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

November 24, 2020

Your garage can be more than just a space to store your vehicles in Savage. It can be a workshop, provide added storage and more. But when you’re out there more often, it needs to be a cozy temperature.

Garages don’t usually have the ductwork necessary for regular heating and cooling systems. While you can add ductwork, it’s not the most cost-effective remedy. The best way to heat your garage is by installing a ductless comfort system, like a mini-split system or a garage heater.

Let’s go through the difference between the two to help you choose the ideal solution for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is much like a heat pump because it transfers heat rather than creating it. This makes it a very energy-efficient heating and cooling system for areas that don’t have ductwork. These electric systems are usually put on a wall and connected to the outdoor unit through a tiny hole in the wall.

Though a ductless mini-split costs more, most have received ENERGY STAR® designation for their energy efficiency. They’re also extremely quiet and offer zoned comfort, which provides exact control over your garage’s climate.

Most mini-splits allow you to connect more than one indoor unit to one outdoor unit. If your garage is adjacent to your home, you might be able to use added 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 upper corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can use electricity, gas or propane. They’re an excellent choice if you reside in a northern climate and complete a lot of dirty dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and created to last through additional grime.

Comparing Notable Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the lowest-priced option. The typical cost is different due to 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 warmth. A mini-split air conditioner is nearer to a heat pump, which shifts warmth. This makes a mini-split more efficient to use. You’ll get even lower utility bills if you choose an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you could have access to additional rebates because of that energy efficiency.

Fuel Source

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

Heating and Cooling

As its title suggests, a garage heater is limited to only providing heat. A ductless mini-split provides both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

When you want the most exact comfort control, a mini-split heat pump is the best solution as it provides zoned heating and cooling. That way, your garage will be the exact temperature you want it to be.

Space Considerations

Because garage heaters are usually installed on the ceiling, they can eat up valuable overhead storage area. In contrast, low-profile mini-split systems are often put 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 professionals Gopher Heating and Air Conditioning can help. Reach us at 952-373-0377 now to request a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll discuss your needs, advise you on a solution and get it put in rapidly, so you can start enjoying your garage workspace much sooner.