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

November 24, 2020

Your garage can be more than just an area to park your vehicles in Gresham. It can be a workshop, give added storage and more. But when you’re working out there more often, it needs to be a cozy temperature.

Garages don’t typically have the ductwork needed for standard heating and cooling systems. While you can get ductwork, it’s not the most advantageous option. The wisest way 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 discover the best style for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is similar to a heat pump as it shifts heat as opposed to making it. This makes it an extremely energy-efficient heating and cooling system for areas that don’t have ductwork. These electric systems are usually installed on a wall and connected to the outdoor unit through a tiny hole in the wall.

Although a ductless mini-split is higher priced, many have achieved ENERGY STAR® certification for their energy efficiency. They’re also highly quiet and provide zoned comfort, which offers exact control over your garage’s temperature.

The majority of mini-splits allow you to join multiple indoor units to an individual outdoor unit. If your garage is part of your house, you could be able to use added indoor units in spaces that are tricky to heat and cool.

What is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater is better than a space heater. This all-encompassing heating solution is installed on the ceiling or the upper corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can run on electricity, gas or propane. They’re an excellent option if you reside in a northern climate and do a lot of dusty dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and designed to stand up to added grime.

Evaluating Key Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the lowest-priced option. The estimated cost varies based on fuel type, but they’re often about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters are much like a furnace, using fuel to make warmth. A mini-split air conditioner is more similar to a heat pump, which moves hot air. This makes a mini-split more efficient to run. You’ll have decreased energy bills if you select an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you might be entitled to additional rebates due to that energy efficiency.

Fuel Source

Garage heaters have the widest 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 providing 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 solution because it delivers zoned heating and cooling. That way, your garage will be just the temperature you want it to be.

Space Considerations

Due to the fact garage heaters are often installed on the ceiling, they can eat up valuable overhead storage space. In contrast, space-saving mini-split systems are usually installed higher up on a wall and don’t require a lot of space.

If you’re still deciding between a garage heater and mini-split, the pros Honke Heating & AC can help. Contact us at 503-663-8033 now to receive a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll discuss your needs, advise you on a solution and get it working fast, so you can begin enjoying your garage workspace much sooner.