6 Best Ways To Heat And Cool A 40×60 Shop

For a better business, your shop needs to have both heating and cooling facilities depending on the outside weather. You must take care of the comfort of your shop to attract customers. Your shop’s heating and cooling systems must be according to your size. 

If your shop measures around 40×60, you can add furnaces, heat pumps, and electric heaters like infrared or radiant heaters and heat pump to keep the space warm. You can also install split or window air conditioners and portable air coolers to cool down the shop. 

Some factors determine the amount of heating needed by the shop. This guide will explain these factors and give detailed information about the various ways of heating and cooling a 40×60 shop. 

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1. How much is BTU (British Thermal Unit) required for a 40×60 shop?

Though BTU means British Thermal Unit, it is more widely used in Northern America than in Britain. 

To calculate the amount of cold or heat for a shop, you need to know the amount of air you want to add or remove from the shop. 

The first step is to understand how many temperature degrees you wish to raise inside the shop, and the amount of BTUs needed to accomplish such a temperature. 

You can get help in determining the appropriate size unit with the help of various calculators. There are specific board standards to follow. 

A room of 1,000 square feet in size will need 18,000 BTUs. 

So, a 2,400 square feet or a 40×60 shop will need around 45,000 BTU for heating.

So the formula is:

The temperature change wanted x the cubic feet in square x 0.133 = the needed BTUs per hour. 

For a 2,000 to 2,500 square feet shop, you require 34,000 BTUs. 

2. What factors determine the heating or cooling needed for a 40×60 shop?

You may find out the amount of BTU required to heat up or cool down your shop, but certain factors can affect the heat or cold needed. 

The factors will influence and change the figure of BTUs. 

Here are the factors:

Climate and weather

The climate and weather are very important factors when calculating energy consumption. 

If you live in zones 1 and 2, your shop will require 30 to 40 BTUs of heating energy per square foot. 

For zones 3 and 4, you need 40-45 BTUs, and zone 5 requires 60 BTUs. 

If you are trying to cool down a shop with 1,000 square feet in a cold climate, you will require at least 30,000 to 40,000 BTUs. 

So, for a 40×60 (2,400 square feet) shop, you need 70,000 to 80,000 BTUs.

In a warmer climate, you will require less as the weather is already warm. 

So, the amount of temperature to increase or decrease depends on the outside temperature. 

Heavy lighting can affect the heat, whereas a good mounting exterior light can lower the effect. 

The shop quality and material

The age of your shop will affect the amount of energy required along with its quality and materials used for construction. 

You need to adjust the figure of BTU according to the number of windows in the shop. 

Windows will either give you warm sunshine or cold air. 

You must add an extra heating system if the shop is very old. 

The insulation may wear out, and there could be more chances of drafts entering the shop. 

The installers will need to know the shop layout and window locations to calculate the proper temperature and the size of the heating or cooling system. 

3. How to heat a 40×60 shop?

To heat a shop measuring 40×60, or 2,400 square feet, you will need to introduce some good heating systems in your shop. 

Below are some suitable heating systems for your 40×60 shop:


Adding furnaces is a very typical way of heating the shop. 

Burning gas or propane to give heat is one of the important functions of a furnace. 

That is why furnaces are a perfect addition to your shop.

The heat released from the furnace must get distributed evenly all over the shop. 

You may need an additional forced air system to flow the air throughout the shop. 

The amount of foot traffic and activities inside the shop will be different. Depending on that, you can either keep the ductwork closed or open. 

Heat pumps

Many people prefer heat pumps for a 40×60 shop as they are energy-efficient and can give enough heat to the surrounding area.

Heat pumps are a great alternative to traditional furnaces. 

Heat pumps are efficient in both heating and cooling the shop. 

One device can combine the two systems, and you get the advantage of warmth and cold from one system throughout the year. 

The main operation of this system is bringing warm air from the surrounding inside the shop. 

