Cooling my Garage Workshop

  • Advertise with us

« back to Coffee Lounge forum

Forum topic by Seer posted 06-17-2008 05:30 PM 25461 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Seer's profile


311 posts in 4560 days

06-17-2008 05:30 PM

I rent the house I live in and I also live in Phoenix, Az where it is too hot to work in the summer. I am looking at either an Evaporitive cooler I saw at home depot (it is a small roll around unit) or getting an AC unit that mounts in a window and putting it on a cart to cool my shop.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this matter or suggestions?


29 replies so far

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 4662 days

#1 posted 06-17-2008 05:34 PM

The only draw back I could think of to the evaporative cooler, would be the extra humidity you introduce into your shop, ie. rusted tools.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4906 days

#2 posted 06-17-2008 05:41 PM

Humidity will rust all your tools out using a cooler. I use an AC unit in the window. Cools and gets rid of any humidity which is a concern in this part of Texas. Not so much in AZ.

Putting an AC unit on a cart doesn’t do you any good. You need to stick the hot end outside.

Just buy a pleted filter and add it to the front of the AC to keep dust out. I have to replace my filter about once a week.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View CharlieM1958's profile


16289 posts in 5136 days

#3 posted 06-17-2008 06:23 PM

You need one of these.

They just need to exhaust to the outside via a dryer-duct-like tube.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Seer's profile


311 posts in 4560 days

#4 posted 06-17-2008 07:40 PM

Thanks I like that I have ideas to go by now


View Paul's profile


660 posts in 5010 days

#5 posted 06-18-2008 12:38 AM

I do have large trees that help shade the roof, but I live in Texas where we’ve hit 100 degrees already. I work in the detached garage with the door up. I have three fans that I picked up off the curb around town that were thrown away for other reasons that they didn’t work (noisy, broken base, etc) I think it’s bearable as long as the air is moving and drink plenty of water. They’re also a low-tech dust system blowing dust out the door.

-- Paul, Kentucky

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 4655 days

#6 posted 06-18-2008 01:24 AM

For your dust collector you will want to buy a .5 micron filter. It will be a necessity for you to keep healthy. An ordinary bag filter will put you in the hospital and give you serious lung problems.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 4717 days

#7 posted 06-18-2008 02:11 AM

air conditioning gets clogged with dust and the other causes rust.. can I recommend an iced cold drink (no alcohol near the tools) and if that doesn’t work, Ice down the pants. Good luck and stay cool

-- making sawdust....

View JB's profile


53 posts in 4546 days

#8 posted 06-19-2008 11:20 PM

I have central air in my shop. Have to change filters a lot. I just had the freon charge just minutes ago. It was 88 in there today. I was dripping sweat all over my project. It is cooling down as we speak! YES!

-- JB

View Big_Bob's profile


173 posts in 4627 days

#9 posted 06-20-2008 10:52 PM


I live in the desert of Southern California a few years I installed a window evaporative cooler that I bought at Home Depot. It is a 450 CFM unit made for window mount, but I cut a hole in the wall. The unit I bought has only 12 inches or so that it sticks outside the shop. It works great. My shop is cooler than my house in the summertime. One tip would to mount the cooler so that it is in the shade most of the time. That is a big help.

I think Phoenix is like the area I live in. We do not get rust. The relative humidity was 10% yesterday.

Also, unless you live in a dry climate the evaporative cooler will not work. Phoenix, Arizona you should be OK.

-- Bob Clark, Tool Collector and Sawdust Maker

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 4810 days

#10 posted 06-21-2008 04:29 AM

The big problem with portable air units is the moisture collection tank. I used different models as back up in data centers. They contain a plastic tank that catch the water and will fill up a couple times a day so it becomes agravating to have to empty it so frequently. A window unit on a portable cart will have the same problem. You would have to come up with a way to catch and drain the water outside.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View bbqking's profile


328 posts in 4641 days

#11 posted 06-21-2008 10:42 AM

My shop is 1/2 the basement of my house. Humidity can be a problem in Georgia. I run two 10 tonne AC units with ceiling fans and it works out pretty good. You could hang meat in here. There are 2 attic exhaust fans on thermostats to clear that space. You guys probably wouldn’t want the electric bill, but I moved down here from Iowa, and at times paid comparable prices for heat up there. bbqKing

-- bbqKing, Lawrenceville

View Pretzel's profile


93 posts in 4663 days

#12 posted 06-24-2008 06:37 AM

The problem with the window unit on the cart is the heat the unit will generate, tried that once in my auto shop, mounted a window unit in interior wall, made shop hot from heat of electric motor. If you use ac mount to exterior wall in shaded area if possible, or build an awning over it, any shade will help to prolong life of unit.

-- Pretzel L8agn

View Garageshop's profile


1 post in 4541 days

#13 posted 06-25-2008 05:39 AM

I live in Chandler, AZ and have a thing called A Cool Door that works great but may not be a good fit for your rental situation. It has an evaporative unit built into a security door (neighborhood restrictions don’t allow swamp coolers on the outside but do allow security doors). There is an attic fan that pulls outside air through the door and exhausts it through the ceiling into the attic. Last week when it was 111 outside, it was 85 in the garage, a 26 degree drop… not bad. I can work fine at 85. Also, because it is so dry here, I don’t have problems with the humidity building up. Just take normal precautions to prevent rusted tools.

The bad news is that you have to mount the fan in the ceiling and have a side door to the outside. Also it costs a bit over $1k, still a bunch cheaper than A/C and a whole bunch cheaper to run.

Good luck—- Garageshop


View Scott 's profile


103 posts in 4277 days

#14 posted 06-26-2009 07:04 PM

I have considered AC in my shop. My only concern though is not humidity but condensation, My full time job is in the steel industry and when we get in a hot coil from a mill in the winter its soaking wet from the temp difference. I am concerened that when I leave the shop and turn off the AC that the nice cool cast iron surface on my TS will develop condensation when the temp goes back up. Does anyone with AC see this problem?

-- Scott, South Carolina

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 4376 days

#15 posted 06-26-2009 08:07 PM

The problem i’ve seen with condensation, is when the air temperature is higher than the equipment/tool temperature, the water in the air will condense on the cooler equipment.

This isn’t a problem if you maintain the space at the same temperature all the time, but if the space heats up faster than the tool you will have a problem if you are in a high humidity environment.

-- San Diego, CA

showing 1 through 15 of 29 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics