Use Propane Heater in Garage: The Perfect Garage Heater!

When considering heating options for your garage, you’ve probably pondered over propane consumption and the associated costs. Did you know that a 45,000 to 75,000 BTU convection heater is generally suitable for this purpose? This blog will guide you through how propane consumption impacts the operation of garage heaters as well as provide cost estimates based on different factors.

Let’s dive in to help simplify your decision-making process when it comes to efficiently heated garages!

Key Takeaways

  • Propane consumption directly affects the efficiency and cost of running garage heaters, with higher BTU ratings resulting in more propane usage.
  • Understanding the factors that affect cost estimates for garage heaters, such as fuel type, BTU rating, installation costs, and running costs, is crucial when making a decision.
  • Garage heaters are available in different types like electric, propane, natural gas, and infrared. Each has its own advantages and considerations to keep in mind when choosing the best option for your needs.
  • To reduce propane consumption and cost, ensure proper insulation in your garage, maintain your heater regularly, and use it efficiently by adjusting temperature and using timers if possible. Consider alternative heating options like electric or natural gas heaters as well.

How Propane Consumption Affects Garage Heaters

Propane consumption directly impacts the efficiency and cost of running garage heaters, as it determines how much fuel is needed to generate heat.

BTU calculation per hour

Understanding BTU calculation per hour is essential to gauge a heater’s propane consumption. In the context of garage heaters, BTU, or British Thermal Unit, measures the amount of heat your heater can produce in an hour.

The higher this rating, the more propane it consumes and subsequently higher capacity for heating your space becomes. For instance, a 45,000 to 75,000 BTU convection heater is ideal for garages; these calculations are based on the square footage of that space.

To effectively manage your fuel costs using residential propane usage calculators and BTU calculators might be beneficial as they allow precise estimations of daily or monthly fuel consumption rates.

Propane heater usage per hour, day, and month

Heating your garage with a propane heater involves calculating the usage in terms of hours, days, and months. To effectively manage your fuel consumption and costs, it’s important to understand how much propane your heater uses in different periods of time. Here is a breakdown of propane consumption for a typical 45,000 BTU heater running at full capacity:

Time PeriodPropane Consumption (in gallons)
Per Hour0.44 gallons
Per Day (24 hours)10.56 gallons
Per Month (30 days)316.8 gallons

These figures are based on the fact that propane provides about 91,500 BTUs per gallon. Essentially, your 45,000 BTU heater would consume approximately 0.44 gallons per hour. Consequently, the heater would consume roughly 10.56 gallons running for 24 hours and approximately 316.8 gallons for a full month of continuous usage. However, these figures can vary based on the specific model of the heater and the ambient temperature. Always optimize your heater usage for efficiency to potentially reduce your propane consumption.

Factors Affecting Garage Heater Cost Estimates

Factors such as fuel type, BTU rating, installation costs, and running costs all play a role in determining the cost estimates for garage heaters.

Fuel type

The type of fuel used by a garage heater is an important consideration when estimating costs. Propane, natural gas, and electricity are the most common options. Propane heaters are popular due to their ability to produce high levels of heat, making them suitable for larger garages.

However, propane is generally more expensive than natural gas. Natural gas heaters can be cost-effective if you have access to a gas line in your garage. Electric heaters are another option but may lead to higher electricity bills.

Understanding the pros and cons of each fuel type will help you make an informed decision about which one best suits your needs and budget.

BTU rating

The BTU rating is an essential factor to consider when choosing a garage heater. BTU, or British Thermal Units, measures the heating capacity of a heater. The higher the BTU rating, the more heat output the heater can provide.

For garages, it is recommended to have a heater with a BTU rating between 45,000 and 75,000 for efficient heating. A higher BTU rating may be required for larger or poorly insulated spaces. By selecting a garage heater with an appropriate BTU rating, you can ensure that your space stays comfortably warm without wasting energy or overspending on propane consumption.

