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

November 24, 2020

Your garage can be more than just a place to put your vehicles in Payson. It can be a work space, give 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 needed for standard heating and cooling systems. While you can get ductwork, it’s not the most cost-effective solution. The wisest approach to heat your garage is by adding 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 much like a heat pump since it transfers heat instead of making it. This makes it a very energy-efficient heating and cooling system for rooms that don’t have ductwork. These electric systems are typically placed on a wall and joined to the outdoor unit through a little hole in the wall.

Even though a ductless mini-split is more expensive, many have achieved ENERGY STAR® designation for their energy efficiency. They’re also very quiet and provide zoned comfort, which offers accurate control over your garage’s temperature.

Many mini-splits allow you to link several indoor units to a single outdoor unit. If your garage is connected to your residence, you may be able to install additional 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 comprehensive heating solution is mounted 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 are situated in a chilly climate and do a lot of dusty dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and made to withstand extra grime.

Comparing Key Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the most budget-friendly style. The estimated cost differs based on fuel type, but they’re frequently about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters work similarly to a furnace, using fuel to create warmth. A mini-split air conditioner is closer to a heat pump, which shifts warmth. This makes a mini-split more efficient to run. You’ll get even lower energy costs if you get an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you might be eligible for additional rebates because of that energy efficiency.

Fuel Source

Garage heaters have the most options for fuel sources—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 offers both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

When you are seeking the most accurate temperature 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

Since garage heaters are typically placed on the ceiling, they can eat up premium overhead storage area. In contrast, low-profile mini-split systems are often installed higher up on a wall and don’t have to have a lot of space.

If you’re still waffling between a garage heater and mini-split, the pros North Mechanical Heating and Cooling can help. Call us at 928-263-8570 today to get a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll go over your needs, suggest a solution and get it put in rapidly, so you can get started enjoying your garage workspace much faster.