Best Air Conditioner for a Garage [All Budgets]

Wanting to work on your passion projects in your garage while being cool isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity.

Instead of bearing through the pain of the heat, it’s time to look into buying air conditioners for your garage.

To save you trouble, the best portable garage air conditioner is Honeywell 14000 BTU Air Conditioner.

Deciding which garage air conditioner is right for you can be a challenge. You have options from mini split air conditioners to window air conditioners and even fan options.

But it doesn’t have to be, below is everything you’ll need to start cooling down your garage.

Let’s dive right in.

Our Top Picks

IMAGEMODELTYPECOOLING AREABTUCHECK PRICE
Honeywell MN4CFS9 Portable400 sq.ft14,000 CHECK PRICE
Whynter ARC-14SPortable500 sq.ft14000 CHECK PRICE
SereneLife SLPAC10Portable350 sq.ft7,500 CHECK PRICE
PIONEER WYS012GMFI22RLDuctless MiniSplit500 sq.ft12,000 CHECK PRICE
Pioneer WYS009G-19Ductless MiniSplit400 sq.ft9,000 CHECK PRICE
Midea U InverterWindow300 sq.ft8,000 CHECK PRICE
LG 14,000 BTUWindow800 sq. ft14000 CHECK PRICE
GE AHY08LZWindow350 sq.ft8,000 CHECK PRICE
Honeywell CO48PM Evaporative800 sq. ft CHECK PRICE

Choosing the Right Garage Air Conditioner

You have three choices when it comes to cooling your garage:

  • Portable
  • Ductless Minisplit
  • Window

Finding the right garage air conditioners depends on your needs and your budget. My personal recommendation would be to go with a window unit.

Regardless of which unit you decide to buy, a dehumidifier is suggested to keep energy costs at a minimum.

You should also insulate your garage before you even think about putting air conditioners inside of your garage. You will get better results from insulation alone than air conditioning without insulation.

Window Unit – $

Window air conditioners are ugly, they can be noisy, but they work well. You’re in the garage anyway, you likely won’t mind the noise!

If you are looking for a budget pick, window air conditioners are the best all-around buy considering cost-effectiveness.

While they are cheap, they still push as much air if not more than the portable air conditioing units while using less electricity to boot.

If you just want a way to cool down the garage without breaking the bank, window air conditioners are a perfect option. Window units these days can be easily installed by yourself with a little elbow grease.

Portable$$

Portable air conditioners are the easiest option out of the three. They require little installation and no outside help. They aren’t the cheapest or the best at cooling but they are convenient.

The main benefit of a portable garage air conditioner is that you don’t have to use it just in the garage, you can use it elsewhere.

The downside though is that you do need to vent out the hot air somehow, either through a window or the garage door.

Portable AC units are the best option if you are looking for a no-hassle way to cool your garage and are willing to pay a little bit extra for the convenience factor.

Ductless Mini-split $$$$

Ductless mini split air conditioners are the best option although it is costly.

Ductless mini split air conditioners like a normal AC unit with an attachment that goes outside. Wall-mounted AC units are incredibly great at keeping rooms cool but do cost a pretty penny when it comes to installation.

Having used ductless mini split air conditioners in the past, I can vouch for them keeping the air incredibly cold. Most units can also do heat as well so that is a bonus.

The cost+installation averages to around $4000-5000. If you have no budget, then ductless mini split air conditioners are the best way to cool a garage.

Evaporative coolers

I didn’t include evaporative coolers in the list because not every person will be able to use an evaporative cooler. They’re only effective in hot, dry climates making them useless if you live outside of the southwest and parts of Texas/Colorado.

Best Overall Portable Garage Air Conditioner

Honeywell 14000 BTU Air Conditioner

For a 400 square foot garage, you’re going to need at least a 14000 BTU air conditioner.

This portable air conditioner is going to be perfect for a two car garage, not to mention that you can take it inside with you wherever you go in the home!

If your garage gets humid as well as hot, you can use the dehumidifier function. That’s going to be great when it’s not too hot in the garage, but the rainy season is starting to take a toll on your garage.

