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Thread: Evaporative cooler for shop?

  1. #1
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    Evaporative cooler for shop?

    Anybody try to use an evaporative cooler for the shop in the summer? I need something this summer I can't deal with 90 degrees in the shop everyday, either an ac unit or something, just wondering what you guys might have tried



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    Re: Evaporative cooler for shop?

    Well... at work it is not climate controlled so we have a couple Big *** Fans, and then smaller pedestal fans , and fans in the rafters, ... did I mention fans. In our weld shop they have a couple swamp coolers that get turned on but that just adds humidity. So I can only say fans and iced tea.

    But at home my shop has air conditioning. I do not stick weld, nor do I use flux core in the shop. I do have to be careful when tig welding when it is on. Just blowing the gas but other than that ac is great.

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    Re: Evaporative cooler for shop?

    If your daytime humidity gets much above 25% a swamp cooler won't work very well. It will just make the shop muggier.
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    Re: Evaporative cooler for shop?

    I use a large swamp cooler works great but we have low humidity, if the temp drops inside the shop 10-15 degrees with a breeze. work is easy your still sweating but the air movement makes it comfortable. if you have roll up doors I dont know how you could use ac. I can park equipment outside the main door with it up and work on it and the cool breeze through the door makes it bearable
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    Re: Evaporative cooler for shop?

    I use evaporative in my shop also outside on cart .
    AC would cost to mush to run but great for the office.

    Dave

    FYI I use small 1/4 - 1/3 HP side draft.
    Down draft bring hot air down.
    The side draft push the up and out.

    Quote Originally Posted by MetalMan23 View Post
    Anybody try to use an evaporative cooler for the shop in the summer? I need something this summer I can't deal with 90 degrees in the shop everyday, either an ac unit or something, just wondering what you guys might have tried



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    Last edited by smithdoor; 1 Week Ago at 10:01 AM.

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    Re: Evaporative cooler for shop?

    Insulation and an AC or a mini split heat pump are probably your best bet. On the cheap, you might be able to get by with a dehumidifier and some fans. Use the cooler night are to cool off the shop, and then run the dehumidifier to make it feel more comfortable. If your insulation is up to snuff, that can probably work OK for you.

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    Re: Evaporative cooler for shop?

    Only 90F in the shop
    Where I live it has gone over 104 and July and August has not hit.
    I have had over 50 years with hot weather and welding and machine work.
    I would enjoy only 90F in my shop. Employees drop like Flys with out cooling here.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by MetalMan23 View Post
    Anybody try to use an evaporative cooler for the shop in the summer? I need something this summer I can't deal with 90 degrees in the shop everyday, either an ac unit or something, just wondering what you guys might have tried



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    Re: Evaporative cooler for shop?

    I have one of those big portable coolers, it will cool an easy 3600 square feet with all the shop doors wide open. If you do close the doors the humidity it makes will choke you, but on 105 degree days its great with the doors open.
    A couple of pedestal fans to help circulate to the other 3000 sq ft of the shop help too.

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    Re: Evaporative cooler for shop?

    I used to live in the high desert (northern NM) where the humidity was regularly in the single digits. The house had two huge swamp coolers that did cool the house pretty well, but you have to leave the windows cracked to draw air in, and that brings dust with it. We could clean the counters one day and by the next day they were coated in fine dust again. It was enough of an annoyance that we replaced the swamp coolers with conventional AC and were much happier....even though it wasn't regularly too hot there (hot summer day was mid-80s).

    I've spent a lot of time in CT and I'm not sure a swamp cooler would work there very well. As Louie said....insulation and a mini-split might be the way to go. I partitioned and insulated 1,000sf of my shop building and added a mini-split. It keeps it so nice in there I can't imagine living without it! Even in the hottest part of the summer it only costs me something like $30 a month to keep it in the mid-70s.
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    Re: Evaporative cooler for shop?

    Gman, I have to disagree about the direction of air thru the windows. With a swamp cooler you have to open windows to let air escape that's been pushed in by the swamp cooler. During the day we have a kitchen window opened about 6"-8" and a glass slider open about the same. Late in the evening we close those and open our bedroom window until we go to bed and shut the cooler down. By doing those things we direct the air where we want it. Since our city water is hard I feed the cooler with soft water and still have a bleed off on it to keep the mineral from building up too strong in it which will turn the pads into bricks in one season. I get 3 seasons out of a set of pads. Using the soft water I still get some mineral deposits on the pad frames but it's sodium not calcium and washes off easily.
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    Re: Evaporative cooler for shop?

