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

November 24, 2020

Your garage can be more than just an area to park your vehicles in Mount Pleasant. It can be a work space, give extra 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 regular heating and cooling systems. While you can install ductwork, it’s not the most cost-effective solution. The wisest method to heat your garage is by installing 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 option for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is close to a heat pump since it transfers heat as opposed to creating it. This makes it a very energy-efficient heating and cooling system for areas that lack ductwork. These electric systems are typically placed 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 received ENERGY STAR® certification for their energy efficiency. They’re also extremely quiet and deliver zoned comfort, which gives precise control over your garage’s climate.

The majority of mini-splits allow you to link several indoor units to an individual outdoor unit. If your garage is part of your residence, you might be able to use additional indoor units in spaces that are difficult to heat and cool.

What is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater is more than a space heater. This all-encompassing heating solution is installed on the ceiling or the high corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can consume electricity, gas or propane. They’re a great option if you are situated in a cold climate and complete a lot of dirty dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and designed to withstand extra grime.

Comparing Key Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the most economical solution. The estimated cost is different based on fuel type, but they’re typically about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters work similarly to a furnace, consuming fuel to create warmth. A mini-split air conditioner is nearer to a heat pump, which moves heat. This makes a mini-split more efficient to operate. You’ll get reduced heating and cooling bills if you select an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you could be entitled to additional rebates as a result of that energy efficiency.

Fuel Source

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

Heating and Cooling

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

Precise Temperature Control

When you are after the most accurate temp control, a mini-split heat pump is the wisest answer since it offers 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 eat up premium overhead storage room. On the other hand, low-profile mini-split systems are often put higher up on a wall and don’t require a lot of room.

If you’re still deciding between a garage heater and mini-split, the pros Olde Towne Heating & Air can help. Reach us at 843-485-0967 now to receive a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll review your needs, suggest a solution and get it put in rapidly, so you can begin enjoying your garage workspace much faster.