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

November 24, 2020

Your garage can be more than just a place to park your vehicles in Des Moines. It can be an area to work, provide 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 required for regular heating and cooling systems. While you can add ductwork, it’s not the most cost-effective option. The wisest method to heat your garage is by using 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 ideal style for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is much like a heat pump since it transfers heat instead of making it. This makes it an extremely energy-efficient heating and cooling system for rooms that don’t have ductwork. These electric systems are usually placed on a wall and connected to the outdoor unit through a tiny hole in the wall.

Even though a ductless mini-split is higher priced, most have earned ENERGY STAR® recognition for their energy efficiency. They’re also highly quiet and deliver zoned comfort, which offers exact control over your garage’s climate.

Most mini-splits allow you to link more than one indoor unit to an individual outdoor unit. If your garage is part of your home, you could be able to have added indoor units in areas 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 placed on the ceiling or the high corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can consume electricity, gas or propane. They’re an excellent option if you are situated in a chilly climate and perform a lot of grubby dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and made to last through additional grime.

Reviewing Key Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the most economical option. The estimated price is different based on fuel type, but they’re typically about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters are much like a furnace, using fuel to create warmth. A mini-split air conditioner is nearer to a heat pump, which transfers warmth. This makes a mini-split more efficient to run. You’ll enjoy decreased heating and cooling bills if you select an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you could be entitled to extra rebates because of that energy efficiency.

Fuel Source

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

Heating and Cooling

As its designation says, a garage heater only provides providing heat. A ductless mini-split offers both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

When you are after the most precise temperature control, a mini-split heat pump is the best solution because it provides zoned heating and cooling. That way, your garage will be the exact temperature you want it to be.

Space Considerations

Since garage heaters are usually mounted on the ceiling, they can consume valuable overhead storage area. In comparison, low-profile mini-split systems are typically put higher up on a wall and don’t need a lot of space.

If you’re still deciding between a garage heater and mini-split, the pros Heartland Heating & Cooling can help. Call us at 515-344-3579 right away to receive a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll discuss your needs, suggest a solution and get it put in fast, so you can get started enjoying your garage workspace much quicker.