Propane Garage Heater - Setup & Review
Portable propane garage heaters are designed to heat any space you may be working in. So will it work in your home garage?
The Bright Idea
Winter has come and the temperature in the garage has dropped so low that your outie quickly becomes an innie every time want to work on your project car. You start to look at the heating options and quickly realize that the cost of installing a gas heater is more than your budget will allow. Then you see a propane forced air unit for $170 at the hardware store and the light bulb turns on. You remember Jim brought one to the race track last September and it worked great. So you start to wonder "Would a portable propane forced air heater work in the garage?" Lets find out!
The Garage And Temps Without A Heater
The garage that we are using as our test subject is an attached two car unit with concrete floors located about twenty miles north of Detroit, Michigan. Insulation is found on one and a half walls. The ceiling insulation is zero. Pretty standard for the area.
The temperature outside is 36 degrees and the in the garage temps are around 43 degrees depending on the time of the day. Our goal is to have a garage that holds 70 degrees for as little coin as possible. We have a carbon monoxide detector set up to see if any changes in air quality can be detected.
Portable Propane Garage Heater Setup
After researching the numerous units available, we went with the The Master 125,000 BTU Propane Forced Air Torpedo Heater from Tractor Supply. This unit offers a compact design, blower rate of 400 and coverage area of 3,125 sq. ft. The easy set up design appealed to us as well. All we had to do was hook up the propane tank, plug the unit in and we were in business. The whole process took 4 minutes and an adjustable wrench.
Calculating The Cost Of A Portable Unit
On paper portable propane heaters look to have the an amazing bang for the buck. Lets look the Costs:
- The Master 125,000 BTU Propane Forced Air Torpedo Heater is $169.99 at Tractor Supply
- The 100# Manchester Propane Fuel Tank cost is $125 at TS
- Cost to fill the tank was $69 at TS
After running the portable propane heater for 30 minutes, the garage temperatures rose from 47 to 57, 70, 48...depending on where you were standing. Due to the "torpedo" shape of the unit, the hot air was extremely concentrated to where ever you pointed it. Within 60 minutes, the temps were high enough that we turned the unit off completely. This was partly because we were warm enough to finish the job we attempting to accomplish in the garage and partly due to the fact that we were feeling nauseous from the carbon-monoxide fumes.
In the end, we do not recommend using a portable propane garage heater. We spent $364 plus tax, which included the portable heater, tank, and fuel. The garage was heated, but at what cost? We felt sick for the rest of the day and ended up opening the garage door to remove the poisonous fumes which in turn let in all of the cold air. Our conclusion is that portable propane heaters are much more suited for rainy days spent at a race track than in a garage.
Please Note: This is for testing purposes only. Make sure that your workspace is well ventilated.