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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Its starting to reach the upper 90s here in N Texas and I really don't want to give up working in my Garage Shop...

I need some ideas/help. I have a furnace blower that I want to use, but using it as a direct fan makes it a bit too windy...

Has anyone else used a blower to help lower temps? I don't want to build a swamp cooler, but if there is a way to use this blower but to somehow defuse the air a little so its not so windy?
 

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I don't live in the deep South ( live in NH) but i use a box fan in my shop to help with dust control when sanding. When I do this, I place a furnace filter on the intake side of the fan to capture a good portion of the dust. It works reasonably well. So try placing your fan directly near you and reverse the air flow away from you.
 

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Old Methane Gas Cloud
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Based on my experience. A ceiling will prevent a lot of roof heat from getting into the garage. Insulation in the ceiling is even better. Finally insulate the walls.

If you put Reynolds wrap under the wallboard with the shiny side toward the shop you'll stop even more of the radiated heat.

I've done everything except the Reynolds wrap and the garage is typically 5 degrees cooler than outside with the door open.
 

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The New Guy
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I have a 12,000 btu window unit in my garage/shop. Works great and was free from my sister. Short of a window unit (or some other form of central cooling) a swamp cooler is likely your only option for actually cooling the place. You can get some air flow which will make it feel cooler if you build a diffuser box and feed it with your blower. It's basically just a big box with baffles to direct the air from the blower to a larger area.
 

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I'm in Georgia with a well insulated shop, but it still gets pretty warm by late afternoon....
I set a pedestal fan near where I'm working.... Does the job for me....
 

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I'm in the Dallas area and understand completely. If you are going to use the blower you could construct a grill on the front to direct the air in different directions so it doesn't blow so direct. It would just be easier to get a pedistal shop fan.
 

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SW Oklahoma here, I have one giant swamp cooler hung from the ceiling and one smaller mobile in my 2500 ft shop.
There is no way I could work without them. I am planning adding at least one or two more this summer.
All I can say is they make my shop workable, and I am in it 10 hours a day. With out them I would not be able to work.
 

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Cover your garage shop with grape vines. Looks good. Edible. I agree that ceiling insulation is #1.
Even here at 53N, the late afternoon summer sun can heat up the house very quickly. In a week, our days are nearly 18 hours long!
My entire 14' x 40' afternoon house wall has grape vines to the eavestroughs. On a trellis 2' out from the house wall. Fully leafed out, I see 15 degrees F difference in all the rooms on that side of my house, with the windows shut.
 

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It was a hot one today for sure. At one point my Ti said it was 99. Not sure if I believe that but it was still really hot in the Houston area.
A couple of years ago, we replaced the siding on our house. While it was down, I had the contractor insulate the portion of the wall where the garage is. Only the living space is insulated so the outside walls are uninsulated.
Then I installed an energy efficient garage door.
Basically, neither of those helped. Last year it was 95-102 in the garage - same as outside.
So...

I bought and installed a 12K Fedders split system air conditioner and installed it on the outside wall. I haven't had any problems out of the homeowners assoc because the outside unit sits behind the privacy fence so there is no evidence of the AC unit except for a conduit line and a covered line for the refrigerant.

Then I had 11 inches (R38) of blown insulation added to the ceiling. WOW! That was the ticket. The heat from the attic was simply radiating through the sheetrock into the garage. A plus is it added valuable sound deadner as well.

Today I have been keeping the temp at 73-74 deg F. in the garage and only going out the overhead door when I need to and keeping it closed the rest of the time. Air filtration unit is running and I also have a box fan with a filter taped over the inlet side to help reduce the airborne dust.

The AC also has a heat mode so winter temps don't drop below 70 deg F inside the shop.

Hope this helps.
Mike
 

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I have a 12,000 btu window unit in my garage/shop. Works great and was free from my sister. Short of a window unit (or some other form of central cooling) a swamp cooler is likely your only option for actually cooling the place. You can get some air flow which will make it feel cooler if you build a diffuser box and feed it with your blower. It's basically just a big box with baffles to direct the air from the blower to a larger area.
I also have a window unit (actually 2, but that is a longer story)

I bought a 12k BTU unit for less then $300 at Lowes. About the same price anywhere else.

