While people argue about the ability of a track saw to replace a table saw, I’ve just installed what I consider the best accessory I’ve ever had in any shop space. I can honestly say this beats out any and all tools to make a garage or any shop outside your home usable.
Mini-Split heat pump - AC and heater.
My shop space was regularly above 27°C and doing even simple tasks became unbearable. The mini-split brings temps down to 23 in 15-20 minutes. With an insulated garage door and walls, even with the unit OFF the entire night, the temp swings only about 0.5 degrees.
I’m in hot and humid Arkansas and I added a Mr. Cool 18k BTU to my two car garage shop in 2020. Like you, I agree this was the best shop upgrade I’ve ever made.
I almost went with a mini split too. While it is years off, considering a move and did not want a permanent installation. Instead I went with a portable AC. Not as good as your mini split, but I can whole heartedly support the cooler temps! Even with a portable unit, I can take my small garage shop down to 74F/23C and keep it there.
Put in a 18K 2 years ago in my shop in North Texas and I could not agree more. I flip the switch and in 25 min the shop goes from a muggy 98 to a crisp cool 78 that I can work in without melting.
Easy DIY install through any wall. If you have 220v available I would highly suggest you make the plunge if you live in the south and avoid going to the shop to do what you love because its an oven all summer (or freezing all winter).
This seems like a perfect solution to my problem of using electric heaters and fans seasonally! The question that concerns me though is how do you handle air handler filtration?
I already have a three speed shop filter unit that catches shop dust but requires a lot of filter changes. I’m concerned the mini system’s air handler filter may not sufficiently protect the coil assembly from heavy dust load.
Good point, and I can’t believe I forgot to mention it in the first post.
I’m building some boxes to hold four 16x20 MERV-13 filters above the mini-split intake today in fact.
Same idea as this:
In my case the AC unit is closer to the ceiling so the two filter in the center are near a 45 degree angle to the ceiling and the two on either side come down below the top of the unit.
Sort of like this:
A removable and gasketed piece slides in between the unit and the boxes - when removed it allows the front of the unit to swing open as normal for maintenance.
That certainly answered my question of concern, especially noting that failure to add greater filtration would probably be fatal to the system.
I like the innovative way you got around the tight space. As for me, the shop is in a concrete ‘bunker’ under our garage which would make the whole process significantly more difficult to pull off in many ways.
Hopefully, I can be as inventive as you though! If I take this route, I’ll be sure to post pix here.
I agree with you 100%. I added a Mitsubishi split system to my basement shop 6 years ago. My shop comfortably cool in the summer and warm in the winter. I change the filter twice a year.
You might want to add a surge protector to protect your minislpit it might even be code now!
I just applied a small quality-of-life upgrade to the mini-split. It came with a small USB stick to allow Alexa control - I don’t use Alexa, so I replaced it with a great little ESP32-based USB stick from a small company in Ukraine called Smartlight. Air conditioner Wi-Fi module for Midea, Idea, Neoclima, Electrolux, Beko and many more. Model SMARTLIGHT SLWF-01pro (v.1.0)
This replacement USB stick allows me to connect the mini-split to Home Assistant (and therefore Apple Homekit) for scheduling, automated control and of course voice control if needed. Number one benefit is that I can have it shut down automatically as when only using its built-in settings it won’t completely shut down when reaching set-point temperature.
I live in South Florida and it is not hot here it’s excruciatingly hot. I received my Journeyman Elite in June and I started getting it ready and I couldn’t work in my garage for more than about half-hour. It was 112 in my garage one day and that’s when I decided to get a mini-split. In the process of installing it now.