Swamp Coolers for garage cooling... your thoughts and advice much appreciated.

OP
D
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I would imagine that HVAC contractors would probably only want to install units that they sell, rather than install a unit that I bought myself on the internet.
 
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OK. Electricians? Or, general contractors?
OK, thank you for all the advice. Now I pretty much know what I need to be looking at.

There will need to be trenching from the breaker panel on the east side of the house all across the entire front (or rear) of the house over to the garage on the west side. I'm thinking the exterior unit can sit behind the bush and beneath the glass block window on the north side of the garage.

2 ton unit ductless split Diakin. This one? 17, 19, or 20 seer?


Although I agree with Stomper about most electricians refrigeration knowledge, some experienced electrical contractors have hooked up many of these units. In AZ the HVAC contractor should set the equipment and run the refrigeration lines. Then an electrical contractor would need to run the electrical wiring and work with the HVAC contractor to complete the start up. AZ also allows a homeowner to do the work themself if qualified. So you don’t need a general contractor. If you call me @ 928-706-5555 I can give you some ideas to save money on the installation and electrical wiring. I have installed many of these units over the years.

Anything else I should be looking for in the unit?

Diakin better than Mitsubishi? What would be your #2 choice after the Diakin?
Stomper has been giving you very good advise. As an electrician I can tell you a separate circuit to the AC unit is required.
 
I would imagine that HVAC contractors would probably only want to install units that they sell, rather than install a unit that I bought myself on the internet.
Yes, that’s correct... generally for liability reasons, plus if the equipment doesn’t work or breaks down (for any reason), or isn’t the correct capacity for the application the owner will almost ALWAYS blame the installing contractor.
 

Ura-Ki

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OK , sort of dumb question here, but is there a "Spec" that says how far away from the side of the house a unit needs to be, and why? We ran into this just recently when selling the Tuscon property, the building inspector told us the unit was too close to the house, ( 16 inches) and that we would ether need to move it, or have a HVAC guy com out and do something, moving it further out would have crossed the property line into the neighbors yard! I called B.S. on the whole thing, seems to be a scam or something! As long as there is some room for clearance, I don't see the issue!:eek:
 
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OK , sort of dumb question here, but is there a "Spec" that says how far away from the side of the house a unit needs to be, and why? We ran into this just recently when selling the Tuscon property, the building inspector told us the unit was too close to the house, ( 16 inches) and that we would ether need to move it, or have a HVAC guy com out and do something, moving it further out would have crossed the property line into the neighbors yard! I called B.S. on the whole thing, seems to be a scam or something! As long as there is some room for clearance, I don't see the issue!:eek:
If it passed inspection when the house was built then I would say it was an inspector that didn't know his azz from a hole in the ground. :oops:
 

billdeserthill

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OK , sort of dumb question here, but is there a "Spec" that says how far away from the side of the house a unit needs to be, and why? We ran into this just recently when selling the Tuscon property, the building inspector told us the unit was too close to the house, ( 16 inches) and that we would ether need to move it, or have a HVAC guy com out and do something, moving it further out would have crossed the property line into the neighbors yard! I called B.S. on the whole thing, seems to be a scam or something! As long as there is some room for clearance, I don't see the issue!:eek:

My AC is less than 8" away from my house, lucky I don't live in the dem paradise of Tucson
 
OK , sort of dumb question here, but is there a "Spec" that says how far away from the side of the house a unit needs to be, and why? We ran into this just recently when selling the Tuscon property, the building inspector told us the unit was too close to the house, ( 16 inches) and that we would ether need to move it, or have a HVAC guy com out and do something, moving it further out would have crossed the property line into the neighbors yard! I called B.S. on the whole thing, seems to be a scam or something! As long as there is some room for clearance, I don't see the issue!:eek:

Unless it’s a local building code stating otherwise you go with the manufacturer’s installation instructions. If you can, get the make model number then google up the install manual and look it up, then you can authoritatively (and successfully) challenge the inspector if it contradicts what he says.

My experience is one side can be as close as 8” off the exterior wall as long as the three remaining sides are 12” - >24” off any exterior walls (ie if it’s in a corner). IMPO 16” of clearance is generally PLENTY of air-flow clearance.

Here’s a conventional split system that recently installed in one of our company employee’s house (otherwise I don’t do residential work)... about 12”(ish) off the wall on two sides, but one side is only half “covered” by the wall.

