Having an air conditioner for a garage is essential for maximizing its usability and creating an environment conducive to your needs. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the steps you’ll take to ensure proper installation. Let’s begin!

Part 1: Assessing Your Garage

Determining the Size of the Garage

  • Measure the length and width of the garage. Use a tape measure to accurately measure the dimensions of the garage. Measure from wall to wall, taking into account any alcoves or protrusions.

  • Calculate the square footage. Multiply the length by the width to get the square footage of the garage. For example, if the garage is 20 feet long and 15 feet wide, the square footage would be 300 square feet.

  • Consider the height. Measure the height of the garage as well. This is important to determine the volume of air that needs to be cooled. Multiply the length, width, and height of the garage to get the total cubic footage.

  • Adjust for insulation and climate. Take into account the insulation levels of the garage. If it’s well-insulated, it may require less cooling capacity. Similarly, consider the climate in your area. Hotter climates may require more cooling power.

  • Consult a cooling capacity chart. Look for a cooling capacity chart or consult an HVAC professional to determine the recommended cooling capacity (measured in British Thermal Units or BTUs) based on the square footage and other factors.

Evaluating Insulation and Ventilation

  • Check for insulation. Insulation plays a crucial role in maintaining a comfortable temperature in the garage. Inspect the walls, ceiling, and doors for insulation materials such as foam panels, fiberglass batts, or spray foam. Note the type and condition of the insulation.

  • Assess gaps and air leaks. Look for any gaps, cracks, or openings in the garage structure that could allow air to escape or enter. Common areas to check include windows, doors, electrical outlets, and utility penetrations. Seal these gaps with weatherstripping, caulk, or foam insulation to improve energy efficiency.

  • Inspect garage door insulation. Evaluate the insulation properties of your garage door. Some doors come with built-in insulation, while others may require additional insulation panels. Determine if your garage door needs insulation upgrades to prevent heat transfer.

  • Consider ventilation options. Adequate ventilation is essential to control humidity, remove stale air, and prevent the buildup of fumes or pollutants. Evaluate existing ventilation systems such as vents, windows, or exhaust fans. Determine if additional ventilation is needed and plan for the installation of proper ventilation systems if required.

  • Seek professional advice. If you are unsure about the insulation and ventilation status of your garage or need expert recommendations, consider consulting an HVAC professional or insulation specialist. They can assess your garage and provide tailored suggestions for improving insulation and ventilation based on your specific needs.

Considering Electrical Requirements

  • Identify the electrical panel. Locate the electrical panel or breaker box in your garage. It is typically a metal box mounted on a wall or in a utility closet.

  • Determine the available amperage. Check the main breaker or the main fuse in the electrical panel to identify the total amperage available for your garage. This information is typically labeled on the breaker or fuse.

  • Calculate the existing electrical load. Calculate the total electrical load already in use in your garage. This includes lights, power tools, appliances, and any other electrical devices. Add up the amperage or wattage of each device to determine the total load.

  • Assess the spare capacity. Subtract the total load from the available amperage to determine the spare capacity of your electrical system. This spare capacity is necessary to accommodate the electrical requirements of the air conditioner.

  • Check the air conditioner’s electrical requirements. Review the specifications of the air conditioner you plan to install. Look for the required voltage, amperage, and wattage. Ensure that the electrical capacity of your garage is sufficient to handle the air conditioner’s electrical demands.

  • Consider necessary upgrades. If the spare capacity is insufficient to support the air conditioner, you may need to upgrade your electrical system. This may involve adding a new circuit, increasing the amperage of your panel, or consulting with a licensed electrician to ensure a safe and compliant installation.

  • Seek professional assistance. If you are unfamiliar with electrical systems or unsure about the electrical capacity of your garage, it is recommended to consult with a licensed electrician. They can assess your electrical setup, provide accurate information about capacity, and offer guidance on any necessary upgrades.

Part 2: Choosing the Right Air Conditioner

To choose the best air conditioner for your garage, follow these steps:

  • Assess your cooling needs. Determine the specific cooling requirements of your garage. Consider factors such as the size of the space, insulation levels, number of windows or doors, and the typical temperature in your area. This assessment will help you determine the cooling capacity (measured in BTUs) needed for efficient cooling.

  • Choose the appropriate type of air conditioner. Evaluate the different types of air conditioning systems suitable for garages, from the window air conditioner to the ductless air conditioner. Options include window units, portable units, through-the-wall units, or ductless mini-split systems. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of each type in terms of installation, efficiency, and cooling power.

