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Thread: ideas for cooling shop

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    Itapevi, SP - Brazil
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    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?
    White external walls and ceilings. Concrete floor and lots of natural ventilation. For the humidity, oil pot always available near you for constant use for your tools.

    I live in a tropical area, actually our home is only 10 km South of Tropic of Capricorn. My shop is in the basement, so semi buried. Concrete walls, ceiling and floor... great thermal inertia. Good natural ventilation. I can work year around comfortably there.

  2. #17
    A swamp cooler definitely won't work there. It becomes useless (makes things worse) around 50%. It's phenomenally good in Phoenix right now with sub-10% humidity. Feels like a 20 degree drop or maybe more.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Tampa Bay, FL
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    I converted my garage in SW Florida to a workshop. Best investment ever was a split A/C unit.

    I have a rule to never open the garage door, unless I truly have no choice, when it rains. The cast iron tries to rust immediately after that.

    Spray your cast iron tops with CRC 3-36 (available on Amazon, one of the woodworking magazines rated it the highest for preventing rust a few years ago, and, IMHO, I feel it works far better than Boeshield).

    You'll love the working conditions. Don't forget to clean the cheap filter on the A/C often. I added blown insulation in the ceiling, which did noticeably help.

    Where in SW FL are you located?
    - Its not that Im so smart, its just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein
    - Welcome to Florida. Where the old folks visit their parents

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Cape Coral, Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Lightstone View Post
    I converted my garage in SW Florida to a workshop. Best investment ever was a split A/C unit.

    I have a rule to never open the garage door, unless I truly have no choice, when it rains. The cast iron tries to rust immediately after that.

    Spray your cast iron tops with CRC 3-36 (available on Amazon, one of the woodworking magazines rated it the highest for preventing rust a few years ago, and, IMHO, I feel it works far better than Boeshield).

    You'll love the working conditions. Don't forget to clean the cheap filter on the A/C often. I added blown insulation in the ceiling, which did noticeably help.

    Where in SW FL are you located?
    Just moved to Cape Coral.

    I put 70 pint dehumidifer in and pump the water out under the garage door. My exterior walls are concrete block and the house is painted a light beige color both in and out. I doubt there is any insulation in the concrete wall of the living space, but the AC in the house is great (new home) so I'm thinking I won't need to insulate the garage walls. I will insulate the garage doors, however.

    I had 2 insulation contractors give me estimates for the attic. ONe recommended spray foam for the underside of the roof (R20- saying it performed much better than blown in). Estimate was $1100. The other estimate came through HD for blown in R30, @ $1650. Opinions, please.

    As for the split AC, any recommendations on size of unit? Brand? Is this something I should buy from Amazon, install the unit myself and just pay an HVAC guys to do the hook ups?

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
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    For the humidity, oil pot always available near you for constant use for your tools.

    I never heard of this idea but it might stain wood. I have heard of a bucket of water to keep tools in when working outside in summer sun. Mostly for mechanics tools which have lots of oil and grease on them already. I suppose now mechanics wear gloves instead.
    Bil lD

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Cape Coral, Florida
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    So I got the garage attic insulated, and I'm having a 24,000 btu, 19 Seer split unit installed this week. I'll also insulate the garage doors.

    I purchased a 70 pint dehumidify as well. Is the dehumidifier still necessary once I put in the A/C?

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    LA & SC neither one is Cali
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Lawrence View Post
    I purchased a 70 pint dehumidify as well. Is the dehumidifier still necessary once I put in the A/C?
    No, as long as the mini-split is properly sized (runs often enough) the humidity should stay in the low to mid 40% range.
    Of all the laws Brandolini's may be the most universally true.

    Deep thought for the day:

    Your bandsaw weighs more when you leave the spring compressed instead of relieving the tension.

  8. #23
    My 14x24 shop garage is walled off from my 20x24 car garage. The walls and ceiling are insulated as is the single garage door in one end. If I run the AC in the bedroom above my shop, the shop is comfortable. But the bedroom is rarely occupied these days so I turn the temperature up to 90 F. That lets the shop get pretty hot. In the morning, if I open the doors on both ends of the shop, it is OK. But in the afternoon, when it is 90+ and the humidity is 80-90%, it is not a lot of fun to work in the shop. I sanded for a couple hours on two different evenings to get my grandsons blocks done before his visit this week and was dripping by the time I quit. I may have to do something. With my level of insulation and only a little over 300 ft2, I think a small window unit will make the shop OK. I don't want it 72, I would be cold, but I think I can get it under 80 where I will be fine. I keep the house at 78. My son has a unit I could probably borrow to try out my theory.

