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

November 24, 2020

Your garage can be more than just an area to store your vehicles in Rock Hill. It can be an area to work, offer additional storage and more. But when you’re spending more time out there, it needs to be a comfortable temperature.

Garages don’t often have the ductwork necessary for common heating and cooling systems. While you can get ductwork, it’s not the most economical option. The wisest way to heat your garage is by using 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 solution for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is much like a heat pump as it shifts heat instead of creating it. This makes it a highly energy-efficient heating and cooling system for rooms that don’t have ductwork. These electric systems are usually placed on a wall and connected to the outdoor unit through a little hole in the wall.

Although a ductless mini-split is more expensive, most have achieved ENERGY STAR® certification for their energy efficiency. They’re also extremely quiet and provide zoned comfort, which provides 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 residence, you may be able to have added 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 comprehensive 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 good choice if you live in a northern climate and do a lot of dirty dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and created to keep working through additional grime.

Evaluating Key Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the most budget-friendly style. The average cost varies because of fuel type, but they’re often about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters are much like a furnace, consuming fuel to create warmth. 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 enjoy decreased heating and cooling expenses if you choose an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you could be eligible for additional 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 indicates, a garage heater is limited to only offering heat. A ductless mini-split offers both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

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

Space Considerations

As garage heaters are usually installed on the ceiling, they can consume valued overhead storage area. On the other hand, slim mini-split systems are often installed higher up on a wall and don’t need a lot of room.

If you’re still debating between a garage heater and mini-split, the professionals US Air Heating and Cooling can help. Reach us at 803-220-0761 today to receive a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll discuss your needs, recommend a solution and get it working fast, so you can get started enjoying your garage workspace much faster.