Whether you are an everyday homeowner living in extremely cold temperatures, trying to keep your basement warm, or maintaining a warm temperature for a professional workshop during the winter months… an affordable and hanging hydronic heater is a must-have.
Finding the best hydronic system can help you save on energy costs as well as provide consistent heat within basements with concrete floors and block walls. Furthermore, the best hydronic hanging heaters are quiet, more durable, and cost-effective. Generally, you would want to size a hydronic garage heater based on the square footage of the area you want to heat.
How Does a Hydronic unit heater work?
Hydronic heating works by using water to move heat through a variety of sources like boilers or heat pumps. This heat is then moved through pipes to each room. In effect, the heat is moved throughout a home or building using a sealed pipe network. While heated liquid must travel through the entire system, often it takes slightly longer to heat a space. Hydronic heating systems can be powered using several types of different energy sources.
Difference between Hydronic Heater and Regular Heating?
Generally, when people refer to a “regular heater” what they are talking about is a duct heater. Which works by collecting cold air, warming it to a temperature set by a thermostat, and pushing it by fans through ducts. The Best Hydronic heating heater systems utilize hot water, outdoor wood boilers, or some kind of heat exchanger and then transfer heat through a series of pipes, that effectively heat through a home, basement, or commercial space. They essentially heat surfaces within a structure rather than heating the air.
With so many different options for hydronic heating units on the market, choosing the best option to suit your needs can sometimes be overwhelming. Hydronic heating units can be used in a variety of different ways.
Your ultimate selection will come down to a combination of factors:
- Heating capacity
- Size of the unit you want
- Ease-of-use, set-up, and installation
- Size of the area you intend to heat
Here are our top choices for hydronic heaters and the reasons why we like them.
#1: Best Overall
- 50,000 BTU
- 110 Volts
- Power Source: AC
- 24 lbs.
- 13.5” D x 15.75” W x 12”H
In our view, the 50k BTU Hanging Unit Heater from Outdoor Furnace Supply is the perfect heater for a variety of different settings including garages, warehouses, greenhouses, and many more.
Its remarkable, multi-use capabilities make it the hydronic hanging heater for both everyday homeowners and contractors alike.
With its revolutionary combination of powerful heat output and compact durability, this hydronic hanging heater is wired to use in conjunction with outdoor wood boilers with maximized power for smaller/medium sizes spaces and long-lasting durability.
This hydronic garage or warehouse heater is installation-friendly and can be paired with a thermostat for ease of use. With enough heating output for most small to average-sized spaces, we believe this unit is the best on the market at this size and price point.
#2: Runner Up
- 100k BTU
- 110 Volts
- Power Source: AC
- 34 lbs.
- Width: 19 3/4″Height: 16″Depth: 14″
Our runner-up is another offering from Outdoor Furnace Supply. With an extra bump of BTU for a total of 100k, this is the next level up in terms of heating output and is perfect for those looking for extra power for larger spaces and colder climates.
Its increased size and weight of 34 lbs. make it generally appropriate for an industrial setting or an attached garage. The durable copper adjustable louvers and easy setup with a 110V thermostat make it an excellent option for those looking for a slightly bigger unit that can deliver the extra heat.
Outdoor Furnace Supply’s quality products and customer service make this a safe investment backed by a company with a track record of commitment to quality. If you are the owner of a detached garage, greenhouse, or woodshop or live in an especially cold area, This hydronic heating unit may be worth a look.
#3: Best Budget
- 17,065 BTU
- 5,000 Watts
- 17.88″D x 14″W x 14.5″H
- 16 lbs.
- Heating Coverage: 1000 sq. ft.
In our view, the Comfort Zone CZ220 is the best hydronic hanging heater for garages and workshops on a limited budget. The 16 lbs. unit packs a punch and with a rugged steel construction, it's designed for a variety of different applications.
