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

November 24, 2020

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

Garages don’t often have the ductwork required for standard heating and cooling systems. While you can install ductwork, it’s not the most economical remedy. The wisest way to heat your garage is by having 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 close to a heat pump as it moves heat as opposed to creating it. This makes it an extremely energy-efficient heating and cooling system for spaces that don’t have ductwork. These electric systems are usually placed on a wall and linked to the outdoor unit through a little hole in the wall.

Though a ductless mini-split is higher priced, most have achieved ENERGY STAR® designation for their energy efficiency. They’re also extremely quiet and deliver zoned comfort, which provides exact control over your garage’s temp.

Many mini-splits allow you to join more than one indoor unit to an individual outdoor unit. If your garage is part of your residence, you could be able to install additional indoor units in rooms that are tricky to heat and cool.

What is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater isn’t a space heater. This all-in-one heating solution is mounted on the ceiling or the high corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can consume electricity, gas or propane. They’re an excellent solution if you reside in a northern climate and perform a lot of dusty dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and created to withstand extra grime.

Evaluating Key Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the most budget-friendly option. The typical price varies 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, needing fuel to generate heat. A mini-split air conditioner is more like a heat pump, which shifts warmth. This makes a mini-split more efficient to use. You’ll enjoy even lower heating and cooling bills if you choose an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you could be eligible for added rebates as a result of 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 indicates, a garage heater is restricted to just providing heat. A ductless mini-split offers both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

When you are seeking the most accurate temp control, a mini-split heat pump is the smartest option 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 typically installed on the ceiling, they can take up valuable overhead storage space. In comparison, 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 Farnell Heating & Air Conditioning Inc can help. Call us at 251-471-2674 right away to receive a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll review your needs, advise you on a solution and get it installed quickly, so you can begin enjoying your garage workspace much faster.