Best Heater for 500 Square Feet [All Budgets]

Finding the right sized heater for 500 square feet can be tricky.

If you’re ok with using a natural gas heater, I found the Mr. Heater Vent-Free 20,000 BTU to be powerful enough to heat 500 square feet without any issue.

Wall heaters are another great option for 500 square feet, and they’re ideal if you are running low on space. The Broan Nutone 198 is a great choice for that.

Below you’ll find all the reviews and even some budget options to save on some cash.

Let’s get started.

Our Top Picks

Mr. Heater Vent-Free 20,000 BTU
Mr. Heater Vent-Free 20,000 BTU
  • 20,000 BTU
  • Safety features
  • Can be upgraded for more heat output
Broan-NuTone,White 198
Broan-NuTone,White 198
  • Can fully heat 500 sq.ft
  • Can be purchased in a 1500/3000 version
  • Easy to install
Portable Electric Space Heater
Portable Electric Space Heater
  • Portable
  • Carry handle
  • Heats up to 200 square feet 

Best Natural Gas Heater for 500 Square Feet

Mr. Heater Vent-Free 20,000 BTU

Key Features:

  • Great for up to 700 square feet
  • Has safety features
  • Thermostat included

If you’re set up to use natural gas within your home, then this 20,000 BTU propane heater will be all you need.

It’s able to be mounted either on its legs or on the wall, allowing for flexible installation.

You can use the dial to ignite the unit and choose from the high and low settings.

20,000 BTUs is going to be suitable for 700 square feet, so you’ll have no issues staying warm.

If you have an uninsulated space, you’ll likely have to purchase a more powerful unit to make up for the lost heat.

It comes with an oxygen depletion sensor and tip-over protection, keeping you safe.

If you do plan to use this heater indoors, you will need to provide adequate ventilation. This means cracking a window or door so that you prevent any carbon monoxide buildup.

Reviewers loved this portable heater and said it worked great even in spaces up to 800 square feet.

I like that you can still install it on its feet, so you don’t need to mount it on your wall if you choose not to.

You can also even upgrade it to suit the size of your space as well.

As long as you take the proper precautions when using fuel-powered heaters, you’ll have no issue heating a 500 square feet space with this unit.

If you’re looking for electrical only, you can check out the runner up winner, Broan Nutone 198.

  • Legs and wall mounting hardware included
  • No outdoor venting required
  • Low oxygen safety shut-off
  • Not thermostat controlled
  • Blower fan kit sold separately

Best Wall Heater for 500 Square Feet

Broan Wall Heater

Key Features:

  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Enamel finish 
  • Down-flow louvers

A wall heater is a great way to heat your 500 square feet space without any danger of tipping over the unit. This is great if you have kids or pets running around!

The downflow louvers were made to direct heat to the floor, so it can rise naturally throughout your room.

What I like about this space heater is that you also get to use the thermostat on the front for full control.

It comes with thermal overload protection so it’ll shut itself off if it senses it’s getting too hot.

Compared to other electric heaters, this unit is thin, so installing it shouldn’t be so difficult.

Some users did mention that the fan on the inside did make quite a bit of noise.

Unfortunately, if you don’t have a 240v setup inside of your home, this will add to the installation cost.

If you already have a wall heater that’s been installed that needs to be replaced, you should have no issue with this space heater in your 500 square foot space.

The biggest downside is that if you aren’t already set up to use an in-wall heater, then you will need to cut out a hole and then wire it to your electric system.

If you don’t want to bother with that, then you can choose to go with an easy to use space heater like the Portable Electric Space Heater.

  • Easy installation
  • Permanently lubricated motor
  • High efficiency blower wheel
  • Quite loud
  • Not as energy efficient 

Best Budget Heater for 500 Square Feet

Portable Electric Space Heater

Key Features:

  • Portable
  • Carry handle
  • Heats up to 200 square feet 

Another option for your 500 square foot space is infrared heaters.

While they aren’t going to be powerful enough to heat the entire room, space heaters can be good in a pinch. They’ll be able to heat you as long as you stay nearby, so if you’re wanting to save some cash, they can be a good idea.

Be aware though that their heating capacity is limited and they’re normally rated to be used in 150 square foot spaces.

If your room is insulated, then you should have a much better chance of this space heater keeping you warm this winter.

You can move it close to you with the handle on the top, without worrying about being burned.

This ceramic heater also can be used on 750W if you’d like to save some on your electric bill this winter.

