Garages are no more just a place to keep your cars. I mean, people nowadays use garages for all sort of purposes apart from keeping cars. Some turn it into a home gym, some into mini-lab, and others into a dog room.
But no matter which purpose you use it for, nobody wants their garage turning into a hot sauna during summer days.
Many people keep valuable items, paintings or collectibles in the garage. If the air circulation is poor and the ceiling is low, hot temperatures can ruin these items. Summer days are already hard, trapped air and temperature in the garage make them unbearable.
If you spend a lot of time in your garage working on vehicles or home improvement projects, it’s time to install the best garage air conditioner.
In this article, we’ll discuss different air conditioners for garage and which one is suitable for your specific garage type. So, keep reading.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Garage Air Conditioner Choices In 2022
- 2 What To Look For When Choosing Air Conditioner For Garage?
- 3 Is A Garage Air Conditioner Worth It?
- 4 Top Garage Air Conditioner Comparison Chart
- 5 Our 12 Picks Of Best Garage Air Conditioner
- 5.1 1. MRCOOL Comfort Made Simple DIY 12,000 BTU | Best Ductless Air Conditioner
- 5.2 2. PIONEER AC Inverter+ Wall Mount | Best Split Air Conditioner
- 5.3 3. Whynter ARC-14S 14,000 BTU Dual Hose | Best Dual Hose Air Conditioner
- 5.4 4. Senville SENL-24CD Mini Split | Best Mini Split Air Conditioner
- 5.5 5. Honeywell Portable Conditioner Review | Best Portable Garage Air Conditioner
- 5.6 6. LG Energy Star Window Conditioner Review | Best Quiet Window Air Conditioner
- 5.7 7. BLACK + DECKER BPACT08WT Review | Cheap Small Air Conditioner
- 5.8 8. Frigidaire FFRA1011R1 | Best Casement Window Air Conditioner
- 5.9 9. MIDEA MAW06R1BWT Conditioner | Best Small Window Air Conditioner
- 5.10 10. Honeywell MO Series | Best Small Portable Air Conditioner
- 6 Why You Could (But Shouldn’t) Use A Garage Air Conditioner?
- 7 The Best Options for Cooling a Garage
- 8 How To Install A Portable Garage Air Conditioner?
- 9 Frequently Asked Questions
Best Garage Air Conditioner Choices In 2022
Now, air conditioning for your garage comes with some challenges of its own. For the most part, your garage is a space usually bigger than your living room.
Most of the time, the insulation is poor. The energy you’ll use to cool the room will escape through the large garage door or ceiling spaces. Also, being a large area, you’ll need higher BTUs in order to reach a comfortable temperature.
And finally, garages tend to heat up quickly. Also, people generally use the garage during the daytime, which is when the garage turns into a boiler pit.
These above mentioned points are facts you need to look at. Your ideal AC depends on many factors. And usually, the one ideal for other garages might not be suitable for you.
In this guide, we’ll discuss different factors that’ll influence your decision and your ideal air conditioning unit.
What To Look For When Choosing Air Conditioner For Garage?
Size/ BTU Ratings
The size of your garage plays an important role in determining your ideal AC unit. For example, a 1 ton split AC can cover a 120 square feet room. For portable units, the cooling capacity is measured in BTU.
The more space you have, the more BTU unit you should use. For a garage measuring 400 square feet, you should use a portable unit of 12000 BTU. Obviously, the ideal BTU can vary depending on the ventilation, insulation, and humidity.
If you’ve decided to purchase a portable AC unit, check if the unit comes with wheels. This will avail better portability.
Space And Noise
Now, a garage is a hub for miscellaneous items. You’ll probably store everything from tools to paintings to your kid’s childhood collectibles there. Installing an AC unit takes space. Now it’s up to you from where that necessary space will be taken.
For example, with the electrical port, ventilation hose, and the device, a portable AC unit can take quite some space. If you want to save that space, you can go for window AC or split AC.
Another important thing is the noise. Devices like window AC and portable AC generates audible noise. However, the level of noises varies, not all noises are intolerable. Split AC is better and far noiseless in this regard.
So, air conditioner or air cooler? While many people take these two for the same meaning, there is a basic difference between the two.
An air cooler reduces the temperature and helps cool the air. It doesn’t reduce humidity in the air.
