Mini Splits vs. Garage Heaters: Whats Right for My Garage?

November 24, 2020

Your garage can be more than just an area to park your vehicles in Bloomfield. It can be a work space, offer additional storage and more. But when you’re spending more time out there, it needs to be a cozy temperature.

Garages don’t often have the ductwork required for standard heating and cooling systems. While you can add ductwork, it’s not the most economical option. The wisest way to heat your garage is by having a ductless comfort system, like a mini-split system or a garage heater.

Let’s review the difference between the two to help you discover the right solution for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is close to a heat pump because it shifts heat instead of generating it. This makes it a highly energy-efficient heating and cooling system for areas that don’t have ductwork. These electric systems are typically put on a wall and joined to the outdoor unit through a tiny hole in the wall.

Although a ductless mini-split costs more, a lot have received ENERGY STAR® designation for their energy efficiency. They’re also very quiet and offer zoned comfort, which provides accurate control over your garage’s climate.

Many mini-splits allow you to connect several indoor units to one outdoor unit. If your garage is adjacent to your residence, you could be able to install added indoor units in rooms that are tricky to heat and cool.

What is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater is more than a space heater. This all-in-one heating solution is placed on the ceiling or the higher corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can consume electricity, gas or propane. They’re a good choice if you live in a cold climate and perform a lot of dirty dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and created to last through extra grime.

Comparing Notable Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

We’ve put together a valuable guide to help you pick the best system for your garage.


Garage heaters are the lowest-priced option. The typical price differs based on fuel type, but they’re frequently about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters work similarly to a furnace, using fuel to create warmth. A mini-split air conditioner is more similar to a heat pump, which moves hot air. This makes a mini-split more efficient to run. You’ll have reduced utility bills if you get an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you might be eligible for additional rebates as a result of that energy efficiency.

Fuel Source

Garage heaters have the most options for fuel sources—electricity, gas or propane. Mini-splits are electric.

Heating and Cooling

As its name says, a garage heater is restricted to just offering heat. A ductless mini-split delivers both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

When you are after the most accurate temperature control, a mini-split heat pump is the best option as it delivers zoned heating and cooling. That way, your garage will be the exact temperature you want it to be.

Space Considerations

As garage heaters are typically installed on the ceiling, they can consume valuable overhead storage area. In contrast, space-saving mini-split systems are typically placed higher up on a wall and don’t require a lot of space.

If you’re still deciding between a garage heater and mini-split, the specialists Stanford Heating & Cooling can help. Call us at 812-825-8695 today to receive a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll discuss your needs, recommend a solution and get it working fast, so you can start enjoying your garage workspace much sooner.