The Modine HD60 will be your best friend during those freezing months of winter, but before we get into all of the details on the Modine HD60 let’s discuss some important information on how a gas heater works, and factors you should consider before deciding on which garage heater you should spend your hard-earned money on.
Intro | Modine HD60
If you spend time working in the garage you’ll know it’s a nightmare when it’s cold. Not only will you find it chilly in winter, but in summer the temperature can drop drastically too. You’ll have to find a way to remedy the problem before you’re finally happy.
Wearing an extra layer of clothes isn’t good enough. Even though your body will be warmer, it’s still not a real solution when your tools are freezing cold. The one piece of equipment that will solve everything is a garage heater like the Modine HD60 gas heater and we’re going to examine why.
How A Fan Forced Garage Heater Actually Works
Fan forced garage heaters like the Modine HD60 are the most popular choice among those who work in their garage. It’s easy to explain how they work in a few sentences if we don’t go into the exact specifics. A fan will draw cold air in from behind the main unit.
Once the cold air is in the system it will be warmed up inside a heat exchanger using natural gas. When it finally passes through hot air will be blown across your garage warming everything up. The only complicated thing about these heaters is installing them.
Total BTU You’ll Need For Your Garage
You’ll likely be wondering exactly how much BTU you will need before looking for a natural gas heater. We did touch on it earlier on, but it’s worth mentioning again to make sure you get it right. Follow these guidelines and you’ll find a heater suitable for your garage:
- 60,000 BTU = 3 To 3-1/2 Car Garage
- 45,000 BTU = 2 To 2-1/2 Car Garage
Please Note: If in doubt, it’s always beneficial to go with a more powerful model.
Modine HD60 Hot Dawg | HD60AS0121
Propane : 60,000 BTU : Power Vented HD Model
Suitable to heat : 3 to 3.5 Car Garage — Best 60,000 BTU Garage Heater
- Produces up to 60,000 BTU/hour to keep you warm and comfortable on cold days
- Ideal for residential, commercial and industrial applications
- Accommodates piping from the left or right
- Noise Level : 59 dB
- Surface mounts to the ceiling
- Low-profile design great for tight spaces
- CSA listed
- Trouble-free motor dependability
- Simplified side-wall or roof venting with small-diameter vent pipes
- Hush-puppy quiet operation
- 10 year warranty on heat exchanger
- Lightweight, easy installation 1″ from ceiling
- Operates with natural or propane gas
- Power vented model simplifies side-wall or roof venting with small-diameter vent pipe
- Finger-proof fan guards on all units
- Permanently lubricated motor
- Controls can be either single or two-stage, direct spark ignition, 100% shut-off with continuous retry
- Made in the USA
✓ Documents for the Modine HD60:
- View or download the INSTALLATION/MANUAL
- View or download the BROCHURE
- View or download the MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST
- View or download the TECH SPECS
You’ll find millions of Modine heaters in homes and workshops around the world. Their Hot Dawg units are one of the most popular in the industry and it’s easy to see why. The Modine HD60 is one of the top models and we’re going to look at some features that you’ll love.
- Each Unit Has Hush-Puppy Quiet Operation
- It Has An Incredibly Low Profile Design
- The Steel Heat Exchanger Is Very Durable
- Comes With A Permanently Lubricated Motor
- It Has High Maximum Air Flow And Air Throw
- Venting And Spark Ignition Are Efficient
Each Unit Has Hush-Puppy Quiet Operation
One look at the name and you’ll automatically know fan forced garage heaters won’t be completely silent. This would be annoying when you’re sitting doing nothing, but when you are working it’s even worse. Loud noises in the background will make it difficult to concentrate.
Luckily the Modine HD60 isn’t like some other fan forced models. It will offer you hush-puppy operation at all times. It’s not one hundred percent silent, but it’s quiet enough to let you get on with your work without getting distracted every few minutes.
Video | Modine Hot Dawg Installation
It Has An Incredibly Low Profile Design
You’ll notice the low profile design as soon as you take your Modine HD60 out of its box. It only needs an inch of clearance from the garage roof and it’s 18 inches in height, so once it’s sitting in position it will never get in your way.
It weighs 80 pounds and can sit on a couple of angle brackets, which will allow you to point the heater downwards instead of straight forwards. The designers also used a neutral color to help it blend into the background of your garage instead of sticking out.
The Steel Heat Exchanger Is Very Durable
When spending a lot of money it’s crucial your purchase is extremely durable. This garage heater is built to last and the aluminized steel heat exchanger is the perfect example of this. It’s so durable Modine will give you a massive 10-year warranty on it.
