We all know that working on projects in your garage in the summer can be absolutely miserable. How is it that garages get so hot?
Most people would never consider getting an air conditioner to cool down their garage, but it can make a big difference in your happiness and quality of life if you do a lot of projects in your garage area. Read on to learn about the best units for your garage!
Comparison Chart of the Best Garage Air Conditioners
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How to Choose an Air Conditioner For Your Garage
Choosing an air conditioner, in general, isn’t as hard of a task. And the same goes for choosing one for your garage. All you need to do is consider some important features. Here are some of the aspects you need to keep in mind while picking out an air conditioner for your garage.
The first thing that you need to look at is the price of the unit that you are considering. Air conditioners are generally expensive. So you need to make sure that you pay simply for the features that you need and nothing extra.
If you do have a greater budget to spare, then you may want to look at some fancier units. If not, you’d simply be wasting time and overspending considering items that are out of your given budget.
Another important factor to bring into consideration is the power consumption of the unit you pick. Some units will consume more power than others, depending upon their features and functionality.
You need to decide if the functionality of the unit is worth the extra electricity bill.
If you want a unit that does not consume as much electricity, then you might want to invest in an energy star rated product.
As we said earlier, air conditioners are no cheap appliances. And if you invest a great amount of money in a product, you would want it to last longer.
Thus, you need to ensure that the air conditioner that you pick is designed to provide you with sufficient durability.
Review of the Best Garage Air Conditioners
Now that you know what to keep in mind, let’s check out some actual products!
Zero Breeze Mark 2
What Recent Buyers Report
A majority of the users were quite impressed by the fast and efficient cooling of this air conditioner. They say that it is just what they were looking for. In just a few minutes, they could feel the cool fresh air even during hot summers. Users highly recommend others to invest in this amazing unit.
Why it Stands Out to Us
The multitude of cooling capabilities is what impresses us about this portable air conditioner. This little unit can quickly cool your living space without any hassle. It is capable of dropping temperatures down to 30F.
In addition, the fast cooling option allows it to cool the air in just 10 minutes. The air conditioner is powered by a battery that is capable of operating for up to five hours. It can be charged conveniently for multiple times of use. Also, it is quite reliable to use in aircraft, boat, RV, truck, or even in your tent.
All in all, this is a reliable cooling option that makes you feel at home anywhere you want. Don’t judge this little friend by its size. Its cooling capabilities are unmatched when compared with any traditional cooling units. What are you waiting for?
Black + Decker 10,000 BTU
The Black + Decker 10000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner is a great choice when it comes to garage air conditioners. We all know how space comes at a premium in garages, and your biggest concern with getting an air conditioning unit may be the amount of rearranging you will have to do in order to make room for it. Never fear – with this Black + Decker unit, you will not have to worry about that at all! It is on the smaller side and will easily fit into whatever space you have available.
It also has a number of convenient features, including an exhaust hose that is efficient at not letting heat back into the garage and not having to frequently empty the water pan. It can be operated by remote control, so you do not always have to be right next to it, and it has multiple functions – it can both cool and dehumidify. It cools large areas quickly and effectively and will make it so you are no longer sweating your face off when doing projects in your garage.
The Black + Decker 10000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner is an excellent option for your garage and is an excellent choice. Just know that it may need frequent cleaning.
Best Portable Air Conditioner:
Dimensions: 16 x 19 x 35.5 inches
Cooling Capacity: 14,000
Weight: 80 lbs
Floor Area: 50 sq. ft.
Airflow: 253 CFM
This massive 14,000 BTU has excellent performance that delivers airflow of 253 CFM and dehumidification of 71 pints per day. You’ll have adequate ventilation and air circulation for your garage thanks to the fan mode, but you’ll also have sufficient cooling.
You might find it daunting to move around and install with its heavy weight despite the wheels. It also produces a loud noise in the fastest setting, which will only bother you when you spend time in your garage.
There are two hoses for the intake and exhaust, making the air conditioner more efficient in how it cools the space. It also automatically drains any condensation so that you don’t have to do it every few hours.
