Stay Cool in Your Garage: Innovative Garage Cooling Ideas

garage cooling ideas

Summer is a great season to work in the yard and enjoy time outdoors. However, it’s also nice to retreat back inside to the air conditioning when it starts to get too sweltering outside!

While you might heat and cool your whole house, the garage is usually one space that isn’t temperature-controlled. Especially during these hot summer months, you may notice that the room gets incredibly hot and humid. 

Without any way to escape, the heat could damage some of the more delicate items in the space, causing them to warp or crack. Today, we’re sharing some garage cooling ideas to help you keep this room as cool and comfortable as possible. 

1. Open the Garage Door

This one might seem obvious, but you’ll be surprised at how much cooler your garage feels when you leave the door open! While it’s important to close it after too long to keep bugs and critters out, even just a short reprieve can make a major difference. 

Of course, you don’t want to open the door and leave it open during the hottest part of the day. Keep the door closed then, along with any other doors or windows leading into the space. Aim to open everything in the morning or evening, when the summer air is at its coolest level. 

While you’re adjusting the door, check its condition. If yours is old or outdated, it might be letting in more hot air than you realize. A properly-fitted garage door will fit snugly and securely, creating a safe barrier against the exterior elements. 

A new garage door can improve your curb appeal and keep your garage cool. You can even find specialty doors that feature insulated glass panels for extra energy efficiency. 

2. Keep Hot Cars Out

Think about it: When your car’s been running outside, every component within it gets hot. This includes the engine, body panel, brakes, tires, and more. 

When you drive your vehicle directly into the garage, all that heat has to go somewhere. As soon as you put the car in park and turn off the engine, the heat will begin to radiate into the air around you, adding a few degrees to the room. 

If possible, try to park your car outside until it’s had a chance to cool down. This might take a little longer in the summer, especially if you have a dark car that absorbs the sun’s UV rays. In the evening, you can move the car inside. 

3. Install a Mini Split

Are you growing frustrated with DIY and makeshift solutions that promise to cool your garage? If yours is in need of a serious temperature adjustment, you may want to consider installing a garage mini split. 

These are small, wall-mounted air conditioning units that can help cool the air in your garage, but there’s one caveat: The room needs to be insulated first. Without proper insulation levels, you could run the mini split on full blast, 24/7, you still might not notice much of a difference. 

When it comes to installation, you have a couple of options to consider, including:

  • Fiberglass
  • Cellulose
  • Rigid Foam
  • Spray Foam

Here’s a breakdown that compares each option so you can decide which one will work best for you. 

4. Add Ventilation

It might be a trick of the imagination, but moving air simply feels cooler than stagnant air. That’s why it can help to improve your garage ventilation, especially if the space has started to feel a little stuffy. 

When it comes to adding ventilation, you have a few different routes you can take. These include: 

  • Box fans
  • Floor fans
  • Ceiling fans
  • Attic fan

A benefit of box and floor fans is that they’re easy to find and relatively inexpensive. While it might cost a little more and require more work to install a ceiling fan, they often make a more noticeable difference. If you choose this option, make sure your garage ceilings are tall enough to support a fan. 

Some homeowners may also be interested in installing an attic fan. These fit best toward the gable end of the garage and usually come equipped with a built-in thermostat. You can set the thermostat to turn the fan on when the air in the garage reaches a pre-determined temperature. 

Note that if you plan to add any type of insulation to your garage, you’ll also need to install attic vents to keep the air moving and cool.

5. Install a Radiant Barrier

Have you ever heard of a radiant barrier? Also known as garage attic insulation, this is a material that can prevent the sun’s UV rays from penetrating the roof of your garage. 

While this can be an investment, it also makes a marked difference in how your room feels. In turn, this affects how you use the space. If you have space in your home repair budget to add it, the ROI is high. 

6. Remove Excess Clutter

It might not make a huge difference in how your garage feels, but if you have piles of extra clutter lying around, it can prevent the air from moving freely around the room. This is especially important if you’ve installed any type of garage AC, such as a mini split. 

Take the time to clean and organize your garage as much as possible. From plastic bins to wire shelving units, it’s easy to find affordable and effective storage solutions. Pay special attention to the following items, which tend to get hot and stay that way:

  • Metal tools
  • Car parts
  • Sports gear
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Racks of clothing 

If you don’t have time to do a complete overhaul of your space, that’s OK. Start with the most serious sources of clutter first, and work your way outward from there. 

7. Add a Window Unit

Do you have a window in your garage? If so, you might consider adding a window AC unit. Modern options are much sleeker and less obtrusive than some older models tend to be!

If your garage doesn’t have any windows, you may still be able to install this unit, but you’ll need an experienced contractor to help you create a new opening in the wall. Before you go this far, consider if a mini split would be a better solution. While wall-mounted AC units can be effective in their own right, they’re best reserved for small garages. 

8. Use a Dehumidifier

Does it seem like your garage always feels incredibly hot, even when the outside temperatures aren’t soaring? In this case, high humidity could be the issue. 

When the air gets too humid, it can feel like walking into an oven. This is where a dehumidifier can help. Whether you choose to use it for a short while or leave it plugged in all the time, it can help remove the moisture from the air in your garage. 

You should notice a substantial difference in the way your garage feels after this process is complete. It helps to think of a dehumidifier as a low-powered air conditioner. It includes a fan that moves humid air across cooling coils. 

When the air hits one of the coils, it condenses. Then, it travels to a pan or drain at the bottom of the humidifier, where you can empty it later. Once that excess moisture is collected and removed, you should notice that the air in your garage feels less sticky and unbearably hot.

9. Add Garage Door Accessories

You may have taken all of the right steps and installed the correct garage door. You may have even known that a material like wood would act as a natural insulator, keeping your garage protected from the hot air outside. 

However, are all of the other accessories in place?

Two of the most important items you need are proper weatherstripping and a durable door sweep. When these are installed on your garage door and the door leading into your home, it can help improve the overall energy efficiency in the space. While you’re at it, also check to make sure that all of your garage windows are securely sealed!

10. Keep Exterior Colors Light

Darker colors naturally attract light and heat. If you live in a climate that gets especially hot, you may want to choose a garage door color that’s on the lighter side. You can work with a residential garage door company to see all of the different brands and styles available. 

From bright white to a creamy tan, there are many different possibilities. This should make it easy to find one that fits your personal style preferences and design aesthetic. 

Put Our Garage Cooling Ideas to Work

A hot garage is a miserable garage. You need the ability to use this space to work, store extra gear, and protect your vehicles. You don’t want to feel like you’re stepping into a sauna every time you go in there. 

If yours is too hot, these are a few of the garage cooling ideas you can try. Start by making sure your garage door is sturdy, with all of the right gear correctly in place. 

If you think the door could be the culprit, it’s time to give us a call and get a quote! From minor repairs to major replacements, we do it all at R&S Doors and we’re here to help you keep your cool.