garage ventilation ideas

If you are looking for Garage Ventilation Ideas, then you are on the right page. It contains garage ventilation options and how to install garage vent. Suppose you want to learn about detached garage ventilation instead. Then this article is what you need.

Garages have a tendency to get neglected. People often disregard them as storage units, as well as second-rate rooms in their homes. However, not ventilating your garage properly is a major no-no.Poor ventilation in a garage is bad news for two significant reasons. First, the fumes and chemicals generated from your vehicle, as well as machinery or tools you may operate inside the garage, are dangerous if they seep into other parts of the house.

garage ventilation options

Garage Ventilation Ideas

how to ventilate your garage

Have you ever walked into a neighbor’s garage and noticed a musty scent immediately? Was the interior wickedly hot in the summer or bitingly cold in the winter?

Secondly, the heat that builds up in an attached garage during the summer months also makes the rest of your home uncomfortable. The attached garage can have a similar effect in the winter.

In order to correctly vent a garage, many homeowners invest in items like an exhaust fan to help with airflow. Here are some basics to understanding what you need to do to assess your garage as well as utilize the right materials to get the job done.

Whether you live in a hot climate year-round or only experience high temperatures for a few months a year, a garage that’s excessively hot is never pleasant.

Who likes stepping out of their air conditioned vehicle into sauna-like temperatures inside their garage? And what if you regularly use the garage for exercising, working on vehicles, crafting, or as a workshop?

Sweltering temperatures can really limit your enjoyment of garage activities you have a passion for and make this an area you’re eager to avoid during hotter weather. So what garage cooling ideas work best?

Why does your garage get so hot?

Without air conditioning in your garage, its temperature can be as much as 5-10° C (10-18° F) warmer than the outside temperature. Let’s first look at a few factors that can add extra degrees to a garage’s temperature:

  • garage location (west-facing houses are exposed to the sun’s more intense late afternoon heat)
  • whether or not a garage is insulated
  • the color of a garage’s door and exterior
  • whether a garage has a ventilation system or dehumidifier
  • a recently driven vehicle being parked in the garage

detached garage ventilation

These garage cooling ideas will make your space more comfortable

Clearly, changing your garage’s location isn’t a practical option. The other factors that contribute to warmer garage temperatures are fixable, however.

These nine garage cooling ideas will show you ways to make your garage space a little more comfortable when the mercury rises.

1. Be smart about when you use the garage for activities

Another easy way to make spending time in the garage more bearable during hot weather (if you’re not running air conditioning) is to choose a sensible time of the day to be in there.

Early morning (up until around 10-11 a.m.) is the best time to use your garage, before the day’s temperatures really begin to rise. Before going out to exercise or work, open your garage doors for a little while to let out trapped heat from the previous day.

Between about 3-6 p.m. is the least advisable time to be out in your garage on an extremely hot day.

These garage cooling ideas let you maintain your exercise schedule for garage workouts, even when the temperature rises.

2. Keep your garage air conditioned

An air conditioning solution for your garage is the most effective way to keep temperatures down. If your budget allows, your garage can be fitted for central air conditioning.

If you have a small garage with a window, a window-mounted air conditioner can keep garage temperatures at a comfortable level.

For larger garages, a portable air conditioner with enough BTUs is more ideal. Remember, you’ll need outside venting access for this type of unit.

Of course, air conditioning may be very effective, but it’s also one of the more costly garage cooling ideas and options available. Garage insulation should be considered absolutely essential if you’re running air conditioning in this space.

3. Insulate your garage walls, ceiling, and door

Along with running air conditioning, several of these garage cooling ideas will be more effective if your garage is well-insulated.

Most garages lack much insulation, if they even have any installed at all. Adding insulation to your garage’s walls and ceiling reduces the transfer of heat from outside to your garage’s interior.

Insulation keeps the cooler air generated by these garage cooling ideas from escaping outside. Your garage will also be much more energy-efficient when the thermostat drops. The year-round benefits of garage insulation make it a very sensible home improvement investment.

Don’t forget about the importance of also having insulated garage doors. Polystyrene board or polyurethane foam insulation inside a garage door further limit the amount of hot and warm air transfer from a garage.

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.

Using weatherstripping and a door sweep on your garage door and your interior garage door will also help improve energy efficiency, as will using weatherstripping and sealant around your garage windows.

4. Park your recently used vehicles outside

This is one of the more simple (yet effective) garage cooling ideas – just leave your vehicles parked outside if you’ve driven them on a hot day and plan to be using the garage.

Heat will radiate from any vehicle to the rest of your garage long after it’s been shut off. Even non-engine heat absorbed by a vehicle’s body from a scorching sun can slightly add to a garage’s temperature.

5. Install a garage 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 pricier, but also more efficient at removing hot air from a garage. This mechanical system is most effective when installed on a garage roof.

Active ventilation can also be installed in a garage’s walls to supplement your roof ventilation and produce even better results. Wall fans work best when located opposite the garage door, preferably 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.

6. A fan is one of the most inexpensive garage cooling ideas available

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 a high-powered shop fan will also 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.

7. Choose lighter colors for your garage door and exterior

You can make the outside of your home conduct less heat from the sun by choosing lighter colors for your roof, exterior walls, and garage door.

Speak with one of our knowledgeable staff to learn more about the extensive selection of garage door colors and styles we have available.

A lighter color for your garage door and exterior will conduct less heat from the sun.

8. Add a dehumidifier to your garage

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 lowering of your garage’s temperature.

A good garage ventilation system will improve the effectiveness of a dehumidifier. Because dehumidifiers reduce condensation, they also have year-round benefits if you live in a colder climate.

9. Eliminate garage clutter

Cleaning up the clutter in your garage doesn’t just make your space more functional, it also makes some of these garage cooling ideas and solutions more effective.

