Your garage can be more than just an area to park your vehicles in Marshalltown. It can be a workshop, offer added storage and more. But when you’re spending more time out there, it needs to be a comfortable temperature.

Garages don’t typically have the ductwork needed for common heating and cooling systems. While you can get ductwork, it’s not the most economical remedy. The smartest way to heat your garage is by having 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 best solution for your needs.

What Is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is similar to a heat pump as it moves heat instead of generating it. This makes it an extremely energy-efficient heating and cooling system for rooms that don’t have ductwork. These electric systems are usually installed on a wall and joined to the outdoor unit through a little hole in the wall.

Even though a ductless mini-split is higher priced, many have achieved ENERGY STAR® designation for their energy efficiency. They’re also very quiet and offer zoned comfort, which provides accurate control over your garage’s temperature.

Many mini-splits allow you to link multiple indoor units to an individual outdoor unit. If your garage is part of your home, you might be able to have extra indoor units in rooms that are hard to heat and cool.

What Is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater is more than a space heater. This all-in-one 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 a great option if you are situated in a chilly climate and do a lot of dusty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and made to last through added grime.

Comparing Top Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the most budget-friendly solution. The typical expense varies due to fuel type, but they’re usually about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters are much like a furnace, needing fuel to make heat. A mini-split air conditioner is more like a heat pump, which shifts hot air. This makes a mini-split more efficient to operate. You’ll enjoy even lower energy expenses if you get an ENERGY STAR certified model. And you may be entitled to additional rebates because of that energy efficiency.

Fuel Source

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

Heating and Cooling

As its title suggests, a garage heater will only be offering heat. A ductless mini-split delivers both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

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

Space Considerations

Due to the fact garage heaters are often placed on the ceiling, they can take up valuable overhead storage space. On the other hand, low-profile mini-split systems are usually placed higher up on a wall and don’t need a lot of real estate.

If you’re still deciding Kapaun & Brown can help. Reach us at 641-812-2028 now to request a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll review your needs, suggest a solution and get it put in rapidly, so you can start enjoying your garage workspace much sooner.