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What You Should Know About Garage Air Conditioners

What You Should Know About Garage Air Conditioners

It’s not enjoyable when your garage turns into a sauna and restricts your activities, whether you spend time there working on home improvement projects, growing vegetables, or servicing your car. You would also want to avoid the heat if you used your garage as a way to unwind after a stressful day. A climate-controlled garage is essential to safeguard temperature-sensitive things, even if it’s merely for storage.

The most effective approach to combat the intense heat is with a garage air conditioner. This can not only help you stay cool during the summer, but it can also lower humidity levels and make a room that is suitable for working. To meet your unique demands, garage AC units are available in a range of sizes and designs. You can connect a smart AC controller to your garage’s AC for improved climate control.

Here is a comprehensive information on garage AC units that can assist you in air conditioning your garage and increase your level of comfort. It includes:

AC Use In Your Garage

Why Do Garages Need Air Conditioning?

What You Should Know About Garage Air Conditioners

Your garage overheats in the summer for a number of reasons, necessitating air conditioning:

  • Location: A garage on the south or west side will receive direct sunshine and become very warm in the late afternoon.
  • Lack of Insulation – Because garages are typically not insulated, warm air from the outside can readily seep in and change the climate inside.
  • The external walls and doors of garages are typically painted a dark hue, which naturally absorbs more heat.
  • Lack of Ventilation – Without sufficient air movement, hot air builds up in the garage, raising the temperature.

Garage Air Conditioner Types

The best air conditioning alternatives for your garage are mini-split, window, and portable units.

Garage Mini-Split AC

Because of their high efficiency ratios, mini-splits are among the best garage air conditioners. They have the highest seasonal and energy efficiency ratios (SEER and EER) of any ductless unit.

What You Should Know About Garage Air Conditioners

Ductless mini-splits are simple to install because they do not require any ductwork. They are mounted high on the wall, which helps to preserve valuable garage floor space. The indoor and outdoor units of these ductless units are connected by a 3-inch hole in the wall. One indoor unit is usually enough for a one-car garage. To increase cooling capacity in a 3+ car garage, connect multiple indoor units to one outdoor unit.

Mini-splits are more expensive than other ductless air conditioners on the market, which is a drawback. However, they pay for themselves over time because they significantly reduce your energy costs.


  • Highly effective Simple to install
  • Reduces spending on bills


  • High start-up cost

Garage Window Air Conditioner

The days of bulky, inefficient window units are long gone. Instead, technological advancements have increased the versatility and efficiency of window air conditioners.

What You Should Know About Garage Air Conditioners

They are one of the most affordable units, making garage air conditioning a breeze. When it comes to ductless units, window ACs are the easiest to install, and most window units come with comprehensive installation kits. They come in sizes ranging from 5000 BTU to 18000 BTU and can cool any size garage.

With so many advantages, some drawbacks should be considered. For example, most garage windows are vertical and are not suitable for window AC installation. They are also quite noisy, and if you have converted your garage into a home office or study area, this unit may not be suitable for you.


  • Price range that is reasonable
  • Simple to set up


  • Noisy
  • Most garage windows may not be compatible.
  • Obstruct the view from outside

Air Conditioners That Fit Through Walls

A through-the-wall air conditioner is a similar cooling alternative if your garage doesn’t have windows but you still want a window air conditioner.

It functions similarly to a window air conditioner, however the installation is done differently. A through-the-wall unit is made to fit inside a wall once an opening has been created and a frame has been installed.

Because these units leak less air than window units, they are more energy-efficient. Window apartments typically have more holes and gaps. An air leak is minimal and the through-the-wall unit fits inside the wall. Additionally, they free up the space in the windows so you may use them to allow in fresh air.

The necessity of drilling a hole in the wall is the biggest disadvantage of a through-the-wall device. For your unit to operate effectively, you must additionally insulate the wall. You will need to fill and paint the hole if you ever decide to remove the unit.


  • Less energy-intensive
  • Clear the window area


  • To install, a wall hole must be bored.

Garage Portable Air Conditioner

What You Should Know About Garage Air Conditioners

A portable air conditioner is a small device that is simple to transport. Like any other air conditioner, it can chill your environment and also reduce humidity. Even heating features and smart features are included in certain sophisticated models.

If a permanent air conditioner can’t be installed in the garage, a portable unit can be used. To begin cooling, simply plug in the device and let the hose exhaust out the window. If there are no windows, you may still use this garage air conditioner by making a hole in the wall for the exhaust hose.

This unit works well in small garages, but its efficiency is limited in larger spaces. Another disadvantage is that portable units are noisy because all of the air conditioning components are contained within a single unit.


  • It is simple to move around.
  • Installation is simple.
  • It’s ideal for small garages.


  • Noisy
  • Larger spaces are not recommended.

Smart Garage Air Conditioning

Let’s say you’ve turned your garage into a gym and follow a set regimen. You never begin working out on schedule because it takes a while for your AC in the garage gym to reduce the temperature. Not only can this cause schedule disruption, but waiting for your garage to cool down can be tiresome.

Here, intelligent AC controllers can be quite useful. They can be used in conjunction with your mini-split, window, through-the-wall, or portable units to automate the climate in your garage. With a smart AC controller, you can control your AC from anywhere and make adjustments using your phone. You can turn on your air conditioner a few minutes before your shift begins, or you can program it to turn on at the time you specify.

