How Can I Keep My Garage Cool During the Summer?
There’s a lot of information out there about how to make your home energy efficient, and buying new appliances, upgrading fixtures and plugging air leaks are just a few of the suggested ways. If you live somewhere prone to hot summers and cold winters, you’ve probably spent a lot of time — and possibly money — accomplishing these tasks. But, if you’re like most homeowners, your repairs and upgrades have been focused on your primary living space, and you’ve probably overlooked one crucial area of your home: the garage.
During those hot summer months, the heat in your garage can quickly become unbearable. If you’re a homeowner whose garage also doubles as a workspace or hobby shop, high temperatures mean a lot of sweating and discomfort. You might avoid working on projects, and you’ve probably asked yourself “Why is my garage so hot?” as you wipe the sweat off your face and head inside in search of a cold beverage.
Even the most energy-efficient home often has a garage that is much hotter, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Keeping your garage cool isn’t as difficult or expensive as you might think. In fact, you may not have to spend any money at all to bring down the temperatures in your garage. Consider trying some of these options:
Open the Door
When it comes to knowing how to keep your garage cool, the first — and often best — step is to open the garage door. This is an ideal way to ventilate a hot garage and let some of the trapped air escape.
If your garage has windows, consider opening them as well. When you open the garage’s doors and windows, you create a cross-breeze that significantly cools your space, making it much more comfortable for working. Just remember to close everything up when you’re done working to prevent anyone from breaking into the garage overnight or while you’re not home.
Cool Your Vehicles Before Parking
When you drive your car, it heats up. If you park it in the garage immediately after you arrive home, that heat will warm up the air in your garage. If the garage door is closed, all of that hot air remains trapped inside of the garage, raising the overall temperature of your space.
Rather than driving straight into your garage, consider leaving your car to cool off in the driveway. If your driveway is shaded, your car should be cool an hour or two later, and you can then drive it into the garage. If your driveway gets a lot of sunshine, this may not work since the sun will continue to heat the car when it’s parked.
Install a Ceiling Fan
Another way to cool your garage is to install a ceiling fan. It’s a cost-effective and simple solution for improving the temperature of your space. However, it’s only possible to install a ceiling fan in a garage with a ceiling height of at least eight feet. If your garage ceiling is lower, it’s a bad idea to install a fan because it may interfere with your garage door opening or closing or potentially prevent you from parking a taller vehicle in the space.
Ceiling fans work best when their blades are located seven to nine feet from the floor and 10-12 inches under the ceiling. Look for a fan with an Energy Star rating to improve the overall efficiency of your garage and your home.
If you have windows in your garage, you may also want to consider installing a window fan to draw cooler air into the garage or expel hot air from the space.
While there are many garage cooling ideas that help you beat the heat once it’s there, one of the best ways to keep your garage cool is to prevent the heat from building up in the first place. You can do this by improving the insulation in and around your garage.
One of the first things to consider is inserting or increasing the amount of insulation in the walls around your garage, especially the exterior walls that are most likely to be exposed to heat. If your garage already has drywall in place, you can consider blown-in insulation. If your garage isn’t finished and doesn’t have drywall, then consider installing Batt insulation. It’s cheap and easy to install, but you’ll want to cover it with drywall to prevent children or pets from touching it.
Another option is to install new weatherstripping around your garage door and the windows. This may be especially effective if your home is older since the weatherstripping that’s already in place has likely worn out after years of use. New weatherstripping will improve the garage’s seal, preventing hot air from slipping in through cracks and crevices around the door or windows.
Another ideal way to improve your garage’s insulation is to replace your existing garage door with an insulated garage door. An insulated garage door is similar to a standard garage door, except that it’s constructed with one or more layers of insulation in between the panels of the door. The insulation inside of the door is designed to block outside air from penetrating the door and making its way into your garage. In other words, an insulated garage door is designed to keep hot air out in the summer and cold air out in the winter.