Energy-Saving Home and Tech

How to Keep a Garage Cool

Gexa Energy
April 26, 2023
minutes read
Gexa Energy
Publication Date:
August 4, 2023
Last updated:
March 8, 2024

Your home garage likely serves as a multipurpose space. You may use your garage not only to park your car but also for storage or as a workshop.  

The garage often gets overlooked for energy-efficient upgrades and repairs, even though it’s a central part of the home. Knowing how to cool a garage during hot summer days is important, not only for keeping you comfortable but also for reducing your cooling costs.

We’ve outlined how to keep a garage cool to provide you with simple tips and upgrades to maintain a comfortable temperature in your garage.


Open the Door

One of the easiest methods for cooling the garage is to let in a little air by opening the garage door. It’s a simple way to ventilate the space and keep the air from becoming stagnant. If your garage has windows, open them to create an effective cross-breeze.

You don’t have to open your garage door all the way. Instead, crack the door one to two inches off the ground to let cooler air inside and enjoy summer energy savings.

Let Your Vehicles Cool Down

Even after you turn off your car’s engine, it takes time for the vehicle to fully cool down. Parking your car in the garage immediately after arriving home can raise the temperature and trap that hot air inside.

If your driveway is shaded, consider parking your car outside for an hour or two before pulling into the garage to give the vehicle a chance to cool down.  

Install a Fan

If you use your garage as a workshop, it may be tempting to install a separate air conditioning unit, but it can easily increase your energy costs. Instead, consider a ceiling fan or a tower fan if you have the room.

To install a ceiling fan in your garage, the ceiling needs to be at least eight feet high to keep the fan from interfering with the opening and closing of the garage door. When shopping for a fan, keep the dimensions of the space in mind and look for products featuring the ENERGY STAR® label.  

Clean Up the Space

Clutter is more than an eyesore—it can increase the temperature of your garage. Boxes and storage containers stacked around the space can retain heat and reduce airflow, making the garage even warmer.  

If you’re looking for garage cooling solutions, take time to organize your garage and throw out anything you don’t want to keep. If you have unwanted items piling up, hold a garage sale. You can clean out the space and make a little extra cash.  

Don’t Let Cool Air Out

The best way to cool a garage is to prevent heat from building up in the first place. Look around the interior and exterior of your garage to see if there are cracks or deteriorating caulking on the walls and floor. Patch up holes and replace sealant to keep cool air from escaping.  

Insulated garages can help keep cool air in, and weatherstripping around windows and doors will also keep cold air inside where you want it.  

Related: Explore more tips to save on your summer electric bill.  

Make Exterior Changes

A roll-away awning allows you to block the sun during hotter months and helps keep your garage in the shade. During winter, you can roll the awning away and store it to let the sunlight warm up your space.  

If you don’t want to add an awning to your garage, consider planting a deciduous tree to provide natural shade from the sun. Deciduous trees are full of leaves in the summer but lose their foliage in fall, allowing the sunlight through in colder months.  

Use Your Garage Wisely

If you spend a lot of time in the garage, avoid the hottest times of day, such as late afternoon. Early morning is the best time to work in your garage, before the daily temperatures begin to rise.  

Before you go to work, open the garage door to release heat trapped from the previous day, cooling the garage.  

Choose Lighter Exterior Paint Colors

Lighter colors retain less heat than darker colors, so consider updating the exterior of your garage to limit the heat it absorbs. You can also choose lighter-colored garage doors to help keep the space cool.  

Improve the Ventilation System

There are two types of ventilation: passive and active. Passive ventilation is generally installed on the roof of a building and is usually performed by a spinning turbine that helps release heat. Active ventilation is more complex and costly but can also be much more efficient at removing heat because it’s mechanically powered.

Make sure that whatever ventilation system you choose is installed by a professional to ensure it works properly and doesn’t overload your electrical circuits.  

Purchase a Dehumidifier

If you live in a location with high humidity, a dehumidifier can help keep your garage cool by removing moisture from the air. Paired with a good ventilation system, a dehumidifier can help reduce the temperature in your garage. Plus, it can keep items stored in the garage in good condition.

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