Smart AC controllers have a Comfy Mode that allows you to set your preferred temperature and humidity range. When the temperature rises or falls outside of your comfort zone, the Comfy Mode kicks in to keep you comfortable. You can also combine this feature with scheduling to take your comfort to another level.

Which Cooling Devices Are Inappropriate For Your Garage?

Some cooling options, like central air or a swamp cooler, would not work well in a garage. For instance, running a swamp cooler in the garage instead of a central air conditioner can result in higher humidity levels within your home.

Central Air Conditioning Units

If your HVAC system is currently connected to ductwork, you might want to think about expanding it to your garage. This, however, may have a number of disadvantages.

When a duct system is extended into your garage, it causes pressurization issues. It also depressurizes the rest of your home. The reason for this is that there is no air returning to the central unit from the garage.

To relieve the negative pressure, your home will draw in fresh air from outside. This outdoor air is not filtered because it is not routed through an HVAC system. As a result, allergens and other air pollutants can easily enter your home. Furthermore, because warm or cold air is constantly entering your home, it will be difficult to maintain an optimal temperature.

Another concern is that vents in your home can allow automobile fumes from the garage to enter. Headaches, vertigo, and nausea can be brought on by the dangerous carbon monoxide in the vapors. The quality of the air within your home can also be impacted by chemicals like paints, varnishes, and motor oils.

What You Should Know About Garage Air Conditioners

Evaporative Coolers

Moisture is used by evaporative coolers to chill the space. They circulate the air into the room after blowing it across a damp pad with a fan. Since they move damp air, they are not appropriate for humid environments. If you use it in the garage, it may create an environment that is exceedingly humid and conducive to the formation of mold.

How Many BTUs Do You Need For Garage AC?

A properly sized air conditioner for your garage is essential. Any type of air conditioning unit can only cool or heat according to its size. The British Thermal Unit (BTU) is a metric that can help you determine the proper sizing. BTU measures how much energy your air conditioner uses to remove heat from a space in an hour.

Taking measurements of your garage is also necessary for determining the proper AC sizing. A typical one-car garage is between 150 and 250 square feet. A two-car garage is 350-450 sq. ft. ft. For a 150-250 sq. A garage requires 8000 BTU to cool, while a two-car garage requires 10000-12000 BTU.

Depending on where you are, you might need to make a few minor adjustments. You will need to significantly oversize your air conditioner if your garage is uninsulated and receives direct sunlight in order to account for these factors. If it is shaded, think about shrinking it.

In addition to size, think about where you want to put your unit. A window air conditioner, for instance, will operate more effectively if it is placed in the middle window to provide even air dispersion.

How To Increase A Garage AC Unit’s Efficiency

The best maintenance practices to keep your garage AC running well in the summer are as follows:

Garage Insulation

Since garage rooms often lack insulation, maintaining the ideal temperature is more challenging. If you plan to utilize your garage frequently, insulation is essential. It will prevent conditioned air from leaking out through holes and cracks in the walls, doors, windows, ceiling, and other structures.

Ceilings absorb attic heat and can become quite warm during the day. Hang drywall from the ceiling to reduce the size of the cooling area. If your garage is unfinished, you can also install rolled insulation on the ceiling. Instead, for an unfinished garage, try adding rolled insulation to the floor.

In the case of walls, first add insulation to the areas that receive direct sunlight, and then, if funds allow, move on to the shaded walls. To block the harsh sun, add reflective covering or heavy blinds to south-facing windows. In order to prevent air leaks, add weatherstripping to the top and bottom of the window sash.

Since garage doors are used frequently, permanent insulation cannot be installed there. The use of foam board insulation or thin reflective foils to block direct sunlight are examples of temporary remedies. The least expensive choice is fiberglass, which is used on the interior door. When upgrading your garage door, think about choosing one that is already insulated. To stop energy loss, pick a fiberglass door with a foam core.

Ventilation In The Garage

Removing hot, stale air from your garage can help your air conditioner run more efficiently. In the evening, try opening doors and windows. When the weather outside is nice, you can also use roof vents in the garage at night to bring in cool air. Another simple solution is to use exhaust fans. They can be attached to a window or permanently installed through the wall. They can assist in the removal of fumes and other hazardous chemicals that have accumulated in the garage.

Garage Air Conditioning’s Advantages

The following are the main advantages of having AC in the garage:

  • You may enjoy your time in the garage and maintain comfort thanks to air conditioning without having to worry about temperature changes.
  • Hot air can readily leak through the common wall, door, or window between your garage and your house. The environment around your home can stay cooler with the help of an air-conditioned and insulated garage. It makes a pocket that keeps outside heat from entering your house.
  • Your home’s central air conditioner uses less energy when there is less extra heat to absorb, which ultimately results in cheaper energy costs.
  • Your garage’s excessive heat and humidity may have an impact on the objects you store there, including paints, electronics, and furniture. Garage air conditioners can help to dry the air and save your delicate items.

Regardless of whether you use the space for work or play, a garage air conditioner is the most efficient way to reduce the temperature. A window or a portable heater can keep the space warm if your garage is small. Think about installing a mini-split air conditioner in the garage if you want a more effective system. Make sure your garage is well insulated before choosing one of these garage air conditioning systems to prevent cool air leakage. A smart AC controller combined with your garage AC unit is the ideal way to advance garage climate control.

What You Should Know About Garage Air Conditioners

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Written by HVAC Contributor

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