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

Comfortable isn’t often a word used to describe a garage. But many homeowners make the most of this location as a workshop for home improvement projects or pastimes including woodworking. Mulling changing your garage into a home woodshop? By installing heating and cooling, you’ll be able to use the space year-round.

Standard systems, like a furnace, heat pump or air conditioner, are usually pricey because of the ductwork that’s required. Also, garages are often detached.

The two most frequently installed styles are garage heaters or mini-split systems, as they don’t have to have ductwork. But which kind should you choose? It’s essential to be informed about each to select the most energy-efficient solution for your woodshop. Sawdust demands special consideration as these particles can fill up filters and decrease your system’s efficiency.

We break down the differences to help you pick the right option for your needs.

Mini-Splits: Top Marks for Heating and Cooling

Ductless mini-splits much like a heat pump, as they transfer heat in place of generating it. This makes them highly energy efficient. They’re mounted on your wall and connect to an exterior unit with a small hole in the wall.

A mini-split air conditioner is popular for its energy efficiency and nearly silent operation. This makes it good for craftsmen looking for a relaxing, comfy space to work. Since they provide both heating and cooling, mini-splits can be run throughout the year.

Since wood expands with changes in temperature, total control over heating and cooling is extremely useful. A lot of carpenters and woodworkers advise doing projects in temperatures similar to where the finished product will live.

Changing your filter consistently is a crucial component of upkeep. Cutting creates a lot of sawdust. If you don’t clean your mini-split’s filter, you might lower your system’s efficiency and lifetime.

A mini-split also requires routine service from a experienced HVAC specialist, like one from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Keeping its internal pieces clean and lubricated will help lower the probability of malfunctions and may even help it work for a greater period of time.

Garage Heaters: Best for Chilly Climates

Garage heaters operate a little differently. They make heated air, so it’s best to compare one to a little furnace. They’re mounted on the ceiling, usually in a corner. If you rely on your garage for extra storage, consider the fact that these heaters will require a portion the overhead area.

A key difference between garage heaters and mini-split systems is the type of fuel they run on, since mini-splits are electric. Propane or natural gas garage heaters are both typical types, but there are electric garage heaters as well if you don’t want to worry about fuel connections.

Garage heaters include a perk that gives them a leg up on a mini-split system. They don’t have to have a filter and some models have closed combustion chambers, which stops sawdust from getting into those internal pieces.

Key Variations Between Mini-Splits and Garage Heaters

In the long run there are lots of things to consider, including the climate in the U.S.. These involve:

    • Whether you need both heating and cooling, or merely heating.
    • Your budget.
    • How much ceiling space you have in your shop.
    • How much time and money you want to devote to service.

Ductless mini-split systems cost more to begin with than garage heaters. If you don’t plan on using your woodshop frequently, this may not be the most budget-friendly option. But woodshops in areas with large changes in temps may benefit from more precise control.

Garage heaters are a simpler, budget-friendly solution. Different models utilize different fuel sources to make heat only, making them ill-suited for hotter climates. Gas or propane garage heaters are great if fuel costs are more reasonable. They’re not as energy efficient, so regular use may lead to higher utility costs. But the great heat generation is preferable in northern areas.

For knowledgeable advice and installation, trust the HVAC Experts at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We’ll help you make the right choice. And with quality repair and maintenance services, your garage will be a useful location for a long time. Give us a call at 866-397-3787 to schedule a free home comfort assessment or appointment now.

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