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

Garages don’t usually have the ductwork required for common heating and cooling systems. While you can install ductwork, it’s not the most economical remedy. 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 go through the difference between the two to help you discover the right option for your needs.

What Is a Mini-Split?

A mini-split is similar to a heat pump as it moves heat instead of creating it. This makes it an extremely energy-efficient heating and cooling system for spaces without ductwork. These electric systems are typically placed on a wall and linked to the outdoor unit through a small hole in the wall.

Though a ductless mini-split is higher priced, a lot have achieved ENERGY STAR® designation for their energy efficiency. They’re also extremely quiet and deliver zoned comfort, which provides exact control over your garage’s temperature.

Most mini-splits allow you to connect multiple indoor units to a single outdoor unit. If your garage is part of your house, you might be able to have added 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-encompassing heating solution is mounted on the ceiling or the high corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can consume electricity, gas or propane. They’re a good choice if you live in a northern climate and perform a lot of dusty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and designed to last through extra grime.

Comparing Key Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


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

Operating Costs

Garage heaters work similarly to a furnace, using fuel to generate heat. A mini-split air conditioner is closer to a heat pump, which moves warmth. This makes a mini-split more efficient to use. You’ll have even lower utility costs if you get an ENERGY STAR certified model. And you might be eligible for additional rebates due to 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 indicates, a garage heater is restricted to just offering heat. A ductless mini-split offers both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

When you are seeking the most accurate temperature control, a mini-split heat pump is the best option as it offers 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 typically installed on the ceiling, they can consume valuable overhead storage area. On the other hand, space-saving mini-split systems are typically placed higher up on a wall and don’t have to have a lot of space.

If you’re still deciding Gilray Heating and Cooling can help. Contact us at 715-301-0727 right away to get a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll go over your needs, recommend a solution and get it put in fast, so you can begin enjoying your garage workspace much faster.