That’s because stacked boxes and bulky items stored on your garage floor obstruct proper airflow. This, coupled with the extra surface areas that clutter allows dust to settle on, contributes to poor garage air quality.

Garage cabinetry, slatwall storage, and specialty storage racks will maximize your garage’s storage abilities and keep your space organized. They’ll also enable your garage’s air to move more freely, which can help keep temperatures down.

Inspect Your Garage

If your garage suffers from poor ventilation there is little you can do about it without costly repairs or renovations. So if you don’t have the funds to install more windows, or don’t want to keep the operating door cracked open to help with the problem for security reasons, the next best solution is an exhaust fan.

Inspections related to garage ventilation aren’t too complicated. Are you uncomfortable when you stand in the room? Is it too hot or too chilly? Though garages don’t have the same room temperature control as the rest of your home, they should be at least bearable.

Furthermore, you’ll notice if the garage gives off strong, undesirable odors. Intense, chemical odors are always a bad indication of poor ventilation so your garage should not smell like you just walked into a hazard zone.

If you have come to the conclusion that it’s time to ventilate the garage, then the next step is to get the square footage of the area. If you don’t already know that figure, measure the height and width of the area and then multiply the two for total square footage.

Consider an Exhaust Fan Kit

Garages have a tendency to develop bad fumes and odors because of:

  • What you store in them,
  • Exhaust that travels in from automobiles and
  • The lack of windows or fans that could stir air movement.

As a result, many invest in some type of exhaust fan to help generate air flow. Exhaust fans can get purchased at your local hardware store and many of them are sold in kits that are fairly easy to self-install.

If you have any questions about the product, such as how much square footage of area it will help ventilate, as well as placement of the fan, you should inquire with a rep at the hardware store.

There are many varieties of garage exhaust fans with different price ranges.

ventilating your garage

Prepare the Garage for Installation of an Exhaust Fan

The exhaust fan kit should walk you through the installation instructions. However, since instructions posted on a product label aren’t always the most specific or clear, here are the basic steps:

1. Cut a hole in the garage ceiling where you want to place the exhaust fan.

2. Once you cut through the ceiling you should be able to locate the electrical wiring box.

3. Before you begin messing with the electrical wiring box it’s EXTREMELY important that you shut off all power in the garage. You’re dealing with wires so you don’t want to get electrocuted.

4. Then run new wires from the nearest junction box to the opening. If you’re installing a large fan then you may want to create a separate circuit or two, as these fans can draw a lot of electricity and may overload existing circuits.

Installing a New Garage Fan

Now that the prep work is complete it’s time to install the actual fan. Here are the basics:

1. Connect the exhaust hose to the fan, and then push it through the roof until the nozzle is entirely through.

2. Secure the hose to the outside of the roof with the installation brackets provided in a kit.

3. Then connect the wires to the fan and screw the fan into the ceiling or side wall.

4. Once the fan is secured, caulk around the edge of the casing to prevent air from escaping back out of the garage immediately.

5. Turn the power back on in the garage and test out the new fan. If it’s not operational, you’ll want to first check the troubleshooting part of the manual.

Other Factors to Consider with Air Ventilation

The fan will go a long way in keeping your garage at more pleasant temperatures, as well as eliminate nasty odors. There are additional measures you can take as an exhaust fan can only do so much.

South and west facing garages struggle with hot temperatures the worst because of how the sun wears on them during the day. Though a fan will help, south and west facing garages are still at a disadvantage and it’s very hard during the summer to keep them completely cool.

Also, you should try to avoid parking cars immediately in a garage if possible. When you keep in mind that automobiles have been out on the road and generated an insane amount of heat, it’s going to take a little while for the mechanical parts of the engine to cool down.

So, even if you take the vehicle out for 15 minutes or less, you should still consider parking it outside the garage for a few hours until it starts to cool down. It won’t radiate as much heat into the interior of the garage.

Lastly, while insulated garage doors are incredibly efficient during the winter months for preventing cold air from coming into your garage, they are actually counter-productive during the warm months.

Insulated doors actually keep hot air trapped in the garage. It isn’t a problem if you live up north and experience long, bitter winters. Though if you live in a more mild climate you would do better to avoid installing this type of garage door.

Solutions for every garage configuration.

Solar Roof-Mounted Garage Fans

When the sun beats down on the roof of your garage, and there’s no insulation to keep the space cool, Solatube’s roof-mounted garage fans are the ideal solution. The fan runs all day on solar- keeping the entire space cool with no cost to operate.

Solar roof mount garage fan.

Solar Interior-Mount Garage Fan

When you’re as busy in the garage as the living space above it, you want a solution to keep it cool. Solatube delivers a solar fan (IM 1500) that mounts on a side wall to pull the hot air out of the garage all day so you can do everything in your garage in total comfort. This solution is a great option for virtually any garage configuration type.

Solar interior mount garage fan.

Powered Garage Fan

For garages with attic space above them, you want to keep both spaces cool to keep yourself comfortable and your home protected from the elements. Solatube’s powered garage fan pulls hot air out of the garage and attic while bringing cool air in from the outside.

Electrical powered garage fan.

Garage Ventilation and Air Flow

Garages are not only unpleasant if they are warmer/colder than the rest of the house and have strong odors, but they also negatively impact the rest of the house.

If the garage is too hot or cold then the adjacent rooms are going to get impacted. It’s impossible to stop this transfer of heat or cold air. Consequently, your best means to combat the problem is plenty of air movement.

Your garage can only get as cool as the temperature outside. However, by installing one or more ceiling or sidewall exhaust fans it will help keep the temperature within reason.

Exhaust fans that are placed high on the wall or ceiling, as well as directly opposite the main garage door offer the most effectiveness.

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