more than suitable for small sheds.

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Garage Heater Buyer’s Guide

When looking for a good garage heater you have to consider a few factors first. There are countless customers who have regretted buying a particular heater because they did not have the right heat output.

You will find that the differences are minimal but they can affect some more than others. Be sure to look for a heater that has a stable construction if used in a working environment. This means it should have a metal case and secondly, an effective heater power output that can sustain heat production. I found that most people would need a 3kw model to effectually heat a triple garage that is well insulated.

If you have a drafty garage, one that is not that insulated, then you can’t do better than getting a gas or diesel space heater. Simple as that, electric garage heaters are often disappointing and not what people expect.

If you read further, you will get to understand and compare the different types of heaters but I strongly recommend electric blow heaters with a fan (also known as space heaters) for most people.

Types of good heaters

Electric Fan Heaters

Electric fan heater ideal for garages
Electric fan heater ideal for small insulated garages

These are usually cheap to run because they have active thermostats. Once the preferred temperature is achieved the heater stops producing heat. They usually include fans that are used to propel the warm air around the room. They are usually easy to work with and install as their size isn’t too heavy and they are usually compact.

The main issue is they are somewhat limited in that the maximum heat output is usually 3KW (3000W maximum). They are great for small, well-insulated garages but not great for large or drafty garages/workshops. However, they’re easy to use.

Gas garage heaters

Gas space heater, ideal for garages and workshops
Gas garage space heater

Under this category, I include propane or natural gas, the same type used for gas BBQs and patio heaters that you can buy in bottles in garden centres and at local garages. These are very effective in heating the air around your space. You are guaranteed that they will warm larger spaces effectively. They are low-maintenance units once you have the fuel in place. They, however, need physical monitoring to control the temperature as most do not have thermostats. You also have to consider what regulator you need because butane, propane and patio gas all use different regulators. The good news is most regulators are available from most DIY stores or online.

Diesel garage heaters

My Clarke diesel space heater

I’m a big fan of diesel space heaters, you can even run them on paraffin and Kerosene but I actually use red diesel. They are very efficient, maybe the most efficient in comparison to gas and electric heaters. They can heat up large garages with ease and burn cleanly. I like that most models also have a built-in thermostat to control the temperature. Finally, as the fuel tank is underneath them and you don’t need to find space for a gas bottle, they are also compact which is a big plus.

Look for safety features

Safety is paramount when working on anything, especially heaters powered by gas and fuel. You do not want to spend money on equipment that is possibly a fire hazard. When looking for a safe unit, you need features like a tip-over switch and, at the very least, overheating prevention mechanisms. A tip-over switch allows the unit to switch off automatically if the unit is knocked over by accident.

Features like cool-to-touch are important if you have curious children lingering around. Be sure to look at any safety recommendations set by the manufacturer to avoid any mishaps. This goes without saying, never leave children unattended with the heater on.

Finally, if you use a gas or diesel heater, make sure you install a carbon monoxide detector.


Final Conclusion

We looked at other 20 different heaters we thought would be suitable for use in a garage. When we started our research, we found that there are a lot of very underpowered heaters on the market that are simply not up to the job. You have to remember garages are not like our homes because they aren’t as well insulated if insulated at all.

After our research, we narrowed our search down to just 5 garage heaters that made it onto our review. We feel these were the best garage heaters depending on what size garage you have.

BEST PICK

BEST FOR LARGE GARAGES


Last update on 2024-05-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at john@pyracantha.co.uk

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