Garages can get very unpleasant places to spend longer times in blazing summer heat if not cooled properly. Opening the garage door and having ventilation is just not enough in some regions. So having a cooler or air conditioner unit will make the space much more comfortable to use. 

The best way to cool your garage depends on where you live, the air moisture percent, and whether you need seasonal cooling or around-the-year air conditioning. You can choose between evaporative coolers, air conditioning units, or fans. Garage insulation and ventilation also play a part.

This article is divided into three sections. Each section covers the basics of how the units work. What you should look out for and have recommendations for the best devices available for your garage size and living area. 

Evaporative Coolers aka Swamp Coolers (jump to section)

Air Conditioning Units (jump to section)

Heavy Duty Fans (jump to section)

This page contains affiliate links.

Our Top Pick Air Conditioners & Coolers for a Garage

Best Evaporative / Swamp Cooler Hessaire MC37M (at Amazon)

Jump to Review

Best Windows AC Unit LG 12,000 BTU Window-Mounted (at Amazon)

Jump to Review

Best Wall AC Unit Keystone 8,000-14,000 BTU Through-The-Wall (at Amazon)

Jump to Review

Best Mini Split With Heating and Cooling Commercial Cool Ductless Mini Split (at Amazon)

Jump to Review

Best Portable Air Conditioner SereneLife SLPAC8 (at Amazon)

Jump to Review

Best Heavy-Duty Fan Tornado 24 inch Heavy Duty Drum Fan (at Amazon)

Jump to Review

Evaporative Coolers 

Evaporative cooling produces that refreshing cool lake breeze in dry humidity areas. 

What Is Evaporative Cooling and How It Works

Evaporative aka swamp coolers work by moisturizing and adding humidity to the air. The unit has a fan that blows air between thick wet pads usually made of cellulose or other water-absorbing material. The fan draws warm air in and pushes it through the wet pads soaked in cool water, moisturizing and cooling the air in the process. Some units have ice compartments for extra cooling effects and filters that can purify the air.

Evaporative coolers are very energy efficient, simple to use, and quiet. The unit requires only a little bit of electricity and water. 

What to Look For in an Evaporative Cooler

Climate Zone – Evaporative coolers are most effective in dry climates where the humidity is low. They are most efficient with humidity levels under 30-40% and produce cooling effects between 30% and 60% humidity. Any areas over 60-70% humidity reduce their cooling capacity to nonexistent. So these types of coolers are only suitable for south and western states. If you are anywhere east of Kansas or the Midwest, you are better off with an air conditioner unit. 

Check these humidity maps to get a better idea about different regions’ humidity. 

Cooling Area and Capacity – There are units made indoors or outdoors. Knowing your garage space is an important factor when choosing a suitable model. Evaporative coolers are measured by their ability to move air which is measured in CFM (cubic feet per minute). The size of the cooler can also be a factor if you are looking for something portable (lightweight or wheels) or a more permanent solution(installed in place). The Indoor unit must be used with proper ventilation, so the moisture does not build up too much. Excessive water condensation can ruin several items and structures. 

CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute) – CFM ratings are not as accurate as the BTU (British Thermal Unit) used to measure garage heaters or air conditioning units. CFM rating lets you know how much air the evaporative cooler can move. It does not tell how much space the device will cool down, which means that a cooler with 1,500 CFM and 500 square feet capacity or coverage can move 1,500 cubic feet per minute of air through the device. And the air mass will cool down a space of approximately 500 square feet.

These are the manufacturer’s measurements, and the device can have a low CFM rating but cover a larger area. That means the unit can move more air through the cooling system. 

Calculate the Necessary CFM – you calculate the necessary CFM by multiplying the room’s length, width, and height. Then divide the total by 2. CFM = (L x W x H) ÷ 2

Fan Speed, Oscillation  – Adjustable fan speed allows you to increase or decrease the cooling power, and oscillation helps spread the airflow around the space.

Timer, Remote Control Remote control makes things easier as a timer for switching the unit on or off after a certain amount of time.

Portability – Wheels are essential here for easy movement of the unit. Some are lightweight and can be carried, but wheels make moving so much easier. 

Water Connection – Evaporative coolers need a constant water supply. They have water tanks ranging from 1 to 14 gallons that can be filled manually or connected to a water supply. This is recommended if the unit uses much water or you don’t want to refill the tank constantly.

If you plan to move the unit around the house, a manual filling is better. Setting up a continuous water supply is the easiest and hassle-free option if the unit is in one place. 

Water Tank Capacity – Water tank capacity is an important factor because it dictates how often you have to refill the tank. Small tanks are around 1-3 gallons and last between 4-8 hours before the need for a refill. If you don’t want to refill the tank often, opt for a cooler with larger tanks starting at least 5 gallons.

There are also units with huge 10-14 gallons tanks that last a long time before refilling. There is also an option for continuous water feed with a garden hose. With the constant fill option, the garage should have drains to eliminate any flooding accidents if something goes wrong. There are units with built-in leak protection features for preventing such accidents. 

Water Level Indicator – Simple indicator lets you check the current water level on the tank. This helps maintain the temperature because you can refill the tank in time before the water runs out. 

Best Evaporative / Swamp Coolers

Here are some bestsellers for different-sized garages.

COMFYHOME 2-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner

Comfyhome evaporative cooler has various features such as. Three different fan speeds, remote control, oscillation, 8-hour timer, easy to fill top load water tank and place for ice packs. The unit has four pre-programmed modes and a 40 degrees automatic swing function. The unit is compact and looks good. 