It has a continuous drain outlet as well to make it so you don’t need to empty out the water bucket when you leave it in dehumidify mode.

With its filter alerts, you won’t ever need to remember when to change the filter. As soon as the light comes on, take out the washable filter, give it a quick rinse and you’ll be on your way.

Enjoy from the 3 fan speeds, 24 hour timer and a remote control. You’ll be able to quickly turn off this portable air conditioner anywhere in your garage.

This unit also has thermal overload protection to protect not only the air conditioner, but you and your home.

Sadly, portable air conditioners aren’t the most efficient garage cooling options.

I would recommend a window unit over a portable air conditioner, but you may want to be able to take it inside with you to justify the purchase.

Overall, this portable air conditioner not only looks aesthetic, but will help keep your garage dry and cool all year round.

It’s easy to install and will be sure to keep your garage a sanctuary during the hot months.

Pros
  • Cools up to 700 square feet insulated space
  • Has remote
  • Dehumidify mode
  • Washable filter
Cons
  • Less efficient than window units

Best Runner-Up Portable Garage Air Conditioner

Whynter ARC-14S

I love that this 14000 BTU portable air conditioner is going to be great for up to a 500 square foot garage.

This portable AC unit also has dehumidifying capabilities. It can remove up to 71 pints per day, which is going to be great during the rainy season.

You’ll be able to enjoy the front display panel with easy-to-access buttons.

Choose the temperature you’d like your garage to be at and enjoy the cold air it provides. If you find that it’s too cold in your garage, you can use the fan mode instead which will use less electricity.

The washable filter makes it super easy to take care of this air conditioner. Simply wash it every month or so, and that’s all you’ll need to do.

If the power cuts out, don’t worry, the automatic restart function will bring it right back to where you left off.

Enjoy the 24-hour timer, temperature control from 61 to 89F, a full functioning remote and an auto drain function. Reviewers mention that this unit was a great fit in their garage and especially enjoyed the dehumidify options.

Sadly, this unit uses dual hose exhaust which can be a bit tricky to set up as the hot air can get mixed in with the intake which will make the portable AC unit borderline useless.

Overall, this is one of the best garage air conditioners I could find. With its 14000 BTU cooling capacity, it’s sure to get that hot air out of your garage. Just make sure to install the dual fans correctly and you should be good to go.

Pros
  • Capable of Cooling 500 sq.ft
  • 14000 BTU
  • Stylish
Cons
  • Dual Exhaust Setup
  • Can Get Loud
  • No Phone App

Best Budget Portable Garage Air Conditioner

SereneLife SLPAC10

If you’re looking for a budget garage AC unit, this one will be suitable for 300-350 square foot garages.

You’ll be able to enjoy not only the full featured remote, but also the digital touch panel on the front for ease of access.

Even though it’s a budget option, you still get to choose from 3 operating modes, dehumidifying, fan and cooling.

Humidity can destroy a garage, and with the dehumidify mode, you won’t have to purchase a separate garage dehumidifier.

It comes with a window installation kit so you’ll be able to enjoy from cool air in a matter of minutes.

While it isn’t as efficient as a window air conditioner, you’ll still be able to enjoy from its low power consumption.

I like that the front has an automatic swing mode for the vents so you can get that cool air moving all across your garage. The low noise level motor is a nice touch as well if you want to enjoy some peace and quiet every now and then.

Compared to the other garage air conditioners on this list, it is not the most aesthetic. Still packed with features though!

If you have around a 300 square foot garage, this is one of the best garage air conditioners out there.

Pros
  • Gets the Job Done
  • Comes will remote
  • Easy to Setup
Cons
  • Only cools 350 sq.ft
  • Not as aesthetic as other options

Best Overall Ductless Mini-Split Garage Air Conditioner

PIONEER WYS012GMFI22RL

*Ductless Mini-split AC units require professional installation.

Does it get chilly during the winter? Ductless Mini-splits are capable of producing heat as well as cooling. You get what you pay with wall-mounted AC units compared to portable.

Included with the PIONEER WYS012GMFI22RL is an LCD remote, heat pump outdoor section and the 16′ installation kit.

