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We don’t experience the blood-freezing temperatures here in the South that they do further north, but it does get cold enough that we start looking for heating options in the shop during the winter.  Talk of halogen heaters starts making the rounds as soon as the first frost hits — but are they effective in the shop?

You can bag a cheap electric halogen heater for less than a C-note, and they come in a dizzying array of sizes and shapes. The concept of no-flame heating seems appropriate for the shop, but how well do these things work?  How much area do they cover?   Will the person standing five feet from the unit be sweating while the guy on the other side of the garage is experiencing a modern Ice Age?

In short, are these good units to place in the shop, or is this technology only suited for the small heaters you find under old people’s desks?  Let us know in comments.

Airworks Garage Heater [Northern Tool and Equipment]
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12 Responses to Hot or Not? Halogen Shop Heaters

  1. Jim says:

    In my old two car garage in Dayton OH, it didn’t work out great. Definitely end up hot or not depending on line of sight or proximity. Worked okay if you were doing something relatively stationary and you could do the work in the comfort zone.

  2. Gordon says:

    In my 2.5 car garage with 12 foot ceilings in Northern Massachusetts, eletric heaters seem to be fine if you are sitting in one spot. Instead i have a 80000 BTU propane burner that works great got it on clearance for $30 from amazon… Only problem is when i start working on any combustible, i heat the garage then turn the burner off, do my work and hope the heat doesn’t all leak out…

  3. Kurt Schwind says:

    I’m using a oil filled electric radiator style. No open flame. The major drawback is that I have to turn it on a good 30mins before actually working in the space. It’s slow to get going, but it’s very efficient and it’s definitely safe.

  4. DCook says:

    I had one like pictured, and in my two car garage in south texas, it was not worth the trouble. I purchased a 55,000 propane forced air heater and while it is loud, I routinely work in the garage in a t shirt and jeans during our coldest spells. Ditto for combustibles as above.

  5. kdp says:

    I don’t know how well they heat, but you can made a pretty good IR paint stripper out of them.

    See my post here:


    or the guy whose plans I used as a guide:


  6. rob says:

    works on the cta but you still frost the important bits. I like the propane reflector style heaters. My garage is heated and thank god I haven’t had to use a portable in some time. kerosene is horrible with all the venting. I’m on natty gas (heated garage built) and can get her up to 80 when swearing at the ghia.

  7. ChrisW says:

    The heater isn’t halogen. Only the 50 watt light is. I would rather have 1400 watts of halogen lights because they put out more light- unless I was trying to sleep under them.

  8. jim says:

    Used for spot applications they’re great. I got a tabletop model (looks like a tabletop oscillating fan) with a parabolic reflector for around $10 on clearance. I set it up on one end of the workbench pointing down the length of the bench. I used heavy clothes to keep my body warm, but my hands were always bare – the heater kept them nice and toasty no matter what I was doing at the bench.

  9. Coligny says:

    How much power is available on your shops ? I’m in japan… and an electric heater max out an electric plug. Since usually there is just 1 power feed per room maxing out 1 plug is maxing out the whole room… So it’s heat or tools…

  10. Aaron says:

    “How much power is available on your shops ?”

    I have a sub panel in my garage that I ran off my main house panel. So I have 40 AMPS to work with.

    As far as heating that garage, its not insulated at the moment and it gets a little cold (-12C today). I wear gloves when I can and I have an electric heater when I can’t. I don’t like to run it due to cost of electricity though.

  11. Mel E. says:

    Hot, works great in my garage in central ohio. I have two that I run along with a ceiling fan that keeps the air moving. I think the ceiling fan being on all the time circulating air helps the most.

  12. cliff says:

    @ Coligny.. having lived in europe and japan, and now living in the U.S.A, I have to let you know that the US has more power available in each house than 4 or five houses in either germany or japan, @ my house i have a 200 amp service with 100 going to the garage.

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