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  • Garage Environment

    My company is growing out of our current office space and I'm looking at large spaces. I know that temperature/humidity control is important for paper and machines so I wanted to see if people could provide some feedback about having machines and paper material stores and used in a garage (see images attached). I would be running Xerox printers, inserters, stampers, cutters, folders and I would also store all of my paper material.

    Is this an acceptable work environment for machines and paper? What kind of things to I have to think about/purchase to ensure the environment is conducive to a mail shop.

  • #2
    openletter, look up the specifications on the Xerox website for the machine(s) you are buying. They list the termperature and humidity requirements. I just looked up the C60/C70 as an example at this link ( and on page 2 it says: Required Temperature Range 50° to 82° F / 10° to 28° C (Relative Humidity less than 62.5% when temp is 32° C or less) Required Relative Humidity 15% to 85% (no condensation)

    Ideally, you'll want to have temperature control. Humidity is also a big concern because of the paper. If it is too humid, the paper will be warped and curled before you even put it in the machine, and it will cause mis-feeding. I've seen shops go through the process of dropping the ceiling to add AC in the warehouse, others keep it as a raised ceiling and just run the system more...or even get portable AC units. There are also portable humidifiers if it is a concern.

    Be careful when talking to your sales rep because they will just say the environment is fine because they don't want to slow down the sale. Ask to have a service manager come and assess the environment and give his stamp of approval. Otherwise, if your machine starts having issues, they will say its too humid, etc and blame the issues on you rather than the machine.

    Lastly, another thing to consider is the exhaust. Some of the older larger production units used to require a vent going out of the building. Most of the modern ones don't require this extreme, but you still want to have decent ventilation in the space.


    • #3
      jwheeler great info, thank you. The Xerox is 1 year old and doesn't require any exhaust. Have you seen companies just add a dropped ceiling?


      • #4
        Will the building owners let you put in AC? It's really not that expensive or difficult.


        • #5
          They have AC in the office space. I'm finding out if the HVAC system will be large enough for the garage space too. My assumption is that it won't. If not, what type of AC unit do people generally put in a space like this?


          • #6
            Don’t listen to a bunch of printing experts about which HVAC system you should get. I’d suggest consulting with a HVAC guy Who can come out and assess the space.


            • #7
              How extreme are the temperature swings? I know in our non insulated "garage space" right now it is probably 90-95 degrees. Its 75 and sunny outside. Our office is built "within the garage" if that makes sense and is well insulated. Stays high 60's in here with nothing running. Pole style building with metal siding and asphalt roof. It would be a bear if we wanted to add HVAC to garage part as we would need to insulate and finish out first.


              • #8
                I'm not sure about temperature swings in the garage. There is only one side that is exposed to the outside so it shouldn't be too bad. However, I'm in Mass so winter temps can get to 0 degrees and summer temps can get into the 90's.


                • #9
                  I'd suggest getting a temp and humidity logger and sticking it in the garage. This will give you some data about the actual temp and humidity in the space and can help make a decision, it won't be able to give you the full picture as you don't have a full year to leave it in place but some information is better than none. This is also helpful to have when you're in production to keep track of those variables. There are many models that can be had in the $50-$100 range.


                  • #10
                    We used a 28,000 BTU through the wall unit and a fan at the other end pointing straight up. It did fine. Northern Virginia. Weather from one extreme to the other. I know you don't have a window or wall you can go through, but it shows that you don't need a huge unit when you are between other units.


                    • #11
                      gregbatch wow, that's all that you have and you're not having any issues with paper material? That's awesome.

                      Also, is that through the wall unit just air conditioning? It looks like you have your heating unit near the ceiling.


                      • #12
                        Yes. Just AC. Reznor gas heater at the ceiling. Looks like you have 2 in the bay in your photos.

                        Find a Goodman dealer. A 3 ton split system costs about $2k plus duct and install. Figure about $5k total. The hole in the roof for lines and electric is much smaller than the hole for the heater flue you have. They will hang the air handler from the trusses, most likely near the bathroom for the drain, and run a straight duct with a few air diffusers


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