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

Comfortable isn’t typically a word used to reference a garage. But many homeowners take full advantage of this location as a workshop for home improvement projects or tinkering like woodworking. Considering changing your garage into a home woodshop? By adding heating and cooling, you’ll have the ability to use the garage year-round.

Common systems, including a furnace, heat pump or air conditioner, are usually cost-prohibitive due to the ductwork that’s required. Not to mention, garages are sometimes detached.

The two most frequently installed styles are garage heaters or mini-split systems, as they don’t need ductwork. But which kind should you choose? It’s important to know the benefits of each to choose the most energy-efficient solution for your needs. Sawdust requires extra planning as these particles can fill up filters and reduce your system’s efficiency.

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

Mini-Splits: Top Marks for Heating and Cooling

Ductless mini-splits are like a heat pump, since they transfer heat instead of generating it. This makes them highly energy efficient. They’re mounted on your wall and join to an exterior unit via a small hole in the wall.

A mini-split air conditioner is loved for its energy efficiency and nearly noiseless operation. This makes it great for craftsmen looking for a relaxing, comfortable space to work. As they deliver both heating and cooling, mini-splits can be operated no matter the season.

As wood contracts with changes in temperature, full control over heating and cooling is extremely beneficial. A lot of carpenters and woodworkers advise doing woodworking in temperatures similar to where the finished item will live.

Changing your filter frequently is a crucial piece of upkeep. Cutting generates a lot of sawdust. If you don’t clean your mini-split’s filter, you might lower your system’s efficiency and life span.

A mini-split also has to have routine service from a experienced HVAC technician, like one from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Keeping its internal components clean and lubricated will help lower the probability of breakdowns and might even help it last for an extended period of time.

Garage Heaters: Best for Chilly Climates

Garage heaters work slightly differently. They create warmth, so it’s best to compare one to a mini furnace. They’re installed on the ceiling, usually in a corner. If you need your garage for additional storage, know 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 run on, since mini-splits are electric. Propane or natural gas garage heaters are both common types, but there are electric garage heaters also if you don’t want to worry about fuel sources.

Garage heaters include a feature that makes them advantageous over a mini-split system. They don’t have to have a filter and some models have separate combustion chambers, which halts sawdust from infiltrating those internal pieces.

Key Distinctions Between Mini-Splits and Garage Heaters

In the long run there are a lot of things to keep in mind, like the weather in the U.S.. These involve:

    • Whether you want both heating and cooling, or merely heating.
    • Your budget.
    • How much overhead space you have in your garage.
    • How much time and money you want to dedicate to maintenance.

Ductless mini-split systems are more expensive up front than garage heaters. If you don’t plan on using your garage all the time, this may not be the smartest plan. But woodshops in climates with major adjustments in temps may benefit from enhanced control.

Garage heaters are a simpler, more affordable option. Different models consume varying fuel sources to generate heat only, making them bad for warm climates. Gas or propane garage heaters are great if fuel costs are more reasonable. They’re not as energy efficient, so routine use may result in higher utility expenses. But the excellent heat generation is recommended in cooler climates.

For trustworthy advice and installation, go with the HVAC Experts at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We’ll help you make the ideal choice. And with outstanding repair and maintenance services, your shop will be a relaxing area for many years to come. Reach us at 866-397-3787 to book a free home comfort assessment or appointment now.

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