    Just think of living your hole life with no cooling just a open window.

    That how my grandparents did never had any cooling at 114F.

    The good old days 😪

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by 12V71 View Post
    I have one of those big portable coolers, it will cool an easy 3600 square feet with all the shop doors wide open. If you do close the doors the humidity it makes will choke you, but on 105 degree days its great with the doors open.
    A couple of pedestal fans to help circulate to the other 3000 sq ft of the shop help too.

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    Re: Evaporative cooler for shop?

    Quote Originally Posted by mla2ofus View Post
    If your daytime humidity gets much above 25% a swamp cooler won't work very well. It will just make the shop muggier.
    My boss wasted several grand on a swamp heater i live in the jungle of central MO. On a hot day with the shop closed up and it running it was unbearable but i worked for a place that owned a laundrymate in the same jungle area it worked as good as any ac. Also i think it would make tools rust.

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    Re: Evaporative cooler for shop?

    What is a laundrymate?

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    Re: Evaporative cooler for shop?

    Quote Originally Posted by mla2ofus View Post
    Gman, I have to disagree about the direction of air thru the windows. With a swamp cooler you have to open windows to let air escape that's been pushed in by the swamp cooler. During the day we have a kitchen window opened about 6"-8" and a glass slider open about the same. Late in the evening we close those and open our bedroom window until we go to bed and shut the cooler down. By doing those things we direct the air where we want it. Since our city water is hard I feed the cooler with soft water and still have a bleed off on it to keep the mineral from building up too strong in it which will turn the pads into bricks in one season. I get 3 seasons out of a set of pads. Using the soft water I still get some mineral deposits on the pad frames but it's sodium not calcium and washes off easily.
    I guess I never thought much about which way the air was flowing, just that the entire house was coated in dust....awful. Switched to AC, no dust, constant temp and humidity regardless of what it was like outside...better in every way. I also noticed that my allergies got a LOT better after getting rid of the swamp coolers. We also noticed that our AC units were much quieter than the swamp coolers they replaced. After we replaced our swamp coolers I used to chuckle when the neighbors would winterize theirs, or pay someone to do it for them....no thank you.

    When we went to sell our house we did a lot of market research and noticed that realtors always pointed out when a house had AC and listed it as a bonus.

    If swamp coolers weren't cheaper to buy and slightly cheaper to run nobody would bother with them.
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    Re: Evaporative cooler for shop?

    Quote Originally Posted by MetalMan23 View Post
    Anybody try to use an evaporative cooler for the shop in the summer? I need something this summer I can't deal with 90 degrees in the shop everyday, either an ac unit or something, just wondering what you guys might have tried



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    Re: Evaporative cooler for shop?

    I have a 2500 sq ft shop with a 18' peak. It's barely insulated because work just keeps filling the shop. I run 4x dehumidifiers at the 2 doors and we empty them twice a day. So its pulling about 15 gallons a day out of the air. We keep the doors closed but when it gets to the point where all 100k pounds of machinery and metal heats up, it's basically impossible to cool it back down.

    If we have cool nights, I leave the rear doors open and fans on to cool down the machinery. I want to try geothermal cooling using a home built radiator system that will expel excess water to a sprinkler on the roof. I think it will help but only some.

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    Re: Evaporative cooler for shop?

    Quote Originally Posted by John T View Post
    Did you build your new shop or you still at the other place?
    Still at the other place, probably will be for a while

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    Re: Evaporative cooler for shop?

    Quote Originally Posted by MetalMan23 View Post
    Still at the other place, probably will be for a while

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    Thats a tough call then... you probably don't want to dump money into anything permanent.

    those portacool units look nice but $$$$

    maybe just a big fan would do ya....
    you said you stick weld a lot...

    don't sweat it, winter is almost here...
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    Re: Evaporative cooler for shop?

    I could buy a mini split, take it with me when I leave

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    Re: Evaporative cooler for shop?

