Should you Air Condition your Garage

The people who spend a lot of time working in the garage can attest to how hectic and uncomfortable it gets when temperatures are high. The high temperatures may be detrimental to some of the items stored in the garage. Such items include; glues, paints, and other mechanical tools that require a cool storage area. Even worse, the exposure of cars in the garage to such extremely high temperatures may accelerate rusting of some of the vehicle components when there is a water medium

One way to achieve comfort while working in the garage and ensure the safety of items stored in the garage is through air conditioning. However, most DIYers and the garage owners are not well versed with the air conditioning process or whether the practice is appropriate for garages and always find themselves wondering; should you air condition your garage.

Garage can be air conditioned. However, there are special considerations for effective garage air conditioning. For instance, you should ensure that the garage is properly insulated. If it isn’t insulated, then you will have to put up some insulation to the door and the walls. With no proper insulation in place, installing the air conditioner will be a total waste of time and resources; this is because the cool air generated by the air conditioner will stay in the garage for a short period and eventually escape through the uninsulated walls and doors.

Should you air condition your garage? The image shows a woman Hessaire MC37M Portable Evaporative Cooler, a portable air condition that can be used both at home and in a garage

Types of Air Conditioners 

Garage air conditioning is becoming a common phenomenon among garage owners due to its attached benefits. The vapor produced from the heated items in the garage, such as oils, paints, and glues, not only has an unpleasant smell but is also dangerous to health when inhaled. Moreover, the gas and paints stored in the garage are volatile; they will evaporate and become vapor when exposed to extremely high temperatures, making air conditioning a priority to the garage owners.

There are different varieties of air conditioning systems. Not knowing which air conditioner to choose from may make the decision-making process complicated. The following are some of the available air conditioning units for small spaces such as garages.

A mini-split Air Conditioner

This type of air conditioner permits you to regulate the temperatures in separate rooms. It has two main components; an outdoor compressor and an indoor evaporator. The installation of a mini-split air conditioner is very easy and not time-consuming. They are a great choice for room additions where other air conditioners are not workable or practical. They also save energy and are best for the conditioning of small spaces such as garages.

Mini-split air conditioners  do not require ducts; hence more visually attractive when installed in the garage. These units don’t take up much space when installed since they are fixed high up on the wall.

The disadvantage of this type of air conditioner is that they are very costly to purchase. The installation of a mini-split air conditioner is also pricey since it requires a professional to do the job. These costs, coupled up with the installation of proper insulation, will boost the overall costs.

Window Air Conditioner

This type of air conditioner is more appropriate if your garage has a window. Window air conditioners are usually cost-effective, and the installation is quite easy. They have directional louvers that will enable you to manipulate it to the direction you want it to face per your work.

The downside of this air conditioner is that they are huge and will occupy a large space in your garage. 

Portable Air Conditioners

Portable air conditioners are perfect for residential areas. You can easily move these air conditioners between your homes and garage as they are portable and easy to install. However, the installation for these units requires an insulated room or space. If not installed correctly, they may be a total waste of time and resources.

To be installed in your garage, your garage should have a proper insulation system in place. If you don’t have a window for ventilation in your garage, you will have to put up a ventilation system before installing a portable air conditioner.

Personal air cooler

Yet another exemplary air conditioner unit for your garage. If you want something that you can easily move around, this is the best option for you. These personal air coolers are very affordable for small spaces. Due to their small sizes, they take up up a small space in a garage.

The smaller personal air coolers are a  great option if you only need to cool the area around you, as they cannot cool the entire room. The other benefits of this type are that the installation process is easy, and operating them does not require much energy. The one drawback of these is that they require a lot of continuous maintenance.

Alternatives to Garage Air Conditioning 

There are other ways you can cool your garage in case installing an air conditioner is costly and not appropriate for you. These temporary methods could also be another option for those who rarely use or work in their garage.


Installing fans in your garage can be an alternative. Fans will improve the room ventilation and make the room more aerated by pushing hot air out of the garage. Fans will cool your body by increasing the rate at which sweat vaporizes from your body. You should be cautious since fans won’t be effective if the temperatures are exceedingly high.

Installation of Dehumidifier 

 The dehumidifier works by reducing the humidity of the garage and consequently reducing the garage’s temperature. Moreover, dehumidifiers eliminate the moist feeling, which causes too much sweating. For dehumidifiers to be effective, they should be used hand in hand with the fans so that the dehumidifier will lower the room temperatures while the fan drives out the hot air from the garage. This combination is a very effective option.

