14 Cheapest Ways to Cool a Garage

If you have a garage, you know it can be hot and sweaty. Not only is it uncomfortable to be inside a hot garage during the summer, but a cool garage helps you stay cool-headed when you’re doing car repairs or other projects.

Quick answer: The cheapest way to cool a garage is a floor or ceiling fan. Insulation additionally prevents the heat from entering your garage on hot summer days. Installing air conditioning is rather expensive but very effective for cooling.

Keeping the garage cool in the summertime can be a challenge. Not only do you have to contend with the heat, but also the humidity and pollen.

If you’re looking to save money on cooling your garage, check out these 14 cheapest ways to do it. From using ice buckets to installing ceiling fans, there is a solution for everyone!

#1 Fans

The cheapest way to cool a garage is by using fans. Floor or ceiling fans can be installed relatively cheaply, and they will quickly circulate the air in the room.

Technically, fans don’t “cool” the air inside the garage. Instead, they draw cool air from the outside, which drops the temperature.

Here are some fans you can use for cooling the garage:

  • Ceiling fans – They are good for circulating the air but can’t be positioned to direct the airflow.
  • Pedestal fans – They are good for circulating the air and can be positioned to direct the airflow.
  • Window fans – They are perfect for ventilation and cooling down a garage.
  • Floor fans – They are the most inexpensive option and can be positioned to direct the airflow.
  • Wall-mounted fans — These are smaller and more compact, so they’re great for controlled ventilation in tight spaces.
  • Dyson fans – They create a smooth airflow but are expensive to run.

There are a few ways to cool your garage with fans. One is to open the door and set up a fan to blow air out of the garage. This will create negative pressure and cause cooler air to be drawn into the garage.

Another way is to use a floor fan. Place the fan in front of an open window and aim it toward the ceiling. The airflow will circulate around the room and help cool it down.

#2 Clean Out Garage

If you’ve been keeping your garage closed off and unused, it’s time to start cleaning it out. This will give you more space to store items, as well as make the area cooler and more comfortable.

A cleaned-out and clutter-free garage mean good airflow and less temperature.

Here are some tips on how to make the most of your garage storage space:

  • Store only what you need. If you don’t use something, take it down from its shelf or put it away where you can find it easily. This will minimize the amount of tidying up that needs to be done later.
  • Make sure items are properly aligned and spaced apart so they won’t block airflow or sunlight access. This will help ensure everything stays cool and dry.
  • Use dividers or shelves strategically placed near the door for shoes, hats, jackets, etc., so they don’t take up too much space in the main area of the garage. These smaller pieces of gear can then be stored more efficiently elsewhere when not needed.

#3 Insulate Garage

Insulating your garage is a great way to keep it cool in summer and warm in winter. Not only will this help reduce energy costs, but it will also improve the overall climate of the home.

Once you have chosen an insulating material(s), installation can be done by yourself or a professional contractor.

One popular option is styrofoam Insulation. Here are some advantages of using styrofoam insulation:

  • It’s very cost-effective per square foot
  • The one-time expense will benefit you for years to come
  • Doesn’t create any negative environmental effects (like releasing harmful chemicals into the air)

Styrofoam doesn’t break down or lose its effectiveness over time as traditional insulation materials can. It also stays put even when wet, meaning there are no messy repairs or replacements. In fact, styrofoam has been known to last for decades without any maintenance!

Insulating your garage ceiling can be done in several ways:

  • Installing an insulated roof
  • Installing framed insulating panels
  • Using batten insulation

Roxul mineral wool insulation is another option for garages which is great for fire resistance. It also has a high R-value which means it can help keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter.

#4 Install Roof Vents

Installing roof vents is a great way to keep a garage cool during summer. The vents allow hot air to escape while cooler air is drawn in from the outside.

This can help to keep the temperature inside the garage more comfortable and can also help to prevent damage to items that are stored inside.

Passive ventilation is cheaper and easier to install than active ventilation, which is why it’s a great option for garages. However, if your garage is too hot during the summer, you should opt for active ventilation.

Here’s how to install roof vents:

  1. Begin by finding the center of your garage roof and marking it with a pencil.
  2. Cut two holes in the roof, using a hole saw, that are slightly larger than the diameter of your roof vents.
  3. Install the roof vents by inserting them into the holes from the outside of the roof.
  4. Use sealant or caulk around the edges of the vents to create a weather-proof seal.

Vents can also get rid of the fumes and moisture that can build up in a garage due to the vehicle, making it more comfortable to work in.

#5 Replace Shingles With Brighter Color

Replacing your shingles with a lighter color can help keep your garage cooler. This is because darker colors absorb more heat, while lighter colors reflect more heat. There are a few things you can do to make this change:

First, consult your local roofing company to find the lightest color shingle to use.

Second, ask your builder if they can apply a reflective coating to the underside of your existing shingles.

This will help reflect more heat away from the garage and keep it cooler in the summertime.

#6 Close Gaps Below Doors

If you want to keep your garage cool, close the gaps below your doors. This will help to prevent hot air from entering the garage and will also help to keep the cool air inside the garage.