An AC reduces temperature and humidity both. While it cools the air in summer, it also provides hot and warm air in chilly winter. In short, it works both ways.
Usually, people don’t mind a little bit of chilly weather. Thus, many people don’t find any need to use air conditioners.
However, areas that get heated easily can get really cold in the winter. If you’re looking towards long hours of garage time, cold weather can limit your movement.
Buying an air conditioning unit with heating mode will probably save some bucks and the need for buying an additional heater.
Price And Budget
Air conditioning for your household and for your garage are two separate things. While most of the people are willing to spend as much as it takes to secure the household, garage is more of an optional thing.
Different air conditioning units cost different. Usually, portable AC’s are the cheapest ones. Window air conditioners also come with a mid-range price. Depending on your budget, you can use more than one devices.
The Split air conditioner is the priciest among all. With the device price, installation cost and high energy consumption, the initial cost might take quite some money. But if you’re looking to spend a lot of time in the garage, they’re the best in terms of cooling capacity and comfort.
Is A Garage Air Conditioner Worth It?
It depends on your specific use. Many people use garages for multi-tasking. For them, the garage is not just a space to keep your vehicle. Rather, it’s the compendium of the house. People keep memory items, collectibles, tools, and paintings in there.
Now your garage can become extremely hot due to temperature and poor ventilation. The items we keep stored in the garage can be ruined if exposed to such high temperature and humidity.
Also, you might stay long hours in the garage due to many reasons. Probably you’ve turned it into a mini-gym, or a laboratory for your own experiments, or simply because you love working on your cars. No matter the reason, it will be extremely draining to keep working under this temperature.
It’s worth installing an AC in your garage, especially if you extensively use it. But when it comes to the effort, another question arises. Is it worth spending that much time, effort and money? If so, how much is worth it and how much is not?
The answer will vary from garage to garage. I mean, no matter how extensively you use it, installing and maintaining an AC solution might be too much work. Sometime it might not even worth spending that much money and time.
Is it too much demanding to install an AC unit? Seek the answers for the following questions-
- How many hours do you spend in your garage on average?
- How long is the summer in your area?
- How hot it gets where you live?
- What’s the size of your garage?
If you intend to spend a great amount time in your garage, then weigh your budget, your maintenance and electric cost for the AC unit. If everything lines up, go for it.
If it’s too much of a hassle or you aren’t going to spend much time in the garage, probably it would be better to use a simple fan to keep the air around you circulating.
Top Garage Air Conditioner Comparison Chart
|Image||Product||AC Type||BTU Ratings||Noise Level|
|Split||12K- 36K||NA||Check Price|
|PIONEER AC||Split||9K- 36K||NA||Check Price|
|Whynter ARC-14S||Portable||14K||56||Check Price|
|Split||9K- 24K||39||Check Price|
|Honeywell Portable||Portable||10K- 14K||49-52||Check Price|
|LG Energy Star||Window||6K- 18K||52||Check Price|
|DECKER BPACT08WT||Portable||8K||75||Check Price|
|Frigidaire FFRA1011R1||Window||10K||55.7||Check Price|
|MIDEA MAW06R1BWT||Window||6K- 12K||51.9-55.5||Check Price|
|Honeywell MO||Portable||8K- 10K||53||Check Price|
|Shinco SPF2-08C||Portable||8K||55||Check Price|
Our 12 Picks Of Best Garage Air Conditioner
So, portable, window or split air conditioners? Which one goes rightly with your garage? How much BTU ratings do you need?
If you’re done answering the questions, you’ve passed the first level. There will be products that exactly match your specifications, but won’t deliver the desired performance.
When it comes to electrical devices, you should pay heed to the people’s opinions. Choosing the ones a large number of users used and appreciated cannot unusually go wrong. For your convenience, we’ve picked and reviewed 12 best air conditioners for garage.
1. MRCOOL Comfort Made Simple DIY 12,000 BTU | Best Ductless Air Conditioner
This is the first pick for our garage AC list. This is one of the few spilt-AC systems that come with the ductless design. In fact, you don’t need any special training to install the 25 feet quick-connect line.
MRCOOL comes with a heap of features. You can control this device from anywhere with the help of an app. The app is also compatible with Google assistant and Amazon Alexa. Has electricity gone? No problem. The auto restart feature will get the device running once the power comes back.
