Best Garage Air Conditioners 2023: Top Picks & Buying Guide

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Shopping for a garage air conditioner? 

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The garage is one the hottest places inside any home, especially without windows. Working under such conditions can make you feel miserable.

A good air conditioner can help keep the room cool and comfortable in this situation.

Many garage air conditioners are available, ranging from small portable units to large window-mounted units.

Several options are available for cooling your space, including portable, window, ducted mini-split, and evaporation.

Let’s look at some of the top options in the market.

Our Top 3 Picks

What's in This Guide

We’ve reviewed the best garage air conditioning systems sold today for various sizes and situations.

After reviewing the models, we provide a short buying guide to help you choose the right one for your garage.

Table of Contents

Best Garage Air Conditioner Units

All links below go to Amazon.com

best garage air conditioner
  • Senville SENL-24CD Mini-Split 24,000 BTU

  • Best Overall

  • Type
    Mini-Split AC

  • Coverage Area
    Up to 450 square feet

  • BTUs
    24,000

  • Heating
    Yes

  • Remote Control
    Yes

best garage air conditioner
  • Shinco 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

  • Best For a 1-Car Garage

  • Type
    Portable AC

  • Coverage Area
    Up to 200 square feet

  • BTUs
    8,000 BTUs

  • Heating
    No

  • Remote Control
    Yes

Hessaire MC37M Evaporative Cooler
  • Hessaire MC37M Evaporative Cooler

  • Best For a 2-Car Garage

  • Type
    Evaporative Cooler

  • Coverage Area
    Up to 950 square feet

  • BTUs
    3,100 CFM

  • Heating
    No

  • Remote Control
    No

best garage air conditioner
  • Rosewill 12,000 BTU Portable AC+Heater Combo

  • Best Air Conditioner + Heater Unit

  • Type
    Portable AC

  • Coverage Area
    Up to 300 square feet

  • BTUs
    12,000

  • Heating
    Yes

  • Remote Control
    No

best garage air conditioner
  • MIDEA 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner

  • Best Smart/Connected Garage AC

  • Type
    Portable AC

  • Coverage Area
    Up to 200 square feet

  • BTUs
    10,000

  • Heating
    No

  • Remote Control
    Yes

best garage air conditioner
  • Whynter ARC-14S

  • Best Portable AC for a Garage

  • Type
    Portable AC

  • Coverage Area
    Up to 500 square feet

  • BTUs
    14,000

  • Heating
    No

  • Remote Control
    Yes

best garage air conditioner
  • MIDEA U Inverter

  • Best Window AC for a Garage

  • Type
    Window AC

  • Coverage Area
    Up to 350 square feet

  • BTUs
    8,000

  • Heating
    no

  • Remote Control
    Yes

best garage air conditioner
  • Pioneer WYS018G-19

  • Best Mini Split AC for Any Size Garage

  • Type
    Mini-Split AC

  • Coverage Area
    Up to 450 square feet

  • BTUs
    18,000

  • Heating
    Yes

  • Remote Control
    Yes

best garage air conditioner
  • Portacool Jetstream

  • Best For a Garage with No Windows

  • Type
    Evaporative Cooler

  • Coverage Area
    1,125 Square feet

  • Airflow Rate
    1,125 CFM

  • Heating
    No

  • Remote Control
    No

The Senville SEN-L24CD Mini-Split AC is a powerful air conditioner for your garage. It provides 24,000 BTUs of cooling power for garage space of up to 450 square feet.

It can do even more than that. It has four functions: cooling, heating up, dehumidifying and air circulation.

PROS

CONS

Our Review

Best Features 

BTUs and Coverage Area

This mini-split air conditioner from Senville is sleek and powerful. The SENL-2x4CD incorporates a compressor design engineered for powerful performance. It generates up to 2400 BTUs per hour so that it can cool a garage as big as 450 square feet.

Dual-Function
SENL-24CD also stands out for its 4-in-1 functionality. You can use it to heat up during the cold winter by reversing its operation. And there are humidifiers and fan-only settings for versatile use.
Quiet Operation

We also liked this system because it was quiet and noiseless. It emits about 34 dB of noise at its lowest speeds, even lower than whispering. It produces about 48 dB of noise at its highest speeds, which is negligible.

