Window unit to stand-alone conversion?

Old 05-31-09, 02:30 PM
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Window unit to stand-alone conversion?

First, here is my problem...

I have a 1 car garage, and like so many out there, it never holds a car. In my garage is a rack of networking equipment that serves as a hub from which all PCs or media devices in the house connect to the home network, or internet. This rack contains servers, storage arrays, a gig switch, and a UPS. Said rack has been growing, and now generating a substantial amount of heat. The amount of heat combined with the Houston area heat, has the garage seeming more like an oven. The garage has NO WINDOWS, nor can I cut a hole in the wall. Cooling the garage needs to be somewhat of a full-time fix, so lifting the garage door to occasionally run the AC wont work.

I have a 12,000 BTU window unit that was given to me. I would like to somewhat convert this unit into a stand-alone, so I can cool the garage, or at least take the edge off the heat. I have read on dozens of sites around the net, that simply mounting the AC to the wall and turning it on, is a no-go. The AC has to have some way to ventilate heat generated by the compressor. The idea I have, is creating a box for the window unit to reside in, then using a dryer vent type hose to connect to the attic. This would give the AC a place to ventilate. I would also have to connect some type of valve on the bottom of the box that would allow any condensation to drain. Could this work? Do any of the AC savvy people who may be reading this thread, see a problem with the design? Would that be enough ventilation for the AC?

In a perfect world, I would just purchase a stand-alone unit, or cut a hole in the wall for the window unit. Unfortunately, I have to work with what I have.

Any and all advice is greatly appreciated.
Old 05-31-09, 03:31 PM
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There is no practical way of doing what you propose.

Firstly, the a/c unit needs to draw air from somewhere before it is able to flow over the condenser to pick up the heat.
If you tried to vent this heat to the attic you will turn the a/c unit into a large exhaust fan.
Secondly, the fan that is a part of the a/c unit has only enough volume and pressure to be able to force air through the coil and could not be connected to any sort of duct.
Thirdly, you would have to install the a/c unit over a pan to catch the condensate that does not evaporate after it is forced against the condenser............What moisture is evaporated against the condenser will raise the humidity.
Fourthly, any attempt to butcher the refrigerant circuit to try to separate the condenser from the unit would not be lawful to diy and would be one major headache for a tech to try to make work.
Fifthly.............forget it!

If you were to purchase a console unit that requires a 4" hole and try to discharge it to the attic there would not be enough air change in the attic and the unit would die.
The only option that comes close to your your specs is a mini-split a/c unit.
It would install through a 3" hole in the wall.

This is a very frequent topic.
It is quite common for someone to try to make a $1200.00 device out of an $80.00 window shaker.
Old 06-01-09, 02:14 AM
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You can maybe install a (thermostat-controlled maybe ) fan on the roof
which exhausts? Depending or not upon the roof, ceiling, attic if any, etc.

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