How to Cool Your Garage DIY

Caitlyn and I spend a lot of time in the garage.  Now that BubsandHoneyCo is in full swing, we are frequently both in the garage printing and working on other projects.  Since it’s “basically” Summer in Louisiana, it gets pretty hot out there.  I’ve been looking for a solution to cool it down for quite some time.  If you’re also wondering how to cool your garage from this Summer heat (or as a year-round solution), read on.

How to Cool Your Garage: The Product

We decided to go with a product called CoolMyGarage (go figure) after doing a fair amount of research.  The concept is really quite simple: install the fan in the attic above the garage and open some vents in the garage door to allow cooler air to be pulled in.  I installed the fan yesterday after a weekend beach trip and decided to share the installation here in the hopes that others might find it useful.

The box comes with the fan, one white exhaust grate, and two white intake grates for the garage door.  Included in the package are various screws and an expandable bracket to suspend the fan in between the rafters. You’ll notice in the end result that we spray painted the 2 intake grates to match our house trim.

How to Cool Your Garage: Making Cuts

In our case in South Louisiana, our rafters aren’t 18 or 24 inches apart as they are in many places.  I think this is due to the types of storms that we deal with in the gulf, so I had to make some adjustments from the start.  The first set of instructions say to create a 16.25 inch square in between the existing beans to mount the fan.  I had to go with a 14 x 16.25 square to fit in between our beams.  I did this by cutting two 14 inch pieces of 2×10 to create a “duct” for the fan to pull hot air from below.

Afterwards, I went ahead and cut the openings in the garage door.  I made two cutting templates with cardboard to mark the rectangles for the vents.  We decided to go with the lowest garage panel, as it made sense to move more air around the garage.  I used an angle grinder for these cuts, which went really quickly.  I’m comfortable with the tool, which is why I chose to use it, but there are a number of tools that would be sufficient to remove these sections.

How to Cool Your Garage: Installation

I then moved the fan to the attic to start prepping it’s placement.  I noticed that the flanges on the side of the fan sat about 1/2 inch above the rafters, so I cut some half inch sections of wood to act as shims or buffers to secure the fan and to prevent any vibrations.  Afterwards, I filled every visible crack with expanding foam to create a barrier.

How to Cool Your Garage: Electric

Wiring was easy.  The fan comes with 15 or 20 feet of electrical, so I pulled it through the nearest ceiling outlet and connected it to our garage door opener receptacle. Don’t forget to flip the breaker while messing with the electric (this may seem obvious for some, but for those that didn’t think of it, it could have been messy).  Prior to doing this, I adjusted the “on temp” on the fan itself to 90 degrees.  As soon as I flipped the breaker back to on, the fan immediately powered up and worked until about bedtime when the attic presumably returned to about 90 degrees. This was a pretty easy afternoon project that took a matter of a few hours.

How to Cool Your Garage

Installation Instructions

How to Cool Your Garage: Conclusion

This fan is extremely easy to install.  It seems well built and the instructions were detailed and certainly sufficient.  I actually had to make two calls to the owner prior to installing.  Both times, I got him on the phone personally which helped with my confidence.  I definitely feel air being circulated in the garage, although I’m wondering if one or even two more vents might provide even more cooling.  I’m going to do some experimenting with the thermostat in the garage to see if there is a sweet spot, perhaps setting the thermometer up to 100 or 110 will not engage the fan as early, which can result into hot air being pulled into a garage that had cooled beyond ambient temperature overnight.

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