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Portable A/C unit

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Forum topic by sawedoff posted 07-13-2016 03:37 AM 408 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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sawedoff

154 posts in 1886 days


07-13-2016 03:37 AM

I will be setting a shop up soon and am looking into ways to cool my 2 car garage shop. It is 21×23 with 9 foot ceilings. I live in the Fort Worth area so it’s hot in the summertime. I’ve been researching the port a cooler units, mini split a/c units, and am also looking at portable units.

Has anyone had any luck with the portable units?

Thanks

-- still wet behind the ears.....


8 replies so far

View BulldogLouisiana's profile

BulldogLouisiana

218 posts in 606 days


#1 posted 07-13-2016 04:36 AM

Portable units aren’t all that great. I live 3 hours east of you and I have a 12000 u it that struggles to cool my master bedroom when the central air goes on the fritz. Window units are way better. The port a cool units I’ve heard struggle in really humid locations..of course I think they are a Texas company.

A ductless mini split is what I plan on doing eventually. I have the same problem as you.

-- There are 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don't.

View CharleyL's profile

CharleyL

197 posts in 2830 days


#2 posted 07-13-2016 09:06 PM

How well insulated is your shop? If not insulated, you won’t have a chance of getting it comfortable with any unit. Port A Cool units work in very low humidity areas like Arizona by evaporating water, which raises the humidity, but lowers the temperature. It’s a high tech version of a portable swamp cooler and they aren’t very good where the humidity is above 10-15%. In a woodworking shop this increase of humidity causes rusting of the tools and increased moisture content in the wood, which results in wood shrinkage in your projects after they are complete and you move them to lower humidity areas. If your shop is well insulated, including the garage doors, a 2 1/2 ton central air conditioner or a similar sized mini split system with two inside units could cool a two car garage sized area to a level that would be comfortable in Fort Worth if run 24/7 all Summer. A 3 ton system would do better on those 100+ days. One ton of cooling is the amount of ice that would need to melt to provide equivalent cooling, or 12,000 BTU, so a 3 ton system would be 36,000 Btu. Yes, many whole house air conditioners are this size, and your shop is about the same size as a small house.

Don’t waste your money on a Port A Cool. Buy a 3 ton air conditioner and lots of insulation. Vent the space just below the roof too. Provide inlet ports in the soffits and exhaust ports at the ridge of the roof so air can flow freely up along the under side of the roof and out. Your shingles will last longer if you do this too.

Charley

View gargey's profile

gargey

483 posts in 241 days


#3 posted 07-13-2016 09:34 PM

CharleyL’s recommendation is just half-assing it. Don’t just buy and install a lot of insulation, rebuild your roof with more ventillation, and install a 600,000 Btu AC unit, because that won’t get you anywhere. You should knock down your house, excatave a 100-200 ft deep cave to protect from ground-level temperatures, and install a nuclear reactor to power a 6 trillion Btu AC unit to keep it dry and cool. Make a few cutting boards to pay for it.

View CharleyL's profile

CharleyL

197 posts in 2830 days


#4 posted 07-14-2016 11:19 AM

gargey, I’m trying to help sawedoff avoid making bad decisions with my extensive background in HVAC. I once owned an HVAC company and did this for a living.

Portable AC units are not going to get him a cool place to work unless he lives North of Calgary, BC. In Fort Worth he’s facing near and above 100 deg F for many days of the Summer, so a 30 deg drop in temperature is what he needs. It won’t happen without good insulation and a 2 1/2 – 3 ton air conditioner. Port A Cool type swamp coolers are not the way to cool a wood shop since they create excess humidity and the problems that it creates.

Charley

View RandyinFlorida's profile

RandyinFlorida

181 posts in 1533 days


#5 posted 07-14-2016 12:36 PM

I live in NW Florida and I manage with a portable unit. It’s doesn’t bring the temp down in my 2-1/2 car garage to a perfect 76. But it does take the edge off, as it were. More importantly it lowers the humidity.

I was very lucky to pick it up for just five dollars. Yep, somebody didn’t know they had to vent it outside. Duh!

-- Randy in Crestview Florida, Wood Rocks!

View ki7hy's profile

ki7hy

499 posts in 205 days


#6 posted 07-14-2016 03:01 PM



gargey, I m trying to help sawedoff avoid making bad decisions with my extensive background in HVAC. I once owned an HVAC company and did this for a living.

Portable AC units are not going to get him a cool place to work unless he lives North of Calgary, BC. In Fort Worth he s facing near and above 100 deg F for many days of the Summer, so a 30 deg drop in temperature is what he needs. It won t happen without good insulation and a 2 1/2 – 3 ton air conditioner. Port A Cool type swamp coolers are not the way to cool a wood shop since they create excess humidity and the problems that it creates.

Charley

- CharleyL

Texas is more humid so I can’t comment but a swamp cooler in AZ does not rust tools. SMH….. HVAC for X number of years doesn’t mean you know every climate. I ventilate through a side door in the garage and crack the garage door because a swamp cooler doesn’t work if you don’t do that. It needs fresh dry air moving through the unit for it to work. Then air escapes through the garage door opened slightly. Makes it probably in the mid 80’s most days when it’s 110 out but you need dry air outside for it to work. As for tools rusting??? Ummmm….no. You aren’t leaving this on 24/7. When I leave the shop, I turn it off. Minutes later it’s dry again just like it was before I started.

If you are looking for an inexpensive solution AND you have LOW HUMIDITY outside air, then a swamp/evap cooler is just fine, it’s not like the AC in your house but makes it through the tough months. I personally like the cave idea though.

View moke's profile

moke

861 posts in 2242 days


#7 posted 07-14-2016 03:58 PM

I really don’t know much about HVAC or R-values….what I do know is I had two portable units totalling 20k btu and they worked aweful…..I sold one and bought a 12 k window unit for my 24×36 gargage and it combined with a 8k portable I keep it in the mid 70’s. I have to tell you, I am considering not using the on portable I have and just running the window unit. I have insulation in the walls and ceiling, but I don’t know what the R value is.

Bottom line….portable units are basically worthless unless you stand in front of it!!!!
Just my .02
Mike

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bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2532 days


#8 posted 07-14-2016 04:04 PM

When I built a house back years ago, I had the builder insulate the walls and I had insulated garage doors. I had a window unit running in my 2 car garage and it kept it quite nice. Not 68 but livable on the hottest of days in VA.

I wanted central out there but code said that was a no no if it was the same unit as the house.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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