Your garage can be more than just a space to park your vehicles in Elk River. It can be an area to work, provide additional storage and more. But when you’re working out there more often, it needs to be a comfortable temperature.

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

Let’s go through the difference between the two to help you choose the ideal solution for your needs.

What Is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is close to a heat pump since it shifts heat as opposed to generating it. This makes it a highly energy-efficient heating and cooling system for spaces that lack ductwork. These electric systems are usually put on a wall and connected to the outdoor unit through a tiny hole in the wall.

Although a ductless mini-split costs more, many have earned ENERGY STAR® designation for their energy efficiency. They’re also extremely quiet and provide zoned comfort, which offers precise control over your garage’s temperature.

Many mini-splits allow you to join multiple indoor units to a single outdoor unit. If your garage is part of your home, you could be able to have 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 mounted on the ceiling or the high 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 perform a lot of grubby work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and created to keep working through extra grime.

Comparing Notable Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the most budget-friendly option. The estimated expense varies based on fuel type, but they’re frequently about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters are similar to a furnace, using fuel to create heat. A mini-split air conditioner is more like a heat pump, which shifts warmth. This makes a mini-split more efficient to run. You’ll enjoy decreased energy bills if you get an ENERGY STAR certified model. And you might have access to added rebates due to that energy efficiency.

Fuel Source

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

Heating and Cooling

As its title says, a garage heater is restricted to just providing heat. A ductless mini-split offers both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

When you want the most accurate temp control, a mini-split heat pump is the smartest option since it offers zoned heating and cooling. That way, your garage will be the right temperature you want it to be.

Space Considerations

Since garage heaters are often placed on the ceiling, they can take up valued overhead storage room. On the other hand, low-profile mini-split systems are typically installed higher up on a wall and don’t need a lot of real estate.

If you’re still deciding Home Comfort Heating & Air can help. Call us at 763-276-0617 now to receive a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll review your needs, advise you on a solution and get it installed rapidly, so you can get started enjoying your garage workspace much quicker.