COMFYHOME 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner Fan, 32″ Swamp Cooler w/Cooling Function, Bladeless Design,3 Wind Speeds,4 Modes, Remote Control,40°Oscillation,8H Timer Evaporative Air Cooler for Home Office


  • Remote control
  • Timer, automatic shutdown feature
  • Compact size, lightweight
  • Looks good
  • Compartment for ice packs
  • Easy to clean
  • No spinning blades
  • Quiet 


  • Small water tank

Product Specifications

  • Watts – 3
  • Garage Size – Up to 250 Square foot
  • Power Grid – 110-120V
  • CFM – N/A
  • Weight – 15.27 Pounds
  • Size – 34 x 14 x 11 inches
  • Mounting – Portable
  • Water fill options – Manual
  • Water Tank Capacity – 1 gallon
  • Noise – Lower than 38 dB
  • Warranty – 2 years

Honeywell 780 CFM

Honeywell 780 CFM unit is suitable for spaces up to 320 square feet. It can be used outside if needed. The unit is durable and weather resistant. Low power consumption and 525-729 CFM airflow are enough for most small spaces. The unit has features like a low water alarm, timer, ice compartment, and easy to clean tank. 

Honeywell 780 CFM 3-Speed Outdoor Rated Portable Evaporative Cooler (Swamp Cooler) with GFCI Cord for 320 sq. ft.


  • Remote and timer
  • GFCI cord
  • Easy to clean
  • Low water alarm
  • Ice compartment
  • Large water tank


  • Somewhat noisy
  • 30-day return policy if the unit does not work on delivery
  • No continuous fill

Product Specifications

  • Watts – 288
  • Garage Size – up to 320 square feet 
  • Power Grid – 110-120V
  • CFM – 525-729
  • Weight – 24.9 Pounds
  • Size – 18 x 13.9 x 33.7 inches
  • Mounting – Portable
  • Water fill options – Manual
  • Water Tank Capacity – 7.9 Gallons
  • Noise – Max at 64 dB
  • Warranty – 1-year parts and labor.


Hessaire makes quality coolers, and this unit is lightweight, durable, small, and powerful enough to cool spaces up to 500 sq. ft and can be used outside. The unit has a control dial at the front, adjustable louvers, and is easy to operate. There is a 2-speed fan and two cooling modes, and you can set the preferred humidity. The unit is also available in different colors. 

HESSAIRE MC18M Portable Evaporative Cooler – Color May Vary, 1300 CFM, Cools 500 Square Feet


  • Lightweight 
  • Compact size
  • Powerful
  • Adjustable louvers
  • Comes in different colors
  • Has continuous fill option
  • Lockable wheels
  • Low water shutoff sensor
  • Water level display
  • Brass Garden Hose Adapter in the box
  • Timer


  • Small tank, but can be filled continuously with hose

Product Specifications

  • Watts – 85
  • Garage Size – up to 500 square feet
  • Power Grid – 110-120V
  • CFM – 1300
  • Weight – 16 pounds dry / operating weight 56.1 Pounds
  • Size – 22 x 12 x 28 inches
  • Mounting – Portable
  • Water fill options – Manual and continuous 
  • Water Tank Capacity – 4.8 Gallons
  • Noise – Max at 53.4 dB
  • Warranty – 1 year  

FANCOLE 2 IN 1 Evaporative Cooler  

Fancole evaporative cooler has a powerful fan capable of wind speed of 23.6 ft/s and a large volume of 2100 CFM. The unit can be used outdoors and has features like: a three-speed fan, low water line window, 60 degrees oscillation, 4 pcs ice packs and three side cooling pads for more effective cooling. 

Evaporative Cooler – FANCOLE 2 IN 1 Windowless Air Conditioner, 3 Speed Cooling Fan, 4 Ice Packs, 5.28Gal Large Water Tank & Scroll Casters, Portable Evaporative Air Cooler for Room Garage Commercial


  • Lockable wheels
  • Three side cooling pads
  • Quiet 
  • Cord Length: 35.4Feet
  • Easy to Fill
  • Visible water tank level


  • Medium water tank. It lasts around 10 hours
  • No continuous fill
  • The water tank is not removable. But is drainable

Product Specifications

  • Watts – 100
  • Garage Size – Up to 700 square feet
  • Power Grid – 110-120V
  • CFM – 2100
  • Weight – 23.8 pounds
  • Size – 19.69 x 13.39 x 34.65 inches
  • Mounting – Portable
  • Water fill options – Manual
  • Water Tank Capacity – 5.28 Gallons
  • Noise – Max at 45 dB
  • Warranty – 1 year 

Hessaire MC37M Evaporative Cooler

Hessaire MC37M has enough capacity for 950 sq. ft and airflow of 3100 CFM. The unit is suitable for outdoor use too and has features such as: Three fan speeds, continuous fill, a sizeable 10.3-gallon water tank, oscillating louvers, three simple rotary controls that control the fan (Off, Hi, Med, Low), pump (On, Off) and oscillation motor (On, Off) controlled independently, three-sided pads and the unit is quiet.