The motor is completely sealed to stop any debris from getting inside. Even the unit itself is covered in polyester-powder paint to help it stay looking brand new for years, so the heat exchanger certainly isn’t the only durable thing you’ll find.
Comes With A Permanently Lubricated Motor
Fan forced garage heaters like the Modine HD60 will have a great motor inside them. If you have any other equipment that uses a motor you’ll likely have to play around with oil. Modine fixed this by adding a long lasting lubricant to their motors during the manufacturing process.
Thanks to the unit being lubricated permanently it won’t just save you time doing it yourself. The gas heater will last a lot longer before something goes wrong, so your maintenance costs will decrease. It’s also the reason why this model hardly makes any noise.
Rear View | Modine HD60 and HD45 : Low Profile Models
It Has High Maximum Air Flow And Air Throw
The 60,000 BTU under the hood will help you keep a garage up to 550 square feet warm at all times. Some of the other stats are fairly impressive and Modine packed a lot into this unit. It has a maximum air flow of 990 cubic feet per minute keeping the warm air circulating.
Your fan will be able to throw the warm air up to 36 feet too, which could come in handy depending on the specific shape of your garage. You want to install your gas heater in the corner, so it’s important the air will be able to reach the opposite corner.
Video | Operating the Modine Hot Dawg Garage Heater
Venting And Spark Ignition Are Efficient
You want to look for a couple of things when trying to choose the right garage heater. Safety is obviously an important factor and the power venting helps. The venting system on the Modine HD60 is also very efficient no matter the direction of the pipe.
You’ve then got an automatic spark ignition to increase its efficiency starting up. You’ll know there is nothing worse than owning something that constantly underperforms. When a garage heater isn’t efficient enough it will waste your time and money.
Modine HD45AS0111 | Hot Dawg
Natural Gas : 45,000 BTU Garage Heater
If you have a smaller garage you might prefer the Modine HD45 natural gas heater. It’s not a great idea considering the prices are almost the same. The features are similar as well, but we’ll quickly cover a few of the major differences:
- Maximum Input Capacity – 45,000 BTU
- Maximum Air Flow – 720 CFM
- Air Throw – 27 Feet
- Total Height – 12.2 Inches
- Total Weight – 60 Pounds
Mr. Heater Big Maxx MHU50NG (F260550) | 50,000 BTU
Perfect for : Residential Garages, Metal Buildings, Warehouses, Agricultural Building, Storage Buildings
- Easy outside access to thermostat and A/C terminals and gas connection
- Limited 3 year warranty on parts and burners
- Powered exhaust allows for vertical or horizontal venting
- Natural Gas to Liquid Propane conversion kit included
- 50,000 BTU per hour heats up to 1250 sq. ft.
- For use with natural gas
- Spark ignition features self-diagnostic control module
- Includes 2 angle brackets for ceiling mount
- Low Profile Design – Can be installed in low-ceiling buildings
- Minimum 8 ft clearance from floor to base of heater required
- 1/2″ gas connection
- Category 1 vertical, category 3 horizontal venting
- Natural Gas to Liquid Propane conversion kit included
✓ View or download the MANUAL for the Mr. Heater Big Maxx MHU80NG.
Overview | Mr. Heater Big Maxx MHU80NG
So far we’ve only looked at Modine garage heaters, but there are other brands on the market. Mr. Heater is a strong competitor and their Big Maxx MHU50 model is capable of holding its own. We’ll look at a few standout features to give you an idea of what it offers:
You’ll Have Multiple Venting Options Available – The Big Maxx MHU50 has power venting like the Modine HD60, which opens up a world of options for you. One of them is choosing between vertical and horizontal venting.
This will come in extremely useful depending on where you want to set up your unit. If you decide to go with horizontal venting this model will also let you decide which side you want to attach the pipe to.
It Comes With A Liquid Propane Conversion Kit – If you use natural gas you’ll save money when compared to running an electric heater. The only downside is the space you’ll take up storing your gas.
You might find the liquid propane conversion kit comes in handy if you want to save as much space as possible. This is because when you store something as a liquid you’ll need less cubic feet to produce the same results.
The Ability To Warm Up 700 Square Feet Easily – The Modine HD60 sits at 60,000 BTU, but this Big Maxx model is only 50,000 BTU. You might be wondering whether or not it’s still suitable for your garage.
You won’t have anything to worry about and it will still work in garages up to 700 square feet in size. Just make sure it’s positioned in the correct place and your large garage will be warm enough to work in all year round.
