Cooling a hot garage: what are the best options?
The content below is a shortened version of another page on construction of custom garages.
Does your garage door face west (or east)?
If so, consider a sun shade (or even a heat-reflective barrier).
To understand how that sun shade is such a valuable solution, we first need to understand the problem that it solves. So, one of the most unappealing things about metal garage doors is that they can get extremely hot in direct sunlight.
How hot? If you do not know what I mean, you can put your hand close to the metal parts that are on the INSIDE of a metal garage door that has been in direct sun. You will notice that it can get VERY hot. Those metal parts on the inside are not even in the direct sun, but the heat of the parts that are in the sun will transfer to those interior parts (and in to the garage). The result is that the interior of your garage can rise in temperature by ten degrees, twenty degrees, or even more (especially if then you park one or two cars with a hot engine at the hottest part of the day).
So, what are the potential solutions? First, note that you can use multiple solutions mentioned below together.
For one thing, the simplest issue is that you can get garage doors that are made of something other than metal. Vinyl or wood surfaces (even just as an exterior layer) will not get nearly as hot in direct sun as metal. Are those garage doors more expensive to buy and to maintain? Typically they are, but that may be worth it to you!
Next, no matter the material of your garage door, when you have your garage built (or your garage doors replaced), you can get insulated garage doors (and be clear to specify that you want heat-reflective, radiant-barrier insulation to keep heat OUT). While you can add the insulation later, that is typically more expensive to retrofit, plus the seal will generally not be nearly as good as factory-installed insulation.
Ventilation, HVAC, and other options
Another issue is ventilation (or even heating and cooling systems powered by electricity). Notice in the images here that far above the garage door (near the peak of the roof), there is a covered vent that allows allow hot air that rises to the top of the garage to escape through that opening.
Also, you can be sure to place your garage where it will get a lot of shade from the direct summer sun, like from trees or a tall building. Or, you can simply add a sun shade like is shown here (and these are not a big deal to "retrofit" after the construction of the garage).
Obviously, having a window or door gives you even more ventilation options, plus I personally will often leave my garage door open just a few inches off the cement when I am home during the summer mornings (with direct sunlight). For instance, right this second I am working from my home office and our metal garage door is raised just a few inches.
Our garage is attached to our home, which of course means that the heat accumulated in the garage will transfer to the attic and the rest of our home. Since I live in Phoenix, Arizona (where the high last month reached 119), our AC is getting some serious use in the summer and so any significant reduction in heat from the garage is attractive to me. (Note that our network of experienced garage builders covers many states besides Arizona.)
Further, if you are building a new garage, then the garage itself can not only be built as a detached garage, but there is also the issue of the overall insulation of the walls and roof of the garage. If your climate includes both lots of heat and lots of freezing temperatures, then you will be interested in every strategy for moderating temperature.
However, if you are in a very cold climate, then you might even value the added heat that will come from a metal garage door in direct sunlight. Garage doors that face south will of course have the most potential to provide some warmth in the winter. In contrast, where I live, the greatest summertime heat gain from a metal garage door will be from those that face west. Next worst will be those that face east (and it is not unusual for the temperature here in Phoenix to occasionally exceed 100 degrees at SUNRISE).
Our garage builders are also general contractors
Last, if you need other home improvements besides the construction of your new garage, let us know. For example, see that deck over to the left (with a privacy screen and an overhead shade)? That was built by our garage contractor at the same time as the building of the 1-car garage featured here.
From decks to patios and extended driveways, there are many common requests that people make of our general contractors while getting an estimate for the construction of a new garage. When you contact us today, you can either request to have a quote on each service independently or one quote to include everything. (To contact us now, click here:
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