Limitations and Issues

This mini-split air conditioner may not be the best choice for everyone because of its higher price tag. It’s not only expensive but there are also additional installation costs to consider.

Specs

Editor's Rating
4.7/5

#2

Best For a 1-Car Garage

This Shinco portable air conditioner is an excellent choice for anyone with one car garage because of its powerful cooling output.

It generates about 8,000 BTUs to keep a single-spaced garage of 200 square feet cooled.

The multi-direction venting system spreads the cool air in every direc­tion, ensuring that your garage stays cool in as little as eight minutes.

PROS

CONS

Our Review

Self-evaporative cooling uses a bucketless design, which means all the water it extracts is evaporated and reused to cool the system. The remaining moisture is then expelled through the exhaust pipe, and the generated heat is released through the vent hose. Manual draining is not necessary.

Quiet Operation Shinco Air Conditioner boasts a quiet operation. It emits less than 50 decibels of noise when running at full speed, making it the perfect choice for a garage.

Limitations and Issues

The most common complaint against this Shinco unit is its limited speed range.

There is only a high, a medium, and a low.

Specs

Editor's Rating
4.2/5

#3

Best For a 2-Car Garage

Here is an evaporative cooler model for your 2-car garage. The Hessaire MC 37M is a powerful unit with 3,100 CFM air flow and 950 square feet of coverage.

It supports manual and continuous fill and operates on three different fan speeds.

PROS

CONS

Our Review

High Airflow and Coverage Area

This evaporative cooler by Hessaire is the best choice for people with two-car garages because it has a large coverage area. It produces about 3.1 CFM of airflow to cover areas up to 950 square feet. The oscillating louvers help in covering such a large area silently and efficiently.

Weight and Portability

It also has an extremely portable design. It weighs around 40 lbs and has heavy-duty, 360-degree caster wheels, making it very easy to move around. And the top cup holder makes a good resting place for drinks.

Fill options MC37M support two different modes of water filling. You can fill its built-in 1.5-gallon water tank with water. You can also use the garden hose attachment to provide a continuous water supply.

Limitations and Issues

Its biggest limitation is its inevitable humidity. The unit uses evaporation technology for cooling; hence, the air blowing out is cold and moist.

Specs

Editor's Rating
4.4/5

#4

Best Air Conditioner + Heater Unit

This compact portable AC by Rosewill is a powerful unit for year-round use.

It can cool, warm, humidify, and circulate the inside air of your garage to create a pleasant environment. It produces about 12 kilowatts (kW) that can cover up to 3,000 square feet.

PROS

CONS

Our Review

The best thing about this device is its various modes of operation. You can use it for cooling, heating, dehumidifying, or circulating air. And, an energy-efficient power-saving mode ensures quiet operation at night.

Leakage-current detection and interruption feature. This model has leakage current detection and interruption feature. This safety feature detects leaks and automatically shuts off the power supply to avoid fires.

Limitations and Issues

Despite being a compact unit, this one weighs a lot. Some users reported difficulty lifting and moving at 71.4 pounds.

Specs

Editor's Rating
3.9/5

#5

Best Smart/Connected Garage AC

The Midea Smart Air Conditioner is a Wi-fi-enabled device that you could easily integrate into your smart-home network. It has a high output of 10,000 Btu’s and can cool a garage up to 300 square feet

PROS

CONS

Our Review

Wi-Fi Connectivity

This smart air conditioner supports Wi-Fi connectivity so that you can operate it easily. You can pair it up with the Midea Air app on your smartphone or use voice commands to control its settings. It works with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Reusable Filter

Another notable feature of the device is its air purification feature. It comes with a reusable filter that can be washed and re-installed. It filters out major pollutants, creating a healthier living space for you to breathe in

Multiple Operation Modes

It can operate in 5 different modes. There are three basic modes: cooling, air circulation, dehumidification, and advanced modes like sleeping and eco modes. These modes help keep your room at a comfortable temperature while reducing your energy bills.

Limitations and Issues

The biggest limitation users experience with this appliance is the lack of connectivity between the MideaAir mobile app and the MideaAir smart device. Some customers have complained that the app loses track of their devices, reporting them as offline.

Specs

Editor's Rating
4.2/5

#6

Best Portable AC for a Garage

Here is another portable air conditioner for your garage.

The Whynter AR-C14S is a powerful air conditioner with a 14,000 Btu output, dual hose design, and self-evaporative function.

