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Thread: ideas for cooling shop

  1. #1
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    ideas for cooling shop

    Just moved into new home with 3 car garage, about 750 sq feet. I moved from NY to southwest florida. In need of some ideas to make shop cool enough to work comfortably without spending a fortune. I bought a large commercial pedestal fan, but it just isnt enough. Ceiling fans? commeicial floor fans?

  2. #2
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    When you find out, let me know.
    Army Veteran 1968 - 1970
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Lawrence View Post
    Just moved into new home with 3 car garage, about 750 sq feet. I moved from NY to southwest florida. In need of some ideas to make shop cool enough to work comfortably without spending a fortune. I bought a large commercial pedestal fan, but it just isnt enough. Ceiling fans? commeicial floor fans?
    For starters, get a decent dehumidifier, and run it continuously. It will stop your cast iron from rusting away to nothing.

    Then, when that's not enough, install a mini-split. You can put one in for as little as a grand, if you're handy (and another few hundred to have it charged.)

  4. #4
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    Unless you are dedicating the entire garage to your work shop or partitioning off one bay, any time you open the garage doors you will pretty much negate any efforts to cool or dehumidfy your shop area. You will also need to close off the ceiling area and insulate the walls and ceiling. Each time a vehicle backs out an equivalent amount of outside air will be drawn in, not counting the cooler inside air draining out for the whole time the door(s) are open.

    The good news is your body will acclimate to the warmer/humid weather after a year or so.
    Lee Schierer
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  5. #5
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    Is the garage insulated or not?

    Vented, or not?
    Various + and - on this issue, depending on what you do overall.
    If you're gonna AC you want NOT vented.. EVEN if your insul is at ceiling level.

    First, insulate the roof, easiest to do at ceiling level.

    Insulate the walls.
    Make sure your overhead doors are as tight sealing as possible.

    Then buy a $800 24kbtu "window" AC and place in side of building you will spend most time in.

    Has worked well for me in previous shop, and doing it again building new shop.

    Marc

    Marc
    I'm pretty new here, not as as experienced as most. Please don't hesitate to correct me

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Schierer View Post
    Unless you are dedicating the entire garage to your work shop or partitioning off one bay, any time you open the garage doors you will pretty much negate any efforts to cool or dehumidfy your shop area. You will also need to close off the ceiling area and insulate the walls and ceiling. Each time a vehicle backs out an equivalent amount of outside air will be drawn in, not counting the cooler inside air draining out for the whole time the door(s) are open.

    The good news is your body will acclimate to the warmer/humid weather after a year or so.
    Trying to be more comfortable in your garage in Florida is a tremendous incentive to never open the garage doors. ;^) Your body might acclimate eventually, but your tools won't.

    I have this picture in my mind of rock drumming at its finest, with sweat spraying everywhere. (Yes I also live in a climate like that.)

  7. #7
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    I’m in Florida and have a 22 x 20 garage dedicated to my shop attached to our house. Still has the double car roll up door on one wall. One wall shared with house.

    I had had a company come in and pump foamdown the walls not connected to house. Two walls and area over garage door. 54 holes worth that I had to patch. They also put insulation above the ceiling and radiant foil in rafters to match what we had in the house. Lastly installed foam insulation into inside panels of the garage door.

    From there I had a Mitsubishi 18k btu mini split installed and I also run a portable dehumidifier full time. My current dehumidifier has a pump and sends water out a small aquarium filter sized tube to our washing machine drain pipe when the tank is full.

    Long story short, I keep the air around 72 degrees and humidity around 45 to 50 percent year round and rust and issues seem to be under control. We limit usage of the big door to rare occasions so that helps too. But given the insulation and the size of our mini split and dehumidifier it only takes about 30 to 60 mins to overcome having the big door open for any length of time.

    I wipe my my cast iron tops a few times a year with a spray of boeshield and a wipe with a blue shop paper towel.
    Last edited by Greg Parrish; 06-16-2018 at 6:55 PM.

  8. #8
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    Insulate regardless, if it's not already thoroughly done. You choices for cooling from there in include window AC, portable AC or a MiniSplit. (I recently installed the latter and am totally, totally pleased with it. You could also do the swamp cooler thing which is traditional in many southern areas, but this evaporative cooling method isn't the same as AC will be for lowering temperatures and more importantly, lowering humidity.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #9
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    Ya, swamp cooler may work in SantaFe, not so much in Hot/Humid.

    We have a local Lumberyard that has a swamp cooler running in the AC'd showroom.

    People walk by and it feels SO nice.

    Ya, wait till they get it home.

    Pretty silly.

    Gonna be some unhappy customers.

    Absolutely no humidity reduction, in fact the opposite.

    Kinda like Lowe's Garden area selling plants only long term suitable for way different zones.

    Caveat emptor.

    Marc
    Last edited by Marc Jeske; 06-16-2018 at 10:36 PM.
    I'm pretty new here, not as as experienced as most. Please don't hesitate to correct me

  10. #10
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    If you go mini split pay a few hundred extra and get the heat pump version. First step is make sure the roof is white. I wonder if dark solar panels with air flow gaps under cool or heat the attic below?
    Bill D.

  11. #11
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    Bill, it the solar panels are for a swimming pool, then they would cool the attic below. But more importantly, they would keep the sun from beating down directly on the roof.

    If the solar panels are photovoltaic (producing electricity), they will shade the roof from the direct rays of the sun. The panels get warm in the sun and they would re-radiate a little heat from the backside. The panels that I've seen are white on the back so they would re-radiate less. Not sure if that is standard across the industry. So, while they won't cool the attic, they will reduce the heat gain from the sun.

    On outdoor video surveillance cameras in the sun, they often have a solar shield. It is nothing but a piece of aluminum spaced about 1/2" to 1" above the primary housing. But it helps a whole lot.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brice Rogers View Post
    .
    On outdoor video surveillance cameras in the sun, they often have a solar shield. It is nothing but a piece of aluminum spaced about 1/2" to 1" above the primary housing. But it helps a whole lot.
    thats pretty much what the foil on inside of our rafters does. Blocks solar radiation and creates an air barrier gap.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    If you go mini split pay a few hundred extra and get the heat pump version. First step is make sure the roof is white. I wonder if dark solar panels with air flow gaps under cool or heat the attic below?
    Bill D.
    What is the advantage of the heat pump version? Obviously, I don't need to heat the space.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Lawrence View Post
    What is the advantage of the heat pump version? Obviously, I don't need to heat the space.
    Honestly...a lot more selection. There are very few AC only MiniSplits on the market compared to the "full" versions that go both ways.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  15. #15
    Humidity is probably a bigger problem because of rust issues and wood movement problems.

    AC is the only real solution here. I wouldn't insulate unless you are going with AC. I live in FL & from personal experience when its 90+ outside with 80%+ humidity it won't make that much difference. You'll open the garage door & turn fans on and it will be as cool as it will get in a about 10 minutes.

    I think you have to look at insulating and installing AC if you want to have a bearable work environment. Choices are standard heat pump or mini split. I wouldn't recommend a window ac.

    It will add to the value of the house, too.
    Last edited by Robert Engel; 06-19-2018 at 2:18 PM.

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