Author Topic: use of a mini-split in a shop  (Read 2750 times)

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Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1361
use of a mini-split in a shop
« on: April 22, 2021, 11:53 AM »
I installed a Daikin mini-split in my shop two years ago and it works great.  We live in N. Texas where the summers are scorchers so it makes life bearable in the shop.  I saw something on YT the other day during a discussion using mini-splits and the comment was they aren't appropriate for a woodshop, I presume because of the high dust issue.  Has anyone who uses the same thing had any issues?  I'm thinking about purchasing a Jet or Powermatic air filter to help with that issue now that will be coming up on hot weather again.  Will that help?
Howard H
The Dallas Texas Festool Fanatic!

Mark Twain:  "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a letter approving of it." "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

mft1080, P1cc, MFT/3, T15, TID-18, RO150FEQ, MT55cc, RTS400, CT22, CT36E, 800, 1080, 1400, 1900 rails, OF 2200, OF1400, CSX, C18, VacSys, Vecturo, Qwas dogs, Parf Dogs, Zobo's, Syslite Uni, CMS GE. Mafell DDF40, Sawstop contractor, PM 1500, Shaper Origin. Felder AF-14

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1558
Re: use of a mini-split in a shop
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2021, 12:17 PM »
The argument is that the dust will clog up the unit and render it ineffective at best and non operational at the worst. I believe a routine inspection and cleaning of the head unit will extend the life greatly. Blow and vacuum out the dust and pay attention to coils and motor vents.

Ron

Offline Holzhacker

  • Posts: 1025
    • www.aic-chicago.com
Re: use of a mini-split in a shop
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2021, 12:22 PM »
Yeah, just pull the front grille regularly and clean the coils and filters.
I don't have one but know guys who have/had mini-splits in their shops. Its all about cleaning so the unit doesn't clog up.
"The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1361
Re: use of a mini-split in a shop
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2021, 12:23 PM »
I haven't looked at it in awhile.  Should be interesting to see how dirty the filter is. 
Howard H
The Dallas Texas Festool Fanatic!

Mark Twain:  "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a letter approving of it." "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

mft1080, P1cc, MFT/3, T15, TID-18, RO150FEQ, MT55cc, RTS400, CT22, CT36E, 800, 1080, 1400, 1900 rails, OF 2200, OF1400, CSX, C18, VacSys, Vecturo, Qwas dogs, Parf Dogs, Zobo's, Syslite Uni, CMS GE. Mafell DDF40, Sawstop contractor, PM 1500, Shaper Origin. Felder AF-14

Offline mino

  • Posts: 548
Re: use of a mini-split in a shop
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2021, 12:54 PM »
Much better to invest into better dust collection and air filter like mentioned.

Where a clima unit suffers, your lungs suffer more ...
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Offline twistsol

  • Posts: 33
  • A shop full of tools and no talent
    • The Sawdustzone
Re: use of a mini-split in a shop
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2021, 12:56 PM »
I have a Lenox mini split in my new shop. I use a 3hp jet cyclone for stationary tools, 2 ct33s for bench tools and a Jet afs2000 air cleaner.

I had a Bryant mini split for 5 years in my previous shop with all the other equipment the same and had no issues. My HVAC guy was concerned when he installed it.

I'm a bit OCD about dust and cleaned the mini split filters and blew out the head monthly. I also powered the mini split down when using the tools with poor dust collection (Shopsmith and antique RAS)

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 2401
Re: use of a mini-split in a shop
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2021, 02:50 PM »
I've had a Sanyo 1.5T heat pump in my shop for 10 years. I clean it twice a year and I probably need to increase that to three times a year. It's not difficult just takes time. On mine I can program it to start/stop when I want. So I set it to run for one hour every day in the afternoon when it is warmest. Winter or Summer this helps when I don't get in the shop for days. It will keep it above 40F inside during a normal Winter so that nothing will freeze and below 80F in the Summer. If it gets too cold it will not draw any heat from outside but if it's that cold I don't want to be out there anyway. In the Winter I can turn it on and in an hour the shop will be in the low 50s and another hour will be nearing 60. If I had a bigger unit it would do better. I wish I could have gone bigger but limited by electrical capacity in the garage.
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It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline ghjaxman

  • Posts: 134
Re: use of a mini-split in a shop
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2021, 03:02 PM »
Just need to keep cleaning the unit.  I just cleaned mine a few weeks back.  I also have a Rabbit Air in my Shop and that really helps with the airborne dust.  If it gets too much dust on it it will freeze over.

