Hot Days, Cool Garages: How to Keep Your Garage Cooler This Summer
To keep our energy bills down and take the pressure off the region’s overtaxed energy grids, there is a large and growing list of ways to reduce the amount of electricity we consume. Importantly, this includes the often overlooked ways we can use our garages in hot weather and the cost-effective means of insulation available to us. Automatic Garage Doors wants to pass along these common-sense ways to keep cool when the heat rises.
Garage cooling tips:
- Keep any garage windows open where security permits to maximize cooling airflow and minimize turning your garage into a “heat sink.” The same goes with doors (especially the garage door), except, of course, any door that opens to the residence. This is both to keep any air-conditioned air inside your house and to minimize chances unhealthy fumes may enter your home.
- Insulated garage doors can make a big difference in the summer as well as winter. ADS will be glad to show you the options available. A garage that is even a few degrees cooler because of quality insulation can make a cumulative difference for your whole home. Install insulation batts along your garage walls. Installing is quick, and you can easily cover it with either foam board or drywall (check your area’s building codes). If you already have drywall in the garage, you can simply opt for blown-in insulation. Other simple steps that actually make a measurable difference: install weather stripping, and caulk the garage windows and doors.
- Ceiling fans aren’t just for in-home use. A garage ceiling with a clearance of seven feet or more will allow you to install one or two standard ceiling fans. This is one of the most logical and energy-effective ways of maintaining your garage at moderate temperatures.
- If you’re not so concerned about higher energy use and its increased costs, you may elect to extend your home’s air conditioning into the garage space or install a window air conditioner or a portable floor unit, especially if you are using your garage as a family room. A more energy efficient alternative is a mini split air conditioner – which has an added advantage of not requiring windows.
- Installing a dehumidifier in the garage reduces the relative humidity in the space, keeping it cooler and more comfortable. Remember, moderating the temperature of the large volume of air in a typical garage may help stabilize temperatures in your home and home environment, especially if you are moving freely between the spaces.
- Control the air-flow in your garage by keeping it uncluttered and well-organized, without major blockages to natural ventilation. Air in motion is generally cooler and fresher and makes a more inviting and comfortable home.
- If you make a service appointment with ADS, feel free to ask the specialist if there are specific ways you should consider to cool down your garage. He may notice things you may not be thinking about.
Other suggestions for your home environment:
- Keep blinds closed for windows facing direct sunlight, or consider blackout curtains. Only air condition rooms you are using, and keep unused rooms closed off.
- Set your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise to generate greater wind-chill. Use your exhaust fans to siphon off hot air created by cooking or showering.
- LED lights are not only highly energy efficient and long-lasting, but generate a lot less heat.
- Cook less, especially the use of your stove or oven. Outdoor cooking is usually a good alternative.
- Awnings, patio covers, and umbrellas can make a major difference, as does the strategic placement of well-selected and maintained shade trees.
All of these things, taken together, will make a difference in the livability of your home and garage during the summer months and the heat waves we may experience at any time of the year. Remember, keeping your home and garage cooler during the day will help to maintain lower temperatures at night as well, giving you more relaxed sleeping conditions and a head-start of the next day’s heat build-up.