    The only time I had an issue with rust on the tools was when water came down the driveway and was a couple inches deep briefly in the shop. Since the road was paved (and the slope changed) I've had no flooding and the tools don't rust, with no AC or dehumidifier. You will get condensation if you let humid air come into contact with tools below the dew point of the air. But if the shop is as hot as the outside and don't have a water source, you won't have condensation. If you lower the temperature with AC, you will also reduce the dew point and should be fine. When I run the AC above the shop and the temperature goes down in the shop, I am at some risk but have noticed no issues. Long way of saying I still am not thinking of a dehumidifier. I do not see a problem it would solve.

    I'm in central South Carolina. It may not be as hot and humid as FL but it's close.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Cape Coral, Florida
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    Got the split installed yesterday. Wow, it's incredible! Now all that's left is the garage door insulation.

    No more excuses. Got to figure out most effective floor plan and do the lighting and electric.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Greater Manor Metroplex, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Lawrence View Post
    Got the split installed yesterday. Wow, it's incredible! Now all that's left is the garage door insulation.

    No more excuses. Got to figure out most effective floor plan and do the lighting and electric.

    Congratulations...you will love it. The best thing I did was to decide to condition my shop full time, not just when I was in it.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Lawrence View Post
    Got the split installed yesterday. Wow, it's incredible! Now all that's left is the garage door insulation.
    I am continually amazed and pleased at how efficient my MiniSplit is in the shop...our electric bill has barely budged, too. I guess the 20 SEER rating of my unit isn't a terrible thing! It's also very comfortable to work in there now because of the humidity reduction and air movement. I run it at 74F and it takes mere minutes to "get there" after I turn it on, even in the middle of a hot day.
    --

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

  12. #27
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    Jun 2015
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    Sacramento, CA
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    Jealous! I cant wait to put a mini split in my garage! Hope youre enjoying it!
    If at first you don't succeed, redefine success!

  13. #28
    While it's not Florida, the humidity and heat in Tennessee are similar - it just doesn't last as long as it does in Florida. I have a detached 24 x 24 shop. My contractor installed a heat pump wall unit just like you'd find in a hotel room. As I recall, it was about $800 10 years ago. No idea what it would cost now but it works well enough to keep the shop cool during the hottest part of the summer and warm enough during the coldest part of winter. It might be something worth looking into.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Ft. Wayne, IN
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    1,453
    Like you, I have my shop in a 3-car garage. Unlike you, I am most definitely NOT in Florida. I live in NE Indiana, where it still gets into the 90's for days at a time, and with humidity levels also in the 90's. But it doesn't stay like that for 9 or 10 months out of the year. That said, I still wanted my garage to be cooler. It was already well insulated and had 5/8" fire code sheet rock on the walls. I also have 2" thick insulated steel "sandwich" style overhead doors. So it stays comparatively warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The first thing I did was to install a vent in the duct that runs up the side of my HVAC unit (aka furnace) which, since it is an attached garage and my home is on a slab, just happens to be in my garage. The duct runs from the plenum to the humidifier. Adding that vent provided the perfect amount of additional heat to make the shop comfortable all winter, but didn't quite do enough in the cooling department to suit me. So I started looking at mini-splits and I really liked the features and amount of cooling they could provide. Then I looked at the prices and stopped looking at mini-splits.

    As I was browsing for alternatives, I found this: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0028AYQDC/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Whynter.jpg


    Instead of mounting the intake & exhaust hoses though a window (I don't have windows in my garage), I cut back the siding and installed a mount like the ones used to put exterior lights on. Then I cut holes in the wall and ran the ports through the mounting block. Since the ports come with caps, I now have a permanent installation. That extra 14k BTU's of cooling make all the difference. I can work out there in total comfort on all but the 1 or 2 hottest days of the year. And since it also works as a self draining dehumidifier I have never had any problems with my tools rusting.

    If anyone is interested, I would be happy to share photos of my setup.
    "I've cut the dang thing three times and it's STILL too darn short"
    Name withheld to protect the guilty

    Stew Hagerty

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