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 put your vehicles in Pella. It can be a work space, give added storage and more. But when you’re spending more time out there, it needs to be a cozy temperature.

Garages don’t usually have the ductwork needed for standard heating and cooling systems. While you can install ductwork, it’s not the most cost-effective remedy. The wisest way to heat your garage is by having 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 best style for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is similar to a heat pump as it moves heat instead of creating it. This makes it an extremely energy-efficient heating and cooling system for spaces that lack ductwork. These electric systems are usually put on a wall and joined to the outdoor unit through a small hole in the wall.

Though a ductless mini-split is more expensive, a lot have earned ENERGY STAR® certification for their energy efficiency. They’re also extremely quiet and deliver zoned comfort, which gives exact control over your garage’s climate.

The majority of mini-splits allow you to link several indoor units to a single outdoor unit. If your garage is connected to your home, you could be able to install additional indoor units in areas that are tricky to heat and cool.

What is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater is better 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 option if you live in a chilly climate and do a lot of dusty dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and designed to stand up to additional grime.

Reviewing Key Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the most budget-friendly solution. The estimated expense varies because of fuel type, but they’re frequently about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters are similar to a furnace, consuming fuel to generate hot air. A mini-split air conditioner is nearer to a heat pump, which moves hot air. This makes a mini-split more efficient to run. You’ll enjoy reduced energy costs if you get an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you could have access to additional rebates as a result of that energy efficiency.

Fuel Source

Garage heaters have the broadest 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 provides both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

When you are after the most exact comfort control, a mini-split heat pump is the smartest answer since it delivers zoned heating and cooling. That way, your garage will be the exact temperature you want it to be.

Space Considerations

Because garage heaters are typically placed on the ceiling, they can consume valued overhead storage room. In comparison, space-saving mini-split systems are typically installed higher up on a wall and don’t require a lot of room.

If you’re still debating between a garage heater and mini-split, the pros Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating can help. Call us at 641-628-3621 today to receive a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll review your needs, advise you on a solution and get it working rapidly, so you can get started enjoying your garage workspace much sooner.