You might not enjoy spending too much time in your garage due to the heat, which is where this air conditioner saves the day. It has efficient and powerful performance for cooling, dehumidification, and ventilation.
That means you can overcome high temperatures and humidity at the same time. Feel free to also set the timer if you need to leave the house or head to sleep.
Emerson Quiet Kool EAPC12RD1
The Emerson Quiet Kool EAPC12RD1 is fantastically simple and easy to use, and will effectively cool large garage areas in a snap. It is straightforward to set up and to program the different settings. It is also on the smaller side, making it ideal to be tucked away into a corner of your garage, or moved into storage when the hotter months are over, allowing that space in your garage to be used for other projects.
Because it is sleek and modern, it will not stick out like a sore thumb no matter where you put it, so this unit could also be used inside the house on really hot days. It has an economy mode to keep your energy costs low and help save our planet a little. It also has a fan mode for times when you need air circulated but maybe not necessarily cooled. And its warranty system really cannot be beaten – you will get a one year warranty overall, three years for the parts, and five years for the compressor. Difficult to get better than that!
The Emerson Quiet Kool EAPC12RD1 is an awesome air conditioner that can be stored basically wherever you need it, thanks to its smaller size. It can be on the louder side when it is first running but will quiet down as it cycles through.
Best Portable Air Conditioner:
Honeywell 525 CFM
The Honeywell 525 CFM is an extremely powerful air conditioning unit that is also quite portable and can be effectively moved around your garage or even taken elsewhere. It is lightweight and rolls on caster wheels, so you will not expend a large amount of effort when moving this thing. It is versatile enough to cool a large variety of different areas and it even has UV protection so it can be effectively used outdoors, and users report that it works well when cooling off large patio areas.
The fan has four different speed settings, and even when on the lowest setting it is still quite powerful. The unit also has two vertical airflow adjustment settings and one motorized horizontal airflow setting, so you can really customize where you would like it to blow cold air. It is easy to use, with a garden hose nozzle for refilling the water tank and a fill door which is well-shaped to prevent spills.
The Honeywell 525 CFM is an awesome product that can easily be moved to wherever will best cool your garage. It is a bit on the large side, though size does not necessarily translate into weight with this air conditioner.
6. Honeywell HL10CESWW Contempo Series
The Honeywell HL10CESWW Contempo Series is an excellent, multi-functional air conditioner that will keep your garage as cool as a cucumber. It is smaller than many of the other units available on the market, so it can be easily tucked away into a discreet corner of your workspace.
If you want air circulation but not necessarily cooling, you can just use the fan function, and if it is super humid and you need some relief, this unit provides a dehumidifier function as well. You can also adjust the angles of the air vents so you can get cool air blowing exactly where you would like it.
Best of all, this unit can be programmed to shut off at a predetermined time, so you never have to worry about forgetting to turn it off when you are done with your projects and accidentally leaving it going (and running up your energy bill) all night.
The Honeywell HL10CESWW Contempo Series is an ideal garage air conditioner with a lot of convenient functions. It is on the heavier side, so plan to have another person on hand if you are trying to move it.
Best Looking Garage Air Conditioner:
Frigidaire 12,000 BTU
The Frigidaire 12,000 BTU Cool Connect Smart Portable Air Conditioner is probably the best-looking air conditioning unit you will ever see – so if you have an overall look for your garage that you are not trying to disrupt, this unit will fit right in.
Also, if you are a technology nut, this device is actually super cool. It is enabled with smart features that give you the opportunity to control the air conditioner from afar, so if you are anticipating knocking out some garage projects after work, you can turn this unit on while you are on your way home and arrive at an already cooled off garage. It is also capable of reading the current temperature inside your garage so you know exactly what temperature you need to set it to. If you are looking for an air conditioning unit that will make your life easier, look no further than the Frigidaire Cool Connect.
The Frigidaire 12,000 BTU Cool Connect Smart Portable Air Conditioner is an amazing choice that you will never tire of operating. It is a bit on the louder side, so just know that going in.
