Mini-Splits vs. Garage Heaters: Whats Best for My Shop?

Cozy isn’t often a word used to talk about a garage. But many homeowners take full advantage of this area as a workshop for home improvement projects or hobbies such as woodworking. Thinking about using your garage for a home woodshop? By having heating and cooling, you’ll have the ability to enjoy the space throughout the year.

Traditional systems, including a furnace, heat pump or air conditioner, are often expensive due to the ductwork that’s needed. Not to mention, garages are sometimes not connected to your home.

The two most popular styles are garage heaters or mini-split systems, since they don’t have to have ductwork. But which type should you choose? It’s essential to know the benefits of each to choose the most energy-efficient solution for your woodshop. Sawdust needs special consideration since these particles can fill up filters and decrease your system’s efficiency.

We break down 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 shift heat in place of generating it. This makes them highly energy efficient. They’re installed on your wall and join to an exterior 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 great for craftsmen looking for a relaxing, cozy space to work. Because they provide both heating and cooling, mini-splits can be used throughout the year.

Because wood shrinks with shifts in temperature, full control over heating and cooling is extremely advantageous. A lot of carpenters and woodworkers advise doing projects in temperatures similar to where the completed item will end up.

Inspecting your filter often is a critical component of upkeep. Using a saw generates a lot of sawdust. If you don’t keep up with your mini-split’s filter, you may decrease your system’s efficiency and life span.

A mini-split also requires regular upkeep from a experienced HVAC technician, like one from R & M Climate Control Service Experts. Keeping its internal components clean and lubricated will help lower the likelihood of repairs and may even help it last for an extended period of time.

Garage Heaters: Best for Chilly Climates

Garage heaters operate slightly differently. They create heated air, so it’s better to compare one to a mini furnace. They’re fixed on the ceiling, typically in a corner. If you rely on your garage for extra storage, keep in mind that these heaters will take up some of the overhead space.

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

Garage heaters come with a bonus that makes them slightly better than a mini-split system. They don’t have to have a filter and some models have sealed combustion chambers, which keeps sawdust from getting into those internal pieces.

Key Distinctions Between Mini-Splits and Garage Heaters

Ultimately there are lots of things to consider, like the temperatures in Knoxville. These involve:

  • Whether you need both heating and cooling, or just heating.
  • Your budget.
  • How much overhead area you have in your woodshop.
  • How much time and money you want to dedicate to upkeep.

Ductless mini-split systems are more expensive at the start than garage heaters. If you won’t need your garage all the time, this may not be the most budget-friendly option. But woodshops in locations with major adjustments in temps may benefit from more precise control.

Garage heaters are a simpler, more reasonably priced solution. Different models consume differing fuel sources to generate heat only, making them not a good choice for warmer weather. Gas or propane garage heaters are ideal if fuel costs are smaller. They’re not as energy efficient, so frequent use may lead to more expensive utility expenses. But the excellent heat generation is preferable in cooler climates.

For skilled advice and installation, trust the HVAC Experts at R & M Climate Control Service Experts. We’ll help you make the right choice. And with quality repair and maintenance services, your woodshop will be a relaxing space for many years to come. Give us a call at 865-229-6176 to book a free home comfort assessment or appointment right away.

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