To get rid of the hot air from inside the shop, you can switch around the direction. 

Heat pumps can draw the heat from the surrounding air and the geothermal and water-based sources. 

You can talk with your contractor to find the options and one suitable for your shop. 

Electric heaters

Electric heaters are considered the most famous heaters for heating, be it a house or a shop. 

These heaters are also safe as they do not have any open flame. 

Besides, they do not require any ventilation like gas heaters. 

Different types of electric heaters are available for your shop. 

They can get anyone suitable for your shop. 

Let’s have a brief look at the types of electric heaters:

Radiant 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 heaters are the cheapest ones among others. 

The heaters use sealed heating oil to generate heat throughout the shop. 

However, they are not good for very big spaces. 

The heaters will take a lot of time to heat every corner of a bigger space. 

That is why using them in medium-sized shops would be a good idea. 

However, it can heat a 40×60 shop without any problem.

Radiant heaters are more practical than forced-air heat systems. 

The ductwork has no heat loss here.

Forced air heaters

Mr. Heater MH60QFAV 60,000 BTU Portable Propane Forced Air Heater

These are ideal for bigger spaces and, thus, the best ones for your 40×60 shop. 

The heater provides a high volume of warm air to quickly warm up a bigger space. So, it spreads the air throughout the shop evenly. 

You can mount the heaters easily. 

These heaters are also famous for spaces like garages. 

Infrared heaters

Dr Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater, 1500-Watt

Infrared heaters work differently. 

It converts electricity into infrared heat and spreads it throughout the room. 

These heaters can generate high heat and spread it evenly throughout your 40×60 shop. 

However, you must be a bit careful about these heaters. The device can cause burns if they get very hot. 


You must handle the heaters cautiously. 

Heaters can be dangerous if you do not maintain them as per the guidelines suggested by the contractors or manufacturers. 

Make sure that the heater is placed in a clean and safe area free of waste, especially flammable materials. 

Ensure enough ventilation, as the heaters will release harmful carbon monoxide. 

If the place of your heater is suffocating, the gas will explode.

4. How to cool down a 40×60 shop?

There are two different ways to cool down your 40×60 shop.

You can either use multipurpose units or specialized units. Let’s talk about it in detail. 

Multipurpose units

These units can help in both cooling and heating the shops. 

These units are popular for smaller private places and are also quite efficient in saving a lot of space. 

You can use multiple unit appliances ideal for your 40×60 shop in this category.

Split air conditioner

The popularity and comfort put this unit at the top of the list. 

 It can both cool down and warm up your shop. You can also control them with a remote and even smartphone applications. 

The unit consists of two parts. One is kept outside and another inside. 

These units are quite pleasing, and their design will make them go well for shop decoration. 

It will be a great AC unit for your 40×60 shop. 

The problem is with the price. 

Even the mini-split air conditioners are quite expensive. 

The installation fee will bump up the price. 

The unit and installation price can be around $1,000 for a 2,400 square feet shop. 

If you think of installing an outlet, that will cost much higher. 

Since these units are hard to install, you need to hire experts. 

The labor cost may also make the price rise to a great extent. 

You will require an outside space for another part of the unit. 

You need to have a hole in the wall to pass the connecting pipe. 

Window air conditioner

When you talk about window air conditioners, you may think of the ones used in the 1990s. 

But modern window air conditioners are quite efficient and better in air conditioning capacities compared to the 1990s. 

Besides, they are easier to install than split ACs.

Window air conditioners are mostly used for places like garages, offices, shops, etc. 

You can install one in your 40×60 for under $1,000 without much effort. 

But as we know, everything comes with a price. 

Window air conditioners are cheap and easy to install, but they are not as good-looking as split ACs. 

The window air conditioners look slightly disoriented after installation. 

These units are single units and do not need any ductwork or plumbing. 

Another demerit of this unit is that it is a bit noisier than the split ACs. So, this unit is not good for your shop if you hate noise. 

