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

November 24, 2020

Your garage can be more than just an area to store your vehicles in Columbia. It can be a workshop, offer additional 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 common heating and cooling systems. While you can install ductwork, it’s not the most cost-effective solution. The best way to heat your garage is by using 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 find the right option for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is similar to a heat pump since it moves heat instead of generating it. This makes it a very energy-efficient heating and cooling system for spaces that lack ductwork. These electric systems are often placed on a wall and joined to the outdoor unit through a tiny hole in the wall.

Although a ductless mini-split costs more, a lot have achieved ENERGY STAR® recognition for their energy efficiency. They’re also highly quiet and provide zoned comfort, which gives exact control over your garage’s temperature.

Many mini-splits allow you to link multiple indoor units to one outdoor unit. If your garage is connected to your home, you could be able to have extra 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 mounted on the ceiling or the higher corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can run on electricity, gas or propane. They’re a great choice if you are situated in a cold climate and perform a lot of grubby dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and made to stand up to extra grime.

Comparing Key Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

We’ve assembled a valuable guide to help you choose the right system for your garage.


Garage heaters are the most economical style. The typical price is different because of fuel type, but they’re frequently about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters work similarly to a furnace, consuming fuel to generate heat. A mini-split air conditioner is more like a heat pump, which shifts hot air. This makes a mini-split more efficient to run. You’ll enjoy decreased heating and cooling expenses if you choose an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you might be entitled to additional rebates as a result of that energy efficiency.

Fuel Source

Garage heaters have the widest options for fuel types—electricity, gas or propane. Mini-splits are electric.

Heating and Cooling

As its name suggests, a garage heater is limited to only delivering heat. A ductless mini-split offers both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

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

Space Considerations

Since garage heaters are often installed on the ceiling, they can consume valuable overhead storage room. On the other hand, low-profile mini-split systems are usually placed 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 Watts Electric & A/C Inc can help. Reach us at 601-736-7362 today to receive a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll go over your needs, advise you on a solution and get it put in rapidly, so you can begin enjoying your garage workspace much sooner.