Door and Window Closures 

Closing doors and windows when it’s hot outside will ensure that the temperatures in the room remain intact. Your garage’s location will be a key factor when deciding on whether or not you should close your door.

You should also ensure that the car’s engine has cooled down before you park your car in the garage; this is because the heat emitted from the engine will cause the garage’s temperature to rise by a few degrees. It would be best to let your car cool down completely before packing it in the garage; this will prevent excess heating up in the garage.

Enhancing Garage Air Conditioner Efficiency

The effectiveness of the air conditioners in a garage can be realized through their inclusion in a well-insulated garage.  Garage insulation would be an integral practice to ensuring the efficiency of the air conditioners, even if you were to use the most basic insulation packages.  The primary areas to keep in mind for the enhancement of air conditioning include;


Most garages, like your homes or offices, get heated from the attic above them. The ceiling forms a primary area you must keep in mind when you intend to insulate your garage. You will need to add rolled insulation to the attic floor or, if the attic is finished, to the garage’s ceiling. The result is that you will have a cool garage, and the installed air conditioner in the garage will not have to be overused or stretched to provide a favorable temperature in the garage.

Garage Doors

Doors form the main leeway to most of the air that gets into your garage. During the day, the doors absorb a significant amount of heat and result in losing heat to the outside environment. However, if you add insulating material to the garage doors, the heat that leaves the room can be significantly reduced.  You should ensure that you check the possible cracks in the door, seal them, and replace the insulating strips.


Garage walls can be exposed, and this can form one of the pass-ways to the extra heat that gets or leave the room. Adding an insulation layer to the exposed garage walls can help keep it cool. For instance, you can begin by insulating the walls directly hit by the sun and then to the walls in the shade. The practice will help you save the insulation cost. Also, when you have an attached garage, the wall shared by your house is already insulated, and therefore you will not need extra insulation material.


As with the doors, the windows also form a passage of heat into the garage. If you have windows facing the sunshine directly, you should cover them with reflective materials or sun-blocking curtains that will help keep your garage cooler. Moreover, if you intend to use the lights from the windows for use in the garage, you can have a reflective film in the windows to reduce the amount of heat getting into the room.

Frequently asked questions

What are some of the benefits of air conditioning in your garage?

Installation of the air conditioner in your garage is very beneficial as it will create a favorable working environment when temperatures are extremely high. Besides, having an air conditioning unit will guarantee a long shelf life for the volatile items stored in the garage. Air conditioning in the garage can eventually save energy since cooling of the garage can lead to cooling of rooms and spaces neighboring the garage.

How to size the garage air condoner

Deciding on the accurate size of the air conditioner to add to your garage is such a critical part of the installation process. If you don’t get to determine the proper sizing when buying, you will be part of the many people who have been disappointed because they didn’t know the size of their units.

Regardless of the type of air conditioner you will be buying, be it a mini-split air conditioner or a portable unit; it can only cool a specific amount of space depending on its design. An air conditioner has a British Thermal Unit (BTU) that regulates the amount of heat it can get rid of from a closed space. For instance, if your garage is located near a shade, you can then get a smaller air conditioning unit, while a garage located where it gets all the sun will require a slightly bigger air conditioning unit with a higher BTU’s/hr for more power.

How do you increase the garage air conditioning efficiency?

 Even though installing an air conditioner in your garage will do away with the unnecessary heat there, you may still experience some discomfort if the garage is not properly insulated. You will ensure that your garage walls, windows, doors, and ceiling are insulated—Will work hand in hand to ensure that the garage is cool. With no insulation, the air conditioning might prove to be a total waste of time and resources.

A video showing how to air condition a garage

Final Thoughts

Installing an air conditioner in your garage is essential if you live in an area that experiences very high temperatures. Air conditioners not only ensure maximum protection and a long lifespan of the volatile items stored in the garage but also ensure comfort while working, and spending a lot of time in the garage. However, suppose after self-evaluation of the garage, you find out that it is unnecessary to have an air conditioner, you can opt for other affordable and temporary solutions such as fans, opening and closing the garage doors, and installing dehumidifiers.

Thus, if you are wondering if it is possible to air condition your garage, be sure that the air conditioners are perfect for garages.  You can and should have an air conditioning unit in your garage. However,  ensure that the prevailing circumstances warrant installing an air conditioner.

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