Mini Splits vs. Garage Heaters: What Should I Get for My Garage?

November 24, 2020

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

Garages don’t often have the ductwork needed for common heating and cooling systems. While you can install ductwork, it’s not the most advantageous option. The smartest way to heat your garage is by getting a ductless comfort system, like a mini-split system or a garage heater.

Let’s review the difference between the two to help you choose the best solution for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is close to a heat pump because it moves heat rather than generating it. This makes it an extremely energy-efficient heating and cooling system for spaces without ductwork. These electric systems are often placed on a wall and linked to the outdoor unit through a tiny hole in the wall.

Though a ductless mini-split is higher priced, a lot have earned ENERGY STAR® recognition for their energy efficiency. They’re also very quiet and offer zoned comfort, which offers exact control over your garage’s climate.

The majority of mini-splits allow you to connect several indoor units to a single outdoor unit. If your garage is part of your residence, you could be able to use added indoor units in areas that are difficult to heat and cool.

What is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater is more than a space heater. This all-encompassing heating solution is mounted 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 good solution if you live in a northern climate and do a lot of grubby dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and created to last through extra grime.

Reviewing Notable Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the lowest-priced style. The average cost differs due to fuel type, but they’re frequently about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters are much like a furnace, consuming fuel to make hot air. A mini-split air conditioner is closer to a heat pump, which shifts warmth. This makes a mini-split more efficient to use. You’ll have even lower heating and cooling expenses if you select an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you could be eligible for added 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 designation says, a garage heater is restricted to just delivering heat. A ductless mini-split offers both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

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

Space Considerations

As garage heaters are usually installed on the ceiling, they can take up valuable overhead storage space. In comparison, space-saving mini-split systems are usually put higher up on a wall and don’t require a lot of real estate.

If you’re still waffling between a garage heater and mini-split, the pros West Michigan Heating & Air Conditioning Services can help. Reach us at (616) 319-1436 right away to get a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll review your needs, advise you on a solution and get it put in quickly, so you can begin enjoying your garage workspace much faster.