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

November 24, 2020

Your garage can be more than just an area to park your vehicles in Cambridge. It can be an area to work, offer extra storage and more. But when you’re out there more often, it needs to be a comfortable temperature.

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

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

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is much like a heat pump because it moves heat instead of generating it. This makes it a very energy-efficient heating and cooling system for areas without ductwork. These electric systems are typically placed on a wall and connected to the outdoor unit through a tiny hole in the wall.

Though a ductless mini-split costs more, many have achieved ENERGY STAR® recognition for their energy efficiency. They’re also very quiet and offer zoned comfort, which offers exact control over your garage’s temperature.

The majority of mini-splits allow you to join multiple indoor units to an individual outdoor unit. If your garage is connected to your home, you may be able to have extra indoor units in areas that are tricky 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 mounted 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 an excellent option if you are situated in a cold climate and complete a lot of grubby dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and created to last through added grime.

Comparing Top Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


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

Operating Costs

Garage heaters are similar to a furnace, needing fuel to make heat. A mini-split air conditioner is more similar to a heat pump, which shifts heat. This makes a mini-split more efficient to run. You’ll get even lower energy bills if you get an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you may be eligible for additional rebates because of that energy efficiency.

Fuel Source

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

Heating and Cooling

As its designation suggests, a garage heater is restricted to just offering heat. A ductless mini-split offers 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 solution since it delivers zoned heating and cooling. That way, your garage will be the exact temperature you want it to be.

Space Considerations

Since garage heaters are typically mounted on the ceiling, they can take up valued overhead storage room. In contrast, space-saving mini-split systems are typically installed higher up on a wall and don’t have to have a lot of real estate.

If you’re still debating between a garage heater and mini-split, the pros Pliescott HVAC Services LLC can help. Contact us at 410-228-4822 now to request a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll review your needs, recommend a solution and get it put in fast, so you can begin enjoying your garage workspace much faster.