Your garage can be more than just a place to put your vehicles in Cedar Rapids. It can be an area to work, offer added storage and more. But when you’re spending more time out there, it needs to be a comfy temperature.

Garages don’t usually have the ductwork necessary for regular 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 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 choose the right option for your needs.

What Is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is much like a heat pump as it moves heat instead of generating it. This makes it a very energy-efficient heating and cooling system for areas that lack ductwork. These electric systems are often put on a wall and joined to the outdoor unit through a small hole in the wall.

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

Many mini-splits allow you to link more than one indoor unit to one 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 is more 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 consume electricity, gas or propane. They’re an excellent solution if you live in a northern climate and do a lot of grubby work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and created to stand up to added grime.

Evaluating Top Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

We’ve assembled a handy guide to help you choose the ideal system for your garage.


Garage heaters are the lowest-priced option. The estimated expense varies based on fuel type, but they’re typically about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters are similar to a furnace, needing fuel to create hot air. A mini-split air conditioner is more like a heat pump, which shifts heat. This makes a mini-split more efficient to run. You’ll have even lower heating and cooling bills if you get an ENERGY STAR certified model. And you could be entitled to added rebates due to 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 title says, a garage heater is restricted to just 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 wisest option since it offers zoned heating and cooling. That way, your garage will be the right temperature you want it to be.

Space Considerations

As garage heaters are typically installed on the ceiling, they can eat up valued overhead storage space. On the other hand, space-saving mini-split systems are typically placed higher up on a wall and don’t have to have a lot of real estate.

If you’re still waffling Ilten's can help. Contact us at 319-208-2351 right away to request a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll discuss your needs, recommend a solution and get it installed quickly, so you can start enjoying your garage workspace much sooner.