Installation costs

Installing a garage heater is an important factor to consider when planning your heating system. The installation costs can vary depending on the type and size of the heater you choose. On average, professional installation for a garage heater can cost around $2,075.

However, if you opt for smaller heaters that are designed for self-installation, prices can start as low as $150.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that the installation costs are separate from the actual price of the garage heater itself. So when budgeting for your project, remember to account for both expenses.

Running costs

Running costs are an important factor to consider when choosing a garage heater. These costs include the amount of propane or fuel needed to operate the heater on a regular basis. Propane consumption can vary depending on factors such as the BTU rating of the heater and how often it is used.

To estimate running costs, you can use calculators specifically designed for this purpose, which take into account the size of your garage and other relevant information. It’s worth noting that propane is generally more expensive than natural gas but may still be a good option for high-power heaters.

So, before making a decision, be sure to consider both upfront installation costs and ongoing running costs to determine what makes the most sense for your needs and budget.

Types of Garage Heaters

There are several types of garage heaters available, including electric, propane, natural gas, and infrared. Each has its advantages and considerations to keep in mind when choosing the best option for your needs.

To learn more about the different types of garage heaters and which one may be right for you, continue reading.


Electric garage heaters are a popular choice for those who want a convenient and cost-effective heating solution. These heaters are easy to install and operate, making them suitable for novice users.

Electric garage heaters use electricity as their fuel source, which means there is no need to worry about propane consumption or refilling tanks. They also do not produce any emissions or fumes, making them a safe option for enclosed spaces like garages.

However, it’s important to consider the cost of running an electric heater, as electricity rates can vary depending on your location. Additionally, it’s crucial to calculate the appropriate size of the heater based on the square footage of your garage to ensure efficient heating without wasting energy.


Propane is a popular fuel option for garage heaters due to its high energy output. It is typically more expensive than natural gas, but it provides efficient and reliable heat for larger spaces.

When considering propane heaters for your garage, you’ll want to calculate the BTU (British Thermal Unit) rating per hour to determine the appropriate size heater for your space. Propane consumption can be measured using BTU calculations, which can help estimate usage per hour, day, and month.

Additionally, keep in mind that propane costs vary and were around $2.022 per gallon in 2016. Installation costs should also be factored into your decision-making process as they can range from around $150 for small self-installation units to approximately $2,075 for professional installations.

Propane heaters are available in various types such as convection heaters or forced air heaters that distribute heat throughout your garage efficiently. Before making a purchase decision, consider factors like insulation, maintenance requirements, and alternative heating options to reduce propane consumption and cost in the long run.

Ensuring proper insulation will help retain heat within the space while regular maintenance keeps the heater running efficiently. Professional installation considerations are important too as experts ensure safety and optimal performance of the unit.

Natural gas

Natural gas is another popular option for heating garages. It is often less expensive than propane and can provide efficient heat for larger spaces. With a natural gas garage heater, you don’t have to worry about refilling propane tanks, as it connects directly to your home’s natural gas supply.

This makes it a convenient and cost-effective choice if you already have a natural gas line in your house or garage. Just keep in mind that installation costs may vary depending on the availability of a natural gas line in your area.


Infrared garage heaters are a popular option for efficiently heating your garage. These heaters work by emitting infrared radiation that directly heats objects and people in its path, rather than heating the air like other types of heaters.

This means that they provide instant warmth without needing to wait for the entire space to heat up. Infrared garage heaters can be electric or fueled by propane or natural gas, making them versatile for different setups.

They are also considered safe and reliable, with many models offering features such as automatic shut-off and adjustable settings. Keep in mind that while infrared garage heaters can be an effective choice, it’s important to consider factors such as the square footage of your garage and the desired BTU rating to ensure you choose the right size heater for optimal performance.

Tips to Reduce Propane Consumption and Cost

To reduce propane consumption and cost, ensure your garage is properly insulated, maintain your heater regularly, use it efficiently by adjusting the temperature and using timers, consider alternative heating options such as electric or natural gas heaters, and consult a professional for installation considerations.

