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 Lawrence. It can be an area to work, provide additional storage and more. But when you’re spending more time out there, it needs to be a comfortable temperature.

Garages don’t typically have the ductwork necessary for common heating and cooling systems. While you can install ductwork, it’s not the most cost-effective solution. The wisest way to heat your garage is by installing 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 choose the best solution for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is much like a heat pump as it shifts heat as opposed to creating it. This makes it a highly energy-efficient heating and cooling system for rooms that don’t have ductwork. These electric systems are usually put on a wall and linked to the outdoor unit through a little hole in the wall.

Even though a ductless mini-split is higher priced, most have achieved ENERGY STAR® designation for their energy efficiency. They’re also very quiet and offer zoned comfort, which gives accurate control over your garage’s temperature.

Most mini-splits allow you to join multiple indoor units to a single outdoor unit. If your garage is part of your residence, you may be able to have 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 comprehensive 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 an excellent choice if you are situated in a northern climate and complete a lot of grubby dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and designed to withstand additional grime.

Comparing Key Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


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

Operating Costs

Garage heaters are much like a furnace, using fuel to create heat. A mini-split air conditioner is nearer to a heat pump, which shifts hot air. This makes a mini-split more efficient to run. You’ll get even lower utility bills if you choose an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you might be entitled to additional rebates as a result of 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 name suggests, a garage heater is limited to only delivering heat. A ductless mini-split provides both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

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

Space Considerations

Since garage heaters are usually mounted on the ceiling, they can eat up premium overhead storage space. On the other hand, low-profile mini-split systems are typically put higher up on a wall and don’t need a lot of real estate.

If you’re still deciding between a garage heater and mini-split, the pros Scott Temperature can help. Contact us at 785-269-0465 right away to request a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll go over your needs, suggest a solution and get it working rapidly, so you can begin enjoying your garage workspace much faster.