Best Ways To Cool A Garage

Have you had enough of the sweltering heat inside your garage? Then it’s time to find a cooling solution. Let’s walk through some ideas to help you find the best ways to cool a garage!

In the summertime, walking into your garage can feel like stepping into a heated oven. And if your garage doesn’t have windows, it can quickly turn into a hot nightmare. How can you work on anything if you are drowning in your own sweat!

Luckily, there are a few ways homeowners can tackle this heated issue. So, if you’re looking to keep your garage cool this summer, or any time of year for that matter, then you have come to the right place.

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Why Do Garages Heat Up So Much?

Garages provide excellent room to carry all sorts of activities. You might use yours to work on cars, as a workshop for projects, or even as a gym for exercising. However, without proper ventilation, hot air gets trapped indoors making it impossible to spend some alone time in your garage. 

There can be a couple of reasons why the place heats up so fast:

  • You park hot vehicles in the garage, after running them all day long.
  • The garage has no windows or ventilation.
  • Your garage faces west, getting direct sunlight all afternoon.
  • The outside walls and garage door are painted with dark colors.

Before you go ahead with any permanent cooling solutions, make sure to eliminate the above issues.

How Cool Does Your Garage Need To Be?

The amount of cooling a garage needs varies depending on a number of factors. For convenience, we have compiled these points into a list of questions you can easily follow along. 

1. How Often Do You Use The Garage?

You may stay in the garage for only a couple of minutes just to park your car. Or you might use the space as your workstation. The longer you need to use the garage, the longer you need to maintain a comfortable temperature. 

2. How High Can The Temperature Get Inside The Garage?

Depending on where you live, the temperature and humidity level in your garage can escalate quite drastically during the summer months. If the room receives a lot of sun all day long, you will probably need to find a permanent solution. 

3. How Long Does The Summer Season Last In Your Area?

Some areas have long spells of hot summery days. If your area remains hot throughout most of the year, then you can’t go without installing an air conditioner.

4. What Do You Use The Garage For?

Whether the garage is used for storage, as an office, or only to store tools, you need to assess its usage before taking any action.

Your cars, tools, and other goods won’t spoil due to the heat in the garage. But if you are using the space as a home gym, then you’ll probably need to make some investments. 

After considering these questions, you can finally move on to choosing the right options to meet your garage’s cooling needs.

What Are The Best Ways To Cool A Garage?

If you have worked out why your garage is super hot during summertime, let’s now look for the perfect solution. There are several temporary and permanent cooling solutions available to bring down the heat in your garage. However, these differ greatly in terms of efficiency and costs.

So, without further ado, here are the best options for cooling your garage on a hot summer day.

Temporary or Portable Ways To Cool A Garage

1. Leave The Door Open

With all the hot air building up in your garage, one of the quickest ways to cool down space is to open the garage door – no surprise there. Crank open a window too if your garage has any. As the air moves freely in and out of the room, the temperature will drop down a couple of degrees.

Garage doors that face north have a better chance of catching a cool breeze. Air flowing from the north to the south gets less sunlight, and hence it is lower in temperature. However, even if that’s not the case, opening up the door increases airflow. Moving air is fresher and cooler than stagnant air trapped inside your garage.  

2. Plant A Tree For Shade

This is the most inexpensive yet visually appealing way of blocking sun rays from entering your garage. Planting a tree will guarantee you ample shade during the day, effectively cooling down your garage. 

Make sure you plant a deciduous tree like oak or walnut. These trees only grow their leaves during summers and shed them in autumn. So, you can get plenty of sun during the cold winters.

3. Time To Declutter

It might not be the most obvious solution, but getting rid of unnecessary items around the garage can actually help in cooling it down. Most people have tons of tools and boxes lying around in your garage. The more stuff you have in the room, the less space there is for the heat to disperse.

For good ventilation, throw away any junk that you don’t need from the garage. If there are things stacked up in piles across the floor, organize them on your garage shelves. This way your belongings will take less space, and not block the air from flowing in and out of your garage. 

4. Park Vehicles Outside

Garages are meant for parking your cars, then why would you need to park outside?

Say, you’ve been going around town all day long running errands. Your car will get hot because of the engine and the hot sun. When you get home and directly park your car in the garage, you’re basically trapping inside all that heat into the small enclosed space.

To make your garage environment more comfortable, just park your car in the driveway. Or at least let it cool off outside for a few hours before you bring it in. 

5. Portable Fans

If you only plan on spending a few hours in the garage during the week, you don’t need to splurge on an expensive AC. Instead, you can grab one or two cheap portable fans from your local store to deal with the heating issue.