8. Honeywell MN10CESWW
The Honeywell MN10CESWW makes it on our list of best garage air conditioners, and it is easy to see why. If you are looking for a unit that is incredibly easy to operate and will effectively cool your garage to a comfortable working temperature for projects, look no farther than the Honeywell MN10CESWW.
It comes with crystal clear directions that will provide for a simple installation process. Once it is installed, it is also quite easy to use, and even easier to maintain. The only work you will ever have to do to keep this air conditioner up and running is to occasionally vacuum the filter foam at the back of the unit to get rid of dust - something you would have to do with all units anyway. No need to constantly be draining the water from this bad boy!
The Honeywell MN10CESWW is an effective air conditioner that will keep your garage cool and make your life easier in the process. Just know that it is on the louder end of the spectrum, though that can also be nice when it comes to blocking out exterior sounds.
Aspects to Consider When Buying a Garage Air Conditioner
Keep in mind some of the following qualities when searching for a garage air conditioner:
We all know space is at a premium when it comes to both storage and a working area within your garage. You are going to want to find a unit that will not take up too much space but will still effectively keep the area cool.
This is probably less of an issue within a garage space than it would be, say, in your living room, but noise definitely still has an impact. You do not want to be struggling to be heard when working on a project with multiple people because of the noise produced by your AC unit.
The thing about portable air conditioners is that they usually consume quite a bit of energy. If you pay attention to a unit’s EER, or Energy Efficient Rating, you can determine just how much energy a unit will expend relative to other units.
What Makes an Air Conditioner Great For Your Garage?
There are a great number of air conditioners available in the market. But do all of them serve to be suitable for your garage? No. So what are the qualities that make an air conditioner good for your garage? If that is what you’re wondering too, then here are some features that hint at the perfect air conditioner for your garage.
It may be obvious that the size of your garage is not the same as the size of your room. So the size of the air conditioner in your room would not suffice for your garage. Since your garage is more of an open space, you may need a unit that is a lot bigger than the one in your room.
More than air conditioning, what your garage really needs is dehumidification. This keeps you away from a great number of problems like mold. To save yourself the cost of investing in two different products, it is better to invest in an air conditioner that comes with a certain level of dehumidification capacity.
Low Power Consumption
Given the bigger size of an air conditioner, it is bound to consume more energy to provide the best of its functionality. Therefore, it is important that you choose a product that consumes a minimal amount of energy. An energy star rated would be perfect in such cases.
What Size AC Unit Do I Need For My Garage?
The AC size you need depends on how large your garage is. An 8,000 BTU can cover up to about 250 sq. ft., while a 6,000 BTU is adequate for about 150 - 200 sq. ft. You’ll also need to take temperature ranges, ventilation, and humidity into account.
How Many BTUs Does it Take to Cool a 2 Car Garage?
If you have a two-car garage, the usual measurements are 20 feet wide by 20 feet deep. Therefore, you’re looking at about 400 sq. ft. that needs cooling. An air conditioner with either 9,000 or 10,000 BTU will suffice.
AC vs Swamp Cooler for a Garage - Which is Better?
You might have heard that evaporative or swamp coolers are excellent options for garages. However, there are some downfalls you need to be aware of when compared to air conditioners. Here are the key differences between the two.
Ability to Handle Humidity
Swamp coolers draw in the air, heat the condensation until it becomes a gas, and then exhaust it back into the garage. However, the humidity level may be so high that there’s too much moisture to evaporate quickly enough.
Plus, you’re adding the water vapor back into the air. Air conditioners with a dehumidification function are better in this regard, which expels the condensation in liquid form.
The one benefit of a swamp cooler over an air conditioner is that the former uses less power. There are fewer components, which means it doesn’t have to work as hard to change the temperature in your garage.
Friendly to the Environment
Air conditioners use refrigerants as coolants, which can potentially be hazardous to the environment if they contain harmful chemicals. Swamp coolers merely evaporate the condensated water in a natural way, leaving the air healthier to breathe.
