San Diego is renowned for its pleasant spring and summer. Although the winters in San Diego do not plummet to the temperatures seen in places like Chicago or New York, they can still get quite chilly.
You may be looking for options to keep an addition to your San Diego home or a garage not connected to your home’s central forced air heating and cooling system warm during the winter. For many people, the first option is using a space heater. However, there are several reasons you may opt instead to use a mini-split to keep your garage warm during the winter.
Mini-Splits Can Effectively Heat Your Garage
When most people think about heating a space like a garage, they think about a space heater over a mini-split because most people associate ductless mini-split units with air conditioners. And while it is true that a ductless mini-split will cool the air in a given area, it can also effectively heat the same space.
A ductless mini-split has two primary units: the outdoor compressor and the indoor air handling unit. During the winter, the mini-split will pull in the cool air from your garage and run it over warm refrigerant coils. The warm air is pushed back into your garage, sending the refrigerant to the outdoor unit to expel the cold. During the summer, the same process happens but in reverse, allowing the unit to remove the heat from your garage and produce cold air.
Mini-Splits Provide a Greater Level of Comfort Than Space Heaters
A space heater is going to use radiant heat. The coils and the space heater heat up, heating the air around it. Some will have a fan unit to attempt to distribute the heat throughout your garage.
However, if you have ever been in a space that is just heated by a space heater during the winter, you know that it is never comfortable. The area closest to the space heater feels like an oven, and if you take just a few steps away from the space heater, you will freeze.
A mini-split has an indoor blower or evaporator unit. This unit is situated inside your garage and is equipped with a powerful fan that distributes warm air throughout your garage. The mini-split will continue to produce warm air until your garage reaches the desired temperature, at which point it turns off. This way, no matter where you are in your garage, you can enjoy evenly distributed heating.
Mini-Splits Have Better Energy Efficiency
Space heaters are anything but energy efficient. If you use them to heat just a few square feet of your garage for a few hours, your electric bill can skyrocket. The bill will rise even further if you plug in multiple space heaters.
Mini-split systems are energy efficient. According to the United States Department of Energy, a home that uses mini-split zoning could see up to a 30% reduction in its energy bill. These ductless units are so efficient because they don’t lose heat. After all, the air does not have to travel through ductwork.
Unlike a space heater that uses electricity to generate heat, your mini-split is designed to transfer heat, which is much more energy efficient. Many of these units have an HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) rating of 10 or above, which means it is specifically designed for efficiency.
Mini-Splits Provide Improved Air Quality
A space heater has just one job, and that is to heat the air around it. It does absolutely nothing to tackle air quality issues. In fact, in some cases, they can exacerbate air quality problems.
Conversely, ductless mini-splits are more than just heaters or air conditioners. The air handling units are also designed to remove dangerous particulates. The filter in your mini-split can remove things like pet dander, dust, mold spores, debris, dirt, and other allergens or bacteria. This will improve your garage’s air quality, making it a safer and more enjoyable place to work.
Proper maintenance is key to ensuring that your mini-split properly filters the air. This includes cleaning or changing the filters periodically. It is good to contact Tarpy Plumbing, Heating & Air and schedule annual mini-split cleaning and maintenance visits. This way, you can ensure that your mini-split keeps the air you breathe clean.
Space Heaters Offer Ease of Installation
Honestly, this is one area where a space heater will win out. All you need to do is plug in the space heater and turn it on for it to work.
However, ductless mini-splits are also super easy to install, especially compared to traditional forced-air HVAC systems. The condenser unit is installed outside of the home by adhering it to an exterior wall or roof. The evaporator unit is installed inside the garage and can be attached to the ceiling or an interior wall. The electrical tubing and refrigerant tubing that connect the exterior unit to the indoor unit can be passed through a hole in your home no bigger than three inches in diameter. At Tarpy Plumbing, Heating & Air, our experienced technicians can quickly evaluate your home and garage layout and discuss the most straightforward, least intrusive way to install your system.
Safety Factors to Consider
Regarding safety, ductless mini-splits are the winner, hands down. Every year, space heaters are responsible for tens of thousands of fires, hundreds of injuries, and hundreds of deaths. Modern space heaters are a lot safer than their older counterparts, but they can still pose a hazard, primarily if used in a garage where flammable liquids or fumes are present.
Space heaters are electrical devices that can pose a shock hazard. They hold a lot of energy, leading to overloading circuits and power failure. Some parts of a space heater get very hot, putting children and pets at risk of getting burned. Polar space heaters pose a tipping risk and have been known to start fires.
Ductless mini-split units are as safe as forced-air HVAC systems. As long as you have the unit installed and maintained by experienced technicians like the ones we have at Tarpy Plumbing, Heating & Air, you can have peace of mind from knowing that you are using a safe device to heat your garage.
Mini-Splits Keep Your Garage Cool During the Summer
A space heater can only heat an area. A mini-split can cool your home. This means that during the summer when the temperatures in your garage become unbearable, you can flip a switch and enjoy safe cooling while you work.
Enjoy Reliable and Dependable HVAC Services in San Diego
At Tarpy Plumbing, Heating & Air, we are proud of our award-winning A+ Better Business Bureau-rated HVAC services. Our work is done by trustworthy technicians with the experience, training, and qualifications to get the job done right the first time.
We proudly offer various services, including HVAC installation, maintenance, and repair. We offer air balancing, indoor air quality, and hydronic heating. Our general plumbing services include water heaters, faucets, pipe, sewer, and general plumbing installation and maintenance. We warmly invite you to contact Tarpy Plumbing, Heating & Air today to see why we are trustworthy technicians who are ready to help.