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

November 24, 2020

Your garage can be more than just a place to park your vehicles in Hodgenville. It can be an area to work, give 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 required for regular heating and cooling systems. While you can install ductwork, it’s not the most advantageous remedy. The best way to heat your garage is by getting a ductless comfort system, like a mini-split system or a garage heater.

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

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is similar to a heat pump as it transfers heat as opposed to making it. This makes it a highly energy-efficient heating and cooling system for rooms without ductwork. These electric systems are typically installed on a wall and connected to the outdoor unit through a small hole in the wall.

Even though a ductless mini-split is higher priced, most have earned ENERGY STAR® certification for their energy efficiency. They’re also very quiet and provide zoned comfort, which provides precise control over your garage’s climate.

Most mini-splits allow you to link multiple indoor units to one outdoor unit. If your garage is adjacent to your home, you could be able to use additional indoor units in areas that are difficult to heat and cool.

What is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater isn’t a space heater. This comprehensive heating solution is mounted on the ceiling or the high corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can run on electricity, gas or propane. They’re a good solution if you are situated in a cold climate and do a lot of dusty dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and made to stand up to extra grime.

Reviewing Notable Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

We’ve put together a valuable guide to help you pick the ideal system for your garage.


Garage heaters are the lowest-priced style. The typical expense is different based on fuel type, but they’re often about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters are similar to a furnace, consuming fuel to create hot air. A mini-split air conditioner is more similar to a heat pump, which transfers hot air. This makes a mini-split more efficient to operate. You’ll enjoy even lower heating and cooling costs if you choose an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you could have access to added rebates as a result of that energy efficiency.

Fuel Source

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

Heating and Cooling

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

Precise Temperature Control

When you are looking for the most exact temperature control, a mini-split heat pump is the best answer as it delivers 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 mounted on the ceiling, they can take up valuable overhead storage area. On the other hand, slim mini-split systems are usually 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 Phelps Heating & Cooling can help. Reach us at 270-358-3167 today to receive a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll review your needs, recommend a solution and get it installed quickly, so you can start enjoying your garage workspace much quicker.