When it comes to drainage, portable air conditioners either have water tanks or pipes leading outside. The evaporative AC vents the hot air outside via an exhaust vent, which is similar in design but performs the function differently.
Safety Considerations for Garage Air Conditioners
Garage ACs are exceptional at cooling during the hot summer days, but there are many risks involved. Before you install one, here are some factors for you to consider.
Pressurization Caused by Central AC
If you have a central AC providing cool air into the garage through ducting, you’re creating pressure if the windows and doors are closed. It causes less pressure in the rest of your house, which can have disastrous effects. Ensure that you have a way for the extra air to escape.
The hot air released by air conditioners needs to go somewhere, especially if you’re using a portable version. If you don’t have windows in your garage, you may need to install a vent in the wall through which the AC’s exhaust pipe can go. Without proper ventilation, you won’t feel the cooling effects.
Commercial Air Conditioners
A residential air conditioner can only handle so much heat and adverse conditions. While you can find powerful units that might cope well, you might want to invest in a commercial AC instead. They’re built for such tough conditions, and you may save on maintenance and electrical costs.
Obtaining the Correct Size
Buying an air conditioner with the correct BTU for your space is essential for two reasons. If it’s too small, the garage won’t be able to cool down enough. On the other hand, obtaining one that’s too large might lead to freezing temperatures, which isn’t good for your vehicles and other contents.
Ensure Proper Drainage
If you’re not buying a swamp cooler, you need to ensure proper drainage for your air conditioner. While many devices have automatic shut-off functions, you don’t want any water running into your garage, especially if you have electrical equipment lying around.
When Should You Not Use an AC in the Garage?
We know that placing air conditioners in your garage sounds like an excellent idea. However, there are some situations where this not going to work well. Kindly reconsider if you find yourself in the following circumstances.
Working With Loads of Dust
Some people work or repair items in their garage. It may cause an increase in dust and air pollutants, especially where it involves wood and sawdust.
Air conditioners can’t handle large amounts of dust, even if they have filters to deal with it. A better option would be to use a purifier to remove most of the contaminants before switching your air conditioner on again.
High Humidity Levels
If you live in a region that suffers from high humidity, your garage will probably have some dampness or mold if there’s inadequate ventilation. Some air conditioners do have dehumidification functions, but they aren’t powerful enough to deal with that level of moisture.
It’s safer to aim for a dehumidifier that also has a cooling function. If you’re not afraid to spend some money, there’s no reason you can’t buy both and use them as needed.
Sometimes, a garage suffers from heat due to poor insulation. Before you buy an air conditioner, consider having a specialist correct this issue, as it may resolve the problem. You also don’t want an AC running if the heat will just breach the walls and windows anyway.
Be mindful of how much the air conditioner can handle when it comes to high temperatures. Some portable devices will work harder than necessary to bring the heat down, failing in the attempt and possibly damaging internal components. Consider buying a commercial AC instead of a residential one in these circumstances.
Types of Garage Air Conditioners
It is best to know the different types of garage units available before you invest in one:
Smart Air Conditioners
Everything is online these days and your air conditioner is no exception. Smart units can be enabled with WiFi and controlled from afar, so you can set your garage temperature before you even venture out.
Dual Hose Air Conditioners
If your garage is on the larger side, you will likely want a dual hose unit. Units with dual hoses have separate hose systems for cooling air and expelling hot air, which makes them more efficient and effective.
Multi-Function Air Conditioners
In today’s day and age, nothing has just one purpose. Multi-functional air conditioners can also serve as fans, dehumidifiers, and even heaters – which can really come in handy for keeping your garage warm in the winter months as well.
Benefits of Investing in a Great Air Conditioner for Your Garage
If you are going to bite the bullet and get a garage unit, you might as well get one that is high quality. Check out the reasons why:
Like anything in your garage, air conditioners will likely require repair at some point. But imagine trying to repair the thing that is supposed to keep you cool while you are doing other repairs! With a quality model, you will be able to delay the day you will need to touch up your unit.