You’ll love the reliable construction of MRCOOL. The gold fin condenser is rustproof and long-lasting. The DC inverter compressor control temperature on its own. The Sleep mode will adjust the temperature automatically all night long, and the system will shut itself down after 7 hours.
In the HEAT and COOL mode, the AC will respectively decrease and increase the temperature slowly while you’re sleeping. With a minimum cooling of 5°F, you can use this device for greenhouses, server rooms, anywhere that need efficient cooling.
MRCOOL has a smart leakage detection system in place. If the system recognizes the quantity of coolant is low, it’ll notify you through an alarm. This way, you can prevent damages of your compressor.
Pros And Highlights
- It’s a 12000 BTU, 17. 5 SEER unit with smart-app and Wi-Fi control.
- It can effectively heat and cool a 500 square feet room.
- It has a low ambient cooling system down to 5°F.
- Auto restart and leakage detention increase user comfort.
- Sleep, Heat and Cool mode automatically adjust the temperature.
Cons And Potential Flaws
- The 25’ line might be too lengthy or too short for users.
This is a great split AC for a decent price. It’ll cover a mid-range garage room of 500 square feet. If you need more capacity, the Company has other models available. If the quick connect line could be custom ordered, that would have been great. But hey, that’s just a convenience, doesn’t influence the good performance.
2. PIONEER AC Inverter+ Wall Mount | Best Split Air Conditioner
This one lives up to its name. To many, this is as best as you can get. It’s a ductless split AC, just like the previous one we reviewed. PIONEER comes with BTU ratings of 9000-36000. You can pick any one of them depending on your requirement.
This inverter AC can be used for both heating and cooling. The model we’re reviewing is the 36000 BTU model. It comes with a higher SEER of 16 and higher HSPF efficiency of 10. You can use it for both home and commercial use. The ultra-quiet operation makes it suitable for your garage too.
The package consists of two units, one indoor and one outdoor, 16’ installment line and remote controller. It has a low heat setting of 46F, with an indoor temperature setting rate of 62~90 F.
Now coming to the ambient range. For cooling mode, the outdoor ambient range is 32~122 F. As for heating mode, the range is +5~86 F. You can control the device from remote places through the internet.
The gorgeous front panel comes with LED display which can be dimmed. The outdoor unit is constructed of galvanized metal with electrostatic epoxy paint. This air conditioner is made to last.
Pros And Highlights
- The AC is tried and approved for safety by ETL.
- The air filters are permanent, can be washed and used repeatedly.
- It comes with a wide range from 9000 to 36000 BTU.
- Multi-speed fan motor automatically controls the temperature.
- It can be controlled by multi-function, infrared wireless remote.
Cons And Potential Flaws
- The package doesn’t include the wireless interface.
If you’re looking for some heavy cooling for your garage, this one will serve you nicely. With the 36000 BTU, you should be able to cover around 2000 square feet with ease.
The wireless interface doesn’t come with the package, so you have to buy that separately. I guess they tried to give people options to save some bucks. The infrared remote needs to be pointed straight towards the AC to work it properly. It might take some time to be habituated, but the performance is worth it.
3. Whynter ARC-14S 14,000 BTU Dual Hose | Best Dual Hose Air Conditioner
This one here is a portable air conditioner. Whynter ARC-14S is known to work faster than other devices. This device is manufactured keeping high performance in mind, without any permanent installing.
This device has a sleek design. But it’s not just all look. It comes with three different modes, AC, fan, and dehumidifier. You can choose any one depending on the temperature and your requirement. The ARC-14S has 14000 BTU ratings, which means it can cover 500 square feet area.
This portable AC has several features that make the operation very smooth. It can be controlled by a remote. The device contains washable pre-filter and activated carbon filter to remove dust and odor. The AC has a temperature range of 61°F – 89°F with complete thermostat control.
The 24-hour programmable timer lets you use the device as you see fit. Eco-friendly CFC R-410A was used as a refrigerant in this device. The package includes full installation set along with window kit, extendable exhaust, and intake hose. The self-evaporative system drains most, if not all hot air.
Pros And Highlights
- A portable AC with three modes.
- A 24-hour timer to turn off or activate at previously set times.
