Are you considering installing a garage air conditioner? Before you do, read the do’s and don’ts of garage air conditioners. Garages are notorious for becoming stifling hot in the summer and bitter cold in winter, especially so in the San Antonio area. In warm climates, the problem is even worse in garages without windows. But you can get more use out of your garage, whether for doing work or spending time on hobbies, with a garage air conditioner. An AC in your garage can have benefits such as:
- Relief from intense summer heat (preventing heat strokes and other sickness).
- Protection of old cars, paint, and lumber.
- Prevention of volatile organic compounds from evaporating.
Garage AC Do’s
- Do: Install Ventilation – Even with an air conditioner, fumes from your vehicle and chemicals from machinery and solvents can build up. A roof vent or active ventilation system can remove these toxins, as can an exhaust fan that sucks out hot air.
- Do: Install an Air Purifier – An air purification system is a good idea if you spend a lot of time in your garage. Ventilation and air turnover systems are best because a carbon filter will get saturated very quickly.
- Do: Use a Mechanical Filtration System – A HEPA filter will help keep your garage dust-free but does not remove VOCs. Some people have used fans in the middle of the room to absorb air into self-mounted mechanical filters, but make sure to implement other measures to reduce exposure to chemicals.
- Do: Combine Different Kinds of Air Filtration – Use an air filtration system with different technologies or combine different solutions to get the best effect. You want to remove dust, mold, bacteria, viruses, and VOCs.
Garage AC Don’ts
- Don’t: Park a Hot Car in the Garage – Heat produced by the engine and trapped inside the vehicle will radiate into your garage, raising its temperature. If you use an AC, it will work harder to keep the temperature down, which increases energy consumption.
- Don’t: Use Central AC to Cool the Garage – If you have an attached garage, using the central air conditioning system to cool it can result in having fumes and toxins sucked into ductwork and circulated around your home.
- Don’t: Forget to Update Insulation – A lack of insulation or a poorly insulated garage will make it impossible to keep things cool. Even the best air conditioner won’t help. Insulate the walls, ceiling, and garage door and/or install a drop ceiling to reduce the volume of air to be cooled.
- Don’t: Use a Portable Air Conditioner – A portable AC is generally not effective in a garage and should be your last resort. It is the least efficient option and will only work if vented to the outside. Instead, use a window AC if possible. However, a ductless mini-split air conditioner is best; it positions the heat exchanger outside, while the indoor unit can be placed where you feel it’d be most effective.
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