  • Consider energy efficiency. Look for the best garage air conditioners with high Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) ratings. Higher ratings indicate better energy efficiency, which can help reduce electricity costs in the long run. Look for units with an ENERGY STAR certification for optimal efficiency.

  • Determine the suitable cooling capacity. Refer to the cooling capacity chart or consult an HVAC professional to determine the appropriate BTU rating for your garage. Undersized units may struggle to cool the space, while oversized units can lead to inefficiency and excessive energy consumption.

  • Consider additional features. Look for features that enhance convenience and comfort. This may include adjustable thermostat settings, programmable timers, remote controls, air filtration, dehumidification capabilities, or smart home integration.

  • Set a budget. Determine your budget range for purchasing and installing an air conditioner. Consider the initial cost of the unit, installation expenses, and potential long-term energy savings. Compare prices and features of different models to find the best balance between affordability and performance.

  • Read reviews and seek recommendations. Research customer reviews and seek recommendations from trusted sources. Reading experiences and feedback from other garage owners can provide valuable insights into the performance, reliability, and user-friendliness of different air conditioner models.

  • Consult with professionals if needed. If you have specific concerns or uncertainties, consider consulting with an HVAC professional. They can assess your garage, provide personalized recommendations, and ensure a proper installation.

By following these steps, you can select the best air conditioner for a garage that meets your cooling needs, fits your budget, and enhances your overall comfort and convenience.

Part 3: Preparing for Installation

Gathering the Necessary Tools

  • Tape Measure. Used for measuring the dimensions of the installation area and ensuring proper alignment.

  • Screwdriver Set. A set of screwdrivers, both flathead and Phillips, for removing or installing screws during the installation process.

  • Power Drill. Used for drilling holes for mounting brackets, running electrical wiring, or securing the air conditioner unit.

  • Level. A leveling tool to ensure the air conditioner unit is installed straight and even.

  • Pliers. Useful for bending and securing refrigerant lines, as well as making electrical connections.

  • Adjustable Wrench. Used for tightening and loosening nuts and bolts during the installation process.

  • Utility Knife. Handy for cutting insulation, removing packaging, or making precise cuts when needed.

  • Wire Strippers. Essential for stripping insulation from electrical wires before making connections.

  • Caulk Gun. If sealing gaps or cracks is necessary during installation, a caulk gun will be needed to apply caulk or sealant.

  • Safety Equipment. It’s important to prioritize safety, so be sure to have safety goggles, gloves, and a face mask to protect yourself during the installation process.

  • Ladder or Step Stool. Depending on the height of the installation area, you may need a ladder or step stool to reach and install the air conditioner unit properly.

Additionally, it’s important to have the specific installation instructions and manual provided with your mini split AC or ductless air conditioners. These instructions will guide you through the installation process and may indicate any additional tools or materials required for your specific model.

Clearing the Installation Area

  • Remove any obstacles. Start by clearing the area of any items, objects, or debris that may obstruct the installation process. This includes tools, storage items, furniture, or any other items that are in the way.

  • Create a clear workspace. Clear a sufficient space around the installation area to provide ample room for maneuvering and working comfortably. This will allow you to have easy access to the installation area and minimize any potential hazards.

  • Clean the area. Thoroughly clean the installation area, removing dust, dirt, or any other debris that may interfere with the installation or affect the performance of the air conditioner. Use a broom, vacuum cleaner, or a damp cloth to ensure the area is clean and free of any obstructions.

  • Check for obstructions and hazards. Inspect the area for any potential obstructions or hazards that may interfere with the installation or operation of the air conditioner. Look for protruding wires, sharp objects, or any elements that may pose a safety risk. Remove or address these issues before proceeding with the installation.

  • Ensure proper ventilation. If there are vents or air intakes in the vicinity of the installation area, ensure that they are not blocked or obstructed. Adequate ventilation is essential for proper functioning and efficiency of the air conditioner.

  • Secure loose or hanging items. Check for any loose or hanging items in the installation area, such as shelves, hooks, or cables, and secure them properly to prevent accidents or damage during the installation process.

  • Make space for condensate drainage. If the air conditioner requires condensate drainage, ensure that there is a clear path for the drainage pipe or tube. Clear any blockages or obstructions in the drainage path to allow smooth water flow.

Ensuring Proper Electrical Wiring

  • Familiarize yourself with local codes and regulations. Before proceeding with any electrical work, familiarize yourself with the electrical codes and regulations specific to your area. This will ensure compliance and safety throughout the installation process.

