I dislike the idea of a swamp cooler for a shop, just because it adds
so much humidity. I *like* living in a dry climate - I haven't had to
worry about rust on my tools for years.
I vote for ventilation as the best way to control the heat on a short
term basis. A 1500 cfm hooded roof fan cost only about $100 IIRC. I'm
looking at putting one in my garashop soon.
"We need to make a sacrifice to the gods, find me a young virgin... oh, and
bring something to kill"
I use a swamp cooler, but it blows out the window...
it draws a little heat out of the shop, but mostly (if I clean the filter
regularly) helps the DC keep the dust down..
I just ordered a solar powered roof vent and that should help quite a bit,
especially in the evenings, to get the stagnant heat out of the shop..
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There are a few 'cheap' solutions.
1) a large 'barn fan'. venting to the outside. this will help pull the
'inside' temperature down to 'approximately' what it is outside.
2) "water the roof". Intermittantly -- just enough to dampen it, and let
it evaporate off. As long as the ambient humidity isn't excessive,
your water costs are reasonable, and you don't have excessive amounts
of minerals in the water, this can be suprisingly effective. If tap
water quality is suspect, or expensive, build a cistern to capture
the rainwater from the roof, and 'recycle' it. :)
On Tue, 28 Jun 2005 18:11:23 -0500, the opaque Hax Planx
Put a small sprinkler up there and plumb it indoors so you can turn
it on and off at will.
- This product cruelly tested on defenseless furry animals -
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I think more attic ventilation would probably help.
Use roof vents or a powered fan in the gable end. If you have soffits
add soffit vents and if not put a passive vent in the opposite gable
end. Since it sounds like the building does not have a ceiling you
could get your lower ventilation from leaving windows open.
I'd say you need to put in some roof vents. If the air inside is hotter than
the air outside then it will try to escape upwards. If you have no
ventilation in the top half of your building then the heat has no place to
go. Thing to remember is, if you ventilate the top of your building, you
need to allow intake vents in the bottom half of your building too. Vents
come in all types and sizes some powered others not. I've had good luck
cooling my houses attic crawlspace and workshop (small as it is it don't
take much..) with Whirly turbine type nonpowered vents. These are the
spinner type you see on warehouses and such. They are cheap and effective.
Venting isn't the cure all answer, but it is an affordable starting place.
Good luck getting the heat out.
Have you considered installing a fan in the wall near the peak of the
roof, where the heat collects? If you do that, and open a window at
your level, it should cool the place down fairly quickly and
signifigantly. Even a good size passive vent might help quite a bit.
I have been following this thread with interest, because I am also trying to
cool my workshop, and provide winter heat. But just ventilation won't do
the job; here in NC humidity is as big a problem as the heat. If I bring in
outside air, I just bring in moisture. I put in a window AC/heat unit,
11000 BTU, and can get a nice, comfortable temperature. Now I would like to
add insulation to cut operating cost, but it looks like it will cost over
$500 for insulation, which will then need to be installed just below the
roof on stringers that are 11' high. The fiberglass insulation that comes
24" wide is R-30. Does it make sense to put that much insulation in a space
with two garage doors and nothing in the walls?
Hey Steve, did you do any calculations on the BTU you slelcted based on
the square footage and temperature? What's your square footage?
Also, let's say the shop has been closed up all day and you turn on the
AC at 3:00 in the afternoon. What's the inside air temp before you turn
it on? How long does it take the window unit to get the shop down to
your "comfortable" temp? What do you estimate the operating cost of the
unit to be?
My garage (shop - don't tell SWMBO) is 24' square, and the walls are about
11' high, supporting a standard ^ roof, no ceiling. So it is 576 sq. ft.,
and a lot of cubic feet. It gets morning sun, but there are trees on the
west that start shading by midafternoon. The 11000 BTU AC can cool it down
quickly, maybe 15 minutes, and the compressor goes off when it reaches the
set temp. Biggest thing is it removes humidity, which is 90% today. It has
only been in service for a week, so I don't yet know how much it costs. As
I said, I am trying to figure out insulation.
on 6/29/2005 2:44 PM Steve Peterson said the following:
My shop is insulated and ~ 336 sq ft. I found a one year old 8600 BTU
A/C for about $125 that I mounted thru-wall. Even though it's
insulated, the shop really can heat up if the A/C is not on and it's hot
outside. Still, I find that by flipping it on high, I can bring it down
from the low 90's to a really comfortable (relatively speaking) 75 in
about 10 minutes or so.
Nice feature on mine with the digital controls and remote is that if the
unit's off (say in the morning) and I plan to work out there when I get
home from the office, I can set the timer to kick it on in X (1-12)
hours. If I plan to spend most of the day there, when I turn it on, I
can set that same timer to turn it off in 1-12 hours.
I don't know what it will cost nor do I care. It's only going to be
running when I'm out there enjoying it so... I'd be more concerned if
it was running all the time when the shop's not in use.
I put electric heat in the shop this past winter (after 20 years of
messing with an insulated shop heated with a Kero-Sun heater or
Redi-Heater) and was able to set the thermostat to keep the shop above
freezing and then bring it up to shirtsleeve temperature when I want to
use the shop. Same thing: Uncomfortable to comfortable in about 20
minutes tops. We're total electric and I never noticed an increase in
the electric bill.
It's been my understanding that somewhere close to 80% of your
insulating value comes from adequate attic/ceiling insulation(heat
rises?). For as long as I can remember, in the Houston climate, HVAC
technicians concern themselves almost exclusively with sufficient attic
insulation; I doubt many homeowners are going to retrofit uninsulated
walls (though I have just bid a job to that very thing).
On Wed, 29 Jun 2005 13:20:00 GMT, "Steve Peterson"
It's not going to hurt anything! Obviously, the best thing to do is
insulate the walls as well, but most of your heat exchange is occuring
through the roof. While I wouldn't suggest it as a new construction
technique, I redid a large apartment building with a "balloon-frame"
(there may be another term for that, but that's the handle we used)
several years ago. The *insulation* in the walls was nothing more
than the stucco, drywall, and about 12 inches of dead airspace between
them. The attic was well insulated, and the place was reasonably
energy-efficient. Not as good as some other options, but it certainly
I'm working in an uninsulated 2 car garage with a dark colored roof.. average
temp in central Ca. in summer is about 102, so I feel your pain..
A few things that I've done to make it tolerable:
I hung one of those round floor fans from the roof beams.. blows hot air out of
ceiling area and out garage door..
Cheap portable evaporative cooler.. (only works in low humidity areas).. it's up
against the only window, blowing out... doubles as an air filter and picks up a
LOT of dust..
I keep a LARGE travel mug handy with about a quart of ice water.. refilled often
to prevent dehydration...
Wireless thermometer... this will sound funny, but it helps.. lol
The main unit is on the work bench, the remote is on the patio, which is covered
but has afternoon sun...
It's amazing what a mental thing it is, to see that it's 1 degree cooler in the
shop than on the patio..
It would be nice to have a larger, cooler shop, but it's all i have and I work
in it year round..
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On Thu, 30 Jun 2005 05:55:51 -0000, email@example.com (Robert Bonomi)
it draws some of the heat, especially with the window frame and screen getting
cold and acting as a heat sink... the window is a slider that's only about 1/3
as high as the cooler vents..
it's mostly used for dust in the air, though.. it's a portable one with a cloth
belt that wicks water up through the pan and blows air through it, so it does a
pretty good job on dust..
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