Keeping Your AC System Cleaner

3 Options For Installing Air Conditioning In Your Garage

by Yolanda White

Is your garage air currently air conditioned? If it's a typical suburban garage, the answer is probably no. While air conditioning a garage that you use solely for vehicles and storage doesn't make much sense, many people find plenty of other uses for their garages. The situation can become more complex if you use your garage as a workshop, office, or for other purposes.

In these cases, suffering through the heat of the summer doesn't make much sense, but what's the best way to bring sweet relief into your garage? Surprisingly, there's not always a one-size-fits-all answer. This article will discuss three options for cooling your garage and when you might want to consider each one.

1. Extend Your Existing System

The most obvious option is to extend your existing central air conditioning system into your garage. If you already have a zoned AC system, you may be able to install an extra branch for your garage. This approach means you won't need to buy new hardware, but you will need to install new ductwork. Modifying your home in this way can often be costly.

However, there are a few other downsides. If your garage isn't insulated, there's a good chance your existing system will struggle to cool it, potentially reducing its cooling capacity for the rest of your home. The return ducts can also bring fumes from your garage into the rest of your house. While extending a system may make sense in some cases, it's rarely the best option.

2. Install a Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner (PTAC)

Packaged terminal air conditioner (PTAC) might be an unfamiliar term, but it's a common technology. PTACs are similar to window units, but they install through instead of in a window, creating a more permanent and less intrusive installation. These units are relatively efficient, although they may lack the power to cool a larger garage.

Another consideration with PTACs is that they require you to make significant modifications to your home since the entire unit installs through the wall. However, this also means that a PTAC can bring in fresh air from outside, providing ventilation when needed. Combined with their lower cost, this advantage may make PTACs a worthwhile option for some garages.

3. Add a Mini-Split System

In most cases, a mini-split system is the best option. A mini-split functions similarly to a central air conditioning system, but it doesn't require ductwork and will operate independently of your home's central air system. Since you won't be linking your garage and main AC systems, you don't need to worry about venting fumes into your home's return ducts or affecting your home's efficiency.

While mini-splits cost more upfront, they're typically the most efficient option compared to window units or PTACs. As a result, you can expect to make back your initial investment in energy savings over the system's life. If you don't need the fresh air ventilation capabilities of a PTAC unit, a mini-split is likely the way to go.

For more information about air conditioning installation, contact a local company.