Have you ever walked into your garage looking to work on a personal project only to find it's just too hot for you to stay inside? Anyone who owns a garage knows the importance of a proper ventilation system for desirable working temperatures, especially during the hot months of the year. However, not all garages have windows, so we've put together a detailed guide on how to cool a garage with no windows to make the space conducive for work.
How Much Cool Air Do You Need in a Garage with No Windows?
First, you'll need to consider your garage use scenarios before you go out looking for a cooling solution. This helps you find the most viable option to ensure you're comfortable while working on your projects. For instance, if you only spend brief periods in your garage, using a portable air conditioning unit might be more practical than installing a permanent one. On the other hand, a permanent unit makes more sense if you'll spend most of your time in the garage.
Here are a few questions you can look into to help you pick the most suitable cooling mechanism:
- How long will you use the garage per day? How many days in a week?
- Where is your garage located? Does it face the sun throughout the day or is it in a shaded area?
- Does your region have high humidity?
- How many electrical appliances and tools that emit heat do you have in the garage?
To put it simply, if you only use your garage primarily for storage, rarely sitting in for extended periods, go for a temporary inexpensive solution. However, if you use your garage regularly as a workspace or hobby station, it only follows that you need a long-lasting option with a higher cooling output.
It's also worth keeping in mind that valuable goods in the garage, such as electrical equipment, paintings, wooden furniture, etc., can easily get damaged in intense heat or humidity.
Let's look at the solutions at hand:
Temporary Methods to Keep Your Garage Cool
The following options are less energy-intensive cooling options for those who spend less time in their garage:
1. Portable Fans
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Using portable fans, especially in the hot summer months, helps dissipate hot air out of your garage, thus allowing cooler air to flow in. Fans not only cool down your space, but they also improve ventilation and make the garage less stuffy.
Place the fan facing the garage's interior. This ensures that it allows in maximum cool air from outside. If you have a large garage, you can consider using more than one portable fan for effective cooling.
2. Swamp Cooler
A swamp cooler is a practical yet cheap solution to cool a garage with no windows. Swamp coolers exploit moisture to cool air. Their wet evaporative cooler pads take in warm air from outside and cool it. Then, the cooler uses a blower motor to blow the cold air into the garage through its vent, reducing the temperature inside.
A dehumidifier's main purpose is to lower humidity levels since humid air traps in heat, thus raising the internal temperature. It cools a room by pulling in hot air that passes through the appliance's cold coils to cool and dry before it's released into the room.
One, a dehumidifier not only ensures you have desirable humidity and temperature levels. Second, getting rid of excessive heat also ensures sensitive goods in your garage are not damaged by mildew, rust or other moisture-related problems.
However, it's worth noting that a dehumidifier does not draw hot or cold air into the garage. Therefore, you might need to spend some more on a fan still.
4. Opening and Closing Garage Door
You can also use the external temperatures to cool a garage with no windows by simply closing and opening its door at given times. Opening the garage door draws in cool air, lowering the internal temperature.
That said, this method is highly dependent on where your garage is located. It's most suitable if the garage stands in a shaded area. Additionally, the garage door should be closed when temperatures are high to prevent hot air from getting inside.
If your garage stands in direct sunlight, the door should be closed entirely to retain the cool internal temperatures. It should also remain closed when it's hot outside to prevent hot air from pulling in and increasing internal temperatures.
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Congesting your garage space usually means limiting internal airflow. Removing clutter from your garage improves airflow, making it a simple yet effective way of maintaining cool temperatures inside your garage.
You can consider installing storage racks and cabinets to help with organization while at the same time improving airflow.
6. Avoid Parking a Hot Car Inside
Your car is usually quite hot when you return home from commutes and travels, especially during summer. Naturally, the vehicle will radiate much of this heat externally. Therefore, if you park it inside a garage with no windows, the heat will be trapped inside, raising the temperatures in your garage.
Therefore, if you want to maintain cool temperatures in your garage, make sure that you leave your vehicle in the shade after use to let it cool down before bringing it into the garage.
Permanent Methods to Keep Your Garage Cool
These means are mostly suited for people who spend a lot of time in their garage:
1. Garage Ventilation Fan
A garage ventilation fan circulates air around the garage, ensuring the room stays at an optimum temperature to prevent heat from building up inside.