Hessaire MC37M Evaporative Cooler, 3,100 CFM, Gray


  • Large water tank
  • Water level indicator
  • Continuous fill
  • Oscillating louvers
  • Large capacity
  • Lockable wheels
  • Compact size
  • Has a cup holder
  • Brass garden hose adapter in the box


  • Only 7 ft Power Cord 

Product Specifications

  • Watts – 250
  • Garage Size – Up to 950 Square feet
  • Power Grid – 110-120V
  • CFM – 3100
  • Weight – 40 pounds dry / operating weight 131 Pounds
  • Size – 25 x 17 x 37 inches
  • Mounting – Portable
  • Water fill options – Manual, Continuous fill
  • Water Tank Capacity – 10.3 Gallons
  • Noise – Max at 59 dB
  • Warranty – 1 year 

Hessaire MC61M 

Hessaire MC81M is a powerful unit capable of moving 5,300 cubic feet of air per minute, covering a massive 1,600 sq. ft space. Suitable indoors and outdoors. The unit has oscillating louvers, three air intakes, three fan speeds. It is easy to operate with controls directly on top of the unit. Features also include three-sided cooling pads, which offer more cooling output.

Hessaire MC61M Evaporative Cooler, 5,300 CFM, Gray


  • Covers a massive space
  • Continuous water filling
  • Brass garden hose adapter
  • Large capacity water tank, water level indicator
  • Suitable for outdoors too 
  • Has a cup holder
  • lockable wheels
  • Compact size
  • UV-protected


  • Heavier unit at 56 pounds but still movable and has wheels

Product Specifications

  • Watts – 430
  • Garage Size – Up to 1600 square feet
  • Power Grid – 110-120V
  • CFM – 5,300
  • Weight – 57 pounds dry / operating weight 131 Pounds
  • Size – 28 x 17 x 46 Inches
  • Mounting – Portable
  • Water fill options – Manual and continuous
  • Water Tank Capacity – 14.6 gallons
  • Noise – max at 63 dB
  • Warranty – 1-year manufacturer

Air Conditioning 

Proper air conditioning in the garage will make the space much more comfortable for working on various projects in the summer heat. Or maybe you use the space as a workshop or gym. Also, when you cool the garage, it keeps the adjacent rooms or above the garage spaces cooler. The hot air from the garage slowly absorbs through the walls and the door into the house. Making the home central air condition unit run harder. 

A cooled garage cuts some of your total energy costs. Keeping the garage cool also expands the lifespan of many items in the garage, such as your car, tools, decorations, paints, and other equipment vulnerable to extreme temperatures. 

Check what you can safely store and what should not be stored in the garage here.

What Is Air Conditioning and How It Works

Air conditioning removes heat and controls air humidity in enclosed spaces with various methods to achieve a comfortable interior environment. Air conditioners typically use vapor-compression refrigeration. The unit size varies from small car units to massive units that cool entire buildings. 

An air conditioner operates using the vapor-compression cycle. Its forced circulation and phase change of a refrigerant between gas and liquid to transfer heat. Watch the video below if you are interested. 

Warning about Using the Home Central Air Conditioning  

Never use your house’s central air conditioning system to cool the garage! Some people have attempted to add ductwork from the central AC to the garage, but this is a terrible idea and prohibited by law. Also, if something happens, the insurance won’t cover anything.

If you use the home central AC, you put enormous strain on the system, and they are not designed for such loads and will break down. Also, the garage can have dangerous fumes that can enter your home via ductwork. Carbon monoxide from the vehicle exhaust can be deadly.

  • Using an entirely separate system for the garage space is the safest and most energy-efficient solution. 
  • LINK to building America solutions center for more info on why never use your home air conditioning. 

How Big Air Conditioner and BTUs Do I Need for a Garage?

All ductless air condition units are capable of cooling only a certain amount of space depending on the design and capacity of the device. Also, the unit lasts longer when it does not have to work at full power all the time. Sizing the air conditioner right is essential to have enough cooling capacity. 

Air conditioners and heaters are rated by BTUs (British Thermal Unit) that describe how much heat can be removed from or added into a closed space. 

When determining the needed cooling capacity for the garage, you first need to know the size of the garage. Let’s say you have a typical two-car garage around 20 x 20 feet. Calculating the area comes to a total of 400 square feet. Then we multiply the 400 sq. ft by 25 BTUs which provides adequate cooling for most climates, whether it is hot, sunny, humid, or moist, rainy day. So the total comes 400 x 25 = 10,000 BTU cooling capacity needed. Or 400 x 30 = 12,000 BTU cooling capacity needed.

EPA recommends an energy-saving factor of 20 BTUs per sq. ft for living spaces. Other sources say the factor should be 30 BTUs per sq. ft, especially in scorching areas. So 25 BTU is a good compromise. Consider your region and garage insulation level and if the garage is in the shade or sun all day. Often garages don’t have very much insulation, and you need to oversize the air conditioner somewhat. So a factor of 30 can also be used. It’s usually enough when you are in the “ballpark” for the size of the unit.

Calculation Variables

  • If the garage is mainly shaded all day, reduce capacity by 10%
  • If the garage is in direct sun most of the day, increase capacity by 10% 
  • Add 2,000 – 4,000 BTUs if the garage is uninsulated

When deciding between larger or smaller capacity units, go with a slightly bigger capacity unit. This is because smaller capacity BTU units will run continuously without cooling the area effectively trying to keep up. Increasing the electric costs and shortening the unit’s lifetime.

Also, don’t choose something that is overkill. Air conditioning units remove moisture/humidity from the air. If the unit does not run long enough (too big unit cycling on and off), the moisture will be left in the air, making you feel like being outside camping on a damp, misty and cool night. 

So getting the optimal size air conditioning unit is important. Calculate the BTUs needed and get a proper size unit. This article has the best units available for different-sized spaces for your convenience. 

Here is a convenient chart for you. Remember this is not exact science and “ballpark” figure is usually enough.