- Washable pre-filter and activated carbon filter to remove dirt and odor.
- The device restarts automatically after power outrage.
- Water drain option for continuous operation.
Cons And Potential Flaws
- The noise might be irritating sometimes.
This is a powerful air conditioner that allows portability and ease of use. You can use any one the 3 modes depending on the weather. Also, this device drains water for the most part. The package comes with complete installation kits.
As for the sound, it might feel irritating at times, but not unbearable. Especially if you’re intending to use this for your garage, the noise shouldn’t be a deal breaker.
4. Senville SENL-24CD Mini Split | Best Mini Split Air Conditioner
Senville SENL-24CD comes with more BTU than most of its counterparts at a modest price. If you have a very large room or higher-than-normal ceiling, this powerful AC will serve you well.
The unit comes with 24000 BTU. That means it can cover a large room of 1400-1500 square feet. It has a cooling efficiency of 17 SEER and heating efficiency of 9.5 SEER. With such coverage and ratings, you can use this unit for commercial space, your living room or your garage.
Now, this device is a 4 in 1 device. You’ll get an air conditioner, heater for the winter season, a fan and a dehumidifier, all within one setup. You will find the dehumidifier very handy as it reduces moisture from the air, and give you a relatively cool feeling.
This device operates in low ambient temperatures. Even if your room temperature is as low as 5F, it can heat and cool your room. The package comes with an easy installation kit and 16 feet copper line. The remote control allows you to operate the AC without any hassle.
Pros And Highlights
- It’s a split AC with 24000 BTU and 17 SEER ratings.
- Multiple modes, air conditioner, heater, fan, and dehumidifier.
- The installation kit comes with 16 feet copper line.
- A low ambient unit, it can operate in temperatures as low as 5F.
- Remote controlled and very quiet operation.
Cons And Potential Flaws
- The installing instructions might seem a little vague.
What I like about Senville is, it beats most of the air conditioners on the market in price and BTU. You’ll get more BTU for roughly the same price. Also, with its four operating modes, it’ll keep you covered for the whole year.
The instruction manual might seem too generic, but you have internet and YouTube to take help from. Personally, I’d suggest taking help from a professional and get the installation over with.
5. Honeywell Portable Conditioner Review | Best Portable Garage Air Conditioner
Honeywall is a cheap and affordable solution for your air conditioning problems. You’ll find this device extremely handy in two situations. Either your garage is small and you can cover it with a portable AC, or your garage is too large to cover, so you need something to keep your surroundings cool.
Either way, the device will cover your needs. It comes in various BTU ratings of 10000, 12000, and 14000. There is another version of 14000 that comes with an additional heating feature.
This device is made to last for a long time. It has two filters to keep dirt, particles and pet dander away. You can easily wash and reuse them. The full installation set comes with the unit. You can install the hose in both horizontal and vertical windows.
As for performance, the vertical wind motion distribute cool air evenly on the room. The unit has dehumidifying features and 3-speed fan. Together they drop the room temperature quickly.
The sleep mode allows you to set a temperature that’ll be controlled automatically. The device can be controlled with remote, and the 24-hour timer lets you use the unit as long as you see fit.
The auto evaporation feature will keep you covered for low to mid humidity areas. The continuous drain option will free you from the hassle of checking the device every few hours.
Pros And Highlights
- Honeywell comes in different BTU models.
- It doesn’t require any permanent installation.
- Honeywell contains washable dual filter settings.
- It has a 24-hour timer and sleep mode.
- The dehumidifier can get rid of up to 80 pints/ day.
Cons And Potential Flaws
- The exhaust pipe should’ve been longer.
- It can yield a little bit of noise.
You’ll love the look of Honeywell portable AC. Although the lower BTU versions don’t come with the heating feature, they have a dehumidifier installed in them. With the help of the remote, sleep mode and timer, you can control how long and how well you want to use it.
The exhaust pipe might seem short, so you need to place it near the window. It can produce some noise, not ultra-quiet like a split model. But overall, the performance is satisfactory for such a low price.
6. LG Energy Star Window Conditioner Review | Best Quiet Window Air Conditioner
There’s nothing like having multiple convenient options at hand, and LG Energy Star gives you just that. This one is a window AC. It comes in various capacities, from 6000 BTU to 18000 BTU. With both Wi-Fi and non-Wi-Fi versions, you have ample choices to choose from.
