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

November 24, 2020

Your garage can be more than just a space to put your vehicles in Front Royal. It can be an area to work, give extra storage and more. But when you’re out there more often, it needs to be a comfortable temperature.

Garages don’t often have the ductwork required for standard heating and cooling systems. While you can install ductwork, it’s not the most cost-effective remedy. The wisest method to heat your garage is by adding a ductless comfort system, like a mini-split system or a garage heater.

Let’s review the difference between the two to help you discover the best solution for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is similar to a heat pump since it transfers heat instead of creating it. This makes it an extremely 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 small hole in the wall.

Though a ductless mini-split costs more, many have earned ENERGY STAR® certification for their energy efficiency. They’re also highly quiet and offer zoned comfort, which gives accurate control over your garage’s climate.

Many mini-splits allow you to link more than one indoor unit to a single outdoor unit. If your garage is part of your house, you might be able to have additional indoor units in rooms that are difficult 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 great choice if you reside in a cold climate and perform a lot of grubby dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and designed to keep working through additional grime.

Evaluating Key Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the most budget-friendly solution. The average expense differs based on fuel type, but they’re typically about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters are much like a furnace, using fuel to make heat. A mini-split air conditioner is more similar to a heat pump, which shifts warmth. This makes a mini-split more efficient to use. You’ll enjoy reduced heating and cooling 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 most options for fuel types—electricity, gas or propane. Mini-splits are electric.

Heating and Cooling

As its name says, a garage heater is restricted to just providing 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 option since it provides zoned heating and cooling. That way, your garage will be the exact temperature you want it to be.

Space Considerations

As garage heaters are usually placed on the ceiling, they can take up premium overhead storage room. On the other hand, space-saving mini-split systems are typically 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 Dave's Diversified Services can help. Reach us at 540-636-3396 right away to receive a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll discuss your needs, suggest a solution and get it put in quickly, so you can get started enjoying your garage workspace much sooner.