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.
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.
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.
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
Is your unit 220V?
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),
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."
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.
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.
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?
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.
Not sure you want to suggest a heat pump. Cannot find where this house
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
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
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.
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. ;~)
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.
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
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
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
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.
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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