Mini-Splits vs. Garage Heaters: What Should I Install in My Garage?

November 24, 2020
Man reparing something with his child

Your garage can be more than just an area to park your vehicles in Franklin & South Indy. It can be a workshop, provide added storage and more. But when you’re spending more time out there, it needs to be a cozy temperature.

Garages don’t often have the ductwork necessary for common heating and cooling systems. While you can get ductwork, it’s not the most cost-effective solution. The best way to heat your garage is by using 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 style for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is close to a heat pump as it transfers heat rather than making it. This makes it an extremely energy-efficient heating and cooling system for spaces without ductwork. These electric systems are often installed on a wall and connected to the outdoor unit through a small hole in the wall.

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

The majority of mini-splits allow you to connect multiple indoor units to one outdoor unit. If your garage is adjacent to your home, you could be able to use added indoor units in spaces that are hard to heat and cool.

What is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater isn’t a space heater. This all-in-one heating solution is placed on the ceiling or the higher corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can consume electricity, gas or propane. They’re a good option if you reside in a chilly climate and perform a lot of dirty dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and designed to last through added grime.

Comparing Top Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


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

Operating Costs

Garage heaters work similarly to a furnace, needing fuel to make hot air. A mini-split air conditioner is closer to a heat pump, which shifts heat. This makes a mini-split more efficient to use. You’ll enjoy decreased utility bills if you get an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you could be entitled to added rebates because of that energy efficiency.

Fuel Source

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

Heating and Cooling

As its name says, a garage heater is limited to only offering heat. A ductless mini-split delivers both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

When you are looking for the most precise comfort control, a mini-split heat pump is the smartest 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 consume valued overhead storage space. In contrast, space-saving mini-split systems are typically put higher up on a wall and don’t have to have a lot of room.

If you’re still waffling between a garage heater and mini-split, the professional’s Winters Heating and Cooling can help. Contact us at 317-406-5382 now to get a free, no-obligation estimate. We’ll discuss your needs, advise you on a solution and get it working rapidly, so you can begin enjoying your garage workspace much quicker.