Mini-Splits vs. Garage Heaters: What’s Ideal for My Shop?

Comfy isn’t typically a word used to reference a garage. But many homeowners take full advantage of this space as a workshop for home improvement projects or hobbies like woodworking. Considering using your garage for a home woodshop? By having heating and cooling, you’ll have the option enjoy the garage throughout the year.

Standard systems, like a furnace, heat pump or air conditioner, are typically pricey since there’s ductwork that’s required. Plus, garages are sometimes separate.

The two most frequently used styles are garage heaters or mini-split systems, since they don’t require ductwork. But which type should you select? It’s important to be aware of each to choose the most energy-efficient solution for your needs. Sawdust demands special planning as these particles can bog down filters and lower your system’s efficiency.

We break down the differences to help you choose the best system for your shop.

Mini-Splits: Top Marks for Heating and Cooling

Ductless mini-splits are like a heat pump, as they transfer heat rather than making it. This makes them extremely energy efficient. They’re placed on your wall and join to an exterior unit with a small hole in the wall.

A mini-split air conditioner is popular for its energy efficiency and nearly noiseless operation. This makes it ideal for craftsmen searching for a calm, comfy area to work. Since they offer both heating and cooling, mini-splits can be used throughout the year.

Because wood contracts with shifts in temperature, full control over heating and cooling is very useful. Many carpenters and woodworkers suggest doing projects in temperatures much like where the final product will be used.

Checking your filter often is an essential component of maintenance. Using a saw generates a lot of sawdust. If you don’t keep up with your mini-split’s filter, you might lower your system’s efficiency and longevity.

A mini-split also has to have regular service from a professional HVAC technician, like one from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Keeping its internal parts clean and lubricated will help lower the probability of breakdowns and might even help it work longer.

Garage Heaters: Best for Cold Climates

Garage heaters run a little differently. They make heat, so it’s better to compare one to a miniature furnace. They’re mounted on the ceiling, often in a corner. If you need your garage for additional storage, keep in mind that these heaters will take up some of the overhead room.

A key difference between garage heaters and mini-split systems is the fuel type, since mini-splits are electric. Propane or natural gas garage heaters are both common models, but there are electric garage heaters too if you don’t want to worry about fuel connections.

Garage heaters have a feature that gives them a leg up on a mini-split system. They don’t have to have a filter and some models have separate combustion chambers, which keeps sawdust from infiltrating those internal pieces.

Key Distinctions Between Mini-Splits and Garage Heaters

In the end there are many things to consider, like the weather in the U.S.. These include:

    • Whether you are looking for both heating and cooling, or merely heating.
    • Your budget.
    • How much overhead area you have in your shop.
    • How much time and money you want to spend on tune-ups.

Ductless mini-split systems run more to begin with than garage heaters. If you won’t need your woodshop frequently, this may not be the most cost-effective option. But woodshops in areas with large shifts in weather may benefit from better control.

Garage heaters are a simpler, more reasonably priced solution. Different models consume differing fuel sources to create heat only, making them bad for hotter climates. Gas or propane garage heaters are great if fuel costs are more reasonable. They’re not as energy efficient, so routine use may lead to bigger utility expenses. But the great heat generation is desired in northern climates.

For knowledgeable advice and installation, trust the HVAC Experts at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We’ll help you make the ideal choice. And with quality repair and maintenance services, your shop will be a relaxing area for a long time. Contact us at 866-397-3787 to book a free home comfort assessment or appointment right away.

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