Should I Get a Mini-Split or Garage Heater in My Shop?

Comfy isn’t often a word used to reference a garage. But many homeowners maximize this space as a workshop for home improvement projects or tinkering such as woodworking. Thinking about transforming your garage into a home woodshop? By having heating and cooling, you’ll be able to utilize the garage throughout the year.

Common systems, including a furnace, heat pump or air conditioner, are typically expensive because of the ductwork that’s required. Not to mention, garages are sometimes detached.

The two most popular options are garage heaters or mini-split systems, since they don’t have to have ductwork. But which type should you select? It’s important to be aware of each to choose the most energy-efficient solution for your woodshop. Sawdust needs additional consideration because these particles can clog filters and decrease your system’s efficiency.

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

Mini-Splits: Best for Heating and Cooling

Ductless mini-splits are similar to a heat pump, since they move heat instead of creating it. This makes them highly energy efficient. They’re installed on your wall and connect to an outdoor unit via a small hole in the wall.

A mini-split air conditioner is prized for its energy efficiency and nearly noiseless operation. This makes it ideal for craftsmen needing a calm, comfortable space to work. Since they provide both heating and cooling, mini-splits can be used all year round.

Since wood shrinks with adjustments in temperature, full control over heating and cooling is very advantageous. Most carpenters and woodworkers recommend completing work in temperatures much like where the final product will end up.

Inspecting your filter often is a critical component of upkeep. Sanding creates 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 regular upkeep from a experienced HVAC specialist, like one from Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. Keeping its internal components clean and lubricated will help reduce the probability of repairs and could even help it last for a greater period of time.

Garage Heaters: Great for Chilly Climates

Garage heaters operate a little differently. They create heated air, so it’s best to compare one to a mini furnace. They’re fixed on the ceiling, usually in a corner. If you need your garage for added storage, know that these heaters will take up a portion the overhead area.

The biggest difference between garage heaters and mini-split systems is the fuel type, as mini-splits are electric. Propane or natural gas garage heaters are both common kinds, but there are electric garage heaters also if you don’t want to add fuel hookups.

Garage heaters come with a perk 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 stops sawdust from getting into those internal parts.

Key Differences Between Mini-Splits and Garage Heaters

In the long run there are many things to keep in mind, like the temperatures in Canada. These include:

  • Whether you want both heating and cooling, or only heating.
  • Your budget.
  • How much wall space you have in your shop.
  • How much time and money you want to dedicate to service.

Ductless mini-split systems run more up front than garage heaters. If you don’t plan on using your woodshop all the time, this may not be the smartest plan. But woodshops in locations with large shifts in temps may benefit from more precise control.

Garage heaters are a simpler, more affordable option. Different models use differing fuel sources to create heat only, making them not a good choice for hotter weather. Gas or propane garage heaters are best if fuel costs are low. They’re not as energy efficient, so regular use may lead to higher utility expenses. But the excellent heat generation is desired in cooler areas.

For skilled advice and installation, turn to the HVAC Experts at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ll help you make the ideal choice. And with excellent repair and maintenance services, your woodshop will be a useful space for years. Give us a call at 866-397-3787 to schedule a free home comfort assessment or appointment now.

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