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

November 24, 2020

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

Garages don’t often have the ductwork needed for common heating and cooling systems. While you can get ductwork, it’s not the most advantageous solution. 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 discover the right style for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is close to a heat pump as it shifts heat as opposed to creating it. This makes it a very energy-efficient heating and cooling system for spaces without ductwork. These electric systems are often placed on a wall and connected to the outdoor unit through a tiny hole in the wall.

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

Many mini-splits allow you to link more than one indoor unit to a single outdoor unit. If your garage is adjacent to your residence, you could be able to use additional indoor units in areas that are tricky to heat and cool.

What is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater is more than a space heater. This all-in-one heating solution is installed on the ceiling or the high corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can use electricity, gas or propane. They’re an excellent choice if you live in a northern climate and do a lot of grubby dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and made to stand up to added grime.

Comparing Notable Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the most economical option. The estimated cost is different based on fuel type, but they’re frequently about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters are much like a furnace, needing fuel to make heat. A mini-split air conditioner is more similar to a heat pump, which transfers warmth. This makes a mini-split more efficient to operate. You’ll enjoy reduced energy bills if you choose an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you could be entitled 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 name suggests, a garage heater is restricted to just providing heat. A ductless mini-split provides both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

When you are seeking the most precise comfort control, a mini-split heat pump is the best answer because it offers zoned heating and cooling. That way, your garage will be the right temperature you want it to be.

Space Considerations

Because garage heaters are often installed on the ceiling, they can take up valuable overhead storage room. In comparison, low-profile mini-split systems are often placed higher up on a wall and don’t have to have a lot of real estate.

If you’re still deciding between a garage heater and mini-split, the professionals Central Air LLC can help. Call us at 203-357-5913 now to receive a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll discuss your needs, recommend a solution and get it installed fast, so you can get started enjoying your garage workspace much quicker.