LG is one of the most popular brands for air conditioners. This one also comes with the trusted build LG is known for. The 6000 BTU model can cover a room of 260 square feet. If your garage is larger than that, then go for the higher models.
This window AC comes with a dehumidifier. It can remove 1.8 pints of moisture every hour, as long as it’s running. With a dry air flow of 134, even the most basic model of 6000 BTU delivers satisfactory cooling.
The unit has 3 fan settings and 24-hour timer settings. When the compressor is off, the energy saving mode turns off the fans. The compressor and fans automatically turn on and off to keep the room at a stable temperature. The sleep mode slowly increases the temperature throughout the night so that you don’t wake up at an overly cold room.
Pros And Highlights
- Energy star rated window AC ranging from 6000-18000 BTU.
- There are two versions, Wi-Fi controlled and non-Wi-Fi model.
- The 6000 BTU model can cover a room up to 260 square feet size.
- Energy saver function and 24-hour on-off help save electricity cost.
- LG patented rustproof gold coating extends product life.
Cons And Potential Flaws
- The louvers aren’t exactly efficient at redirecting airflow.
Overall, this is an economical solution to your air conditioner problem. It saves energy by maintaining a constant temperature. To do that, it powers on and off whenever necessary. Since it’s not inverter, this is the general principle it works on.
The louvers aren’t efficient at redirecting airflow to ‘any’ direction you want. Basically, it cools the room in general. But if you purchase the right model for your room size, cooling shouldn’t be a problem.
7. BLACK + DECKER BPACT08WT Review | Cheap Small Air Conditioner
This is an intelligently designed AC. Not only it cools the air, it circulates, dehumidifies the air too. This portable AC comes with a BTU of 8000, which can cover a room up to 150 square feet. The four caster wheels attached underneath the AC makes moving it incredibly easy.
The structure is simple but adorned with smart technology. It has a clearly visible LED display. The 24-hour timer and sleep mode help you save energy cost. The unit runs in 950 watts and 115 volts.
The air is distributed through vertical motion. This way, a contestant and uniform supply of cool air are ensured. The slide filter works as an air purifier. It can be washed and reused over and over.
You can use this AC with only sliding or double hung windows. However, these units are not compatible with crank windows. The package includes a remote control so that you don’t have to control the AC manually.
The exhaust hose is 4 feet and 11 inches long. You’ll also get instruction manual, adapters, water drain hose and a window casement with the package. The AC operates in 3 modes, fan, air conditioner, and dehumidifier. Even in the highest setting, the noise never exceeds 75 dB.
Pros And Highlights
- A portable air conditioner with fan and dehumidifier mode.
- Environmentally friendly R410a is used as the refrigerant.
- Large airflow outlet at the front delivers 4-direction airflow.
- The slide-out filter can be washed and used over and over.
- On/off timer and sleep mode allow convenient, custom use.
Cons And Potential Flaws
- It’s not exactly ‘portable’ to be honest.
For the price, you’ll find BLACK + DECKER BPACT08WT to be really good. Well, it might not reduce the temperature down to 64F all the time as it says, but you’ll get enough cooling to allow yourself a nice sleep. The water vents by itself unless it’s too humid, so you don’t have to look after it all the time.
It’s not super lightweight, and you might need additional help to move it along the stairs. But if you’re not planning to move it that much, you’ll actually be amazed by other performances.
8. Frigidaire FFRA1011R1 | Best Casement Window Air Conditioner
Looking at the small and compact unit, you mind wonder if it’s capable of covering your room. Don’t you worry, it can. Despite being a compact unit at 21.5 x 14.5 x 19 inches, this one can cover 450 square feet room. The 10000 BTU ratings tell us it can quickly cool your regular room or garage.
If you’re amazed to see 4-direction air flow of portable units, wait until you see 8-way air flow Frigidaire FFRA1011R1 delivers. It distributes the comforting, cool air to all corners of the room.
This is a dehumidifier too. It can remove 2.7 pints of water from your room every hour. The unit is designed to conserve energy. The low power start-up spends as little energy as possible. The auto restart feature starts the unit in the exact previous settings when the power comes back.
