Best 120V Electric Garage Heaters 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks
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Cold garages can drive you away from your projects and keep you out of a space that you’d like to be in during the winter months. Shopping online can sometimes leave you feeling just as cold.
Misleading product descriptions and bad prices can make it feel like you ordered coal for yourself instead of a gift, which leads many people to avoid the hassle and instead deal with a cold garage.
However, we believe that the process doesn’t have to be that frustrating and that a well-informed consumer can do a good job of finding the model that’s right for their situation. Our reviews are designed to walk you through the good and the bad on each model so that you can find one that you’ll like using. We’ve also designed a buyer’s guide that is designed to help you understand these machines and get great value for your money when you’re ready to buy.
Our Top 4 Picks of 2020
The 4 Best 120v Electric Garage Heaters
1. Dr Infrared DR968 120v Garage Heater – Best Overall
The Dr Infrared DR968 Portable Space Heater is a great heater to use in your garage. It has an automatic mode, so you can set it to a temperature and then leave it alone as it works to bring the room up to that temperature. It also comes with a remote control, so you’ll be able to change the temperature without leaving your workbench. It can also heat a room from 50 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can use it to just take the edge off of the cold, or you can get comfortable enough to work in shorts and a t-shirt.
This model also runs relatively quietly, which is a relief relative to some models which can sound like a freight train while they’re operating. However, this model’s thermostat tends to be a few degrees off. Generally, it runs hot instead of cold, so you’re more likely to be left too warm than too cold. It would be nice if this was fixed by the manufacturer, but since it will be in your garage, it’s a problem that’s unlikely to affect you much. Overall, this is a great 120V garage heater that will make most people happy.
2. Homegear 120v Electric Garage-Heater
The Homegear 1500W Infrared Space Heater is easily one of the best-looking models on the market today. If you’re looking for a model for a classier garage, this is the model you should get, and it’s one that can add a layer of class to even the messiest garages. It comes with mica and quartz heating tubes, which means it makes the best of both convection and infrared heating elements, giving you fast direct head, while also bringing the temperature of the room up to the level you set. The included remote means you won’t have to cross the room to adjust the temperature and will barely have to interrupt your work.
It also comes with an easy-to-read LED screen, which allows you to keep tabs on the current heating cycle with just a glance. What keeps this model out of first is the fact that it is noisy. You’ll notice when this machine is on. While that would disqualify this machine from use in a bedroom, it could be a good addition to a garage. Overall, if you need a model that looks great and heats well, and you don’t mind noise, then you’ll love this heater.
3. Comfort Zone 120v Ceiling Mount Heater – Best Value
The Comfort Zone Ceiling Mount CZQT5M is a great model for people who have limited floor and wall space and need a ceiling-mounted heater to make their garage bearable in the winter. This model is very straightforward. Pull the pull cord to cycle through the four levels of heat, and then one more to turn it off. It also comes with a built-in light, which isn’t the most useful thing in the world, but it serves as a good indication if this model is on or not.
You can also get this model for about half of what you would pay for our top model. That makes it the best value for the money on our list. If you’re looking to get a great deal, this is the model for you. You just need to be aware that this is a radiant heater, which works by heating objects and you but works in line of sight. If you’re going to be standing at a workbench for a few hours, then you’ll love this model, but if you need to heat the air in the whole garage, you might feel quite underwhelmed, even givens this model’s very low price.
4. Optimus H-9010 120v Garage/Wall Mount Heater
You may have noticed that the Optimus H-9010 Garage/Shop Ceiling or Wall Mount is a clone of the previous model on our list. You may also notice that it retails for an even lower price, which may lead you to think that you can get an even better deal with this model than with the previous one. However, while it shares many of the same upsides, there are some more serious downsides to consider. On the good side, it’s just as easy to control as the last model, as it uses a single pullcord to change temperatures and to turn the model on and off. It also comes with a light, which serves little function other than to show you that the model is on.
The ceiling mount will be good for people with limited space in their garage. Unfortunately, this model is poorly packaged, so many of these models are damaged in shipping. It also has lower build quality, so it will break down more often than models ranked higher than it on our list. If you’re looking for good value, those are two problems that you’ll want to avoid, and they ultimately doom this model to last place.
Different kinds of heaters use different heating elements and getting the right one for your situation will lead to you being far more satisfied with your purchase.
The most common heaters are convection heaters. They work by heating the air directly, and by gradually increasing the temperature of the air in the garage. Heat rises, so you’ll generally want to place these models near the floor to maximize their efficiency. Since they have a fan, they tend to be far noisier.
The other common heater type is infrared. These heaters produce infrared heat, which only works on objects and people. If you’re going to be standing in one place, then you’ll feel the warmth if the heater is pointed at you. However, if you want a shop that will be warm throughout, then you’ll need to get a convection heater.
The more convenient your heater is, the more you’ll want to use it, and the better the value will be.
A small remote is a feature that increases convenience dramatically, without adding a lot to the price, as well. If you can change the temperature in your garage without leaving your workbench, then you’ll save a little bit of time, and won’t have to stop working. Likewise, you might even be able to turn the heater on from inside the house, avoiding the cold altogether.
If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in your garage, you may want to invest in a model that runs quietly. That way you can play music or enjoy your work in quiet conditions that louder heaters won’t allow you to have. Plus, quieter models will be easier on your ears in the long run.
Which 120V garage heater is right for you?
Many people start by looking at price when they shop for anything, but something many forget is that value is often the more important feature. If you want to get great value, it’s important that you start by examining your situation. While a heater might work well in certain situations, if it’s wrong for yours it will provide low value.
Start by figuring out how you want your heater to work, and what features will allow it to perform as you desire. Then, make a list of all models that have those features. Getting the best value for your money is as easy as choosing the cheapest model from that list. It has all the features you need to be happy, and since it has the lowest price, you’re getting great value overall.
The Dr Infrared DR968 Portable Space Heater is the best electric 120V garage heater, due to its automatic mode, remote control, and wide temperature range. The Homegear 1500W Infrared Space Heater comes with a great look, quartz and mica heating tubes, and a remote, but misses out on first place because of its noisy heating. The Comfort Zone Ceiling Mount CZQT5M has simple controls, a convenient ceiling mount, and since you can get it for a great price, it’s the best overall value on our list. The Optimus H-9010 Garage/Shop Ceiling or Wall Mount is a worse version of the previous model, and while it has the same simple controls and heating mount, this radiant heater suffers from poor shipping and poor overall quality that means you shouldn’t expect it to last very long.
We hope that our reviews and buyer’s guide have given you insight into electric garage heaters and what makes for great value. You should be able to use that information to find the model that is right for you at a price you’ll love.
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