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

November 24, 2020

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

Garages don’t usually have the ductwork necessary for standard heating and cooling systems. While you can get ductwork, it’s not the most cost-effective remedy. The best method to heat your garage is by having a ductless comfort system, like a mini-split system or a garage heater.

Let’s discuss the difference between the two to help you find the ideal solution for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is much like a heat pump because it shifts heat as opposed to generating it. This makes it a very energy-efficient heating and cooling system for areas without ductwork. These electric systems are usually installed on a wall and linked to the outdoor unit through a small hole in the wall.

Though a ductless mini-split is higher priced, most have achieved ENERGY STAR® recognition for their energy efficiency. They’re also extremely quiet and offer zoned comfort, which offers accurate control over your garage’s temperature.

The majority of mini-splits allow you to connect multiple indoor units to an individual outdoor unit. If your garage is part of your home, you may be able to install added indoor units in areas that are difficult to heat and cool.

What is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater is better than a space heater. This comprehensive heating solution is mounted on the ceiling or the upper corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can use electricity, gas or propane. They’re a good choice if you live in a chilly climate and complete a lot of dusty dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and designed to keep working through additional grime.

Evaluating Top Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the most budget-friendly style. The average price is different due to fuel type, but they’re usually about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters work similarly to a furnace, using fuel to make warmth. A mini-split air conditioner is nearer to a heat pump, which shifts hot air. This makes a mini-split more efficient to run. You’ll enjoy decreased energy costs if you select an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you may be entitled to extra rebates as a result of 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 name suggests, a garage heater is restricted to just offering heat. A ductless mini-split offers both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

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

Space Considerations

As garage heaters are usually placed on the ceiling, they can consume premium overhead storage area. In contrast, space-saving mini-split systems are usually placed higher up on a wall and don’t require a lot of real estate.

If you’re still waffling between a garage heater and mini-split, the specialists TopTec Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical can help. Contact us at 847-362-0262 today to get a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll review your needs, suggest a solution and get it installed fast, so you can get started enjoying your garage workspace much quicker.