how to keep a garage cool in summer
Tips & Tricks

How to Keep a Garage Cool in Summer?

Every homeowner’s dream is to have an energy-efficient home. But unfortunately, maintaining an energy-efficient home can be quite daunting with the many appliances flooding the market. In addition, if you live in an area with cold winters and hot summers, you have had your fair share of a struggle to accomplish energy efficiency.

You may have also channeled your repairs and upgrades into your primary living space and may have neglected a vital area of your home- your garage. During summer, your garage can experience unbearable heat levels. Sometimes, the garage doubles up as a workspace, and such high temperatures make you sweat heavily and increase discomfort.

Even energy-efficient homes struggle with the rising temperatures in their garages in hot summer. But here are a few efficient ways to cool your garage.

1. Keep the garage door open

The first thing to do to cool your garage is open your garage door to let in some fresh air. This is a great ventilation idea for your hot garage, and it allows trapped air to escape. Also, a door that faces north brings in cooler air since the northern side of your home gets minimal sunlight, meaning lower temperatures, and as a result, it makes your garage cooler.

But even if your door does not face north, opening it brings in a breeze since moving air is cooler than air that is still. You can also open the windows to ensure ample circulation of cool air. Opening the door and windows helps you create a cross breeze that immensely cools your garage and makes it more comfortable to work from.

Once you are done using the garage, ensure to close the door and windows for security reasons. If you also do not want to be bothered by neighbors as you work, you can raise your door a few feet off the ground instead of opening it all the way. Also, open the windows, and you will allow cool air inside, even as you maintain your privacy.

However, resist the temptation to open the door that connects your house to the garage. Although it will increase airflow, it will also allow your home to gather toxic fumes or elements from the garage, and you do not want to expose your family to such elements regardless of their amount.

2. Use garage fans

Another great way to cool your garage is to install a ceiling fan or exhaust fans. This method is simple and cost-effective and improves your garage temperature. However, the downside to this method is that you can only install a ceiling in a garage that is at least eight feet high.

Any garage with a height of less than eight feet cannot use a ceiling fan, as it may prevent you from parking a taller car in your garage and may interfere with the opening and closing of your door.

The best ceiling fan works when its blades are at least seven to nine feet above the floor and about 10 inches from your ceiling. A large fan speeds up cooling, and a fan whose diameter is between 36 and 44 inches is ideal for a garage of 225 square feet or less.

If your garage is above 225 square feet, consider installing a fan of 52 inches and above in diameter. Also, if it is over 18 feet long, you may need to install more than one fan for even distribution and coverage of the space.

Also, you can use a floor fan to enhance the circulation of air. Garage fans are ideal ways of cooling a detached garage.

3. Cool your vehicles before parking

Driving a car makes it heat up, and if you park it immediately you get home, the heat will warm the air in the garage. If you close your garage, the hot air is trapped inside and raises your space’s temperature level. So, it is advisable to leave your car in the driveway to let it cool. In a shaded driveway, the car should cool in an hour or two.

However, if your driveway gets too much sun, leaving the car there will be counterproductive as it continues to heat even when parked. Instead, try pouring cold water on the roof of your car to speed up cooling before moving it to your garage.

4. Plant a tree or install an awning

Purchase a roll-away awning that you can pull down to provide shade during the hot months. Installing the awning allows you to regulate your temperatures by rolling it away or pulling it down, depending on the weather, and is an efficient way to cool your garage.

An awning prevents too much sun from entering the garage and helps keep the temperature inside much cooler than if the awning was absent. When it’s the cold season, you can roll away the awning and store it to prevent its damage from weather and allow more sunlight and heat.

Sometimes, you can install a permanent awning into the overall design of your home. Although this option is pretty expensive, it is a great solution for your problem, especially if your garage doors face the sun’s direction during the hottest parts of the day.

Plant a tree if you still need something more visually appealing than an awning yet inexpensive. For example, you can strategically plant a deciduous tree to give your garage shade from the sun. The ideal tree should be deciduous as it is full of leaves during summer but loses them all during fall, creating a direct path for the sun to warm up your space.

