How to Climate Control a Garage Workshop - RC Groups
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Mar 14, 2012, 03:53 PM
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R2R's Avatar

How to Climate Control a Garage Workshop

I live in Florida and my work shop is in my garage, so it gets very hot in there during the summer, making building during the summer intolerable, even with a fan running. My neighborhood association does not allow wall AC units to be visible from the front of the house, so wall/window units are not an option. Other than paying big bucks to add the garage to the central AC system (not an option for me unless it's doable under a couple hundred bucks?), does anyone have a a good solution for making a hot garage more comfortable to build in during the summer?
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Mar 14, 2012, 04:12 PM
No conspiracy in theory
skorski's Avatar
I had a similar problem, My garage doors were formed sheet steel.
I glued 1" thick sheets of foam to the inside and that helped a bunch.
Mar 14, 2012, 05:17 PM
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jtlsf5's Avatar
Before I created an opening and installed a window AC unit to my garage, I used a free standing floor unit. Was a little more expensive than window units, but afforded the ability to move around as needed and to put it in my shed during the winter when I needed heat. Try your local Lowe's or Home Depot, they may have the free standing floor units. Just get the biggest you can and plan for some way to drain the condensate to outside.

Like skorski I also insulated the garage doors, though used rolled insulation cut into exact fit batts adhered to the doors with contact cement. Mine is a sectional door, so large foam sheets didn't make sense. Held up pretty well over 15 years with a few batts having to be reglued after a few years.

Mar 15, 2012, 12:01 AM
Born to be free
tommyt's Avatar
Hi R2R... I live in Miami. I have a 20' x 20' double car garage. I framed up a insulated 20' dry-walled wall just behind the garage door opener with a 36" door 16" from the corner. This allows me to still open the double garage door and I have an area 20' x 9.5' to store bikes, mowers, boxes etc. in the front of the garage. The back half is 20' x 9' and is my workshop. I then simply ran a 9" flex duct and a ceiling vent from a attic a/c distribution box close by there is no return vent but this hasn't posed a problem. The wall is screwed to the concrete floor and walls with Tapcons and lag screws to the ceiling and I could remove the wall in about an hour leaving only screw holes in the floor, walls and ceiling. A garage is supposed to have a fire rating and fire block so this is not to code. You will have to remove the wall and any repair any holes you make for ducting before you sell.

I also have a friend that turned his garage into a game room. He built a insulated wall directly behind his garage door and installed one of those single room split systems in the garage/game room. Of course he can't open his garage door at all.
Mar 15, 2012, 05:50 PM
Missileer Extraordinaire
Mel Duval's Avatar
Make sure you well insulate the ceiling. It made ALL the difference in mine.....
Mar 16, 2012, 03:47 AM
Proud member of LISF and ESL
floor AC unit combined with roof/ceiling insulation might work.;facetInfo=

another option is put a std a/c on a table next to the window so the a/c does not stick out. Just open window and slide ac up to opening when you are using it.
Last edited by aeajr; Mar 16, 2012 at 03:54 AM.
Mar 16, 2012, 02:05 PM
Suspended Account
Originally Posted by aeajr
floor AC unit combined with roof/ceiling insulation might work.;facetInfo=

another option is put a std a/c on a table next to the window so the a/c does not stick out. Just open window and slide ac up to opening when you are using it.
Yup. Make a 'bench' inside for the unit and a shroud to mate it to. May need to run the drain hose to a plastic garbage can on the floor next to the unit. It may need to be emptied every few days.
Mar 16, 2012, 03:41 PM
Play loud, Fly high
Gil Gauger's Avatar

Home made A/C

What is your situation with ground water, lake, pond etc? Many years ago my father and some partners from work rebuilt Piper Cubs and the like in a shop cooled by circulating water through an old car radiator with a fan behind it. Poor mans ground source cooling.
Another option which I use in an upstairs attic extra room is to use a duct fan (available at building supply or HVAC supply) and pull air from a well supplied room underneath that space. My return is down the stairs. In your case see if you can pull air from the house in an inconspicuous place with a small opening and duct fan, then use a partially opened door for the return.
I have mine permanently installed and wired, but could have just as easily made it a temporary mounting.
Mar 18, 2012, 01:45 PM
Registered User
R2R's Avatar
Thanks, all. With all of your help, I think I have a strategy now.
  1. insulate garage door
  2. insulate attic above garage
  3. try the portable/stand alone AC unit first
Depending on how that works for me, I may look into extending some ducting into the garage. I like the idea of the internal insulated wall to separate space from the garage door for yard equipment, etc.

Thanks again!!
Mar 19, 2012, 08:40 PM
They call me Crash!
Kaw1000's Avatar

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