It also comes with a carbon filter to ensure better indoor air quality.

PROS

CONS

Our Review

Dual Hose Design

Unlike most portable air conditioners, the Whynter Arc-14S boasts a double hose design. One of the hosings brings in the cool air outside, which the system then uses to cool down the coil.

The resulting hot air is then exhausted outside via the second hose. Doing so improves both the performance and cooling speed of the unit.

Activated Carbon Filter

This garage AC has an automatic two-stage air filter system to keep the garage clean and healthy. The washable pre­filter is designed to prevent air pollution from entering.

Meanwhile, the activated charcoal filter absorbs smaller particles to remove lingering odors from your garage.

Limitations and Issues

The most common complaint regarding Whynter ARC- 14S is the close proximity of its hose outlets.

Because no physical barrier separates them, some hot air could get into the system, potentially compromising efficiency.

Specs

Editor's Rating
4.2/5

#7

Best Window AC for a Garage

The Midea inverter AC was a game-changer for the window AC market. It is suitable for any type of window. It has a quiet operation that produces about 8,000 BTUs per hour.

PROS

CONS

Our Review

U-shaped design

The best thing about the Midea window air conditioning unit is its innovative U-shape design. It features a notch at its center to fit window panes and effectively keep the compressor’s noise outside. It lets you open the window whenever you feel like it.

Inverter technology

This unit has been thoughtfully designed with an inverter for even more energy-efficient and whisper-quiet operation. This inverter converts AC power from the wall socket into DC power for use by the device. Using this current, the device operates at different speeds than regular on and/or off modes, resulting in a more efficient and smoother operation.

Noiseless

The inverter technology works very well to create a tight seal between the compressor and the garage walls. At its lowest speed, it emits just 42 decibels of sound.

Limitations and Issues

Despite being uber attractive, this Midea oven is heavy. With most of the weight towards its backside, the lift requires an extra set of hands to lift and install.

Specs

Editor's Rating
4.5/5

#8

Best Mini Split AC for Any Size Garage

If you’re looking for a mini-split AC for cooling your garage, the WY-S018G-19 from the Pioneer line is a powerful unit for just about any garage size.

It has a high heat output producing about 18,500 cooling and heating BTUs, equivalent to about 18,000 cooling BTUs.

It can heat and/or cool any garage measuring up to 450 square feet in size

PROS

CONS

Our Review

Space-Saving Design

Pioneer WYS018-19 is a sleek, stylish air conditioner. It’s easy to install and saves a lot of your floor space. And plus, the sleek and stylish appearance looks good almost everywhere.

Dual Function Support

It has a lot of features, including dual-function support. It can also be used to heat your garage during the winter months. You can adjust it to run on humidifiers and ventilation modes for extra comfort.

Limitations and Issues 

Requires professional installation. That means extra costs to most buyers as not everyone has the skills and equipment needed to install solar panels.

 

Specs

Editor's Rating
4.4/5

#9

Best For a Garage with No Windows

The Portacool jetstream is a powerful evaporative cooling option for keeping your garage cool and humid.

It produces about 4.5 thousand cubic feet of cold air with its KUL Comfort evaporative media that keep areas up to 1,250 square feet cool.

PROS

CONS

Our Review

Powerful Cooling Performance

This evaporative cooler can cover large garage spaces. It has a high 5,000 CFM air delivery rate which easily cools and humidifies areas up to 1,125 square feet.

Low-maintenance

Portacool cooler is equipped with Kul Comfort evaporative media, the highest-quality evaporative media available and made in the USA.

It has a larger drainage hole for easy and effective maintenance

And, the liquid level indicator with automatic pump shutoff prevents leaks and malfunctions.

Limitations and Issues

The most common issues people report about this device are its loud volume and bulkiness.

At 155 pounds, the unit is one of the heaviest on this list. And, the 65 – 76 dB noise output level can be too loud for some buyers.

Specs

Editor's Rating
4.2/5

Buying Guide: Garage Air Conditioners 

Sizing A Garage Air Conditioners

best garage air conditioner

To properly size an air conditioner for your garage, you first need to find out how big your garage is. Here is a quick guide to help you find a properly sized garage air conditioner:

  • 1 car garage – 8,000 BTUs
  • 2 car garage – 12,000 BTUs
  • 3 car garage – 16,000 BTUs
  • 4 car garage – 20,000 BTUs

Types of Garage Air Conditioner Units

There are a variety of garage air conditioners available. We’ve rounded up the ACs that are most commonly used for cooling garages.