The hidden LED on the front is a nice touch. (can be dimmable)

This bad boy is capable of cooling up to 700sq.ft. The garage would be able be turned into another room if you decide that you no longer need access to the garage.

The warranty is 5 years for parts and the compressor should anything go wrong.

Unfortunately, mini splits will cost you a pretty penny to be installed in your garage.

Pros
  • Gets Extremely Cold
  • Capable of Heating
  • Can Turn Garage into Spare Room
Cons
  • Needs Professional Installation
  • Pricy

Best Budget Ductless Mini-Split Garage Air Conditioner

Pioneer WYS009G

Pioneer WYS009G

The Pioneer WYS009G-19 clocks in at 9000 BTU. Capable of cooling 400 sq. ft, this unit is a great bang for your buck.

The unit is the same as the PIONEER WYS012GMFI22RL, comes with the same remote, installation cable, and front-facing LED.

You save money by giving up some BTU, which is a no-brainer if you only need to cool a small space.

You’ll be able to save money all year with its highly efficient ductless mini-split inverter and heat pump system.

You can call their tech support if you come into any issues during installation. The compressor comes with a 5-year warranty as well.

Like other mini splits, this unit is also expensive to purchase and install.

The Pioneer WYS009G-19 is our prime pick for Wall Mounted AC units.

Pros
  • Ultra Quiet
  • Cools 350 sq.ft
  • Heats and Cools
Cons
  • Pricy Installation
  • No Full Warranty, Only Compressor

Best Overall Window Garage Air Conditioner

Midea U Inverter

Midea U Inverter

Window air conditioners aren’t the best looking nor are they the quietest, but they do their job and they do it well!

With 35% energy savings and 9 times quieter than regular window units, what’s not to love?

It only gets better from there. You can cool your 300 sq. ft garage with ease. Have a bigger garage? The Midea U Inverter comes in 12,000 BTU.

Want to get some fresh air into the garage but don’t want to open the garage door? The U installation allows for the window to be opened while still running the unit.

It comes with an app capable of controlling your device from anywhere as long as you have internet.

You may not have a window to install this in, making it expensive to get it set up in your garage.

Think you’re capable of installing this unit?

It makes sense why window units are the perfect choice for cooling down a garage. Cheap, energy-efficient, and capable of keeping your garage cold. It also heats for the winter and doesn’t require professional installation.

If you need help installing this, the process can be quite confusing. Click here for an instructional video.

Pros
  • Cost Effective
  • Energy Efficient
  • Has App
Cons
  • Can Be Hard to Install
  • Unsightly

Also Great Window Garage Air Conditioner

LG 14,000 BTU

This 14000 BTU window air conditioner is powerful enough to cool down a 2 car garage.

With its ultra-quiet operation, you’ll be able to enjoy cold air while having peace and quiet.

It has WiFi capabilities, but if you don’t want to use the app you can still use the included remote.

Window air conditioners are some of the most efficient and will save you money in the long run. Portable air conditioners can also be problematic as are heavy, are loud and you need to drain the water they create.

With a window air conditioner, you won’t ever have that issue again.

I also like that you can use the 4 fan speeds and use the auto cool functions to customize the way you want this air conditioner to work.

If you want to hook it up to work with your smart home, it works with Hey Google and Alexa.

What’s crazy is that this unit is quoted to cost $68 per year in electricity, which is even cheaper than its non-inverted counterparts.

It’s easy to install, comes with a removable washable filter and has a one year warranty. What’s not to love?

Unfortunately, the Alexa integration is only going to be able to control the temperature and not turn off/on the unit itself.

If you’re after one of the best garage air conditioners around, this is what you should be looking for. It has WiFi, will cool down your large garage and is efficient as heck.

Best Budget Window Garage Air Conditioner

GE AHY08LZ

GE AHY08LZ

Just because this is the cheapest garage air conditioner on this list doesn’t mean that it’s out of the competition.

With its 8,000 BTUs, it’s capable of cooling up to 350 sq. ft. Perfect for smaller-sized garages.

