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

November 24, 2020

Your garage can be more than just a place to park your vehicles in Cedar Rapids. It can be a workshop, provide added storage and more. But when you’re working out there more often, it needs to be a comfy temperature.

Garages don’t usually have the ductwork necessary for standard heating and cooling systems. While you can install ductwork, it’s not the most cost-effective option. The wisest approach to heat your garage is by adding 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 style for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is much like a heat pump as it transfers heat rather than making it. This makes it a highly energy-efficient heating and cooling system for areas without ductwork. These electric systems are often put on a wall and linked to the outdoor unit through a tiny hole in the wall.

Although a ductless mini-split costs more, most have received ENERGY STAR® certification for their energy efficiency. They’re also highly quiet and deliver zoned comfort, which offers accurate control over your garage’s temperature.

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 could be able to have additional indoor units in spaces that are tricky to heat and cool.

What is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater isn’t a space heater. This all-encompassing heating solution is mounted on the ceiling or the upper corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can use electricity, gas or propane. They’re a good option if you are situated in a northern climate and complete a lot of grubby dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and designed to withstand additional grime.

Evaluating Key Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the lowest-priced solution. The estimated expense is different due to fuel type, but they’re frequently about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters are much like a furnace, using fuel to create heat. A mini-split air conditioner is nearer to a heat pump, which moves warmth. This makes a mini-split more efficient to operate. You’ll have decreased energy expenses if you choose an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you could be entitled to additional rebates due to 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 indicates, a garage heater only provides providing heat. A ductless mini-split delivers both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

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

Space Considerations

Since garage heaters are usually placed on the ceiling, they can eat up valuable overhead storage space. In contrast, space-saving mini-split systems are typically put higher up on a wall and don’t have to have a lot of room.

If you’re still deciding between a garage heater and mini-split, the specialists Ilten's Incorporated can help. Contact us at 319-208-3295 now to receive a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll discuss your needs, recommend a solution and get it put in quickly, so you can start enjoying your garage workspace much quicker.