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best garage air conditioner

Best Garage Air Conditioners 2022: Top Picks, Reviews & Buying Guide

Shopping for a garage air conditioner? 

You are on the right page.

The garage is one of the hottest places inside any house, especially without windows. Working on projects in such conditions can make you miserable. 

A good AC can help maintain a relaxed and comfortable environment in this scenario. 

Garage air conditioners have been around for many years and vary widely in efficiency, power output, and size. 

You can choose between portable, window, ductless mini-split, and evaporative coolers, to name a few. 

Let’s look at some of the best in the market

What's in This Guide 

In this buying guide, we recommend and review the best garage air conditioner systems sold today for a variety of garage sizes and situations.

After our reviews, we provide a brief buying guide to help you find the right model for your garage.


Best Garage Air Conditioner Units

  1. 1
    Best Overall: Senville SENL-24CD Mini-Split 24,000 BTU
  2. 2
    Best For a 1-Car Garage: Shinco 8,000 BTU 
  3. 3
    Best For a 2-Car Garage: Hessaire MC37M Evaporative Cooler
  4. 4
    Best Air Conditioner + Heater Unit: Rosewill 12,000 BTU
  5. 5
    Best Smart/Connected Garage AC: MIDEA 3-in-1 
  6. 6
    Best Portable AC for a Garage: Whynter ARC-14S
  7. 7
    Best Window AC for a Garage: MIDEA U Inverter
  8. 8
    Best Mini Split AC for Any Size Garage: Pioneer WYS018G-19
  9. 9
    Best Blower Fan: STANLEY 655704
  10. 10
    Best For a Garage with No Windows: Portacool Jetstream

best garage air conditioner
  • Senville SENL-24CD Mini-Split 24,000 BTU

  • Best Overall
  • Type
    Mini-Split AC

  • Coverage Area
    Up to 450 square feet

  • BTUs
    24,000

  • Heating
    Yes

  • Remote Control
    Yes

best garage air conditioner
  • Shinco 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

  • Best For a 1-Car Garage
  • Type
    Portable AC

  • Coverage Area
    Up to 200 square feet

  • BTUs
    8,000 BTUs

  • Heating
    No

  • Remote Control
    Yes

Hessaire MC37M Evaporative Cooler
  • Hessaire MC37M Evaporative Cooler

  • Best For a 2-Car Garage
  • Type
    Evaporative Cooler

  • Coverage Area
    Up to 950 square feet

  • BTUs
    3,100 CFM

  • Heating
    No

  • Remote Control
    No

best garage air conditioner
  • Rosewill 12,000 BTU Portable AC+Heater Combo

  • Best Air Conditioner + Heater Unit
  • Type
    Portable AC

  • Coverage Area
    Up to 300 square feet

  • BTUs
    12,000

  • Heating
    Yes

  • Remote Control
    No

best garage air conditioner
  • MIDEA 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner

  • Best Smart/Connected Garage AC
  • Type
    Portable AC

  • Coverage Area
    Up to 200 square feet

  • BTUs
    10,000

  • Heating
    No

  • Remote Control
    Yes


best garage air conditioner
  • Whynter ARC-14S

  • Best Portable AC for a Garage
  • Type
    Portable AC

  • Coverage Area
    Up to 500 square feet

  • BTUs
    14,000

  • Heating
    No

  • Remote Control
    Yes

best garage air conditioner
  • MIDEA U Inverter

  • Best Window AC for a Garage
  • Type
    Window AC

  • Coverage Area
    Up to 350 square feet

  • BTUs
    8,000

  • Heating
    no

  • Remote Control
    Yes

best garage air conditioner
  • Pioneer WYS018G-19

  • Best Mini Split AC for Any Size Garage
  • Type
    Mini-Split AC

  • Coverage Area
    Up to 450 square feet

  • BTUs
    18,000

  • Heating
    Yes

  • Remote Control
    Yes

best garage air conditioner
  • STANLEY 655704

  • Best Blower Fan
  • Type
    Blower Fan

  • Coverage Area
    Not Specified

  • Airflow Rate
    289 CFM

  • Heating
    No

  • Remote Control
    No

best garage air conditioner
  • Portacool Jetstream

  • Best For a Garage with No Windows
  • Type
    Evaporative Cooler

  • Coverage Area
    1,125 Square feet

  • Airflow Rate
    1,125 CFM

  • Heating
    No

  • Remote Control
    No


best garage air conditioner

The Senville SENL-24CD Mini-Split is a powerful air conditioning device for your garage. It produces 24,000 BTUs of cooling power for garage spaces of up to 450 square feet.