Square FeetBTUs (x25)BTUs (x30)

You can also use calculators online. Such as:

Energy Efficient Ratings in Air Conditioners

EER – Is the Energy Efficiency Ratio of an air conditioner or heat pump. It measures how efficiently the unit uses electricity to remove heat from the space. EER rating is used for all types of air conditioners. The rating should be listed on the energy label in the unit or the owner’s guide. A higher rating means a more efficient unit that uses less electricity. 

SEER – Is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. SEER measures how efficiently the unit performs over an entire cooling season. It’s not as precise as EER and can be inaccurate or misleading depending on the climate.

CEER – Is the Combined Energy Efficiency Rating. This tells how much energy the unit uses when idle and when operating.

Higher the number, the more efficient the unit is. The number does not tell how much it will cost to operate the system. A system with a SEER of 25 is more efficient than a system with a SEER of 15. Generally, SEER-25 units cost less to operate than SEER-15 devices in the same climate conditions. 

When comparing different products, keep in mind that the EER, SEER, and CEER measure different things. Only compare EER to EER, SEER to SEER or CEER to CEER. 

Energy Guide – To help you figure out whether an appliance is energy efficient, the federal government requires most appliances to display the bright yellow and black EnergyGuide label. Although these labels will not show you which appliance is the most efficient on the market, they will show you the annual energy consumption and operating cost for each appliance so you can compare them yourself. (source )

Energy Star Label – The ENERGY STAR logo is on all qualified products that meet specific standards for energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR-qualified products exceed the federal minimum standards for efficiency and quality — sometimes significantly. Look for the label on appliances, electronics, water heaters, windows, and other products that consume energy in your home. (source )

How to Read the EnergyGuide Label

The EnergyGuide label is required to be placed on all appliances by the manufacturers. The label provides information about energy consumption and shows you how much energy an appliance uses compared with similar models. Remember that the numbers are averages: actual costs will differ somewhat depending on how you use them. The label shows the following:

  • Maker, model number, and size of the appliance.
  • Estimated yearly operating cost (based on the national average cost of electricity) and the range of operating costs for similar models.
  • The ENERGY STAR® logo indicates that this model meets strict criteria for energy efficiency.
  • Estimated yearly electricity consumption.
  • Key features of the appliance and the similar models that make up the cost comparison range.
  • Source 

Increasing the Air Conditioner Efficiency in the Garage

Insulating the garage helps keep the heat in during winters and keep the cool air inside the garage during summers. So even very basic insulation in various parts of the garage helps you considerably lower the total energy costs and add value to the property. Here are key areas to consider.

Walls – Insulating all the walls around the garage is optimal, but if you are on the budget, start with the walls that get the most sunlight during the day. The wall shared with the house is already insulated in the attached garages

Ceiling – If your garage is hot, the attic or room above it will be sweltering. Hot air rises upward, and adding insulation to the ceiling prevents this. The air conditioning unit does not have to run at max trying to keep up with air loss, keeping your garage and above spaces cooler.

Garage Door – Garage doors are usually made from metal and absorb surprisingly much heat during the day. Adding insulation to the door or replacing the door with an insulated model will reduce the temperature considerably. Check the weather seals also around and bottom of the door. There are DIY kits available (paid link) for insulating the door. With many garages, this can be enough with cooling. Lowering the total temperature. 

Windows – Garages usually have one or two windows or no windows. The heat coming in from small windows is not much, but it adds to the total in other areas. So covering the windows with sun-blocking/reflecting materials like curtains, shades, or windows film will help keep the garage cooler. 

Read all about garage insulation here. 

Garage Air Conditioner and Cooler Running Costs

Total running costs boil down to the price of electricity in your area. Also, how many hours per day do you use the AC. Reducing the total hours reduces the annual cost, and purchasing a unit with a high energy efficiency rating (EER, SEER, CEER) will save money in the long run. 

The average cost of running an air conditioner is between $0.05 and $0.90 per hour.

This is only a very rough estimation, and there are some pretty good calculators available online such as:

What to Look in an Air Conditioning Unit 

Climate Zone – Air conditioners are most suitable for very hot and humid climates as they can remove moisture from the air. 

Cooling Area and Capacity – How much space the unit can cool effectively down. Check this part of the article for complete info about evaluating the capacity needed.

Energy Efficiency – Unit specs tell you the EER, CEER, and SEER ratings. Higher the number, the more efficient the unit is. Check this part of the article for complete info about energy efficiency ratings. 

Dehumidification – Estimation of how much the unit can remove moisture from the air. This is usually reported in pints. High-rated units are more suitable for high humidity areas. 

Mode Settings – Settings for cooling, dehumidifying, fan speed, and other options in the unit. 

Electricity Needs – Amperage varies from 15 to 30, and larger units may need a dedicated circuit or line. Many units have standard three-prong plugs of 120V/15A, while larger models can have 240V 15-30amps requiring a dedicated circuit. 

Adjustable Thermostat – Accurate way to control the temperature for optimum comfort. 

Fan Speed, Oscillation  – Adjustable fan speed allows you to increase or decrease the cooling power, and oscillation helps spread the airflow around the space.

Timer, Remote Control – Remote control makes things easier as a timer for switching the unit on or off after a certain amount of time.

Sleep Mode – Raises the temperature slightly at night time if needed. Also, the noise level is reduced. 

Filter Light & Filter – Check the filter light that reminds you to clean or change the filter. Having a good filter improves air quality by removing dirt, odors, air pollutants, and germs. 