Have a smart home? The GE AHY08LZ has an application that works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple home kit.

Utilize its 3 cool speeds, fan speeds, and 2-way air direction to your pleasure. The unit also comes with easy-to-clean air filters.

The installation takes around 30 minutes and shouldn’t be a problem if you’re handy.

Sadly, this unit isn’t powerful enough to cool down a 2 car garage.

Definitely worthwhile to look into this unit, For the price, it can’t be beaten.

Pros
  • Cheapest Unit
  • Cools up to 350 sq.ft
  • Has App
Cons
  • Lowest Degree Setting is 64
  • Average Window Unit Sounds

Best Evaporative Cooler for Garage

Honeywell CO48PM Evaporative Air Cooler

Evaporative coolers are another option for cooling down your garage and this one is good up to 610 feet.

You’ll be able to cool down a three-car garage with no issue (as long as the environment is right for the use of an evaporative cooler).

If you don’t want to use it in your garage, you can take it with you outside on your pool deck, porch or even your garden.

It’s outdoor rated so no need to worry about it getting damaged with outdoor use.

The top-loading ice compartment is easy to use and you also get an option to use the continuous drain to remove water with ease.

The triple-sided cooling pads were engineered to keep the cool air flowing.

The 14-inch blades will get that ice-cold air moving all throughout your garage. The 10-gallon tank will also make it so you won’t have to refill your tank every hour.

The long electric cord will also make it easy to use without any extension cords.

Be aware that this unit will only be effective in hot, dry climates between 45 and 65 humidity. If you aren’t in this zone, then you’re not going to want to use an evaporative cooler in your garage as it won’t be effective.

If you live in a zone where evaporative coolers are effective, then this is one of the best garage evaporative coolers to choose from.

Garage Air-Conditioner FAQ

1) How to cool a garage with no windows?

Your only options are using a fan or a Ductless-Minisplit air conditioner.

The Ductless-Minisplit does require professional installation and is pricy.

If you are looking to save money, another option would be to get a window installed and purchase a window unit. Altogether it would still be cheaper than a Ductless-Minisplit (around $4000-5000).

You should also think about ventilating your garage with an exhaust fan if you have no other options.

2) What is the best garage air conditioner for me?

Personally, I would only buy a window unit. The portable AC units are known to be less energy efficient and cost much more than a standard window unit.

You can spend around 300 dollars with a much better result than portable units.

Wanting to up the value of your house is always a good idea. That’s where Ductless Mini-splits fits in.

You can eventually turn your garage into a separate bedroom with an AC installed increasing the value of your home when you look to sell in the future.

3) Will a portable AC cool a garage?

Yes, it can. Will it be the most efficient or the best use of your time? Likely not. You will have better results with a window unit or a Ductless Mini-split, both require a bit more know-how but are better performance-wise.

4) How big of an air conditioner do I need for my garage?

A two-car garage would require around a 9,000 to 10,000 BTU air conditioner according to Energy Star. I would advise going bigger than you think as the garage is more prone to air leaking due to the nature of the garage door.

5) Should I air condition my garage?

How much time do you spend in the garage?

You can buy a garage fan or garage ceiling instead of an entire unit to save on costs if you don’t spend much time in the garage. Dehumidifying your garage is also another option.

Being hot all the time is bothersome, and spending a lot of time in the garage working on your projects can turn into a nightmare. It’s worth it for me to spend a few more bucks to be more comfortable at the end of the day.

It can also increase the cost of your home, so look at it like an investment rather than sunk money.

Final Thoughts

If you’re after one of the best garage air conditioners while still being portable, then the Honeywell 14000 BTU Air Conditioner is a great option. If you aren’t on a budget and don’t mind an expensive installation, you may want to go with the mini-split PIONEER WYS012GMFI22RL.

Consider insulating your garage before installing air conditioning. You may find that the insulation does enough and you don’t need to spend any more money on your garage.

About Roy Cohen

I'm Roy, founder of Hack My Garage. I started out like most not knowing how to hammer a nail, but now I know more than most people about home improvement and DIY. I want to spread my wealth of knowledge with the world and hope to make it a better place.