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

Comfy isn’t typically a word used to reference a garage. But many homeowners make the most of this location as a workshop for home improvement projects or hobbies such as woodworking. Mulling using your garage for a home woodshop? By having heating and cooling, you’ll have the ability to use the area throughout the year.

Traditional systems, like a furnace, heat pump or air conditioner, are typically cost-prohibitive due to the ductwork that’s needed. Not to mention, garages are frequently not connected to your home.

The two most frequently installed options are garage heaters or mini-split systems, since they don’t need ductwork. But which kind should you choose? It’s important to be informed about each to find the most energy-efficient solution for your woodshop. Sawdust needs additional thought since these particles can fill up filters and reduce your system’s efficiency.

We review the differences to help you choose the best solution for your needs.

Mini-Splits: Ideal for Heating and Cooling

Ductless mini-splits much like a heat pump, since they move heat instead of generating it. This makes them highly energy efficient. They’re placed on your wall and join to an outdoor unit by a small hole in the wall.

A mini-split air conditioner is popular for its energy efficiency and nearly silent operation. This makes it great for craftsmen needing a relaxing, cozy area to work. Since they deliver both heating and cooling, mini-splits can be run all year round.

As wood shrinks with changes in temperature, full control over heating and cooling is highly useful. Many carpenters and woodworkers advise completing work in temperatures similar to where the final item will be used.

Checking your filter often is an important component of maintenance. Using a saw kicks up a lot of sawdust. If you don’t change your mini-split’s filter, you may decrease your system’s efficiency and life span.

A mini-split also needs regular upkeep from a professional HVAC specialist, like one from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Keeping its internal pieces clean and lubricated will help reduce the likelihood of malfunctions and may even help it last longer.

Garage Heaters: Best for Chilly Climates

Garage heaters operate a little differently. They create hot air, so it’s ideal to compare one to a mini furnace. They’re installed on the ceiling, often in a corner. If you need your garage for additional storage, keep in mind that these heaters will eat up a portion the overhead space.

The biggest 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 standard types, but there are electric garage heaters too if you don’t want to worry about fuel hookups.

Garage heaters come with 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 separate combustion chambers, which keeps sawdust from infiltrating those internal pieces.

Key Differences Between Mini-Splits and Garage Heaters

Ultimately there are lots of things to consider, including the weather in the U.S.. These include:

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

Ductless mini-split systems cost more up front than garage heaters. If you won’t use your woodshop frequently, this may not be the most budget-friendly plan. But woodshops in locations with major changes in weather may benefit from more precise control.

Garage heaters are a simpler, budget-friendly solution. Different models consume differing fuel sources to generate heat only, making them not a good choice for warmer climates. Gas or propane garage heaters are best if fuel costs are low. They’re not as energy efficient, so frequent use may result in bigger utility costs. But the superior heat generation is recommended in northern climates.

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

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