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Old 02-25-2012, 03:34 PM   #1
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Best/easiest/quickest way to cool an unfinished garage?


I have an unfinished unconditioned garage. All the walls, except for the house wall, are not insulated. They're hollow with only drywall. The ceiling is unfinished, I see the joists and right up into the vaulted attic. The inside of the roof looks unfinished, just bare ceiling wood and rafters. There are no soffit vents either, just a 2' x 4' vertical vent on the eastern wall a few feet from the roof peak.

One of the walls faces south, and the inside drywall can get very hot from the sun shining on the outside wall. The inside of the roof can get very hot too. Using a surface temperature probe I've measured over 120 degrees just a few feet above the top of the wall, and I wasn't even to the peak yet. It was only about 100 or so outside at that time. The joists are excreting what looks like sap, I'm guessing from the massive heat over the past 20 years.

In a situation like this, what would be the best way to cool the garage? I don't want to overhaul too much and end up rebuilding the whole thing. I just don't want it hotter inside than outside.

Some ideas I had was to remove all the drywall, it's a bit damaged and mismatched anyway, and insert some insulation bats and put up new drywall. And lay some bats between the rafters too.

Another idea is to add some roof louvers or rotary turbines. But the roof has one heck of an angle, and may be outside of my abilities as it would require cutting a hole and manipulating roof shingles too.

Another is to add a power gable ventilator. Put one end to the peak of the attic and the other exhaust out of the existing 4' vertical vent. I could always drywall the ceiling, add insulation above it, and redo the walls too. But there's misc pipes and wires going along the ceiling joists, so I think I'd rather keep that open for maintenance, additions, and car fume ventilation. Plus the water heater and A/C control is located in the garage too.

Another important issue is that since there's no soffit vents, either closing off the ceiling or adding a gable vent may not function as intended. So the remaining option of adding insulation may be feasible, but are there concerns with moisture if a vapor barrier is not used since the inside won't be conditioned? Any thoughts?

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Old 02-25-2012, 03:44 PM   #2
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Best/easiest/quickest way to cool an unfinished garage?


Unless your willing to commit and do the whole thing right there's not going to be much you can do to keep it cooler.
A ridge vent will work far better then any other type vent. It vents the whole roof not just a circle.
It would be best to figure out a way to add soffit vents. Post a picture and we may be able to come up with something.
The sheetrock on the walls needs to come off, at least R-13 added in the walls. R-50 in the ceiling joist, And sheetrock reinstalled.


Last edited by joecaption; 02-26-2012 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:20 PM   #3
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Best/easiest/quickest way to cool an unfinished garage?


1. Where are you located?

2. What is the intended use for the space?

Gary
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Old 02-27-2012, 12:14 PM   #4
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Best/easiest/quickest way to cool an unfinished garage?


Ventilation fan with thermostat controller. Can be had for $100+/- from a box store. If you get the mushroom roof type, you'll only have to install it. If you get a wall type then you'll need to put in a louver as well. Garage doors are usually leaky enough that you won't need an intake louver right off the bat, though installing an intake louver down along the floor somewhere would certainly increase the ventilating flow.
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