You get what you pay for and higher quality air conditioners are obviously more effective. It can get pretty heated in a garage when you are working on projects, and can you really put a price on your own comfort?
The better designed your air conditioner, the easier it will be for you to move it around. This comes in handy when you are working on projects in different areas in your garage, or even if you want to switch your unit in and out of your house as well.
There is no reason why you need to suffer through heat waves in your garage in silence – make your life exponentially better by investing in a garage air conditioner! Keep in mind the specific size of your garage and the cooling needs you will have when selecting the right unit for your garage and budget, and you will never look back.
People Also Ask
Picking an air conditioner for a garage may prove to be a tricky task for a lot of users. And in order to make the best decision, it is important that all their queries are clear. In order to ensure that, here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions by other users.
Below are some frequently asked questions:
How Much Does it Cost to Air Condition a Garage?
Depending on the size, features, and quality, you might pay between $250 and $1,000 for a new device. If you need a vent installed through a wall, you’ll need an extra $500 to $750 to hire someone. If you’re not comfortable installing the device, you can expect to pay between $250 and $500 for professional assistance.
Does a Garage Air Conditioner Need to Be Vented?
Yes, it does. The exhaust air that leaves the device is hot, which will cancel the cooling effect. It’s better to have it vent outside rather than adding to the garage’s interior.
Can I Use My Central AC to Cool My Garage?
We don’t recommend it. Unless it has an intake duct, most central air conditioners only provide cold air into the garage. Since the walls are insulated with possibly no windows, it builds pressure.
In effect, the rest of the house will have lower pressure, which can cause massive problems. Ensure that you have proper ventilation to deal with the extra air.
How Many BTU For Garage Air Conditioners?
The BTUs required for your garage air conditioner depends highly on the size of your garage. The bigger your garage, the greater the BTU requirement would be.
For a general idea, if you have a standard two-car garage, then an air conditioner of 9000 to 10,000 BTUs would suffice.
How to Vent Portable Air Conditioner in Garage
The issue of using a portable air conditioner in a garage is that of venting the hot air. The hot air has to be released outside the vicinity of the garage, but a garage does not have standard windows for that function. So an alternative could be venting through the roof or through the wall.
How to Hide Water Heater And Air Conditioner in Garage
Hiding a water heater or an air conditioner in your garage requires more of a creative solution than a technical one.
You could either just place it in a corner or possibly behind a shelf where it isn’t very visible, or you could put a curtain around it, or maybe build a small cabinet for it.
Will a Portable AC Unit Cool a Garage?
A good portable air conditioning unit is more than capable of cooling your garage. But the efficiency of this job depends upon two factors, the size of the garage and the BTUs delivered by the AC. If the two are compatible, then congratulations, you’ve found the perfect portable AC for your garage.
Can You Cool a Garage Effectively?
You may be wondering if it is even worth it to invest in a garage air conditioner when a garage typically has very little insulation and may not be effectively cooled. The answer is that any enclosed space can be cooled, but some may take more effort than others. The draftier your garage, the more efficient a product you will need.
How Often Should I Clean My Garage Air Conditioner?
If you do not clean your air conditioner, odds are eventually its performance will likely be impacted. The amount of use you put into your air conditioner will likely impact how often you need to clean it. If you are running that thing constantly, you should probably check in every couple of weeks to clear out the dust from the back of your unit and ensure optimal performance.
How Big of an Air Conditioner Do I Need For My Garage?
It really depends on the size of your garage. What you will need to look out for when shopping for a unit is the BTU level – this will indicate the amount of space the unit is expected to keep cool. The larger the garage, obviously the higher BTU and larger air conditioner you will need.
How Much Does It Cost to Install an Air Conditioner in a Garage?
Beyond the initial cost of the air conditioner and the time and effort to install it – which can vary widely across different types of models – it should not really cost you anything to install a portable air conditioner in your garage. Though, some units may require purchasing additional insulation if your garage is particularly drafty.