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Help me cool my garage

Old 05-30-2018, 08:07 PM
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Default Help me cool my garage

I live in Florida and my garage gets pretty warm inside from late May to October, even at night. The two garage doors face the south and are un-insulated - so they get warm. We also have two freezers and a refrigerator which contributes to the heat. Then, when we park in it - it gets warmer because of the cars.

My thought is to draw cool air from the outside (east side near shrubs/trees) and blow it into the garage. I assume that the air would leave the garage around the two doors.

I do have several windows on the east side, so I could have one fan to draw the air in and another fan to blow the air out. I have an unfinished bonus room upstairs that I plan to finish this winter, so I don't know if it would be a good idea to ventilate into the attic. The house is brick all over and I prefer not to cut into it.

I would like something that looks okay and won't allow rain into the garage.

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance
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Old 05-30-2018, 08:20 PM
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Look in to a diy kit or cobble together your own stuff for insulating the garage doors. That’s where I would start and then Look at getting some air moving and hopefully getting some fresh air in and stale air out. You don’t want to vent into the attic or any living space for sure. I’m sure there are some much more knowledgeable answers out there just wanted to throw in my thoughts. Good luck.
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Old 05-30-2018, 08:24 PM
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Get a mini split and be done with it. A small one will cool it a bigger one will make it colder than the house.
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Old 05-30-2018, 08:26 PM
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I have thought about getting some dow-board and cutting it to fit between the panels. The doors are in good shape so I hate to replace them.
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Old 05-30-2018, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by rickpcfl View Post
I have thought about getting some dow-board and cutting it to fit between the panels. The doors are in good shape so I hate to replace them.
The foam boards would be great for holding in the warmth inside. However, you could also add some air intakes down low, and some ridge vents or turbine vents on the roofing and let mother nature do one of the things she does best.
Hot air rises. Let it out.
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by savage View Post
The foam boards would be great for holding in the warmth inside. However, you could also add some air intakes down low, and some ridge vents or turbine vents on the roofing and let mother nature do one of the things she does best.
Hot air rises. Let it out.
Thanks for the reply. The house is basically a two story house where the large upstairs area is not finished. The garage has drywall on walls and ceiling so I would need to install some type of vent in the ceiling. I think the problem would occur when the hot air from the garage met the hotter air in the bonus room as I don't know if would continue to rise. I've got ridge vents on my roof and ventilated soffits, so I wouldn't want to add any vents that may interfere with the way they function.
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Old 05-31-2018, 12:34 AM
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The second floor being un finished leaves several options but will it ever be finished into a living space? There are many ways to skin this cat, money and desired results can vary greatly.

If you want virtually no exterior changes to the exterior, hers a thought. A mix of fresh air make up and a inline duct booster fan. Draw the air from the east side (cool in the pm) and let it flow out via the normal gaps around the garage door. Would also suggest a filter for the incoming air or you will get dust trails at incoming and out going points.

Do not force air into the attic space, if you create a positive pressure there you will create a host of problems, like humidity issues in the living space as only one as an example.
Ed
32 yrs. HVAC in Fl.
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Old 05-31-2018, 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Leeroyjenkins View Post
Get a mini split and be done with it. A small one will cool it a bigger one will make it colder than the house.
Winna, winna, chkn dinna..... My shop is 850 sq.ft and used to be "not pleasant". Then I installed a mini split ($3000.00) and it's as pleasant as the house. Just another excuse to spend more time there....
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Old 05-31-2018, 03:23 AM
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Originally Posted by rickpcfl View Post
My thought is to draw cool air from the outside (east side near shrubs/trees) and blow it into the garage. I assume that the air would leave the garage around the two doors.
I would like something that looks okay and won't allow rain into the garage.
Any suggestions? Thanks in advance
Wasn't aware there was anyplace in Florida during the summer months where it was "cool" outside. After discovering how cool the 900 sq. ft. garage in neighbors new home was last summer, I opted for the same solution. Basically an AC unit on top of a water heater that turns the hot air into hot water, saving a LOT of money in the process. Got mine at Lowes and so far noticed a LOT LESS humidity and LESS heat out there but its only been a few months and the REAL summer heat not yet arrived here. Like an AC unit, installation will require a line to get rid of all the condensation. Was also available in an 80 gallon.

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Old 05-31-2018, 04:07 AM
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Insulate the doors with the blue foam board and put a 5000 btu window unit in set to the warmest, if it still runs too long or is too cool put a plug in timer on it to limit run time. Insulation is almost always good and the decrease in humidity associated with air conditioning is a good thing also. The window unit is cheap and can be removed with no permanent impact.
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Old 05-31-2018, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Bailey Boat View Post
Winna, winna, chkn dinna..... My shop is 850 sq.ft and used to be "not pleasant". Then I installed a mini split ($3000.00) and it's as pleasant as the house. Just another excuse to spend more time there....
^^^^^ this
Once I installed the mini-split the garage became a new friendly place to be, plus no biting bugs.
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Old 05-31-2018, 04:43 AM
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You are trying to condition/temper the garage in our dampest months with outdoor dew point conditions from 73F and can reach as high 80-82F following rain events. Thus, if you attempt to bring in unconditioned outdoor via mechanical ventilation this may pose some serious issues. If you keep the interior of the home 75F or cooler the demising garage to home door will form condensation as the surface will be below dew point. Second, this will pressurize your garage with outdoor resulting in infiltration of the damp outdoor into the home via any penetration (i.e. doors, etc.) and the floor joist above the garage and below the 2nd floor.

