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Doing exercise will make you warmer but sometimes you need a little bit more heat in your home gym to comfortably get started. Here’s what you need to know about space heaters for your home gym so you can keep training year round.
For most home gyms a 1500W electric space heater is sufficient. The three best options are;
- #1: Stiebel Eltron CKT15E
- #2: AirNmore Comfort Deluxe
- #3: De’Longhi TRD40615E
If you need more heat, you can upgrade to a 240 Volt or Propane heater which both can put out much more heat.
Below you can find which heaters are the best option and why. At the bottom there’s also information that can help you decide what’s best for you.
Top Three Medium Garage Gym Space Heaters
These are the three best space heaters for a small or medium home gym. That means up to about 250 square feet. If you need a bigger heater, scroll down further. However, for most people these top three heaters will be enough. A home gym doesn’t have to be hot, just warm enough to comfortably work out in.
#1: Stiebel Eltron CKT15E:
The best option is the Stiebel Eltron series. There are a few different models in this range but they are very similar. Check out the CKT15E on Amazon
These heaters are wall mounted and look like a simple appliance. Just a clean looking white box on the wall. Wall mounted is great in a home gym since you leave more floor space free and there is less risk of bumping into it.
There are a few other awesome benefits over other heaters;
- Frost protection setting (keeps the space above freezing automatically)
- Built in thermostat. Set to a temperature goal instead of just low, medium, high.
- Wall mounted
- Made in Germany
#2 AirNmore Comfort Deluxe:
This is a cabinet style heater. That means it’s a box you can place anywhere on the floor. This specific model is on wheels so it’s easy to move around.
It’s very well built and also has some safety features that are really welcome;
- The outside case doesn’t get hot to the touch
- It turns off automatically when tipped over
- Built in thermostat
Because this unit uses copper elements, it’s a bit more expensive since copper is a relatively expensive material. As a trade-off, you get a more efficient heater. You also get a better built one. It also comes with a remote control so you don’t even have to move to change the temperature. Check the current price on Amazon
#3 De’Longhi TRD40615E:
The last option is a radiator style heater. (Get it here on Amazon) This type of heater use great to raise the temperature in the whole space equally. It just uses natural convection so there is no fan which means it’s silent and is not directional. There is an electric heating element inside but the radiator is filled with oil. Oil can hold a lot of heat. That’s why these warm up a little slower but they also stay warm for about 20 minutes after turning them off. This requires a little thinking ahead.
This De’Longhi is a good choice in this category. De’Longhi is a well-known brand and comes with better quality control and customer service than the Chinese brands. You pay a little extra but those two things alone are more than worth it.
- Adjustable thermostat
- Digital controls
- 1500W energy max energy consumption
- Available in black and white
- Built in on/off timer
- Anti-freeze setting (prevents room from going below freezing)
Because of the way these heaters radiate warmth and you can set a timer, this is a great way to warm up your home gym before you start your workout.
Best Large Garage Gym Heater
The heaters above are aimed at average sized home gyms up to about 300 sq. ft. For some people that’s not going to be enough. It might not be enough because they’ve got a much larger home gym or maybe the space the gym is in is not insulated properly so you lose heat quick.
If you need more than 1500W to 2000W, there are two options;
- 240v space heater
- Indoor propane heater
The standard space heaters in the top three above are super easy to use. Just plug them in and turn them on. The bigger heaters have some drawbacks. You either need to find a 240 Volt outlet or deal with a propane heater.
Of course propane is great at heating spaces but there are some drawbacks. Burning propane uses oxygen and creates carbon monohydrate which can be dangerous if the levels in a space get too high. So if you want to use a propane heater, you will have to have some kind of ventilation.
Burning gas can be a fire hazard. Especially in a home gym where you might bump into it and tip it over.. Most indoor propane (and electric) heaters have an automatic turn off switch when it’s tipped over. You’ll also need a large propane bottle which takes up space.
A 240 Volt might be hard to find depending on the space you’re using and your house. Some houses have 240 Volt outlets for a water heater or large A/C unit. If you can find an outlet in your home gym, that’s a much better option than a propane heater. Electric heaters are much safer and easier to use.
Best Garage Gym Propane Heater
If propane is an option for you, the Mr. Heater F299xxx models are a great option. (Amazon link) They are available in 10000, 20000 and 30000 BTU versions so you can get a size you need. (For comparison a 1500W electric heater produces about 5000 BTU). You can read more at the bottom about how many BTU you need.
If you want to use a propane heater, make sure you ventilate your gym well. Find out more about home gym ventilation in this article.
You can also check out this article: How to ventilate your gym shed
Best Garage Gym 240V Heater
The best option for a bigger gym is the Dr. Heater DR975. (Amazon link) It’s a space heater that can be mounted on the wall which is actually a great thing for a home gym. You save the floor space and the risk of dropping something on it is a lot lower. It’s not the prettiest but certainly gets the job done.
