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Old 01-20-2010, 07:50 PM   #1
rapter
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Default air conditioning the garage with central ac

I live in the Houston area where the heat and humidity together heats my garage like an oven during the summer. The only benefit from this heat is that I can get a sweaty workout fast.

I want to cool the garage with an ac, but HOA will not allow it I am sure. It would not fit well with the overall asthetics of the home anyway. My question is, if the garage is attached, would running an ac duct from the pre-existing ducts of the home and into the garage be beneficial? I would close the vent when the garage will not be in use, also, will this action cause a noticible decrease in cooling for the rest of the home? A celiling fan is already installed and vents on the garage door. Thanks for any ideas.
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Old 04-22-2010, 09:25 AM   #2
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Lightbulb Re: air conditioning the garage with central ac

Rapter,

surprised no one responded to your thread... I am not an A/C expert but I do know that closing the event is not an effective seal. I would be possible to have a damper in the attic to the garage that you could use to open and close, but this would be a PITA.

There are some small self contained A/C units that others have installed in garages that seem to work well, the freon is all sell contained and the evaporator out side is really small. You would put it next to your existing units and no one would know. I am thinking about the same thing for me. I am in Dallas and the summer is useless to work in the garage unless I want to sweat off 10 lbs in water weight

I will try to find the information and post a link
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Old 04-22-2010, 09:37 AM   #3
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Default Re: air conditioning the garage with central ac

it is called a mini-split unit

Here is a video on installing them

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/vide...630888,00.html

search google for mini-split ac and you should come up with a few options.
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Old 04-22-2010, 09:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: air conditioning the garage with central ac

In ohio I had a comercial unit like you would normally mount on a roof,but I put it on a slab behind the shop.It worked great for 10 yrs or so that I was there. I dont think you would want to mix the air from the shop with the house in any way.Once you get that grage smell in the house you have a hell of a time getting it out. My new shop in MI will have a comercial air unit as well.Havent got around to sizeing that yet but it wont take near as much as the ohio shop as we rarely get over 90 here.My big thing with the air is that you do not have the big doors open in the summer ,and therefore no bugs,flies,birds, and no one reall knows if you are there by just driveing by.
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Old 04-22-2010, 10:17 AM   #5
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Default Re: air conditioning the garage with central ac

I'm not an AC guy but I believe it is both illegal and fire hazard to have you house AC feed the garage. The wall between you garage and house is a fire rated wall and you would be defeating the purpose of the wall by installing a AC vent.
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Old 04-22-2010, 10:56 AM   #6
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Default Re: air conditioning the garage with central ac

In addition to what has been said about the integrity of the fire wall, I believe there would also be an issue with having an A/C supply vent, but not a return, in the garage.
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Old 04-22-2010, 02:21 PM   #7
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Default Re: air conditioning the garage with central ac

I'd wack a hole in the wall and cover the exterior up with bushes, a wooden cover, something to spruce it up. Keep it down low and it'll disappear.
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Old 04-22-2010, 09:31 PM   #8
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Default Re: air conditioning the garage with central ac

They also make "portable" air conditioners...that is, the entire unit is on wheels inside your space. You just connect a small air duct to a window to vent the hot air. You could hook it up to look like a standard dryer vent.
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:59 AM   #9
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Default Re: air conditioning the garage with central ac

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They also make "portable" air conditioners...that is, the entire unit is on wheels inside your space. You just connect a small air duct to a window to vent the hot air. You could hook it up to look like a standard dryer vent.
We've used those on an emergency basis in our computer server room at work. IMHO, they don't work worth a crap and sure as hell won't work in Houston in the summer.

If we still lived down there and had to deal with a @!#$$ HOA, I'd do the mini-split. Plant a big azz bush or/with other "landscaping" on that side wall then mount the mini behind it. Get some brick paint that matches the outside of the house or bury it in the bushes and dust the cover/shell with camo paint. They'll spot a nice bright white external compressor right off. Make it low key, nobody may notice. The smaller mini units are not real big and would be easy to hide in the right foliage.

You cannot use the house. It has to stay separate for safety, noxious fumes and fire. Besides, the house AC isn't sized for the additional load.
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: air conditioning the garage with central ac

Why is it such an issue if the comp/cond is visible outside the shop? Dont understand??
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Old 04-24-2010, 01:13 AM   #11
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Default Re: air conditioning the garage with central ac

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Why is it such an issue if the comp/cond is visible outside the shop? Dont understand??

