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

Comfortable isn’t often a word used to talk about a garage. But many homeowners take full advantage of this location as a workshop for home improvement projects or pastimes like woodworking. Mulling using your garage for a home woodshop? By having heating and cooling, you’ll have the option utilize the garage year-round.

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

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

We review the differences to help you choose the right system for your budget.

Mini-Splits: Ideal for Heating and Cooling

Ductless mini-splits are like a heat pump, as they transfer heat instead of creating it. This makes them highly energy efficient. They’re placed on your wall and connect to an outside unit by a small hole in the wall.

A mini-split air conditioner is popular for its energy efficiency and nearly noiseless operation. This makes it ideal for craftsmen looking for a tranquil, comfy space to work. Because they deliver both heating and cooling, mini-splits can be run throughout the year.

As wood shrinks with shifts in temperature, complete control over heating and cooling is extremely advantageous. Many carpenters and woodworkers recommend completing woodworking in temperatures much like where the finished creation will end up.

Inspecting your filter consistently is a crucial part of service. Using a saw generates a lot of sawdust. If you don’t change your mini-split’s filter, you risk reducing your system’s efficiency and lifetime.

A mini-split also requires regular tune-ups from a professional HVAC tech, like one from Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Keeping its internal components clean and lubricated will help lower the chance of malfunctions and may even help it work for a greater period of time.

Garage Heaters: Ideal for Chilly Climates

Garage heaters work a bit differently. They generate warmth, so it’s ideal to compare one to a mini furnace. They’re installed on the ceiling, usually in a corner. If you rely on your garage for additional storage, know that these heaters will take up a portion the overhead room.

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 models, but there are electric garage heaters also if you don’t want to add fuel sources.

Garage heaters include a feature that gives them a leg up on a mini-split system. They don’t need a filter and some models have closed combustion chambers, which stops sawdust from infiltrating those internal components.

Key Distinctions Between Mini-Splits and Garage Heaters

In the end there are a lot of things to consider, like the temperatures in the U.S.. These involve:

    • 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 tune-ups.

Ductless mini-split systems cost more at the start than garage heaters. If you won’t use your shop often, this may not be the most budget-friendly option. But woodshops in areas with wide adjustments in temperature may benefit from better control.

Garage heaters are a simpler, budget-friendly choice. Different models utilize varying fuel sources to make heat only, making them bad for warm areas. Gas or propane garage heaters are best if fuel costs are more reasonable. They’re not as energy efficient, so frequent use may lead to bigger utility bills. But the great heat generation is desired in colder climates.

For knowledgeable advice and installation, call the HVAC Experts at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We’ll help you make the right choice. And with quality repair and maintenance services, your woodshop will be a productive location for many years to come. Contact us at 866-397-3787 to book a free home comfort assessment or appointment now.

Savings For You

See All Offers Here >
parts and labor icon

$50 OFF Any Repair

  • Save $50 on a Paid Service
  • Written 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Plus, ask how to save an additional 15% and waive your trip charge!
maintenance icon

$50 OFF HVAC Tune-up Special

There’s no reason to skip your seasonal maintenance that saves energy and helps ensure your air conditioner and heater will work reliably all season long.

  • Regularly $129, now only $79
  • Save up to 30% on energy bills
  • Written Expert Service Guarantee

© 2023 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.