Hot days make for a cool house, but climate control rarely extends to the garage, whether it’s attached to your home or not. If you regularly use your garage to maintain your car or for other purposes, working up a sweat is no fun.
When it comes to cooling your garage, you have several methods available to you. Depending on your budget and your desire to stay cool, one or more approaches should be right for you. Here’s how to keep your garage cool when outside temperatures are high.
1. Ventilate Naturally
Open the outside facing doors, windows and other doors to increase air circulation inside the garage. If you have an attached garage, do not open the door connecting to the home — noxious fumes from the garage may seep into your living area. Strategically placed windows should help increase air movement and at least provide you with some relief as you work on your car.
Garages are typically poorly insulated and for this reason, they can become unbearably hot in the summer and frigidly cold in the winter. Batt insulation is inexpensive and easy to install where drywall isn’t present. Cover it with drywall or use foam board if your local building code allows. If the drywall is in place, then blown-in insulation can be used. Install weather stripping, then caulk and paint the garage door. Be sure to look for other areas in the garage where attention is needed.
3. Install a Ceiling Fan
If your garage has enough clearance (at least eight feet high), installing a ceiling fan is a cost effective way to keep your garage cool. Ensure the blades are between seven and nine feet above the floor and 10 to 12 inches below the ceiling. Fans with diameters measuring 36 to 44 inches are sufficient for most garages. However, if your garage is larger than 225 square feet, opt for one 52 inches or larger advises the U.S. Department of Energy.
4. Choose Air Conditioning
Extending your home’s air conditioning system to your garage can be costly. More cost effective cooling methods include installing a window air conditioner or using a portable floor unit. Another option is to install a mini-split air conditioner as these units don’t depend on a window, nor must you run additional ducts to cool your garage. Not to be overlooked is a dehumidifier to reduce the relative humidity of the space. You can use a dehumidifier alone or in conjunction with your other cooling methods.
5. Consider Additional Options
Besides actively looking for ways to cool the inside of your garage, consider the outside, too. If your garage faces westward, then the afternoon sun will mercilessly beat down upon it. Paint the garage door a light shade as light reflects heat. When your home needs a new roof, choose a light color.
Keeping your garage cool can range from the simple and less costly approaches to the more complex and expensive solutions.
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Photo courtesy of Flickr.
Matt Keegan has maintained his love for cars ever since his father taught him kicking tires can be one way to uncover a problem with a vehicle’s suspension system. He since moved on to learn a few things about coefficient of drag, G-forces, toe-heel shifting, and how to work the crazy infotainment system in some random weekly driver. Matt is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association and is a contributor to various print and online media sources.