Proper insulation

Proper insulation is crucial for maximizing the efficiency of your garage heater and reducing propane consumption. Here are some tips to ensure your garage is properly insulated:

  1. Insulate the walls: Adding insulation to the walls of your garage can help retain heat and prevent it from escaping. Consider using rigid foam insulation boards or fiberglass batts for better insulation.
  2. Seal any air leaks: Check for any gaps, cracks, or openings in windows, doors, and walls that may be allowing cold air to enter and warm air to escape. Use weatherstripping or caulking to seal these areas and prevent heat loss.
  3. Insulate the garage door: Garage doors are often a major source of heat loss. Consider insulating your garage door with reflective foil insulation or purchasing an insulated garage door kit.
  4. Insulate the ceiling: If there is living space above your garage, consider insulating the ceiling between the garage and living area. This will help prevent heat loss into the attic space.
  5. Use insulated flooring: If you have a concrete floor in your garage, consider adding an insulating layer such as foam board insulation or rubber mats to reduce heat loss through the floor.

Regular maintenance

Regular maintenance is an essential part of ensuring the efficient and safe operation of your garage heater. By taking care of your heater, you can minimize propane consumption and prolong its lifespan. Here are some maintenance tips to follow:

  1. Clean or replace air filters regularly to prevent dust and debris buildup, which can hinder airflow and reduce heating efficiency.
  2. Inspect the burner and ensure it is clean and free from any blockages or corrosion. A dirty burner can lead to incomplete combustion and higher propane usage.
  3. Check for any leaks in the propane supply lines or connections. Use a solution of soapy water to identify any bubbles formed, indicating a leak that needs immediate attention.
  4. Lubricate the motor and bearings as recommended by the manufacturer to keep them running smoothly. This will help prevent excessive wear and tear, reducing energy consumption.
  5. Maintain a clear space around the heater, ensuring there are no obstructions such as boxes or flammable materials nearby. This allows for proper ventilation and prevents overheating.
  6. Schedule regular professional inspections to identify any potential issues early on. An HVAC technician will be able to perform more thorough checks and address any concerns promptly.
  • Clean or replace air filters routinely: This prevents dust buildup that can impede airflow, leading to reduced heating efficiency.
  • Inspect the burner: Check for any blockages or signs of corrosion that may hinder complete combustion.
  • Look out for leaks: Regularly check propane supply lines and connections using a mixture of soapy water to identify bubbles indicating a leak that requires immediate attention.
  • Lubricate motor and bearings: Keep these components running smoothly by following the manufacturer’s recommendations for lubrication.
  • Maintain clear surroundings: Ensure there are no obstructions or flammable materials near your heater to promote proper ventilation and prevent overheating.
  • Schedule professional inspections: Regular check-ups by an HVAC technician will address any potential issues early on and ensure the longevity of your garage heater.

Efficient usage

Efficient usage is essential when using a garage heater to minimize propane consumption and reduce costs. Here are some tips to help you maximize efficiency:

  • Set the thermostat to a comfortable but reasonable temperature. Avoid cranking it up too high, as this will result in faster propane consumption.
  • Use a programmable thermostat to regulate the temperature automatically, adjusting it according to your needs throughout the day.
  • Insulate your garage properly to prevent heat loss. Seal any gaps or cracks in windows, doors, and walls.
  • Keep the garage doors closed as much as possible to retain heat inside and prevent cold air from entering.
  • Avoid heating areas of the garage that are not being used. Close off unused sections or use partition walls.
  • Consider using a space heater instead of heating the entire garage if you only need warmth in a specific area.
  • Use ceiling fans set at low speed to circulate warm air downwards and distribute heat evenly throughout the space.
  • Regularly clean and maintain your garage heater to ensure optimal performance. Dirty filters or blocked vents can reduce efficiency.
  • Consider alternative heating options such as electric heaters or infrared heaters if they are more cost-effective for your specific situation.

