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 park your vehicles in Ellsworth. It can be a workshop, offer extra storage and more. But when you’re working out there more often, it needs to be a comfy temperature.

Garages don’t often have the ductwork needed for standard heating and cooling systems. While you can get ductwork, it’s not the most advantageous solution. The best method to heat your garage is by having a ductless comfort system, like a mini-split system or a garage heater.

Let’s review the difference between the two to help you find the right option for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is similar to a heat pump because it transfers heat rather than creating it. This makes it a very energy-efficient heating and cooling system for spaces that don’t have ductwork. These electric systems are usually put on a wall and linked to the outdoor unit through a small hole in the wall.

Even though a ductless mini-split is higher priced, a lot have received ENERGY STAR® designation for their energy efficiency. They’re also highly quiet and deliver zoned comfort, which provides precise control over your garage’s temperature.

Most mini-splits allow you to join several indoor units to a single outdoor unit. If your garage is connected to your house, you could be able to use additional indoor units in areas that are tricky to heat and cool.

What is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater is more than a space heater. This comprehensive 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 cold climate and complete a lot of grubby dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and made to keep working through added grime.

Reviewing Top Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the most economical solution. The average cost is different due to fuel type, but they’re typically about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters are similar to a furnace, consuming fuel to generate heat. A mini-split air conditioner is more like a heat pump, which shifts heat. This makes a mini-split more efficient to run. You’ll get reduced heating and cooling bills if you select an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you could be eligible for extra rebates because of that energy efficiency.

Fuel Source

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

Heating and Cooling

As its title indicates, a garage heater is limited to only delivering heat. A ductless mini-split offers both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

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

Space Considerations

As garage heaters are often installed on the ceiling, they can consume premium overhead storage area. In contrast, slim mini-split systems are typically placed higher up on a wall and don’t require a lot of room.

If you’re still deciding between a garage heater and mini-split, the professionals Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC can help. Reach us at 715-318-6728 today to request a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll go over your needs, advise you on a solution and get it installed rapidly, so you can begin enjoying your garage workspace much faster.