Noise – Some models are very quiet, while others can make considerable noise. Workshops and garages can be noisy, and adding even more noise might not be a good idea, depending on what you are used to. This is something to consider even in a garage environment for many people. 

Some common sound levels:

  • 30dBA: sound level of a quiet home or whisper
  • 50dBA: interior of a quiet car while driving
  • 60dBA: normal conversation
  • 70–80dBA: vacuum cleaner, washing machine, dishwasher
  • 80-80dBA Gas-powered lawnmowers and leaf blowers
  • 105-110dba max sound level for personal listening devices, also a typical sound level for loud entertainment venues such as bars and nightclubs. 

Portability – Wheels are essential here for easy movement of the unit. Some are lightweight and can be carried, but wheels make moving so much easier. 

Best Air Conditioners For a Garage

Air conditioners cool the air with a refrigerant process and remove moisture from the air. These units are most suited to areas with high humidity because of their capability to remove moisture. Here are some bestsellers for different-sized spaces in each category. 

Best Windows AC Units

Regular windows air conditioning units can be a good choice for a garage if the windows are wide enough. These units need windows around 20 inches wide and 10+ inch height, depending on the unit size. So check the specs first and measure your windows. The units are cheap, but not many garages have big enough windows. This can also affect the safety of the garage if the unit is easy to remove. That’s an entry point to your home. So locking the unit heavily in place for the season is highly recommended. Models are usually between 6,000 to 30,000 BTU, and you can pick the needed capacity. Most units have features like: timers, oscillating louvers, remotes, adjustable fan speed, and auto restart. 

LG 6,000 BTU 115V Window Air Conditioner 

Lg makes quality products and offers a variety of windows air coolers at different capacities. It has features like: 3 fans speeds, remote, auto restart, timer, and air filter clean alert. This unit has a capacity of 6,000 BTUs.

LG 6,000 BTU 115V Window Air Conditioner with Remote Control, White


  • Quiet
  • Remote
  • Auto-restart
  • Filter alert
  • Cools spaces quickly
  • Window Installation Kit Included


  • For small spaces

Product Specifications

  • Cooling Capacity – 6.000 BTU
  • Energy Efficiency – 12 (seer)
  • Garage Size – Up to 260 square feet
  • Power Grid – 115V
  • Weight – 39.6 Pounds
  • Size – 14.38 x 17.31 x 11.13 inches
  • Mounting – Portable
  • Noise – Max at 52 dB
  • Warranty – 1-year parts and labor.

LG 8,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Air Conditioner

Lg makes quality products and offers a variety of windows air coolers at different capacities. This unit has a capacity of 8,000 BTUs and has features like: 3 fans speeds, remote, timer, and air filter clean alert.

LG 8,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Air Conditioner with Remote Control, White


  • Quiet
  • Remote
  • Filter alert
  • Cools spaces quickly
  • Energy-star certified
  • Window Installation Kit Included


  • Small to medium spaces

Product Specifications

  • Cooling Capacity – 8,000 BTU
  • Energy Efficiency – 13 (seer)
  • Garage Size – Up to 350 square feet
  • Power Grid – 115V
  • Weight – 58 Pounds
  • Size – 19.6 x 19.4 x 12.4 inches
  • Mounting – Portable
  • Noise – Max at 53 dB
  • Warranty – 1-year parts and labor. 

LG 12,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Air Conditioner

Lg makes quality products and offers a variety of windows air coolers at different capacities. This unit has a capacity of 12,000 BTUs and has features like: 3 fans speeds, remote, timer, and air filter clean alert.

LG 12,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Air Conditioner with Remote Control, White


  • Quiet
  • Remote
  • Filter alert
  • Cools spaces quickly
  • Energy-star certified
  • Window Installation Kit Included


  • Small to medium spaces

Product Specifications

  • Cooling Capacity – 12,000 BTU
  • Energy Efficiency – 13 (seer)
  • Garage Size – Up to 550 square feet
  • Power Grid – 115V
  • Weight – 81 Pounds
  • Size – 22.2 x 23.6 x 15 inches
  • Mounting – Portable
  • Noise – Max at 53 dB
  • Warranty – 1-year parts and labor.

Best Wall AC Units

Wall air conditioning units are usually more efficient than the windows AC models or portable air conditioning units. This is because you can install a wall unit higher (usually 5 to 6 feet from the ground.) While windows models have to be lower. Having the unit higher stirs the air more efficiently and cools the room more thoroughly. Also, the built-in thermostat on the unit works better in higher places. 

Wall AC units are installed in the sleeve, which is first prepared for the wall. The unit then slides into the sleeve. The opening can be sealed for winter with a suitable covering. The unit can be permanently installed and just covered for wintertime. Locking the unit in place in sleeve installation is recommended for added security for the garage. 

Keystone 8,000 BTU 115V Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner 

Keystone offers different capacity air conditioners. There are 8,000 / 10,000 / 12,000 and 14,000 BTU units with optional heating. So choose your required capacity. The unit offers features like:3 fans speed, three cooling modes, a washable filter, energy save mode, 24 h timer, auto restart, remote control with a built-in thermostat. The unit even can be retrofitted to existing sleeves. 

Keystone 8,000 BTU 115V Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner | Energy Star | Follow Me LCD Remote Control | Dehumidifier | Sleep Mode | 24H Timer | AC for Rooms up to 350 Sq. Ft. | KSTAT08-1C, 8000, White


  • Energy-star certified
  • Remote with built-in thermostat
  • Front access washable filter
  • Installation kit
  • Can be retrofitted to the existing sleeve
  • Energy save mode
  • Quiet 
  • Various models available at different BTU capacity
  • Multiple models are available at 115V or 230 V without or with heating


  • Some higher capacity units with heating need a 230V/20Amp electrical outlet
  • Sleeve sold separately
  • Some units have been broken at delivery. 

