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Thread: Anybody using a portable air conditioner in their garage shop?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    New Jersey
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    Anybody using a portable air conditioner in their garage shop?

    I live in NJ and it gets pretty hot & humid here. I'm thinking of buying a compact portable air conditioner. The garage is about 23x17 and the unit I'm looking at is 8000 btus and says it will cool a 350 sq ft room, my garage is 391 sq ft.
    Anybody use one of these?
    Dennis

  2. #2
    I was making the same decision about a year ago and am much happier to have bought a mini-split heat pump:
    https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....ier&highlight=

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Waterford, PA
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    200
    We used one in our home while I was battling cancer and couldn't take the summer temperatures. It far exceeded my expectations and cooled many more square feet that it was rated for. I'm expecting to use it in my workshop now that the cancer is in remission.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
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    8,645
    The ability to cool your garage shop depends on whether the shop is insulated, and upon whether it is well sealed against air infiltration.

    Most garages are quite leaky. Many have big gaps around the door. Most have deliberate vents built into the walls, so possible gasoline fumes escape rather than accumulating.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio
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    4,446
    Im cheap.
    I purchased a small window unit at Home Depot. When needed , I trap the window unit between the bottom of the garage door and the floor, Fill the gaps with sheets cut to size of foam insulation. Takes out the humidity and helps a lot.
    Works for me because I get little shop time in the summer.
    "Remember back in the day, when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work?"
    - Rick Dale

  6. #6
    My garage shop is about 19 x 25' (now, on average, there's a jog inside), is sheetrocked on the house side and ceiling, north wall is brick, south wall is half brick half sheetrock. Ceiling is about 11' up, and the attic above is stuffed with insulation. ... I needed a bit more room so I built a 3' extension into the hole, which is why it's 25' now. I insulated its walls and ceiling rafters, where the door was is much better insulated.
    gar1.jpggar2.jpg
    I have a 12k btu Delonghi roll-around, it sits in the northwest corner, where I put a dryer vent in the wall just for it. It works well, but when it's 95° out and the west sun hits that double door (with shades), it's all the AC can do to keep around 82. It's still comfortable compared to no AC

    I'm just thinking an 8k unit might be stretching it, but like those above me say, depends on your insulation, leaks, sun exposure, etc...
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Kansas City
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    I have one in an upstairs bedroom and it doesn't help much. I'd say get a window unit, even if you have to cut into the wall.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Upland, CA
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    I've tried a portable unit in 3 places where I eventually changed to a window unit which worked better for half the price. If an 8k btu window unit works better than a 10k portable, something is not right. I'm using one now in my office at home that is going to get replaced with a window unit, hopefully before summer finally gets here.
    The only place I have been reasonably happy with one is in the garage. I am able to back it up to a few inches from one of the wall vents required so vapors don't accumulate in the garage. That means the exhaust vent is very straight and very short. It is also sealed very well. Seems to work better.

    If you have 6' of hose that makes two right angle bends for the exhaust hose to vent outside, I think a lot of the heat gets back in the room. I'm guessing in a humid environment, you would still get the benefit of getting the humidity out. Normally hot and dry here so dropping the temperature is far more important than dropping the humidity.

  9. #9
    Read the SEER rating of it, a window unit and a minisplit. Let the operating cost (efficiency) help with the decision. I was in the hospital a few years back, in an area that was undergoing repair. They were using one of the portables. Based on that sample size of one, I wouldn't even consider one.

    Mini splits, OTOH are very good. Cheap to buy, economical to operate. And, If you don't mind voiding the warranty, a self install is a snap.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    New York, NY
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    Little long but a great explanation of the disadvantages portable units have one window style ones.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Phoenix AZ
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    102
    I too have a mini-split and it works much better than a portable. If you can afford one, you won’t be disappointed.
    “Learn what you can control and what you cannot..” Epictetus, 100 A.D.
    It costs nothing to be kind to others

  12. #12
    Just a real-time update -with goPro pics (goPro's are great for movies, not so much for pics)

    Supposed to get near 100 today so I put this action. And it's a 12k btu, not a 14k btu unit like I thought--
    pieng.jpg
    temp at the unit is 75- note I have a box fan helping move air-

    pic of the shop, I'm pressed against the door. AC is to my left in near the corner,
    shop1.jpg

    From the other end, I'm against the wall between the big laser and the freezer...
    shop2.jpg

    this is the current room temp, thermometer is on the one laser near the back of the shop-
    ctemp.jpg

    I turned the unit on this morning about 9:30 am, outside temp was 74, inside was 71.
    It's now 2:15pm, temp is 94 outside, and a comfy 74 inside.

    Pretty respectable actually - however, come 6pm when the sun is hitting the front doors, temp in here will go up...
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    11
    I have a 15' x 23' garage workshop with R20 in the walls and R40 in the ceiling. I tried an 8000 BTU portable AC unit and with lights, tools, and dust collection running it couldn't keep the shop cool. I recently purchased a 12000 BTU portable AC and it works much better. When it gets really hot I expect I'll have to use both units (>= 30 C). Be sure to keep the cooling fins as clean as possible.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    San Diego, Ca
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    1,202
    I have a 24 x 36 shop that is insulated. I live in the San Diego, Ca. (inland) area. I have two 5000 BTU ACs - - one on each side of my shop. If I turn them on in the morning when the outside temp is low, it'll keep the shop under 80 even if the outside temp is > 100 F. It will maintain but not drop the temp too much. But it is comfortable enough to work and the humidity reduction helps too.

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