How Much Does It Cost to Run a Gas Garage Heater?

If you are considering getting a gas garage heater, then you might be wondering how much would it cost you to run such an appliance?

The cost would depend on the type of gas garage heater and the fuel (natural gas or propane). It will cost you around $0.28 per hour to keep a 30.000 BTU natural gas heater running and about $0.70 for a propane heater with the same heating capacity. 

Find out what gas garage heater is right for you and if there are any tricks that will help you save on heating costs. 

What Are Gas Garage Heaters?

There are three types of gas garage heaters:

  1. A forced-air heater draws in cold air, heats it inside the unit, and then pushes warmed air back into the garage.
  2. A convection heater simply warms the air around the unit.
  3. A radiant heater transfers heat onto objects in the garage.

You will also get to choose a ventless or a direct vent unit. The latter exhausts any gases outside, while a ventless heater exhausts the gas into the heated space.

A ventless gas heater is not necessarily a bad option, but it is certainly not suitable for homeowners that are sensitive to fumes.

Direct vent units won’t ‘spit out’ their exhaust gases into the garage, but such models are more expensive and a bit more challenging to install.

Read: What Is The Most Efficient Heating And Cooling System

What Gas Garage Heater Should I Get?

Gas garage heaters can use either propane or natural gas.

If your house is on a natural gas grid, then go for a natural gas heater. In another case, it might be better to choose a propane unit.

Read: Propane Heater Troubleshooting Guide

How many BTUs are you going to need?

The heating capacity of your heater would depend on quite a few variables – the size of the garage, the climate zone you live in, the temperature you prefer to work in, and so on.

Usually, homeowners that live in a mild climate go for 45.000 BTUs to heat a two-car garage and for a 60.000 BTU garage heater, if they have enough space for three cars.

How Much Does It Cost to Run a Gas Garage Heater?

The cost is going to depend on the following factors: 

  • The type of gas heater (forced-air, convection, radiant)
  • The type of fuel it uses (natural gas or propane)
  • How much of the fuel do you use to keep the heater running and for how long?
  • The heating capacity of the unit

Fact: electricity is, in general, more expensive than gas in a lot of states. It will cost you up to 40% less to run a gas heater than an electric heater in a two-car garage.

Even though it’s practically impossible to provide the exact numbers, you can expect to pay the following sums for using a 30.000 BTU wall heater for an hour.

Type of FuelCost Per Hour
Natural gas$0.28
Propane$0.70
Electricity$0.80

Read: How Much Electricity Space Heaters Use?

 How Much Does It Cost to Install a Gas Garage Heater?

Gas garage heaters are usually more expensive to install than electric heaters.

However, the prices of natural gas are much lower than the cost of electricity in the majority of states. So, you might end up saving more money in the long run.

Moreover, gas heaters are, in general, more powerful and can heat up the garage much faster which will also contribute to your overall savings.

Depending on the BTU level of the unit, you can expect to pay anywhere between $400 and $2.100 for a natural gas garage heater and between $250 and $1.000+ for a propane heater.

The installation costs are going to depend on the type of heater, the size of your garage, and the rate of the professional that you decide to hire.

Not all homeowners would have to run a gas line to their garage, but if you are one of the ‘lucky’ ones, expect to pay anywhere between $250 and $550 for the job.

If your garage doesn’t have ventilation in place, then you are going to need to add an exhaust vent to the space (that’s an obligatory safety measure for the majority of gas heaters).

It can cost you up to $500 to add an exhaust vent to the garage. But typically, the price is around $100-$150.

The Advantages of Heating Your Garage

The truth is that adding a heater to your garage is overall a great idea. And here are the main reasons why:

Warmth

Obviously, a gas garage heater will be able to keep you warm, whenever you decide to spend your time there.

But warmth is just as important for your vehicle. Freezing temperatures can damage your car and other garage components.

If you don’t want to ever deal with a dead battery, then you should definitely get a garage heater.

Moreover, such a device will help you save time on scraping the ice of the vehicle and you wouldn’t have to spend any additional fuel or electricity on warming up the car on a cold morning.

Added home value

A warm and cozy garage might not add to the house’s appraisal value, but it can definitely be used as an argument in convincing a potential buyer.

You’ll have an additional living space

Adding a heater to the garage is one of the first steps to allowing any future development.

If you ever decide to increase the square footage and livable space in the house, then upgrading the garage to an extra bedroom is a great idea.

You will follow neighborhood codes

Some neighborhood codes might specify that the house needs to have a heater installed in the garage.

This is usually done to prevent wear and tear of the building and to ensure that the homeowners and pets won’t experience freezing temperatures in any part of the house.

You’ll be able to maintain indoor temperatures more efficiently 

It might be challenging to keep your house nice and toasty when the temperatures drastically drop.

A cold garage is one of the places through which the heat from your house can ‘escape’.

To help your heating system be more efficient, keep the garage warm.

Tip: to find out if your garage is actually affecting the indoor temperatures or not, touch the walls that are shared with the garage. If they are cold, then they are definitely not making your house warmer. 

Read: HVAC System Service – How It’s Done And How Much Does It Cost?

How to Save On Heating Your Garage?

There are quite a few things that you can do to increase your garage’s energy efficiency. This, in its turn, will help you save on the part of your energy bill that includes garage heating.

Insulate the walls and ceiling

You can’t underestimate the power of properly installed insulation. 

Moreover, there are plenty of options to choose from – spray foam, blow-in, batting… 

Simply pick the most suitable option for your specific case and enjoy warmer winters.

Insulate the garage door

Did you know that an R-18 garage door can keep the space around 25 degrees cooler in the hotter months and about 12 degrees warmer in the winter?

However, such a high-efficiency door would cost you around $1.500-$2.000.

As a more affordable option, homeowners can attempt to improve the doorframe’s weatherstripping, which will make a huge difference as well.

Moreover, the insulation of your garage door will also make the actual door quieter, strengthen it, and reduce noise transfer.

Insulate around outlets and light switches

This might seem like an unnecessary step, but every little measure counts.

If there are any gaps around the outlets or light switches make sure to use some sort of insulation material to get rid of the holes.

Upgrade the garage floor

There are special coatings available that are going to protect your garage floor from developing cracks.

Warning! Such cracks can be an early warning sign of a major structural issue.

You can also caulk the connection between the floor and the walls. This area is often overlooked, but a few tubes of caulking or a foam sealant will increase the energy efficiency of your garage in no time. 

Improve the ventilation 

Ventilation is one of the things that help maintain stable temperatures. 

You can consider installing roof vents or a fan-driven ventilation system.

Fact: ventilation also helps prevent humid air from getting trapped in the garage. This means that you’ll be able to avoid mold and mildew growth.

Read: How Strong Should Air Come Out Of Vents?

To Sum Up

Now you know that it will cost you a little less to run a gas garage heater than an electric one.

However, do bear in mind that gas units are, in most cases, more expensive than electric models. Moreover, you might have to run a gas line to the garage and install an exhaust vent.

On the other hand, a gas garage heater will help you save in the long run as the cost of natural gas is, in general, much lower than that of electricity. 

By the way, a properly installed unit would also lower the main house’s heating bills as warm air will no longer be escaping through the garage.