Mini Splits vs. Garage Heaters: What Should I Install in My Garage?

November 24, 2020

Your garage can be more than just a space to park your vehicles in Alliance. It can be a workshop, give extra storage and more. But when you’re working out there more often, it needs to be a comfy temperature.

Garages don’t typically have the ductwork needed for common heating and cooling systems. While you can install ductwork, it’s not the most advantageous option. The smartest way to heat your garage is by adding a ductless comfort system, like a mini-split system or a garage heater.

Let’s go through the difference between the two to help you find the right solution for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is close to a heat pump because it moves heat instead of making it. This makes it an extremely energy-efficient heating and cooling system for rooms that lack ductwork. These electric systems are usually installed on a wall and linked to the outdoor unit through a small hole in the wall.

Even though a ductless mini-split is more expensive, many have received ENERGY STAR® certification for their energy efficiency. They’re also highly quiet and provide zoned comfort, which offers precise control over your garage’s temp.

Many mini-splits allow you to join several indoor units to a single outdoor unit. If your garage is adjacent to your residence, you could be able to use added indoor units in spaces that are difficult to heat and cool.

What is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater isn’t a space heater. This all-in-one heating solution is placed on the ceiling or the upper corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can run on electricity, gas or propane. They’re a good solution if you are situated in a cold climate and complete a lot of dusty dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and designed to withstand added grime.

Comparing Top Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

We’ve created a valuable guide to help you choose the right system for your garage.


Garage heaters are the most economical solution. The typical cost differs based on fuel type, but they’re frequently about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters are similar to a furnace, using fuel to generate warmth. A mini-split air conditioner is more similar to a heat pump, which moves warmth. This makes a mini-split more efficient to run. You’ll enjoy reduced heating and cooling expenses if you get an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you may have access to extra 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 indicates, a garage heater is restricted to just delivering heat. A ductless mini-split delivers both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

When you want the most accurate comfort control, a mini-split heat pump is the wisest answer because it provides zoned heating and cooling. That way, your garage will be the exact temperature you want it to be.

Space Considerations

Since garage heaters are often placed on the ceiling, they can eat up premium overhead storage area. On the other hand, slim mini-split systems are typically placed higher up on a wall and don’t need a lot of room.

If you’re still debating between a garage heater and mini-split, the professionals Jack's Heating, Cooling, Stoves & Fireplaces can help. Contact us at 308-321-4703 right away to receive a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll go over your needs, recommend a solution and get it installed quickly, so you can start enjoying your garage workspace much quicker.