You can open up the main garage door placing your portable fans in the doorway. This will blow fresh air into your space and facilitate better airflow.

Bear in mind, portable fans will only help to match the temperature of the garage to the outside air. Therefore, it’s not a viable cooling solution if you want to spend more time inside.   

6. Use A Dehumidifier

Hot weather is hard enough to deal with. But if you add moisture and humidity to the picture, it makes everything so much worse. Dense, sticky air makes you sweat like crazy… even breathing can make you break into a sweat. 

Thankfully, you can get a portable dehumidifier to bring down the amount of moisture in the air inside your garage. Besides heating up the place, high humidity levels also cause other issues like corrosion and rust. So, using a dehumidifier will benefit you in more than one way. 

Related article: How to Get Rid of Humidity in Your Garage

7. Buy A Swamp Cooler

If your state happens to have a hot and dry climate, a swamp cooler might be the right answer for you. These can considerably cool down your garage so you never have to worry about buying an air conditioner. 

An evaporative cooler (or a swamp cooler) blows the hot garage air over moist evaporative cooler pads that cool it down almost instantly. Hence, the vent circulates cool air into the room, creating a much more pleasant environment to work in.

For best results, use ice in addition to water to really bring down the temperature of the air.

There’s only one drawback to using swamp coolers: they don’t work very well if the air is very humid. If that is the case for you, then you’re better off skipping this option.

Related article: Evaporative Cooler vs Air Conditioner: Comparison, Pros and Cons

Permanent Ways To Cool A Garage

1. Repaint The Walls

Dark-colored walls and doors absorb more heat from the surroundings than lighter colors. Therefore, if you have a garage covered in dark paint, it’s time for a makeover. Use pastels and light colors on the exterior walls and the door to deflect as much heat as possible. 

You can DIY this option, but we suggest discussing your requirements with a professional beforehand for proper guidance. While lighter paint can help bring down the temperature a few notches, you will need to use this trick in combination with other cooling techniques for the best results.

2. Install Awning 

Incorporating a permanent roll-away awning is a great option for protecting you against the harsh rays of the sun. During hot afternoons, you can roll it out to keep the air cool inside your garage. Once you’re done using the room, just roll back the awning and put it away.

Installing awnings is relatively inexpensive, and you can put them away when you need the warm sun during cold winter mornings.

3. Improve Ventilation

Poor ventilation in your garage can cause more problems than just merely heating up the place. Toxic fumes can easily get caught inside when there is no air circulating through the room.

To improve the air quality and also make staying in the garage more bearable, installing a proper ventilation system is a great idea. There are two types of ventilation systems.

A passive ventilation system uses spinning turbine vents in the garage roof to exhaust the hot air. The system works without electricity. However, you will need to poke a few holes through the roof to install the spinning vents at the top.

Active ventilation is a more complicated system that relies on fans to dissipate the heat from inside your garage. These systems cost much more than passive ones, and you will also need to get them installed professionally.

4. Install An Air Conditioner

For enclosed spaces, like a garage without windows, an air conditioner is a tried and tested method of cooling down a room in no time. Doesn’t matter if the sun is blazing outside, your AC will work effectively at maintaining the temperature inside your garage. 

For garages that include a window, you can easily install an inexpensive window air conditioner. They’re small and don’t have a lengthy installation procedure. For a bigger garage, a ductless split air conditioner will prove to be an efficient cooling solution.

While this cooling method is the most effective one on our list, it also happens to be the most expensive one. Depending on the type of Air Conditioner you choose, a single unit will cost you anywhere from $150 to $6,000.

Related article: Advantages and Disadvantages of Split-Type Air Conditioning

5. Insulation 

Garages that receive a lot of sun are bound to get hot, no matter what you do. The direct sun rays cause the temperature inside your garage to spike, causing you great discomfort. The only way to stop this heat from transferring through your garage walls is to use proper insulation.  

Insulating your garage walls will cut down the amount of heat that is absorbed from the outside. This will surely cool down your garage, putting less pressure on your air conditioner. That means you’ll get a nicely cooled garage and also a lower energy bill.  


Your garage isn’t the most comfortable place in your home to spend time in. Especially if you want to get more out of the room then just use it to park vehicles. To stop your garage from transforming into a no-go zone, use our best ways to cool a garage.  

The most optimal choice for you depends on a few factors, so be mindful of these before you make a decision. You can try some temporary options or invest in a permanent solution if you’re sure you need it.

In any case, cooling down your garage will provide you a sense of relief all year round. You will actually be able to use your garage again, anytime you want, without sweating buckets!

Related article: How To Heat a Garage For Free

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