Is It Finally Time to Cool Off?
Most garages are not connected to a home's central air conditioning. This is because garages are primarily used for storage and parking cars. Neither of these uses requires the same level of temperature control as the rest of the house. And, for most of the year, your home's normal insulation is enough to keep the garage at a relatively comfortable temperature. However, if you spend a lot of time in your garage during the summer, you may be frustrated by how hot it gets, especially in July and August.
What to Know About Adding AC to New Areas of Your Home
So, what is the solution? Install air conditioning is the best way to ensure your garage stays cool. This may sound simple enough, but expanding your air conditioning to include areas like garages, workshops, and other areas not currently connected to your AC system is easier said than done. You will first have to determine what type of cooling system you want to install.
Air conditioning options for garages and other areas of your home without AC:
- Ductless mini split system
- Expanding your central AC
- Window AC unit
- Portable AC unit
Once you have an idea of the type of AC you want, you will need to determine if that type of AC is compatible with the space you want to install it in. Other things to consider include the power and exhaust requirements for the new AC, whether you need additional insulation in the area, your budget for the whole project, and whether you can perform the installation yourself.
AC systems can be complicated, and even window units can be difficult to install. Furthermore, the last thing you want is to purchase a new AC and discover that it's the wrong kind for where you want to install it. Regardless of the type of AC you are considering, we recommend scheduling an inspection with one of our AC experts at Donmar Heating, Cooling & Plumbing.
Below we review several popular options homeowners select when expanding AC systems, their advantages, and some important things to know about each.
Window Air Conditioners vs. Ductless Mini-Splits
A window air conditioner is a type of single-room AC unit installed inside a window. They are incredibly popular when it comes to bringing air conditioning to a room or area (like your garage) that is not connected to your main cooling system. They are also frequently used in homes and apartment buildings that do not feature central air. Additionally, many people who rent their homes choose to install window units because they cannot install a more permanent AC (like a mini-split) or because they do not want to spend the extra money on a property they do not own.
Though popular, window ACs have some significant downsides, including:
- They make the window otherwise unusable
- They block the view out of the window
- They tend to be noisy
- They are not as energy efficient as other options
- Window units are generally a temporary cooling solution
A more effective solution would be to install a ductless mini-split AC. Ductless systems are more like central air conditioning in that they feature an indoor and an outdoor unit and are permanently installed in the room or area where you want the cooling. However, unlike expanding a central air system, they require significantly less alteration to your home. If you choose to install a ductless mini-split air conditioner, you should make sure you work with a licensed professional like ours to ensure proper installation.
Other benefits of a ductless mini-split include:
- Quiet operation
- Improved air filtration
- Longer lifespan
- Less obtrusive appearance in your home
Though we generally think that ductless mini-split cooling systems offer more benefits than window units, we also appreciate that there are cases in which window units are the best option. If you are trying to decide between these two types of AC systems for your garage, give us a call. We always offer our honest advice and will never push you to buy something you don't want or which won't meet your goals.
Expanding Central Air Systems
Extending your central air system to your garage or another un-air conditioned area of your home is a big project. Doing so typically means running your home's ductwork into the new area. Depending on when and how your home was constructed, this may or may not be possible. Furthermore, when expanding your ductwork to incorporate a new area of your home, you may also find that you have to purchase a new AC unit to accommodate the additional load. Consequently, expanding your central AC to your garage may be prohibitively expensive.
Always work with an experienced HVAC contractor, like Donmar Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, on projects like these. Doing so will help ensure that your project is up to code and installed correctly.