Through the wall AC install

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With all the suggestions you're getting, thought I'd offer one more. Since you don't have any windows, why not put one in? For those days when an air conditioner is not necessary (if there are any) air flow just by itself goes a long way to cooling. After that you can decide if you want a window mounted air conditioner or one of those portable units.
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Upscale wrote:

You can add to the uses of a window the fact that if the AC unit wears out in the future, you can be sure newly developed AC units can still easily be fitted into the window. Through-the-wall units need to fit a similar sized sleeve. A friend just had to replace a TTW unit in one of his rental homes. After pricing new ones, he got the whole system replaced with a heat pump and had the hole closed up. Not that much more costly and a lot more effective.
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I just installed a 17,500 BTU unit in a 25x25 garage. It's stucco outside, insulated it with Reflectix then sheet rocked and painted.
The stucco was not a problem, used a Makita hand held grinder with a diamond blade, that should go through your stone veneer without a problem. After I got through the stucco, which took all of 5 minutes, I cut through the rest with a Sawzall.
Frame out inside firstfor the A/C then drill a hole in each corner to the outside so you can mark the cutout, no big problem. Picked up the A/C on EBAY for $325 including shipping, it's a new Frigidare unit. Local price, plus tax, would be close to $600.
I live in AZ, have the A/C set at 76 degrees and it cycles on and off as it should even on the hottest days.
Lou
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Lou wrote:

always thought those blades were tres expensive until I actually LOOKED at them in the Borg. It's a 4-1/2" blade, and I used it in a Makita cordless saw that takes 6-1/2" blades, so the diamond blade is capable of cutting approximate 1 inch, which is a bit over what I needed for the stucco. It cut very easily. anyone attempting this: WEAR WELL FITTED GOGGLES!
Is your unit 220V?
Dave
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wrote:

In my case, with a brick exterior, I put in a window on a windowless wall. Then I bought a window unit (120V). While I was at it, I removed all the sheetrock on the two exterior walls, added LOTS of electrical outlets on a couple circuits, insulated those walls (they weren't), rerocked, plastered, painted bright white, and so on. I wound up with a very nice package -- cools in the summer, stays relatively warm in the winter -- here in suburban Dallas/Fort Worth (temps approaching 100F this week). In fact, I'm in the middle of an AIR CONDITIONED project! The combination of the window, white paint, and a lot of lights makes things nice, too.
By the way, fitting the bricks around the window, and adding a sill, tested my skills as a mason, I want you to know! Rubbed my fingers raw getting the mortar "just right."
Jim Stuyck
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Find a "friendly" AC guy and ask about "returned units" or special deals on a small split system heat pump.
A small split heat pump would look and be a LOT better and you wouldn't have to disfigure the stone wall.
No fancy duct work, just dump the air directly into the shop from inside unit.
Another "maybe", is put a unit on a stand and run it through the gable end of the buidling. Not real pretty but not too terribly bad looking.
gregj wrote:

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Lots of suggestions and some cool insults too thank you.
I am going to check out a portable that I can vent into the attic or through the wall first. If that doesnt look promising then I think the suggestion of punching in a window is a good one and will do that. Just hope all that stone above doesnt come crashing down on me before I can get some angle iron up.
Thanks to all.
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Don't do it. You won't be happy. Put that money toward a split unit if you can.
gregj wrote:

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Where's your reasoning that a window unit won't suffice? The only information you're going by is that you're not happy with the portable unit you've got. And how do you reconcile the first statement above with the second one you posted earlier in this thread?
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Upscale wrote:

Dave
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He mentioned the possibility of both in the paragraph quoted above. My guess is that he's looking for expediency at this point. Either way, I think he has enough information to work with. All things being equal, I'd go with the window, there's a number of advantages to having one. (probably some disadvantages too such as break-ins) Greg will have to make up his own mind.
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I was refering to the portable unit. I have nothing against window units.
Upscale wrote:

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Another one against windows. How about doors? You do like doors, right?

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The objection is not to having openings in walls. The objection is to bashing openings in stone veneer, where no opening was designed or intended. You can't do that without it looking like s**t.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
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I'm not missing anything. You say this is impossible. I don't think so. Hope you never decide to remodel. Tear it down and start over seems to be what you are saying.
wrote:

