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

Comfortable isn’t often a word used to reference a garage. But many homeowners make the most of this area as a workshop for home improvement projects or hobbies such as woodworking. Mulling transforming your garage into a home woodshop? By installing heating and cooling, you’ll be able to enjoy the garage throughout the year.

Common systems, such as a furnace, heat pump or air conditioner, are typically expensive because of the ductwork that’s necessary. Plus, garages are sometimes not connected to your home.

The two most popular options are garage heaters or mini-split systems, because they don’t have to have ductwork. But which kind should you select? It’s important to be informed about each to choose the most energy-efficient solution for your situation. Sawdust requires extra thought as these particles can clog filters and reduce your system’s efficiency.

We break down the differences to help you choose the right solution for your budget.

Mini-Splits: Top Marks for Heating and Cooling

Ductless mini-splits are like a heat pump, as they move heat rather than generating it. This makes them highly energy efficient. They’re placed on your wall and link to an outdoor unit via a small hole in the wall.

A mini-split air conditioner is prized for its energy efficiency and nearly silent operation. This makes it good for craftsmen needing a relaxing, comfortable space to work. Because they deliver both heating and cooling, mini-splits can be run throughout the year.

As wood contracts with changes in temperature, complete control over heating and cooling is very beneficial. A lot of carpenters and woodworkers advise completing work in temperatures very close to where the finished creation will be used.

Inspecting your filter often is an important part of maintenance. Using a saw generates a lot of sawdust. If you don’t change your mini-split’s filter, you may decrease your system’s efficiency and longevity.

A mini-split also requires frequent service from a professional HVAC technician, like one from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Keeping its internal pieces clean and lubricated will help reduce the probability of breakdowns and could even help it work for an extended period of time.

Garage Heaters: Ideal for Cold Climates

Garage heaters work a little differently. They make warmth, so it’s best to compare one to a small furnace. They’re mounted on the ceiling, typically in a corner. If you turn to your garage for added storage, keep in mind that these heaters will take up a portion the overhead area.

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

Garage heaters include a bonus that makes them advantageous over a mini-split system. They don’t require a filter and some models have separate combustion chambers, which keeps sawdust from getting into those internal parts.

Key Distinctions Between Mini-Splits and Garage Heaters

Ultimately there are a lot of things to consider, like the climate in the U.S.. These encompass:

    • Whether you need both heating and cooling, or just heating.
    • Your budget.
    • How much overhead area you have in your shop.
    • How much time and money you want to dedicate to service.

Ductless mini-split systems are more expensive at the start than garage heaters. If you won’t use your woodshop frequently, this may not be the smartest solution. But woodshops in climates with large adjustments in temps may benefit from better control.

Garage heaters are a simpler, more affordable solution. Different models utilize different fuel sources to generate heat only, making them not a good choice for hotter weather. Gas or propane garage heaters are great if fuel costs are low. They’re not as energy efficient, so regular use may result in more expensive utility bills. But the excellent heat generation is desired in cooler areas.

For trustworthy advice and installation, go with the HVAC Experts at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We’ll help you make the best choice. And with outstanding repair and maintenance services, your woodshop will be a productive location for a long time. Reach us at 866-397-3787 to book a free home comfort assessment or appointment now.

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