You Can Control It With Any 24V Thermostat – When your garage heater is switched on it’s not going to be using the same amount of gas all the time. You’ll have to use more or less depending on the temperature outside.
A few models have thermostats built into them, but the majority don’t and you’ll need to buy one separately. Even though there isn’t one built into the Big Maxx MHU50 you can use any standard 24V thermostat.
It Has A High Efficiency Rating Of 82 Percent – When we looked at the Modine HD60 we never talked about the thermal efficiency, which is an impressive 80 percent. Stationary gas heaters won’t get a lot better.
This Mr. Heater model does even if it’s only by 2 percent. The percentage is calculated by taking the total amount of energy heating your home and dividing it by the total energy contained inside your fuel source.
Learn more about garage heaters by reading the next section.
Advantages | Fan Forced Garage Heater
You’ll have a couple of different options when choosing a garage heater, but the stationary natural gas units reign supreme. Before we look at some heaters you should avoid, we’ll go over some of the main benefits you’ll get if you choose a fan forced model like the Modine HD60:
Your Garage Will Heat Up Very Quickly
When you leave your home in the morning you don’t want to wait too long until your car warms up. The same thing applies to working in your garage. Even if you have lots of patience you don’t want to wait around for ages before you can finally get down to work.
You won’t have to when you use a natural gas fan forced heater due to the way in works, which is just like the furnace inside your home. Once the warm air is blown out it will heat up the room quickly, even if it’s the middle of winter and you live in a frosty state.
They’ll Warm Up A Large Space Easily
If you look at the BTU (British Thermal Units) of stationary fan forced garage heaters the stats are impressive. A BTU is basically the amount of heat you’ll need to take a pound of water and raise the temperature by one degree, but it’s also the unit heaters are measured in.
It will only take around 60,000 BTU to keep a large garage nice and toasty. Natural gas heaters like the Modine HD60 will offer you this. If you don’t have a large three car garage it’s still possible to use a 45,000 BTU heater to warm up the room when it’s freezing.
The Venting Will Deal With The Gasses
Fan forced heaters like the Modine HD60 will use natural gas or liquid propane to heat your garage up. When you use gas as a fuel source you should already know it’s dangerous if you’re working in a closed environment. When working in your garage it’s obvious you will be.
Luckily you don’t need to worry about dangerous gasses killing you, because they’ll escape through a vent pipe into the outside air. Depending on the exact heater you buy it’s also possible to choose between horizontal or vertical venting, which helps when you’re setting the unit up.
A Heater Is Surprising Cheap To Buy
If you look hard enough you’ll find various heaters at all sorts of prices, so you’ll always be curious about the cheaper options available. It’s a lot easier if you remember fan forced and infrared heaters are the only top choices because it narrows down the field.
When you examine infrared heaters closely you’ll notice fan forced models like the Modine HD60 are a lot cheaper. In fact, fan forced heaters that run on natural gas are around half the price. It’s also a cheap fuel source as you’ll find out later on.
They Can Be Placed Well Out Of Reach
Earlier on, we talked about the difficulties you might have setting the gas heater up. Due to the fact it’s stationary you’ll have to connect up the gas, venting, and various other things. In the majority of cases people will need help from experts when installing a unit.
But when it’s finally up you’ll understand why it was worthwhile. It can be placed out of the way in the corner of your garage and it won’t cause you any problems. You’ll know why it’s crucial later when we look at one of the reasons why infrared heaters aren’t good enough.
Disadvantages | Infrared Garage Heater
Infrared garage heaters are obviously good and more technologically advanced, but this is one case where technology doesn’t necessarily help. There are some major disadvantages you’ll run into when trying to work in the garage using an infrared heater and we’ll discuss them now:
The Garage Will Take Longer To Heat Up
Infrared heat works in a completely different way. Although your room will feel like it’s warm after a while the heater warms up objects. This means your toolbox might feel warm within minutes, but the same won’t apply to the air you’ll be standing in.
You’ll get a shock if you reach for your cold tools too quickly. If you wait a while it will be fine once your floors have been warmed up. You’ll still never feel comfortable straight away like you would if hot air was blowing in your face.
Objects Must Be Kept Away From The Unit
As we’ve already said, objects in front of a infrared heater will warm up once it’s switched on. Just make sure you don’t let any get too close. This should be obvious when you stare into the red hot coils of the heater for the first time. Everything should be kept a few feet away at the very least.
If anything comes within 3-4 feet of your infrared heater it’s going to overheat, which you might not even know about until you touch it. For example, you could grab a wrench from somewhere and it would feel like you slapped your hand against a boiling kettle.
