Through the wall AC install

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My shop is in a very hot garage and I need to air condition it. After looking at some of my options it looks like a through the wall air conditioner is probably the best. My problem is that there is a stone veneer on the outside of the wall. Any suggestions on how to handle that, or can you point me in the right direction for some advice? Thanks.
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Speaking as the current owner of a stone veneer house in which some knuckleheaded previous owner installed a window air conditioner through the wall, my advice is -- don't. It will look like s**t, and some future owner of that home will curse the day you were born. Yeah, I know, you're talking about a garage, which isn't quite as important, but it will still look like s**t.
Surely there are windows somewhere in your garage. Can't you put a small A/C through one of the windows?
Have you looked into portable units?
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

Portable units don't work with a flip. I know because I have one in my garage. It blows cold air, but it doesn't drop the garage temperature any. Look into the mini-split units. I think they would be nice.
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Portables work great. My guess is you need more of them! The problem with most portables is size, most are pretty small, plus you need to have some opening in the building to exhaust the heat from them. Greg
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Not a single window in the place.
What is a mini split unit?
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i just put one in my garage. the only thru wall penetration is a 4" diameter hole.
the compressor sits outside, the lineset goes through the hole, and the rest of a/c unit gets mounted on the wall somewhere high up.
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on 8/18/2005 5:55 PM Charles Spitzer said the following:

They are nice but they are also expensive.
Rather than dismiss the thru-wall installation (which can be accommodated with just about any decent window unit) outright, I would suggest considering just where this penetration will occur.
If the garage is detached and set back from the house, who really cares if the back wall of the garage is "marred" by a compressor unit sticking its nose into the backyard. Don't think I'd want it on the front or side of the garage where 1) I'd have to look at it constantly or 2) have the sound of the unit directed towards my house or deck but otherwise...
I put one in my garage shop earlier this year and did a through wall to the rear. No windows back there and even if I'd had a stone veneer that's where it would have gone.
It does seem a shame to disturb the brick veneer but consider all the possibilities before ruling it out. Weigh them against the cost of the split unit in your shop AND still having to penetrate a wall for the lineset and power AND siting a compressor unit on the ground adjacent to that nice stone veneer.
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These were originally designed for cooling computer rooms, but not are supplied by several manufacturers for residential use. They effectively cool one room (like a garage or a framed in carport). The compressor is housed in a weather-tight unit that is mounted on a pad outside; the evaporator is mounted with a blower/air handler/filter on a wall or in ceiling mounted unit that goes on the inside of the room being cooled. The power/controls/refrigerant pass though lines that require only a single 2 1/2 inch hole through the wall. Thus the name "split." See http://www.master.ca/en/products/cards/83.html for the Samsung unit - which is essentially like everyone else's model. They are rated from about 3/4 ton up (thus the name "mini").
But....they are not cheap compared to a window unit. The units sell for about $1000. I am having one installed in an framed-in-patio-converted-to-an-exercise-room and got estimates for unit and installation from $1,800 to about $3,000. Suppliers will not sell to someone who is not an installer since the units have to be connected and charged with Freon on site.
If your shop creates a lot of dust, noeither a thru-the-wall or a mini-split unit will do much filtering. You will need a dust removal unit to keep from cleaning the evaporator all the time.

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gregj wrote:

As it happens, I have the exact same problem. Tomorrow I've got a guy coming to the house to install a totally new heat pump. Looking at the duct work that already cuts through the garage, I asked if we could tap in somehow. So that's what's going to happen, along with the installation of some sort of valve so I can cut off the flow when I'm not actually working out there.
We did the same thing when my father wanted to cool the closet under the stairs in his garage so he could store wine there. I pointed out the ductwork that went right by it and asked if it could be tapped. The rest is history... works great for him.
Do you have any ductwork for your preexisting AC system out there?
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN

