Mini Splits vs. Garage Heaters: What Should I Get for My Garage?

November 24, 2020

Your garage can be more than just an area to put your vehicles in Erie. It can be a workshop, offer additional storage and more. But when you’re spending more time out there, it needs to be a cozy temperature.

Garages don’t often have the ductwork necessary for standard heating and cooling systems. While you can install ductwork, it’s not the most advantageous option. The wisest way to heat your garage is by getting 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 ideal solution for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is similar to a heat pump as it shifts heat rather than making it. This makes it a very energy-efficient heating and cooling system for rooms that don’t have ductwork. These electric systems are usually placed on a wall and joined to the outdoor unit through a little hole in the wall.

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

The majority of mini-splits allow you to link several indoor units to one outdoor unit. If your garage is connected to your residence, you may be able to have additional indoor units in areas that are difficult to heat and cool.

What is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater is more than a space heater. This all-in-one heating solution is installed on the ceiling or the upper corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can use electricity, gas or propane. They’re an excellent choice if you reside in a chilly climate and do a lot of grubby dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and made to last through extra grime.

Reviewing Top Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

We’ve assembled a handy 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 usually about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters work similarly to a furnace, consuming fuel to make warmth. A mini-split air conditioner is more similar to a heat pump, which moves heat. This makes a mini-split more efficient to operate. You’ll enjoy even lower heating and cooling costs if you get an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you may be eligible for added rebates because 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 designation says, a garage heater is limited to only providing heat. A ductless mini-split provides both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

When you want the most exact temp control, a mini-split heat pump is the wisest option because it delivers zoned heating and cooling. That way, your garage will be the right temperature you want it to be.

Space Considerations

Because garage heaters are usually installed on the ceiling, they can eat up valued overhead storage area. In comparison, space-saving mini-split systems are typically placed higher up on a wall and don’t need a lot of real estate.

If you’re still waffling between a garage heater and mini-split, the professionals Patterson & Stirling Inc can help. Contact us at 814-308-0416 right away to get a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll discuss your needs, suggest a solution and get it put in quickly, so you can get started enjoying your garage workspace much faster.