 In a stretch, it can do more. It boasts 4-in-1 functionality, including cooling, heating, dehumidifying, and air circulation modes. 

Pros

  • 4-in-1 functionality.
  • Remote control included.
  • Comes with a complete installation kit.
  • Quiet.
  • Sleek and stylish. 

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • Requires professional installation. 

Our Review 

Best Features 

BTUs and Coverage Area 

This mini-split from Senville is a sleek and powerful air conditioner. The SENL-24CD incorporates a compressor design that is engineered for powerful performance. It generates up to 24,000 BTUs per hour, which can cool a garage as large as 450 square feet. 

Dual-Function

The SENL-24CD also stands out for its 4-in-1 functionality. You can reverse its operation for heating during the cold winter months. Plus, there are dehumidifier and fan-only modes for versatile use.

Noiselessness

We also liked this mini-split model for its quiet and noiseless operation. It emits about 34 decibels of noise at its lowest speed which is even less than whispering. It produces about 48 decibels of noise at its highest speed, which is negligible. 

Limitations and Issues 

This mini-split AC may not be the right choice for every buyer because of its higher cost. Not only does it carry a high price tag, but there are also installation costs to keep in mind as well. 

Specs

Dimensions: 33.27 x 12.6 x 27.56 inches

Weight: 11.66 pounds

Cooling BTUs: 824,000

Coverage Area: 450 square feet

Operation Modes: Cooling, Heating, Dry, and Fan only modes

Control Options: Remote Control


2. Best For a 1-Car Garage: Shinco 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner  

best garage air conditioner

This Shinco portable AC is an excellent choice for any 1 car garage because of its high cooling output. It produces about 8,000 BTUs to keep a single-space garage of 200 square feet cool.

The multi-directional vents spread the cool air in every direction, ensuring that your garage is cool in as little as 8 minutes. 

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Simple to operate.
  • Low noise output. 
  • Self-evaporative.
  • Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Cons

  • Two fan speeds only.
  • No handles. 

Our Review 

Best Features 

Self-evaporation

It features a bucketless design, so all the condensate it extracts is evaporated again and used to cool the system. The leftover moisture is then expelled outside, and the system-generated heat is let out through the vent hose. There is no need for manual draining. 

Quiet Operation

This Shinco AC boasts a quiet operation. It emits less than 55 decibels of noise at its highest speed, making it the right choice for a garage. 

Limitations and Issues

The most common complaint about this Shinco unit is that its operation is limited to two fan speeds only. There is a high and a low, no in-between.

Specs

Dimensions: 17.52 x 14.76 x 32.68 inches

Weight: 55 Pounds

Cooling BTUs: 8,000

Coverage Area: 200 square feet 

Operation Modes: Cooling, Dehumidification, and Fan only modes 

Control Options: Remote and touch-sensitive keys  


3. Best For a 2-Car Garage: Hessaire MC37M Evaporative Cooler  

best garage air conditioner

Here is an evaporative cooler model for you to check out for your 2-Car garage. The Hessaire MC37M is a powerful unit with 3,100 CFM airflow and 950 square feet area coverage.

It supports manual and continuous fill and operates on three different fan speeds.

Pros

  • Wide area coverage.
  • Delivers 3,100 CFM of cool air.
  • Three-sided rigid cooling media.
  • Unique palm grill design.
  • Highly portable. 

Cons

  • Not suitable for areas with high humidity.
  • Noisy at the highest speed.

Our Review 

Best Features 

High Airflow and Coverage Area

This evaporative cooler from Hessaire is the right choice for people with 2-car garages because of its wide-area coverage. It produces about 3,100 CFM airflow to cover areas as big as 950 square feet. The oscillating louvers help in covering such a vast area quietly and efficiently. 

Weight and Portability

We also like this air cooling unit for its extreme portability. It weighs around 40 pounds and is equipped with heavy-duty, 360°caster wheels that make it very simple to move around. Plus, the top cup holder is a great resting place for drinks.