Inside the unit, the filter restricts bacteria, air particles, and odor to come back to the room. The filter can be washed and reused. It has 3 fan settings which give you different levels of cooling according to your comfort. The unit isn’t super quiet per se, but it isn’t a deal breaker at 55.7 decibels lowest sound settings.
Pros And Highlights
- Window type AC with mechanical control and 10000 BTU.
- Certified for safety by UL/CUL (SA11087).
- It has 8-way air direction to ensure even and ample air flow.
- Ozone-safe R410a compound was used as the refrigerant.
- Air CFM of 221 (low), 243 (medium) and 285 (high).
Cons And Potential Flaws
- It doesn’t come with a remote control feature.
This is a mechanical AC, which means it doesn’t include a remote control with the package. But that shouldn’t demotivate you. This is a mechanical AC, they’re supposed to work this way.
On the good side, they consume a really low amount of energy. With only 10.9 energy efficiency ratio, you can rest assured of coverable energy cost.
9. MIDEA MAW06R1BWT Conditioner | Best Small Window Air Conditioner
This is yet another window type AC. The reason popularity of window air conditioners on the rise, is they strike a nice balance between portable AC and split AC. I mean, both price and performance wise. The MIDEA MAW06R1BWT is no different.
It comes with four variations, 6000, 8000, 10000 and 12000 BTU models. Each of them has 3 modes to operate on, air conditioner, dehumidifier, and fan. You can customize your experience based on weather demand. The very basic model, the 6000 BTU covers a room as large as 250 square feet.
The structure might not be fancy like portable units, but it does its work well. The front panel has a clearly visible LED display, which lets you see important data like current temperature. You can control the unit through remote control.
There are three modes this AC operates on, sleep mode, timer mode and energy save mode. Each of the modes lets you determine how you want to use the air conditioner.
The 24-hour timer turns on and off the AC automatically in sync of your busy schedule. The sleep mode adjusts the temperature as per your body’s natural sleep cycle.
The AC comes with a complete installation kit. You also get all mounting accessories. However, you might need to make pilot holes for some window frames.
Pros And Highlights
- The 6000 BTU model can cover spaces up to 250 square feet.
- It can be installed easily without huge modification to the window.
- The 24-hour timer, sleep mode conserves energy and reduce cost.
- Clearly visible LED display and remote control feature.
- EcoSave feature turns on and off the unit automatically.
Cons And Potential Flaws
- The instruction manual should have been more detailed.
This is a decent window air conditioner. It’s cheap, compact and cools the air effectively. Installing it on your own might be challenging, so you should get additional help. This one is more suited to wooden window frames than metal frames.
As for the instruction manual, yes they should provide it in a more detailed manner. But the installation is easy, and you can take help from the internet.
10. Honeywell MO Series | Best Small Portable Air Conditioner
Honeywell MO series is a treat for sore eyes. You’ll get this AC in multiple colors, i.e. blue, white and black. To avail easy movement, the unit has four wheels underneath it.
It’s designed for 3 in 1 operation. Apart from the air conditioner, it also acts as both fan and dehumidifier. There are two models, 8000 and 10000 BTU. Depending on the model, the unit can cover 250-350 square feet space.
The built-in dehumidifier can remove 44-61 pints of moisture every day. The 24-hour timer allows you to set the time you want this unit to run. The unit can be controlled by remote control. You can also use soft touch feature of the LED screen to use this AC.
The device delivers a powerful airflow of 192 CFM. Despite being such powerful, noise production is relatively low (53 dB.). You can wash the filter and use it for a long time.
This unit comes with auto evaporation system. That means you don’t have to worry about venting the water. However, you might need to use a bucket from time to time in high humidity areas. The package includes a window venting panel and flexible exhaust hose. So that you can set it up immediately.
Pros And Highlights
- A 3 in 1 portable unit with air cooler, fan, and dehumidifier.
- It comes with two capacities, 8000 and 10000 BTU.
- LED display and remote control feature to control from distance.
- The auto-evaporative feature removes water for low to mid humidity areas.
- It has four wheels underneath, easy to move between places.
Overall, it’s a well-balanced air conditioner. It won’t perform like a split AC, but it does pretty well in terms of cooling. The model looks beautiful and you have three color options to choose from. The unit generates a subtle noise, but to the point, that’ll hamper your sleep.
