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 park your vehicles in Excelsior Springs. It can be a workshop, provide added storage and more. But when you’re working out there more often, it needs to be a cozy temperature.

Garages don’t usually have the ductwork necessary for standard heating and cooling systems. While you can add ductwork, it’s not the most economical option. The best method to heat your garage is by using a ductless comfort system, like a mini-split system or a garage heater.

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

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is much like a heat pump because it moves heat as opposed to making it. This makes it a very energy-efficient heating and cooling system for rooms without ductwork. These electric systems are often installed on a wall and joined to the outdoor unit through a small hole in the wall.

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

Many mini-splits allow you to connect more than one indoor unit to a single outdoor unit. If your garage is adjacent to your home, you could be able to have additional indoor units in spaces that are difficult to heat and cool.

What is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater is more than a space heater. This all-encompassing heating solution is installed on the ceiling or the high corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can consume electricity, gas or propane. They’re a great option if you reside in a cold climate and do a lot of dirty dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and created to keep working through extra grime.

Comparing Key Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


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

Operating Costs

Garage heaters are similar to a furnace, needing fuel to generate warmth. A mini-split air conditioner is more similar to a heat pump, which shifts hot air. This makes a mini-split more efficient to operate. You’ll enjoy even lower heating and cooling expenses if you select an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you may have access to extra 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 designation suggests, a garage heater only provides delivering heat. A ductless mini-split provides both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

When you want the most accurate temperature control, a mini-split heat pump is the wisest option since it offers zoned heating and cooling. That way, your garage will be the right temperature you want it to be.

Space Considerations

Since garage heaters are usually placed on the ceiling, they can eat up valued overhead storage area. On the other hand, slim mini-split systems are often installed higher up on a wall and don’t need a lot of real estate.

If you’re still debating between a garage heater and mini-split, the professionals Colvin's Heating and Cooling can help. Contact us at 816-379-3918 now to receive a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll discuss your needs, advise you on a solution and get it working quickly, so you can start enjoying your garage workspace much quicker.