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Video: Tips for Choosing a Portable Heater for Your Garage or Shop

In today’s video, Alex from Mr. Heater works with our friends at Summit Racing to educate people on the various portable heater options available, and how to determine which is best for a particular work space.

The most important thing to pay attention to is the BTU (or British thermal unit) rating — which measures the amount of heat a portable heater can produce.

Generally, the heaters with the highest BTU ratings will be the most expensive.

A common formula for determining how many BTUs you want for the space you want to heat is:

Square Footage (building length multiplied by width) x 40.

If, for example, you had a 500 square-foot garage, you would multiply 500 by 40, making a 20,000 BTU heater a solid choice.

Forced Air vs. Radiant Heating

Portable heaters generally come in one of two variants — forced-air convection, or radiant heating.

Radiant heaters heat objects.

Forced air convection-style heaters heat the air.

Both have their advantages depending on your work space, your personal preferences, and how often you’re using it as an outdoor heater.

Check out the video for more information on choosing a portable heater for your garage or shop.

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  1. My shop is approximately 1700 sq.ft. I’ve used a Mr Heater 125,000 btu kerosene forced air “salamander” since I built the shop about 4 years ago. I know the heater is about twice what I need but It also heats the area faster. I run it on U.L.S.D. since diesel is cheaper than kerosene. It works great and the built in thermostat is a nice feature. My old heater from a different shop had a “remote” thermostat that hung on the wall. It never seemed to regulate the temperature as well as this one does. The main thing is to have your building well insulated. Mine, except for the overhead doors, is insulated to the same code as a house, including triple pane windows. The overhead doors are insulated, but, they’d have to be about 6″ thick to be as good as the walls themselves.

  2. my garage size about 1,200 SQ Feet and complete insulated. I hope 20,000BTU is enough for my garage. what types of heaters are best for my garage? Is 20,000Btu One electric radiant heater enough to heat my garage?

  3. Michel 20,000 BTU output is totally sufficient if that is the output of the unit and your garage has some insulation. It will take a little while to warm it up if you are starting out on a cold day. But once it warms up, you shouldn’t have to wear a coat in the garage.

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