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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.


Comments (9)
anonymous wrote:

I also am getting tired of the recycled articles and projects.Also believe when my subscription ends that will be the end of Wood magazine for me

7/23/2015 10:05:19 PM Report Abuse
skyler3088799 wrote:

How about something new??? These articles are re-runs, the projects are wonder I'm considering cancelling everything to do with Wood.

1/8/2015 01:33:07 PM Report Abuse
rbtpartsman wrote:

I've put in a used "trailer furnace" before in a shop, sitting it up high on a frame with the hot air just coming right out of the bottom. My shop was well insulated, and it only took about 10-15 minutes to heat the shop up to a comfortable working temperature. I used a oil furnace, but you can also use propane and natural gas furnaces.

1/8/2015 11:31:37 AM Report Abuse
brucenadams1 wrote:

My shop is open to the elements, but shaded. Winter temps get to a bone chilling 55*. Summers are bit warm. Radiant heat works best for me during the winter. The round, reflector electric heaters from Costco are convenient, portable and safe. Sort of a chill chaser. The addition of a heat lamp on the scroll saw in addition to the regular lighting keeps my hands and fingers warm. That strategy doesn't work everywhere, but it works for me.

1/8/2015 11:15:17 AM Report Abuse
phartman89130 wrote:

How about geo air tubes?

1/8/2015 10:02:47 AM Report Abuse
kjdoyle.woodworks wrote:

I've installed a conventional forced air furnace. It was a simple 80% natural gas unit. I can put a high efficiency filter on it and it cleans my air and I can add a humidifier for the winter and AC for the summer. It was around $500 for the furnace, filter housing and plenum kit.

1/8/2015 09:45:21 AM Report Abuse
markbutler506 wrote:

I put a gas radiant tube heater in and it is the best way to go. It heats up instantly and the best part is that it is great for drying finishes. It speeds up the drying and doesn't give dust a chance to settle. I even use it in the summer although even with all the windows open it gets too hot to stay inside but in 20-30 minutes the finish has cured enough to prevent dust nibs.

1/8/2015 09:45:20 AM Report Abuse
timlarkin2010 wrote:

I added a mini-split upstairs and in the downstairs level of my shop. They both have worked flawlessly for over a year heating and cooling my shop here in central Virginia. They are quite economical to purchase and operate. I installed them both myself in less than a day.

12/22/2014 07:05:39 PM Report Abuse
meridiaman1 wrote:

I, actually, purchased a mini-split brand new from a seller on a popular auction site and installed it myself. Installation is quite easy. My mini-split has been operating perfectly for the last 9 years with no problems. It supplies me with A/C in the hot Phoenix summers and heat in the winters (Yes, we get as low as the '20s in the winter here, at times.).

12/18/2014 04:39:27 PM Report Abuse

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