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Old 05-23-2012, 03:22 PM   #1
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Cooling The Garage


Hello all, looking forward to the help.

Okay, a few years ago my mother in law converted her garage into a living space, left the garage door functional, and added a faux wall, insulation in this wall and in the attic space above. Then tapped into the air handler in the garage and ran cold air through the attic to a vent in the ceiling, eventually killing the unit they had, last year the condensing unit and evap unit were replaced, the company said that it was bigger and ample enough to keep this added vent, now my wife and I have moved in, and the garage is our "master bedroom" I have since insulated the garage door, added more insulation to the attic, and the faux wall between the garage door. Now finally my question, its hot in Florida and the vent does not cool the way it should, no return was added when the new unit was installed, i want to add a return to help remove the heat, keeping the door open is really not an option, what is the best way to do this?

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Old 05-23-2012, 03:54 PM   #2
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Cooling The Garage


You should be able to cut a hole above the door and put a grate on each side. If you offset it no light will come though. If you have no space just cut a 6" hole in the ceiling of the garage and one in the hall/room just past the door. Run a piece of flexible duct.

Larger effort is to cut a inch off the bottom of the door. Since I assume you did not replace the door you still have a door designed to prevent gases from the garage getting into the house.

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Old 05-23-2012, 05:30 PM   #3
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Cooling The Garage


How far away is the air handler and/or main return trunk? Or the nearest existing return? Are the existing returns in the attic? If the HVAC installers told you the new unit is big enough to handle the extra load, then adding in a return should help the unit, but who know's if it will solve the problem in that room. Could be possible that the new vent line was hacked into a bad spot and is just making that room and other rooms on the same trunk lose air flow.

Assuming this wasn't actually done right from the beginning, and/or adding in a return is not easy, have you considered any other options, i.e. closing back up that room's register and using a window unit? Only asking because sometimes they are a good solution in a master bedroom, i.e., for people who like the MB colder than the rest of the house, people who work night shift and like some white noise in the background, etc...
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Old 05-23-2012, 06:16 PM   #4
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Cooling The Garage


Why has the door been left in place?
Get rid of it and frame in and insulate.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:14 PM   #5
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Cooling The Garage


Post a pic showing whee the air handler is. Also tell us if it sits on platform. And how the current return for the rest of the house is an and attached to it.
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:44 AM   #6
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Cooling The Garage


WOW! Thanks for taking the time out to respond

I will try to answer all questions to the best of my knowledge...

@bill01 - yes, we left the solid core garage to house door in place, mainly because we took over all the bills to help my ailing in-laws, once they are gone... we will convert back to a conventional garage. But that being said could be 10 years from now.

@pucks101 - the air handler is in the garage on a drop anchored to the trusses, the original return is approximately 8-10 feet (straight line through attic) away, this is through the garage to house door, the laundry/mud room, then a hollow core interior door, the return is in the ceiling at 10' there, IF we left booth doors open constantly the return is close enough to HELP pull the hot air out, but as I said this will never happen. Even adding this vent to the garage the ACTUAL master is still the coldest room, and air flow is great in all rooms, no windows in the garage to ad a shaker, less cutting block on the one exterior wall.

@joecaption - 2 reasons, first explained earlier we want to change back to a garage once the in-laws have passed. Secondly... the city I live in will not allow or permit for such a conversion, mainly due to property values of surrounding homes and TAXES, as with any local government they won't allow themselves to loose money, only spend it foolishly

@beenthere - I will try to get some pics in of what i described in the answers to pucks101.

Again thanks all for the responses, I am a door, trim, and window guy. Hopefully I can help one of you one day!

Last edited by brittnmike6; 05-24-2012 at 06:46 AM.
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Old 05-24-2012, 04:47 PM   #7
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Cooling The Garage


do you have a gas water heater and is it located in the garage?? I would hope not, but if so watch for back drafting of CO into the garage built bedroom and or the rest of the house.

as to the return, 300 to 400 fpm flow over the filter is the max. slower is better, so if you can add a return, make it big!!!!
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:57 PM   #8
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Cooling The Garage


Based on your desire to convert it back to a garage eventually, I'm thinking better to go window unit. They're so cheap now it doesn't seem worth it to do any work to your HVAC system for a room that will eventually be a garage..
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobinphx View Post
do you have a gas water heater and is it located in the garage?? I would hope not, but if so watch for back drafting of CO into the garage built bedroom and or the rest of the house.

as to the return, 300 to 400 fpm flow over the filter is the max. slower is better, so if you can add a return, make it big!!!!

Thank you for the response, no gas water heater, electric.

My annual service is due next month/week so I am going to ask them for a quote, and sneak in how it would be done as well.
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pucks101 View Post
Based on your desire to convert it back to a garage eventually, I'm thinking better to go window unit. They're so cheap now it doesn't seem worth it to do any work to your HVAC system for a room that will eventually be a garage..

pucks, as I said there are no windows in the garage, surely it would be cheaper to add a return than cut a hole in the block.
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Old 05-25-2012, 05:53 PM   #11
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Cooling The Garage


Quote:
Originally Posted by brittnmike6 View Post
pucks, as I said there are no windows in the garage, surely it would be cheaper to add a return than cut a hole in the block.
Sorry- somehow I completely missed that!

Since the air handler is in the garage, I would think it's easy enough to tap a line into the main return. I would put a damper inline when you tap into it so you can taper the amount of return air pulled from that room if needed to avoid causing a problem with not enough air being pulled from other rooms.

As for the CO concerns mentioned, I would think a plug-in CO monitor in your room would be worth the small investment- especially if you're adding in a return line from that room

Last edited by pucks101; 05-25-2012 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:59 PM   #12
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okay, so a damper to help control the flow on the return as not to take from the house. The CO concerns...what is that? Never mind, had a brain fart.
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:44 PM   #13
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Cooling The Garage


Quote:
Originally Posted by brittnmike6 View Post
okay, so a damper to help control the flow on the return as not to take from the house. The CO concerns...what is that? Never mind, had a brain fart.
Maybe the CO poisoning has already started???

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