This space heater also has tip over protection and overheat protection, preventing any fires from occurring.

You can also use it on fan only mode, making it usable during the summer.

Some purchasers mentioned when using this product that the safety switch was a bit sensitive and shut the unit off when they were only trying to move it.

Unfortunately, some mentioned that the heat output can be uneven depending on where you are in the room.

Regardless though, an infrared heater can be a great way to save on money if you don’t mind spending time closer to the heater.

It won’t be able to heat up an entire space like the Broan Wall Heater would be able to, but it does cost substantially less and doesn’t require professional installation.

  • Overheat protection
  • 45 dB sound
  • Tip-over switch
  • Heat output is uneven
  • Safety switch is a little sensitive

Also Great Budget Heater for 500 Square Feet

Also Great Budget Heater for 500 Square Feet
ISILER Space Heater

Key Features:

  • V0 flame-resistant materials
  • Heats up to 108 square feet 
  • Carry handle

If you’re willing to compromise a bit on the heat output, ceramic heaters can save you a ton of money.

This unit uses forced air to spread the heat around your entire room.

This ceramic heater also has tip over protection, turning off the unit if it’s knocked over.

You also can use the thermostat control to adjust the range from 41 to 95F.

The heating element starts warming up your room instantly.

Unfortunately, the fan is a bit loud at 50dB.

You’ll also not be able to heat a 500 square foot room completely with this space heater, but as a budget pick, it’s a good option to save on some cash.

If you’re ok with using this heater as a spot heater, it’s a good alternative option.

If you want to save a bit of money, you can purchase 2 or 3 of these and it’ll still be less than a wall or propane heater. You will however need to pay a bit for electricity.

  • Easy transportation
  • Low noise
  • Tip-over switch
  • Power switch at the back of the unit
  • Short cord
  • Heat control is essentially binary

Best Convection Heater for 500 Square Feet

De'Longhi Convection Panel Heater

Key Features:

  • Has EcoEnergy mode
  • Can be mounted on the wall
  • Has thermostat and LED display


Convection heaters differ from radiant heaters.

Convection heaters work by warming the air while radiant heaters warm objects and surfaces without heating the air between the objects.

This convection heater can be used freestanding or on the wall with the included wall mount.

The LED display makes it easy to see what you’ve set the adjustable thermostat to.

I like that it also has eco-energy modes to help reduce the utility bills at the end of the month.

The outside also stays cool to the touch and it has thermal cut off as well as tip over protection should it be knocked over.

If you have an insulated 500 square foot space, this convection space heater should do you well.

It will likely not be powerful enough as a garage heater or any space where the heat will escape easily.

As long as you’re able to stay nearby this heater, you shouldn’t have any issue staying warm this winter.

As with other space heaters on this list, it likely won’t be able to fully heat a 500 square foot space.

This unit does use convection will do a better job than most standalone space heaters as it is capable of moving the heat around your room.

If you’re wanting to heat the entire room without spending time near the heater, then you’re better off with a wall panel unit like the Broan-Nutone Wall Heater.

If you have an insulated space, it may be enough to keep you warm throughout the entire winter, but don’t expect it to be able to keep up in uninsulated spaces.

  • Safety features
  • Energy-saving mode
  • LED Display
  • Won’t work well in uninsulated spaces
  • Won’t be able to fully heat 500 sq.ft

Best Commercial Electric Heater for 500 Square Feet

Dr. Heater DR966 Garage Heater

Key Features:

  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Adjustable louvers
  • Finished in a gray epoxy paint

If you’re only working with 500 square feet, you’ll need an adequate supply of power.

Regular space heaters won’t be nearly enough to heat a space larger than 150 square feet.

Thankfully, the Dr.Heater 240v is capable of being used at 3000 or 6000 watts.

For 500 square feet, 3000 should be enough but if you are trying to heat a poorly insulated space, having 6000 watts as a backup will be nice to have.

The adjustable louvers will allow you to direct the heat right where you need it.

The forced air system also helps move hot air around your room or workshop.

The front has a temperature range dial which will allow you to adjust the temperature to your preference.

One gripe about this unit is that you need to set it up with an on/off switch or it will stay on indefinitely.

While this unit does have a built-in thermostat, you’re better off purchasing a standalone unit to control it so you’ll have more control (and be able to shut it down in one place).

You’ll also need to have this wired to a 240v system, and if you don’t know how or need to have it installed, will drive up the price.

If you’re needing a commercial heater for a workshop that’s around 500 square feet, it’s going to be difficult to beat this option.

