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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-24-2014, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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For sometime now I have pondered the possibility of using a portable A/C unit to cool the area in my shop where I am working at any one itme. Right now I have one of those large fans that I keep dragging around behind me and to some extent it works. I'm wondering if anybody has tried an actual refrigerating system like a portable A/C sytem in their shop. Remember, my shop is a large tin building about 40' x 80' and temperatures in the summer runs from 90 to 100 degrees most of the time during the day al summer long here in West Texas.

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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-24-2014, 10:27 AM
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Bad think about a portable unit is you have to vent the heat (exhaust) outside or it is a losing battle.

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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-24-2014, 11:24 AM
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I would think that the biggest bang for your buck would be to deflect the outside heat out fist (insulation)... then cooling by any means would be more efficient.

I first thought after that was evaporative coolers (swamp coolers... but then tossed around that the rise in humidity might play havoc with your cast iron goods. But being how dry it is there, that might not be a factor at all. In Eastern Washigton...We had Swamp coolers in our shop and it cooled things dpown , but was still dry enough there to not be a problem.

But yes, insulation would be the first step with any of that. Otherwise, you are atill working at trying to cool "part" of a closed in oven. Mine? Funny how the temp drops in mine just by turning on the DC and sucking the air out to the outside.

EDIT-- Last helped by putting in one of those temp-regulated electric gable fans to suck out the "roof air"...

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Last edited by MAFoElffen; 06-24-2014 at 11:32 AM.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-24-2014, 11:35 AM
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Just get a couple more of those large fans. Then you won't have to drag one around.

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-24-2014, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MAFoElffen View Post
I would think that the biggest bang for your buck would be to deflect the outside heat out fist (insulation)... then cooling by any means would be more efficient.

I first thought after that was evaporative coolers (swamp coolers... but then tossed around that the rise in humidity might play havoc with your cast iron goods. But being how dry it is there, that might not be a factor at all. In Eastern Washigton...We had Swamp coolers in our shop and it cooled things dpown , but was still dry enough there to not be a problem.

But yes, insulation would be the first step with any of that. Otherwise, you are atill working at trying to cool "part" of a closed in oven. Mine? Funny how the temp drops in mine just by turning on the DC and sucking the air out to the outside.

EDIT-- Last helped by putting in one of those temp-regulated electric gable fans to suck out the "roof air"...
Mike,
Where I buy my lumber they do have a large swamp cooler running. There are two large over head doors that are open all of the time. The cooler is setting only a few feet from their Unisaw. Apparently the dry conditions don't effect the cast iron. My shop is open also. I may talk to the people about the cooler the next time that I go to the lumber yard.

Jerry
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-24-2014, 01:06 PM
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Jerry,

I think the size of your shop is a blessing and a curse. A portable AC unit would probably be ineffective, since most of them are in the 1-2 ton range, unless you are willing to spend some serious money. We actually permanently installed a few 'portable' units on one of the older classes of ship I was on to keep the control system cabinets happy in the gulf of Mexico. They were 2 ton units and worked well for that task, and produced gallons of water each day in the humid Gulf.

We purchased some of them used from a rental company. You may want to see if someone near you rents them so you can see how effective they would be before committing to the purchase. This will also allow you to see if you have the electrical load available for powering them.

I would start by recommending a setting up your fans to exhaust out a door on one end and draw in from the other. This might give you a decent draft. The old standard roof ventilator turbine could draw the hot air off and also induce a draft for free.

Swamp coolers work as well, and as you've mentioned above it is probably dry enough that a little extra humdity won't hurt.

If you want to go the AC route, maybe think of dividing your shop up into storage and working spaces, so you don't have to waste the energy trying to cool the entire thing. To cool a 40 x 80 workshop space in your neck of the woods you are going to need to be in the 5+ ton range depending on height of ceiling, insulation, etc. Breaking it down in size or insulating could cut the load required by half.

As with everything in life, the solution is limitless depending on what you want to spend!

I personally deal with the Virginia Humidity and heat in summer by adjusting my work times when possible, and I use a big fan to blow out of the shop. This keeps from stirring sawdust up all over the place.

http://www.spot-coolers.com/about.php

http://www.mobileair.com/sizing-port...r-conditioners

Doug
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Last edited by kp91; 06-24-2014 at 01:13 PM.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-24-2014, 06:25 PM
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Just move to Canada
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-24-2014, 06:43 PM
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The same think that will keep your shop warm in the winter will keep it cool in the summer time, namely insulation. I have about 12 inches in my shop and I can go in there to cool off when the temp hits the high 30s to cool off (high 30s here is high 90s there). If you run the swamp cooler long enough it will get humid in there and that defeats the purpose. Some people use them here but by late afternoon they are making conditions worse instead of better.

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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-24-2014, 09:32 PM
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I like the idea of dividing the shop into a space you think you need and adding insulation. Then the possibilities increase exponentially.

My shop is about 23' by 27', insulated walls and about 12" in the ceiling. I live near Cincinnati and have no problems heating or cooling.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-25-2014, 06:43 AM
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Used to have an un-insulated tin shed for a shop located south of Phoenix, AZ. It was absolutely brutal in the summer. But, it was a dry heat.
I found a couple inexpensive portable swamp coolers worked well and could be moved easily on casters. They had refillable tanks instead of "hard wired" water lines to supply water to the pads. IIRC, a water hose could be attached, though.
Both ends of the shop were open (no doors) so, there was little chance for damp air to collect on ferrous surfaces.

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