snipped-for-privacy@carolina.rr.com.REMOVE
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I originally tried tapping into my main A/C duct work but it didn't work well. It didn't help any. In fact, it was worse than the portable unit. The problem with tapping off a duct into your garage is that the air being blown from the house air into the garage has to get back into the house somehow. Unless you have a cold air return from your garage to your house you won't get much airflow. And if you do have one, you are probably violating some building code and are sucking car fumes and dust into your house.
My portable unit doesn't do much good for similar reasons. It blows hot air out into my attic currently, but it has to suck in air into my garage through any cracks in the walls to replace it. This results in it not working so great. I am playing around with modifying the housing so that I can pipe in air from outside into the portable A/C. My first effor didn't do any good because I was piping the air in from the hot attic so it lowered it's cooling capability by about 10 degrees. Next I am going to rig some pipe from the cooler outside air with the help of an inline duct fan. If that doesn't work then I will give up with the portable A/C unit. It is a 12000 BTU unit so it should be able to keep the garage sort of cool I would think.
If my HOA would allow it I would knock a hole in a wall and put in the biggest window unit I could find.
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These have the condenser outside and the evaporator inside - hence the term split. The two components are joined by the refrigeration tubes, which will require a small hole of a few inches diameter. The small hole is easily insulated so you will not loose heat in winter, if you get cold where you are located.
These units are not at the local appliance store. Lots of information on the internet. I just did a quick google. This link explains how these units work.
http://www.toolbase.org/tertiaryT.asp?CategoryID 3&DocumentID 28
Dave Paine. .

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If openings in the walls look that bad, your whole house must look like shit, what with all those windows. You do have windows don't you?

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You really do have a talent for missing the point sometimes.

--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On 18 Aug 2005 15:21:14 -0700, the opaque "gregj"

A concrete-cutting blade on your circular saw (or a rental unit if you don't want to ruin your saw) might carve the stones out of the way for you. Then a sawzall would demo the rest of the wall. DO check with both close neighbors and your local city zoning requirements before you make that cut, though. If it directs the hot air toward the neighbor, it could be a problem.
----------------------------------------- Jack Kevorkian for Congressional physician! http://www.diversify.com Wondrous Website Design ================================================
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Mitsubishi is advertising some units which might be of use.
Mark
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Build a nice roomy wooden louvered cover for it like they used to do on old cabin motels . . .

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Greg,
It is my opinion that cutting a hole in the shop wall for the installation of an A/C unit my deserve some consideration. Once the hole is cut you have to live with it. If the A/C unit you install lasts say for 10 or so years then burns out the compressor you are faced with finding a replacement A/C of the same dimensions. As time goes by, units are becoming more efficient and smaller in size so finding the exact size you need may be a problem, then you are stuck with the hole or trying to fit in a smaller unit and filling the gap with something.
You might want to shop around for a good price on a central A/C unit, new or perhaps the local A/C dealer has a "take out" where someone has upgraded that you could purchase reasonable. Then the only holes you have to deal with are the refrigerant lines and the power/control cables.
For what it's worth, that's my opinion.... and I'm sticking with it !
Don Dando

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Well, while everyone is weighing in here...
Remember if you cut your stone you must header off one way or another over the hole. The stone you leave over the unit must be supported as are your windows, doors, etc. You can get the stone out with careful demo and actually leave the stone above the hole for the unit.
But without a header (usually some angle iron), one day you will come home and it will all be in the yard. You cannot canitlever rock unsupported. Remember too, that you must header off your inside wall as well. Then of course there is a problem to consider if you have to remove some of the wall support straps that attach the stone wall to the wooden frame wall.
To prevent misunderstanding, I know you can use stone for vaulted ceilings, etc. without any lintel or any other kind of visisble support underneath. But keep in mind in those instances it was originally laid that way by keying in the stones to support one another. He is talking about chopping a hole in the existing wall.
On another tact, one of my buddies bought a free standing unit (on wheels!) at Sam's club and it works quite nicely. It is 10,000 btus, and uses the air from the room, and only needs a six or eight inch exhaust which he poked a hole in his wall to accomodate. You could easily put this unit in your shop and exhaust up to the attic.
Robert
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Don Dando wrote:

operation since 1971. It's a Montgomery Wards Signature branded unit that I picked up to cool an uninsulated military housing duplex basking in the northern California sun. I don't know how long the newer units will last but who would have thought an a/c would be working fine after 34 years? :) I've also got a transistor radio that works well that I bought in 'Nam.
Dave
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Buy a friedrich, their size is standard , has not changed for 20 years for that reason

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