However, it is not a problem in garages, warehouses, or workshops. 

It is the best one for cooling a garage. 

It can also be the best for your shop if you can adjust to the noise it makes.

Specialized units

These units are specialized only in one function. 

So, you either get a heater or a cooler. 

These units are a great option for your shop because they will serve their purpose, and you get the unit cheaper than the multipurpose ones. 

These units will be the best if your location requires only heating or cooling. 

For example, if you are in a hotter climate, you can only get an air conditioner. 

It will be enough for your shop. 

One good option is portable air coolers.

These are very famous in hotter areas as they are portable and easy to use. 

These air coolers do not require any installation. 

You can plug it into an outlet to allow it to function. 

If you check the price, you will find them much cheaper than the multipurpose units. 

For your 40×60 shop, you can get a portable air cooler for under $800. 

But there is a demerit. 

Though it will be better and cheaper for your shop, it won’t be as efficient as the split units. 

So, the cost of electricity while using this unit can be higher. 

Also, these units require an exhaust pipe like a vacuum cleaner. 

Despite these drawbacks, the usage and portability of these units are quite appreciated. 

You can easily place them inside your closet when you do not need them and bring them out whenever required. 

5. What size of heater or cooler do you need for your shop?

Generally, the unit size should be enough to spread the warm or cold air throughout your 40×60 shop. 

The rule is 10 watts for every square foot of the shop. 

This way, you have to select the right size of the heater or cooler for your 40×60 or 2,400 square feet shop.

A NewAir G56 electric garage heater has a wattage of around 5,600 watts. 

It means the unit can heat an area of at least 560 square feet efficiently. 

For a shop measuring 40×60 or 2,400 square feet, you need an air conditioner measuring 5 tons and a heater giving 45,000 BTUs. 

6. How much does it cost to insulate a 40×60 metal building shop?

If you have a shop made of metal, insulation is very important. 

It keeps your shop comfortable, warm, and soundproof regardless of the outside temperature and environment. 

It can also save money as a metal building guarantees the lifespan of the building for the first few years. 

For insulation, you can try fiberglass insulation with polypropylene facing. 

A basic R-13 single-layer insulation can cost around $0.50 per square foot. 

In contrast, a high R-value, R-30 double-layer insulation, will cost $1.50 per square foot. 

You may have to spend around $1,200 to $3,600 for insulating a 40×60 shop.

In the ballpark, labor costs can be around $0.50 to $1.25 per square foot. 

So, you must spend $1,200 to $3,000 in labor costs for a 40×60 shop. 

For materials and construction, the cost will be between $2,400 and $6,600. 

Final thoughts

There are several ways of heating or cooling a 40×60 shop. 

The shape and size of the heating or cooling units depend on the shop size. The rule is 10 watts per square foot. 

To be precise, you need 45k BTUs for heating the shop and a 5-ton AC to cool it down. 

There are multiple units to heat a 40×60 shop, like heat pumps, furnaces, and electric heaters. 

You can get split air conditioners, window air conditioners, or portable air coolers for cooling the shop. 

You can also choose the multipurpose units having both heating and cooling systems in one unit, for example, the split air conditioners. 


Can I put a furnace in the basement?

Having a furnace in the basement would be a good idea. 

Furnaces require places to have access to natural gas, clean air, and enough ventilation. 

Such a surrounding is available in the basement. 

Are inverted split ACs better than normal split ACs?

Inverted split ACs are more efficient in functioning than normal ones. 

The inverted ones use much less energy while operating but are quite expensive. 

However, the cost is worth it. 

The inverted split ACs will consume less energy and guarantee long-term viability. 

Can I install the split AC?

Though you can do it, it is better not to do it and leave it to the experts. 

Installation requires a lot of plumbing and ductwork. 

Besides, the compressor unit should be installed outside the house, which can be risky. 

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

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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.

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