Best Portable Car Heater: Should You Get A Car Heater?

When the temperature drops outside, your car's heater and windshield defroster become necessary. Your vehicle's factory air conditioner and heater work hard to control the climate inside your car or truck.

A portable electric car heater can be the perfect temporary fix if your heater stops working in the middle of winter or if you’d like to preheat your car’s interior before you leave home. Starting at just over $20, it’s a cost-effective way to cut the chill. But are they a good idea, and which are the best choices?

What Are the Top 5 Portable Car Heaters?

Today’s vehicles don’t defrost your windows as it effectively as they used to. Aluminum engine blocks are more efficient at controlling heat, but they do almost too well for winter conditions, and it can take forever to warm your car’s interior. A plug-in car heater can help aid in the process.

Here is a list of the top 5 best portable car heaters AutoZone offers:

SubZero 150-Watt 12-Volt Heater and Fan

The SubZero 150-Watt 12-Volt Heater and Fan seems to be a customer favorite. Its rotating base and fold-up handle make it easy to defrost each window individually. It’s also quite affordable at under $25.

RoadPro 12-Volt Heater/Fan Defroster

The RoadPro 12-Volt Heater/Fan Defroster is another top-selling portable car heater. You can pick up the Road Pro 12-Volt Heater, Fan, and Defroster for around $45. If you’re looking for more power, RoadPro offers the All-Season Heater Fan for just $10 more.

Wagan 12-Volt Fan/Defroster

AutoZone has the Wagan 12-Volt Fan/Defroster if you’re in the market for a small dependable portable car heater. An electric plug-in car space heater can’t replace your car’s stock heating system but for barely more than $20, it can be reassuring to know you at least have an auxiliary heater in case of an emergency. 

Kat 150W Interior Heater

Kat is another famous brand of interior portable car heaters.  AutoZone offers the popular Kat 150W Interior Heater, and it starts at around $55. 

Kat 120W Portable Ceramic Fan and Heater

AutoZone also has the Kat 120W Portable Ceramic Fan and Heater. This heater is a little more bulky and costly as well at around $135.

What Is The Top Portable Car Heater On The Market?

When the time comes to use your portable car heater, it needs to work. If you’re stranded in the cold or simply trying to defrost your windshield, you trust your plug-in electric car heater to help. 

The RoadPro 12-volt heater/fan defroster and the RoadPro 12-volt All-Season heater fan are top-rated portable car heaters that AutoZone offers. The SubZero 150-watt 12-volt heater and fan come with a swivel base and a fold-up handle. The fold-up handle makes defrosting those hard-to-reach areas on your windows a breeze.  

Is A Buddy Heater Safe For A Car?

A Buddy Heater is a portable heater that runs off of propane. When propane burns, it produces carbon monoxide. This invisible vapor is deadly to humans and animals. Without proper ventilation, you could pass out within just a short time. The Buddy Heater is engineered with all the newest innovations to help prevent smoke or fire, but your vehicle is much too confined for a Buddy Heater to work safely. 

How Can I Keep My Car Warm Without Heat?

When the cold rolls in, you don’t want to be stranded without any heat. The best option is to have a portable electric car heater on hand. Always having a stash of blankets in your vehicle is another helpful tip for keeping your car warm without heat. Heated blankets are another form of electric heat that you can utilize inside your vehicle. Some heated blankets come with car lighter adapters. Besides stocking up on hand warmers and always having a warm drink available, you must prepare for any cold weather emergency.

Final Thoughts On Portable Electric Car Heaters

The most important fact to remember about any portable electric car heater is that they don’t replace your vehicle’s factory heating system. Portable electric heaters work great in assisting in the defrosting process. In case of a total loss to your defroster, a portable electric car heater will be able to thaw out your windshield, although it might take a little more time. 

If you’re driving through a snowstorm with only a portable electric heater to keep you warm, you still might need a few blankets. A small plug-in car heater can be great for warming your hands. If you’re counting on it to keep you thawed out, you might be in for an uncomfortable ride. 

AutoZone wants you to stay safe and warm. If you’re ready to buy a portable car heater, find your best option here at a price you can afford. 

 FAQ/People Also Ask

Do portable car heaters work?

Portable car heaters are great for defrosting your windshield and warming your hands, not for supplementing your vehicle’s factory heater.

Is there a portable heater for a car?

Most plug-in electric car heaters are better suited for defrosting windshields and hand-warming. The larger propane heaters can be deadly in an enclosed space.

What is the best portable car heater on the market?

Based on positive reviews, the Sub-Zero 150w heater and fan is a favorite option for many car owners.

Are 12-volt car heaters any good?

12-volt car heaters are typically used as window defrosting and can slightly heat your vehicle if it’s not too big. You may be disappointed if you’re trying to replace your car’s stock heating system with a plug-in heater.

Is a buddy heater safe in a car? 

Propane Buddy Heaters need proper ventilation, as they produce carbon monoxide gas. Portable electric car heaters are a better choice than propane options.

How can I keep my car warm without heat?

If you find yourself stranded in the cold, it’s a good idea to keep blankets stashed somewhere in your car and plug in a 12-volt heater intended for cars. Parking your car in the garage or under a covered parking area can also give you some control over the climate inside your vehicle. 

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