Going For Cold: Should You Install Air Conditioning In Your Garage Or Use A Portable Air Conditioner?

Environmental Blog

A garage can be a hot and humid place to work, particularly under the brutal glare of the Australian summer sun, and any home owner working extensively in their garage has probably considered installing air conditioning to make it a more pleasant place to be. However, installing air conditioning in your garage can be a complicated and expensive affair, and you might be tempted to opt for a cheaper portable air conditioner instead.

In fact, both options are viable ways to cool your garage, and portable and installed air conditioners each have their own merits. However, they also come with a few drawbacks, so make sure to take stock of your cooling needs before deciding on the right air conditioning system for your garage.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of installing air conditioning in your garage?

Installed air conditioners, whether they are inexpensive window-mounted models or expensive and elaborate central air systems, are almost always more powerful than portable models -- in a large, spacious garage with no soft furnishings, carpets or effective wall insulation to hold heat this extra power can be vitally important, and installed air conditioners are generally the only viable option for cooling large garages.

However, installing air conditioning can be just as beneficial in smaller spaces for a number of reasons. They generally cool rooms much more quickly than portable models and are built more robustly, allowing them to better handle the rough-and-tumble environment of a busy garage. Wall mounting also means that they don't take up any floor space, and built-in vents mean that hot air is expelled from your garage efficiently.

There is a price to pay for this efficiency and convenience, and installing full-blown air conditioning in your garage can be expensive and time-consuming. These systems can also encounter problems with the large amounts of dust, grit, metal shavings and other particulate matter that tends to accumulate in garages -- if sucked into air conditioning vents, this detritus can reduce efficiency, clog ducts and even damage internal mechanisms. While filters installed in your vents can help avoid this problem, any detritus that does enter your vents can be very difficult to clean and remove.

What about the advantages and disadvantages of portable air conditioners?

These stand-alone models provide direct, small scale cooling at a fraction of the price tag of a wall-mounted conditioning system and can be a great boon for anybody working in their garage. Their easily portable nature allows them to be moved into working areas easily, so you can cool the section of the garage you are in without going to the expense of cooling the whole garage. This portability also means they can be stored away when not in use, and makes for much easier cleaning since you can simply take the unit outside and empty it. Removable filter trays make collecting and removing dust and grit easy.

However, portable air conditioners simply cannot stand up to installed air conditioning systems in terms of power and will find themselves out of their depth in particularly large or hot garages. Venting the hot air they collect can also be problematic -- most portable air conditioners use a simple hose to be directed out of a window, but in a windowless and poorly ventilated garage you may have real trouble finding a place to vent waste air.


19 September 2016

Saving energy easily

I want to be better about saving energy, but I am so busy it's easy to forget to turn off all of the lights and appliance in the house. I am really excited about some of the easy ways that I have found to save energy such as apps that let you turn off the house lights or air conditioning from your phone. I can check on how much energy I am using at any time and make adjustments as needed. It's an easy way to make sure that I am doing my bit to save energy and protect the environment.