Mini Splits vs. Garage Heaters: What Should I Install in My Garage?

November 24, 2020

Your garage can be more than just a space to put your vehicles in McHenry. It can be a workshop, offer extra storage and more. But when you’re out there more often, it needs to be a comfortable temperature.

Garages don’t typically have the ductwork needed for regular heating and cooling systems. While you can install ductwork, it’s not the most cost-effective option. The smartest approach to heat your garage is by getting 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 style for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

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

Even though a ductless mini-split is more expensive, a lot have received ENERGY STAR® designation for their energy efficiency. They’re also very quiet and deliver 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 part of your home, you could be able to have extra indoor units in areas that are difficult to heat and cool.

What is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater is more than a space heater. This comprehensive heating solution is installed on the ceiling or the upper corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can consume electricity, gas or propane. They’re an excellent option if you are situated in a cold climate and do a lot of dirty dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and made to stand up to extra grime.

Reviewing Key Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the lowest-priced option. The estimated expense is different due to fuel type, but they’re often about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters work similarly to a furnace, needing fuel to generate heat. A mini-split air conditioner is closer to a heat pump, which moves 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 may be entitled to extra rebates due to that energy efficiency.

Fuel Source

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

Heating and Cooling

As its designation indicates, a garage heater is limited to only offering heat. A ductless mini-split provides both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

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

Space Considerations

Due to the fact garage heaters are usually mounted on the ceiling, they can consume premium overhead storage space. In contrast, slim mini-split systems are often placed higher up on a wall and don’t need a lot of space.

If you’re still waffling between a garage heater and mini-split, the specialists Jett's Heating & Air Inc. can help. Contact us at 815-410-1128 today to receive a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll go over your needs, recommend a solution and get it put in rapidly, so you can start enjoying your garage workspace much sooner.