How to keep your garage cool in hot weather

The most effective ways to stop your garage overheating in extreme weather

garage in driveway
(Image credit: Alamy)

Keeping the garage cool may not be the first thing that springs to mind when the temperatures rise. And often, our garage organization efforts aren't quite as thorough as they could be. 

In reality, if the garage is used as a storage space, we tend to cram them full and forget about them. But it's worth organizing a garage with too much stuff – depending on what you store inside them, items can become easily damaged if overheated.

Most garages also lack proper ventilation so they can overheat at an accelerated rate, especially during a heatwave.

Experts share their most effective tips to cool your garage down this summer 

Below are a collection of expert recommendations that will ensure your garage cools down in no time. 

Two car garage open with two white SUVS parked inside on autumn day

(Image credit: Alamy)

1. Make sure your garage has proper ventilation

Proper insulation and ventilation are key when trying to keep your garage cool. Insulation in the walls and ceilings will keep your garage cooler during the summer months by blocking heat transfer.

Many garages are not insulated well, which means heat can penetrate easily. If you insulate the walls, ceilings, and garage door effectively using rigid foam insulation you can significantly reduce the amount of heat that enters, says Josh Mitchell, HVAC expert and owner of Air Conditioner Lab.

‘I’ve seen this technique work wonders in many garages, once the insulation is installed the temperature difference can be astonishing,’ Josh says. 

Another great way to ensure proper ventilation is to use ceiling fans and open windows to let the breeze in. Both of these will ensure that the stagnant air is circulated without having to constantly leave the door open.

Josh Mitchell ACLAB
Josh Mitchell

Josh is an HVAC expert and the owner of the Air Conditioner Lab with years of experience tackling the challenge of home cooling. Josh has explored various innovative methods to cool down living spaces during hot weather.

2. Use a dehumidifier

Dehumidifier in a room

(Image credit: GettyImages)

Often a garage can feel hotter than it actually is due to the high humidity in the air, which is why using one of the best dehumidifiers money can buy is another good way to cool down your garage. ‘The way a dehumidifier works is by drawing in the moisture in the air across cooling coils, as the air hits the coils it condenses and loses its moisture and heat,’ says Josh Mitchell.

Therefore setting up a dehumidifier in the garage will help by making the environment less sticky and in turn far cooler as it significantly reduces the amount of moisture in the air.

3. Limit garage activity during the day

garage with car and bikes hung on the wall

(Image credit: Alamy)

During the summer months, we are always in and out of the garage constantly, and as a result, we keep unintentionally letting hot air in and out, often trapping warm air from the scorching heat outside in your garage, this can make the inside temperature soar, and fast.

A good thing to do is to minimize heat-producing activities during peak temperatures, shares Randy Huckstadt, licensed HVAC contractor. For example, avoid using power tools or operating vehicles during the hottest parts of the day.

Instead, save the work for cooler hours as it is good to limit how often the garage door is opened and closed again. Make more informed trips to the garage, if you know you will need to get a few things for the day from the garage try and get them all in one visit and return them when the temperature is cooler.  

Randy Huckstadt

Randy is a licensed HVAC contractor. He performs service and warranty services for prestige pool heat pump manufacturers and is an authorized mechanic for Haward Service and Warranty Center.

4. Shade your windows

Your garage may have a lot of windows that are great for letting in light but unfortunately, these are the most likely way that unwanted heat is being let in too. If you do not have proper shading for your windows it is more than likely that your garage will heat up at an alarming rate.

Artem Kropovinsky, founder and principal designer at Arsight, says that the best way to deal with this is to employ shades and blinds on your garage windows, ‘not only will they add an element of design and transform your space visually, but they will also be very functional too, blocking heat from entering the space.'

A good blind for keeping heat out of your garage is an aluminum blind, these work by reflecting the heat off of the shiny surface and back through the window they are very effective especially when used in more industrial spaces. Aluminum blinds, available at Amazon, also are a great addition to have when you store a car in your garage as they will stop the car from getting overheated.

Artem Kropovinsky
Artem Kropovinsky

Based in New York, Artem Kropovinsky, founder of Arsight, has a decade of extensive and considerable global design experience. Prioritizing minimalism, sustainability, and authenticity, Artem, alongside his team of professionals, works on projects in the US and worldwide.

5. Invest in an exhaust fan

'Invest in an exhaust fan or two to keep air circulating inside the garage,' suggests Zec Freidus of ZFC Real Estate. 'Having an exhaust fan near the ceiling and another at ground level can help move warm air out of the garage quickly. 

'I would recommend making sure the fans are used in conjunction with an air conditioning unit. This will allow you to cool the garage more efficiently and ensure that fresh air is continually circulated.'

Zev Freidus
Zev Freidus

Zev is a realtor and the founder of ZFC Real Estate. He has over 10+ years of experience in real estate, home improvement, and interior design.

6. Use light-colored paint

One thing that is often overlooked when trying to keep a space cool is the power of using certain colors. With the sweltering heat, opting for a lighter color palette for your garage interior will help keep the space cool.

This is due to the light colors reflecting the heat, whereas dark colors absorb it. Artem Kropovinsky, Principal Designer at Artem Interiors suggests using light white, beige, and pastel shades for the floors, walls, and even the ceiling of your garage. 

Lighter-colored objects reflect wavelengths of light so that the light is not converted into heat and the temperature of that surface area, therefore, does not increase, by simply changing the colors inside your garage you could have a cooler space.   

Does a hot garage make the house hotter?

One of the first places where you will notice a difference in temperature is the garage. If you have a connecting door that goes from the house to the garage, every time you open that connecting door you will find that there is an oven-like blast of hot air which will bring the temperature up in your house and force the air conditioning to work over time. A good way to avoid this is to limit the frequency you go into the garage during the hottest hours, as mentioned above. 

Keeping the garage cool this summer may seem more difficult than usual with the constantly rising temperatures. Everything seems to heat up extremely quickly, but by incorporating strategic design and the correct ventilation systems a roasting garage will definitely be off the worry list.

Seraphina Di Mizzurati
Contributing Editor

Seraphina is a contributing editor at Homes & Gardens, writing Solved features on organizing and storage. She loves to decorate and also grow her own produce from her home in London. Her previous experience includes working at Women's Health and Fabulous Magazine.