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Heat your shop. Cool your shop.

Air conditioner with round fan in front
Enlarge Image
The mini-split condenser unit from
Friedrich ( measures
only 33x36x13", mounts outside,
and can power up to four interior
cooling units. A licensed HVAC
technician is required for
installation and charging the
system with refrigerant.
Lighting system on wall
Enlarge Image
The interior unit of a mini-split
can be hung nearly anywhere,
even high on the wall where
it will be out of your way.


A favorite in Asia and Europe, mini-split systems have a long track record, but have only recently gained traction in North America. These cooling units work just like home central-air units: an outdoor compressor coupled with an indoor cooling coil, but in miniature. The lightweight, outdoor compressor takes up little room, the interior cooling unit can be hung anywhere (no ducting necessary), and the connecting refrigerant and electrical lines require only a 3" hole through the wall.

For an added cost, many mini-split units offer a heat pump upgrade, adding the capability of drawing heat from the outdoor air and depositing it inside. While capable of heating the air much more efficiently than a simple electric heating element (some use one-third the electricity of their element-equipped cousins), they can't overcome outdoor air temperatures lower than about 35° . To compensate for the coldest part of the season, many units add less-efficient supplemental resistance-style electrical heating elements.



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