Mini-Splits vs. Garage Heaters: Whats Right for My Woodshop?

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

Traditional systems, such as a furnace, heat pump or air conditioner, are typically cost-prohibitive because of the ductwork that’s necessary. Plus, garages are sometimes not connected to your home.

The two most frequently installed solutions are garage heaters or mini-split systems, because they don’t require ductwork. But which system should you go with? It’s essential to be aware of each to select the most energy-efficient solution for your woodshop. Sawdust requires additional thought as these particles can clog filters and decrease your system’s efficiency.

We break down the differences to help you select the best option for your needs.

Mini-Splits: Ideal for Heating and Cooling

Ductless mini-splits are similar to a heat pump, because they shift heat instead of generating it. This makes them extremely energy efficient. They’re placed on your wall and link to an exterior 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 great for craftsmen needing a calm, comfortable space to work. Because they provide both heating and cooling, mini-splits can be used all year round.

As wood contracts with adjustments in temperature, complete control over heating and cooling is very useful. Many carpenters and woodworkers suggest completing work in temperatures very close to where the completed creation will live.

Changing your filter frequently is a critical component of service. Using a saw creates a lot of sawdust. If you don’t change your mini-split’s filter, you risk reducing your system’s efficiency and longevity.

A mini-split also requires regular upkeep from a experienced HVAC technician, like one from Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air. Keeping its internal parts clean and lubricated will help reduce the likelihood of repairs and could even help it run for a greater period of time.

Garage Heaters: Best for Northern Climates

Garage heaters run slightly differently. They create heated air, so it’s ideal to compare one to a miniature furnace. They’re installed on the ceiling, usually in a corner. If you turn to your garage for added storage, consider the fact that these heaters will take up a portion the overhead room.

A key difference between garage heaters and mini-split systems is the type of fuel they need, as mini-splits are electric. Propane or natural gas garage heaters are both typical types, but there are electric garage heaters as well if you don’t want to worry about fuel hookups.

Garage heaters come with a feature that makes them slightly better than a mini-split system. They don’t require a filter and some models have closed combustion chambers, which stops 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 San Antonio. These involve:

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

Ductless mini-split systems cost more at the start than garage heaters. If you won’t need your garage often, this may not be the most budget-friendly solution. But woodshops in climates with big shifts in temps may benefit from better control.

Garage heaters are a simpler, more affordable option. Different models consume different fuel sources to make heat only, making them ill-suited for warm areas. Gas or propane garage heaters are great if fuel costs are low. They’re not as energy efficient, so frequent use may lead to bigger utility bills. But the superior heat generation is desired in cooler climates.

For experienced advice and installation, call the HVAC Experts at Aramendia Plumbing, Heating and Air. We’ll help you make the ideal choice. And with outstanding repair and maintenance services, your woodshop will be a productive area for a long time. Reach us at 210-404-4233 to request a free home comfort assessment or appointment right away.