6 Best Ways To Heat And Cool A 30×40 Shop

Your shop needs to be comfortable so that customers can visit more often. You must add both heating and cooling systems based on the outside temperature. Shops have different shapes and sizes, and we shall specifically talk about how to heat and cool a 30×40 shop. 

The best way to cool down a 30×40 shop is by installing a 2-ton air conditioner. You can also go for a window AC or portable air cooler. Adding radiant heaters and furnaces would be a reasonable way of heating the shop. You can also add a mini-split air conditioner, as it can do both. 

A few factors affect the size and type of the heating and cooling units. This guide will explain the best ways of heating and cooling a 30×40 shop and the factors affecting the cooling and heating systems. 

Check out our list of top-handpicked products for all your electrical, appliance, and HVAC system needs to keep your home running smoothly.

This post includes some affiliate links.

1. How much is BTU needed for a 30×40 shop?

BTU is a thermal unit used to measure the heat required by a room or shop. 

Generally, you will need 20 BTU for every square foot. 

Your shop is 30×40, which is equal to 1,200 square feet. 

So, to find the correct BTU for your shop, you need to multiply the square feet of your shop by the BTU needed for one square foot. 

So, your 30×40 shop, which is 1,200 square feet, will need around 24,000 BTUs. 

2. Factors determining the heating or cooling system for a 30×40 shop

A few factors can change the figure even if you get the right figure of BTU for your shop.  

These factors will influence the BTU figure and change your shop’s heating and cooling systems. 

Here are the factors:


Climate is an important aspect when it comes to deciding the right heating or cooling system for a specific shop. 

Zones 1 and 2 require 30-40 BTUs per square foot, whereas zones 3 and 4 need 40-45 BTUs per square foot. 

If you live in colder climates, you will require 35,000 to 45,000 BTUs to cool down your 1,200 square feet or 30×40 shop.

In warmer climates, you need a half BTU figure than the colder climates. 

Heavy lights can affect the heat, so you may decrease the BTU to some extent. 

However, exterior lights can lower the effect of heat. 

In that case, you may have to increase the BTU.

Shop quality

The age of your shop will affect the energy required. 

If your shop is too old, you must add a heater system to make it more comfortable. 

Over time, the insulation gets depleted, so heaters are a must in older shops. 

The installers will look at the number of windows and layout to install the right system in your shop. 

More windows mean there could be chances of entering cold drafts. 

In that case, you need good heaters to keep your shop warm. 

In contrast, windows can also bring the sunshine inside your shop and keep it warm. 

In such a condition, you may not require a heater but a cooler system. 

So here, the BTUs can differ, and so will the unit types and sizes. 

3. How should you keep a 30×40 shop warm?

You must add some good heating systems in your shop to keep it comfortable for your customers and increase their visits. 

The best way to heat a 30×40 shop is by using electric heaters or furnaces.

Let’s talk about it in detail. 


Adding a furnace is a traditional method of keeping the shop warm and comfortable, especially in winter. 

A furnace burns the gas or propane to distribute the heat throughout the shop evenly. 

That is why they are a good one for your shop. 

You can get a furnace that contains around 40,000 to 65,000 BTU capacity. 

It will efficiently spread the heat evenly all over your 30×40 shop. 

Furnaces are meant for all shop sizes. 

But, the BTU capacity will differ based on the regions or zones. 

For example, you need a furnace having 35,000 BTU capacity for your 30×40 shop if you belong to region 1. 

If you are from region 4, you need a furnace having 100,000 BTU capacity for your 1,200 square feet shop. 

Electric heaters

Comfort Zone CZQTV5M 750/1,500-Watt Ceiling Mounted Dual Quartz Radiant Heater with 90-Degree Adjustable Tilt, Metal Safety Grille, Overheat Protection (Hardware Included)

These are popular as they can heat any place evenly, be it a house or a shop. 

There are multiple types of heaters, like radiant heaters and forced-air heaters. 

The radiant heaters are great for small spaces and thus would be great for a 1,200 square feet or 30×40 shop. 

Another advantage of radiant heaters is that there is no heat loss. 

So, it is highly suitable for your shop. 

Forced air heaters, on the contrary, are good for bigger spaces. 

They are also more costly than radiant heaters. 

You do not need it if you live in a climate where you do not need a lot of warmth 24*7. 

But, if you live in a very cold climate, this heater can be useful as it provides a high volume of warm air and forcibly gets spread to every corner of the room. 

This heater will be very helpful if your 30×40 shop is located in such a harsh climate.


You must handle it carefully regardless of the type of heater you think is best for your shop. 

You might burn them if you do not maintain them per the guidelines. 

Also, ensure that you place the heater in a safe location, along with proper ventilation. 

Keep flammable things away from the heaters. 

4. What is the best way of keeping a 30×40 shop cool?

Air conditioners are the best way to cool down your 30×40 shop. 

Multiple air conditioners are available, like window air conditioners, split ACs, and portable air coolers. 

Let’s talk about it a bit. 

Window air conditioners

The name can make it feel like going back to the 90s, but the modern window air conditioners are quite modified. 

They are good for spaces around 1,000 to 1,500 square feet and, thus, a great choice for your 1,200 square feet or 30×40 shop.

Window air conditioners are an efficient addition to shops, offices, and garages. 

You can easily get one for your 30×40 shop for around $500-600. 

Two disadvantages are that it won’t give a very good look to your shop and it’s a bit noisy. But, if you only care about the price and comfort, this unit is good.

Portable air coolers

These air coolers are good for warmer areas as they are portable and easy to use. 

You do not have to install them. Instead, you can run them on an electrical outlet. 