They Must Be Positioned A Lot Differently
When you’re installing an infrared garage heater it’s similar to how you would set up a Modine HD60 most of the time. You’ll still have your gas, vent, and electrical connections to deal with. The one major difference you’ll notice is the limitations on where you can place it.
First of all, you’ll not be able to install it close to the ground. It will need to be a minimum of 7 feet above the floor in order to work correctly. There must be a gap of 4 inches between the unit and ceiling too, which isn’t as bad but still worse than a fan forced heater.
They’ll Heat Up Things In Front Of Them
Think about how you would escape the heat from the sun in the middle of summer. If you wanted to stay outside you would have to retreat to the shade where it would be cooler. If you want to get a little more scientific, radiant heat is limited to traveling in a direct line.
This means it’s not necessarily the best heater if you’re going to be walking backwards and forwards around the garage. The heat simply won’t be able to circulate in the same way it would if you were using a natural gas garage heater like the Modine HD60.
The Room Won’t Stay Warm For Very Long
If you were using a fan forced heater you wouldn’t need to keep it switched on non-stop. If you knew you only had a little longer until you were finished you could switch it off. The heat would stay in the air for a while unless you opened a door or window.
When you’re stuck with an infrared heater you need to keep it switched on until the bitter end or you’ll get cold. It’s because the unit heats up objects as opposed to the air. At least they’re slightly more cost effective which will basically evens things up.
Disadvantages | Portable Garage Heater
Portable gas heaters are also quite popular with lots of people, but it’s because they’re cheap and can be moved around. If you only plan on using the heater in your garage they’re to be avoided. Here are three big reasons why it’s always good to stay away from them:
You’ll Need To Keep A Window Or Door Open
You will be able to buy portable electric heaters, but they’ll cost extra money to run. It’s why heaters capable of running on gas are looked on more favorably. It is easy to see why these would be great when working in some environments, but not closed spaces like a garage in winter.
A portable gas heater will be dangerous because it won’t have a vent pipe sending gasses outside. You’ll need to keep a window or door open at all times, which defeats the purpose of using one. Even if the gasses are free to make their way outside it’s still not perfectly safe.
It’s Easy To Accidentally Knock One Over
When a large unit like the Modine HD60 is installed you won’t be required to go anywhere near it. You certainly won’t be able to knock it over by accidentally bumping into it. You can’t say the same thing about a portable gas heater because it will be waiting to fall over.
Even if you own one for years it only takes a single wrong move and you could be in trouble. Hopefully if you do go down this route your heater will have a few safety features built into it, but life is still better when you don’t have to watch your step while working.
They’ll Pump Water Vapor Into Your Garage
If anyone goes to the trouble of buying a garage heater it’s safe to say they’ll have lots of other tools too. Some of them will even be pretty expensive. It’s possible they’ll have other metal things lying around and not just one or two cars.
You don’t want to use anything that will shorten the lifespan of your tools and other possessions, which will happen if you buy a portable heater. This is because they’ll send lots of water vapor into the air speeding up the time it takes things to rust.
Two Quick Tips To Heat your Garage
The only reason you need a garage heater like the Modine HD60 is because your garage is too cold. It’s not like they’re designed to be warm and cozy anyway, but make a few changes and you won’t need to rely on your fan forced heater so often:
Insulating Your Garage Properly
Check your garage to ensure the insulation is sufficient to begin with. If you try to heat a room with insufficient insulation you’ll always be fighting a losing battle. It’s going to cost you lots of extra money over the long term at the very least.
They say you should have roughly 4 inches of insulation on the walls and 6 inches of insulation on the ceiling. Don’t forget it should also be in good condition too. If you need to retrofit it you’ll find it’s well worth the hassle before installing your natural gas heater.
Focus On Your Windows And Doors
How many windows do you have in your garage? You’ll definitely have at least one door too, or a couple if you own an attached garage. It’s guaranteed there is air escaping from these places on a constant basis, even if the gaps are so small you can’t see them with the naked eye.
You’ll need to do everything possible to stop any heat from escaping through gaps in your windows and doors. It will be impossible to close them off completely, but if you try your best you’ll waste less money once you begin using your garage heater.
The Modine HD60 Will Turn Your Garage Into A Workshop
If you need a warm garage it’s hard to find a better fan forced heater than the Modine HD60. It ticks all the right boxes and will work for the majority of people. You’ll be able to turn your garage into a comfortable workshop in no time.
We have touched on a few other options today, so you might be weighing them all up in your head. To make life easier on yourself click on the links to read unbiased reviews about each model from current owners.