The HOA would likely take issue with it, since condenser units are considered "ugly".
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Old 04-24-2010, 01:43 AM   #12
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Default Re: air conditioning the garage with central ac

If it gets hot in the garage I just open the door and let the breeze come in. Granted if it hits 80* here that is freaking HOT!
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Old 04-24-2010, 09:41 AM   #13
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Default Re: air conditioning the garage with central ac

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The HOA would likely take issue with it, since condenser units are considered "ugly".
So,get more tubeing and set it beside the house unit,then all the uglyness would be in one spot.Ive never had to deal with this kind of pickeyness,so its a bit beyond my thinking as to what the big deal is!*
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Old 04-25-2010, 05:03 PM   #14
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Default Re: air conditioning the garage with central ac

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So,get more tubeing and set it beside the house unit,then all the uglyness would be in one spot.Ive never had to deal with this kind of pickeyness,so its a bit beyond my thinking as to what the big deal is!*
I'm with you. I purposefully did not buy a house in a neighborhood where there was an HOA. People get their panties in a bunch over the silliest things.
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Old 04-25-2010, 06:53 PM   #15
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Default Re: air conditioning the garage with central ac

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If it gets hot in the garage I just open the door and let the breeze come in. Granted if it hits 80* here that is freaking HOT!
Service High School Grad , Anchorage...

I live just south of Houston.... There isn't a just open the garage door here in the Summer option. Last year we didn't have a temp lower then 106* + humidity with heat indexes of around 113 (think wind chill.... ) for 38 days... hottest summer on record.


But winter time I think TOTAL of about 14 -20 days it was to cold to work with out a propane heater going.. so we got that going for us.


The guy who owned my house before me hacked in a window unit into the MAN DOOR... kinda EXTREMELY hokey looking but hey it works!
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:34 AM   #16
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Default Re: air conditioning the garage with central ac

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I'm with you. I purposefully did not buy a house in a neighborhood where there was an HOA. People get their panties in a bunch over the silliest things.
Staffed with reasonable people, they can protect your investment and keep the subdivision on a fairly even keel. Staffed with Retired-Eco-lawn-n-garden-neat-freaks they can be pure hell. Also see "Historical Society" LOL. There's a good local deal about Historical nazis - lady bought an old house, nice two story. Went to remodel, change some of the facade - oops, here comes the local history nerds to stop construction because it had been designated historical status by the city. She said 'then release the status, it's my house." They said "no." After a long bit of arguing, she basically went before the council with the history ass-hats in tow and more or less told them "I have a bulldozer parked in the front yard. Either recend the historical status or the house will be a pile of rubble before this meeting is over." She got her release.
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Old 04-28-2010, 12:33 AM   #17
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Default Re: air conditioning the garage with central ac

I say put in a mini split system, hide the outside unit the best you can, and move on. In most areas the HOA cannot take issue with components essential to the house, nor can they tell you that you cannot install thing like fire sprinklers, lightning rods, security systems, backup generators, etc, etc, etc, things that are meant to protect your property. Many houses now have more then 1 ac unit for the house so having 2 or even 3 isn't out of the question with modern day houses. Just follow local building and electrical codes and do a neat install job and I'll bet hardly anyone will notice. If you do a split system, just make sure the pipe chase and electrical wiring that runs along the wall is painted to match the exterior body color of the house, and I'll bet even the person who notices everything won't notice your AC unit for your garage.
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Old 04-28-2010, 12:48 AM   #18
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Default Re: air conditioning the garage with central ac

I will say the HOA where I live is rather picky, if you leave the garbage can out too long, you'll get a nasty letter. On the other hand, they say nothing about the window A/C units sticking out of almost every window starting June...

I hate the HOA, but on the other hand, I do want them to have complete control over my neighbors. Had too many bad neighbors before. In the coming years I plan on turning this house into a rental and I think the HOA works to my advantage in that regard.
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:33 AM   #19
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Default Re: air conditioning the garage with central ac

Quote:
Many houses now have more then 1 ac unit for the house so having 2 or even 3 isn't out of the question with modern day houses.
Excellent point - forgot about that. Breakover rule of thumb used to be around 2400 sq/ft going from a single to a double. Don't want another house that big - somebody has to clean it. Love the 450 sq/ft kitchen - until you have to mop the damn thing.
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Old 04-28-2010, 06:16 PM   #20
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Default Re: air conditioning the garage with central ac

Mechanical code wise... you now need at least separate control on each floor, either via zoning, or multiple units.
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