The price is much cheaper than other units. You can get one under $700-800 for your 30×40 shop.

They are great for shops and offices. 

However, the electricity cost can rise when these units are running. 

But it’s worth it due to its usage and portability.

5. What size of an air conditioner is suitable for your 30×40 shop?

Knowing the right BTU will help you know the right ton and air conditioner sizes. 

The air conditioners differ in feature, model, size, and other specifications and will also vary in their cooling capacities. 

For example, if the BTU capacity is 600 BTU, a half-ton air conditioner would be fine. 

Your 30×40 shop is 1,200 square feet, and the BTU required is 24,000 BTUs. In that case, you need a 2-ton air conditioner for your shop. 

How to install a 2-ton air conditioner?

Installing a 2-ton air conditioner is similar to installing other generic air conditioners. 

You only need to check the product description and find the ton. 

Now, let’s get to the step of installing the air conditioner:

  • Clear the obstructions from the wall, especially where you want to install the unit. 
  • Measure the wall and maintain at least 10 feet of height and 6-12 inches of space on every side. 
  • Place the mounting plate on the wall, and make holes for the screws. 
  • Drill holes to mount the plate with the screws.
  • Drill a 3-inch hole for the drain hose. 
  • Check the unit wires properly and then connect them according to the product installation guide. 
  • Pull the hose and other pipes and connect them to the duct. 
  • Mount the unit on the plate. 
  • Make a safe spot, like a concrete pad on the ground. 
  • Place the outside unit over the concrete pas and screw the feet down with a rubber cushion and metal plate. 
  • Go through the manual again and connect the wires to the outdoor unit. 
  • Now, connect the pipes from the indoor unit. 
  • Pass the refrigerant lines through to create a vacuum. This step is technical, and you might require an expert and proper equipment. 
  • Seal the drain hose and the pipes running through the wall with the silicon caulk.
  • Now, test the air conditioner by turning it on and handling it with a remote to check if everything is fine. 

How much electricity does a 2-ton unit consume?

The 2-ton air conditioner will consume at least 1.71kWh per house. 

It will turn out to be approximately 41.04kWh per day if you use it daily. 

You can save money and energy consumption if you turn it off when unnecessary. 

6. Can I use a multipurpose unit for a 30×40 shop?

Multipurpose units can greatly help because one unit can do the job of both heating and cooling. 

These appliances are famous for the small private areas and can save enough space. 

You can easily add this multipurpose unit to your 30×40 square feet. 

A good option is a ductless mini-split air conditioner. 

These units have two parts – one inside and the other outside. 

You can operate these mini-split air conditioners with a thermostat. 

Some models have dedicated applications to help you operate the unit with mobile phones. 

The problem with these air conditioners is the price. 

The cost to install one can exceed $1,000 for a single unit. 

It can rise if the electrician needs to install an outlet for it. 

A mini-split air conditioner will need at least a 30-amp 220V circuit. 

But before adding it to your shop, you must know its pros and cons. 


  • Mini-split ACs have no ducts, which means you can avoid energy losses. In general units, duct loss can lead to 30% energy consumption, especially if the ducts are in the attic. 
  • Mini-split ACs are easy to install than any other units. 
  • These ACs are flexible in terms of interior design options. 
  • The compressor is outside so that the units remain quiet. 
  • Though the AC is small, it can cool down several areas. 


  • The biggest drawback is the cost. Installation can be very costly compared to other units. 
  • You need to choose the size carefully. Ignorance can lead you to choose an oversized unit which can cause short-cycling, energy waste, and uncontrolled temperature or humidity. Besides, an oversized one is quite expensive. 
  • You need a professional to install this unit, which means you need to spend extra money on labor costs. 

Final thoughts

Since different shops have different sizes, the types of heating and cooling systems will be slightly different. 

For a 30×40 shop, you need a heater with at least 24,000 BTU capacity. 

For cooling down the shop, you need a 2-ton air conditioner for the best results. 

For heating systems, the best units could be furnaces having 30k to 40k BTU or electric heaters like radiant heaters and forced air heaters. 

The BTU capacity of the furnaces can change based on the region. 

For cooling systems, air conditioners are the best. 

You can use window air conditioners or portable air coolers. 

You can also opt for the mini-split air conditioners. 

These multipurpose units are good for small places and can heat and cool your 30×40 shop. 


Can I use infrared heaters for a 30×40 shop?

Infrared heaters convert the electricity into infrared heat and spread it all over the shop. 

These generate a high amount of heat and, thus, are good for bigger places. 

You can use it for a 30×40 shop, but it is unnecessary. 

Besides, you must be very careful about this heater as it can burn if it gets very hot. 

Should I put the furnace in the basement?

Furnaces need areas having good accessibility to natural gas, clean air, and ventilation. 

The basement is a good place and, therefore, a good place for the furnace. 

Should I install the AC or leave it to an expert?

Though I have shared the steps to install the air conditioner, it is better to leave it to the expert. 

Some steps will require expert opinion and special equipment. 

So, if you cannot do it alone, get help from HVAC technicians.

Reference: HVACDuct Flow, ScienceDirect Research Paper, HVAC System ResearchFlorida’s Premier Energy Research Cente.

Sharing is caring!

Arthur Smith

Howdy! I am Arthur Smith, an electrical engineer who is extremely passionate about electronics. I have lived in different parts of the US and currently reside in Wisconsin. I am one of those rare children who knew what he wanted to study and do in life right from the start. I was a curious child who wanted to know how switches work and how the AC works, and I would always observe my dad whenever he would handle the wires and fix things around the house. I currently work as an electrical engineer at a reputed company and write for this blog. And I read loads of books or play video games in my free time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts