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garage with sunlight peaking in with several items hung on the walls

Troubles With a Hot Garage? How To Cool It Down

Transforming your garage into a more comfortable and functional space, especially during the warmer months, is essential whether it’s your workshop, a storage area for seasonal items, or a place to keep temperature-sensitive materials like paint. Here are several creative and practical solutions to help cool down your hot garage.

Upgrade Your Insulation

Upgrading the insulation in your garage is a fundamental step towards creating a more temperature-controlled environment, essential for both comfort and the protection of stored items sensitive to heat. Insulation acts as a barrier, preventing heat from penetrating the walls during the summer and retaining warmth during the colder months.

  • Choosing the Right Insulation: There are several types of insulation to consider, such as fiberglass batts, foam board, or spray foam. Each type offers different levels of thermal resistance, known as R-values. Higher R-values indicate better insulating properties. For garage spaces, a higher R-value is recommended because it effectively reduces heat transfer and can help stabilize indoor temperatures.
  • Installation Process: Adding insulation involves fitting the chosen material between the wall studs, followed by sealing it with drywall to create a finished look. This process not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your garage but also improves its structural integrity. Drywall provides a smooth surface that can be painted or decorated, allowing for personal customization of the space.
  • DIY vs. Professional Installation: While it’s possible for DIY-savvy homeowners to undertake this project, there are significant benefits to hiring a professional. A contractor can assess your specific needs based on the garage’s orientation, local climate, and your intended use of the space, ensuring that the insulation is appropriately matched to your requirements. Professionals also ensure that the installation is performed correctly and complies with local building codes, which can affect energy efficiency and safety.
  • Ensuring Ventilation: When upgrading insulation, it’s important to consider ventilation to prevent condensation and mold growth. Proper ventilation systems help maintain air quality and remove excess humidity, protecting both the structure of your garage and the health of its users.
  • Additional Benefits: Besides temperature control, well-insulated walls can reduce noise pollution from outside and inside sources (such as power tools), making the garage a more secluded and quieter workspace.

Install Sun-Blocking Window Treatments

Minimizing sunlight exposure is an effective strategy for keeping your garage cooler during the hotter parts of the year. Intense sunlight can significantly increase the temperature inside your garage, making it uncomfortable and potentially harmful to temperature-sensitive stored items.

Installing Sun-Blocking Window Treatments:

  • Blackout Curtains: These are ideal for blocking out the strong sunlight that enters through south and west-facing windows. Blackout curtains are made from heavy, light-blocking materials that not only prevent heat build-up but also provide privacy and reduce the risk of UV damage to tools, vehicles, and other stored items.
  • Blinds: Blinds offer a more adjustable solution compared to curtains. They allow you to control the amount of light and ventilation entering the space while still blocking out the majority of direct sunlight. Materials like wood, faux wood, or aluminum can be particularly effective at reflecting sunlight away from your garage.

Maximizing Natural Light Without Additional Heat:

  • North-Facing Windows: It’s beneficial to keep windows on the north side of your garage uncovered. The light from the north is generally softer and cooler, lacking the harsh intensity of direct sunlight. This natural light can brighten your space without significantly raising the temperature, creating a more inviting and productive environment. It also saves energy during the day by reducing the need for artificial lighting.

Enhancing Garage Ambiance:

  • Natural Light Usage: Utilizing natural light from north-facing windows can enhance the ambiance of your garage, making it a more pleasant place to work or spend time. It can transform your garage from a purely utilitarian space to a more welcoming area for projects and activities.

Additional Cooling Tips:

  • Reflective Films or Tinted Windows: These can be applied to the glass to further reduce heat gain while still letting in light. They work by reflecting a portion of the incoming solar radiation, thus lowering the temperature inside.
  • Strategic Use of Window Coverings: During different times of the year or times of day, adjust the window treatments to manage heat gain effectively while still benefiting from natural light when needed.

By adopting these methods, you can significantly improve the thermal comfort of your garage without sacrificing the benefits of natural light, ultimately creating a more balanced and enjoyable workspace.

RELATED: How a Garage Door Makeover Can Change the Entire Look of Your Home

Seal Openings with Weatherstripping

Sealing openings with weatherstripping is a straightforward yet highly effective way to enhance the climate control within your garage and improve your home’s overall energy efficiency. This method targets the small gaps and openings around doors and windows that can lead to significant air exchange and energy loss.

Key Steps to Weatherstripping:

  1. Identify Leak Points: Begin by inspecting all the entry points in your garage, especially around doors and windows. Pay attention to the garage door itself, which is often a major source of air leakage due to its size and frequency of use.
  2. Choose the Right Weatherstripping Material: There are various types of weatherstripping materials available, including rubber, foam, felt, and vinyl. Each type has its own strengths and is suited to different kinds of gaps and wear conditions. For instance, vinyl is durable and moisture-resistant, making it ideal for areas that are exposed to weather elements. Rubber and silicone sealants are also effective in creating a tight seal and can handle temperature fluctuations well.
  3. Installation: Install the weatherstripping along the frame where the door or window closes. The goal is to create a tight seal that stops air from passing through when the door or window is closed. Make sure the weatherstripping compresses slightly when the door or window shuts, which indicates a good seal.
  4. Check for Gaps: After installation, check around the door and window frames using a light source to identify any remaining gaps. An even simpler method is to feel for drafts with your hand, particularly on windy days.
  5. Maintenance: Regularly inspect and replace weatherstripping that becomes compressed, cracked, or torn. Maintaining the integrity of these seals is key to their effectiveness.

Hiring a Professional:

  • While DIY installation is certainly feasible, hiring a professional can ensure that the job is done correctly and efficiently. This is particularly recommended for sealing large garage doors or when high-quality, long-lasting materials are used. Professionals can also provide advice on the best types of weatherstripping for your specific needs and local climate conditions.

Benefits of Effective Weatherstripping:

  • Energy Savings: Properly sealed doors and windows can significantly reduce the energy needed to heat or cool your garage and home, leading to lower utility bills.
  • Comfort: Reducing drafts and heat loss in winter, and heat gain in summer, improves comfort levels inside the garage, making it a more usable space throughout the year.
  • Protection of Stored Items: By stabilizing the garage’s temperature and humidity levels, weatherstripping helps protect tools, vehicles, and other stored items from moisture and temperature-related damage.

Incorporating weatherstripping into your garage maintenance routine can make a noticeable difference in the comfort and cost-effectiveness of your home’s energy use.

Consider a Portable Air Conditioner

Considering a portable air conditioner is an excellent strategy for directly managing the temperature in your garage, especially if you do not have central air conditioning. Portable air conditioners are versatile and can be moved as needed, making them an ideal choice for spaces like garages where permanent installation may not be feasible or necessary.

Setting Up a Portable Air Conditioner:

  1. Placement Near a Window: It’s important to position your portable air conditioner near a window. This allows for the easy installation of the venting kit, which is crucial for expelling hot air out of the garage. Proper venting ensures the unit operates efficiently and effectively cools the space.
  2. Venting Setup: Most portable air conditioners come with a window kit that includes a hose and a window slide adapter. This setup creates a sealed exit for the hot air and helps maintain the cool environment inside by preventing warm air from re-entering through the exhaust.
  3. Electrical Requirements: Portable air conditioners typically require a significant amount of power to operate effectively. Before installation, check the unit’s power requirements and compare them to your garage’s current electrical capacity. This is crucial to avoid overloading your garage’s electrical system.

Considering Electrical Upgrades:

  • If your garage’s existing electrical setup does not meet the requirements of the air conditioner, it is wise to consider upgrading your electrical system. Overloading an inadequate system can pose serious safety risks, including electrical fires.
  • Hiring a qualified electrician to perform this upgrade is strongly recommended. An electrician can ensure that the new system adheres to local electrical codes and safety standards, and can handle the additional load of the air conditioning unit.

Benefits of Using a Portable Air Conditioner:

  • Flexibility: Portable units can be easily moved between areas within the garage depending on where cooling is needed most, providing targeted comfort.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Compared to installing a new central air system or ductless mini-splits, portable air conditioners are generally less expensive and do not require invasive installation.
  • Ease of Use: These units are typically user-friendly, with features like digital controls, remote operation, and timers, which enhance convenience and efficiency.

Additional Considerations:

  • Dehumidifying Function: Many portable air conditioners also come with built-in dehumidifiers which can help reduce humidity in the garage, protecting tools and stored items from rust and moisture damage.
  • Regular Maintenance: Like all air conditioning systems, portable units require regular maintenance, including draining condensation and cleaning filters to ensure optimal performance.

By incorporating a portable air conditioner into your garage setup, you can significantly improve the comfort of your workspace or storage area during the hot months, making it a more versatile and enjoyable space.

Seek Professional Guidance

If you’re considering significant upgrades like installing an insulated garage door, professional advice can be invaluable. Companies like the Overhead Door Company of Oklahoma City not only offer installation but also provide consultations to help you choose the right products for your needs.


Why should I insulate my garage?

Insulating your garage helps maintain a comfortable temperature, protects temperature-sensitive items, and can reduce noise from outside and inside sources.

What types of insulation are best for a garage?

Fiberglass batts, foam board, and spray foam are effective options, with higher R-values indicating better insulation properties. A higher R-value is recommended for garage spaces to effectively reduce heat transfer.

Should I install insulation myself or hire a professional?

While DIY installation is possible, hiring a professional ensures the insulation is properly installed and compliant with local building codes, which can improve energy efficiency and safety.

How do I keep my garage cool during summer?

Installing sun-blocking window treatments like blackout curtains or blinds, sealing openings with weatherstripping, and possibly using a portable air conditioner are effective methods.

What are the benefits of weatherstripping my garage?

Weatherstripping can enhance climate control, reduce energy costs by minimizing air exchange, and protect stored items by stabilizing temperature and humidity levels.

What should I consider when installing a portable air conditioner in my garage?

Ensure the air conditioner is placed near a window for proper venting and check that your garage’s electrical system can handle the unit’s power requirements. Consider hiring an electrician for any necessary upgrades to your electrical system.

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Kristen Mangum
Kristen Mangum
Friendly customer service. Bought a hard to find remote for an old garage door opener. Opener has 3 buttons so I can program both doors to it. Easy to find location right off 29th St.
Robert Ballinger
Robert Ballinger
Great people
Betsy Chronister
Betsy Chronister
I was given a very fair quote. A week later a tech came and installed. Then came back to install lock. Tech was very professional and polite. Spen time with me making adjustments to my liking. I totally recommend Overhead door to my fellow Okies.
Hendrix Morrow
Hendrix Morrow
Overhead Door did a great job. They got me on the schedule the next day and fixed my spring in 30 minutes or less. Joe was great, professional, and courteous. Awesome service, and he didn't tell me I needed extra materials like the previous garage door people that quoted me $575. Overhead Door told me a price over the phone and it didn't change. I'd recommend them every time.
Sandy Molleda Molleda
Sandy Molleda Molleda
A very good place for a new garage door and a new remote.
John Ehrhardt
John Ehrhardt
Pleased with their services. Coil spring broke and door stopped working. Spoke to Ron, and less than 24 hrs later the technician had us up n running again. These guys did exactly what they promised to do, with no nonsense. I like that.

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