Product Specifications (depending on the model)

  • Cooling Capacity – 8,000 – 14,000 BTU
  • Energy Efficiency – 9.3 – 10.6 (eer) / 9.6 – 13 (seer)
  • Garage Size – Up to 350 – 700 square feet
  • Power Grid – 115V or 230V
  • CFM – 270 – 300
  • Weight – 65 – 79 Pounds d
  • Size – 20.3 x 24.2 x 14.5 inches 
  • Mounting – Portable
  • Noise – Max at 51 – 61 dB
  • Warranty – 1, Year parts and labor, plus additional 4 years for sealed system

Best Mini Split With Heating and Cooling

If you spend a lot of time in the garage year-round, consider mini-split systems. These units offer heating and cooling in the same package with low running costs and are very energy efficient. Mini-split systems are dependable and usually work around 10-15 or even 20 years with almost no maintenance other than cleaning required.

Installation is easy when the system has pre-charged refrigerant lines. You only need to make a hole in the wall for the lines. No ducts or venting are required. Some units have plugs for an outlet, while others need to be hardwired. Capacity ranges from 6,000 BTUs to 45,000 BTUs. It is also possible to install multiple indoor units for those huge garages. 

About Mini-Split Systems – The name comes from standard split system AC and heat pumps. The device is compact size, and no ductwork is required. The outside unit contains a compressor that circulates refrigerant. There is usually one indoor unit, but there can be several, like two or three installed high on the wall. The inside unit has a powerful fan that distributes the air. Installation requires the hole in the wall where a refrigerant and power line goes through connecting the two units. The condensate hose also goes through the hole that carries water from the inside unit to the outside. 

Commercial Cool Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner with Heat

Commercial Cool Mini Split can be installed DIY and has pre-charged refrigerant lines, so you do not need to be a licensed HVAC professional. Using licensed installed is recommended, though, for the best durability and lifetime of the unit. Mini-split systems are ideal if you spend long days in the garage.

They are also suitable for workshops, though they include fans and will stir the particles in the air. You can set the temperature between 60 – 90 Fahrenheit or 15 – 32 C. There is also only a fan mode and dehumidify modes available. A dehumidifier can extract up to 67 pints of water in 24 hours. The unit offers heating and cooling up to 1,000 square feet and has an extended warranty, installation manual, and excellent customer support. Ideal for any room in the house or where ductwork won’t fit.

Commercial Cool 18,000 BTU 17 SEER Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner with Heat, No HVAC Installer Required, 220V, CSAH1820AC, White


  • Low operating cost
  • Provides heating and cooling
  • Extremely energy efficient
  • Easy to clean, washable filter
  • Can run 24/7/365, providing stable heating or cooling
  • Pre-charged, no HVAC installer required
  • Full Installation Accessories Kit
  • 4-way airflow, multi-directional louvers
  • Remote control with timer and sleep mode
  • Installation manual and customer support
  • Quiet


  • High initial cost
  • Won’t heat quickly bigger spaces
  • Building permits may be required. 
  • A licensed electrician may be necessary. 
  • Installation must be in accordance with NEC and other local codes.

Product Specifications

  • Power Source – Electricity, Refrigerant absorbs heat outside and warms the garage in winter. The unit pumps heat to the outside during summer, cooling the garage. The process just reverses.
  • Heating Capacity – 19,000 BTU/h with 9 HSPF efficiency
  • Cooling Capacity – 18,000 BTU/h with 17 SEER efficiency
  • Garage Size – Up to 1,000 square feet
  • Power Grid – 220V
  • Venting – Does not need
  • Weight – 103.7 Pounds
  • Size – indoor unit (35.43″ x 12.20″ x 8.86″) and outdoor unit (31.50″ x 21.46″ x 12.40″)
  • Mounting – Wall
  • Noise – Max at 52.6 dB
  • Warranty – 2 years parts and five years on compressor

Best Portable Air Conditioners

Portable units can be moved where most needed and taken to another site entirely. Most units can cool about up to 300 square feet. Some units can be noisy, and all need to vent the warm air outside with exhaust pipe and window/wall seal kits. 

The units also extract moisture from the air. The water tank needs to be emptied regularly. You can also direct the water to the nearest drain with a hose. Getting a reliable and robust unit in the garage is recommended. The units range from 5,000 to 14,000 BTUs. 

These are best used as additional air conditioners with other types or for milder climates. 

SereneLife SLPAC8 Portable Air Conditioner

Serenelife offers various BTU capacity models. There are 8,000 / 10,000 and 12,000 BTU models with optional heating. So choose the optimal capacity for your needs. The unit can be used around the house and has features such as: 24h timer, four different modes, an automatic swing, washable air filter, remote control, multiple fan speeds, and moisture removal. 