This isn’t going to work in a living room as not only is it a bit unsightly, it’s not made to be used in spaces that aren’t workshops or garages.

  • Bracket included
  • Easy control airflow
  • Thermally protected
  • Power cord not included
  • Can be noisy

Also Great Commercial Heater for 500 Square Feet

NewAir 2-in-1 Garage Heater

Key Features:

  • 2-in-1 portable or wall mount design
  • Heats up to 500 square feet 
  • 2 fan speeds

What I love about this unit is that it’s going to fit great in any workshop or garage seating.

You’ll be able to transport it easily with the top handle and it looks sleek as heck too!

You can decide to mount it on a wall or keep it as a portable heater.

I love that you can keep it on top of a worktable and have it direct the heat right at you with its forced air system.

This unit does use 240v, so be aware that you will need a way to wire it to your electric system.

It also includes a remote control which no other heaters have on this list!

The outer shell was made to withstand rough conditions and should be fine even if it takes a little beating when being transported.

Purchasers loved this product and were able to heat a space as well as two 1500 watt heaters!

While it is a bit more expensive and will require a 240v outlet to use, it’s going to be able to keep up with a 500-foot space much better than any radiant heater ever would be able to.

The biggest downside with the “portable” feature is that you likely won’t have access to a 240v outlet everywhere.

This makes this unit a bit more difficult to use if you’re wanting to take it with you anywhere.

If you have a generator that has a 240v outlet and you lug it around with you, you may find more use out of this heater than most other consumers.

  • Heats evenly
  • Automatic shut-off
  • Remote control
  • Power outlet required
  • Can be noisy

What to Look for in a Heater for 500 Square Feet?

Heat output

If you want a heater that is capable of heating your room entirely, you’ll need one that is capable of doing at least 15000 BTUs or has 4000 watts of power.

These metrics may need to be adjusted depending on the location of where you live.

If you have an uninsulated room or adjacent rooms that aren’t insulated and generally don’t get heated, this will cause the heating capacity of your heater to be less effective.

If you are trying to heat an uninsulated space, it’s recommended to get the room treated before purchasing any type of heater.

Safety features

Safety features like tip-over protection as well as oxygen depletion sensors are going to be necessary.

If you’re using a fuel-based heater, then you’re going to need to provide adequate ventilation otherwise you run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

It may be counterintuitive to open a window or door while you’re trying to heat your home, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

If you do plan to use combustible heaters indoors, it’s recommended


Not all heaters will have a thermostat, but they will be nice to have. Space heaters normally don’t, but some higher-end models like the De’Longhi Convection Space Heater.

You won’t have to worry about the room getting too hot and you’ll use less electricity or fuel as you keep the temperature setting where you like it.

Remote control

A remote control will be a nice feature to have if you’re not going to spend time near the heater and don’t want to be bothered to turn it off.

Sadly, a remote control is rare in most heaters on this list, but the NewAir NGH500GA00 does have one!


Consider that you not only need to pay for the heater itself, but also the electricity or fuel. Electric bills can be high if you don’t regulate your usage and keep your heater on all the time.

Let’s say you plan to use your 4000w heater on all day and your electricity price is 0.13/khW, then you’ll be paying around $125 a month.

A 1500w heater will run you around $48 per month.


Being able to transport your heater around your room is important if you opt to go for a cheaper space heater rather than a full-sized standalone heater.

Look for a heater with a handle that stays cool to the touch. This way, you can bring it with you where you need it and save on electric bills at the same time.

Noise level

If you go with a forced air heater, you’re going to hear about 45-50dB of noise coming from the fan.

While this isn’t loud (it’s about the noise of a library), it can be bothersome for some people.

If you are a light sleeper, then look for an option that uses a radiant heater rather than forced air.

The downside of a radiant heater is that the hot air may have trouble moving around in the room and you’ll have uneven heating.

Final Thoughts

If you’re ok using a natural gas heater, then the Mr. Heater Vent-Free 20,000 BTU is going to heat your 500 square foot area without any issue.

On a budget? You may want to look into using space heaters instead like the Portable Electric Space Heater.

Have a garage? Check out the best electric garage heaters 120v.

About Roy Cohen

Roy Cohen has a burning passion for heating, cooling, and ventilation. He aims to help you save money on expensive repairs and bring you the best HVAC products. He has years of experience behind him in HVAC repair and garage maintenance.

You can find Roy at his LinkedIn or his email: [email protected]

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