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Not sure you want to suggest a heat pump. Cannot find where this house is. A heat pump in montana and n.dakota will not be of much help. A heat pump will have a balance point about 33-34 degrees after that the electric strip heat comes on. Now if in arizona it should be of help. Also I have not seen any one suggest that a heat load be done on the building. First of all he need a bigger A/C that you do with just wood siding on it. He has a heat sink in the rock wall. That rock will hold heat a long time. There is no nice friendly A/C guys. At least in the afternoon. We are all grumpy a__ SOB then from working in the heat repairing someone unit. Catch us in the early morning. Get some ideas for contractors in your area and see what one fits your budget the best. Also get a reliable outfit. Because it will be your grumpy a__ when it is not working right. And you want it to work in and protect your tools from rust. As some one here has said before. Cry once when you buy it.
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I think that is going to look pretty bad on the outside. But if you have already considered that or simply do not care. Go for it. Alternatively, if the garage is reeeeel hot. Set yourself up a 10# block of Ice on top of you TS. Point your fan at the Ice, and stand or sit on the side of the Ice that is opposite of the fan. It really does work. ;~)
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I've read quite a few messages in this thread. We've gone through the whole gamut of a/c options the last few months. Here's what we tried, looked at, and ended up with. We're happy with it. YMMV.
We've got a 3 car workshop. Supposed to hold 3 cars, but they're all parked in the driveway. We're about 25 miles SW as the crow flies from downtown Houston. After suffering in shop temperatures up to 106 along with the lovely Gulf Coast humidity over the years, SWMBO and I decided enough was enough. We put 5 new circuits in the shop over the last couple years, insulated and sheet rocked the walls and will get the last of the ceiling insulation up in the next week.
We started out with one of the portable units. I swiped the one we use in the bedroom to see how well it would work. I vented the exhaust air into the garage, err, shop attic. The portable AC helps when you are doing low movement work (sharpening for example) and can have the thing blowing on one side of you all the time. The other side sweats. A single unit can't come close to cooling the shop though. The exhaust air is something like 15-20% of the cooling air, so there is a lot of infiltration into the room.
We then decided to buy a 2 ton window unit, install a window and then the unit. We ran into a roadblock with the local Biddie Society (aka HOA). They implied we could be sued if we installed a window unit where anyone could see it or hear it. That killed that idea. A window unit is the cheapest way to go. Using some fans in the shop would move the cooling around. A friend of mine has a workshop set up this way, and it works well for him. He isn't in thrall to a BS.
Next option we looked at was the wall mounted split system. Looked pretty impressive on paper but expensive. Talked to our local AC repairman, and he advised against it due to installed cost ($2000 - $3000). He had only installed a couple of these systems, but was not very happy with them. Apparently the unducted blower doesn't do a very good job of spreading the air efficiently. Again, fans would help move the cooling around. He recommended a small 2 and a half ton standard unit for $2500 fully installed with ducting. We went with that.
We have the return at one end of the shop, two ducts in the middle and two more ducts at the far end. We keep the thermostat set around 85 when we're not out there, and drop it to 76-78 about 20 minutes before we plan to work in the shop. We love it. Even with all the rain of late, you can tell the humidity (and rust) is way down in the shop. It will be even better when we get the last of the ceiling done and the roll up doors weatherstripped.
One thing to think about with this system is the size and location of the return duct. You want it in the least dusty area of the shop you can find. Make it as large as you can to give more filter area. Even doing so we use pleated filters to keep as much dust out of the return as possible. We've had to relocate some of our machines, especially the dust collector (5 micron bags). I may scrounge a new blower and use a dead HEPA filter we have laying around to try to get some of the finer dust. May get a new set of 1 micron bags for the collector too, when the wallet recovers.
We've got a 2-3 inch hole in the wall for the copper tubing and insulation, and a half inch hole for the wire to the junction box. We ran all the pipes and wiring through the attic and behind removable wall panels. We hope to retire in about three years, so it will be easy to take with us unless we can sell the house to another woodworker/garage shop type person.
Extravagant? I guess. The new saw will have to wait another year or two. But it sure will be nice to be able to go out there in June, July, August and September and make some sawdust without dripping sweat all over the place. Until now, we pretty much gave up our shop time during the hot months. The only real drawback to the a/c is that SWMBO's shirt no longer sticks to her body contours nearly as often. I do miss that.
Speaking of SWMBO, when I met her, she already owned a table saw, workbench, router, and a good selection of other power and hand tools. Her Dad was a craftsman, and saw no reason girls should not be also. So when I say we are working in the shop, WE are working in the shop. We're in our mid-50's and we insulate, wire, plumb, drywall, cut, saw, route, sand, stain and finish together. She says I still know how to show a girl a good time. Gotta love a woman like that. I may be the luckiest man alive, and it has nothing to do with the new a/c system.
Roy

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Thanks for sharing this. I live in Austin and $2500 to make my garage workable is a bit pricey but doable. I'll start saving now.
Roy wrote:

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At these prices I think I might just build a shed way out back with a window unit and get my garage back. I am in Austin too and have a pretty steep slope in the back yard, but with a little sweat just might pull this off.
Special thanks to Roy for sharing all that great information.
By the way does she have a sister?
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