To get maximum ventilation and airflow, place the fans straight across the garage door and as close to the ceiling as possible.
2. Air Conditioner
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An air conditioning system is arguably the most expensive means of controlling temperatures in a garage with no windows. It's worth pointing out that installing an air conditioning unit is a lot of skilled craft, so you might need to hire a professional.
There are a couple of options you can explore in the market:
a). Mini-Split Air Conditioner
Installing a mini-split air conditioner is quite efficient in cooling smaller indoor spaces. However, you will need to construct a vent to install this type of air conditioner. The vent serves as a pipe passage to get the exhaust out of the room through the wall. A mini-split air conditioner also has the added advantage of a high-speed cooling rate.
While mini split air conditioners make the most sense for cooling a garage, you can also consider window air conditioners. It's also important to get a separate AC unit for your garage space.
b). Portable AC Unit
A portable air conditioner is an arguably viable option to help you cool your garage. While it might not be as high-performing as other options, it still draws in a good deal of cold air to decrease the temperature inside. However, you will also have to install ventilators to release the hot air outside.
On the flip side, portable air conditioning units heat up rapidly, inflating your electricity bills. That means they are not the most efficient alternative and might end up costing you a lot over the long term. Therefore, it might be more practical to just invest in a proper air conditioner.
3. Wall, Ceiling & Garage Door Insulation
Garages are generally some of the more poorly insulated spaces within any house. Therefore, they easily get too hot in summers or too cold in winters. As such, wall insulation is an incredibly efficient method to cool a garage with no windows. Therefore, whenever possible, garage insulation should be one of the first options you explore for cooler air in your garage.
Insulating ceilings and garage doors on top of the walls also keeps the internal temperatures cool and comfortable. The best part is that the method doesn't incur recurring costs after installation.
4. Garage Ventilation
If your garage doesn't have windows, garage ventilation is one of the most effective ways of maintaining cool temperatures inside your garage, especially in the summer. Furthermore, this method is not only practical but also cheap since you have no recurring energy costs after installation.
Attic vents employ the principle of conventional currents. Hot, light air rises and escapes through the exhaust vents at the top of the roof. It's then replaced by cool dense air flowing through the intake vents. This delivers excellent airflow that keeps your garage constantly cool.
4. Change Garage Color
While this might not be the best-advanced solution, it still makes a world of difference in keeping your garage cool. As you already know, darker colors absorb and retain more heat, while they also heat up faster. Therefore, it's better to go for lighter, bright paint, like white.
Ideally, you want to paint your garage before summer sets in, preferably in spring.
5. Replace Incandescent Bulb
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It's also advisable to replace incandescent bulbs in your garage with high-efficiency LED bulbs. Incandescent bulbs are not only less energy-efficient, but they also dissipate more heat, thus raising the temperature inside your garage.
Proper ventilation or air conditioning in your garage is critical in ensuring you have consistent good air quality as well conducive, cool temperatures in the summer or warm in the winter. The solutions vary depending on your usage patterns; temporary means for occasional users and permanent ones for regular users.
Whatever the case may be, you'll always be better off investing in proper, long-lasting cooling systems. Not only are they high-performing, but they also give you much-needed flexibility as a garage user. Furthermore, while they may be expensive when buying, they also help you save money and energy in the long run.
Frequently Asked Questions on Cooling a Garage with No Windows
1. What is the ideal temperature for a garage?
It depends on several factors. As a general rule of thumb, you want your garage to be 20-30 degrees cooler than the outside during summer or around 10 degrees warm during winter.
2. Can you install an air exchange system to cool hot air in your garage?
Yes, but only if you have no problem working while the garage door is fully shut or partially open. An air exchange system helps cool off a garage with no windows by a remarkable 10°-20°.
3. Is it okay for your dog to live in the garage?
Ideally, your dog should live inside the house. Leaving a dog out in the heat and cold can cause them health problems. However, you can consider letting your dog live in the garage in winter, but ensure that snow and ice cannot get in through the garage door.
As for warmer months, leaving a dog in a hot garage is just like keeping them in a hot car. They will certainly feel the effects of extreme heat, which is certainly not recommended.