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

November 24, 2020

Your garage can be more than just a space to park your vehicles in Dresden. It can be a work space, provide additional 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 standard heating and cooling systems. While you can get ductwork, it’s not the most cost-effective solution. The best method to heat your garage is by using 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 right style for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

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

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

Most mini-splits allow you to connect more than one indoor unit to a single outdoor unit. If your garage is connected to your house, you may be able to use extra indoor units in rooms that are hard to heat and cool.

What is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater is better than a space heater. This all-encompassing heating solution is installed on the ceiling or the high corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can use electricity, gas or propane. They’re a good choice if you live in a chilly climate and perform a lot of dirty dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and made to last through added grime.

Evaluating Top Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the lowest-priced solution. The estimated expense varies 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 make hot air. A mini-split air conditioner is closer to a heat pump, which transfers warmth. This makes a mini-split more efficient to run. You’ll get reduced energy bills if you choose an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you may be entitled to additional rebates as a result of that energy efficiency.

Fuel Source

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

Heating and Cooling

As its title suggests, a garage heater is limited to only offering heat. A ductless mini-split provides both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

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

Space Considerations

Since garage heaters are typically installed on the ceiling, they can take up valuable overhead storage area. In contrast, slim mini-split systems are usually installed higher up on a wall and don’t have to have a lot of space.

If you’re still deciding between a garage heater and mini-split, the specialists McFadden Heating & Cooling can help. Reach us at 1-866-781-0111 today to receive a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll go over your needs, recommend a solution and get it installed rapidly, so you can start enjoying your garage workspace much sooner.