You can plant walnut, oak, or ash. The downside to this idea is the time a tree takes before maturing. Meanwhile, you can use an awning as you wait for the tree to grow.

5. Declutter the garage

Whether you know it or not, your garage could be experiencing high-temperature levels because of clutter.

Stacked boxes retain heat along the floor and consequently reduce airflow. Opening the windows and door, in this case, will not be enough to cool your garage as the cool air cannot flow around the boxes, creating a stagnant space that is hot.

Therefore, you need to declutter or rearrange your garage. Spend an afternoon decluttering and discarding old junk. Also, you can improve the organization in your garage to enhance airflow.

For instance, you can remove the boxes you do not want to get rid of from the floor and place them on shelves. Even as you do so, ensure you do not pile stuff in front of the door or windows that you want to open.

Why is my garage so hot in summer?

Here are a few reasons your garage temperatures are too high:

  • Your garage is full of stuff cluttering the space and creating areas with stagnant hot air.
  • Your door faces direct sunlight, especially during the hottest part of the day.
  • Your garage lacks ventilation, like windows.
  • It lacks insulation.
  • The garage has concrete floors. Unfortunately, concrete floors soak up heat from your car and the sun, making the floor too hot.

How do I keep garage cool without AC?

  • If yours has concrete floors, consider putting vinyl on the floor as it is low maintenance yet strong and durable and minimizes the heat absorption of your concrete floor.
  • Use insulation because a well-insulated garage retains air where it should be, allowing your garage to stay warm in winter and cool during summer.
  • Increase ventilation by installing a fan-you can mount one on the floor or use a ceiling fan- or open your garage door, windows, and roof vents to allow cross ventilation.
  • Change the color inside the garage. Dark colors absorb heat, so if your garage has dark colors, it may heat up faster than one whose colors are light. Choose white, sandstone, or almond finish for a garage that faces the sun’s direction, especially during the hottest parts of the day, rather than mahogany or deep walnut.
  • Declutter to remove areas that cause stagnant hot air. Bulky machinery or tools lying on the floor block airflow in the garage. Install storage racks or cabinets to keep your space clutter-free.
  • Avoid parking a hot car inside the garage. Instead, give it a few hours to cool.

Will insulating a garage keep it cooler?

Yes. The right insulation will work perfectly to retain the optimal temperature in your space and reduce your energy costs. Consider these insulation methods:

  • Weatherstripping: This method creates the perfect seal around your door and windows that holds heat if the garage is hot even after closing the door. If you keep it cool, the insulation retains the coolness.
  • Wall insulation allows you to insert or increase the amount of insulation in your walls, especially exterior walls prone to too much heat. For example, use blown-in insulation for a garage with drywall in place and Batt insulation for an unfinished garage or one that lacks drywall.
  • Replace your regular door with an insulated one. This insulation blocks outside air from entering your garage, guaranteeing even temperatures inside your space.

Best way to cool a garage without windows

  • Use a swamp cooler that works through evaporation. Fill a bucket with ice and use a portable fan to blow air over its top. This method allows the cool air from the ice to circulate the garage. You can make this process more effective by putting the setup in an enclosed box or using a water sprinkler alongside the fan to create a watery mist in the air.
  • Use an air conditioner. It is the most expensive solution but will undoubtedly keep your garage as cool as you want it. Use this solution if you spend too much time n the garage. Otherwise, you will just be wasting your money. Get a through-the-wall air conditioner or ductless wall-mounted mini-splits to cool a garage with no windows.
  • Use a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier removes the uncomfortable environment that causes sweating. You can use it alongside a fan because it does not throw air into the room. Using both appliances creates a low-cost and energy-efficient cooling system for your hot garage.

Conclusion

Try the options discussed when considering keeping your garage habitable and comfortable during summer. However, if you try these options but still experience hot temperatures in your garage, call a professional to advise you accordingly.

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