For a blower, SAMS club has some a floor model that puts out a lot of air and is relatively inexpensive. The big problem with any fan is blowing dust.

A swamp cooler, in my experience, has that same problem with blowing dust. It's whole design requires a lot of air through the medium.

George
 

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With using a swamp cooler, do you realize a lot of moisture and or rust on the surfaces of the TS and other tools?

I have three window units in my 28' x 28' shop. My shop is split in the middle with a wall, and door. One unit 8K btu on the big tool side and two 5k btu units on the finishing side of the shop. I need to replace the 8k unit, it isn't cooling right now. Another $100 down the drain and it is only 4 yrs old.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
After yesterday I've decided I am going to do something this weekend no matter what. OAT was reading 101, and inside was 99. And I spend most of the day moving things around and unloading a new (to me) 40" Metal Lathe (1200+ pounds). Not even a direct line from water faucet could keep up with my sweating :(

Window unit's aren't too much of an option, my garage walls are brick on the outside w/ no windows. Not too sure how the window units would work if I placed them on the floor under the Garage door which would be my only real option. Would probably loose all my air right back out the open area. If I cannot find any other solutions that work, I might try to somehow build an encasement for a window unit that would plum the exhaust heat into the attic, but my initial gut reaction is that it will be a lot of work and little gain other than burning up window units pretty quick.

Walls and ceiling are drywall. I'll be looking into blowing insulation into the attic this weekend, sounds like that's been the biggest bang for the buck for a few of you. I've never done that type of work before, but I cannot see as being too tough... Even if I cannot use a blower, I'm sure throwing a few bags by hand would have to make some difference too. My father-in-law recommended getting the foam sheet insulation and cutting it to fit the panels on the Garage door, then glue them into place against the metal. He says it helped a lot in his Garage in South Texas. I keep my doors open most of the time I am working so I have the extra space though.

I know they sell the swamp coolers in this area, but not too sure how well one would really work. Humidity is pretty high already here as it is. My reading about them says the higher the humidity the less efficient they are at working.

For those of you using Window Units and Swamp Coolers: How do you keep shop dust from constantly clogging them up? I'm sure a good dust collector helps, but I would think that even with a good collector you would still have issues with dust in their filters.

With Swamp coolers do you notice a lot more issues with wood expansion/contraction? I would think that even with sanding you would notice the fine dust being more "sticky." What about metal tools and rust? I do have some bare metal projects that I work on that may sit on the mill or lathe for a few days as I work through them as well.
 

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I installed a room ac when I lived in a different house. We closed in the doors, poured cement to level with the house slab.

I cut an opening in the drywall and framed up the opening for the window unit. Then I drilled four holes through the martar from the inside of the garage to indicate where the opening should be cut.
I used a masonary grinder blade to cut through most of the brick, then broke it out. Thankfully the wall didn't fall down.

I don't recall if I put an angle iron support over the window to support the brick above it or not. That was a long time ago.

Fortunately, my breaker panel was on the outside of the house, and just down the same wall, so I trenched for pvc pipe and ran elect supply for the AC. It turned out really nice. AC w heat strip.

I wish I had that house back, but not the ex.! :)
 

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Really underground garage
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If you're talking "brick veneer"....which is one layer of brick over conventional stick framing(vs solid brick as found in old buildings/houses,where it can be 4,5,6 bricks thick)....


It's very doable to cut a hole in for....in your case an air cond.4 hours is a reasonable time.To include a header in the framing,which BTW will make installing the brick's 3x5 steel,lintel an absolute breeze(gets a touch complicated if we have to put one in with no "backside" access....but we do it all the time).

Good luck,IMO....air cond is the only way to fly.And plenty of insulation!
 

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After yesterday I've decided I am going to do something this weekend no matter what. OAT was reading 101, and inside was 99. And I spend most of the day moving things around and unloading a new (to me) 40" Metal Lathe (1200+ pounds). Not even a direct line from water faucet could keep up with my sweating :(

Window unit's aren't too much of an option, my garage walls are brick on the outside w/ no windows. Not too sure how the window units would work if I placed them on the floor under the Garage door which would be my only real option. Would probably loose all my air right back out the open area. If I cannot find any other solutions that work, I might try to somehow build an encasement for a window unit that would plum the exhaust heat into the attic, but my initial gut reaction is that it will be a lot of work and little gain other than burning up window units pretty quick.

