Air Conditioning a detatched 2-car garage?

There are no windows and I'm concerned about cutting through the studs to install a 12,000BTU window mount unit since I assume the walls are all load bearing since they are exterior walls. The garage is insulated with finished walls and ceiling. I had an idea of install a smaller, lower capacity (6-7000BTU)window mount a/c by cutting a hole in the exit door instead of cutting a hole in the wall. Even if I needed to replace the door with a heavier duty door and hinges to support the weight, it seems less risky. The smaller unit will not cool as well as the 12,000BTU unit I would install in the wall, but I don't need the garage to be that cold, just dehumidified and not blazing hot. People will be working out in there and I mostly need to get cool fresh air in and the humidity from sweat and breathing exhausted outside so the mirrors doint fog and it doesn't feel suffocating.
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You can also get a ductless air conditioner. The one we just installed in our server room is a friedrich dusctless split system. This would work pretty good for your application. I don't think going with a smaller unit will help cool the garage one bit. That is a lot of space to cool.
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TS wrote:

I'm not sure that 12,000 is going to do the job. Having a pro come out and compute what you need would be a very good idea. They also know what is available and what will work best. A good pro here can save you money.
In any case, you can put that 12,000 through the wall. You just cut out the opening and frame it just as you would a window. I am guessing you don't know how a window is framed, and if I am right, doing this may be a little beyond what you are going to be comfortable doing. This part of the job is not really all that hard to do.
There are other options like split systems, attic systems etc. that might serve your needs better and cheaper than what you are considering.
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A 6,000 BTU is probably too small. I had a 12,000 BTU in mine at one time and it would just do it! It would run constantly when it was 90 degrees out, but it would keep it below 75 or so. Walls and ceiling were insulated and sheet rocked.
Cutting a hole should not be a problem IF you have some general construction knowledge. You will need to frame the opening with a header like a window opening would have. Apparently you do not have a widow you could stuff a unit itnto? Greg
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While searching around for ductless air conditioners, I found something that looks good.
http://www.genieac.com/PORTABLE%20AC 'S.htm
The AMAC12000 is the only portable unit I've seen that actually draws any fresh air in from outside. The others exhaust the heat, but recirculate the cool air and don't bring in any fresh air, which would probably make the garage get stuffy after awhile. It is kind of pricey, but it will only take two small holes for in the intake and exhaust, plus a power supply to install. I think a window mount a/c will probably cool better and be much cheaper to replace if it breaks years later, but I'm concerned about cutting out a window-sized hole, plus this will save me with dealing the HOA bureaucracy to get approval since the two holes will be too small to be noticed by anyone.
I haven't heard of the particular a/c brand though, but is says it can handle 450 sq ft. The garage is 20X20 so it should be more than enough. The only windows in the garage are the tiny windows in the roll-up garage door. I'll probably tint those to keep most of the sun out.
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Hey that thing looks pretty cool..Anyone actually ever used one? Does it also have heat? That looks like the perfect solution for a garage...Would love to hear some actual use stories... John
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On 12 Apr 2004 11:27:57 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (TS) wrote:

I cut holes in my two car garage and installed the largest window A/C I could find. It didn't work. It just wasn't enough and didn't move the air well enough. Then I had a mini-split (ductless) system installed. Works great! Mine is a Samsung but only because that's what the local installer sells. It looks like the unit pictured at the top of this page:
<http://www.airconditioningexchange.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code ex&Category_Code=MS>
These things are nice because you only need about a 2" hole in the wall. I also expect that I'll be able to pack it up and take it with me when I move. As a point of reference, I'm in Phoenix so the A/C really needs to work hard here.
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Exhaust fan in the attic of the garage comes to mind.
Mini split system will cost you a couple pennies.
Cutting one stud won't collapse the building. You gotta have a friend who's a carpenter some where.
I've never heard of putting an AC in a door. That would create far more problems, cause the weight would pull the door off the hinges. Can be done, but it sure would be easier to have a carpenter saw a wall hole for you.
Be sure to charge for using your gym and spa, so that you can help recover the cost of the AC. Put a fan indoors, blowing towards the cold air output of the AC. I don't know why, but blowing TOWARDS the AC works better for cooling the room.
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