To close gaps below doors, install door sweeps. If you still have issues after trying this, seal the gaps with caulk or weather stripping.

This will also have similar benefits to insulation, as it will help keep the garage cool and reduce energy costs.

#7 Open Garage Door (When Cool Outside)

When it’s cool outside, open your garage door to keep your garage cool. The air circulation will help keep the temperature down and prevent your garage from becoming a sauna.

If you keep your garage door closed all the time, it can become hot and stuffy without a proper ventilation system.

This works best early morning and late evening when the temperature is relatively cooler. When the temperature starts rising after 10 a.m., opening the garage door will make it hot and humid.

#8 Change Garage Color

Changing your garage’s color can help reduce the amount of heat it absorbs from sunlight, which will help keep your car or motorcycle cooler.

Changing your garage’s color is very cost-effective, especially when you currently have a dark-colored garage.

Painting your garage brightly is a one-off expense. Depending on the paint you get and the size of your garage, it might be anywhere between $100 and $300 in paint.

But once your garage is repainted, it’s repainted! And it will reflect heat for decades to come!

#9 Keep Car Outside

Your car gets hot when in use, and if you keep it inside your garage, the heat will build up. Ensure that your car windows are open when driving to prevent too much heat from entering the vehicle.

If this isn’t practically possible, it’s best to keep your car outside to keep your garage cool. The heat from your car can raise the temperature of your garage, making it difficult to work in.

Cars are big, heavy objects and have a high heat capacity – once heated up, they retain that heat for a long time.

In fact, a hot car will often maintain its heat even inside a garage! This is because garages act as insulators, preventing the car from getting warm quickly. Keeping a car outside can help keep the garage cool in the summertime. 

If you must park your car in the garage, leave enough room, so the temperature stays comfortable.

#10 Close Garage Door (When Hot Outside)

There is an easy solution if you’re having a tough time keeping your garage cool during the summer. Close your garage door when it’s hot outside to keep the inside of the garage cooler.

This simple trick will help reduce the heat that comes into your home and eliminate any temptation to leave the windows or doors open!

#11 Use a Dehumidifier

You may have noticed that the heat in your garage is unbearable during the summer months. The culprit? Too much humidity!

Dehumidifiers can help to reduce the amount of moisture in space and, consequently, lower the temperature.

Here are a few tips for using a dehumidifier to keep your garage cool:

  • Choose the right size dehumidifier for your room and budget. Smaller machines are best suited for smaller spaces, while larger machines can handle larger spaces more effectively.
  • Set up a schedule for dehumidifying your space. Moisture accumulates over time, so it’s important to remove it regularly to maintain optimal conditions.
  • Monitor your machine regularly and clean it as necessary (instructions will come with the machine). This will not only ensure maximal performance from your device but also protect you from potential health hazards posed by harmful bacteria and mold growth

#12 Air Conditioning

If you’re struggling to keep your garage cool in the summer, consider installing an air conditioning unit. Air conditioning units can help to regulate the temperature inside your garage, keeping it comfortable all year round.

Air conditioning not only keeps the area comfortable but can also help avoid health problems related to humidity and pollen exposure.

Here are a few air conditioning options for a garage to consider:

Central Air Conditioners: A central air conditioning unit may be the best option for keeping your garage cool if it is large enough. These units are large and require an installation crew to install them. They often come with powerful fans and sensors that automatically adjust the airflow to keep your garage comfortable.

Window Air Conditioners: If you don’t have a lot of space, a window air conditioner may be the perfect solution for keeping your garage cool. These units are small and can be installed on your garage windows. They come with an AC unit and remote control to adjust the temperature to your liking.

Split AC: A split AC unit may be the perfect option if you have a small home and only need to cool one room. This is probably the best option if you don’t have a lot of space or money.

#13 Portable Air Conditioning

Portable air conditioning can be a big help during hot weather if placed in small garages.

Portable air conditioners can be easily moved from one part of the home to another when the temperature begins to rise, keeping everyone comfortable.

Not only will this cooling system keep your car or house cool, but it can also reduce humidity levels in the area.

To set up your portable air conditioner, measure how much space you have available and decide what type of climate you want to achieve. A typical portable AC would cost around $250 to $500.

Although it’s a cheaper alternative to central air conditioning systems, portable air conditioners are inefficient when it comes to cooling down a large garage.

Here are my best picks for portable air conditioners for a garage.

#14 Ice Buckets

Another cheap way to cool a garage is by using ice buckets (also known as Swamp coolers). Place several buckets of ice inside your garage at strategic locations, then turn on your fan(s). The cold water will quickly drop the garage’s temperature.

This method is great if your garage doesn’t have any windows or if you don’t want to spend money on an AC unit. A ceiling fan and swamp coolers can cool down a small garage in just minutes!

Just be sure to keep an eye on the ice buckets, as they can quickly melt and cause puddles.

Keep in mind ice buckets are not the most efficient way of cooling your garage. Freezing requires a lot of energy consumption. Hence, using it for the long term might not be suitable.


Apart from buying air-tight and smartly installed insulation materials, including fans (if applicable) and insulating walls, plenty of cheaper options are also available.

Try them out yourself, if not for any other reason than to save money!