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 store your vehicles in Lexington. It can be a workshop, give added storage and more. But when you’re out there more often, it needs to be a comfy temperature.

Garages don’t usually have the ductwork necessary for regular heating and cooling systems. While you can install ductwork, it’s not the most advantageous solution. The smartest method to heat your garage is by adding a ductless comfort system, like a mini-split system or a garage heater.

Let’s discuss the difference between the two to help you discover the right style for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is much like a heat pump as it moves heat as opposed to making it. This makes it an extremely energy-efficient heating and cooling system for rooms without ductwork. These electric systems are usually placed on a wall and joined to the outdoor unit through a small hole in the wall.

Though a ductless mini-split costs more, a lot have received ENERGY STAR® certification for their energy efficiency. They’re also very quiet and offer zoned comfort, which provides accurate control over your garage’s climate.

Most mini-splits allow you to join several indoor units to one outdoor unit. If your garage is adjacent to your residence, you could be able to have additional indoor units in spaces that are hard to heat and cool.

What is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater isn’t 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 consume electricity, gas or propane. They’re a good option if you reside in a cold climate and do a lot of dusty dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and made to withstand added grime.

Reviewing Key Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the most economical style. The estimated price is different because of fuel type, but they’re usually about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters are much like a furnace, using fuel to make warmth. A mini-split air conditioner is closer to a heat pump, which shifts warmth. This makes a mini-split more efficient to operate. You’ll get even lower energy costs if you choose an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you might have access to additional rebates as a result of that energy efficiency.

Fuel Source

Garage heaters have the broadest options for fuel types—electricity, gas or propane. Mini-splits are electric.

Heating and Cooling

As its name suggests, a garage heater is restricted to just delivering heat. A ductless mini-split provides both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

When you want the most accurate comfort control, a mini-split heat pump is the wisest solution since it offers 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 placed on the ceiling, they can eat up valued overhead storage space. In contrast, slim mini-split systems are typically installed higher up on a wall and don’t require a lot of real estate.

If you’re still debating between a garage heater and mini-split, the specialists James Heating & A/C, Inc can help. Reach us at 336-853-6070 now to get a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll go over your needs, advise you on a solution and get it working rapidly, so you can start enjoying your garage workspace much sooner.