Keeping The Shop Cool/Warm?

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Forum topic by Maveric777 posted 05-29-2010 02:04 PM 3025 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Maveric777's profile


2693 posts in 3248 days

05-29-2010 02:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hey everyone, It is getting that time of year here in East Texas where the temp and humidity start climbing. I been having a hard time the last week or two getting out in the shop due to spending 8 plus hours a day at work sweating in a hot shop….. then going home and find my shop already in the mid 90’s. It just flat out drains me.

I recently walked through a big box store and seen a portable AC unit. I couldn’t help but wonder if this would work in my shop at home. My shop/garage is a small two car garage. I am not sure the exact size of it, but I know it is smaller than the 500 sq ft rating for the unit I was looking at. Also I would have to insulate the garage door on top of installing exhaust ports on the door as well.

My bride brought up I should find one with a heat feature as well (seeing how I was working out there last winter and having issues with the cold). I came across this one and wondered if any fellow Lumber Jocks have any experience or suggestions for me…....

Here is the big box link: “Shop Dandy

Thanks for any insight yall.

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

27 replies so far

View TheMechanic007's profile


41 posts in 3173 days

#1 posted 05-29-2010 03:56 PM

Hey Dan, Ive never seen one that also did heat-but i did install one in my mother in laws bedroom last year when her central AC went out-it did the job for sure. she was able to cool part of her downstairs by leaving it running and bedroom open.

I would look at getting an AC now and a heater later if it were me, I would worry that one would break and be stuck with it for the other- Have you thought about running a duct from your central AC out to garage?

All the Portable AC units ive seen have an exhaust and a Drain for condensation that have to go outside-through a window/door/wall. Again no experience with the ones that also heat though…

One other thought, How about a window unit and if you dont have a window just cutting a hole and installing in a wall? I was able to get the Mom in laws on sale $500 seems steep to me(i see thats the going price everywhere right now though) You would get off cheaper and Im thinking much cooler with a window(permanant) unit….

-- Chris From Maryland, If it aint broke, You havent tried fixin it yet...

View budmitch1's profile


8 posts in 3570 days

#2 posted 05-29-2010 04:07 PM

I just bought the 11000 btu from Lowe’s. It was not for my shop but to cool a bedroom during a power outage. We were without power for about a week after hurricane Ike. We hooked it up in the bedroom and got the temp down to 60° and the outlet temp was 40°. My generator powes it up. I’d say go for it.

Buddy Alvin Tx.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3652 days

#3 posted 05-29-2010 04:59 PM

I havent used the portable AC unit, but have seen them at the home stores. It sounds like it works well according to Buddy. I have often thought about it too during humid and hot days in the summer. I use a Hot Dawg gas heater for the winter.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View a1Jim's profile


117270 posts in 3749 days

#4 posted 05-29-2010 05:12 PM

Interesting I was not aware of these units at all.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Radu's profile


330 posts in 3215 days

#5 posted 05-29-2010 05:38 PM

Hi Dan, welcome to the club. I’ve been working in 90+ in my garage (I’m in Katy, TX) for the last couple of nights. Not fun. I keep the garage door open – bugs look pretty interested in what I’m doing. Then, when I have to cut something I need to close the garage door, to keep the noise down (at list I’m trying). I’ve got a fan that I can move around – better than nothing. Back, to the AC. That unit should work for your garage, but sooner or later it’s going to be on your way. It may also get sawdust inside as the intake is right there. I suggest looking at one that can be mounted in the wall (or window) – if you can do that. Quite a few years ago I used one both for cooling and heating and it worked OK. Also the price might be more acceptable. Extending the AC duct from the house might be another option (good luck going up and working in the attic now). Have a good weekend. Cheers.

View BroDave's profile


107 posts in 3986 days

#6 posted 05-29-2010 05:43 PM

Maveric, I have a 20 X 20 shop that is insulated and made the mistake of buying a 12,000 BTU window unit.
It just wont get the shop temperature comfortable on 90 plus days. Went with an 18,000 and all is good now.
I thought I would be happy just getting the temperature down to around 80, wrong again Ernie.

As far as the portable unit goes, I thought it would be in the way half the time so I went with a window unit Heat Pump. They cost more but you can use the shop year round.
BTW, I’m in Alabama so we pretty much wrestle the same bear temperature wise.

-- .

