What Size Mini-Split For 1, 2, or 3 Car Garage?

Without active airflow or access to a heating or cooling system, garages become stale and too hot or too cold very quickly. 

If you spend substantial amounts of time in your garage working or tinkering on various projects, extreme temperatures likely make these projects uncomfortable. 

A mini-split may be the perfect solution to these issues. If you’re intrigued about the logistics of putting a mini-split in your garage, continue reading to learn more!

Can I Put A Mini-Split In My Garage?

Mini Split in Garage

Yes, you can put a mini-split in your garage. Mini-splits can be the perfect solution for keeping your garage comfortable during extreme temperatures. 

The size of the mini-split you’ll need for your garage depends on a few things, primarily the square footage of the space. 

If you already have an existing multi-zone system, you may be able to incorporate an additional indoor unit for the garage. However, this depends on your current system’s capabilities. If it cannot handle an extra indoor head, you may have to buy an additional outdoor unit. 

Will A Mini-Split Heat My Garage?

Yes, a mini-split will heat or cool your garage. If you choose to incorporate a mini-split heat pump, you can easily control the temperature in your garage. 

These systems are a smart solution for regulating the temperature in your garage, as they offer zoned heating and cooling. 

What Temperature Should The Garage Be In Winter?

The ideal temperature for your garage in the winter depends on your area. As a general rule of thumb, you should always try to keep your garage above the average dew point to avoid condensation. 

For inland states, this temperature is usually around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. For coastal states, this temperature is typically about 65 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Throughout the winter months, the temperature in your garage should never dip below 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, if you’re working in your garage, 15 degrees is probably too cold to work comfortably.

If you spend a substantial amount of time working in your garage during the winter months, you may want to consider adding a ductless mini-split in the garage. 

A mini-split for your garage workshop is a great way to keep the space warm in the winter and cool in the summer. 

What Size Mini Split Do I Need For My Garage?

The correct size of mini-split for your garage depends on a few different factors. Using the square footage of the space, you can quickly determine what size mini-split is suitable for the area. 

Note: if you have uninsulated overhead garage doors, you might need a slightly larger BTU size than what we recommend below. 

The charts below help create a clearer idea of the appropriate size of mini-split for your garage. The first chart outlines standard garage sizes and the square footage of each. The second chart expresses the correct size mini-split for heating varying garage sizes. 

Garage TypeStandard Size(wide x deep)Square Feet
1 car garage12×20 feet240 sq ft
1 car garage12×22 feet264 sq ft
1 car garage14×24 feet336 sq ft
1 car garage16×24 feet384 sq ft
1 car garage18×20 feet360 sq ft
2 car garage20×20 feet400 sq ft
2 car garage20×22 feet440 sq ft
2 car garage20×24 feet480 sq ft
2 car garage22×22 feet484 sq ft
2 car garage22×24 feet528 sq ft
3 car garage31×20 feet620 sq ft
3 car garage32×22 feet704 sq ft
3 car garage34×24 feet816 sq ft
4 car garage40×22 feet880 sq ft
4 car garage38×26 feet988 sq ft
4 car garage40×30 feet1,200 sq ft
Garage Square FeetGarage TypeMini Split Heating BTU
200 sq ft1 car garage9,000 btu
300 sq ft1 car garage13,000-14,000 btu
400 sq ft1 car garage,2 car garage18,000 btu
500 sq ft2 car garage22,000-23,000 btu
600 sq ft3 car garage28,000 btu
700 sq ft3 car garage32,000 btu
800 sq ft3 car garage36,000 btu
900 sq ft4 car garage38,000 btu
1,000 sq ft4 car garage40,000 btu
1,100 sq ft4 car garage50,000 btu
1,200 sq ft4 car garage60,000 btu

As you’ll notice, the charts express heating output in BTUs. Many mini-splits feature a label that outlines the heating capacity in BTUs and tons. If you’re unsure what size mini-split you need, you can easily convert BTUs to tonnage. 

Simply divide the number of BTUs by 12,000 (one ton of conditioned air equals 12,000 BTUs). The number you calculate represents the necessary mini-split size you need in tons. 

What Size Mini-Split For 2 Car Garage?

The correct size mini-split for a two-car garage hinges on the square footage of the space. If the garage is about 400 square feet, you’ll need a mini-split with 18,000 BTUs of heating output. 

A larger mini-split is necessary if the garage is closer to 500 square feet. Look for a unit with a heating output of between 22,000 and 23,000 BTUs. 

What Size Mini-Split For a 24×24 Garage?

A 24×24-foot garage is approximately 576 square feet. Depending on the garage’s layout, this could be a two or three-car garage. According to the square footage, this space would require between 23,000 and 28,000 BTUs of heating capacity. 

What Size Mini-Split For 600 Sq Ft Garage?

For a 600 square foot garage, you would need approximately 28,000 BTUs of heating output. 

Usually, garages of this size can adequately fit three cars. 

Is A Mini-Split Good For A Garage?

In terms of heating and cooling options, mini-splits are an excellent option for a garage. Other options, like portable ACs or window ACs, may not adequately cool the space. 

Garages don’t typically have ductwork connecting them to the rest of the house, so central heating and cooling isn’t an option. Note- garages usually don’t have ductwork because you don’t want exhaust fumes from vehicles entering your house. 

Mini-splits are the perfect solution for maintaining a comfortable temperature in your garage workshop. Although the initial up-front price can be pretty steep, these systems are zoned and allow you to control isolated areas of your home, like your garage. 

How Much Is It To Install A Mini-Split In A Garage?

Ductless mini-splits tend to be pricier than other heating or cooling options, like central AC. On average, installing a mini-split in your garage will cost you anywhere from $3,000 to $8,000. If you choose a high-end brand or the installation is complex, the price will rise even more.

If you already have a zoned system in your home, you may be able to incorporate an additional indoor mini-split head in your garage and connect it to the single outdoor unit. 

This could cause the price estimate to look considerably lower. 

Of course, pricing also depends on the size of the system you need. The garage’s square footage will indicate the necessary size appropriate for the space. 

How To Heat A Garage For Free

Running a mini-split system in your garage to maintain a constant temperature will drive up your energy bills, although the total amount hinges on how long you run the system. 

For some homeowners, this may not be a feasible solution. Between the upfront costs and running expenses, the total can climb quickly.

Luckily, there are a few ways you can heat your garage for free or nearly free. Firstly, solar panels are a great way to deliver free power to heat your garage. However, these panels require adequate sunlight, and you’ll still need to pay for the solar energy system and a heating system.

Alternatively, consider changing the color of the building. The color black absorbs all visible light, converting the light energy into heat upon absorption. So, you could warm your garage to some degree by painting the outside walls, door, and roof a dark color.

Outstanding insulation is a great way to retain any heat existing in the space. If you’re not opposed to investing in an electric fan heater or radiant heating, these are also options. However, these solutions also have installation costs. 

Written by

Rene has worked 10 years in the HVAC field and now is the Senior Comfort Specialist for PICKHVAC. He holds an HVAC associate degree from Lone Star College and EPA & R-410A Certifications.
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