  • Determine electrical requirements. Review the electrical specifications provided by the air conditioner manufacturer. Take note of the required voltage, amperage, and any specific wiring instructions.

  • Assess existing electrical system. Evaluate the capacity of your existing electrical system to handle the additional load of the air conditioner. Ensure that your garage’s electrical panel has sufficient amperage and available circuit slots to accommodate the new air conditioner.

  • Plan the circuit layout. Determine the location of the electrical circuit that will power the air conditioner. Identify an appropriate circuit breaker in the electrical panel and plan the wiring route from the panel to the air conditioner’s installation area.

  • Gather necessary materials. Acquire the appropriate electrical materials, including electrical wire (typically 14 or 12 gauge), wire connectors, junction boxes, conduit (if required), and any necessary electrical tools.

  • Turn off the power. Prior to any electrical work, turn off the power to the garage at the main electrical panel. This ensures your safety while working with electrical components.

  • Install a dedicated circuit (if needed). If the air conditioner requires a dedicated circuit, install a new circuit breaker in the electrical panel and run the appropriate electrical wire from the panel to the air conditioner’s location. Ensure proper grounding as per local regulations.

  • Make electrical connections. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to connect the electrical wires of the air conditioner to the designated circuit. Use wire connectors to secure the connections and ensure proper insulation of the wiring.

  • Test the connections. Once the electrical connections are made, use a voltage tester to verify that the power is properly flowing to the air conditioner. Confirm that the voltage matches the specified requirements.

  • Secure and protect the wiring. Properly secure and protect the electrical wiring using conduit, cable clamps, or other suitable methods. This prevents accidental damage and ensures the longevity and safety of the electrical installation.

  • Consider consulting an electrician. If you are unsure about any aspect of the electrical wiring process or if you lack experience in electrical work, it is advisable to consult with a licensed electrician. They can ensure proper installation and adherence to electrical codes and regulations.

Part 4: Step-by-Step Installation Process

  • Choose the installation location. Select a suitable location on the wall or window of your garage where you will mount the air conditioner unit. Consider factors such as accessibility, proximity to electrical outlets, and clearance for proper airflow.

  • Measure and mark the installation area. Use a tape measure to determine the dimensions of the air conditioner unit. Mark the installation area on the wall or window, ensuring it aligns with the manufacturer’s recommendations and any local building codes.

  • Prepare the mounting surface. Clean the installation area and ensure it is free from dust, dirt, and debris. If required, apply any mounting brackets or hardware provided with the air conditioner unit according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Lift and position the air conditioner unit. Carefully lift the air conditioner unit and position it onto the mounting brackets or in the designated installation area. Ensure that it is level and properly aligned.

  • Secure the unit. Use screws or other appropriate fasteners to secure the air conditioner unit to the mounting brackets or the wall/window. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure a secure and stable installation.

  • Check for proper support and stability. Ensure that the air conditioner unit is securely attached and does not wobble or move excessively. Check for any signs of instability and make any necessary adjustments or additional fastening to ensure stability.

  • Insulate and seal any gaps. To prevent air leaks and improve energy efficiency, use insulation material or weatherstripping to seal any gaps between the air conditioner unit and the wall or window. This helps to minimize drafts and maintain proper insulation.

  • Verify proper drainage. If the air conditioner unit requires condensate drainage, ensure that the drainage system is properly connected and directed to a suitable drain or location. Confirm that the drainage system is functioning correctly.

  • Test the air conditioner unit. After mounting the unit, test it to ensure proper operation. Turn on the air conditioner, adjust the settings, and check for cool air output. Monitor for any unusual noises or issues and address them accordingly.

  • Consider professional assistance. If you are uncertain about the mounting process or need assistance with heavy lifting or securing the unit, it is recommended to seek help from a professional installer or technician.

Part 5: Troubleshooting and Maintenance

  • Regularly clean or replace air filters. Clogged or dirty air filters can reduce airflow and strain the air conditioner. Clean or replace the filters as recommended by the manufacturer to ensure efficient cooling and improve indoor air quality.

  • Check and clean the condenser coils. Over time, dust and debris can accumulate on the condenser coils, hindering heat transfer. Inspect the coils periodically and gently clean them using a soft brush or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment. Ensure the power is off before performing any maintenance.

  • Clear debris around the outdoor unit. The outdoor unit’s surroundings should be clear of leaves, grass, and other debris that can obstruct airflow. Regularly clean the area around the unit to allow proper ventilation and prevent overheating.

