Finding the best cooling options for hot garages
The best and worst ways to cool a hot garage
(BPT) – The garage is a haven for car enthusiasts and hobbyists like woodworkers – that is until the temperatures start to increase. Outdoor work spaces get hot fast when the mercury rises. Whether the garage is your man cave or where you work to make a living, don’t let the heat stop your productivity.
There’s a variety of options that can help to keep garages comfortably cool so you can stay on track with your projects, but some are far more effective than others. Do your research and learn the pros and cons of each so you can select the best one for your needs.
Fans seem like a quick fix to hot garage troubles. Both oscillating and ceiling options are inexpensive and easy to install. The drawback: fans are minimally effective. Fans alone simply circulate stagnant, hot air throughout the space. What’s more, if the garage is large, the air circulation may not spread through the entire area.
Mobile air conditioners (AC) are more expensive than fans, but can be an effective way to cool garage spaces. Keep in mind, using an air conditioner does require the space to be closed off. Depending what the garage is being used for, this may be impossible for some people. Contact an air conditioning services company if you are planning to install an AC unit in your garage. AC installation can be a complex process and it’s best conducted by professionals.
If you have a window in the garage, a window AC unit may work well because it vents directly outside. For garages without windows – which is typically more common – installing AC can be problematic. The unit requires a place to ventilate the heat generated from the compressor. This not only limits the mobility of the unit, but also requires fixed-ductwork and adds another point of heat generation.
Harsh refrigerants and energy consumption are other drawbacks. Refrigerants are an integral part of AC options to emit cool air, and running the unit uses a lot of energy which can cause energy bills to skyrocket.
Evaporative cooling is gaining popularity due to its effectiveness and versatility. Portable evaporative coolers cool warm air and drop temperatures using tap water, a pump and a wetted surface to create the naturally occurring process of evaporation. When the air in the garage is pulled across the water, the temperature of that air naturally lowers. This effect is similar to the chill you get coming out of a pool or how the wind off the lake feels cooler.
A garage enthusiast’s favorite is the Portacool Jestream 240 because it’s compact, portable and can be used with the garage door open to provide cooling throughout the space. Plus, it’s far more energy efficient than running an AC unit consistently. In fact, it pulls the same amount of electricity as a small household appliance so it won’t zap your energy bill. Even better, there’s no compressor to vent residual heat and there are no harsh chemicals or refrigerants involved.
The Portacool Jestream 240 is surprisingly effective at cooling garages. It’s been proven to deliver a temperature reduction from 8 to 10 degrees in the morning in the highest humidity regions (Miami, New Orleans or Boston), and up to 12 to 15 degrees later in the day when the relative humidity goes down as the temperature goes up.
Now that you’ve determined the best cooling option for you, there are a few final things to consider. To start, insulation can make a big difference when regulating temperatures, especially in closed spaces. Consider adding paper-backed batt-insulation to the ceiling and walls. Additionally, ditch anything that puts off unnecessary heat, such as old incandescent bulbs since 90 percent of the energy used is given off as heat. Instead, replace with energy-sipping and cool running LEDs.