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Old 08-20-2011, 12:36 PM   #1
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Cooling the Garage


Our garage gets very hot in the summer. The door is south facing, and we have both a refrigerator and a chest freezer inside. I put some radiant foil insulation on the garage door, which has not helped much if any.

I'm looking at maybe three additional options to cool it down, and wanted to get some feedback on these:

1. Install a power garage fan that vents to the outside of the house. I'd have to create a second intake vent somewhere. www.quietcoolfan.com makes a garage-specific fan, though it sure seems that I can repurpose a low-CFM gable-mount attic fan to do the same thing at a much cheaper cost ($80 vs $400).

2. Install a fan in the garage ceiling that vents to the attic. (Same web link as above). I already have a gable-mounted power attic fan...not sure how it would interact with the additional airflow and heat from the garage fan. I also wonder here about code...do codes typically allow garages to vent to the attic space?

3. Insulate the garage walls. One full side of the garage is on the west side of the house, and is not insulated. Half the other wall is on the other side of the front porch, and is also uninsulated. I'd have to tear down the drywall in the garage, install insulation, and re-drywall. (Good think the drywall job doesn't have to be up to interior-level aesthetics!) I might even consider adding foam board insulation on the ceiling of the garage as well.

What would be the best solution to start with?

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Old 08-20-2011, 12:42 PM   #2
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Cooling the Garage


any chance you could make a room where the freezer and frig are in one room isolated from the reat of the garage...thats where the heat is coming from or doesn't help the sun banging the garage

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Old 08-20-2011, 12:59 PM   #3
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Cooling the Garage


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Originally Posted by biggles View Post
any chance you could make a room where the freezer and frig are in one room isolated from the reat of the garage...thats where the heat is coming from or doesn't help the sun banging the garage
Putting them in the basement was an option for me, but not for The Lady Who Must Be Obeyed. Too many stairs for her.
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Old 08-20-2011, 01:42 PM   #4
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Cooling the Garage


My son purchased a regular ceiling fan off Craigslist and mounted it in the garage. He says it works very well keeping the heat level down, the doors open,of course.
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Old 08-25-2011, 01:58 PM   #5
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Cooling the Garage


Steve,

I have the same problem, my garage is unfinished and no insulation. I checked the temperature yesterday and without cars in there, the max was 105F.

I am thinking of installing a 12" power fan, with louvers and a thermostat on one of the back walls. I will try and post before and after pictures.

Exhaust Fan, 12 In, 115 V, 800 CFM
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:01 AM   #6
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Cooling the Garage


Because there are serious safety concerns when it comes to garages - specially if they are attached to the house - and building codes vary by state and region, I would not do anything or spend any money before having an energy audit performed.

And energy auditor will examine insulation needs, air leakages, safety features and building code compliance.
You want to do it once and you want to do it right. So you want someone to look at the big picture. A fan installer will want to sell you a fan, and an insulation contractor will want to sell you insulation, a door contractor will want to sell you a garage door, etc...
And you might not need all of these things to have a comfortable, safe garage.

It might be for example a matter of turning off the gable fan, and beefing up attic insulation for example. But ONLY an auditor, looking at the big picture can tell, and actually show you, using things like thermal imaging, what is going on.
As a result, you will not only have a comfortable and safe garage, but might end up saving a lot of money in energy bills.

Here's some information on garages and energy efficiency.

http://www.drenergysaver.com/blog/20...in-the-garage/
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:13 PM   #7
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Cooling the Garage


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Originally Posted by steveKane View Post
Our garage gets very hot in the summer. The door is south facing, and we have both a refrigerator and a chest freezer inside. I put some radiant foil insulation on the garage door, which has not helped much if any.

I'm looking at maybe three additional options to cool it down, and wanted to get some feedback on these:

1. Install a power garage fan that vents to the outside of the house. I'd have to create a second intake vent somewhere. www.quietcoolfan.com makes a garage-specific fan, though it sure seems that I can repurpose a low-CFM gable-mount attic fan to do the same thing at a much cheaper cost ($80 vs $400).

2. Install a fan in the garage ceiling that vents to the attic. (Same web link as above). I already have a gable-mounted power attic fan...not sure how it would interact with the additional airflow and heat from the garage fan. I also wonder here about code...do codes typically allow garages to vent to the attic space?

3. Insulate the garage walls. One full side of the garage is on the west side of the house, and is not insulated. Half the other wall is on the other side of the front porch, and is also uninsulated. I'd have to tear down the drywall in the garage, install insulation, and re-drywall. (Good think the drywall job doesn't have to be up to interior-level aesthetics!) I might even consider adding foam board insulation on the ceiling of the garage as well.

What would be the best solution to start with?
You dont mention where you live. If your in the southwest region, you can install a swamp cooler in the garage, done plenty of those where I live.
I also have an 18,000 btu wall unit in the garage for when the humidity rises and the swamp cooler wont cut it anymore.
18,000 btu is a little on the oversized side but when the Mrs pulls her hot car in the garage, I like a quick cool down.
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:25 PM   #8
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Cooling the Garage


You can and should also insulate your garage door. If the empty metal type a combination of pink foamboard and foil backed fiberglass works well. Seal it all up with foil tape. This will change the weight of your door significantly and will require that you adjust the torsion spring... or if you have the pair of linear springs like I do, replacment with a set that will balance the new weight.
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Old 08-29-2011, 06:47 PM   #9
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Cooling the Garage


CyFree: Thanks for the excellent advice and link. An energy audit is something to consider. I plan to do the work myself, so not too concerned with individual contractors selling their options, but want to get the best bang for the buck.

Sammy37: I'm in the humid mid-Atlantic. I grew up in Tucson, and sure remember those swamp coolers, however.

Raylo32: As stated in my original post, I did put up garage door insulation, but it's of the radiant barrier variety, and I don't think it has done much to help. It might be worth trying your recipe.

Thanks, all.
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Old 09-02-2011, 03:31 PM   #10
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Cooling the Garage


I had a similar problem, actually my whole house was hot but the garage was an inferno. I did a few things which have completely changed the situation and dramatically lowered our cooling costs. I'll talk about the garage here. Our garage faces South and during the day would routinely reach 110 degrees. First thing I did after buying this place was install a radiant barrier throughout the attic. Attached to the roof joists this was worth every penny and sweat it took me to install. I then installed a solar powered gable vent. Next I installed a garage cooler from coolmygarage.com. Its a model GF14. This unit is fire rated. It has a built in heat sensor which automatically kills the fan and shuts its vent doors in the event of fire. It does not break the integrity of the fire barrier in garage ceiling. Fortunately for me, one side of our garage shares a wall with a crawl space below the house. I cut two small openings down low on that wall and when the garage fan is running it pulls the cool air from beneath the house into the garage, cooling the garage and then pushing that cooler air into the attic, pressurizing that space and assisting the solar gable fan in evacuating the hotter attic air. It kills two birds at once, cooler attic + cooler garage = cooler house. The GF14 is pretty easy to install, it took me about two hours. It is controlled by a temp switch. Once my attic reaches 95 degrees (adjustable) it kicks on. I placed the sensor a few feet above my whole house fan so that in the evenings when I turn the whole house fan on the cool breeze quickly turns off the garage fan. Anyway, that's about it.....the GF14 was well worth the money for me. Even if you don't have access to a crawl space like I do, pulling in fresh air from outside will at least keep your garage close to outside temps.....Of course none of that works if you have living space above your garage, we live in a single story ranch style home.

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