Shop A/C

Awl--
I have turned my garage and adjoining areas (about 700 sq ft) into a fairly complete home machine shop (cnc milling, 13" lathes, 3 ph elect (via rotary converters), welding, etc), and last year installed a sleeve A/C *inside* the shop, via a "plenum box", properly ducted (I thought) to the two clay vents (about 8" each) that supply an adjoining room. Promptly burned out the A/C--the exhaust was *very* hot, indicating that the vent lines were not adequate--either too small, too long, or both.
The garage is a ground-level basement-type deal, w/ overhead door. The foundation walls are very thick, and mounting traditional A/C's thru the garage door is really a hassle.
I'm considering two portable A/C units (12,000 btu ea), which are not really full 12,000 units, cuz they cheat on the venting, but apparently work. Since the exhaust on these units is two 4" diam vents, I should be OK w/ my clay portals to the outside.
Any thoughts on these? Anyone solve shop/basement A/C problems in a novel way? PC Richards has 12K Amanas for $549 each, mebbe closer to $500 each if I get two.
I have two other trad'l units I could use, but like I said, installing them would be a hassle, as would be another plenum, which might not work anyway.
Appreciate all input. -- Mr. P.V.'d formerly Droll Troll
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I have a similar situation with my shop. I haven't gotten serious about finding the best way to heat and cool it yet, but I'm thinking ductless heat pump.
Like http://cgi.ebay.com/2-Ton-Ductless-air-conditioner-Heat-Pump-Mini-split_W0QQitemZ6050920121QQcategoryZ79624QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
Seems like it would be a good way to go.

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Window shakers won't work with ductwork. The portables will take up your valuable floor space and ruin the rest with noise. Consider a mini-split.
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Points well taken. What exactly is meant by a "mini split"?
Morton's very excellent link refers to a min-split, which seems to me to be the standard inside coiling coil/outside condenser-compressor deal--iow, regular "central a/c".
This may very well be the solution, and the unit in Mort's link is in fact cheaper than the two portables I was considering, which I wasn't thrilled about anyway--$799 vs. over a grand for the portables. Of course, then there is installation.... And the heat pump aspect makes this even more attractive. -- Mr. P.V.'d formerly Droll Troll
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