Fill Options 

The MC37M supports two modes of water filling. You can manually fill its built-in 10.3 gallons water reservoir with water. You can also provide a continuous water supply using the garden hose attachment.

Limitations and Issues

The most significant limitation of this device is its inevitable humidification. The unit uses evaporative technology for cooling; hence the air blowing out is cool and humid. 

Specs

Dimensions: ‎24 x 16 x 38 inches

Weight: 39 pounds

Airflow: 3,100 CFM

Coverage Area: 950 square feet 

Operation Modes: Fan only (3 Speeds) 

Control Options: Rotary Dial and switches 


4. Best Air Conditioner + Heater Unit: Rosewill 12,000 BTU Portable AC+Heater Combo  

best garage air conditioner

This compact portable AC from Rosewill is a powerful device for year-round usage.

It can cool, heat, dehumidify, and circulate the air around your garage to create a comfortable environment. It produces about 12,000 BTUs that can cover up to 300 square feet.

Pros

  • Simple and easy to use.
  • Multiple operation modes.
  • Self-evaporating.
  • Sleep mode.
  • Feature-rich remote control. 

Cons

  • Heavy.
  • Remote has limited coverage. 

Our Review 

Best Features

Multiple operation modes 

The best thing about this unit is its various modes of operation. You can use it to cool, heat, dehumidify, or simply circulate air as well. Plus, there is an energy-efficient sleep mode that ensures quiet operation during the night. 

Leakage-Current Detection and Interruption (LCDI) feature

This model has a Leakage-Current Detection and Interruption feature. This safety feature detects any leaks and automatically cuts off the power supply to prevent fire risks. 

Limitations and Issues

Despite being a compact device, this unit weighs a lot. At 71.4 pounds, some users found it difficult to lift and move around.

Specs

Dimensions: 35 x 19 x 16 inches

Weight: 71.4 Pounds

Cooling BTUs: 12,000

Coverage Area: 300 square feet 

Operation Modes: Cooling, Heating, Dehumidifier, Sleep, and Fan only modes 

Control Options: Remote and touch-sensitive keys 


5. Best Smart/Connected Garage AC: MIDEA 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner  

best garage air conditioner

The Midea 3-in-1 air conditioner is a Wi-Fi-enabled device that you can easily integrate into your smart home network. It has a high cooling output of 10,000 BTUs and can cool a garage of up to 300 square feet.

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact.
  • 3-in-1 functionality.
  • Sleep mode.
  • Easy to set up and operate.
  • Wi-Fi enabled.

Cons

  • Noisy.
  • App only works with 2G Wi-Fi. 

Our Review 

Best Features

Wi-Fi Connectivity

This smart air conditioner supports Wi-Fi connectivity for simple and convenient operation. You can pair it with the MideaAir app on your phone or use voice commands to adjust its settings. It works with both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. 

Reusable Filter

Another notable feature of this device is its air filtration feature. It is equipped with a reusable filter that you can wash and reinstall. It filters out major air pollutants from the air creating a healthier indoor environment for you to breathe in. 

Multiple Operation Modes

It can operate in five different modes. These include the three basic - cooling, air circulation, and dehumidifier modes, and advanced modes like sleep and eco modes. These modes help maintain a comfortable temperature while cutting down on electricity bills.

Limitations and Issues

The biggest limitation users have experienced with this appliance is the connectivity of the MideaAir app. Customers have complained that the app keeps losing track of the device, reporting it as offline.

Specs

Dimensions: 17.1 x 13 x 28.3 inches

Weight: 67.9 Pounds

Cooling BTUs: 10,000

Coverage Area: 300 square feet 

Operation Modes: Cooling, Dehumidifier, Sleep, Eco, and Fan only modes 

Control Options: Mobile phone Application, Voice Commands, Remote, and touch-sensitive keys


6. Best Portable AC for a Garage: Whynter ARC-14S

best garage air conditioner

Here is another portable AC model for your garage. The Whynter ARC-14S is a powerful cooling device with 14,000 BTU output, dual hose design, and self-evaporating function. It also comes with an activated carbon filter to ensure better air quality.

Pros

  • CFC-Free refrigerant.
  • Activated carbon filter to address odors.
  • Self evaporating.
  • Dual hose design.
  • Fast cooling. 

