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 Moline. It can be a workshop, offer extra storage and more. But when you’re working out there more often, it needs to be a cozy temperature.

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

Let’s go through the difference between the two to help you choose the ideal option for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is close to a heat pump as it shifts heat as opposed to generating it. This makes it a highly energy-efficient heating and cooling system for areas that don’t have ductwork. These electric systems are often installed on a wall and joined to the outdoor unit through a tiny hole in the wall.

Although a ductless mini-split costs more, a lot have achieved ENERGY STAR® designation for their energy efficiency. They’re also extremely quiet and offer zoned comfort, which offers accurate control over your garage’s climate.

The majority of mini-splits allow you to connect several indoor units to one outdoor unit. If your garage is adjacent to your home, you might be able to use extra 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 all-encompassing heating solution is mounted on the ceiling or the higher corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can consume electricity, gas or propane. They’re a great choice if you live in a northern climate and do a lot of grubby dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and designed to keep working through extra grime.

Comparing Key Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the most budget-friendly solution. The estimated expense differs based on fuel type, but they’re often about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters work similarly to a furnace, using fuel to create heat. A mini-split air conditioner is more like a heat pump, which transfers heat. This makes a mini-split more efficient to use. You’ll get decreased utility costs if you choose an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you may be eligible for 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 suggests, a garage heater is limited to only providing heat. A ductless mini-split delivers both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

When you want the most precise temperature control, a mini-split heat pump is the smartest answer as it provides zoned heating and cooling. That way, your garage will be the exact 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 comparison, space-saving mini-split systems are often installed higher up on a wall and don’t need a lot of space.

If you’re still debating between a garage heater and mini-split, the specialists Freed Heating & Air Conditioning can help. Call us at 309-323-9584 today to receive a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll discuss your needs, recommend a solution and get it working quickly, so you can begin enjoying your garage workspace much faster.