Nobody likes to walk into a warm and stuffy garage, especially in the warmer seasons. Everything you keep in your garage can affect the overall temperature. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to keep your garage cool all year without it being connected to your HVAC system.
Under the circumstances that your garage is connected to your system or on its own looped system, it is still unlikely that there are many ducts or return vents in your garage. This means the garage still will tend to get warmer than the rest of your home.
If your garage does struggle to get or stay cool, it could be a result of various factors. The most common reason is poor insulation. Others consist of a lack of ventilation and/or windows, the location/orientation of your garage, the color, and what your typical garage use consists of.
While having a warm garage can be unpleasant, it also poses a great risk. Hot temperatures can be lethal for electrical equipment which are sensitive to heat. Maintaining a cool environment for any and all electrical equipment will keep them in good condition and lessen the risk of any fire or faults that may occur.
Things to Consider Before Choosing a Cooling Solution for Your Garage
Before you decide to seek out a solution, there are aspects to consider. The average length of time in terms of your garage’s usage is a great topic to think about. Whether you are going to be using the garage for a few hours a day, for extended time periods throughout the week, or only using it every once in a while, these are all deciding factors in your cooling solution choice.
Taking into consideration the following factors will assist you in deciding if you should invest in a more permanent solution or a temporary one. For one, the location of your garage is huge. Note if it is in the shade and/or facing the sun all day. These will affect the appliances and tools being stored there. Large electrical appliances emit heat so without any ventilation, windows or a protected garage location, the heat can very quickly make the garage even more stuffy and dangerous.
Essentially, if you feel that you use the garage regularly for long sessions, it may be worth your while to go for a long-lasting and effective solution. In retrospect, if your garage is a location in your home used primarily for storage and is rarely used for extended periods of time, a temporary fix is probably your best option. In addition, keeping sensitive goods like electrical equipment, wooden furniture, valuables, etc., can all very easily get damaged in extreme heat and/or humidity.
With these factors in mind, here are some permanent and temporary options you have to take advantage of:
Permanent Options for Cooling in Your Garage
- Wall Insulation
In many cases, garages are the most poorly insulated room in your entire home and can become as hot, if not more, than the summer weather (same goes for winter weather as well). If you spend a reasonable amount of time in your garage, insulating it may be your best option at cooling the room. A great advantage to this is the fact that this sort of work does not break the bank. After installation, all you have to do is relax and enjoy your cool garage for years down the road without spending any more money.
- Change the Color of Your Garage
Typically if the exterior of your garage is painted a darker color like navy blue, black or charcoal grey, it absorbs much more heat and will heat up much quicker. Consider bright and lighter colors like white, light blue, or light grey. Beginning this kind of project before summer arrives, preferably in the spring, will save you a ton of trouble and prevent an unbearable start to the warmer months.
- Garage Ventilation
Since we know hot air rises, adding some roof vents or opening the ones already present in your home is a great way to keep your garage comfortable and cool. During the night, opening these vents will bring the temperature down to a preferable level.
Opting for active ventilation systems to be installed is a good solution. Though it is on the pricier side, it is extremely effective at removing hot air. These systems can be installed on your roof or the walls.
- Investing in an Air Conditioner
This is the most expensive option, but also the best bang for your buck. An air conditioning unit in your garage is the best way to get your garage as cool as the rest of your home but is only worth the money if the garage is used a considerable amount. The best thing you can do is invest in a separate unit for your garage space to keep the area comfortable, cool, and inhabitable for everyday use.
Temporary Options for Cooling Your Garage
If you are seeking something much more temporary, look into investing in or making a point to do the following:
Utilizing fans is a great temporary fix. They help with ventilation and push the hot air out of the room, making it much more bearable. Fans also work by increasing the rate of evaporation from your body so the more you will be cooled. A note to add is that fans are only effective in moderately warm weather conditions, otherwise they will be almost useless.
Humidity traps heat, making the room feel much hotter than it actually is. Using a dehumidifier will remove all the sogginess. This also benefits the items you keep in your garage, preventing mildew, fungus, and other moisture-related issues. They are cost-effective and efficient for cooling.
- Close the Doors When It Is Hot Outside
If your garage is not in the shade and usually gets direct sunlight daily, consider keeping the door closed completely. Doing so will retain the cool temperature inside as much as possible while also preventing anything else from raising the temperature inside.
- Try a Swamp Cooler
If you need to cool the area for a short period of time, a swamp cooler works by utilizing the benefits of evaporation. All you need to do is take a bucket of ice and have a fan blow air across its top. Essentially the cool air front the ice will be propelled into the room and circulated. This is a great easy fix for hot temperatures in the room.
- Not Parking a Hot Car Inside the Garage
Especially in summers and with darker cars, your vehicle will get very hot during and after use. Parking it straight into the garage when arriving home is not the best decision. This heat will radiate from the vehicle, bringing the temperature up fast. The best way to stop this is to let the car cool in the shade before bringing it in.
- Remove Unnecessary Clutter
Garages are known to be somewhat of storage rooms. Keeping bulky tools, electric equipment, machinery or miscellaneous items in your garage will not only take up a lot of floor space but can block the airflow from inside. You may also consider installing some cabinets or storage racks to help keep the area clutter-free.