How to Ventilate a Garage: 7 Breezy Ways

Without proper ventilation, you’re probably avoiding your garage rather than relaxing in it. If you don’t have a place to let fumes escape, you’re putting yourself in harm’s way. Not to mention without ventilation, your garage will never cool down!

If you don’t have a window or don’t want to keep the garage door open, there are still plenty of ways to ventilate your garage. Below you’ll find out when you’ll need to factor in garage ventilation and 3 ways to tackle the situation.

Why Ventilate a Garage?

If you spend time in your garage, you know how hot it can get during the summer months. Without a place for the hot air to escape, you’ll never cool down your garage. With a ventilation system, you’ll be able to install a fan or air-conditioning system allowing you to enjoy your garage year-round. Otherwise, a fan will only move around the already hot air in your garage.

Attached garages can also put a strain on your home’s AC by transferring heat to the adjacent rooms. Your central air system won’t be working overtime to heat or cool the rooms next your garage’s walls. Insulated garage doors can only do so much and an exhaust fan will have a huge impact on the temperature.

If you park your car in the garage, the toxic fumes and carbon monoxide have to go somewhere. If your garage isn’t ventilated, these fumes might make their way into your home and you surely don’t want to breathe that in!

Another reason to ventilate your garage is if you have an attached garage. The hotter your garage becomes, the hotter the adjacent rooms in the house will become as well. Even if you have a detached garage, you’ll still want to keep it cool with the methods you’ll find below.

7 Ways to Ventilate Your Garage

1. Exhaust Fan

The best option for most people is to install a garage exhaust fan system. Professional installation can cost upwards of $500 to run new ductwork. If you’re handy, you can also install your own ventilation system.

The DIY option involves cutting a hole in your garage door with a hole saw. You’ll then have to connect the electrical wiring to your junction box. If you rent your home or aren’t confident in your DIY abilities, it may be best to call a professional.

Exhaust fans are going to be the best bang-for-buck option. You’ll be able to moderately cool down your garage and remove any fumes that would’ve otherwise made it into your home. You can find an exhaust fan kit here to cool down your garage.

2. Consider AC

Without any way to vent out the heat created by an air-conditioning system, your only option is to install a ductless mini-split. It’s a pricy option that can cost upwards of $10,000.

I only suggest this option if you spend a ton of time in the garage and money isn’t a factor. It’s efficient and can also heat your garage making this a perfect investment for anyone who spends their day tinkering away on DIY projects year-round.

The downside you’ll only be able to exhaust your garage when you turn on your mini-split. It also normally requires professional installation unless you’ve worked with HVAC systems before. You can only look into portable air conditioners, but they’re a bit more finicky, big and not that great at cooling compared to even a window AC.

3. Install Windows

Installing a window is costly, coming in at around $1000 to $5000 in your garage. It’s not the best garage ventilation option out of the three but it does have upsides.

One benefit of a window is that you’ll be able to install a window AC unit. In my opinion, window units are the best way to cool a garage as they aren’t costly as a ductless mini-split and do as good as a job.

If you only care about ventilating your garage of fumes and excess heat, then I wouldn’t recommend installing a window. An exhaust fan should be sufficient for most average homeowners. A window will however get fresh air into a garage which is a benefit over exhaust fans.

4. Install vents in your attic

By installing vents in the attic above the garage, the hot air that’s keeping your garage hot will be sucked out and fresh air will be pulled into your garage. A vent works similar to a garage exhaust fan or garage ceiling fan, but it takes care of the root of the problem rather than only venting your garage.

To install a roof vent, will cost around $3-550. If you don’t have an attic, then you can opt for garage vents or even garage door vents, but they’re a pretty messy option to consider.

5. Open your garage door

While opening your garage door may not be optimal, it’s the cheapest option to ventilate your garage. You can simply crack your garage door a little bit and enjoy the cool air that will come in. The downside to this is you may find that critters enter your garage and you lose some privacy as well.

6. Install a whole house fan

Like an attic vent, a whole house fan exhausts the hot air out of your home and draws in fresh air through cracked windows. The benefit of this option is you don’t need a garage fan or air conditioner, but you will have to keep the windows cracked for it to work properly.

7. Garage fan

A garage fan is another way to keep your garage cool. It’s super cheap, but the downside is that you’ll only be moving hot air around if you don’t truly have a way to utilize garage exhaust fans.

Final Thoughts

Getting fresh air into your garage isn’t going to break the bank. Take your time and scope out a professional that installs garage ventilation and you’ll be able to enjoy your garage year-round.

Garage ventilation is something you want to take seriously, as it’ll enhance your garage space quite a bit. You’ll be able to work through the hot months in the year rather than taking refuge inside of your home.

Image Credit: Flickr.com

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.