Your garage can be more than just an area to put your vehicles in Athol. It can be a work space, provide additional storage and more. But when you’re spending more time out there, it needs to be a comfortable temperature.

Garages don’t often have the ductwork needed for standard heating and cooling systems. While you can add ductwork, it’s not the most cost-effective solution. The smartest approach 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 discover the ideal style for your needs.

What Is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is close to a heat pump since it transfers heat instead of generating it. This makes it a highly energy-efficient heating and cooling system for rooms that don’t have ductwork. These electric systems are often placed on a wall and joined to the outdoor unit through a small hole in the wall.

Though a ductless mini-split is higher priced, many have received ENERGY STAR® certification for their energy efficiency. They’re also very quiet and deliver zoned comfort, which gives precise control over your garage’s temp.

Many mini-splits allow you to connect multiple indoor units to a single outdoor unit. If your garage is part of your residence, you might be able to install added indoor units in areas that are hard to heat and cool.

What Is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater is more than a space heater. This comprehensive heating solution is installed on the ceiling or the upper corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can run on electricity, gas or propane. They’re a good choice if you are situated in a chilly climate and perform a lot of grubby work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and designed to stand up to added grime.

Evaluating Top Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


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

Operating Costs

Garage heaters are similar to a furnace, consuming fuel to make warmth. A mini-split air conditioner is more like a heat pump, which moves warmth. This makes a mini-split more efficient to use. You’ll get reduced utility expenses if you select an ENERGY STAR certified model. And you might have access to added 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 name indicates, a garage heater is limited to only offering heat. A ductless mini-split provides both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

When you are after the most exact temp control, a mini-split heat pump is the wisest option because it offers zoned heating and cooling. That way, your garage will be just the temperature you want it to be.

Space Considerations

Since garage heaters are typically mounted on the ceiling, they can eat up valued overhead storage area. On the other hand, space-saving mini-split systems are usually put higher up on a wall and don’t need a lot of room.

If you’re still deciding Alpine Summit Heating & Cooling can help. Contact us at 208-561-1226 right away to get a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll discuss your needs, recommend a solution and get it put in rapidly, so you can begin enjoying your garage workspace much faster.