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Thread: Anyone use a portable ac as a "cold air" fan

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    East Texas
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    Anyone use a portable ac as a "cold air" fan

    I searched the site and couldn't find anything except using portable ac units to cool an entire garage/workshop.

    Does anyone have any experience using a portable ac just to blow cold air on them while they work, not as an attempt to cool the entire garage?

    I know it wouldn't be efficient but maybe it could make working in 90 degree plus temps.

    thanks,

    Mitchell

  2. #2
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    SoCal
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    Home stores sell a variety of small portable AC units. The price fluctuates with the amount of fuss automated out of them and their capacity. If you just want something to blow cool dehumidified air at you, one of these can be had for a few hundred bucks and I think would work as you describe.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

  3. #3
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    Thanks - those are the kind of units I was thinking about. I had one of those when I lived in the Pacific Northwest - I wish now I'd kept it but I sold it when I put in central ac.

  4. #4
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    Upland CA
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    Timely question. I cut a hole in my shop wall and put in a window unit years ago. Yesterday was the first time I turned it on (98 degrees) this year. I set it to 80 degrees, and used a couple yard sale fans to keep the air moving. Worked great. $400 investment, 10 years ago.

    In your case, if you cannot cut a hole in the wall, you need a portable AC unit that has an exhaust out the back that takes a discharge hose (like a dryer vent hose). Run the hose out a cobbled up window opening or wall vent.

    If you do not get the exhaust outside, you are shoveling sand against the tide, pushing cool air out the front and hot air out the back of the unit.

    I assume you are talking an A/C unit, not a portable swamp cooler.
    Last edited by Rick Potter; 07-11-2020 at 11:32 AM.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  5. #5
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    Not exactly an answer to the question, but sort of related: I use one to supply breathing air to a supplied air hood, in hot weather. Not all the time, but when I need the supplied air.

  6. #6
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    East Texas
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    I thought about a window unit but my outside wall is brick and not insulated. I read about cutting a hole in the brick wall and decided it wasn't a job for me. Otherwise I might consider the extra $$ for a split.

    You have made me think more about the exhaust - I knew about it but didn't give much thought to the fact that the unit might be a long way from the garage door. And SWMBO would not like me cutting a hole in her new garage doors so I'd have to raise the door to vent and then I'd have to insulate the gap.

    More to consider here that I need to think about. Maybe it is going to be one the 5 gallon bucket coolers yet

  7. #7
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    A hooded hazmat suit with ac? hmmm...

  8. #8
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    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    a vortex tube attached to the racal suit?
    Bill D

  9. #9
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    A mini split needs a 3" diameter hole through the wall. I bet removing 1/2 of one brick would work. It also needs power and control wires fed to it through the wall. A good one is much more efficient and quieter then a window unit.
    I found Fredrich has the quietest units. Some brands are 3 times louder at low speed. Some of theirs are rated louder then others.
    Bill D
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 07-11-2020 at 2:33 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    San Antonio, TX
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    What I did when I lived in Plano, was get the biggest window unit AC that ran on 110V. I mounted on casters. We had a three car garage (a double garage door and a single garage door). I would open the single garage door, wheel the AC unit out, and close the garage door so it set on the top of the unit. I got some canvas drop cloths. Cut a strip that I stapled to some 1/4 inch plywood strips. I tucked the strips into the metal slot in the door (I had put foam insulation panels in the garage door. The canvas hung down to "seal" (term used loosely) the bottom (i.e. block the gap not filled by the AC unit. This left a gap at the top, which I had planned to make an equilvalent canvas curtain for. Definitely would take the edge off, and make the space usuable. Did have to give it some time after I set it up to cool down. Down here in San Antonio I put in a minisplit that makes the shop quite pleasant (I did insulate though).

    John

  11. #11
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    mini split can also be used as heatpump in winter if you pay a few hundred more for that option.
    Bill D.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    There are two types of cooling vests sold today. Ones with tubes that allow the flow of chilled water like race car drivers use. They tether you down with hoses. Or vests that hold prefrozen ice packs that slowly melt and condensation drips down your undies.
    Bill D
    Links are not an endorsment just some stuff I had found earlier.

    https://www.mycoolingstore.com/cooling-vest.html

    https://www.amazon.com/Water-Circula...H04CEP397EQEWJ

    https://www.amazon.com/FlexiFreeze-I...AQEXBGSFMX6HYZ
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 07-12-2020 at 12:03 PM.

  13. I purchased a used 5 ton a/c unit for my shop. But on extremely hot days of 95+ degrees it doesnít cut it. Unfortunately my shop was built in the 1960ís and although it was insulated a good portion has decayed or fallen down. It was a red iron framed metal building with roll on insulation made for metal buildings. I plan to take some new faced fiberglass insulation and cut it into strips to fill the gaps along the bottom and tops of the walls both where the walls meet the ceilings and where the walls meet the floors. I also plan have a roofer come in and cover up my clear fiberglass skylights with no matching roof metal as my skylights have been damaged over the years and have a few holes in them. Then I intend to get some wood strips, seam tape and new fiberglass faced insulation and redo the areas along the ceilings and walls that have fallen. I think that once I do that my 5 ton a/c unit will cool it off nicely. My local a/c guy has a 5 ton package unit that he said is in mint condition and works great that he would sell me for $800 which includes the install so then I would have two 5 ton units and lots of heat in the winter. Might install it on the other end of my shop than my current 5 ton unit. My shop is roughly 7,000sq/ft not including the offices or bathrooms.

  14. #14
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    Nov 2004
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    East Texas
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    (Bill Dufour). these look remotely like the shoulder thing I wore after replacement surgery. ice water in a bucket that flowed though a shoulder pad to keep the joint iced.
    Last edited by Mitchell Garnett; 07-12-2020 at 3:37 PM.

  15. #15
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    Jul 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio
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    I have done for years as one of the post above did,
    Cheap window unit with garage door closed on it. Foam boards to fill in the gaps not taken by the AC unit.

    I hit luck and did not know it at the time. Was at the big box hardware store and they had a stack of small window AC's for $35. I though I would give it a try.
    "Remember back in the day, when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work?"
    - Rick Dale

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