With summer in full swing, many people are looking for ways to beat the heat. For auto-enthusiasts, this means keeping our garages cool. The perfect way to combat the heat is with a portable garage air conditioner. When the temperatures rise, the last thing you want is to work on your car that’s sitting in a scorching hot garage. And, you want to be able to enjoy your automotive workspace. With one of these portable garage air conditioners, sweating to death during that next summer oil change is a thing of the past.
What to Look for in a Garage Air Conditioner
Garage air conditioners can be fixed or portable. Portable units can be positioned around your garage to maximize cooling in your work area. Many of these air conditioners can cool roughly 400-square-feet. When positioned correctly, a quality garage air conditioner should cool your home garage workspace without an issue. Things to consider when making your selection include setup, performance, efficiency, how much noise the unit makes, as well as any maintenance that the unit might need to keep it running optimally.
Though a more expensive option, the SereneLife Portable 4-in-1 Air Conditioner provides a lot of value for the price. With up to 350 square feet of coverage, it should have no issue cooling most garages. This versatile air conditioner comes with a remote and window mount for easy installation in a garage window if you’d rather permanently install it. It also has wheels, making it convenient to set up anywhere in the garage.
This is one of the smaller and more portable garage air conditioners. The unit comes with simple plugin operations and has four modes. In addition to being used as an air conditioner, it can also be used as a dehumidifier, fan, or heater. Making it useful even when the hot summer months are over. Its versatility makes it one of the more popular options on the market.
This high tech air conditioner is great for hot, dry environments. If you live in the Southwest or the Midwest United States, this air conditioner may be perfect for your garage. The energy-efficient portable unit also includes a compartment for ice, for an even cooler feel.
The Honeywell Fan and Humidifier comes equipped with a carbon dust air filter, remote control, low water alarm, energy-saving timer, and ice compartment. And you can use this unit as a humidifier during the dry, winter months making it versatile for year-round use.
The COSTWAY Air Cooler is a multifunctional portable garage air conditioner that can be used all season. It uses water evaporation to reduce the temperature in a room. The air conditioner also has an air-purifying function for clean, fresh air. While working in the garage on hot summer days, this air conditioner will do the job to keep you cool and healthy. Once the summer months are over, you can use its heater setting to warm the garage or other areas of your home.
Other features are an eight-hour timer, three fan modes and speeds, and a swing feature. To ensure freshness, be sure to regularly clean and change the filter. Also included are a honeycomb cooling pad and two ice-crystal boxes. The air conditioner is high tech with a user-friendly LCD display and remote control. With its compact size, it is easy to carry and store.
Great value for the price
Great for dry areas
A lot of maintenance required
Sometimes struggles to blow very cool air
4. Honeywell Indoor/Outdoor Evaporative Air Cooler
If you are looking for an air conditioner for indoor and outdoor use, Honeywell’s Indoor/Outdoor Evaporative Air Conditioner is the perfect addition to your garage. The unit churns out a fresh and powerful breeze. Its energy-efficient motor outlasts standard cool fan motors. This weather-resistant swamp cooler is great for large covered outdoor spaces and almost any garage.
Included is an ice unit and a water hose connection. The Honeycomb cooling pads promote longer and more efficient cooling, using water evaporation to reduce the temperature in a hot garage. The fan can be a bit loud, but if the air conditioner is being used in a garage or other outdoor space the noise shouldn’t be too noticeable. Best of all, it is built to last. The heavy-duty wheels make for easy transportation. The small unit is also easy to lift and store.
If you have a large garage, you may need a stronger air conditioner to cool your space. The compact Hessaire Portable Evaporative Cooler has up to 950 square feet of cooling coverage, making this powerful cooler a great option for a large garage. The unit features three fan speeds to ensure even distribution and maximum comfort. Additionally, it is very easy to operate and simple to maintain.
To fill the unit with water, there are two options. First, you can refill it manually. Second, if you have a hose close to the garage, you can hook up the hose directly to ensure continuous cooling. Once the garage is cool or if its cooling power is needed elsewhere, this portable unit is extremely easy to transport.
Can provide cooling in temperatures of over 100 degrees
Can cool large spaces
Can drop the temperature in a room by up to 25 degrees
If you have a small garage and don’t want a large air conditioner taking up space, this evaporative tower from Honeywell will do the trick. Best for small to medium-sized garages, it can cool up to 280 square feet. The unit is very compact and easy to transport and store.
The tower design allows air to be distributed quickly and evenly throughout the garage. It comes with a remote control, low water alarm, and an easy access water tank so it can be refilled as needed. In addition to evaporative cooling, the unit can also serve as a fan or a dehumidifier.
If you don’t need the 950 square feet of coverage offered by Hessaire’s larger evaporative cooler, this unit from Hessaire should fit the bill. With up to 600 square feet of coverage, it’s very portable and easy to move around your garage as needed. Though compact, it is still very powerful and can pump-out 300 cubic feet of air per minute.