It’s maximum setting is 7500W which should produce enough heat for a space about 700 square feet big. That’s bigger than a double garage so it should be plenty for most home gyms. Of course you can always use a lower setting if it’s too much. It’s good to have some extra capacity for those extra cold days.
How Many BTU Do You Need For a Home Gym?
You are probably wondering what space heater is big enough for your purposes.
There are a few general and simple calculations you can do to get a rough estimate of how many BTU’s you need to heat a certain space.
A few things to keep in mind;
- Places like a garage or basement (popular for home gyms) often aren’t insulated too well. That means heat leaks away quickly.
- A home gym doesn’t have to be very warm. Just comfortable enough to get your workout started and for your equipment not to be freezing. Your home gym can certainly be cooler than the rest of your house.
- What kind of climate are you in? If you’re Santa Claus and live on the North Pole, you might want a more powerful heater than if you live in a more moderate climate.
- How high are your ceilings? Most heater manufacturers give you a square footage rating (that’s often optimistic). However, rooms are 3d and the height plays a big role. If your ceilings are higher than 9’ tall, a bigger heater is recommended.
- Calculate for the coldest weather you could possibly get where you live.
With all that said, here is a guideline of how many BTU you roughly need;
- Calculate the square footage of your home gym
- In warmer climates, multiply this number by 10 – 15
- In more moderate climates, multiply by 20 – 30
- And in cold climates multiply the square foot number by 30 – 40
The multiplier depends on how well insulated your space is and how much you want to raise the temperature. One the one hand garage gyms tend not to be insulated too well but on the other hand you don’t have to raise the temperature as much as the rest of the house. So somewhere from the lower end to the middle of the multiplier range will be fine.
What To Look For In a Garage Gym Space Heater?
What should you know before deciding to buy a heater? Here are some of the most important points.
One of the most important factors of a space heater is how much warmth they put out. Heat output is often measured in BTU (British Thermal Units). 1 BTU is the amount of energy required to warm one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.
However, not all heaters quote BTU output. Usually electric heaters will tell you the consumption in Watts. Not all those Watts will get translated into heat although most of them will. One Btu/h is equal to 0.29307107 watt. That means the 1500W heaters put out a little over 5000 BTU.
240 Volt or propane heaters can put out much more than that.
Read more about how much you actually need at the bottom.
There are a few different types of space heaters;
- Wall mounted
Tower, radiator and cabinet heaters are mainly electric. Wall mounted heaters can both be propane and electric while torpedo heaters are usually propane powered although you can always find exceptions.
Which one is best depends on what shape you can easily put in your gym without it getting in the way and which type of energy you want to use.
What kind of heat do you want?
It’s a good idea to think about the type of heat you want in your gym. Many space heaters are directional. That means you feel warmth in front of them and they heat up things in front of them. That heat will radiate out to the rest of the space over time. These heaters warm up very quickly and if you stay in front of it or you aim it at the equipment you want to warm up, they work well.
The radiator type doesn’t direct heat in one direction. It aims to warm up the whole room. These warm up much slower but provide a more ‘complete’ heat and they stay warm for about 20 minutes after turning them off.
Most space heaters for inside use are electric. And that’s the best option for most situations. That’s because electric heaters are just much safer than those that use other energy sources like kerosene and propane.
Of course burning something is the easiest way to produce heat. But for indoor use it has significant drawbacks. Burning something flammable needs oxygen and creates carbon monoxide. That’s just a terribly dangerous thing for a space you want to be in and breathe a lot like a gym. There’s also the obvious fire risk.
Electric heaters are much safer in both ways. Electric heaters don’t need oxygen to work and therefore also don’t create any extra carbon monoxide. Most electric heaters don’t get all that hot so they don’t tend to set things on fire if they’re too close. Also, most electric heaters have an overheating and tip over protects which turns off the heater if it’s too hot of falls over.
There is one downside of electric heaters and that is the amount of heat they put out. That’s because they are limited to the amount of energy that comes out of a power outlet. That’s why the vast majority of space heaters top out at 1500W.
If you need significantly more heat out of your heater, you’ll have to either go to an indoor propane heater (there are a few) or you need a 240V outlet which can provide more juice.
Many people often forget a few important pieces of their home gym that isn’t directly gym equipment. Here are my favorite home gym tools.
- Interval timer: To time your intervals and all types of other workouts, the GymNext Flex is easily the best and easiest to use.
- Mirrors: Fab & Glass (Amazon link) makes the best large mirror sheets so you can see your exercise form.
- Flooring: American Floor Mats gym flooring (Amazon) or equipment mats make your gym quieter, easier to clean and keeps your floor and equipment safe.
- Fan: The Rowenta VU5670 (Amazon) is a great way to stay cool while working out.