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Need to Air Condition a Garage? Consider Your Options

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

One of the easiest ways to increase productivity and enjoyment is to air condition a garage. The most common obstacle to cooling this space is getting it ready first, which usually involves adding a power outlet for the air conditioner and insulating the walls and ceiling or attic, followed by choosing the air conditioner you want. Options include:

  • Wall or window air conditioners
  • Portable cooling systems
  • Ductless mini splits

A portable or wall unit may work fine where summers are seldom hot, but larger, more efficient systems, like ductless mini splits, are usually the better long-term option to air condition a garage. 

Ductless systems are heat pumps that have high efficiency and will both cool and heat, extending your ability to use the garage year-round. They have two components: an indoor air handler that sits on the floor or hangs from the wall or ceiling and an outdoor condenser.

These systems connect with a conduit that carries the refrigerant, drainpipe and power. Instead of requiring a hole in the wall or a window opening, the mini split's conduit requires a round hole around 3 to 4 inches in diameter.

Smaller mini splits plug into a standard 115-volt outlet and larger units may require their own circuit. If you choose a larger system, you can connect up to four separate air handlers to it, giving you the ability to expand the system. 

How large the air conditioner or mini split needs to be depends on the cooling load. When HVAC professionals size cooling systems, they take into account the climate, building's size, layout and the heat generated inside, which is why it's critical to insulate the garage first. 

Installing a portable or wall unit doesn't require an HVAC professional, but if you opt for a mini split, you'll need to work with a licensed technician to keep the warranty for the system active. The expertise he or she brings will also help you select the best size and installation options. 

If you want to air condition a garage and would like more information about a high performance and energy efficient mini split, please contact your local Mitsubishi dealer

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