Cons

  • No barrier between the two hose outlets.
  • The cold air vent has to be opened manually.

Our Review 

Best Features

Dual Hose Design 

Unlike most portable ACs, the Whynter ARC-14S boasts a dual hose design. One of the hoses brings in the cool air from outside, which the system uses to cool down the coils.

The resulting hot air is then exhausted outside via the second hose. Doing so improves both its performance and cooling speed. 

Activated Carbon Filter 

This garage AC has a two-stage air filtration system to maintain a healthy garage environment. The washable pre-filter is designed to prevent various air pollutants from entering.

Meanwhile, the activated carbon filter absorbs smaller particles to eliminate lingering odor from your garage. 

Limitations and Issues

The most common complaint surrounding Whynter ARC-14S is the close placement of its hose outlets.

Since there is no barrier between them, some hot air may find its way back inside, compromising the system's efficiency. 

Specs

Dimensions: 16 x 19 x 35.5 inches

Weight: 80 pounds

Cooling BTUs: 14,000

Coverage Area: 500 square feet 

Operation Modes: Cooling, Dehumidifying, and Fan only modes 

Control Options: Remote and touch-sensitive keys 


7. Best Window AC for a Garage: MIDEA U Inverter

best garage air conditioner

The Midea U Inverter AC came as a game-changer in the window AC market. It is suitable for a standard window. It boasts a noiseless operation producing about 8,000 cooling BTUs per hour.

Pros

  • Innovative U-shaped design.
  • Inverter-based AC.
  • Wi-Fi enabled.
  • Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant.
  • Energy Star 2020 certified. 

Cons

  • The key beep cannot be turned off.
  • Heavy. 

Our Review 

Best Features 

U-shaped design

The best thing about this Midea window air conditioner is its innovative U-shaped design. It features a notch in the center to fit window panes and effectively keep the compressor noise outside. This gives you more freedom to open the window whenever you want. 

Inverter technology 

This unit is thoughtfully equipped with an inverter for more energy-saving and whisper-quiet operation. This inverter converts the AC supplied to the unit into DC. Using this current, the device runs on more variable speeds than regular on and off modes, resulting in efficient and smooth operation. 

Noiseless

The inverter technology and its U-shaped design work very well to create a seal that keeps the compressor sounds from making their way into the garage. At the lowest speed, it emits only 42 decibels of noise. 

Limitations and Issues 

Despite being uber attractive and stylish, this Midea unit lies on the heavier side. At 80 pounds, with most of the weight towards the backside, you will need an extra pair of hands for lifting and installation.

Specs

Dimensions: 16 x 19 x 35.5 inches

Weight: 80 pounds

Cooling BTUs: 8,000

Coverage Area: 350 square feet 

Operation Modes: Cooling, Dehumidifying, Eco, Sleep, and Fan only modes 

Control Options: Remote, MideaAir app, voice commands, and touch-sensitive keys


8. Best Mini Split AC for Any Size Garage: Pioneer WYS018G-19

best garage air conditioner

If you are after a mini-split AC to cool your garage, the WYS018G-19 from Pioneer is a powerful unit for any garage size. It has a high BTU output producing about 18,000 cooling and heating BTUs. It can heat and cool any area measuring up to 450 square feet in size.

Pros

  • Supports dual-function.
  • Sleek and stylish design.
  • Wall mounting.
  • High BTU output.
  • AHRI certified.

Cons

  • Wi-Fi module sold separately.
  • Needs professional installation. 

Our Review 

Best Features

Space-Saving Design 

The Pioneer WYS018G-19 is a sleek and stylish air conditioning unit. Being wall-mounted, it saves a lot of your valuable floor space. Plus, the slim and stylish appearance looks great just about anywhere. 

Dual Function Support 

The unit is a feature-rich device with dual-function support. It can also heat your garage to keep it cozy during winters. You can set it to operate over dehumidifier and ventilation modes for added comfort. 

Limitations and Issues

It requires professional installation. That means extra costs for most buyers as not everyone is very handy with tools and electricals.