SereneLife SLPAC8 Portable Air Conditioner Compact Home AC Cooling Unit with Built-in Dehumidifier & Fan Modes, Quiet Operation, Includes Window Mount Kit, 8,000 BTU, White


  • Remote control, timer
  • Four operating modes
  • Window mount kit 
  • Different capacity units available with optional heating
  • Washable filter
  • Rolling wheels


  • It can be somewhat loud
  • Heavy
  • Must be vented outside
  • No water drainage hose included

Product Specifications (depending on model)

  • Cooling Capacity – 8,000 – 12,000 BTU
  • Energy Efficiency – N/A
  • Watts – 920 – 1,350
  • Garage Size – Up to 225 – 450 square feet
  • Power Grid – 120V
  • CFM – 290 – 380 
  • Weight – 46 – 62 pounds
  • Size – 14.6’’ x 13.8’’ x 27.2’’ – 17.4’’ x 13.4’’ x 32.1’’
  • Mounting – Portable
  • Noise – 52 – 59 dB
  • Warranty – 1 year 

Heavy Duty Fans

Sometimes the basic fan is all that is required if your region has the right conditions or you want a budget option for garage cooling. Getting a heavy-duty fan is recommended for the garage. These types of fans move a lot of air, are robust, and won’t mind a little bit of dust. 

Fans are portable and easy to mount with basic brackets to the wall or ceiling. Fans can also be used with any other type of coolers because they won’t increase or decrease the humidity in the space. Instead, they make air conditioners and evaporative coolers more effective by distributing the cooled air further into the area. 

Best Heavy-Duty Fans

Tornado 24 inch Heavy Duty Drum Fan

Tornado heavy-duty fan delivers various CFM capacities at High: 7800. Medium: 6000. Low: 5000. With a heavy-duty 3-Speed fan. It has features like: wheels and handles for easy moving, tilts 360 degrees, aluminum blades, 8 feet long power cord, a 5-year motor warranty, and quiet technology. Ideal for workshops and garages. 

Tornado 24 Inch Grade UL Listed High-Velocity Movement Heavy Duty Drum 3 Speed Air Circulator Fan 7800 CFM-Industrial, Commercial, Residential, and Greenhouse Use, Yellow


  • Adjustable tilt angle 360 degrees
  • Wheels and handles
  • 8 feet cord
  • Five years motor warranty 
  • Powerful
  • Good customer service


  • Size

Product Specifications

  • Watts – 170 – 220
  • Power Grid – 120V
  • CFM – 5,000 – 7,700
  • Weight – 26.3 pounds
  • Size – 29.5 x 11 x 29.3 inches
  • Mounting – Portable
  • Noise – N/A, but customers say it’s quiet
  • Warranty –  5 Years Motor Warranty

B-Air FIRTANA-20X High-Velocity Fan

B-Air Firtana is a durable, high-velocity fan suitable for workshops, patios, and garages. It has a 20-inch fan and 3-speed settings, 360-degree tilt, and small grill spacing for safety. The unit can be mounted easily to wall with suitable hook.

B-Air FIRTANA-20X High-Velocity Electric Industrial and Home Floor Fan, 20″


  • 360-degree rotation
  • Compact size
  • Easy mount to a wall
  • Lightweight
  • Powerful
  • Handle 
  • Good customer service


  • No wheels
  • Wall hanger hook not included
  • 5 feet cord

Product Specifications

  • Watts – 157
  • Power Grid – 120V
  • CFM – 4650
  • Weight – 12 Lbs
  • Size – 21 x 21 x 6 Inch
  • Mounting – Portable, Wall
  • Noise – N/A customers say its a bit noisy
  • Warranty – 1 year 

Exhaust Fans

For those mild summers or colder regions, a simple exhaust fan might be enough to get the air circulating in the garage. Exhaust fans are excellent for workshops. They ventilate sawdust and welding gasses quickly outside. These mount directly to the wall and are robust and powerful. Different sizes are available.

Garage studs are usually spaced 16 or 24 inches apart from the stud’s center point. If necessary, find your studs with a stud finder (Paid link) and check the iLiving specs table for the required opening size. 

For studs spaced 16 inches apart, suitable-sized are 12 or 14-inch fans. They require an opening of 13 or 15 inches. They are capable of moving 960 CFM of air and cover spaces up to 1100-1300 square feet.

iLiving – 12″ Wall Mounted Exhaust Fan 

iLiving makes quality exhaust fans in many different sizes. They can move massive amounts of air and are suitable for a wide range of different sized spaces, and can be mounted on all types of walls. Only making a suitable opening to the wall for the fan is required. 

Most models have a remote control, thermostat, and variable speed setting. (check the iliving specs table to be sure)

Cubic feet per minute and square footage coverage area vary depending on the model. The fans have a weather-resistant aluminum shutter at the front and a heavy-duty galvanized steel frame at the back. Propellers are balanced for quiet operation. 

iLiving ILG8SF12VC – 12″ Wall Mounted Smart Remote Shutter Exhaust Fan – Thermostat, Humidistat, Variable Speed – Vent Fan For Home Attic, Shed, or Garage Ventilation, 960 CFM, 1400 SQ FT Coverage Area

If you need different sized exhaust fan check the iLiving store on Amazon

Installation of exhaust fan. 

FAQ About Air Conditioners and Coolers

What Is the Average Lifespan of an Air Conditioner?

Most units can last 15 to 20 years if maintained regularly. Some can be repaired, while it is just better to buy a new and more energy-efficient unit in most cases. Every unit type should be cleaned and checked annually. 

My AC Is Not Working. What Can I Do Myself Before Calling Professionals?

  • If the thermostat has batteries check or replace them. Check the remote batteries too. 
  • Check for a tripped breaker or blow a fuse.
  • Check and clean the air filter or replace it.
  • Set the system to cool and temperature at maximum low setting.

If the system is clearly leaking oil/coolant(looks and smells like oil), turn off the unit and call an expert immediately. The refrigerant coolants are dangerous and should not be touched or cleaned without protective equipment!

Suppose the unit is leaking water to the inside wall (especially the mini-split system inside unit). In that case, something is wrong with the water condensation exhaust pipe/hose.