Therefore, if you do decide to do anything is to consider the following. Many garage doors are vented by local building codes for carbon monoxide issues, so if you want to condition the garage then you need to control the moisture source (outdoor air), but can create a potential life safety concern by doing this. If it is not currently vented, try to install air tight weatherstripping on any penetrations around the openings to minimize outdoor air infiltration. Also, insulate the interior side of the door, to minimize heat transfer. Now the difficult part, the unit will need to be sized accordingly to not over cool the garage and have adequate latent (moisture) removal OR you can create a condition in the garage with elevated relative humidity conditions and subsequent fungal growth on surfaces including the vehicles interior. Condensation from a very cold garage can also occur in your engine compartment destroying electronic components (anyone with an air handler in the garage or attic can attest to the condensation that occurs on the surfaces of the cabinet).

So, split systems are an option but have poor latent removal and supplemental dehumidification may be required to control the interior relative humidity once conditioned, as you can maintain a higher dry bulb temperature with lower relative humidity to be comfortable and can avoid what i am trying to convey.

Not trying to scare you off so don't shoot the messenger, just posing some real life scenarios I come across on a daily basis in my profession. It can be done successfully provided you completely understand the dynamics associated with high moisture conditions with the outdoor air during these months,
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Old 05-31-2018, 05:01 AM
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You should stick a few Yetis in it. That'll help a lot.
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Old 05-31-2018, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by 1love View Post
You are trying to condition/temper the garage in our dampest months with outdoor dew point conditions from 73F and can reach as high 80-82F following rain events. Thus, if you attempt to bring in unconditioned outdoor via mechanical ventilation this may pose some serious issues. If you keep the interior of the home 75F or cooler the demising garage to home door will form condensation as the surface will be below dew point. Second, this will pressurize your garage with outdoor resulting in infiltration of the damp outdoor into the home via any penetration (i.e. doors, etc.) and the floor joist above the garage and below the 2nd floor.

Therefore, if you do decide to do anything is to consider the following. Many garage doors are vented by local building codes for carbon monoxide issues, so if you want to condition the garage then you need to control the moisture source (outdoor air), but can create a potential life safety concern by doing this. If it is not currently vented, try to install air tight weatherstripping on any penetrations around the openings to minimize outdoor air infiltration. Also, insulate the interior side of the door, to minimize heat transfer. Now the difficult part, the unit will need to be sized accordingly to not over cool the garage and have adequate latent (moisture) removal OR you can create a condition in the garage with elevated relative humidity conditions and subsequent fungal growth on surfaces including the vehicles interior. Condensation from a very cold garage can also occur in your engine compartment destroying electronic components (anyone with an air handler in the garage or attic can attest to the condensation that occurs on the surfaces of the cabinet).

So, split systems are an option but have poor latent removal and supplemental dehumidification may be required to control the interior relative humidity once conditioned, as you can maintain a higher dry bulb temperature with lower relative humidity to be comfortable and can avoid what i am trying to convey.

Not trying to scare you off so don't shoot the messenger, just posing some real life scenarios I come across on a daily basis in my profession. It can be done successfully provided you completely understand the dynamics associated with high moisture conditions with the outdoor air during these months,
winner! Moving hot vs really hot air around isn't going to help that much and can cause the issues mentioned above.

id put in a window shaker if you can.

you may also be able to block the sun from hitting the exterior wall or doors with something like one of those bamboo or fake bamboo roll
down shades.
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Old 05-31-2018, 05:18 AM
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Why are mini splits so expensive here? I can get a 12,000 btu unit on Cozumel for $300 dollars.

I was trying to figure out how to make our garage in Texas more comfortable - this is a timely thread. The door faces east and it heats up early. I haven't had a chance yet to shoot my temp laser at the door but suspect it is the main problem. Insulating it seems like it would help initially, but then perpetuate the problem later.

Thanks for all the expert input here.
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Old 05-31-2018, 05:19 AM
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Garage door insulation kit and a window shaker. Done.

Can also leave the cars outside for a couple hours so the engine block cools down.

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Old 05-31-2018, 05:21 AM
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I have similar.... we use garage for both cars. I don't want to hang out or work in the garage, but the engine heat from both cars really elevates the temp in there and while insulated and finished our bedroom is right above.
I don't have a problem keeping bedroom cool, but was thinking it would save some energy if i put an exhaust fan in the garage with a spring loaded timer knob.

so get out of car, walk to house, crank timer to vent engine heat?
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Old 05-31-2018, 05:43 AM
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How about a ceiling fan for starters.
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Old 05-31-2018, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by rocksandblues View Post
I have similar.... we use garage for both cars. I don't want to hang out or work in the garage, but the engine heat from both cars really elevates the temp in there and while insulated and finished our bedroom is right above.
I don't have a problem keeping bedroom cool, but was thinking it would save some energy if i put an exhaust fan in the garage with a spring loaded timer knob.

so get out of car, walk to house, crank timer to vent engine heat?
or back the car in and leave the door open for 30 min.
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