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Thread started 07 Jun 2011 (Tuesday) 12:53
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Any Experience with HVAC in Studio?

 
leeport
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Jun 07, 2011 12:53 |  #1

I live in central texas. I am going to use my garage as my studio. Its approx. 24x24 with 9' ceilings. Its completely insulated, all walls. I can use a window unit for AC about 8 months out of the year. It can get cold enough for heat to be needed the other 4 months.

I can buy a combination window unit AC/heat pump. Try using space heaters. Or see if my 3.5 ton home unit could handle the extra 576 square footage if I ran a new attic tunnel from the plennum.

Anyone have any experiences with this sort of issue?

Thanks!




  
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CosmoKid
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Jun 07, 2011 13:04 |  #2

how many square feet is your unit currently cooling in your house?

i am going through this right now. detached 3 car garage but my windows are fixed so i cant put in an ac unit and cant use my central ac in my house. thinking about a portable unit.


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AlbertZeroK
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Jun 07, 2011 13:07 |  #3

I'd worry about the massive loss in heat/ac you get around your garage door, those things are really not that good at keeping ac/heat in. I'd suggest a window unit and a timer so you can turn it on a half day before a shoot.




  
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Eric
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Jun 07, 2011 14:49 |  #4

How often will this space be used?

All walls are insulated, but is the ceiling also? Most heat loss is through the ceiling. And Like said above, those garage doors aren't really air tight....

I would suggest either a portable window unit and some electric baseboard heat, or if this space is going to be used full time, a complete conversion, framing in the garage doors and insulating/air sealing the walls and ceiling and adding a separate zone to your existing home system. Although you can't really just add in a new supply line without running a return line as well, you'll create massive pressurization in the garage and cause the HVAC in the rest of your house to be less effective.


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OneyedJack
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Jun 07, 2011 16:59 |  #5

Mini-split. Get a 1-1/2 ton mini split. These things rock. We have one in our converted garage (in hot/humid SC) and it handles the load fine. Garage door was removed and replaced with full length windows and even with the additional solar loads it works fine.

General things you should consider:

1. Studio lighting. Continuous lighting can add a lot of heat. 1kw of lighting is 3413 btuh of heat for reference.

2. You don't want sweating clients.

3. Insulate the garage door with panels if not already done and figure out a way to seal around the door.


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leeport
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Jun 07, 2011 17:04 |  #6

The ceiling is also insulated and the garage door has 1" thick styrofoam insulation on the inner panels. The space will be used depending on client business. Right now that 4-5 times a month. I think a window unit is the way to go. I can get a combination A/C/Heatpump for year round comfort for right at $500.

Thanks for the replies.




  
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Channel ­ One
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Jun 08, 2011 05:26 |  #7

leeport wrote in post #12552291 (external link)
I live in central texas. I am going to use my garage as my studio. Its approx. 24x24 with 9' ceilings. Its completely insulated, all walls. I can use a window unit for AC about 8 months out of the year. It can get cold enough for heat to be needed the other 4 months.

I can buy a combination window unit AC/heat pump. Try using space heaters. Or see if my 3.5 ton home unit could handle the extra 576 square footage if I ran a new attic tunnel from the plennum.

Anyone have any experiences with this sort of issue?

Thanks!

I have built a few studios and you have a few factors to consider;

If you are going to install a window a/c you will need sufficient power to run the unit, this may require hiring an electrician to install a new branch circuit, more so if the a/c unit is 240 volt powered.

You need a window with sufficient strength to properly support the unit, and the window needs to be located where the unit will not produce uncomfortable drafts when operating, also the area outside and below the window needs to be able to provide proper drainage for any condensation that the slinger in the a/c doesn’t evaporate through the condenser.

Then looking ahead, if you plan on doing any video work you will find a window unit produces a lot of noise that can produce problems when recording.

If you are going to use you home central a/c unit you will need to do a heat/cooling load calculation for the home to determine if the existing unit has sufficient capacity to provide the needed cooling and heating without overloading the unit causing it to run excessively, you will need to install an additional duct to feed the a/c into the studio and provide a return register to allow for the return of air to the unit, you may also want to consider having a electrically controlled damper installed on the feed duct to isolate the studio from the home when the studio is not in use, otherwise you are going to take a hit on your utility bill for heating/cooling the studio when it is not in use. You also need to consider do you want odors from the studio drifting around the home, a client wearing heavy perfume or the smell of a smoker may be objectionable to the rest of the family, conversely do you want your clients exposed to the odors of cooking drying, clothes, sweaty children etc while shooting?

A mini-split which is a ductless central /ac unit can be an excellent choice for such an application, such a unit keeps the studio isolated from the home and they are very quiet and efficient as they only need be run when the studio is occupied. The downside of a mini-split is cost, until you get to around 1.5 tons /18,000 BTU’s they are almost double the cost the cost of a window banger and unless you are an advanced DIY’er installing one will require a professional due to the requirements of running power, refrigeration lines and a condensate drain.

Any other questions just ask.

This is a link to help you determine the size of a/c you will need and when calculating the load do not forget to add at least 4 people and lighting wattage.

http://www.consumerrep​orts.org …tioners/sizing-worksheet/ (external link)

Now as for space heaters in cooler weather, I would strongly recommend you be sure to have a couple on hand and have the outlet capacity to power them, you will find if you get a room warm enough for an idle sitting while posing person or a scantily dressed or nude person, it will be too warm for you to work comfortably, conversely if it is cool enough for you to work comfortably it will be too cool for the person being photographed, the solution is spot heating using space heaters.

Wayne


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leeport
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Jun 08, 2011 15:48 |  #8

Wayne, thank you for taking the time for this post. Very informative and very appreciated as well.

I have learned a lot, and thanks to everyone else for sharing their info.




  
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Any Experience with HVAC in Studio?
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