Can You Leave the Air Conditioner on All Night?

You can leave the air conditioner on all night. In hot regions, it’s recommended even, so you get refreshing sleep. The optimum temperature for the bedroom is about 64-71 F, or 18-22 C. Don’t set the air conditioner too low, or you might get an irritated throat or nose. Adjust the temperature every night till you find your sweet spot. 

Can AC Run 24 Hours or All Week? Or How Many Hours Should AC Run?

Air conditioners can run 24/7, especially during the hot seasons. Longer running cycles are ok, and most units are designed to withstand them. This will consume more electricity, though, and shorten the unit’s total lifespan. If you want to save energy, try to run the unit for only 8 or 16 hours a day. 

  • During longer usage periods, it’s wise to monitor the energy bills and compare them to previous months. 
  • Monitor the unit also. Keep an eye out for unusual sounds, smells, or leaks. 
  • Make sure the unit is properly cleaned before the season.

When Should You Not Use Air Conditioning

Air conditioners remove moisture from the air, so they are unsuitable for very dry climates. Instead, dry regions should use humidifiers like evaporative, aka swamp coolers. 

Air conditioners need a closed space with little or minimum ventilation. If you have windows open or the area ventilates by other means like exhaust fans, the air conditioner can not keep up. Think if you drive with your car windows down and the air conditioner on, it’s pretty pointless. 

If you are gone only for a few hours, it’s better to leave the air conditioner on. This will save energy compared to cooling down the space all again. 

Should the AC Outdoor Unit Be Covered in Winter?

Outdoor units are made to withstand all weather types and should not be covered. Suppose the cooling system is accidentally turned on while the unit is covered. In that case, the unit will overheat because of the restricted airflow and will break down. There are special covers for outdoor units that allow normal airflow and conceal the unit making your yard look nicer. You can even build one yourself from wood if you like to DIY.  

Does AC Work Without Water?

Air conditioners work without water. Evaporative, aka swamp coolers, instead need water to operate. These two devices are entirely different systems. Air conditioners remove moisture from the air, while swamp coolers increase moisture in the air. Both should be used in the climate they are suitable for and never at the same time. 

Air conditioners can remove a lot of water from the air, and the water should be directed outside with a hose or to the nearest drain. You can also use the water for your plants if you collect it. The used water is not suitable for humans or pets. 

Swamp coolers need water regularly and have water tanks or direct filling with a hose. 

Air Conditioner vs. Evaporative Cooler (aka Swamp Cooler)

Evaporative Cooler / Swamp CoolerAir Conditioner
Works best in hot climates with low humidityWorks in any climate and best with high humidity
Evaporative coolers will humidify as they coolAir conditioners will dehumidify as they cool
Needs to be constantly refilled with water. Manually or with garden hose adapter. Low maintenance, only require annual cleaning or filter replacements 
Does not lower the temperature as much as ACCools spaces to low temps like 65F
Average swamp cooler provides up to 70-80% energy savingsEnergy-efficiency varies by brand and model
Cooling performance depends on humidity and ambient temperature. No programmable thermostatUsually have a programmable thermostat that can be set to specific temperature

What Is an AC Cycle?

Air conditioners cycle on and off regularly. This is normal. Most air conditioners usually undergo three cooling cycles per hour on moderate hot days. Each cycle lasts around 10-15 minutes. The compressor cannot run all the time and needs to cool down. So the compressor runs for about 10 minutes and stops for 10 minutes, then repeats the cycle two or more times in an hour.

The unit can short cycle meaning the compressor will turn on and off constantly and wear and break the compressor down eventually. Reasons why this is happening can be:

  • The system is leaking, and there is not enough refrigerant.
  • A thermostat is in the wrong place.
  • Oversized air conditioner system for the space.
  • The system is leaking, and there is not enough pressure in the system.

If the system is short cycling clearly or any other odd things are going on with your air conditioner. Contact an expert to evaluate the situation. 

Do You Need to Vent Evaporative/Swamp Coolers?

Evaporative coolers need to be vented with opening windows, doors, or exhaust fans. Evaporative coolers can raise the total humidity too high levels in spaces and ruin structures with moisture damage if not vented. Also, when the humidity rises too much, the cooling effect will wear off quickly. 

Can You Use a Fan With AC?

You can use fans with AC, and this is even recommended. The air spreads better around the space and can help lower the cooling costs. 

According to, “If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan or other type of fans will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.”

Fans actually do not lower the temperature at all. They only make you feel cooler because they move air over your body, carrying the heat away from the skin. This is also known as the wind chill factor you see in the weather predictions. 

Why Does My AC Turn On Every 5 – 10 Minutes

If the air conditioner runs constantly, it may be because of several reasons:

  • The unit is too small for the space and cannot keep up. A bigger unit is needed.
  • The air changes in the space too much, meaning too much ventilation is going on.
  • The space has too many air leaks around windows, doors, or ductwork. Sealing everything is required. 
  • The unit is getting old and becoming too inefficient.
  • The unit is leaking coolant slowly, and there is not enough refrigerant anymore. 
  • Cooling coils are dirty and cannot operate optimally. Cleaning is required annually.
  • A thermostat is set wrong. If it is very hot outside and the temperature is set too low, the unit is trying to keep up too much. Set the thermostat to a more reasonable temperature goal. 
  • It is just an extremely hot day, and the AC runs constantly. Monitor the unit when the air cools to average temperatures. 

Contact a professional to check the unit and evaluate the situation always when in doubt.