Why You Could (But Shouldn’t) Use A Garage Air Conditioner?
Sounds confusing, right? Well, what we mean is, you shouldn’t use a garage AC unless you’ve addressed some issues. Because without addressing them, installing an air conditioner is as good as installing none.
1. Proper Ventilation
So, what an AC does is releases cool air into the room. But where does the hot air go? If you don’t have a proper ventilation system in place, the hot air will go to the machine and come back to the room.
If you have a window or a venting space in the room, that’s great! Otherwise, you might have to cut a hole on your wall. Make sure the hot air from the unit goes right outside, not circling inside the room.
2. Garage Size
Usually, most garages are bigger in size than our household rooms. Also, the presence of open space, high temperature, and little insulation make the air cooling job harder.
So, you need an air conditioning system that can cover your garage effectively. For that, you need to determine the square feet area of your garage and compare it with the BTU rating of your intended AC unit. Always try to purchase higher BTU than you need, it compensates for unknown factors like fluctuating temperatures and put less strain on the unit.
3. High Temperature
Have you ever entered a closed room during the hottest time of the day? It’ll feel like you’ve entered a boiler pit. A garage room might deliver you the same feeling due to poor air circulation.
Also, you’re probably going to use the garage during the day, when the sun is up and glazing. So, your garage is going to be the last place you’d want to be in.
These challenges reflect the causes of why you cannot and shouldn’t use an air conditioning unit. But did that ever stop anyone from trying to make life a little bit easier? Address these issue properly and you should have no problem using an AC unit.
The Best Options for Cooling a Garage
After you have decided that you need an air conditioning unit and it’s worth spending time and money on, the next question follows. There are different types of air conditioners available. Each has its advantage and disadvantages. So which one to choose? Let’s take a look at the types.
1. Window Air Conditioners
If you have a window in your garage, you can install a window type air conditioner. They’re usually cheaper and easier to install.
However, they work well if your garage is small. Usually, they can cover a confined area. These AC units have maneuvering louvers that guides the air to any specific area you want.
These units are bulky in nature and sometimes generate audible hums. But they can be afforded and installed easily.
Remember that you might have to purchase a higher BTU than you’d buy for the same space in your house. That’s because the air volume is usually more for the garage.
2. Portable Air Conditioners
They are usually the last resort when every other step fails. They can be moved and provide temporary relief. However, being less efficient and effective, they might not cover as much space as the other types.
Portable AC usually consumes less energy. But when the temperature is above 90 degrees, they might prove inefficient. Also, if your garage isn’t properly insulated, their effectiveness might reduce.
A big percentage of their performance depends on your venting system. If your garage doesn’t have an effective venting system in place, the hot air might circle back to the room, increasing the temperature even more.
Make sure you have a window or a cut through the wall to vent hot air. Then again, it’s better to install a window unit altogether, because it’ll save some floor space.
If you have too big of a garage and looking to lower the temperature just around you, a portable AC unit might serve you most.
3. Mini Split Air Conditioners
These are the air conditioning units we usually use for households. They are split into two parts, placed inside and outside of the house.
All things considered, they are the best options for your garage. You don’t need a duct space, they’re up on the wall saving floor space, and they have higher efficiency.
But the downside is they come with pricier tags. They are needed to be installed by a professional. Also, you need to insulate your garage completely for them to work properly. If you have a big garage, covering the whole area might be costly in terms of higher AC unit and energy cost.
The initial cost might be high. But if you’re looking to spend a considerable amount of time every day in your garage, they’re still your best option.
Now, that’s an interesting option, considering it’s not an AC unit at all! Most of the times your garage is hotter than the actual temperature because of the humidity. It’s the humidity that makes you sweat, otherwise, a regular fan to circulate air would have sufficed.
Dehumidifiers reduce the relative humidity. They make the air dry, making it feel cooler several degrees. It might not actually reduce the temperature, but definitely reduces other factors that make the temperature unbearable.
Some air conditioners we discussed above come with dehumidifying units as an additional feature. This way, the humidity will reduce while the temperature is getting down. All in all, you’ll be spared the sticky, uncomfortable sweat.
How To Install A Portable Garage Air Conditioner?
