Your garage can be more than just a place to store your vehicles in Hudsonville. It can be a workshop, give added storage and more. But when you’re spending more time out there, it needs to be a comfortable temperature.

Garages don’t usually have the ductwork necessary for regular heating and cooling systems. While you can install ductwork, it’s not the most cost-effective solution. The wisest approach 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 ideal option for your needs.

What Is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is close to a heat pump since it shifts heat instead of making it. This makes it an extremely 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.

Even though a ductless mini-split costs more, many have achieved ENERGY STAR® designation for their energy efficiency. They’re also extremely quiet and deliver zoned comfort, which provides precise control over your garage’s climate.

The majority of mini-splits allow you to join several indoor units to an individual outdoor unit. If your garage is adjacent to your home, you could be able to have extra indoor units in areas that are hard to heat and cool.

What Is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater is more than a space heater. This all-in-one heating solution is installed on the ceiling or the higher corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can run on electricity, gas or propane. They’re a good option if you are situated in a northern climate and complete a lot of dusty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and made to keep working through added grime.

Comparing Key Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the lowest-priced solution. The typical expense is different because of 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 generate warmth. A mini-split air conditioner is more like a heat pump, which transfers hot air. This makes a mini-split more efficient to run. You’ll have even lower energy bills if you choose an ENERGY STAR certified model. And you might be eligible for additional rebates due to that energy efficiency.

Fuel Source

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

Heating and Cooling

As its title suggests, a garage heater is restricted to just delivering heat. A ductless mini-split provides both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

When you are seeking the most precise temp control, a mini-split heat pump is the smartest solution because 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 usually mounted on the ceiling, they can consume valuable overhead storage space. On the other hand, low-profile mini-split systems are usually placed higher up on a wall and don’t have to have a lot of real estate.

If you’re still waffling West Michigan Heating & Air Conditioning Services can help. Reach us at (616) 319-1436 now to get a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll review your needs, advise you on a solution and get it put in fast, so you can get started enjoying your garage workspace much faster.