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

November 24, 2020

Your garage can be more than just a space to park your vehicles in Pocatello. It can be a work space, give extra storage and more. But when you’re out there more often, it needs to be a comfortable temperature.

Garages don’t often have the ductwork needed for standard heating and cooling systems. While you can add ductwork, it’s not the most advantageous remedy. The best way to heat your garage is by having 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 choose the right option for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is similar to a heat pump since it shifts heat rather than generating it. This makes it an extremely energy-efficient heating and cooling system for rooms without ductwork. These electric systems are often placed on a wall and joined to the outdoor unit through a small hole in the wall.

Although a ductless mini-split is more expensive, most have earned ENERGY STAR® recognition for their energy efficiency. They’re also extremely quiet and offer zoned comfort, which offers exact control over your garage’s temp.

The majority of 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 may be able to use additional indoor units in areas that are hard to heat and cool.

What is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater is better than a space heater. This all-in-one heating solution is mounted on the ceiling or the higher corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can use electricity, gas or propane. They’re a good option if you live in a chilly climate and perform a lot of dusty dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and designed to keep working through added grime.

Comparing Key Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the most budget-friendly option. 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 much like a furnace, needing fuel to generate warmth. A mini-split air conditioner is more similar to a heat pump, which moves heat. This makes a mini-split more efficient to use. You’ll enjoy decreased heating and cooling costs if you choose an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you might be eligible for added rebates because of that energy efficiency.

Fuel Source

Garage heaters have the widest 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 delivers both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

When you want the most precise temp control, a mini-split heat pump is the wisest answer because it provides zoned heating and cooling. That way, your garage will be just the temperature you want it to be.

Space Considerations

Due to the fact garage heaters are usually mounted on the ceiling, they can take up valuable overhead storage space. In contrast, space-saving mini-split systems are typically installed 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 professionals Vogts Heating & Air can help. Reach us at 208-621-0129 right away to receive a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll go over your needs, advise you on a solution and get it working rapidly, so you can get started enjoying your garage workspace much quicker.