Specs

Dimensions: ‎38 x 8.5 x 12.5 inches

Weight: 26 pounds

Cooling BTUs: 18,000

Coverage Area: 450 square feet 

Operation Modes: Cooling, Heating, Dehumidification, and Ventilation modes

Control Options: Remote control 


9. Best Blower Fan: STANLEY 655704

best garage air conditioner

If your garage is not suitable for housing the traditional air conditioning models, the Stanley 655704 blower fan can also keep you cool for long working hours.

It has an air delivery rate of 289 CFM. Plus, it also doubles as an extension cord to power small appliances. 

Pros

  • Simple and easy to use.
  • Pivoting head.
  • Three speeds.
  • Quiet operation.
  • Two AC outlets for connecting accessories. 

Cons

  • Plastic construction.

Our Review 

Best Features 

Pivoting Head

The Stanley 655704 boasts a unique pivoting head. You can adjust it at various angles to blow cold air towards the desired area. You can use it to cool a garage, ventilate it, exhaust hot air out, or dry any wet spots. 

Doubles as an Extension Cord 

With this fan at hand, you don't have to worry about getting a separate extension cord. It has two 10 ampere AC sockets on the side that you can use for various purposes such as phone charging or powering light tools. 

Limitations and Issues

While this Stanley blower fan is undoubtedly a powerful performer, it has cheap plastic construction. This means less durability, which makes the unit susceptible to damage.

Specs

Dimensions: 12.19 x 8.7 x 12.25 inches

Weight: 7.6 pounds

Airflow: 289 CFM

Coverage Area: Not Specified 

Operation Modes: Cool, Ventilate, Exhaust, and Dry 

Control Options: Rotary Dial 


10. Best For a Garage with No Windows: Portacool Jetstream

best garage air conditioner

The Portacool Jetstream is a powerful evaporative cooler option to keep your garage cool and humidified.

It produces about 4,500 CFM of cold air with its Kul Comfort evaporative media that keeps areas up to 1,125 square feet cool.  

Pros

  • Powerful air delivery.
  • Vast area coverage.
  • Cools and humidifies.
  • Adjustable fan speed.
  • Large drain. 

Cons

  • Big and bulky.
  • Noisy. 

Our Review 

Best Features 

Powerful Cooling Performance

This evaporative cooler is a powerful device that can cover garage areas of any size. It has a high 4,500 CFM air delivery rate that cools and humidifies areas as big as 1,125 square feet easily.

Low-maintenance

This Portacool cooler is equipped with Kul Comfort evaporative media, the highest-quality evaporative media available and made in the USA. 

It has a larger drain for easy and effective maintenance. Plus, the liquid level Indicator with automatic pump shutoff helps protect against leaks and malfunctioning. 

Limitations and Issues 

The most common issues reported about this device are its noise output and bulkiness.

At 155 pounds, it is one of the heaviest units on this list. Plus, the 65 - 76 decibels noise output can be too much for some buyers. 

Specs

Dimensions: 24.02 x 40.16 x 59.06 inches

Weight: 155 pounds

Airflow Rate: 4,500 CFM

Coverage Area: 1,125 square feet 

Operation Modes: Cooling

Control Options: Rotary dial and switch


Buying Guide: Garage Air Conditioners 

best garage air conditioner

Sizing A Garage Air Conditioners 

For proper sizing of a garage AC, you first have to find out your garage area. Here is a quick reference guide to help you find the correctly-sized garage AC:

  • 1 car garage - 8,000 BTUs
  • 2 car garage - 12,000 BTUs
  • 3 car garage - 16,000 BTUs
  • 4 car garage - 20,000 BTUs 

Types of Garage Air Conditioner Units

best garage air conditioner

Garage ACs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Below we have rounded up the ACs most commonly used for cooling a garage. 

Window Air Conditioner

Window air conditioners are permanent devices installed over the window in your garage. They are more suitable for a garage with full-size windows but can also be installed through the wall. 

Portable Air Conditioner

Portable air conditioners are not fixed in their installation. Instead, you can place them anywhere around the house.

Evaporative Cooler

Evaporative coolers use water evaporation to cool down the area they are operated in. They use a powerful fan to blow hot air through water-soaked pads. The water evaporates, making the air cooler which the device then blows into the garage. 

Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner

These are the most popular types of garage ACs. They come as a pair of evaporative and condenser split into two parts for convenient installation and venting. 

