Shop A/C


This sweltering summer has made me think a bit more about cooling the shop a bit. I have about 1,024 sf with a 10+ foot ceiling and lots of insulation; and I can do the capacity calculation. I should not need a huge machine. In addition to comfort it should help with surface rust a little, but I will only be running it when in the shop. I have several windows so the conditioner will be a window unit.
The obvious drawback, in my mind, is dust. I am adding dust collection this fall so that should help.
For those who have installed air conditioning, can you provide downfalls or suggestions.
RonB
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RonB wrote:

look into a minisplit. i put one in my garashop for my wife's ceramic work area. since i have a 4.5 car garashop with 12' ceilings, and didn't want to condition the whole place, i rigged a thick plastic tarp that drops down from the ceiling to block off 1 car space. she turns it on a while before she's going to use it, and it can keep it down to comfortable temps. also, it doesn't kick up too much of a breeze since it's mounted about 8' up the wall, and is a LOT quieter than a window shaker.
regards, charlie phx az
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On 7/28/10 4:18 PM, RonB wrote:

You may want to consider one of the ductless, in wall, mounted A/C units. They are supposed to be very efficient. No personal experience.
--
Froz...


The system will be down for 10 days for preventive maintenance.
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You may want to look into a portable A/c unit. it is on wheels costs about 600. the big advantage is that you can build a small filtered box (to protect against dust) and it vests via a window. when not in use you can keep the window locked(and in the winter not have the window unit in there eliminates the cold from getting in)
len

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On 7/28/2010 4:58 PM, lennn99 wrote:

Of course one can make a cover that deals with the cold.

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My lower level shop was heated and cooled by a central HVAC unit that also cooled the bedroom wing of the house. When I incorporated the shop into it, I added a 12" duct to the return air box and (2) 8" ducts from the distribution side. The A/C had a filter between the return air box and the fan, which would have collected the new dust, but instead, I added a filter in the return air grate I installed in the ceiling. While adding restriction to the airflow, it stopped most of the dust from the shop from entering the house.
Nonny

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RonB wrote:

<snip>
Nice "Drive by". I think a "YOU SUCK!" is in order.
-- Jack Novak Buffalo, NY - USA snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net
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Probably should have elaborated that the "shop" is actually a 2-car garage that was enlarged, during house design, to accommodate the shop. Thus the 10+ foot ceiling. I would not have raised the ceiling that high otherwise which in itself raises the heat/cool requirement. The two 9' wide doors don't help either. The garage is insulated to the same standard as the house with 6" walls and about R35 overhead.
I have already installed a radiant heater which handles the heating well. I started thinking window unit because it seemed t make most sense -- stick it in the window and go. However, the minisplit looks affordable, shouldn't require a major rework, and keeps stuff off of the floor. I am trying to minimize floor footprint because the shop does share space with two vehicles.
If you saw the garage now I might suck less. Pending construction of a garden shed in the back yard, my "shop" also shares space with a garden tractor/mower, towable spreader, garden trailer, roto-tiller, generator, garden tools, etc. etc, etc. Getting from the bench to the band saw is an acrobatic feat :^}
Good comments so far and I do appreciate them.
RonB
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I cheat, I work as a HVAC tech.
Living in North Dakota I wanted heat first, AC second. I installed a residential horizontal furnace up on the ceiling near the overhead door which otherwise was wasted space. I added a new "A" coil at that time. I waited and scrounged around and eventually came up with a good condensing unit for free. The line set was scraps from work. I had a window unit I had gotten for free, and sold it for $100 to offset the few components I bought, but I have maybe $150 in the AC setup. It is probably not up to currant efficiency ratings, but I really use the AC maybe two weeks a year so I don't worry about the cost of operation. I installed an Air Bear air filter, http://www.trioninc.com/images/pdf/Supreme.pdf on the return. We sell allot of these filters, and service many places the use them so I get slightly used ones that customers wanted changed out that would hit the garbage otherwise. They do a great job of filtering and the internals of my furnace and AC stays clean. If you get allot of time in your shop you may have to change them monthly. I get maybe 3 months on a filter. If your shop is as well insulated as you say 1-1/2 tons should more more than adequate. I have a 900 square foot shop and the 1-1/2 ton AC I put in is a bit large.
Mini splits are also an option, some off brands exist that are good units. Sanyo is probably the best, but expensive. Do you know any residential techs? You may come up with a used setup good enough for the shop.
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I have a portable unit myself - sets near my desk in the shop. It blows on me and the computer - if I use it in CNC control.
I think I got it at Home Depot perhaps Lowe's.
It is a 120 unit stands upright and has a 10' hose running out the back. Water drip line out the back. I have both outside.
I have 4 roll up overhead doors. I always have two open - unless it is winter. Then I turn the unit into a heat pump and have a warmer.
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net "Our Republic and the Press will Rise or Fall Together": Joseph Pulitzer TSRA: Endowed; NRA LOH & Patron Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Originator & Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member. http://lufkinced.com /
On 7/28/2010 3:18 PM, RonB wrote:

