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

Cozy isn’t usually a word used to describe a garage. But many homeowners make the most of this area as a workshop for home improvement projects or tinkering like woodworking. Mulling transforming your garage into a home woodshop? By having heating and cooling, you’ll be able to utilize the garage throughout the year.

Traditional systems, including a furnace, heat pump or air conditioner, are usually cost-prohibitive because of the ductwork that’s needed. Not to mention, garages are frequently separate.

The two most frequently installed styles are garage heaters or mini-split systems, since they don’t require ductwork. But which system should you choose? It’s important to be aware of each to select the most energy-efficient solution for your situation. Sawdust requires extra thought because these particles can clog filters and reduce your system’s efficiency.

We go over the differences to help you pick the right system for your needs.

Mini-Splits: Top Marks for Heating and Cooling

Ductless mini-splits are like a heat pump, because they transfer heat rather than generating it. This makes them highly energy efficient. They’re mounted on your wall and connect to an outside unit through a small hole in the wall.

A mini-split air conditioner is prized for its energy efficiency and nearly noiseless operation. This makes it good for craftsmen searching for a calm, comfy area to work. Since they deliver both heating and cooling, mini-splits can be operated no matter the season.

As wood contracts with shifts in temperature, complete control over heating and cooling is highly beneficial. A lot of carpenters and woodworkers suggest finishing work in temperatures similar to where the finished product will be used.

Changing your filter frequently is a critical component of service. Cutting creates a lot of sawdust. If you don’t clean your mini-split’s filter, you may decrease your system’s efficiency and longevity.

A mini-split also requires frequent tune-ups from a experienced HVAC specialist, like one from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Keeping its internal components clean and lubricated will help reduce the probability of interruptions in comfort and may even help it work longer.

Garage Heaters: Ideal for Cold Climates

Garage heaters run slightly differently. They generate hot air, so it’s ideal to compare one to a small furnace. They’re mounted on the ceiling, typically in a corner. If you turn to your garage for extra storage, consider the fact that these heaters will eat up a part the overhead space.

A key difference between garage heaters and mini-split systems is the kind of fuel they use, because 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 add fuel hookups.

Garage heaters have a feature that makes them slightly better than a mini-split system. They don’t need a filter and some models have sealed combustion chambers, which keeps 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, such as the climate in the U.S.. These encompass:

    • Whether you want both heating and cooling, or just heating.
    • Your budget.
    • How much ceiling space you have in your garage.
    • How much time and money you want to spend on maintenance.

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

Garage heaters are a simpler, more affordable option. Different models consume different fuel sources to create heat only, making them bad for hotter areas. 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 bigger utility expenses. But the great heat generation is recommended in colder climates.

For trustworthy 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 woodshop will be a productive area for years. Contact us at 866-397-3787 to book a free home comfort assessment or appointment now.