The World and Main brands have a stellar reputation for quality products built for long-lasting use. The Comfort Zone CZ220 even comes with smart safety features including a built-in sensor that immediately shuts the fan-forced ceiling mount heater off when it reaches an unsafe temperature to avoid overheating.
We believe this is an excellent option for those that are looking to save on space without sacrificing any of the power and heat output necessary for even some of the harshest environments. If you are looking for a powerful yet compact unit at an affordable price, this may be the option for you.
#4: More Power
- 150,000 BTU
- 48 lbs.
- Width: 23 3/4″Height: 20″Depth: 15″
- 110 Volts
If you are looking for a stronger option with increased heat output, equipped for the coldest climates then the 150k BTU hydronic heater may be just what the doctor ordered. Another solid option from Outdoor Furnace Supply, this slightly larger heating unit really packs a powerful punch. Meanwhile, you only spend a little bit more in comparison to the 100k option.
Designed for heating garages, warehouses, and greenhouses, it’s also great in an industrial setting as the size is significantly bigger than some of the other options. With its diverse application, Outdoor Furnace Supply has created a line of heaters that deliver strong heat output and an exceptionally durable unit.
- 200,000 BTU
- 64 lbs.
- Width: 27 3/4″Height: 24″Depth: 16″
For larger spaces, the 200,000 BTU option from the outdoor furnace supply is the granddaddy of them all. Its easy-to-use application along with outdoor wood boilers and 64 lbs. makes it a workhorse for contractors operating factories or professional workshops during the colder months. Excellent CFM output especially considering the smaller motor. Fit to run off a 110V thermostat. This is a solid unit with enough power for a variety of different applications in some of the coldest climates.
- 4.55 lbs.
- 5 x 4 x 7 inches
- Cast Iron
- 115 Volts
- 10 Gallons Per Minute Flow Rate
This Electric heater from Fahrenheit FUH is a great option suitable for a variety of indoor spaces as well as covered outdoor spaces. This hydronic heating unit also includes added safety features. To prevent overheating, when the unit is at maximum capacity, the fan continues to operate until the heating element is cooled. Its ease of use and ceiling mount bracket for enabled directional heating make it an attractive option for homeowners and contractors alike.
It also includes an excellent wiring diagram for added ease of installation. Featuring adjustable louvers, overheating protection, a built-in thermostat, durable steel material, and a compact 24 lbs. design, this heater is a great unit for anyone in the market for a safe, functional, and long-lasting product.
- 20,477 BTU
- 6,000 Watt
- 240 Volt
- 17.5″D x 13.6″W x 14.2″H
- 22.2 lbs.
Comfort Zone products never cease to impress when it comes to quality, versatility, and durability. And unlike some of the other brands out there, the 6,000-Watt heating unit is truly a multipurpose product. Designed specifically with workspaces and garages in mind, it is also a great option for harsher environments ensuring heat distribution across a wide area.
The versatile ETL-compliant, 208/240-volt space heater includes a fully enclosed motor ensuring added protection in dusty settings. You can also rest assured that all Comfort Zone products are designed to meet global quality standards as well as NEC and OSHA requirements.
A solid option for those that need a strong heater for a medium-sized space. In fact, the unit is so multifunctional it even features louvers and variable mounting angles direct airflow, and a fan-forced design to ensure heat is distributed where it is needed most. We believe this is a great option and absolutely worth a look.
If you are a professional contractor or operating within a larger industrial setting, the Outdoor Furnace Supply offerings might be a better choice due to their higher energy output and enhanced capabilities.
Our final tip is to pay careful attention to the application of each hydronic heating unit as well as ease of installation. Many brands require additional modification or complicated installation which can be a headache or even increase costs significantly.
Some products include additional wiring diagrams and instructions, which may not be appropriate for a homeowner simply looking to heat a small garage during the winter months. For the best all-around solution, we recommend choosing a product that fits your needs, so be sure to pay close attention to the recommended application as well as the user reviews!