Mini Splits vs. Garage Heaters: What Should I Get for My Garage?

November 24, 2020

Your garage can be more than just a place to store your vehicles in Laurel. It can be an area to work, give added storage and more. But when you’re out there more often, it needs to be a comfy temperature.

Garages don’t usually have the ductwork required for regular heating and cooling systems. While you can add ductwork, it’s not the most cost-effective remedy. The smartest method to heat your garage is by installing a ductless comfort system, like a mini-split system or a garage heater.

Let’s discuss the difference between the two to help you choose the ideal option for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is close to a heat pump as it transfers heat instead of generating it. This makes it a very energy-efficient heating and cooling system for rooms without ductwork. These electric systems are typically put on a wall and connected to the outdoor unit through a little hole in the wall.

Though a ductless mini-split is more expensive, a lot have achieved ENERGY STAR® designation for their energy efficiency. They’re also highly quiet and provide zoned comfort, which gives accurate control over your garage’s temp.

The majority of mini-splits allow you to connect more than one indoor unit to an individual outdoor unit. If your garage is part of your house, you could be able to have additional indoor units in spaces that are hard 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 consume electricity, gas or propane. They’re a great option if you are situated in a chilly climate and do a lot of grubby dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and made to keep working through additional grime.

Comparing Key Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

We’ve made a handy guide to help you choose the ideal system for your garage.


Garage heaters are the lowest-priced style. The estimated expense is different because of fuel type, but they’re often about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters are much like a furnace, needing fuel to generate warmth. A mini-split air conditioner is more similar to a heat pump, which transfers heat. This makes a mini-split more efficient to run. You’ll enjoy even lower heating and cooling bills if you get an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you may have access to extra rebates due to that energy efficiency.

Fuel Source

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

Heating and Cooling

As its title says, a garage heater only provides delivering heat. A ductless mini-split provides both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

When you want the most precise temperature control, a mini-split heat pump is the best option since 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 installed on the ceiling, they can consume premium overhead storage room. In contrast, slim mini-split systems are usually installed higher up on a wall and don’t need a lot of room.

If you’re still waffling between a garage heater and mini-split, the pros H&C Heating and Cooling can help. Reach us at 301-960-3247 right away to request a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll review your needs, suggest a solution and get it put in quickly, so you can get started enjoying your garage workspace much faster.