  • Inspect and clean the condensate drain line. Check the condensate drain line to ensure it is not clogged or blocked. If necessary, flush the drain line with a mixture of water and bleach to remove any buildup of algae or mold.

  • Check and tighten electrical connections. Regularly inspect the electrical connections to ensure they are secure and free from corrosion. Loose or faulty connections can lead to electrical issues and affect the performance of the air conditioner.

  • Monitor refrigerant levels. Low refrigerant levels can indicate a leak in the system, which requires professional attention. If you notice a decrease in cooling capacity or ice buildup on the evaporator coil, contact a qualified technician to inspect and recharge the refrigerant if necessary.

  • Test thermostat accuracy. Periodically check the accuracy of the thermostat by comparing the displayed temperature with an independent thermometer. If there is a significant discrepancy, recalibrate or replace the thermostat as needed.

  • Lubricate moving parts (if applicable). Some air conditioner models have moving parts that require lubrication to reduce friction and wear. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to determine if lubrication is necessary and the appropriate lubricant to use.

  • Keep the garage well-insulated. Adequate insulation helps maintain a consistent temperature inside the garage and reduces the load on the air conditioner. Insulate the walls, ceiling, and doors to improve energy efficiency and cooling performance.

  • Schedule professional maintenance. Consider scheduling annual maintenance with a qualified HVAC technician. They can perform a thorough inspection, cleaning, and tune-up of your air conditioner to identify and address any potential issues before they become major problems.

Part 6: Additional Considerations

Noise Reduction Measures

  • Choose a quiet air conditioner. When selecting an air conditioner for your garage, opt for models that are specifically designed to operate quietly. Look for units with low noise ratings or features such as sound-dampening technology.

  • Insulate the unit. Apply soundproofing materials or insulation around the air conditioner unit. This can help reduce vibrations and noise transmission. Use materials like acoustic foam, rubber pads, or sound-absorbing blankets to create a barrier between the unit and the surrounding surfaces.

  • Install vibration isolators. Use vibration isolators or anti-vibration pads under the air conditioner unit. These accessories help absorb and dampen vibrations, minimizing noise transmission to the surrounding structure.

  • Create a sound barrier. Build a sound barrier around the air conditioner unit using materials like plywood, drywall, or acoustic panels. Constructing a dedicated enclosure can help contain noise within the enclosure and reduce its impact on the surrounding areas.

  • Seal gaps and openings. Inspect the area around the air conditioner unit for any gaps or openings that may allow noise to escape. Seal these gaps with weatherstripping, caulk, or other appropriate materials to prevent sound leakage.

  • Install acoustic curtains or soundproofing drapes. Hang acoustic curtains or soundproofing drapes around the area where the air conditioner is installed. These curtains are designed to absorb sound and can help reduce noise propagation.

  • Consider a noise barrier wall. If feasible, build a noise barrier wall between the air conditioner unit and the rest of the garage space. This wall can be constructed using soundproofing materials and help isolate the noise generated by the air conditioner.

  • Use a remote condenser. If possible, consider using a remote condenser for your garage air conditioner. This allows the noisy components of the system to be placed outside the garage, minimizing noise within the garage space.

  • Position the unit strategically. Mount the air conditioner unit in a location that minimizes noise impact. Avoid mounting it directly against shared walls or areas where noise-sensitive activities take place.

  • Consult with professionals. If noise reduction measures are a significant concern, it may be beneficial to consult with professionals who specialize in soundproofing or HVAC systems. They can provide personalized recommendations based on your specific garage setup and noise requirements.

Air Filtration and Purification Options

  • Air filters. Install high-quality air filters specifically designed for air conditioners in your garage. Choose filters with a high MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating to effectively trap dust, pollen, and other airborne particles. Regularly clean or replace the filters as recommended by the manufacturer.

  • HEPA filters. Consider using HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters for enhanced filtration. HEPA filters can capture smaller particles, including allergens and some bacteria, providing cleaner and healthier air. Check if your air conditioner model is compatible with HEPA filters or consider using a standalone air purifier with a HEPA filter.

  • Electrostatic air filters. Electrostatic air filters use an electrostatic charge to capture and trap particles as they pass through the filter. These filters can be washed and reused, making them a cost-effective option for long-term use.

  • UV-C lights. Ultraviolet-C (UV-C) lights can be installed within the air conditioner unit or in the ductwork to help kill bacteria, viruses, and mold spores. UV-C lights work by emitting short-wavelength ultraviolet light that disrupts the DNA of microorganisms, rendering them unable to reproduce.