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 1222
Re: use of a mini-split in a shop
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2021, 04:23 PM »
I put a mini split in my garage last year, and keep thinking it could help with air filtration. The Powermatic filter is on my short list, along with a roof vent fan for venting smoke and fumes. So when I have some free time long in the future I plan to build something like this guys filter box.

Edit: Weird, had issues with the youtube URL. It shows fine in Preview, but leaves a big white space on my computer. Oh well I tried...


« Last Edit: April 22, 2021, 04:29 PM by Peter_C »

Offline FestitaMakool

  • Posts: 1063
Re: use of a mini-split in a shop
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2021, 05:00 PM »
I put a mini split in my garage last year, and keep thinking it could help with air filtration. The Powermatic filter is on my short list, along with a roof vent fan for venting smoke and fumes. So when I have some free time long in the future I plan to build something like this guys filter box.

Edit: Weird, had issues with the youtube URL. It shows fine in Preview, but leaves a big white space on my computer. Oh well I tried...



Now, that’s a FILTER for a mini split!
Yes, pull out the front lid and vac the removable grid filters regularly and you should be fine (Peter C probably won’t need [big grin])
If you get a good deal on a mini split for a garage, and too want a highly economical heater during winter, these are perfect. I’ll invest in one for my future shop. When in heat mode they can provide up till 4-6 times more heat than they draw from the grid. Check specks!
We rarely use them as air con here, they are used as heaters. When in air con/cooling mode they consume what it says on the tin - to the max very often.
“The Stig” Yes, it is true, at least some part of it..
“If you have an old Land Rover and a fit wife, you’re most likely always busy”

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1361
Re: use of a mini-split in a shop
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2021, 11:29 AM »
I checked the filters last night and there was quite a bit of dust in them that I was able to blow out. It wasn't as bad as I thought.  However, while up on the ladder, I looked around on the top of my cabinets and florescent light fixtures hanging down and they were covered in a thick layer of dust. I got that taken care of and now I'm going to get one of those air cleaners to help keep it from ever becoming this bad again. 
Howard H
The Dallas Texas Festool Fanatic!

Mark Twain:  "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a letter approving of it." "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

mft1080, P1cc, MFT/3, T15, TID-18, RO150FEQ, MT55cc, RTS400, CT22, CT36E, 800, 1080, 1400, 1900 rails, OF 2200, OF1400, CSX, C18, VacSys, Vecturo, Qwas dogs, Parf Dogs, Zobo's, Syslite Uni, CMS GE. Mafell DDF40, Sawstop contractor, PM 1500, Shaper Origin. Felder AF-14

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1361
Re: use of a mini-split in a shop
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2021, 11:31 AM »
Much better to invest into better dust collection and air filter like mentioned.

Where a clima unit suffers, your lungs suffer more ...

I also got rid of my baby Laguna DC recently and invested in a Felder AF-14 that runs off of 220.  That thing really keeps my J/P and table saw clean.  It came with a filter bag on top and I think I'm going to switch it out for the optional canister. 
Howard H
The Dallas Texas Festool Fanatic!

Mark Twain:  "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a letter approving of it." "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

mft1080, P1cc, MFT/3, T15, TID-18, RO150FEQ, MT55cc, RTS400, CT22, CT36E, 800, 1080, 1400, 1900 rails, OF 2200, OF1400, CSX, C18, VacSys, Vecturo, Qwas dogs, Parf Dogs, Zobo's, Syslite Uni, CMS GE. Mafell DDF40, Sawstop contractor, PM 1500, Shaper Origin. Felder AF-14

Offline Kevin C.

