How Much Does a Garage Heater Cost?

Ben Kissam
Written by Ben Kissam
Updated July 7, 2022
Woman works at workbench in garage
Photo: eclipse_images / E+ / Getty Images

Highlights

  • Garage heaters range from $150 to $4,000 to install.

  • DIY installation works best for smaller, simpler heaters.

  • Electric heaters tend to cost less than gas or propane.

  • Gas heaters tend to be the most efficient.

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Maybe you have a treadmill set up in the garage, where you like to workout and enjoy some peace and quiet. Or perhaps you like to get crafty at a woodworking table. No matter what you use your garage for, keeping it heated can make the space more comfortable, while also offering the benefit of keeping pipes from freezing.

If you spend a lot of time in the garage, you might consider installing a garage heater. Garage heater installation costs around $2,075. Small heaters you can install yourself start around $150, while natural gas or propane heaters can cost $4,000 for professional installation.

Average cost for garage heater installation is $2,075, ranging from $150 to $4,000
Minimum CostNational Average CostMaximum Cost
$150$2,075$4,000

Garage Heater Cost Factors

The average cost of a garage heater is around $2,075, but the costs can range widely from around $150 for a small electric heater that you install yourself to $4,000 for larger units installed by HVAC professionals.

Fuel

Electric and infrared heaters tend to cost less, around $150 to $1,000. Natural gas and propane garage heaters range from around $400 to $2,000.

BTUs

A 30,000 BTU heater costs about $0.28 to $0.80 per hour to run. BTUs, or British Thermal Units, measure energy. Most two-car garages need a 45,000 BTU heater for efficient heating, while three-car garages need 60,000 BTUs.

Installation

Garage heater installation costs about $100 per hour. For propane or natural gas heaters, the pros may add another $500 to $800 due to the dangers of working with gas lines. It should take about two hours to install the garage heater.

Run Time

A garage heater costs about $0.08 to $0.80 per hour or $2 to $19 per day to run. You may only run your heater while you are in the garage, or you might install a heater that runs continuously. The longer your heater is running, the higher the bill will be.

Garage Heater Costs by Type of Fuel

The energy source your heater requires can also impact the cost of garage heaters, with costs starting around $150 for simple electric heaters to $2,000 for propane or gas heater units.

Electric Heater

Electric heaters range from $150 for small heaters that you can set up on your own with little trouble to over $1,000 for larger options that may require a professional to install. 

Propane Heater

A propane garage heater will cost around $400 to $2,000, not including cost of installation. While this is a good option if you want a gas heater but don’t have a natural gas line to your home, be aware of the risks of using propane heaters.

Natural Gas Heater

Natural gas heaters, which range from $400 to $2,000 are usually the most efficient options for a garage. Installation costs for this type of heater can be more expensive compared to electric or infrared, because working with gas lines can be dangerous.

Infrared Heater

An infrared heater, which costs $400 to $800, converts electricity into radiant heat. This is a good option if you want a balance of a lower cost and higher efficiency. Infrared heaters can save 30% to 40% more energy than other electric heaters.

What Garage Heater Can I Get on My Budget?

heater in garage
Photo: Kirill Gorlov / Adobe Stock

Here are four price ranges to consider when shopping for a new garage heater.

$100—$200

Basic electric garage heaters for one or even two-car garages can be found for under $200. These easily fit on a shelf or bench and keep your small garage warm.

If your budget is under $100, you might consider just using an electrical space heater if your garage is small and at least somewhat insulated. Just be sure to keep it clear of walls and other obstructions for efficient airflow and safety reasons.

$200—$300

Two and three-car electric garage heaters are available for under $300. You may be able to save $50 or $100 by shopping at the end of cold-weather seasons for the newest models, or looking online for deals.

$300—$400

Between $300 and $400, you’ll be able to find an electric garage heater for nearly any size garage. Some propane-powered models are also available starting around $350.

$400+

Propane, infrared, and gas-powered garage heaters are available in this price range. Because they’re more difficult to install, you may have to factor in several hundred (or even a thousand) extra dollars for installation.

Natural gas garage heaters start around $450. For large garages or high-powered units (60,000+ BTUs), you may pay $1,000+ for the unit alone.

Garage Heater Cost Breakdown

The cost to install a garage heater can be separated into two main factors: the cost of the heater unit itself and the cost for labor. Most professionally installed heaters will cost around $2,075.

Materials

A garage heater costs around $150 to $2,000 depending on the fuel type and BTUs. Other materials needed to install a heater can vary. For example, an electric space heater can just plug into the wall, or you may need a drill to mount a wall or ceiling heater.

Labor

You’ll spend about $100 per hour, a total of around $200, for garage heater installation. Propane and natural gas garage heater installation may cost an additional $500 or more.

Cost to Install a Garage Heater Yourself

You can install electric or infrared heaters for about $150 to $1,000 by going the DIY route. But when it comes to natural gas or propane heaters, don’t attempt installing these alone. Instead, hire a local HVAC specialist to safely and properly handle the gas lines and install these types of garage heaters.

Tips to Reduce the Cost of a Garage Heater

Aside from shopping for heaters in the middle of summer, there are some things to keep in mind if you want to lower your costs.

  • Insulation: Make sure your garage is well-insulated, so you aren’t using more energy for the heater than necessary.

  • BTUs: Choose a heater with BTUs sufficient for your space. A two-car garage needs about 45,000 BTUs.

  • Size: If you don’t spend a lot of time in the garage, you can save money by opting for a small, portable heater.

FAQs

Which type of heater is best for a garage?

You’ll pay the most for setup, but gas heaters are the most efficient of the bunch. It does depend how warm you need the area and if you’ll be using the whole garage or just want to warm a small section, though. An electric heater could easily meet your needs if you’re just working in a small corner or have a small garage.

Are garage heaters expensive to run?

Garage heaters can cost anywhere from $2 to $19 a day to run, depending on the type of heater and how often you’re running it. 

Are garage heaters worth it?

If you enjoy tinkering with cars, woodworking, or exercising in your garage, then a garage heater may be worth it to you. If your garage is used mainly for storage, you may opt to skip installing a garage heater. If you live somewhere with favorable weather year-round, you can probably go without one as well. But for most homeowners, a garage heater is a good investment and makes the garage a more comfortable place to spend time.

What are some low-cost ways to heat a garage?

If you don’t spend much time in the garage, you might just bundle up when it’s time to dig through storage containers for winter holiday decor. You may also consider a space heater for smaller garages. Another great way to keep the garage warm is to improve the wall insulation to keep the cold air out.

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