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

November 24, 2020

Your garage can be more than just an area to park your vehicles in Plainfield. It can be a workshop, give added storage and more. But when you’re spending more time out there, it needs to be a comfy temperature.

Garages don’t usually have the ductwork needed for common heating and cooling systems. While you can get ductwork, it’s not the most advantageous remedy. The smartest way to heat your garage is by getting a ductless comfort system, like a mini-split system or a garage heater.

Let’s go over the difference between the two to help you find the right style for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is much like a heat pump because it shifts heat instead of creating it. This makes it a very energy-efficient heating and cooling system for areas without ductwork. These electric systems are often placed on a wall and connected to the outdoor unit through a small hole in the wall.

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

Most mini-splits allow you to join more than one indoor unit to an individual outdoor unit. If your garage is connected to your home, you could be able to have additional indoor units in spaces that are hard to heat and cool.

What is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater is better than a space heater. This comprehensive heating solution is placed on the ceiling or the upper corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can run on electricity, gas or propane. They’re an excellent option if you live in a cold climate and perform a lot of grubby dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and designed to keep working through additional grime.

Comparing Key Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the lowest-priced solution. The average price varies because of fuel type, but they’re typically about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters are similar to a furnace, consuming fuel to make heat. A mini-split air conditioner is nearer to a heat pump, which transfers warmth. This makes a mini-split more efficient to run. You’ll have reduced heating and cooling expenses if you choose an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you could have access to extra 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 says, a garage heater only provides delivering heat. A ductless mini-split offers both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

When you want the most exact temperature 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

As garage heaters are typically mounted on the ceiling, they can consume premium overhead storage room. On the other hand, slim mini-split systems are typically placed higher up on a wall and don’t need a lot of real estate.

If you’re still deciding between a garage heater and mini-split, the pros PWA Heating & Cooling Inc can help. Call us at 815-410-1231 today to request a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll go over your needs, advise you on a solution and get it installed rapidly, so you can get started enjoying your garage workspace much quicker.