Window Air Conditioner

Garage window air conditioners are permanent units installed over the windows in your garage. They are more suitable for a garage with full-sized windows but can also be mounted through the wall.

Portable Air Conditioner

Portable air conditioners don’t require any permanent installations. You can put them anywhere in the house.

Evaporative Cooler

Evaporative cools use water evaporation to cool down the area where they are used. They use a powerful blower to blow hot air through wet pads. Because the water evaporates, the air becomes cooler, and the fan blows into the garage.

Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner

There are three main types of garage air conditioners. They come as a set of evaporative and condensing units split into two parts for easy installation and ventilation.

Blower Fan

Blowers are the most robust garage cooling options. It is a small, portable device that blows a strong air stream to keep you cool and comfor­table.

Features That Matter

best garage air conditioner

There are many types of garage ACs, so here are some features that should be prioritized during your purchase:

BTUs / Room Size

The BTU output of an air conditioner is directly proportional to the square footage of your garage. First, measure its area. Multiply its length and width together.

The value you get is the square footage of the garage. Use this estimate to find the equivalent BTU rating for the unit.

Type of Unit

There are various types of garage air conditioners available for sale. Consider your application and air circulation options carefully and choose the best suits your situation.

Air Filtration

Because most garages are poorly vented, their air tends to be more polluted than the rest of the house. Choose a unit with high air filtration properties so that it has better air quality.

Weather Protection

Window and mini-split air conditioners need weather protection. Since one part of the unit sits out of the garage, you should ensure it is strong enough to withstand various weather conditions without causing any damage.

Weight & Portability

Size matters for portable air conditioners, evaporative coolers, or blower fans. These devices are not fixed, so you can easily use them anywhere in your house. Lightweight units are easier to install than heavy ones.

Ventilation

Ensure you have adequate ventilation before buying these because poor ventilation can decrease efficiency. Choose a mini-split air conditioner because they’re convenient.

Dehumidifier Capacity

Not all garage air conditioners are capable of dehumidifying the space. If you choose an air conditioner, it will increase the humidity in your garage’s atmosphere.

Evaporative coolers aren’t recommended if high humidity levels are an issue in your garage. Choose window, mini-split, or portable air conditioners because they have higher dehumidification capacities.

Dual Function (Heat + Cool)

If your garage gets uncomfortably hot or cool during different seasons, then an air conditioner with heating and cooling functions should be your choice. It will keep a garage-like ambiance throughout the year.

Noise Level

Different types of garage air conditioners emit different amounts of noise. If the hum of the compressor is annoying for you, consider getting an air conditioner with low noise output. The noise level is measured in decibels in a specification list. Your target should be a model with around 50 decibels.

Remote Control & Apps

If you want to control your garage air conditioner inside the garage, a remote-controlled unit should be your choice.

If you want to be able to adjust the settings of an air conditioner even when away from home, smart air conditioner models with mobile app support are just what you need.

Programmability & Other Features

Other useful features in a garage air conditioner include a timer function, eco mode, safety auto shut-off, adjustable fan speeds, Wi-Fi connectivity, and so on. The more features your device has, the easier it will be to use it.

Properly Ventilating a Garage AC

best garage air conditioner

Not having adequate ventilation options is why most people don’t install a garage air conditioner.

However, if your carport tends to get very hot and you spend most of your time there, an AC unit for your carport is inevitable. What are the different types of vents you have available for various garage ACs? Take a look!

Mini-Split AC

Mini-split air conditioners are generally considered the best for any garage because they’re easy to install. They come with dedicated air filters that you can install outside your garage for adequate ventilation.

Portable air conditioners come with a mounting kit that you can use to install them over a window.

Since most garages lack a full-sized window or ventilation system, you can use an external wall, the garage door, or small glass windows to exhaust the unit.

Window AC

If you have a large window in your garage, choose an air conditioner with a window unit.

Either way, the exhaust side of your air conditioner will face outwards, so you won’t need to take any special steps to vent it.

How to Increase Garage Air Conditioner Efficiency

If your garage is well insulated, your garage air conditioning unit can cool it down.

