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

November 24, 2020

Your garage can be more than just a place to put your vehicles in Mechanicsville. It can be an area to work, provide added storage and more. But when you’re working out there more often, it needs to be a comfortable temperature.

Garages don’t typically have the ductwork needed for regular heating and cooling systems. While you can get ductwork, it’s not the most economical remedy. The smartest approach to heat your garage is by getting 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 best style for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is much like a heat pump as it shifts heat as opposed to generating it. This makes it a very energy-efficient heating and cooling system for spaces that don’t have ductwork. These electric systems are often installed on a wall and joined to the outdoor unit through a small hole in the wall.

Even though a ductless mini-split is more expensive, a lot have received ENERGY STAR® certification for their energy efficiency. They’re also highly quiet and offer zoned comfort, which gives accurate control over your garage’s climate.

Many mini-splits allow you to connect several indoor units to an individual outdoor unit. If your garage is connected to your house, you may be able to use extra indoor units in rooms that are difficult to heat and cool.

What is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater is better than a space heater. This all-in-one heating solution is installed on the ceiling or the upper corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can use electricity, gas or propane. They’re a great option if you reside in a northern climate and do a lot of dusty dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and designed to stand up to extra grime.

Comparing Notable Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the lowest-priced solution. The estimated price is different 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, consuming fuel to make warmth. A mini-split air conditioner is nearer to a heat pump, which moves hot air. This makes a mini-split more efficient to operate. You’ll have reduced utility bills if you get an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you could be eligible for added rebates because of that energy efficiency.

Fuel Source

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

Heating and Cooling

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

Precise Temperature Control

When you are looking for the most exact comfort control, a mini-split heat pump is the smartest option since it delivers zoned heating and cooling. That way, your garage will be the right temperature you want it to be.

Space Considerations

As garage heaters are often installed on the ceiling, they can consume valued overhead storage space. In contrast, slim mini-split systems are usually put higher up on a wall and don’t require a lot of space.

If you’re still debating between a garage heater and mini-split, the specialists M & S Heating & Air LLC can help. Reach us at 301-363-4699 today to receive a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll discuss your needs, recommend a solution and get it put in rapidly, so you can get started enjoying your garage workspace much sooner.