It seems like fewer and fewer people use their garages for cars any more. These spaces make great workshops or lounges, particularly for guys who need a little space for themselves and don’t mind — or even enjoy — a stripped-down look for it.
But, just because a workshop looks like a garage doesn’t mean it has to feel like it!
In this case study, we’re looking at a recent job we did in a Boise, ID garage. Our homeowner did many home projects there and wanted it to be more comfortable in the winter and summer.
We’ll go over:
- Why Heat And Cool Your Garage Workshop?
- Why Extending Ductwork Into A Garage Is A Bad Idea
- Benefits Of Ductless Heating And Cooling For A Garage
- Mini Split Installation For a Boise, ID Garage Workshop
You can call or email us at Snowflake Air with any questions about these systems or if they’d be a good fit for your Boise, ID home.
Problem: Our Boise, ID homeowner wanted to spend more time in his garage, which he converted into a workshop. But, with no heating or cooling, it was too uncomfortable in the winter and summer.
Solution: Installed a Mitsubishi mini split for ductless heating and cooling. The system works separately from the home’s central HVAC system. And, it provides superior heating and cooling for a consistent year-round temperature.
Why Heat And Cool Your Garage Workshop?
Your workshop, or man cave, or whatever you call it, doesn’t need to be as cozy as a sitting room or reading nook. But, it shouldn’t be sweltering hot or freezing cold, either.
And, with a workshop, a little climate control can go a long way.
Keeping the temperature consistent and humidity in check helps prevent rust or other damage to tools and electronics. If you’re a woodworker, then you’ll preserve your materials much better.
In the case of our Boise, ID homeowner, the big problem here was the garage door — a common issue.
That door takes up a whole wall, and it’s not insulated. Heat collects in the summer and escapes in the winter. That makes the temperature swing way more than anywhere else in the house.
Why Extending Ductwork Into A Garage Is A Bad Idea
The first idea our homeowner came up with was extending the ductwork from his home into the garage. It seems obvious, right? You’ve already got a powerful furnace and central air setup. Why not make the most of it?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.
After researching, our homeowner figured out that the system he had wouldn’t be strong enough to tackle the extra space.
Any HVAC contractor with their salt will do a load calculation before slapping a furnace and AC condenser into a home. They make sure the equipment is just right — not too weak, not too strong — for the space.
Adding a few hundred more square feet will reduce the circulation throughout the house and make the system struggle to keep up.
Plus, with the thermostat far away, our homeowner would never get the temperature he wanted.
That’s when he called us here at Snowflake Air. He’d heard a little about ductless heating and cooling. Now, he wanted to learn more.
Four Benefits Of Ductless Heating And Cooling For A Garage
We walked through a lot about how ductless heating and cooling works and what it would look like in a garage. Our homeowner zeroed in on these four benefits in particular:
- Zoned Heating & Cooling
- Superior Climate Control
- Energy Efficiency
- Easy Installation
Zoned Heating & Cooling
“Zoned” heating and cooling means you’re focusing on just one area (or zone) in the house and treating it separately from the rest. Technically, this is what you’d get with, say, baseboard heaters and window air conditioners. But, ductless does it better.
With all three, you have a single unit with a built-in thermostat. That way, it measures the temperature in the exact room where you install it.
This provides more accurate regulation than when the entire house heats and cools based on the one room with your thermostat.
And, with a garage that’s far away from that room and separated by a fire door, you’ll never get an accurate reading.
With ductless, the air handler in the garage has a thermostat that controls the system. So, he’ll heat and cool the garage based on how hot or cold it is in the garage — not in the living room.
Superior Climate Control
So, why invest in ductless instead of those other options we mentioned? The answer is simple: A mini split will give you much, much better climate control than baseboards or portable air conditioners.
First is the air handlers: Sensors detect hot and cold spots, and tiny fans push the air right to those areas.
Then, the heat pump uses Inverter technology for variable speeds. That means it does more than just click on and off a few times an hour.
Instead, it runs almost all the time in a low-power mode that maintains a steady temperature instead of correcting it when the temperature drifts.
And, in the summer, that means better dehumidification with the system always running.
At first, our homeowner didn’t like hearing that the mini split would run almost all the time. He pictured his electric bill going through the roof! But, he soon discovered that wasn’t the case at all.
Yes, the mini split is on much more often than it’s not. But, the key phrase is “low-power mode.” It uses a tiny bit of electricity to keep the heat pump running.
In the winter, the system works by transferring heat instead of burning fossil fuels to create it.
As a result, the system only needs a small amount of power for the components to work. After that, the heating or cooling takes place automatically.
So, the garage will be way more comfortable, and our homeowner will barely notice a difference on his bills.
We’ll get into this more in a moment. But, the clincher was how fast, easy, and simple it would be to get ductless heating and cooling up and running.
Mini Split Installation For a Boise, ID Garage Workshop
Would you believe it takes less than a day to install a system that offers all these benefits? Our homeowner didn’t at first. Then, he learned about how it works and why it’s easy to put in.
Without worrying about ductwork, all we have to do is mount the air handler on one side of a garage wall and place the heat pump outside on the other side.
A mini split uses refrigerant liquid traveling in a small, flexible line to carry heat back and forth. So, we just run the line through the wall to connect the two.
The only prep work involved a load calculation to determine what strength heat pump our homeowner needed. Then he picked out the models that suited him best, and we figured out where to install each component.
Our techs showed up first thing in the morning and were gone by the time our homeowner was finished work. That night, he sat in his perfectly climate-controlled workshop and thought about what project he’d start next — not about whether or not he’d be too hot or cold while working on it.
If you’d like to learn more about how to make your Treasure Valley garage or home workshop comfortable year-round, call or email Snowflake Air for a free consultation.