BTW- that lineset (the refrigeration lines) is one single piece that I bent to fit with a tubing bender... less welded joints mean less places for a potential leak. ;)

A27A58D5-2D40-4DCC-BEA5-CEF526971672.jpeg C56BACF2-30AF-40FA-87FB-CE288C8B7793.jpeg
 
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Swamp cooler will rust your knives & guns fast
and that is why I rolled mine off the roof over 10 years ago. It was stainless steel but what is so good about stainless when the inside is steel. Every year changing the pump or putting new pads in it the birds tear apart to build their nest. Everything in your house rust. Plus when I first bought the house we left for the weekend. When we returned a storm hit that broke power poles and our roof had caved in from water in through the cooler. Rolling that off the roof was one of the best moves I have made.

It also taught me to never let an insurance company send in their crew to fix anything.
 
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You all know what a garage feels like here during the summer months. We have been thinking about getting one of the Evaporative Coolers for sale at Home Depot. BUT, I don't know SQUAT about evaporative coolers/swamp coolers. Can they do a good job? What advice or suggestions can you offer regarding using swamp coolers in the garage? Thank you.
I have a large 985 sq. ft. 3 car, boat deep garage that is attached to the house. I have a large roof mounted evaporator cooler for the garage. It works beautifully. Remember, an A/C system for your garage is going to cost a mint to run in the dead of Summer. My next door neighbor has his large 3 car garage air conditioned, and he told me during the hottest weather it cost him upward of $20.00 A DAY to run it. (He has very high ceilings). And his garage doesn't even have insulated garage doors.

A good evaporator cooler will move a very high volume of air, compared to an A/C system. My evap system keeps the garage nice and cool. Even after parking a couple of hot cars in it. Forget those tiny side mount Mitsubishi A/C units. They're great for a bedroom or den. But it's not going to do much for a big garage, except run up your electric bill. I'm hard of hearing, and I get up really early, so I even put a big flat screen TV out in my garage, so I can sit out there and watch it without waking up the wife and dog. It's very comfortable. I also have upduct discharge, that pushes the air up into my attic, and out the gable roof vents. This keeps the attic just a few degrees warmer than the garage. Which helps my home A/C run less, and more efficiently.

I live in Lake Havasu, and the dew point is somewhat lower than in the Phoenix area. I keep ammunition and thousands of dollars in tools out there, and rust has NEVER been an issue. Just remember before you invest in any type of garage cooling system, make sure you get some good insulated garage doors. Or else whatever unit you end up buying, it will be fighting substantial cooling loss trying to keep up. Before I replaced my garage doors, I couldn't even touch the inside of my garage doors when the Sun was hitting them. It would burn my hand. Now they remain cool to the touch. Even with the afternoon Sun directly hitting them. (Pictures were taken before I replaced both garage doors).

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Thanks for the info Stomper. I'll be moving to AZ and I'll definitely be looking into this.

CaptJack "Mike"

I’ve been a HVAC/R service tech/mechanic/installer for 30 years...


My favorite ductless split brand is Diakin, and I’d go with a heat pump instead of just straight cooling only equipment (yes, they make both) so your garage will be comfortable year round even if it gets nippy

If your garage is insulated figure about “1ton” (which is 12k btu/hr per “ton”) of cooling per 600-800 sq ft.... I’m in Oregon so we can get away with 800 sq ft, Arizona you better go with 600 sq ft to be safe. If your garage isn’t insulated you better figure 500 sq ft per ton .... so a 1.5-ton (18k btu/hr) to 2-ton (24k btu/hr) will do ya.... personally I’d go 2-ton.

The beautiful thing is going with the larger size unit, the cost difference is negligible and the cooling capacity ramps up and down to accommodate light and heavy cooling loads.



That’s my 10 cents, my two cents are free! ;)
 
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The only issue with a swamper is you need to exchange the air. No reusing the air or it will get very humid. I went to work at a mine in NM and they had one of those 6 foot high black plastic monsters and in 5 hours it would have the humidity so high in the shop if the temp was right condensation occurred. I had a cooler on my garage in PHX. It was ground mounted outside and blew in. Open a window or crack one of the doors and it was fairly comfortable. Garage was not on the west of the house.
Second item is getting a dumping pump. This pump dumps the water out of the pan every so many hours of run time. Keeping CLEAN water in a swamper is the key. I put one on my master cool and boy oh boy what a difference it made on operation and maintenance.
I am including a chart that explains cooler operation.
I had better performance and maintenance with 12" deep pads than anything else.
For parts Dial Manufacturing in West Phoenix is the best. Way cheaper than the box stores and friendly phone help as well.

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