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

November 24, 2020

Your garage can be more than just a place to store your vehicles in Greater Richmond. It can be a workshop, provide additional storage and more. But when you’re out there more often, it needs to be a cozy temperature.

Garages don’t typically have the ductwork required for standard heating and cooling systems. While you can add ductwork, it’s not the most advantageous remedy. The wisest method to heat your garage is by getting 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 best solution for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

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

Although a ductless mini-split is higher priced, many have received ENERGY STAR® recognition for their energy efficiency. They’re also highly quiet and offer zoned comfort, which provides accurate control over your garage’s temperature.

The majority of mini-splits allow you to link more than one indoor unit to a single outdoor unit. If your garage is connected to your residence, you could be able to install additional indoor units in spaces that are tricky to heat and cool.

What is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater is better than a space heater. This comprehensive heating solution is mounted 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 a good solution if you live in a cold climate and complete a lot of dirty dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and designed to keep working through added grime.

Evaluating Notable Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the lowest-priced solution. The typical price differs because of fuel type, but they’re often about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters work similarly to a furnace, consuming fuel to generate heat. A mini-split air conditioner is more like a heat pump, which moves warmth. This makes a mini-split more efficient to operate. You’ll get decreased utility costs if you get an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you might have access to additional rebates because of that energy efficiency.

Fuel Source

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

Heating and Cooling

As its designation indicates, a garage heater only provides offering heat. A ductless mini-split delivers both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

When you are after the most exact temp control, a mini-split heat pump is the best answer as it delivers 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 often placed on the ceiling, they can take up valuable overhead storage area. On the other hand, low-profile mini-split systems are often installed higher up on a wall and don’t need a lot of room.

If you’re still deciding between a garage heater and mini-split, the specialists Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling can help. Reach us at 804-302-6657 right away to get a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll review your needs, advise you on a solution and get it working quickly, so you can start enjoying your garage workspace much faster.