“Is it hot enough for you?”. No doubt, you’ve heard that more than once during this sweltering summer, which has seen Toronto endure 30 days of 30+ C temperatures (and counting). Sure, it beats the snow and cold, but temperatures that hot, especially with high humidity, can make carrying out your daily tasks rather unpleasant.
Extremely hot days are certainly a problem if you spend much of your free time in the garage. Without air conditioning in your garage, its temperature can be as much as 5-10° C warmer than the outside temperature. Whether you like to spend time in there exercising, working on vehicles, crafting, or using it as a workshop, it’s no fun when oven-like garage temperatures restrict you from spending time with one of your passions. It’s time to consider some garage cooling solutions.
Why does your garage get so hot?
Before we look at some garage cooling solutions, let’s analyze the root of the problem. Many factors can affect a garage’s temperature, including:
- location of the garage (garages facing west are exposed to the sun’s intense late afternoon heat)
- garage colours (darker garage doors and garage exterior colours will conduct heat)
- whether your garage has any ventilation system
- parking your vehicle in the garage after using it on a hot day (heat will radiate from it to the rest of your garage long after it’s been shut off)
- your garage’s insulation features
Now that you know why a garage can get so warm, begin applying some of the following garage cooling solutions to bring that temperature down.
1. Park your recently used vehicle outside
At least one of those heat-causing factors is a very easy fix. Simply leave your vehicle parked outside your garage if you’ve used it on a hot day and plan to be using the garage. Chances are that unless you have a double garage (or even larger), you’d be doing so anyway.
2. Be smart about when you’ll be in the garage
Another simple way to make spending time in the garage more bearable is to choose the most sensible time of the day to be in there. Early morning (up until around 10-11 a.m.) is the best time, before the day’s temperatures really begin to rise. Before going out to exercise or work, you can open your garage doors for a little while to let out trapped heat from the previous day, especially if you have a well-insulated garage. Between about 3-6 p.m. is the least advisable time to be out in your garage on a scorching hot day.
3. Fans are one of the least expensive garage cooling solutions
A top-to-bottom upgrade of your garage’s ventilation system and insulation can be expensive. So can using an air conditioning solution in the garage. One of the cheapest garage cooling solutions you can use is a simple oscillating household fan. Pedestal fans, box fans, or even better, a higher-powered shop fan, will get the air in your garage moving. A ceiling fan can also help.
If you have more than one fan, place one at a window or at your open garage door to blow hot air from inside your garage to the outside. Another fan can be aimed in the direction of the garage space you’ll be occupying. Note that using fans like this won’t actually make your garage’s temperature lower than the outside air. They’re simply generating airflow and providing at least a little relief from the heat.
4. Upgrade your garage’s ventilation system
A dedicated garage ventilation system, via passive and active methods, employs the fan-driven airflow concept. Passive ventilation is normally installed on the roof and requires little to no energy consumption when dissipating heat from the garage’s attic. They’re most commonly seen in the form of those spinning turbine vents.
An active ventilation system is more complicated and pricey, but also more efficient at removing hot air out of the garage. A mechanical system using ventilation fans is installed in the roof and can also be installed in the garage’s walls, preferably opposite the garage door in a high position. Make sure these types of ventilation systems are installed by a pro. They can use a lot of electricity and you don’t want to overload your electrical circuits.
5. Air conditioning is more costly, but also most effective
An air conditioning solution is another more costly option, but it’s also the most effective for bringing garage temperatures down. If your budget allows, your garage can be fitted for central air conditioning. With this and the other air conditioning options, you’ll want to ensure your garage is thoroughly insulated to keep the cool air inside.
Other air conditioning garage cooling solutions involves using smaller air conditioning units. If you have a small garage with a window, a window-mounted air conditioner can nicely keep temperatures at a comfortable level while you’re in the garage. For larger garages (but not too large), a portable air conditioner with enough BTUs is more ideal. Remember that you’ll need outside venting access for this type of unit.
6. Choose lighter colours for your garage door and exterior
You can make the outside of your home generate less heat from the sun by choosing lighter colours for your roof, exterior walls, and garage door. Speak to one of our experts for more information about the extensive selection of garage door colours and styles we have available.
7. A dehumidifier for the garage has year-round benefits
If you reside in an area with high humidity, consider a dehumidifier for the garage. By removing moisture from the air, you should notice a slight difference in temperature, especially with a good ventilation system in place. A dehumidifier is also helpful year-round in the garage with its condensation-reducing benefits.
8. Garage insulation is a key factor
Most garages lack much insulation, if they even have any installed at all. This has significant drawbacks if you’re using air conditioning to cool down your garage. Proper insulation will drastically reduce the amount of heat transferred from your garage’s exterior to its interior. Insulation will also keep the cool air from your air conditioner from escaping outside. When that happens, your cooling system has to work a lot harder, your hydro bill increases, and it takes longer to lower the garage’s temperature.
Consider adding insulation to your garage’s walls, ceiling, and garage doors. Garage Living has a wide selection of garage doors available, which we can outfit with the insulation type of your choice. Choose from polystyrene (like a white styrofoam board) or polyurethane (which is sprayed and gives better coverage), depending on the R-value you’re looking for. The type of material your garage door is made of can even be a factor when it comes to insulation. Wood, for example, is a natural insulator.
You can also add weatherstripping to make your garage even more insulated. Add it anywhere there might be an open gap to the outside, such as on the bottom of your garage door. Silicone caulk can also be applied to window or door frames where there’s visible gaps. All of these insulation improvements will help you year-round and lower your heating and cooling bills, as well as increase your home’s value. Contact us to find out more about the various garage renovation services we offer.
9. Even decluttering your garage can help
Believe it or not, even cleaning up the clutter in your garage and keeping it organized can help when it comes to improving the space’s airflow. Stacked boxes and bulky items on the floor obstruct proper airflow and can contribute to poor air quality in the garage. Garage cabinetry, slatwall storage, and specialty storage racks will maximize your garage’s storage abilities, keep your space organized, and keep the air moving freely.
Using these garage cooling solutions will make your time in the garage during hot summer days much more comfortable. And if you’re looking to improve not just your garage’s comfort level, but also its looks and functionality, Garage Living can help. Schedule your free consultation with us today.