leeport wrote in post #12552291
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?
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.
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.