Blower Fan

A blower is the most robust garage cooling option. It is a small portable device that blows a powerful airstream to keep you cool and comfortable.

Features That Matter

best garage air conditioner

Since the range of garage ACs is quite vast, here are some features that you should prioritize during your purchase:

BTUs / Room Size

The BTU output of an air conditioner is directly proportional to the size of your garage. So you should first measure its area. Find its length and width and multiply them with each other. 

The value you obtain is the square footage of your garage. Now use this estimate to find the corresponding BTU-rated unit.

Type of Unit

There are various types of garage air conditioners available. Think carefully about your application and ventilation options and choose a unit that best suits your situation. 

Air Filtration

Since most garages are poorly ventilated, their atmosphere tends to be more polluted than the rest of the house. Choose a unit with good air filtration properties to improve its air quality. 

Weather Protection

Weather protection is an essential consideration in window and mini-split ACs. Since a part of the unit sits outside the garage, you should make sure it is sturdy enough to survive various weather elements without incurring damage. 

Weight & Portability

Weight and portability matter for portable ACs, evaporative coolers, or blower fans. Since these devices are not fixed in their installation, you can easily use them in the other parts of your house. Lightweight units are also easier to install.

Ventilation

Ensure you have a proper ventilation setup before investing in these because inadequate ventilation can reduce efficiency. Or choose a mini-split AC for its convenience. 

Dehumidifier Capacity

Not all garage ACs are capable of dehumidifying the space. If you choose an evaporative cooler, it will increase the moisture content in your garage's atmosphere.

If high humidity levels are an issue in your garage, steer clear away from evaporative coolers. Opt for window, mini-split, or portable ACs instead, as they have higher dehumidifying capacity. 

Dual Function (Heat + Cool)

best garage air conditioner

If your garage becomes uncomfortably hot or cold during various times of the year, an AC with dual function - heating and cooling capacity should be your choice. It will maintain an ambient garage atmosphere throughout the year. 

Noise Level

Different garage ACs emit different levels of noise. If the humming of the compressor is irritating for you, look into getting an AC with low noise output. The noise level is rated in decibels in the specification list of the unit. Your target should be a model with around 50 decibels

Remote Control & Apps

If you want to operate your garage air conditioner remotely from within the garage, a remote-controlled unit should be your choice.

But if you want to adjust its settings even when you are away from the house, a smart air conditioner with mobile app support is what you need. 

Programmability & Other Features

Other valuable features in a garage AC include timer function, eco-mode, safety auto-shutoff, adjustable fan speeds, and Wi-Fi connectivity. The more features your unit has, the more convenient it will be to use.


Properly Ventilating a Garage AC

best garage air conditioner

Inadequate ventilation options are why most people refrain from installing a garage air conditioner altogether.

However, if your garage tends to become very hot and you spend a good chunk of your day there, a garage air conditioner is inevitable. So what are the venting options you have for various garage ACs? Have a look! 

Mini-Split AC

Mini-split ACs are generally considered the best choice for any garage mainly because of their hassle-free venting. They come with dedicated exhaust units that you can install outside your garage for adequate ventilation. 

Portable AC

Portable ACs come with a mounting kit and exhaust hose that you can mount over a window for installation.

Since most garages don't have a full-sized window, you can use an exterior wall, the garage door, or small glass windows to vent the unit. 

Window AC

A window AC should be your choice if you have a full-sized window in your garage or are willing to cut a hole for through-the-wall installation.

In either case, the exhaust side of the AC will sit towards the outside, so you won't have to make any special efforts to vent it. 


How to Increase Garage Air Conditioner Efficiency

If your garage is insulated, your garage air conditioner will do a fantastic job of cooling it down.

But if it is not insulated, you will need to prevent efficiency hindrances. Here is what you can do to increase the efficiency of your garage air conditioner:

Garage Door

Garage doors tend to absorb the most heat during the day, forcing the AC to overwork to keep the temperature down. 

Go for insulated garage doors to reduce heat in your garage. It is also a great idea to install insulating strips around garage doors to improve your AC's efficiency. 

Ceiling

Heat can also find its way inside through the ceiling. You should install some rolled insulation over the garage to prevent this from happening. It will keep the excess heat out, ensuring that your garage remains cool. 

Walls

Insulating the garage walls is also a great technique to improve the performance of your air cooling unit.

