How To Cool A Garage: 12 Ways Compared

With so many options out there to cool down your garage, it can get confusing.

Below you’ll find 12 ways to cool your garage compared. They are ordered from least to most expensive if the price is an issue.

You can cool down your garage on any budget, you don’t need to suffer the heat any longer!

Ready to find the perfect solution to cool down your garage? Let’s get started.

How To Cool A Garage: 12 Ways Compared

1) Keep the Garage Door Cracked

Price – Free

Let cool air into your garage and let stagnant air out. You want to circulate the air in your garage, it helps.

2) Park Your Car Outside

Price – Free

Bringing your hot car into your tiny garage is going to heat your garage fast. Leave your car parked outside rather than the air and fumes getting stuck inside of your garage.

3) Paint Your Garage Door White

Price – Low

Darker colors absorb more heat. If your garage door is painted a darker color, consider painting it white (or a light color of your choice). Even a few-degree difference on a hot day can be a big difference.

4) Get a Fan

Price – Low

A garage fan is going to be the cheapest and least intrusive way to cool your garage. You won’t need to hire a professional to install anything.

Be sure to grab yourself an exhaust fan to make sure that all the trapped hot air in your garage is being let out. Your best bet would be to place it near the ceiling to exhaust all the hot air that is rising in your garage.

Verdict

You can cool down a garage without spending a ton of money. A garage fan is a great way to get started.

5) Dehumidifier

Price – Low

A dehumidifier will warm your garage up if it has no windows. Dehumidifiers help by reducing the humidity and overall energy an AC would need to spend to cool your garage.

Verdict

Purchasing a dehumidifier isn’t the best solution to cool a garage unless you have invested in a garage air conditioning unit.

6) Garage Ceiling Fan

ceiling fan

Price – Low

Ceiling fans circulate the air in the room keeping you feeling refreshed. Having to stand in stagnant, humid air gets a little gross after a while.

You’ll have plenty of options to choose from and it’ll make the garage cooler without breaking the bank. You can also purchase one with a reverse option keeping your garage warmer in the winter.

Verdict

The downside to installing a ceiling fan is that you may need to hire a professional to help you. If you’re handy, a garage ceiling fan could be your best budget bet.

7) Install a Window AC

Price Low-Medium

A window air conditioning unit is the best bang for your buck. They work better than a portable air conditioner and are less expensive than a ductless mini-split.

You will however need to install the unit and might require help. Window units are ugly and loud but they are efficient at cooling down your garage.

Verdict

I would recommend a window air conditioner to anyone. They’re cheaper than a portable AC and do a better job as well. Best overall option on this list.

8) Swamp Cooler

Price – Medium

Swamp coolers are meant to be used in dry, hot environments. They require a fresh source of air so if you have a windowless garage it won’t work.

If you live in a desert area, a swamp cooler can be a great choice for you.

Verdict

Most people should avoid swamp coolers for indoor use as they require fresh sources of air and it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to put one in a closed-off area like a garage!

9) Portable Air Conditioner

Price – Medium

Portable air conditioners are one of the easiest ways to cool down your garage. You will need to find a place to lead an exhaust hose, so if you have a windowless garage this option won’t work.

The issue with portable air conditioners is that you are paying for convenience. They aren’t the best at cooling and aren’t the most efficient but they are easy to use. Depending on the model you purchase they can also be quite pricy.

Verdict

A portable air conditioner is going to do you well if you purchase the right model. You will have to pay a bit extra for the convenience. You won’t be able to use it if you own a windowless garage.

10) Ventilate Your Garage

Price – Medium

Investing in an exhaust system will give the air somewhere to escape. Proper garage ventilation will make your AC run better.

Even when installing a garage fan it’s suggested to purchase an extra for an exhaust. Ventilation isn’t always the best solution but if you spend a ton of time in the garage it can be worth it.

Verdict

Ventilating your garage isn’t a bad idea if you are considering purchasing an air conditioning unit. The added investment to your home could pay off in the long run and it’ll keep your garage cool as well.

