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Add a second head to a mini-split?

lance_p | Posted in General Questions on

I’m looking at using a ductless mini-split to heat my garage workshop area.  I also have a parking space next to the workshop area where I plan to put a car hoist.

Has anyone ever seen a second head added to a ductless mini-split?  The reason I ask is, I don’t foresee needing to heat both areas at the same time, so just wondering if I could somehow switch between heads.

The refrigerant lines might be the easy part, the electronics might be the sticking point.  Has anyone gone through this before?  Would it make more sense to just buy a small outdoor unit capable of using more than one head and go that route?  I’m thinking going that route the cost will quickly get out of control for simple garage heat.

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  1. 237ScottWilson | | #1

    It can be done but you are better off buying a mini split that is set up for two head unites or buy two mini splits depending on the size unites you need. I have a pioneer 3 zone mini split that heats and cools my house it was the best decision I ever made.

  2. Trevor_Lambert | | #2

    If I am understanding the garage you're planning, the cheapest and simplest solution (both in the short and long term) is probably to size the miniplit for both areas. Install the indoor unit in the section that you will use the most often. Close the door to the other area when not in use, open it up when you're going to use it.

  3. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #3

    >"The refrigerant lines might be the easy part, the electronics might be the sticking point. "

    The refrigerant VALVES are probably the biggest sticking point when trying to hang a second head on a compressor designed for a single head.

  4. lance_p | | #4

    Dana, yes I meant some sort of switching valve that would direct refrigerant flow to one of the two heads. Perhaps it's not as easy as I thought?

    Trevor, I've been racking my brain trying to come up with a neat way to divide the two areas in a way that they could be opened up to each other, but in the end I think it would be less hassle to just have separate heat zones. The wall dividing the two areas will be about 17' wide and 12' tall.

    Scott, funny enough I was just browsing Panasonic's split systems on a retailer's site. Seems they offer decent units at less than Fujitsu pricing. I think purchasing two separate units might be the best way to go. It's slightly cheaper to get a two head system, but the low temp performance isn't as good as the single units and it gets pretty cold here.

    Thanks for your comments everyone.

    1. 237ScottWilson | | #6

      Are you looking at the Panasonic or Pioneer. I personally think the Pioneer is a better quality product and performs better. My mini split has kept my house 72 degs down to -3 deg so far.

      1. lance_p | | #7

        I was looking at the Panasonic units. I have no experience with either, thanks for your feedback.

  5. Trevor_Lambert | | #5

    What is the reason for the wall? If it's just so that you can isolate the two zones for heating/cooling, then I think if you do the math you'll find out that the extra cost of the second mini split or second head might exceed the cost of just keeping the whole area conditioned.

    1. lance_p | | #8

      The wall is to isolate the workshop area (28 x 17) from the main garage. I'll be doing woodworking, welding, grinding, all sorts of things that generate dust that I don't want contaminating the rest of the garage. The long wall of the workshop is actually a load bearing wall for the roof trusses so it has to be there, it's the short wall across the end that divides the workshop from the other area where I'd like to have a car hoist.

      The hoist area (17 x 14) is where I want to be able to work on a car in the winter. To close that area in and heat it is the challenge. I'm looking at maybe an insulated curtain that pulls along a ceiling mounted track with a dogleg at one end so it can extend the 17 foot dimension by a few feet when closed in.

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