If it isn’t insulated, you’ll need to prevent efficiency hindrance. Here are some things you can do to improve the efficiency of your garage AC unit:

Garage Door

During the day, garage doors absorb the greatest heat, forcing the air conditioner to work harder to cool the house.

Insulated garage doors are a good way to keep heat out of your garage. Installing insulation strips around your garage door will help your air conditioner run more efficiently.

Ceiling

Heat can also get into your house through the roof. You should install rolled insulation over the garage, so this doesn’t happen again. It will keep the hot air out, ensuring your house stays cool.

Walls

Insulating the garage wall is also a great way to improve the performance of an air conditioning unit.

Since it can be expensive, start with the walls receiving the most sunlight and then target the shaded walls. This will help keep your garage cool during the summer, so your garage air conditioner can run more efficiently.

Windows

Note: Windows contribute to only a small percentage of the heat entering your garage. You can consider covering your bed with a sheet of plywood or blackout curtains. Blocking the light will prevent the accompanying heat from entering.

Garage Air Conditioner Maintenance

best garage air conditioner

The most important maintenance activity to ensure efficient air conditioning (AC) performance is to clean the filter regularly. A clogged filter restricts airflow to the coils resulting in decreased efficiency.

You should then clean its coils. Both the evaporator coil and condenser coil tend to collect dirt.

If left unclean for too long, this dirt will insulate the coil and reduce its capacity to absorb heat. Clean the dirt around the coils, so they have enough airflow.

You should also check if the fins on the coils are bent and block the airflow. Use a fur brush to brush them back into their original positions.

Dirt can sometimes collect inside the drain channels. When this happens, it doesn’t reduce humidity. Inserting a stiff wire into the drain channels occasionally helps prevent clogging.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which type of air conditioner would be best for a garage?

We believe mini-splits are the best air conditioning type for a garage.

They are convenient, easy to install, and powerful enough to produce up to 30,000 Btus, which is more than sufficient for any size room.

Are portable air conditioners good for a garage?

You can technically use a portable air conditioner in a garage, but its cooling performance may suffer because it requires you to vent out. You might get bad results, and you’ll be disappointed with them.

What size AC unit do I need for a 2-car garage?

A typical two-car garage measures around five hundred square feet in size. To cool such a room, you’ll need powerful air conditioners to generate up to 2,000 BTUs.

How much does it cost to install an air conditioner in a garage?

It depends on the garage air conditioning system you’re looking for. Most window air conditioners and portable ones are easy to install yourself.

If you decide to buy a ductless air conditioner, be prepared to pay between $250 and $750 for the handyman you hire to install it.

How to vent a portable air conditioner in the garage?

If you have a regular sliding door in your garage, installing an air conditioner won’t be too difficult. If you don’t, ventilating through the roof or wall will be a good alternative.

Is Cooling Your Garage with Air Conditioning Expensive?

The total cost of heating or cooling your garage depends on its size, the level of insulation, and the unit’s efficiency.

So, while the exact cost varies from place to location, running an air condition­er generally costs between $6 and $8 per hour.

Do You Need an Air Conditioner in Your Garage?

If you spend considerable time in the garage and consider it another room, installing an air conditioner there makes perfect sense.

How Many BTUs To Cool A Garage?

To determine the right BTU for your space, measure the size of your garage first.

A typical two-car garage should measure somewhere around 20 × 20 feet. According to Energy Star statistics, a 400-square-foot space requires a 9,500 to 10,500 BTU generator.

Best Garage Air Conditioners – should you get a portable AC or mini-split?

Mini-split air conditioners are better than portable air conditioners for performance and appearance.

Portable air conditioners take up valuable floor space and require a dedicated window for ventilation, so they’re best avoided if possible. On the one hand, mini-splitting may have a high upfront cost; but its convenience makes up for the cost.

Final Verdict: What is the Best Garage Air Conditioner?

Working in a hot garage can be a tough job. A good garage AC will keep you cool and comfortable during hot summer days. After carefully surveying our market, we believe the SENVILLE SENL-24CD MINI-SPLIT 24,000 BTU is the best garage AC, a mini-split with powerful cooling output and extra heating functions.

If your garage is bigger, go for the Hessaire MMC37M Evaporative Air Conditioner. This evaporative cooler can cover areas up to 950 square feet, providing fresh, cool air to fight the dry heat.

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