Please help me heat and cool my upgraded makeshift studio -- PROJECT CANCELLED

A thought which occurs to me: while others have been mentioning how they've heated/cooled a garage or other room, Mike is talking about trying to do this with a car port, which is, from its nature and from its description, open to the air and environment on most sides. Maybe, Mike, it might be advisable in the long run to consider actually taking down that car port and constructing a real garage, an actual enclosed area, instead? At that time you could also build in what you want for heating/cooling..... ??? Yes, it would probably be more expensive but in the long run worth it? Just a thought here......
 
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Don’t buy more BTUs than your room volume requires

Required BTU is a function not just of volume but also of how well the room is insulated. My HVAC service company will hopefully quote a cost and advise me about the ideal BTU. As I mentioned above, I care less about "bracketing" or "pulsing" of the desired temperature than of achieving the desired temperatures in the most severe situations.

Keep in mind that this is northern Virginia where the temps get below 30 degrees occasionally and above 90 degrees occasionally. When the temp is above 90 degrees, the carport is above 100 degrees. Three of the four walls will have no insulation and the insulation in the temporary, retractable curtain is only in the curtain. Outside air will leak through above and below the curtain. So, I'm not hoping to achieve comfort; I'm hoping to achieve temps that with extra heavy or extra light clothing will allow my tabletop photography sessions to be enjoyable. That's the way my sessions are now in a room with no insulation whatsoever that has minimal heating and cooling.
 
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it might be advisable in the long run to consider actually taking down that car port and constructing a real garage, an actual enclosed area, instead? At that time you could also build in what you want for heating/cooling..... ??? Yes, it would probably be more expensive but in the long run worth it?

Not at all worth the expense, time or trouble to me of doing that. Also, anything other than a slight modification wouldn't be allowed because the carport is closer to the property line than the code now allows.
 
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How quickly do you want this unit to heat or cool the space in preparation for a session? From your original message I get the impression this unit will only run when you need it for sessions, otherwise the space will be open to the elements and the unit will be off. You need to make sure your HVAC service company knows this.
 

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One of the long walls will be a retractable, floor-to-ceiling curtain with R10 insulation. None of the other walls have insulation and the ceiling has no insulation. The floor is a concrete pad.
See, I missed this point. Mini split or ptac would not quickly get area to temp.

you will be best off with a higher powered propane or Electric heater that puts out large amounts of heat especially with a cold concrete floor and no insulation. Regarding ac, a portable unit that you can move or roll, like a floor model, may be best. You can easily vent outside under your curtain.

Heat pumps, while efficient, are not good at creating quick temp changes.
 
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See, I missed this point.

Not a problem, Wade. There is a lot to keep track of.

you will be best off with a higher powered propane or Electric heater that puts out large amounts of heat especially with a cold concrete floor and no insulation. Regarding ac, a portable unit that you can move or roll, like a floor model, may be best.

I prefer not to have anything on the floor. That's partly because it takes up precious space. (Though this area will be larger than my current area, it still will not be a large area.) That's also partly because I'm a klutz and might knock it over. When photographing transparent glass, a favorite subject, the room is often very dark. That also could lead to me knocking something over.

I need to heat or cool the area, not me. That's because I have to be able to move around the tabletop a lot, adjusting this and that.

If those conditions require that I turn the heat or air conditioning on more than two hours in advance when the temperatures are extreme, I'm okay with making that compromise. However, based on my current situation which has absolutely no insulation, very little heat and very little cooling, doing so isn't required. So, I doubt it will be required in the upcoming situation.
 

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In that case, I think a high wall mounted mini split, for ac, heat and if you need additional Temps when cold, can supplement with a corner high ceiling mounted electric heater.
But if you have a good period of time to wait, the mini split will work. Plus, much easier install with the bricks, only mounting and drilling holes for the small lines unlike other units like ptac etc....
avoiding floor objects is important when concentrating on the subject at hand with lights and dark, etc. Murphy is everywhere.

You got some sound advice above in the other posts, sorry I missed the particulars and went on a tangent.

Good luck.
 
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if you need additional Temps when cold, can supplement with a corner high ceiling mounted electric heater.

That's a wonderful idea I hadn't thought of. Thanks!

But if you have a good period of time to wait, the mini split will work. Plus, much easier install with the bricks, only mounting and drilling holes for the small lines unlike other units like ptac etc....

The problem with the mini-split is the cost of a technician to connect the inside and outside units. A single unit mounted through the window will surely cost less, though I haven't yet confirmed that.

Murphy is everywhere.

I should have been named Murphy.

sorry I missed the particulars and went on a tangent.

Tangents can be entertaining. Better yet, your tangent was in the spirit of offering help.
 

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That's a wonderful idea I hadn't thought of. Thanks!

The problem with the mini-split is the cost of a technician to connect the inside and outside units. A single unit mounted through the window will surely cost less, though I haven't yet confirmed that.

yes, a window ac unit plus one or two garage electric corner heaters would be the cheapest route.

A friend installed a Newair Electric heater corner garage unit, hung up in the corner, he likes it, do not know about brand or model. Was reasonable $$. FYI. A start for your research. I think... he bought it at Tractor Supply.
 
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+1 for the mini-split heat pump recommendation.
........
One thing I would highlight:

Don’t buy more BTUs than your room volume requires - oversizing the unit is less efficient and will result in more “bracketing” of your desired temperature.

This is what I meant by pulses....bigger/faster swings are more noticed and less desirable (usually).
 
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The problem with the mini-split is the cost of a technician to connect the inside and outside units. A single unit mounted through the window will surely cost less, though I haven't yet confirmed that.
A "window shaker" is certainly more economical to obtain and install, but can't fulfill your heating needs (I think). Also, there is a pretty big difference in energy efficiency. For me, those two factors made the mini-split heat pump the better choice. YMMV, of course.
 
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Also, there is a pretty big difference in energy efficiency.

I didn't know that and never even thought about whether there would be a difference in energy efficiency. I would be more concerned about that if I was running it 24/7. My guess is that I'll be running it only about 25 hours each week and only when the temperatures are below 60 degrees and above 80 degrees.
 
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I didn't know that and never even thought about whether there would be a difference in energy efficiency. I would be more concerned about that if I was running it 24/7. My guess is that I'll be running it only about 25 hours each week and only when the temperatures are below 60 degrees and above 80 degrees.
In FL, it's a pretty big deal. In VA, with occasional use, much less so.

The other consideration is noise. They call them window shakers for a reason. I recall buying one for a non-air-conditioned summer sublet many years ago. We cordoned off the room with the TV and took refuge there when we needed to cool off. Since our rent included the cost of electricity, we didn't care what it cost to run it, but we had to run the TV at full volume to compete with it.
 
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Situation here is quite different but probably it will give you some ideas. We live in apartments and do not have central a/c. I have split units, one for each room. Cooling is no problem even in hot summers. We have very mild winter here so heating is also not a problem, but I think it's not enough in your case. I think additional heater as suggested by Wade is a good idea.
 
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This will be an interesting project. I think what you are proposing will work most of the year. During the hottest and coldest times, I still think air ingress will be your biggest problem. I don’t care how many btu’s you have heating the place up, if you have 30degree air blowing in it is going to feel like you are out camping. I think sealing up the 4th wall will be vital if you want to use it during the worst weather.
Gary
 
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By the way, if I get a supplemental electrical heating unit, I'm guessing I would mount it to the ceiling in the center of the room. That position would deliver the most heat to the area of the room I would spend the most amount of time in.

How high would that be from the floor? Without a strong blower, the heated air will collect near the ceiling.
 

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