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 St. Louis. It can be a workshop, give extra storage and more. But when you’re out there more often, it needs to be a comfy temperature.

Garages don’t often have the ductwork required for common heating and cooling systems. While you can add ductwork, it’s not the most cost-effective solution. The smartest way to heat your garage is by getting 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 best option 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 very energy-efficient heating and cooling system for areas that lack ductwork. These electric systems are usually placed on a wall and joined to the outdoor unit through a tiny hole in the wall.

Though a ductless mini-split costs more, most have received ENERGY STAR® recognition for their energy efficiency. They’re also extremely quiet and provide zoned comfort, which offers exact control over your garage’s climate.

Many mini-splits allow you to connect multiple indoor units to one outdoor unit. If your garage is connected to your house, you might be able to install added 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-in-one heating solution is installed on the ceiling or the upper corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can consume electricity, gas or propane. They’re a great option if you live in a northern climate and do a lot of dusty dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and made to last through added grime.

Evaluating Notable Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

We’ve created a useful guide to help you pick the right system for your garage.


Garage heaters are the most economical option. The typical price differs due to 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 make warmth. A mini-split air conditioner is nearer to a heat pump, which transfers hot air. This makes a mini-split more efficient to run. You’ll enjoy decreased utility costs if you get an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you could be eligible for added 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 designation says, a garage heater is limited to only providing heat. A ductless mini-split delivers both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

When you are after the most accurate comfort control, a mini-split heat pump is the best answer as it offers 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 area. In comparison, low-profile mini-split systems are often installed higher up on a wall and don’t have to have a lot of space.

If you’re still deciding between a garage heater and mini-split, the pros Morgner Inc. Air Conditioning & Heating can help. Call us at 314-262-4541 today to get a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll go over your needs, suggest a solution and get it working fast, so you can get started enjoying your garage workspace much sooner.