Since it can be costly, start with the walls that receive the most sunlight and target the shaded walls later. This will limit the amount of heat entering your garage, allowing your garage AC to function efficiently at all times. 

Windows

Take note; windows contribute to only a tiny percentage of the heat entering the garage. You can consider using blackout curtains or a sheet of plywood to cover it. Doing so will block the light and prevent the accompanying heat from penetrating.


Garage Air Conditioner Maintenance

The most important maintenance task to ensure efficient AC performance is to clean or replace the filter regularly. A clogged filter will restrict airflow to the coils resulting in reduced efficiency. 

The next thing you should do is clean its coils. Both the evaporator and condenser coils tend to collect dirt. 

If left unclean, this dirt will insulate the coil and reduce its ability to absorb heat. Carefully clean the dirt around the coils to allow adequate airflow. 

You should also check the aluminum fins on the coils to bend and block the airflow. Use a fur comb to comb them back into their original position. 

Sometimes, dirt can also accumulate inside the drain channels. When this happens, the unit fails to reduce humidity. Occasionally inserting a stiff wire inside the drain channels helps prevent clogging.


Frequently Asked Questions

best garage air conditioner

What type of air conditioner is best for a garage?

We believe mini-split ACs are the best air conditioner type for a garage.

They are convenient, ductless, and powerful enough to generate up to 30,000 BTUs, which is more than enough for a large space. 

Are portable air conditioners good for a garage?

Technically, you can use a portable air conditioner in a garage, but the cooling performance might suffer since it requires you to vent outside. It might work poorly, and you'll be disappointed with the results. 

What size AC unit do I need for a 2 car garage?

A typical 2 car garage measures around 500 square feet in size. To cool such a space, you'll need powerful units to generate up to 1,2000 BTUs.

How much does it cost to install an air conditioner in a garage?

That depends upon the type of garage air conditioner you are looking to get. Most window ACs and portable ones are easy enough to install yourself.

But if you decide to get a ductless air conditioner, be prepared to pay anywhere from $250 to $750 to the handyman you hire. 

How to vent a portable air conditioner in the garage?

If you have a standard sliding window in your garage, venting a portable AC won't be much of a problem. But if you don't, venting through the roof or wall would be good alternatives. 

Is Cooling Your Garage with Air Conditioning Expensive?

The total cost of cooling your garage with an AC depends upon its size, the level of insulation, and the unit's efficiency.

So, while the actual cost varies from place to place, running an air conditioner generally costs between $0.06 and $0.88 per hour to run. 

Do You Even Need An Air Conditioner In Your Garage?

If you spend considerable time in the garage and treat it as another room, it makes complete sense to have an air conditioner installed there. 

How Many BTUs To Cool A Garage?

Determining the proper BTUs starts with measuring the size of your garage.

A typical two-car garage should measure somewhere around 20 × 20 feet. According to Energy Star, a 400 square feet space requires a 9,000 to 10,000 BTU generating air conditioner. 

Best Garage Air Conditioners – should you get a portable AC or mini-split?

best garage air conditioner

When it comes to performance and appearance, mini-split ACs have the upper hand over portable ACs.

Portable ACs not only occupy valuable floor space, but they also need a dedicated window for ventilation. On the other hand, mini-splits may have a high upfront cost; but their convenience justifies the cost. 


Final Verdict: What is the Best Garage Air Conditioner?

Working in a hot garage can be a tough job. A good garage AC can keep you cool and comfortable. After carefully surveying the market, we believe the Senville SENL-24CD Mini-Split 24,000 BTU to be the best garage AC. It is a mini-split with powerful cooling output and additional heating functions. 

If you own a 2-car garage, the Shinco 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner is the most suitable option. It is a portable AC with self evaporating technology, so you don't have to worry about its ventilation. 

Lastly, if your garage is bigger, go for the Hessaire MC37M Evaporative Cooler. This evaporative cooler can easily cover areas as big as 950 square feet, providing cool, moist air to fend off the dry heat.

About the Author Tom Hanson

I’ve worked as an HVAC tech in Phoenix, AZ for the past 10 years. I created CoolAndPortable.com to help home owners select the right portable air conditioner, cooler or air purifier for their needs & budget in just a few minutes.

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