Mini Splits vs. Garage Heaters: What Should I Install in My Garage?

November 24, 2020

Your garage can be more than just a place to store your vehicles in Albuquerque. It can be an area to work, offer added storage and more. But when you’re spending more time out there, it needs to be a cozy temperature.

Garages don’t usually have the ductwork necessary for common heating and cooling systems. While you can install ductwork, it’s not the most cost-effective option. The best way to heat your garage is by having a ductless comfort system, like a mini-split system or a garage heater.

Let’s discuss the difference between the two to help you choose the right style for your needs.

What is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is similar to a heat pump since it shifts heat instead of making it. This makes it an extremely energy-efficient heating and cooling system for spaces that lack ductwork. These electric systems are typically placed on a wall and joined to the outdoor unit through a little hole in the wall.

Although a ductless mini-split is higher priced, most have achieved ENERGY STAR® designation for their energy efficiency. They’re also highly quiet and offer zoned comfort, which offers accurate control over your garage’s temp.

The majority of mini-splits allow you to connect several indoor units to an individual outdoor unit. If your garage is adjacent to your residence, you might be able to have extra indoor units in spaces that are difficult to heat and cool.

What is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater is better than a space heater. This comprehensive heating solution is placed 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 an excellent option if you live in a cold climate and perform a lot of dusty dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and designed to keep working through extra grime.

Reviewing Top Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

We’ve put together a valuable guide to help you select the ideal system for your garage.


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

Operating Costs

Garage heaters are much like a furnace, consuming fuel to generate heat. A mini-split air conditioner is closer to a heat pump, which shifts hot air. This makes a mini-split more efficient to use. You’ll have decreased energy bills if you get an ENERGY STAR® certified model. And you might be eligible for 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 name says, a garage heater is limited to only delivering heat. A ductless mini-split offers both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

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

Space Considerations

Because garage heaters are often placed on the ceiling, they can consume valuable overhead storage area. On the other hand, slim mini-split systems are often placed 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 I-Deal HVAC can help. Call us at 505-445-1250 right away to request a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll go over your needs, suggest a solution and get it put in fast, so you can get started enjoying your garage workspace much quicker.