View Gary's profile


9373 posts in 3605 days

#7 posted 05-29-2010 05:46 PM

Dan, my suggestion is see if you can find someone here in Texarkana that has one of these units. I’m kinda suspicious of it…..just a gut feeling. Next time you go by a nursing home, look at those units. They go thru the wall (not a big deal) and both cool and heat. They are a bit pricey but they work and last

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Maveric777's profile


2693 posts in 3248 days

#8 posted 05-29-2010 05:52 PM

Very cool replies everyone… Thanks!

I did more research on the units and found one online a $100 bucks cheaper and has heat as well. It says there is a “No Drain” system on it except to “Extreme Humidity”.... so looks like I will be draining a pan from time to time. Like I mentioned earlier I will have to insulate the garage door and install an exhaust port. Not to worried about that part at all seeing how we have a similar setup in my work shop.

Also this one has a heating system that basically works as a heat pump found in a lot of homes. That will also be extremely useful in colder weather. It does not get as bad down here as it does up north, but I do remember being out in the shop last winter in 34 degrees…. My fingers still hurt …lol

Here is the one I am looking at right now: EdgeStar Extreme Cool 12,000 BTU Portable Room Air Conditioner

I read all the reviews and it seemed to be well recieved. Had a very few bad comments, but most of those seemed from “Expecting to much”. I also like the fact that this weekend it is 15% off and free shipping. So basically I can get the unit and do the work on the door all for the same price (even cheaper) than the one from the big box store….. I love shopping for deals…lol

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Maveric777's profile


2693 posts in 3248 days

#9 posted 05-29-2010 05:59 PM

Gary- I would consider something like that if it weren’t for my bride constantly parking her car in my shop….lol

Also I have no windows in the garage and my home is brick. Knocking out bricks is really not an option in my book.

I too am a little hesitant on this. That’s the main reason I posted this up here on LJ.All the reviews i have seen has this used in rooms. I haven’t heard anyone using it in a shop or something similar.

Another plus my bride brought up is this could help us in other instances as well. It could be used in the home as an emergency back up to our home unit (save us the ungodly night and weekend cost of repairs). Also we are gearing up to purchase a used camper. With us knowing we have a portable AC/heat unit can make our search for a deal much easier…. Just trying to get the absolute best bang for my buck…lol

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Maveric777's profile


2693 posts in 3248 days

#10 posted 05-29-2010 06:08 PM

Dave – Now that is some awesome info! I was looking at a 1400 BTU unit for $100 buck more and have been wrestling with that idea. I am going to try my best not to go above $500 and have heat as well as the AC. Your info my just pushed me over the edge to get the bigger one….

Here it is…. EdgeStar Extreme Cool 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner & Heater

I also thought about the space issue. I decided I would have my bride make a cover for it (like one for a grill outside) when not in use. I will also have to make it a frequent preventive maintenance endeavor to blow it out regularly.

I am just getting to the point the weather is starting to shut me down. After working my butt off all day … it doesn’t take much for me to run out of gas in my hot shop…. I got to do something…lol

I decided to get some feedback from my trusted woodworking family here on LJ and sleep on it. I will pull the trigger on something tomorrow….

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View BroDave's profile


107 posts in 3986 days

#11 posted 05-29-2010 06:31 PM

Snazzy looking unit there Maveric.

I have one suggestion before you buy, call the manufacture/distributor and find out what the effective air throw is on that unit.

What I mean is will it deliver air 15 or 20 feet from where it sits. You really need it to at least throw air half the distance of your shop. Assuming you have a 25 X 25 shop you need at least 12 feet of air throw for the unit to be effective. You will, of course, need to use another fan to help circulate the air but that is just the nature of the beast with window units and portables.

-- .

View Maveric777's profile


2693 posts in 3248 days

#12 posted 05-29-2010 08:07 PM

Thanks for the heads up Dave! I will definitely look into that….

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3236 days

#13 posted 05-30-2010 01:05 PM

Haven’t really had any trouble with colling it down. My shop does have duct work for heat and cold. Heating isn’t as good as th other. I bought a big buddy propane heater that you can hook up as much as 2 20 lb tanks at the same time for longer use. I just run the hoses out under the garage doors.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View Chiefk's profile


163 posts in 3943 days

#14 posted 05-30-2010 01:49 PM

I would be concerned with the air intake filter becoming clogged with dust you may create in your shop. I would check on what is involved in cleaning the filter. I had a dehumidifier in my shop died in this manner. Good luck. pkennedy

-- P Kennedy Crossville, TN

View Xtreme90's profile


193 posts in 3364 days

#15 posted 05-30-2010 03:30 PM

I love my basement shop for this reason. Cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

-- "I don't cut wood. I machine it!" G.M. The wood machinest

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