Garage Propane Heaters – Everything You Need To Know

A propane powered heater hanging in a garage.

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Propane is an efficient fuel with tremendous heating capacities. Whether you have a workshop or hobby space in your garage or want to keep this space warm to safeguard your possessions from cold nights, garage propane heaters can come in handy.

But how do you choose the best propane heater for your garage? Is it safe to install a propane heater in a garage? And most importantly, what are the benefits of using a garage propane heater?

Below are answers to these frequently asked questions. In this article, our experts cover everything you need to know about garage propane heaters.

Would you like to save money on your propane costs? If so, you’re in the right place! Click here to get 100% free, no obligation quotes from propane dealers in your area.

So we invite you to discover the essentials of Garage Propane Heaters in this comprehensive guide. Stay warm and informed for winter!

Finding The Right Propane-Powered Heater For Your Home Garage

A crucial factor to consider when looking for an ideal garage propane heater is the heater’s size. A small heater can underheat your space, while an extremely big one can be a waste of money. 

So, what’s the right size?

There’s no straightforward answer to this question. The ideal garage propane heater size depends on your garage’s total square footage and ceiling height. 

  • For a 1-car garage of around 200 – 300 square feet, you’ll need a heater size of approximately 15,000 to 25,000 BTUs
  • Secondly, for a 2-car garage of about 500 – 700 square feet, the recommended heater size is approximately 30,000 to 45,000 BTUs
  • Finally, if you have a 3-car garage of about 750 – 900 square feet, you would need a heater size of about 45,000 to 55,000 BTUs

Hence, these figures show that the bigger your garage, the larger the ideal heater size.

Other Factors Affecting The Ideal Garage Propane Heater Size

While garage size is the most crucial determinant of the ideal heater size, the following are other factors you should equally consider:

What’s The Weather Like?

Your garage will need more heating if you live in a predominantly cold neighborhood or if there are frequent bad winter conditions. As a result, you might require a larger garage propane heater and a larger propane tank – 500 lb or even 1000 lb. Similarly, consider sizable heaters for the bad days if your area records extremely low winter temperatures.

What Do You Use Your Garage For?

Do you have a workshop or hobby space in your garage? If so, you might want to keep it a little warmer than traditional garages. Because of this, you’ll need a bigger heater.

How Well Is The Garage Insulated?

Several homeowners do not take garage insulation as seriously as other rooms’ insulation. Therefore, many garages are prone to drafts and heat loss. 

If yours is one of them, you’ll need to heat it more frequently to account for the heat loss, making it necessary to have a larger heater. Otherwise, a small garage propane heater might be overwhelmed in such circumstances.

How High Is Your Thermostat Setting?

While several homes have a standard thermostat setting for all rooms, others have different thermostats for varying spaces. 

Whatever the category your house falls under, an extremely high thermostat setting can overburden your heaters. Instead of forcing your small garage propane heater to do longer, more frequent cycles, we recommend getting a bigger one.

Are Propane Heaters Safe Indoors?

Generally, propane is one of the safest fuels. It’s non-toxic and has a unique smell anyone can easily detect during a leak. The only serious safety concern for installing an indoor propane heater in a garage is the carbon monoxide released during combustion. 

High carbon monoxide levels in your garage can be a respiratory risk. The bad news is that carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, making it difficult to detect.

So, how can you use a propane heater in a garage safely

The best protection is to use the right garage propane heater size, as outlined in the previous section. If you install a heater that’s too big for the garage you want to heat, it might produce too much carbon monoxide for your space, leading to choking CO levels. This may be one of the reasons why people are often comparing propane heaters to electric water heaters.

Also, we recommend installing a vented propane heater for the garage if you frequently use the area for other purposes, such as studying or secret getaways. And reasonably so — they do not release a lot of carbon monoxide into the garage like vent-free heaters. Also, you want to make sure your propane tank levels do not go too low.

