Garage Air Conditioners: What You Need to Know
Whether you use your garage as a workshop or a hangout, you understand the appeal of keeping it temperature controlled.
In the summertime, sweltering heat can make for an uncomfortable environment. So, how do you cool a garage? With an air conditioner, of course!
However, you simply cannot purchase just any AC. This guide will offer insight on how to cool a garage and find the right air conditioner for your needs, even if your garage has no windows.
Why install a garage air conditioner?
Installing an air conditioner in your garage may seem like a futile pursuit compared to other homeownership projects. However, depending on what you use your garage for, it may be a wise move.
If you use your garage to store your prized possessions, such as a classic car or musical instruments, keeping your garage temperature controlled is a smart choice. Doing so will ensure your belongings stay in excellent condition and will help prevent issues such as rot and other damage. If you use your garage as a workshop, keeping your workspace temperature controlled is even more appealing — after all, no one wants to be uncomfortable while working.
Even if you only use your garage to store basic items like paint and other household goods, keeping it cool is still a good thing to do. For example, lumber can warp if it’s exposed to high temperature and humidity. Temperature can also affect the quality of paint and varnishes.
In a nutshell, if you live in a very hot climate, cooling your garage may be well worth the investment.
How to cool a garage
There are several ways to go about cooling a garage:
Keeping your garage cool starts with proper insulation, and the area that requires the most attention is the garage door. It’s important to purchase insulation that’s compatible with the type of door you have. Here is a general overview of the types of insulation that work best with certain kinds of garage doors:
- Steel garage doors – Compatible with any type of insulation. You can place batting insulation around the panels or install rigid insulation on the garage’s frame.
- Wood garage doors – Rigid insulation works best for wooden garage doors.
- Flat garage doors – Garage doors without panels work best with reflective insulation or foam board.
In addition to the garage door, you’ll also want to make sure any windows in your garage are insulated.
Window film can do wonders for your garage by significantly reducing the amount of heat that enters your home. You can also add blackout curtains for additional insulation. Of course, the best option is to invest in energy efficient windows, but if that’s not in your budget, the aforementioned options will certainly help keep your garage cool.
Once your garage is properly insulated, the best way to keep it cool is with an air conditioner. Many types of air conditioners can be used in a garage. If you have a window in the space and are looking for a quick solution, a window AC is your best bet. For a more energy efficient and permanent solution consider a through-the wall-unit or, even better, a mini split unit. Many through-the-wall and mini split units offer heating in addition to cooling. Mini split units are energy efficient and quiet making them the best overall choice.
In addition to ventilation, you’ll want to make sure your air conditioner is appropriately sized for your garage. Too powerful of an AC will be a waste of energy, while too weak of an AC will not keep you comfortable.
So, how do you know which size AC to get? The easiest way to determine AC size is with our handy BTU Calculator tool. Simply enter the dimensions of your garage into the tool and it will tell you how large of an AC unit you’ll need to cool your space.
Once you’ve determined the BTUs you’ll need to cool your garage, you can begin the shopping process. Here are some things to keep in mind before you begin:
- Consider purchasing a commercial air conditioner. These types of air conditioners are designed for use in industrial spaces (including garages), making them perfect for household garages.
- Filters. If you are using the garage as a workshop you would want something with easy to access and replace filters since there might be a lot of sawdust.
- Temperature range. You might not want to keep the space at 70 degrees but instead maybe 80 degrees. Not all units have a high temperature that can be set.
Aside from an air conditioner, you may also want to purchase a dehumidifier, especially if you live in a particularly hot and humid climate. High humidity can cause the air to feel warmer than it actually is, and a good dehumidifier will effectively remove moisture to keep you comfortable and protect the belongings in your garage.
Best ACs for a garage
Now that you’re aware of what to look for in a garage air conditioner, take a look at some of our favorite garage air conditioning systems:
- LG LS120HEV1 12000 BTU Mega Series Single Zone System with Heat Pump – This ductless mini split AC system offers effective temperature control in an energy saving design.
- Friedrich SL24N30B 23800/24000 BTU Kuhl Series Window Air Conditioner – Energy Star Qualified – A commercial grade air conditioner that can perform in even the toughest of climates.
- LG LP153HDUC 14900/15100 BTU 11.2 EER PTAC Air Conditioner with Heat Pump – This PTAC unit doubles as a heater for year-round comfort.
- Mr Cool DIY-18-HP-C-230A / DIY-18-HP-WMAH-230A 18000 BTU DIY Single Zone Mini Split System – This easy-to-install mini split system delivers 18,000 BTUs of cooling power — enough to cool up to 800 square feet of space.
No matter how big or small your garage, we’re bound to have the perfect garage cooling system for your needs. Shop our air conditioners today and contact our cooling experts should you have any questions about our products. We’re always ready and willing to help you make a smart purchase for your home.