Installing a portable AC is easy. It shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes. The key is ensuring proper ventilation. Let’s see how you can do that.
1. Basic Preparation
Portable ACs are heavy. Never try to move or lift them on your own. Check if the unit has any wheels with it.
Read the manuals carefully. Plug in the air conditioner to a grounded electrical outlet only. Keep children away from the AC unit.
Make sure the air filter is installed properly. Otherwise, duct and debris will harm the unit. Do not power the AC unit until the exhaust and drain hoses are sealed and re-checked.
2. Installing The Window Kit
Place the AC as near the window as possible. For best performances, experts suggest keeping the hose as short as possible.
Now, you need to install the adjustable window kit on your window. Depending on how your window operates (up-down/ side by side), the kit would be placed at the bottom or side of the window.
If the window size is smaller or bigger than the kit, either trim the kit or add plywood, cardboard or Plexiglas to fill up the gap. After the window kit is installed, shut the window. You can use weather strips or sealants for further insulation.
If you don’t have any window, you can vent the air through sliding door, chimney, and exterior wall. For the last one, you need to cut a hole through your wall.
3. Connecting The Hose
Try to keep the hose as straight and short as possible between the hose and the window. First, connect the hose to the AC through the connector.
Then, extend the hose and connect to the window kit. You’ll find a window exhaust connector there. Make sure the hose is securely connected and locked.
Now, power the AC unit. Always try to connect to a grounded outlet. Never use a power extension cord or power strip for your portable units.
AC unit plugs usually come with two buttons, test and reset. You can check if the line is secure before actually running it by the test button. And the reset button will reconnect the power to the AC.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can You Cool a Garage Effectively?
Answer: You might wonder if it’s possible to cool a garage. I mean, is it even worth trying? Any confined space can be air-conditioned. Yes, you will need powerful air conditioners for larger spaces. Also, you have to make sure the place is insulated.
2. How Often Should I Clean My Garage Air Conditioner?
Answer: Well, you don’t need to clean it every day. But you can’t leave it unattended for months either. Cleaning your garage air conditioner increases its performance while saving your energy cost.
If you’re running the AC unit constantly, then check the device and clean in every few weeks.
As for the filters, replace them regularly depending on their life expectancy. Some permanent filters can be washed and used over and over. As for split AC, keep regular cleaning and maintenance schedules.
3. What Is The Difference Between An Air Conditioner And An Air Cooler?
Answer: They have different operations. While a cooler evaporates water in order to cool the surrounding area, air conditioner does some more. They cool the temperature while dehumidifying it.
Air conditioners use a substance called refrigerant for this purpose. They absorb and release heat by compressing and expanding the refrigerant.
Humidity is one of the reasons people sweat. Sometimes it makes the weather hotter than it actually is. Air conditioners actually provide a better level of comfort by eradicating humidity from the room. Also, most of the air conditioner units come with a heating feature for winter.
4. Will I Need To Modify The Wiring Of My Space To Install An Air Conditioner?
Answer: It depends on which type of air conditioner you intend to use. Most portable air conditioners are designed to run in regular household wiring. However, for high powered models, i.e. more than 14000 BTU, you might need special wiring.
As for window and split AC, you’ll probably need special wiring. Usually, companies offer additional installing service with their products. You’ll need an HVAC expert to install these units on your garage.
5. Can I Use Home’s Central AC System For The Garage?
Answer: If you have an attached garage to the home, you might get tempted to use the home central AC system. While it might look like a great idea, we don’t recommend it.
The fumes and smoke from running car, or other chemicals, paints, and toxins kept into your garage can get transferred to the ductwork, and eventually spread into the house.
Also, a garage usually comes with a large volume of air. Cooling and purifying that volume of air will put strain into your house central air system. The central system might fail to deliver the expected performance simply because of the extra burden.
Let me be honest. Air conditioning your garage can be difficult, and in some cases not the best option. It depends on some factors, and you have to weigh between the pros and cons before taking a decision.
But since we often turn garage space into storage, working or living space, coping with the excessive heat becomes a necessity. In these cases, make sure you insulate the room properly, arrange a proper air venting system and finally, use the best garage air conditioner there is.
Hopefully, with our help and a wise selection, your garage will turn from a boiler room to a comfortable, livable space.