    Quote Originally Posted by MetalMan23 View Post
    I could buy a mini split, take it with me when I leave
    That's exactly what I was thinking....they aren't terribly big/heavy and it's really just one hole through the wall and a bracket for the air handler. The outside unit can even be mounted on a couple of short 2x4s rather than mounted to the wall.
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    Re: Evaporative cooler for shop?

    Have you tried a 48" "Heat Buster" fan ?,,, I have two of them in my 57X45 shed,, and you will turn them on when it gets hot.

    Actually, working 15 feet from one of them is better than an evaporative cooler out west where the humidity is low enough.

    I am not recommending the $199 fan at Tractor Supply,, but, a belt drive fan with some horsepower.



    I have this exact one, and a larger one that was taken out of a paint booth.
    The second one is mounted up near the ceiling so it takes up no floor space.
    It is on a giant hinge, so I can rotate it to the area of the shop that I am in.

    The first one is aimed out my rollup door, from halfway back in the shop,,
    the whole shop gets some ventilation from that one.

    I also have two large squirrel cage fans,, like out of an industrial furnace.
    Those are aimed out the door, and get turned on when I am welding,, or sweeping,,
    The squirrel cages are too old and noisy to run all the time.

    With all four fans running,, I can clean my ENTIRE shop with a little electric leaf blower in 10 minutes!!

    The best thing about the Heat Buster is that you can take it with you easily,,

    My daughter purchased a house about 4 years ago,,
    We took that Heat Buster to the house (it was not what you would call,,, "clean") and a Stihl backpack leaf blower,

    With the Heat Buster aimed out a window,, we ran the leaf blower throughout the house.

    The change was AMAZING!! You can not believe how much dust accumulates behind baseboard trim, and,,
    all the other places in a house that dust will accumulate.

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  26. #22
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    Re: Evaporative cooler for shop?

    The best way to determine if an evaporator cooler will work for you is to go to your favorite weather site and check "Dew Point". It is much more accurate than humidity for determining effectiveness. If the dew point is above 50*, the evaporator cooler will be marginal or just a "humidifier". Out here in the desert it is how we determine whether to use evap or A/C during monsoon season.

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    Re: Evaporative cooler for shop?

    I have 4 large Portacools in the shop, one small one in the office, and one in my garage. My roll up doors are always open for general dilution ventilation, so when it gets hot at least the coolers move air. I can also point them outward to blow dust outside. Humidity in my area is relatively low so they are a blessing for us.

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    Re: Evaporative cooler for shop?

    Looks great 👍

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelon View Post
    I have 4 large Portacools in the shop, one small one in the office, and one in my garage. My roll up doors are always open for general dilution ventilation, so when it gets hot at least the coolers move air. I can also point them outward to blow dust outside. Humidity in my area is relatively low so they are a blessing for us.

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    Re: Evaporative cooler for shop?

    Quote Originally Posted by MetalMan23 View Post
    Anybody try to use an evaporative cooler for the shop in the summer? I need something this summer I can't deal with 90 degrees in the shop everyday, either an ac unit or something, just wondering what you guys might have tried



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    How big is the shop? You can pick up a Goodman 5 ton 16 Seer split system for about three thousand, which will cool down a small shop nicely. You just put an AprilAir filter on the return and let the supply blow into the shop. Maybe make some adjustable louvers. But if you hang it high it will take care of the shop. You connect the two units with two copper pipes that you braze in, one perhaps 7/8" to 1 1/8" depending on the length of run and the other 3/8". And a piece of thermostat wire to connect the condenser and air handler. Both units require a separate 240 volt run to the panel for AC power. You need fifty amps for the condenser and fifteen amps for the air handler.

    You can get a mini-split but they do not recover well. They are quiet though you will need a good flaring tool to install the piping which would probably be 1/2" to 5/8" and 1/4". You will need a piece of control wire usually a three-conductor with a ground for power and communication. Usually, you have to buy the 250-foot length of it for about $250.

    This unit with three indoor units, the copper piping the indoor branch box, control wire, and exterior trough to house wire and piping is over 8,000. But it is nearly silent while running all out. The fans turn so slowly that they make no noise. To do it right you need a scale to weigh in the freon. You can save $1,500 and get a unit rated equally BTU-wise, it has just one exterior condensing fan and a much smaller condenser coil. This is one I just put in for a friend.

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