11) Insulate Your Garage

Price – Medium

Insulating your entire garage costs upwards of 1000 dollars depending on the size of your garage. The biggest benefit of insulating your garage is during the winter months when your garage will be upwards of 20 degrees warmer.

A lower-priced option is a garage door insulation kit. You’ll be able to install it yourself and reduce the temperature in your garage by up to 20-25 degrees.

If you have any sort of fan or air conditioning in your garage it will help reduce the amount of energy needed to keep your garage cool. You’ll feel a lot colder when the hot air isn’t creeping into your garage. Before you do anything, insulate your garage before installing any kind of air conditioner for the best results.

Verdict

Insulating your garage can be worth it if you live in a place where it gets cold. If you’re only insulating your garage to keep cold air in, it doesn’t make much sense to insulate unless you’re spending additional money on an air conditioning system.

12) Install a Ductless Mini-Split

Price – High

Have no windows in your garage? A ductless mini-split is going to be one of your only options if you are desperate to cool down your garage. If you’ve tried fans and it’s still not enough, you may want to invest some money into a ductless mini-split.

Ductless Mini-splits will be the absolute best solution for cooling down a garage if money isn’t an issue. They also can be used as heaters during the wintertime.

You will be paying a good chunk of change to get one of these installed. The main benefit of installing a ductless mini-split is that you can convert your garage into a bedroom, adding monetary value to your house.

Verdict

Ductless Mini-splits are expensive but you get what you pay for. If you have the spare cash lying around to afford it, look at it as an investment adding value to your home rather than it being a one-off purchase.

How can I cool down my garage with no windows?

A garage without a window is a tough challenge to cool. Without any way to exhaust the hot air coming from an air conditioner, you’ll find that your air conditioner is going to be useless in that situation. Avoid using a portable AC unit as it needs to vent the hot air.

What I recommend is looking into getting a window professionally installed and using a window ac unit OR doubling down and investing in a mini-split solution. The benefit of a mini-split is that its energy-efficient and one of my favorite garage cooling solutions.

The downside of cooling a windowless garage is that it’s going to cost quite a bit of money. Professional mini-split installation (including the DIY kit) can go upwards of $10,000 depending on where you live. Getting a window installed can be a cheaper solution than investing into a mini-split.

You can also look into other cooling solutions like a fan. The issue with something like a box fan is that you’ll find they will only circulate the hot air around the room and you’re not doing much for a garage with no windows. A ventilation system can be a great addition to a windowless garage.

Why does garage get so hot?

If your garage is facing the sun, it’s going to soak up all that heat. Not only that, garages are normally closed, aren’t insulated and don’t have any exhaust fans or cooling solutions installed. This will keep the hot air inside the garage and continuously get hotter throughout the day with no way for that air to escape.

Garage floors can also retain heat, which is going to be worsened if you drive your car into the garage and let it run for even a minute or two. All of that hot air is going to sit in your garage, making for an unpleasant (and even dangerous) situation.

You can reduce this by getting insulation installed as well as looking into getting a ventilation system like an exhaust fan. While your garage can only get as cold as the outside temperature, it beats having your garage be extra hot all day long.

If you work in your garage during the summer months, you may find that it’s unbearable even with a fan. If that’s you, then you may want to look into getting a cooling solution in your garage that makes sense for your budget.

If your garage door is painted black, that can also absorb heat from the sun. Many little things can add up to make your garage super hot, so take care of the issues that are easily fixed and then look into a cooling solution.

Final Thoughts

Depending on how much time you spend in the garage, keeping your garage cool is a matter of how much you want to spend. Before you spend a dime on an air conditioner, you should look into insulation. Garage door insulation kits can be a good first step, but full insulation will help keep the cold air in rather than spending money and all that cool air seeps outside.

A window ac unit is also another great, affordable option. If you don’t mind the amount of money you’re going to spend, then the best mini split for your garage is your best bet. If you don’t already have an exhaust fan in your garage, then you’ll find that it can help reduce the temperature a few degrees.

Take your time and before you know it, you won’t have to deal with a hot garage any longer!

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.