Walls and ceiling are drywall. I'll be looking into blowing insulation into the attic this weekend, sounds like that's been the biggest bang for the buck for a few of you. I've never done that type of work before, but I cannot see as being too tough... Even if I cannot use a blower, I'm sure throwing a few bags by hand would have to make some difference too. My father-in-law recommended getting the foam sheet insulation and cutting it to fit the panels on the Garage door, then glue them into place against the metal. He says it helped a lot in his Garage in South Texas. I keep my doors open most of the time I am working so I have the extra space though.

I know they sell the swamp coolers in this area, but not too sure how well one would really work. Humidity is pretty high already here as it is. My reading about them says the higher the humidity the less efficient they are at working.

For those of you using Window Units and Swamp Coolers: How do you keep shop dust from constantly clogging them up? I'm sure a good dust collector helps, but I would think that even with a good collector you would still have issues with dust in their filters.

With Swamp coolers do you notice a lot more issues with wood expansion/contraction? I would think that even with sanding you would notice the fine dust being more "sticky." What about metal tools and rust? I do have some bare metal projects that I work on that may sit on the mill or lathe for a few days as I work through them as well.
If you cannot install a window unit then you will not be able to install a"swamp cooler."

There are modern (new design) a/c units that do not require a large hole in the wall. Just because your house is brick veneer does not preclude a hole in the wall. Removing brick is very easy.

The only relatively difficult part is the dust generated from the masonry blade you will use in your circular saw.

I would cur the hole and install the window a/c.

George
 

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Mitsubishi makes a split system unit. The only holes you need in the wall are for the two copper lines that run thru it to the unit you hang on the wall, usually close to the ceiling.

I am not sure of the sizes they offer nor the price. You can goggle Mitsubishi to find out more.

I just goggled the company and here is the link on sizes and prices.

http://www.acdirect.com/ductless_cooling_heating_.php
 

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Its starting to reach the upper 90s here in N Texas and I really don't want to give up working in my Garage Shop...

I need some ideas/help. I have a furnace blower that I want to use, but using it as a direct fan makes it a bit too windy...

Has anyone else used a blower to help lower temps? I don't want to build a swamp cooler, but if there is a way to use this blower but to somehow defuse the air a little so its not so windy?
this is what i do i live in fla. it get warm here also, i have a 12x20 shop with 6 window's and i have a 36" exhaust fan in the window that is in line with my table saw and i have a 3x3 work space next to the fan where i spray and sand, now in the other end and on the outer wall i have another 36"exhaust fan their also, now i can turn both on and leve the 36" door open and have a nice brezze and keep's the dust all out also, never a heat problum that way , on your fan can you change the speed, like a smaller pully? if it is on the motor than maybe a wedge placed in forunt of the open place that would make the air split up ? good luck
 

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I'm like Bernie, box fan with a filter in front of it. It's easy to move around and the filter will pick up the dust rather than blow it through. I put in a MERV 13 filter with a cheap furnace filter in front to pick up the big stuff.
 

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I live near Houston and I feel your pain... and heat. I have a detached three-car garage that is my "shop" and the garage doors face east, therefore I get morning sun. It is still plenty hot by noon. I have a boxed-in attic fan which helps, but by 3 pm it is just blowing hot air. I insulated the attic and put in whirly-things which made a big difference, but it is still too hot for my liking. I am really thinking of some sort of A/C.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I don't own the house I live in so cutting into anything other than sheetrock is not much of an option... I have an agreement with the owner that is basically that I can make modifications to the house, but the mods must be removed before moving out.

As soon as the rains stop this week I'm going to buy and blow insulation into the attic above the garage. Im looking at a cost of around $200, which isn't too bad.

Once I am done with the insulation I think Im going to look at buying either a portable or window air conditioner. Depending on what I end up with I'll build some kind of exhaust that will vent to the attic.
 
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