Man and Son Working in a Garage

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

Your garage can be more than just an area to park your vehicles in Carlsbad. It can be a workshop, provide additional storage and more. But when you’re working out there more often, it needs to be a cozy temperature.

Garages don’t typically have the ductwork needed for common heating and cooling systems. While you can get ductwork, it’s not the most economical solution. The smartest 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 right option for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

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

Even though a ductless mini-split is more expensive, most have earned ENERGY STAR® certification for their energy efficiency. They’re also highly quiet and offer zoned comfort, which gives accurate control over your garage’s climate.

Many mini-splits allow you to join several indoor units to one outdoor unit. If your garage is part of your house, you may be able to install extra indoor units in areas that are hard to heat and cool.

What is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater is more than a space heater. This comprehensive heating solution is installed on the ceiling or the higher corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can run on electricity, gas or propane. They’re an excellent solution if you are situated in a northern climate and complete a lot of dusty dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and created to last through additional grime.

Evaluating Top Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the lowest-priced solution. The average cost varies due to 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 generate heat. A mini-split air conditioner is more similar to a heat pump, which moves hot air. This makes a mini-split more efficient to run. You’ll have even lower energy costs if you select an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you may be eligible for added rebates because 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 title says, a garage heater is restricted to just delivering heat. A ductless mini-split provides both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

When you are looking for the most exact temp control, a mini-split heat pump is the best solution because it provides zoned heating and cooling. That way, your garage will be just the temperature you want it to be.

Space Considerations

As garage heaters are usually installed on the ceiling, they can eat up premium overhead storage space. In comparison, space-saving mini-split systems are usually put higher up on a wall and don’t require a lot of real estate.

If you’re still waffling between a garage heater and mini-split, the specialists Banister's Heating & Air Conditioning Services can help. Reach us at 575-446-3948 today to receive a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll go over your needs, recommend a solution and get it installed fast, so you can begin enjoying your garage workspace much faster.

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