Shop air conditioning

Bill DeShivs

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Jun 6, 2000
Messages
11,617
We had to cut down a large oak that shaded my shop last fall. This year the a/c couldn't keep up, and I don't sweat well.
Just finished installing a cheap mini split ac/heat pump in, and it feels like a meat locker!

I still have a 12000 BTU window unit mounted in the wall as an additional if I need it, and a "move and cool" unit in the office area, and a little 5000 BTU unit mounted in the office wall.

Like I said- I don't sweat well.
 

REK Knives

Moderator
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Apr 3, 2011
Messages
4,761
Mini splits are awesome, that's what I use too 👍
 

N.W. Gean

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
388
A climate controlled shop has long been a dream of mine. I hope to see it through this fall.
 

Scott Hanson

Moderator
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Sep 6, 2014
Messages
4,855
Sounds like it's about time for a central air unit to be installed. Until then may get up early and start work while the shop is still cool inside.
 

DanF

Gold Member
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Apr 17, 2017
Messages
1,032
Was going to post a quip, but maybe that’s a real thing.
 

Drew Riley

Riley Knife and Tool
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
4,108
Hanging a 60k BTU furnace in the corner of my garage shop was the best investment I ever made. I also put a WiFi thermostat in so that I can heat the shop up while I'm driving home from my day job, or sitting inside the house on the sofa. Great for the winter, but useless during the summer, unfortunately. Only thing I can use it for now is turning the blower on to circulate the hot air around a little bit.

Now that the shop has been averaging a cool 75 to 80 in the summer, however, I've been seriously considering a window unit. I actually already have a window unit that till work, but I have casement windows and would need to take the casement out and modify the window frame a bit.
 

Bill DeShivs

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Jun 6, 2000
Messages
11,617
All the iron running to my butt was a joke.

I don't do forging (except for a small part or two.) I make stock removal knives, but most of my business is vintage knife repair and restoration.
I try to keep my shop around the same temperature all year long, as that prevents condensation on tools and preserves epoxies and chemicals that I use. I may go to the shop to work at any time, so I want it ready to go.
Temperatures here run from zero in the winter to over 100 in the summer. I use oil-filled radiator heaters and have heat on the new split unit and large window unit if needed.
 

Bill DeShivs

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Jun 6, 2000
Messages
11,617
Hanging a 60k BTU furnace in the corner of my garage shop was the best investment I ever made. I also put a WiFi thermostat in so that I can heat the shop up while I'm driving home from my day job, or sitting inside the house on the sofa. Great for the winter, but useless during the summer, unfortunately. Only thing I can use it for now is turning the blower on to circulate the hot air around a little bit.

Now that the shop has been averaging a cool 75 to 80 in the summer, however, I've been seriously considering a window unit. I actually already have a window unit that till work, but I have casement windows and would need to take the casement out and modify the window frame a bit.
Drew- I can recommend not fooling around with a window unit. They don't last, nor do they work as well as the split units. The splits require a 3" hole in the wall for the lines-you can seal it after running the lines. Installation takes about 3 hours (for the first one.) The one ton units simply plug into a 120v outlet. The 18000 BTU units plug into a 220 socket. No wiring necessary. You will need an adapter from Amazon ($10), a set of refrigeration gauges, and a vacuum pump to do the installation correctly. Borrow the refrigeration tools and the friend that owns them.
 
Last edited:

Drew Riley

Riley Knife and Tool
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
4,108
Drew- I can recommend not fooling around with a window unit. They don't last, nor do they work as well as the split units. The splits require a 3" hole in the wall for the lines-you can seal it after running the lines. Installation takes about 3 hours (for the fist one.) The one ton units simply plug into a 120v outlet. The 18000 BTU units plug into a 220 socket. No wiring necessary. You will need an adapter from Amazon ($10), a set of refrigeration gauges, and a vacuum pump to do the installation correctly. Borrow the refrigeration tools and the friend that owns them.
You're probably right Bill. I only considered it because I already have the unit and it was free. A mini split would definitely be a wiser investment in the long run. Funny enough, I'm a commercial HVAC tech for my day job, so I already have all the tools I'd need to drop one in. After a quick google search, it looks like a 12k BTU is actually pretty reasonable as far as cost. I'd really only need cooling, though it might not be a bad idea to have both options, just as a backup to my furnace, which is a bit of overkill anyway. haha

You've given me something to think about for sure...
 

Bill DeShivs

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Jun 6, 2000
Messages
11,617
You're probably right Bill. I only considered it because I already have the unit and it was free. A mini split would definitely be a wiser investment in the long run. Funny enough, I'm a commercial HVAC tech for my day job, so I already have all the tools I'd need to drop one in. After a quick google search, it looks like a 12k BTU is actually pretty reasonable as far as cost. I'd really only need cooling, though it might not be a bad idea to have both options, just as a backup to my furnace, which is a bit of overkill anyway. haha

You've given me something to think about for sure...
They are about $525 on Ebay, shipped.
 

Drew Riley

Riley Knife and Tool
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
4,108
They are about $525 on Ebay, shipped.
I saw that. For some reason, I thought they were at least 2 or 3 times that cost (which, I guess they probably are if you pay for an installer), but that sounds about as reasonable as it can get for something that's not much harder to install than a regular window unit. If I don't get one this year, I'm most definitely going to grab one for next summer.
 

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

ilmarinen - MODERATOR
Moderator
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Aug 20, 2004
Messages
34,430
I have a mini-split cooling/heating my clean shop 24/7. I also run a humidifier 24/7. The clean shop is insulated well and is 260 Sq.ft/2060 Cu.Ft. It is on a 30 amp breaker, but it costs so little to run the mini-split I never noticed a change in the electric bill. I recommend these to anyone wanting to cool any insulated space.

The hot shop and grinding room are a different issue. They are much larger, open, and uninsulated. It would be foolish to try and cool them. I have a building size exhaust fan upstairs to draw air through the whole shop. It is thermostat controlled, but pretty much runs most of the time. That and a few direct fans take care of the hot shops.

In the summer, I spend some time in the hot shops and then go into the cool clean shop to have some water/soda and do some planning/thinking while I cool off.
The winter isn't bad out in the hot shops at all. Most of the time I just wear a flannel shirt.
 

A.McPherson

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Jan 27, 2012
Messages
2,387
Man, I really need to move back to somewhere more temperate! It'd be nice to wear jeans and flannel again...
Shorts, T-shirts and sandals are great if you're not slinging forge scale and sparks everywhere!
 

Nathan the Machinist

KnifeMaker / Machinist / Evil Genius
Moderator
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Feb 13, 2007
Messages
13,142
), but that sounds about as reasonable as it can get for something that's not much harder to install than a regular window unit.

And I guess you could install it anywhere. Meaning, you don't need a window. My shop space is funny and I need more BTUs than I have and I'm out of windows. I like this idea.
 
Top