Mini-Splits vs. Garage Heaters: Whats Right 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 pastimes such as woodworking. Considering changing your garage into a home woodshop? By having heating and cooling, you’ll have the option use the garage all year.

Traditional systems, like a furnace, heat pump or air conditioner, are often cost-prohibitive since there’s ductwork that’s required. Not to mention, garages are often detached.

The two most popular options are garage heaters or mini-split systems, as they don’t require ductwork. But which system should you go with? It’s critical to be informed about each to choose the most energy-efficient solution for your needs. Sawdust requires extra planning because these particles can fill up filters and reduce your system’s efficiency.

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

Mini-Splits: Best for Heating and Cooling

Ductless mini-splits are similar to a heat pump, as they transfer heat instead of creating it. This makes them very 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 popular for its energy efficiency and quiet operation. This makes it ideal for craftsmen looking for a calm, comfortable location to work. As they deliver both heating and cooling, mini-splits can be used throughout the year.

Since wood contracts with adjustments in temperature, total control over heating and cooling is extremely useful. Most carpenters and woodworkers suggest doing woodworking in temperatures very close to where the finished product will be used.

Changing your filter consistently is an essential piece of maintenance. 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 frequent tune-ups from a experienced HVAC technician, like one from Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. Keeping its internal parts clean and lubricated will help reduce the likelihood of malfunctions and may even help it work for an extended period of time.

Garage Heaters: Great for Cold Climates

Garage heaters run slightly differently. They make hot air, so it’s best to compare one to a little furnace. They’re fixed on the ceiling, usually in a corner. If you rely on your garage for additional storage, know that these heaters will require some of the overhead area.

The main 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 typical kinds, but there are electric garage heaters too if you don’t want to bother with fuel connections.

Garage heaters have a bonus that makes them advantageous over a mini-split system. They don’t need a filter and some models have closed combustion chambers, which stops sawdust from reaching those internal components.

Key Variations Between Mini-Splits and Garage Heaters

Ultimately there are many things to keep in mind, like the temperatures in Denver. These include:

  • Whether you need both heating and cooling, or merely heating.
  • Your budget.
  • How much ceiling room you have in your garage.
  • How much time and money you want to dedicate to upkeep.

Ductless mini-split systems are great if you value versatility and peak energy efficiency. They give both heating and cooling, making them the smartest solution for zoned climate control. But this efficiency will cost you. Mini-split heat pumps cost more to begin with than garage heaters. If you won’t use your woodshop frequently, this may not be the most budget-friendly solution. But woodshops in areas with major shifts in temps may benefit from more precise control.

Garage heaters are a simpler, budget-friendly solution. Different models consume varying fuel sources to create heat only, making them ill-suited for warm weather. Gas or propane garage heaters are ideal if fuel costs are smaller. They’re not as energy efficient, so regular use may create bigger utility expenses. But the great heat generation is preferable in cooler climates.

For trustworthy advice and installation, turn to the HVAC Experts at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ll help you make the ideal choice. And with outstanding repair and maintenance services, your garage will be a useful space for many years to come. Give us a call at 303-647-5853 to request a free home comfort assessment or appointment now.

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