  • Air purifiers. Consider using standalone air purifiers equipped with advanced filtration technologies, such as activated carbon filters, ionizers, or photocatalytic oxidation. These devices can help remove odors, chemicals, and airborne contaminants from the garage air.

  • Air scrubbers. Air scrubbers are portable unit that use a combination of filtration and UV-C light to purify the air. They are effective in reducing pollutants, neutralizing odors, and improving overall air quality.

  • Ventilation systems. Enhance ventilation in your garage by installing exhaust fans or mechanical ventilation systems. These systems can help remove stale air, odors, and pollutants from the garage, improving indoor air quality.

  • Regular cleaning and maintenance. Keep your garage clean and dust-free through regular sweeping, vacuuming, and dusting. Minimize the accumulation of dirt, debris, and pollutants in the space to maintain better air quality.

  • Control humidity levels. High humidity can promote mold growth and compromise air quality. Use dehumidifiers to control humidity levels in the garage and prevent excess moisture buildup.

  • Professional advice. If air quality is a major concern or if you have specific requirements, consider consulting with HVAC professionals or air quality specialists. They can assess your garage, recommend appropriate air filtration and purification options, and ensure optimal performance.

Dehumidification Solutions

  • Air Conditioner’s Dehumidification Mode. Many modern air conditioners have a dehumidification mode or setting that removes excess moisture from the air while cooling. Activate this mode on your air conditioner to help reduce humidity levels in the garage.

  • Standalone Dehumidifier. Install a standalone dehumidifier in your garage to specifically target and control humidity levels. Choose a dehumidifier with a suitable capacity for your garage size and consider features such as adjustable humidity settings and automatic shutoff when the desired humidity level is reached.

  • Ventilation and Air Circulation. Improving air circulation in your garage can help reduce humidity. Ensure proper ventilation by installing vents or exhaust fans to remove stale air and bring in fresh air from outside. Consider using fans to promote air movement and help dry out damp areas.

  • Sealing and Insulation. Check for any gaps, cracks, or openings in your garage wall, windows, or doors that may allow humid air to enter. Seal these areas to prevent moisture intrusion and improve overall insulation, which can help regulate humidity levels.

  • Moisture Absorbent Materials. Place moisture absorbent materials such as desiccant packs, silica gel packets, or moisture absorber containers in strategic locations around the garage. These materials can help capture excess moisture from the air and reduce humidity levels.

  • Proper Drainage. Ensure that any water sources in the garage, such as leaks or condensate drainage from the garage AC unit, are properly addressed and do not contribute to excess moisture. Fix any leaks promptly and ensure that condensate drainage is directed away from the garage or into a suitable drain.

  • Monitor Humidity Levels. Use a hygrometer or humidity monitor to regularly check the humidity levels in your garage. This will help you identify any humidity issues and take appropriate actions to maintain a comfortable and moisture-free environment.

  • Professional Assessment. If you are experiencing persistent high humidity issues in your garage, consider consulting with HVAC professionals or moisture control specialists. They can assess your garage, provide tailored recommendations, and offer solutions to effectively address the humidity problem.


If you’re looking to transform your garage into a comfortable oasis, the guide above is your go-to resource for properly installing a window, ductless, or mini split air conditioner. With steps, tips, and insights listed above, we aim to empower you so you can create a cooler and more functional space.

So don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy year-round comfort in your garage. Read the guide above before getting the best garage air conditioners!



What kind of air conditioner do I need for a garage?

The type of air conditioner you need for a garage depends on factors such as the size of the space, insulation, and your cooling requirements. Options like window units, portable units, through-the-wall units, or ductless mini-split systems can be suitable choices for garage air conditioning.

Can you put an air conditioner in a garage?

Yes, you can install an air conditioner in a garage. Ensure that the garage has proper insulation, ventilation, and electrical capacity to support the air conditioner. It is also important to follow local building codes and manufacturer’s instructions for safe and effective installation.

What is the best way to add air conditioning to a garage?

The best way to add an HVAC system to a garage is to assess the size of the space, insulation, and cooling requirements. Choose a suitable air conditioner type, ensure proper installation with sufficient insulation and ventilation, and consider professional guidance if needed for optimal results.

Is portable air conditioner good for garage?

A portable AC unit can be a viable option for cooling a garage, providing flexibility and easy installation. However, their effectiveness may depend on the garage’s size and insulation. Ensure that the portable air conditioner has sufficient cooling capacity for the garage space and proper ventilation to exhaust hot air.

air conditioner for a garage