Your garage can be more than just a place to park your vehicles in Rapid City. It can be a work space, give additional storage and more. But when you’re working out there more often, it needs to be a comfy 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 cost-effective solution. The wisest approach to heat your garage is by having 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 transfers heat rather than creating it. This makes it a very energy-efficient heating and cooling system for areas without ductwork. These electric systems are typically installed on a wall and linked to the outdoor unit through a little hole in the wall.

Although a ductless mini-split costs more, a lot have achieved ENERGY STAR® certification for their energy efficiency. They’re also very quiet and deliver zoned comfort, which provides exact control over your garage’s climate.

Many mini-splits allow you to join more than one indoor unit to one outdoor unit. If your garage is part of your home, you might be able to use added indoor units in rooms that are tricky 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 installed on the ceiling or the upper corner of a wall. Depending on the model, these heaters can consume electricity, gas or propane. They’re a great choice if you are situated in a northern climate and perform a lot of dirty work. Garage heaters are heavy-duty and made to withstand extra grime.

Comparing Top Features of Garage Heaters and Mini-Splits

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


Garage heaters are the lowest-priced style. The typical cost differs 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, consuming fuel to create hot air. A mini-split air conditioner is more similar to a heat pump, which moves hot air. This makes a mini-split more efficient to operate. You’ll have decreased heating and cooling expenses if you get an ENERGY STAR certified model. And you might be eligible for added rebates as a result 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 says, a garage heater will only be providing heat. A ductless mini-split offers both heating and cooling.

Precise Temperature Control

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

Space Considerations

Since garage heaters are usually mounted on the ceiling, they can eat up valued overhead storage space. In contrast, space-saving mini-split systems are often installed higher up on a wall and don’t require a lot of space.

If you’re still deciding Street Heating and Cooling can help. Reach us at 605-206-3915 now to request a free, no obligation estimate. We’ll review your needs, advise you on a solution and get it installed quickly, so you can get started enjoying your garage workspace much sooner.