The garage is one of the areas of the house they can be one of the most useful and at the same time be the hardest to keep at a temperature that makes you want to use it for anything other than parking your vehicle.
Finding an effective way to air condition a garage can be challenging. The question often asked is “will a window air conditioner work in a garage?”
Will a window AC work in your garage?
Yes, a window AC unit can work in a garage.
However, there are a few things to consider before you make the leap to purchase one.
1. Do you have a window in the garage?
It may sound like a silly question but there is a lot of inquiries on the internet about whether you can use a window air conditioner without a window.
And while technically there are many people that have come up with some clever ideals to use a window air conditioner without a window,
A window AC unit will work much more efficiently when it’s used properly. Not to mention there are other options available rather than modifying a window AC or the space that it’s in.
Window air conditioners are meant to be installed in a window.
The primary reason that window air conditioners need a window is that they exhaust heat from the rear.
If they are not sitting in a window with the rear of the air conditioner outside of the room, then the heat that the unit expels we’ll basically mix with the cool air that it creates and cancel it out.
So number one, a window air conditioner can work in the garage if your garage has a window to put it in.
Garages are typically not insulated.
Window ACs work well when they are sized appropriately for a room that is insulated.
If your garage is not insulated, then you are not going to have the success you want out of any type of air conditioning in the garage.
Unfortunately, insulating the garage is the first step to being able to cool it or heat it.
3. Properly sized unit
As mentioned before, window ACs can work very well when they are sized correctly for the area that they are cooling.
But there are several examples of where you may need a larger window AC than simply calculating the square footage and comparing it to the AC packaging.
A hot kitchen or room with high ceilings to name a couple.
Garages fall into that category.
Not only are they not usually insulated or very well insulated,
Garages are typically used for parking your car. Which means that they have a huge door that gets opened and closed.
So you may need to factor in the fact that every time the door is opened and closed, you are either letting a huge amount of cool air out in the summer, or heat in the winter.
But remember also that it is possible to get a unit that is too big depending on your space.
And a window air conditioner that is too big will short cycle and not effectively reduce the humidity enough to cool efficiently.
4. Properly maintained
Garages are not the cleanest area on the property.
They are much more dusty and dirty than the rest of the house.
That means that the window AC will be that much more dusty and dirty as well.
So keeping a window AC in the garage clean has a higher priority on it than a unit that is sitting in a bedroom window for instance.
The filter in a window air conditioner that is sitting in a garage window will collect us much faster.
Window air conditioners use a lot of energy. Space heaters also use a lot of energy.
Couple that with the fact that many garages do not have more than one circuit that is powering multiple outlets,
You could easily find yourself in a situation where you are blowing breakers.
In some circumstances it may be a requirement for you to have an electrician come in and run another electrical circuit to your garage to keep up with the extra load.
But overall, a window AC unit can work in a garage, as long as you consider these facts first.
Air Conditioning Options for the Garage.
Fortunately window air conditioners are not the only types of air conditioning that can work in the garage.
There are a few other types that you can install that may be a better option for you.
Portable air conditioners
Portable air conditioners can be a decent option for the garage because they can be moved around.
They still require a window or attic entry, etc to exhaust the heat.
But if you were not trying to cool off the entire garage, and maybe you just need air conditioning in your specific corner of the garage, a portable air conditioner is a good option.
Mini-split air conditioners consist of an indoor unit mounted on the wall and a outdoor unit which is comprised of the compressor.
They are not as easy to install and they usually take a dedicated circuit to power them.
But they do a very good job of cooling and do it very quietly since the compressor is separated outside.
The expense of purchasing and installing a mini split air conditioner system in your garage is not worth it if your garage is not insulated.
Also known as swamp coolers, evaporative air coolers are a good choice for dry climates.
They work by circulating air over a wet pad, which cools the air as it evaporates.
Kind of a breeze blowing over a pool or river kind of feeling.
Very easy to install but they require continual maintenance in the form of filling them with water.
One particular downside of evaporative coolers is that they do not do well in humid climates.
Though a fan does not have the same cooling as air conditioning, creating airflow with a big shop fan can’t make a significant difference in the way your garage feels.
Using a window air conditioner in the garage is a good idea when you have a garage that has a window and is insulated.
But remember that garages may fall under the category of needing to oversize your AC to keep up with the amount of cold air that exits when you open the garage door.
Having a power source that can keep up with the extra energy is also a key aspect.
If your garage does not have more than one electrical circuit, then you may have to have a electrician install one to be able to run the AC without it blowing breakers