Your garage can be more than just an area to park your vehicles in Michigan City. It can be a workshop, provide extra storage and more. But when you’re working out there more often, it needs to be a comfortable temperature.

Garages don’t often have the ductwork necessary for regular heating and cooling systems. While you can install ductwork, it’s not the most economical solution. The smartest approach to heat your garage is by using a ductless comfort system, like a mini-split system or a garage heater.

Let’s go over the difference between the two to help you find the ideal style for your needs.

What Is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is much like a heat pump as it transfers heat instead of making it. This makes it a highly energy-efficient heating and cooling system for spaces that lack ductwork. These electric systems are usually installed on a wall and linked to the outdoor unit through a little hole in the wall.

Even though a ductless mini-split is higher priced, a lot have earned ENERGY STAR® certification for their energy efficiency. They’re also very quiet and offer zoned comfort, which provides exact control over your garage’s climate.

Many mini-splits allow you to join several indoor units to one outdoor unit. If your garage is adjacent to your house, you may be able to have added indoor units in areas that are tricky to heat and cool.

What Is a Garage Heater?

A garage heater is more than a space heater. This comprehensive heating solution is placed 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 an excellent choice if you are situated in a cold climate and complete a lot of grubby work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and made to keep working through additional grime.

Evaluating Top Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the lowest-priced solution. The estimated expense is different because of fuel type, but they’re usually about half the cost of a mini-split.

Operating Costs

Garage heaters work similarly to a furnace, needing fuel to create heat. A mini-split air conditioner is closer to a heat pump, which transfers heat. This makes a mini-split more efficient to run. You’ll have decreased utility costs if you get an ENERGY STAR certified model. And you could be eligible for extra rebates due to that energy efficiency.

Fuel Source

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

Heating and Cooling

As its designation suggests, a garage heater is limited to only delivering heat. A ductless mini-split delivers both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

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

Space Considerations

Because garage heaters are often installed on the ceiling, they can take up valuable overhead storage space. In contrast, space-saving mini-split systems are usually put higher up on a wall and don’t need a lot of space.

If you’re still deciding Paniccia Heating & Cooling can help. Call us at 219-872-2198 today to receive a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll review your needs, recommend a solution and get it working quickly, so you can begin enjoying your garage workspace much sooner.