This evaporative cooler has three fan speeds which ensure even distribution and plenty of cool air. You can control the fan, pump, and oscillation motors very easily. Like many swamp coolers, you have the option to hook it up to a hose for continuous fill. Or you manually refill the water tank.
Runs smoothly and quietly
Easy to move and maintain
Cheaper than traditional AC
Not built with highest quality materials
Rather expensive for the quality of build
8. Frigidaire Portable Indoor Outdoor Evaporative Air Fan and Humidifier
Best for small to medium garages, this unit can cool up to 350 square feet. Its wide-angle oscillating fan keeps fresh air moving, and its four fan speeds can provide up to 600 cubic feet of air per minute. Even with this level of power, the fan is quiet.
The compact design features a modern look. It is easy to transport and store. The unit can fit into tight spaces and would have no issue squeezing into a small garage. Its evaporative cooling function humidifies rooms and filters out dust and other particles. This leaves you with improved air quality and a cool garage.
Easy to install with no window hoses
No need to drain any condensation
Runs very quietly
High tech interface could lead to false readings of low water
With a multi-functional design, this air conditioner can also be used as a fan, air humidifier, or air purifier. DUOLANG’s unit is a great fit for most one-plus-car garages as the unit cools up to 322 square feet. The unit’s water evaporation adds humidity to dry air and releases a cool breeze. It is ideal for hot and dry climates.
This energy-efficient unit can even help you save some money on energy bills. It comes with a washable dust filter, a three-speed setting, a copper motor, and a 10.8-gallon water tank. You can enjoy close to a whole day of cooling before the unit needs to be refilled. Its compact size makes it an easy fit in any corner of your garage.
The Portacool Jetstream 220 is a strong, versatile air conditioning unit. With coverage of up to 700 square feet, this unit is ideal for medium to large garages. Its oscillating louvers deliver cool air when it is hot and needed the most.
Its compact size means you get easy transportation and storage along with powerful cooling. The unit’s size also makes it an excellent fit for tight spaces. The unit comes equipped with high-quality a refillable tank and a liquid level indicator with automatic pump shutoff for when the water level runs low.
Easy to move and store
Set up is easy
Cools large areas
Garage Air Conditioners Explained
When the weather gets hot this summer, consider getting a portable garage air conditioner. A unit, or two, is a fantastic investment to help cool your garage.
Why do I Need a Portable Garage Air Conditioner?
On a hot summer day, the last thing anybody wants is to walk into their 100-degree garage and get to work on projects. No one wants to get into a steaming hot car or touch a burning-hot steering wheel. If your garage doesn’t have central air conditioning, you can invest in a portable air conditioner. With a portable unit, you can keep your garage cool all summer long, making it easy to work on your car or on other garage-based projects.
How do I Know Which Kind of Portable Garage AC Unit is Best?
There are several different types of garage air conditioners on the market. One of the popular options is a swamp cooler. These units work best in low humidity and are great for hot, dry parts of the country. Swamp coolers, also known as evaporative coolers, often utilize tanks filled with water or sometimes ice. The evaporation of the water or ice cools the air that blows from the unit.
Depending on your model, evaporative coolers may need additional maintenance such as changing water filters and draining the unit at the end of the season. On some units, you will need to manually refill the water tank or you can look for a unit that comes with a hose attachment. The hose attachment will allow you to hook the unit directly into a water source so you don’t have to worry about manual refills.
For garages with windows, consider a window air conditioning unit. These units can be installed directly into the window or have a tube that goes out of the window and use fresh air from outside to cool the garage.
Things to Consider:
When considering what kind of portable garage AC unit is best for you, it’s important to know the size and layout of your garage as well as the type of cooling you would prefer.
The first question to ask is whether a garage air conditioner is worth it or not. Consider how hot it gets where you live. Also, how much time do you want to spend in your garage each day?
Finally, decide whether you want a simple air conditioner or something that can also work as a dehumidifier or a heater. There are plenty of multi-purpose units available that can be used year-round.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many square feet of cooling should I look for in a portable garage air conditioner?
It all depends on the size of your garage. The average garage size is about 18×20 feet or 360 square feet. Most of the units listed here can cover that area. Before making a purchase, be sure to measure your garage. Once you know your square footage, you can find a unit strong enough to cool your entire garage.
Can you dehumidify and cool at the same time with a portable garage air conditioner?
With many units, you can do both at the same time. However, some units only allow one setting to be used at a time. Be sure to read about the unit you are considering to see if both features can be used simultaneously.
If I have a window in my garage, what are my options for air conditioning?
While most portable garage air conditioners are on wheels and can move around the garage floor, some are window mounted. If you have a window in your garage, you can also consider the window style units. These types of units are generally more cost-effective and efficient, but lack the portability of other units. Think about what is best for your garage space and do the proper research before making your purchase.
Jake Starr is a rising junior at Penn State and is from just outside of Philadelphia. At Penn State, Jake is the News Director at the school's radio station. In addition, he serves as a writer for Penn State Athletics, covering multiple sports. Jake specializes in sports play-by-play, hosting, reporting, and feature writing amongst other things. He has an extensive writing background that he will bring to Autowise to provide the best content possible.