  • Posts: 175
Re: use of a mini-split in a shop
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2021, 12:15 AM »
I installed a mini split and a 4 filter top box  after I saw the idea from Jay Bates on YouTube.  Between that and 4 hanging air filters I made from some old mini split fans (courtesy of a buddy who installs air conditioning systems) I have had zero problems with it.
 I checked the filter on the mini split about a month ago when I changed all the filters for the first time and it was clean as the day I installed it. Jay's idea with the 4 filters is fantastic, and works very well.

Offline Df1k1

  • Posts: 133
Re: use of a mini-split in a shop
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2021, 08:40 PM »
I also have a mini split. I have had one for about seven years now. I have a Jet air cleaner that I wish I used more but I simply don’t do it to the noise. Living in South Florida it was essential to keep a cool shop. And every time I ran the air filter it seem like the mini split had to work harder.
Anyway I never did any other filtration system and it’s amazing how clean the filters are when I check them every other month or so. So really don’t worry about that. What I would add is if you live in a humid environment like I do invest the money in to a UV kit. They’re not cheap but it will keep your mini split running a heck of a lot longer without having to do a deep cleaning. That’s not fun. You need to  take out the wheel etc. Tons of mold will grow on it slowing the wheel down.

Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 1074
Re: use of a mini-split in a shop
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2021, 10:01 AM »
The only downside to them I was told is that while they are great for AC they are less than desirable for heat especially is cooler climates. It's a heat pump, which means it cannot do the job without heat strips if it drops below 45 or so. If your shop is in a garage and you live in a cold climate the mini-split with struggle to heat it. The door is a sieve for cold air making it tough to warm up and if the door is opened it will be game over for a mini-split using it's strip heat. This is where a propane wall-mounted unit could take care of business.

I suffer in the summer in my garage, but propane powers me through winter.

Offline woodferret

  • Posts: 137
Re: use of a mini-split in a shop
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2021, 10:11 AM »
Ya, our area here in NS Canada won't let you install a heat pump without a secondary heat source.  It's fine if it's all electric, but most likely for the reason you said about it not being able to extract enough heat on cold days.

Offline pixelated

  • Posts: 328
Re: use of a mini-split in a shop
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2021, 10:44 AM »
The only downside to them I was told is that while they are great for AC they are less than desirable for heat especially is cooler climates. It's a heat pump, which means it cannot do the job without heat strips if it drops below 45 or so. If your shop is in a garage and you live in a cold climate the mini-split with struggle to heat it. The door is a sieve for cold air making it tough to warm up and if the door is opened it will be game over for a mini-split using it's strip heat. This is where a propane wall-mounted unit could take care of business.

I suffer in the summer in my garage, but propane powers me through winter.

That is no longer accurate.
There are low temperature units available that can produce effective heat from -15° F air, which do not use any sort of resistance strip heating.
I had one installed in my NH house coming up on two years ago. It works extremely well, it keeps our 1800 sq ft house more comfortable than the propane furnace it replaced ever did, and the running cost has been a fraction of what the furnace needed. That it also cools or dehumidifies is a bonus, but we bought it primarily for heat.
-15 is rare where our house is, but low temps between -5 to -10 aren't unusual and the mini-split is able to keep the house comfortable throughout. We also have a wood stove, and run it sometimes in the colder times to augment, but doing that is entirely optional, and the stove's primary role is to provide heat if there is a power outage.

And, yes, I needed a bit of a leap of faith before I made the decision to buy it.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2021, 11:00 AM by pixelated »

Offline ghjaxman

  • Posts: 134
Re: use of a mini-split in a shop
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2021, 10:50 AM »
My old unit just died, so I installed a new Carrier unit, which is quite a bit better than my old mini-split.  I bought a Rabbit Air cleaner to clear the air of all of the smaller particles and workshop smells, it works great and is very quiet. After a day of working in the shop coming in the next morning, the Rabbit Air cleaner has done its job.