Best laid plans

Remember how excited I was about getting my shop window? Well, it’s been a great addition to my shop, but it hasn’t worked out quite the way I’d hoped.

I’d wanted a window in my shop for years for a lot of reasons. It would bring daylight into the windowless space, give me a connection to the outside world and most importantly would allow me to cool the shop off a bit in the hottest months of summer.

My plan was on those hottest of days to use a window-mounted fan to exhaust some of the hot shop air to the outside, pulling in some cool air-conditioned air from the house. I figured I could do this for a half hour or so, drop the shop temperature several degrees, then shut the window again up again. It didn’t work.

Invariably on the hottest of days – the days I needed it the most – whenever I attempted it the temperature in the shop actually went up, not down. Yeah, the arrangement was drawing some cool air from the house, but it seemed to draw even more air from around the garage door. The door makes a pretty good seal around the edges, but not good enough apparently.

While the fan hasn’t worked out for my main idea, it does work to cool the shop in a different way. Once the temperature drops at night, I only need to open the window, pull down the attic door, set the fan to intake to draw air inside instead of exhaust it, and in a matter of minutes the shop temperature drops considerably. Once cool I can shut everything up and the shop is quite comfortable for the first half of the next day.

Those other benefits, like getting lots of extra natural light, are all still there. So even though my shop-cooling idea didn’t quite work, the window has proven to be the best shop improvement I’ve made in years.

Maybe one of these days I’ll get an air conditioner to put in it.

A.J.

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