Consider alternative heating options

If you’re looking for alternative ways to heat your garage, here are a few options to consider:

  1. Electric Garage Heaters: Electric heaters are a popular choice for smaller garages or spaces that don’t require high-powered heating. They are easy to install and provide consistent warmth. However, it’s important to consider the cost of electricity and the potential impact on your utility bill.
  2. Natural Gas Heaters: If natural gas is available in your area, it can be a cost-effective option for heating your garage. Natural gas heaters typically have lower operating costs compared to propane heaters. They also provide reliable and efficient heating.
  3. Infrared Heaters: Infrared heaters use radiant heat to warm up objects and people directly, rather than heating the air around them. This results in quick and efficient heating, making them a good option if you need immediate warmth in your garage.
  4. Forced Air Heaters: Forced air heaters use a fan to circulate warm air throughout the space. They are effective at quickly raising the temperature in large garages or workshops. However, they may be louder compared to other heating options.
  5. Pellet Stoves: Pellet stoves are an eco-friendly option that burn compressed wood pellets to generate heat. They provide consistent warmth and can be an excellent choice if you have access to affordable pellet fuel.
  6. Radiant Floor Heating: For those who want a more permanent heating solution, radiant floor heating can be installed in the garage floor. This system uses tubing filled with hot water or electric coils beneath the floor surface, resulting in even heat distribution.
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Professional installation considerations

When it comes to installing a garage heater, it is important to consider professional installation for several reasons. Here are a few key considerations:

  1. Safety: Professional installers have the knowledge and expertise to ensure that your garage heater is installed safely and according to local building codes. This helps prevent any potential hazards or safety issues.
  2. Efficiency: Proper installation by professionals ensures that your garage heater operates at its optimal efficiency. This means that you can maximize its heating capacity while minimizing energy wastage, ultimately saving you money in the long run.
  3. Warranty: Many garage heaters come with manufacturer warranties, but these warranties may only be valid if the unit is professionally installed. By opting for professional installation, you can maintain the validity of your warranty and have peace of mind knowing that any potential issues can be addressed under warranty coverage.
  4. Longevity: A professionally installed garage heater is more likely to have a longer lifespan due to proper installation techniques and adherence to manufacturer guidelines. This means that you won’t have to worry about premature breakdowns or costly repairs down the line.
  5. Customization: Professional installers can assess your specific garage setup and recommend the best placement for optimal heating distribution. They can also provide guidance on additional features or accessories that may enhance the performance of your garage heater.


1. How much propane does a garage heater typically consume?

The propane consumption of a garage heater can vary depending on factors such as the size of the heater, its BTU rating, and how often it is used. Generally, larger heaters with higher BTU ratings will consume more propane.

2. How can I estimate the cost of running my garage heater with propane?

To estimate the cost of running your garage heater with propane, you will need to know the current price of propane per gallon and the estimated hourly or daily consumption rate of your heater. Multiply these two values together to get an approximate cost.

3. Are there any energy-efficient options for reducing propane consumption in garage heaters?

Yes, there are energy-efficient options available for reducing propane consumption in garage heaters. Look for models that have high-efficiency ratings or features such as programmable thermostats and adjustable heat settings to optimize fuel usage.

4. Are there any safety considerations when using a propane-powered garage heater?

Yes, there are safety considerations when using a propane-powered garage heater. It is important to ensure proper ventilation in the space where the heater is installed to prevent carbon monoxide buildup. Additionally, regular maintenance and inspections should be conducted to check for gas leaks or other potential hazards.


Understanding the propane consumption of garage heaters and cost estimates is essential for homeowners looking to efficiently heat their garages. By calculating BTU requirements, considering factors such as fuel type and installation costs, and implementing tips to reduce propane usage, homeowners can make informed decisions about their garage heating options.

With the right knowledge and considerations, it is possible to find an energy-efficient solution that meets both budgetary and heating needs