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Keeping Cool in the Tool Shed Cheaply

When you're working in your tool shed during the hot summer months, you want to have a way to stay cool without it costing you a fortune in energy bills. Taking a portable AC unit out there may be the best way to stay cool but it's also a very expensive luxury that most cannot afford these days with energy costs soaring.

Of course there is the much cheaper option of using a small, free standing swamp cooler which costs pennies to run compared with an air conditioner. But what if you live in an area that has high humidity?

Natural Ventilation

Strangely, in a more open situation like an outdoor workshop or tool shed, a swamp cooler will work much better even with moderately high humidity. The reason for this is that these kinds of outbuildings generally have good ventilation and are not so tightly insulated as the main home would be, simply because it doesn't need to be.

As you may have already read in other articles published on this blog, a ventless free standing air conditioner (which is really a swamp cooler) works best when there is a cross flow of air created by cracking open a window or two in a closed room. Since most tool sheds have lots of small natural openings between wooden slats that allow air from outside to filter through fairly freely, this sets up the perfect environment for an evaporative cooler to produce lots of chilled air without unduly raising the inside humidity levels.

Coolness without Costliness

What you're provided with here is the perfect low cost cooling solution for this kind of outbuilding that is perfect for those times when you need to spend an hour or two pottering around in there and not need to suffer from the heat of the day. You can work on your potted plants and seed trays to your heart's content in comfort without the worry of how you're going to pay for the luxury!

The fact is you can buy yourself a medium sized, good quality portable swamp cooler that doesn't require venting for under $200 in some online stores. In fact, you can even get smaller vent free evaporative coolers for under $100 if you know where to shop for them and they will do a great job of keeping a small external building like a tool or potting shed nice and cool when you need it to.

It Won't Work Everywhere

Of course, no matter how much you want to save yourself money on your energy bill and be kind to the environment while you're about it, this is something that will not work everywhere. But before you get all despondent, do check with your local weather station to find out just how much humidity you have in your local atmosphere just in case it's less than you may have guessed.

In fact, the only situation where this kind of temperate solution is unlikely to work is if you live in an area that has very high humidity, say above 70% or so for most of the time. That kind of rules out coastal areas since the sea air is usually heavily laden with moisture naturally as well as lakeside and riverside properties or places that have tropical climates.

So if you're looking for a portable outdoor air cooler to keep you comfortable when you're working on your garden tools or potting up plants or just escaping to your personal quiet place for an hour or two to get away from everything, check out some of the models I can personally recommend on the front page of this blog. You'll be pleasantly surprised at what is on sale these days for not a lot of money yet they do so much for so little they're just the perfect way to maintain a comfortable climate in your shed!


Posted on Sun, Jun 14 2015 in Economy | 2 Comments

Previous Post: Portable Outdoor Air Coolers

2 thoughts on "Keeping Cool in the Tool Shed Cheaply"

Reg says:
June 22,2016

Dianne, swamp coolers are ductless, so no vent needed. The only limitation is humidity. If your air is dry, you're good to go.

dianne says:
June 21, 2016

I have a question. ..I have a 10×16...wooden storage building. .need air in it don’t want to have to cut.holes...is this ductless…thanks