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Air conditioner to cool only me in the shop?

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Forum topic by JonW posted 831 days ago 1583 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JonW

8 posts in 1749 days


831 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: air conditioner garage shop

All the posts I’ve seen deal with cooling down the entire shop. I would like to just cool the area I work in. I have a 3-car garage plus an extra six feet (on the house side). The “shop” is the area closest to the house, extending slightly into the one-car space. There’s a six foot workbench on the house wall with a radial arm saw at one end, and across a four foot “aisle” is a table saw. So I typically work in that space between the bench and the table saw: about four feet by ten feet.

Since it’s not practical to cool the entire garage, I would like to get a portable AC which will blow cool air into that area where I am: and I’ll duct the exhaust hose out through an outside wall. Have any of you done this? How well did it work, and what size did you use? The range for these units seems to be about 7,000 – 14,000 btu.

I have a standing fan at one end of the bench now, which helps some, but it’s no match for Texas summers.


16 replies so far

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10737 posts in 1323 days


#1 posted 830 days ago

I tried a small window unit blowing across the workbench towards me. Didn’t make an appreciable difference. Now I use a BIG fan. It has made a big difference and it blows all the dust my DC misses out the door. I bought one of those circular fans on a tall adjustable stand at Atwood’s when they went on sale in the fall. Love it!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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CarlosJD

3 posts in 833 days


#2 posted 830 days ago

I have a two car garage for a workshop that has a door two steps up into the kichen. I put a fan on the kitchen floor point out the door and crack the garage door slightly. This blows cool air from the house and keeps me cool enough during the long hot Las Vegas summers. This also helps blow dust up to my air scrubber.

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Remedyman

47 posts in 830 days


#3 posted 830 days ago

Carlos, It sounds like you are describing my shop. Sadly it is far from dedicated to wood. And the summers aren’t too bad in Denver. But the summers do get kinda rough for a northerner like me. I might look into a portable AC unit.

-- As long as our customers are happy, we have done a good job. Even if we are our own customer.

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PutnamEco

155 posts in 1919 days


#4 posted 830 days ago

I deal with the heat here in Florida with a fan as well. Sometimes even two fans, a large fan to set up for a cross wind and a smaller fan directed at my back. works out surprisingly well for me. I would be concerned with how much dust an AC would collect.

-- “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1326 days


#5 posted 830 days ago

I bought a little window unit and it cooled my tiny shop really well….for one season. I fired it up the other day and it was dead in the window. I think I bought it at Lowes for $300-400 but I don’t recall what kind of warranty it might have. Regardless, I’d have to wrestle the stupid thing out and return it.
.
Anyone know anything about recharging these little devils?

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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waho6o9

4839 posts in 1210 days


#6 posted 830 days ago

I know I couldn’t get anyone to recharge the window unit I had, it wasn’t worth their time. I bought one at the big box store and it worked well for a long time.

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

9817 posts in 1252 days


#7 posted 830 days ago

Any possibility of pulling A/C from the house side into your space?

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

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Brett

621 posts in 1316 days


#8 posted 830 days ago

A fan works well enough for me during my Texas summer as well.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View Greg..the Cajun  Box Sculptor's profile

Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor

5016 posts in 1942 days


#9 posted 830 days ago

My shop is not attached to my house but I do use a window A/C unit and it does a great job of keeping my shop comfortable during those extremely hot days. My best investment was the spray foam insulation because it keeps the times needed for running the A/C to a very minimum.
When you do use an a/c you definitely need to have very effective dust filtration in your shop since all the dust remains in the shop with the cool air…

-- If retiring is having the time to be able to do what you enjoy then I have always been retired.

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MrRon

2797 posts in 1877 days


#10 posted 830 days ago

A/C is too expensive for me to operate in my 1200SF shop. I ran out of money and have not completed the insulation. The A/C I have installed was originally installed in the house and when I upgraded the house A/C, my shop inherited the old one, so I also have air and heat. Until I get the insulation finished, I depend on cross ventilation using a big fan. My shop gets into the 80’s, but the fan makes it bareable down here in South Ms.

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 898 days


#11 posted 830 days ago

We have a portable AC unit (over 12000 BTU) in a 2 car garage at my partner’s homeshop. It does very little to keep us cool in the wet Mississippi air. The problem is the garage isn’t insulated. That and it’d get way too dusty if we just closed the garage at all times (no dedicated dust collection).

My advice is get a big fan and have it blow over your work area and out the door. It’ll keep dust out and keep the air moving over your skin (pulling heat away). Plus, it will probably last a lot longer than most AC units.

If you plan on keeping the doors closed, I’d put as large of a portable AC unit in there as possible. Even with that, I’d get a large enough fan in there to circulate that cool air around.

Also, make sure you insulate as much as possible. Garage doors, walls, and ceilings aren’t usually very well insulated.

You could get a Mitsubishi ductless unit to permanently solve your problem (if that’s in your budget). Some go higher than 30,000 BTU and carry 14+ SEER ratings.

Some more tips:
1. Work in the morning or later in the day.
2. If you do work in the morning, crank the portable AC down at night to cool the garage as much as possible. That way, in the morning, the surfaces have “soaked in” some of the coolness and will cool the garage for a while until it reaches ambient temperature again.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Brett's profile

Brett

621 posts in 1316 days


#12 posted 822 days ago

A large fan can work wonders.

I had a summer job once working at a factory that made oil oil pipes and fittings out of fiberglass and epoxy resin. The factory had a metal roof and was located near Wichita Falls, TX, where daily summertime temperatures are frequently over 100 degrees. We wore longs pants and long-sleeve shirts, and worked with several large ovens that hardened the pipes and fittings. The only “air conditioning” were several large strategically placed fans. Surprisingly, tough, the fans made things quite bearable. We weren’t exactly “cool”, but we were comfortable enough to work.

(By the way, I made about $5.45 per hour in 1983 and thought I was rich.)

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View Scot's profile

Scot

344 posts in 2029 days


#13 posted 822 days ago

I installed two ductless, mini split heat pumps in my shop, (total of 3 tons). I’ve had them for almost a year now, shop stays at 76 degrees and my highest power bill has been $115.

-- If the old masters had power tools, they would have used them. So get off your damn High Horse.

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15691 posts in 2851 days


#14 posted 822 days ago

I agree that a portable ducted unit isn’t going to help much unless you stand right next to it. I think your best options are to either find a way to cool the entire space (split unit idea is probably the best), or make do with fans large enough to circulate air through the whole garage.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

3596 posts in 2368 days


#15 posted 822 days ago

If possible, mount the A/C as high as possible in the room. Never mind putting it on the window sill. With a double-hung window, mount it as high as you can in the upper opening, by installing brackets outside directly into the window studs. It makes an incredible difference, especially when using an AC unit that you think is not powerful enough. It will do a lot more work when drawing from the hottest, most humid air in the room.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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