A garage can be a great place for a workspace or even a social gathering, but during the summer, the space can become so uncomfortably hot that instead of useful space, it becomes a space that you try to avoid at all costs. How can you reclaim your garage during those hot, muggy days? A garage doesn’t have to be a sauna during the summertime. Take a look at some of the strategies you can use to cool that space so that you can get back to using your garage the way that you want to.
Insulation does double duty – it can help keep the heat out of your garage during the summer, and when winter rolls around, it can help keep warm air in so that your garage is a comfortable place to be no matter what season it happens to be.
The walls are probably the most important area to insulate. They amount to the largest amount of space, so keeping insulating them well can serve to keep a lot of the heat out. Compare different types of insulation for R-value – that’s the measurement that indicates how much insulating value the material offers. A higher R-value means more effective insulation. Depending on your budget, you may choose spray-foam insulation, which should be installed professionally, or something like fiberglass or rockwool batting, which you can install yourself.
While you’re insulating the garage walls, consider going a step further and insulating the ceiling and garage door as well. Although these spaces are often overlooked, insulating them as well as the walls will give you the most control over the interior temperature. If you want, you can install a portable AC unit, and the insulation will keep the cool air in and keep your energy bills under control.
When you have an overheated space, you need a way to allow some of the hot air to escape, and you can do that by making sure the space is well ventilated. There are two good ways to provide your garage with some ventilation.
Your first option is to add a stationary vent on your garage roof. You may remember from science class that heat always rises, but where does it go when it reaches the ceiling and can’t move any further? Adding a vent gives the hot air a way to escape, which prevents it from simply building up inside the garage.
Your second option is to install ventilation fans. Instead of the ceiling, these go on the side walls. They move the air around, which regulates the temperature, preventing it from getting too hot in any one place. This can be useful if you live in a humid climate – the fans can help dry out the air.
One more key thing to remember is the importance of weather stripping the garage door. If you go the trouble of insulating the garage to keep hot air out and keep cool air from the house or from a portable AC unit in, the last thing you want is hot air coming through gaps in the garage door. This will lessen the effectiveness of your insulation and drive up energy costs if you’re cooling the garage.
Garage door weather stripping dries out and cracks over time, so make sure that you’re checking it every year or so and replacing it when necessary. Weather stripping installation is a simple DIY project.
With a little work, your garage can really be a room for all seasons. To find out more about how you can improve your garage’s functionality, get a free design consultation and estimate.