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Here's a good thread on the subject from about 5 years ago that discusses pros and cons of several approaches. If you can get by with a wall unit, you'll save some bucks. I couldn't because of the biddie society (HOA) here. I don't regret spending the money though!
http://groups.google.com/group/rec.woodworking/browse_thread/thread/626afa7665e19f94/6f0a4c7144f963b2?hl=en&q=group:rec.woodworking+author:roy
or
http://tinyurl.com/27a3n7u
Regards, Roy
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On a recent TOH they installed a two part AC system in a garage in Florida. It had a special filter for dust, that could be cleaned very easily.
Mike in Ohio
RonB wrote:

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RonB wrote:

Have had an air conditioner in the shop most of the time I've had a shop. Several things: 1) Don't undersize the unit, shop space is not as efficient as home space, especially if you have high ceilings and/or equipment running. My first air conditioner in my shop in Dallas was too small, I had to run it starting early in the morning to keep the shop cool. If I let the thermal load get too high by waiting until mid-day, the shop would never cool down to a comfortable level. My unit for a 720 square foot shop is a 2 ton unit, I wouldn't want to use any less.
2) As far as dust goes, just plan on cleaning the filter very regularly and blowing out the coils at least yearly. If you do a lot of sanding (I mostly plane and scrape), then you might want to make that a monthly activity. That never really caused significant problems for me even when I was sanding work. I'm on my second A/C in the current shop, the first one died a few weeks ago. The failure was in the fan motor, not related to any problems with dust, this motor was outside. Unfortunately, this was a Fedders unit -- Fedders went bankrupt 3 years ago and the only motors available were going to be upwards of $300 for the motor alone, before labor. It's too bad, the compressor still cools fine. Bottom line, as long as you exercise reasonable care, dust shouldn't bother you.
--

There is never a situation where having more rounds is a disadvantage

Rob Leatham
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Equally, if not MORE important, is not to OVER-size the unit. It will short-cycle, and you'll be in a nice, cool shop that's brutally humid.
An HVAC contractor can do the calc's for you. They just need a bunch of info about construction, orientation, sun exposure, etc.

I'd pay somebody, or get demo software, or ... in some other way to get Manual J load calcs done, for YOUR space.
This is definitely a place where bigger is NOT necessarily better.
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Thanks again for great comments. I am still leaning toward the Window unit but the minisplit will get serious consideration before I do anything -- probably next spring.
I had to step away for several days. Our daughter-in-law had our latest grandson this past week. A good thing yes, but he showed up several weeks early and is going to be in NICU for 2-3 weeks. Needs the time to get all of his little systems up to speed. They were thinking she might go early so they started her on some steroid shots a couple of weeks ago to build his lungs. It must have worked because he did not require oxygen and his suck instinct is up to par with an full term. Still needs a little incubator and tanning booth time to keep jaundice at bay.
RonB
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RonB wrote:

Congrats on the new grandson; glad all are doing well. Our son arrived 8 weeks early over 14 years ago now (and he still has no patience). That early arrival was a complete surprise. He spent about 3 weeks in the hospital, he had to develop that sucking instinct, your grandson is well ahead of the game.
--

There is never a situation where having more rounds is a disadvantage

Rob Leatham
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Our son is stressed but keeping his humor. He sent us an email earlier saying the steroids really worked on the little guy. He was bench pressing his IV board in the incubator :^)
RonB
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One thing to remember is the 30% tax rebate. It's only good this year. I'm going to try like hell to get my shop put together enough to put one in before the end of the year. Our covenants don't allow window units and I need heat anyway, so a mini-split will be perfect.

Cool! Hope all continue to do well.
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