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

November 24, 2020

Your garage can be more than just a space to store your vehicles in the Rio Grande Valley. It can be a workshop, give additional 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 required for regular heating and cooling systems. While you can install ductwork, it’s not the most cost-effective remedy. The best 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 find the right option for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is similar to a heat pump because it shifts heat rather than creating it. This makes it a highly energy-efficient heating and cooling system for rooms that lack ductwork. These electric systems are usually placed on a wall and connected to the outdoor unit through a little hole in the wall.

Even though a ductless mini-split is more expensive, most have received ENERGY STAR® designation for their energy efficiency. They’re also highly quiet and deliver zoned comfort, which gives precise control over your garage’s temperature.

The majority of mini-splits allow you to connect multiple indoor units to a single outdoor unit. If your garage is adjacent to your home, you may be able to install additional indoor units in spaces that are difficult to heat and cool.

What is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater isn’t a space heater. This all-encompassing 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 great solution if you are situated in a chilly climate and perform a lot of dirty dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and designed to keep working through added grime.

Reviewing Key Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

We’ve put together a useful guide to help you choose the best system for your garage.


Garage heaters are the most economical option. The typical cost varies due to fuel type, but they’re typically about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters work similarly to a furnace, using fuel to make 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 even lower energy bills if you get an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you could be entitled to additional rebates because of that energy efficiency.

Fuel Source

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

Heating and Cooling

As its title says, a garage heater is limited to only offering heat. A ductless mini-split provides both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

When you are seeking the most precise comfort control, a mini-split heat pump is the smartest option since 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 placed on the ceiling, they can take up valued overhead storage space. In contrast, low-profile mini-split systems are often installed higher up on a wall and don’t require a lot of real estate.

If you’re still deciding between a garage heater and mini-split, the pros Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C. can help. Call us at 956-630-3522 now to get a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll discuss your needs, recommend a solution and get it put in rapidly, so you can get started enjoying your garage workspace much quicker.