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

November 24, 2020

Your garage can be more than just a place to put your vehicles in Buellton. 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 typically have the ductwork needed for regular heating and cooling systems. While you can add ductwork, it’s not the most cost-effective solution. The wisest way to heat your garage is by installing 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 right style for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is close to a heat pump because it transfers heat instead of making it. This makes it a very energy-efficient heating and cooling system for rooms without ductwork. These electric systems are typically placed on a wall and connected to the outdoor unit through a little hole in the wall.

Though a ductless mini-split costs more, many have received ENERGY STAR® certification for their energy efficiency. They’re also extremely quiet and offer zoned comfort, which gives exact control over your garage’s temp.

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

What is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater isn’t a space heater. This all-encompassing heating solution is placed on the ceiling or the upper corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can consume electricity, gas or propane. They’re an excellent choice if you live in a northern climate and perform a lot of dirty dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and designed to stand up to additional grime.

Reviewing Key Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the most budget-friendly style. The typical expense varies based on fuel type, but they’re frequently about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters work similarly to a furnace, needing fuel to make heat. A mini-split air conditioner is nearer to a heat pump, which moves heat. This makes a mini-split more efficient to use. You’ll have even lower heating and cooling expenses if you choose an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you could have access to additional rebates due to 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 indicates, a garage heater is limited to only offering heat. A ductless mini-split provides both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

When you are seeking the most exact comfort control, a mini-split heat pump is the best option since it provides zoned heating and cooling. That way, your garage will be just the temperature you want it to be.

Space Considerations

Because garage heaters are usually placed on the ceiling, they can eat up premium overhead storage space. In comparison, space-saving mini-split systems are typically placed higher up on a wall and don’t have to have a lot of room.

If you’re still waffling between a garage heater and mini-split, the specialists Allstar Heating & Air Conditioning can help. Reach us at 805-242-9638 today to get a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll discuss your needs, recommend a solution and get it put in quickly, so you can begin enjoying your garage workspace much sooner.