Below are other tips to help you install and use indoor garage propane heaters safely:

  • Read the manufacturer’s safety instructions carefully before installing the heater
  • Ensure the heater has a high-temperature safety guard on the front
  • Avoid placing objects on top of the heater
  • But heaters with overheat protection, low-oxygen sensors, and automatic shut-off systems
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors in the garage 
  • Regularly clean the heater using a vacuum cleaner
  • Do not install the heater on a combustible surface
  • If you use the garage for other purposes, ensure a considerable distance between your sitting or working area and the heater.
  • Keep the heater away from combustible items like towels, curtains, and furniture.
  • Ensure you have clear pathways and escape routes in the event of an accident.
  • Do not leave the heater on when nobody is around. If you don’t visit the garage frequently, we recommend turning off the heater when you’re away.
  • Do not spray deodorants, air fresheners, or other flammable liquids near the garage propane heater (especially when it’s on)
  • Monitor the heater’s flame — it should always be blue. A yellow or orange flame means the propane is not burning correctly. Under-combustion of propane releases more carbon monoxide, posing a respiratory risk.
  • Regularly inspect the garage propane heater for leaks and other defects
  • Ensure your garage has proper ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide buildup

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Propane Garage Heater?

Garage propane heaters have several advantages over conventional gas or oil heaters. Below are a few examples:

Cost Savings

Generally, propane is cheaper than traditional energy sources like electricity and oil. Studies show that installing a propane heating and cooking system can save existing homes an average of $117 annually. For example, this is how much it costs to fill a 100 lb propane tank on average regardless of seasonal ups and downs.

Also, propane garage heaters typically cost less to maintain and last longer. While most electric heaters become obsolete after five to seven years, propane heaters can last up to 15 years with proper maintenance.


As outlined in the previous section, propane is a safe fuel. It’s less likely to cause fire accidents than other energy sources. Also, it’s non-toxic. So, you don’t have to worry about respiratory issues because of inhaling it. 

The only safety concern is the carbon monoxide released during propane combustion. However, in most cases, well-maintained garage propane heaters produce negligible amounts of carbon monoxide.

Environmental Benefits

There’s no denying that global warming is a forefront topic in almost all news platforms. A significant pillar in curbing global warming is using environmentally friendly energy sources, such as propane. 

Propane produces less greenhouse gasses than diesel and gasoline. And as mentioned previously, it’s non-poisonous and non-toxic. So it wouldn’t contaminate groundwater or soil if there’s a leak.

What about electricity? Isn’t it a more environmentally friendly energy source? No, it’s not. 

Energy Information Administration statistics show that the U.S. generates over 60% of its utility-scale electricity from burning coal, natural gas, and petroleum, coal. As a result, using electric heaters contributes to the reliance on these environmentally hazardous fuels.


Propane heaters are generally more convenient than natural gas or electric alternatives. Unlike the other two that need frequent cleaning and repairs, garage propane heaters can operate for months with minimal maintenance. 

Propane heaters are also more convenient because you can monitor when they potentially run out. Unlike electricity or natural gas, which you cannot control, you can check your propane tank’s gauge to track gas levels and plan refills on time.

Propane Gets The Job Done Quickly

Usually, garage propane heaters produce more heat in a shorter time than electric alternatives. That makes them more convenient, especially if you’ve been away from your garage for a while and want to warm it instantly. It can also reduce your energy bills by making your heating cycles shorter.

How To Install A Propane Garage Heater

If you’re not an industry professional, we recommend outsourcing experts to install your heater. Compare Propane can help you get the best specialists at pocket-friendly prices. 

Propane and gas garage heaters have the same installation process. Below is a step-by-step guide:

  • Find an ideal location where the heater’s fan can conveniently supply heat to the entire garage
  • Place the heater on a stable, non-combustible platform away from furniture, curtains, and other flammable items
  • Ensure the adjacent wall and insulation is non-combustible 
  • Lay the joint compounds gas pipes in a secure place without foot traffic 
  • Also, ensure the pipes are away from household items, such as chairs, that might dislodge them
  • Connect an electrical outlet for your thermostat. We recommend placing the thermostat approximately five feet above the ground for the most accurate temperature reading. Positioning it lower than this might lead to misleading readings because heat rises above the room.
  • Complete the connections and test the heater.


There you have it; all you need to know about garage propane heaters. Do you have any questions? Or do you need help finding the right heater or propane dealer? Help us just an email away. Talk to us. Let us help you lower your propane costs. We’re ever ready awaiting your contact, and we’ll respond right away.

Ryan McCabe

Ryan McCabe

Ryan is a home and small business energy expert, having overseen retail propane, heating oil, and HVAC services companies. On ComparePropane, Ryan writes about things that people should know when shopping for or using propane in their homes and businesses. 

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