7 Best Garage Air Conditioners of 2023
Discover the best garage air conditioning solutions to fit your needs, including portable, window-mount, mini-split and swamp cooler systems.
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Air conditioning in a garage has multiple benefits beyond comfort. Garage air conditioning reduces the chance of hot air making its way from an attached garage into the house’s living space through the door or walls. Keeping your garage cooler can also help protect paint, chemicals, lumber or other sensitive materials from damage. Finally, a cool garage can make getting into and out of vehicles a more pleasant experience.
If you spend time in your garage—whether for working, working out, relaxing or creating—installing a garage air conditioner is a must in almost any climate. However, just as there are good and poor garage heaters, garage air conditioners vary in quality and abilities.
To help you choose the best garage air conditioning solution for your garage space, we’ve analyzed the top contenders and listed the best of them here.
The Best Garage Air Conditioning Solutions
- Best Overall: Whynter Portable Air Conditioner/Heater/Dehumidifier
- Best for Small Garage: Joy Pebble Portable Air Conditioner/Dehumidifier
- Best for Large Garage: DuctlessAire Mini Split Air Conditioner/Heater
- Most Quiet: Olmo Alpic Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner/Heater
- Best Portable: Black+Decker Portable Air Conditioner/Heater/Dehumidifier
- Best Window: Midea Window Air Conditioner
- Best Swamp Cooling: Cozzyben 3-in-1 Evaporative Cooler
Best Overall Garage Air Conditioning
Whynter Portable Air Conditioner/Heater/Dehumidifier
Our pick for the best overall garage air conditioner is the Whynter Portable Air Conditioner for its versatility and ability to meet most garage owners’ needs. This portable, 14,000 BTU air conditioner unit is capable of effectively cooling a two-car garage—but that’s just the start.
The Whynter can also act as a fan or a dehumidifier and includes a 13,000 BTU heater. The unit comes with everything you need for installation and operation, including a window kit, remote control and charcoal filter. The Whynter model may just be the perfect fit if you’re searching for an all-around solution in an easy and convenient package.
- Powerful air conditioner with heater and dehumidifier
- Four operating modes
- Automatic draining capability
- Adjustable exhaust hose and window kit
- Pricier than other models (but includes more features)
- Complex warranty details
Best Small Garage Air Conditioning
Joy Pebble Portable Air Conditioner/Dehumidifier
Air conditioning in a small garage can have its own challenges—and space is often the first that comes to mind. Enter the Joy Pebble Portable Air Conditioner. This 8,000 BTU air conditioner weighs in at just 40 pounds, and sports a footprint of just over one square foot.
While this model is available in three larger BTU units, the wallet-friendly pricing of this one—coupled with features you’d expect in more expensive appliances—makes it an excellent value for use in your smaller garage. The unit can also dehumidify without cooling and comes with a remote control and quiet sleeping mode for convenience.
The only downside is that the model uses a single hose for exhausting hot air. While that helps simplify installation, the unit will operate less efficiently than two-hose designs.
- Perfect size for single-car garage air conditioning
- Wallet-friendly pricing
- Easily portable
- Includes remote control and touchscreen
- Single hose design
Best Large Garage Air Conditioning
DuctlessAire Mini Split Air Conditioner/Heater
Large garages need large air conditioning and heating solutions, and the DuctlessAire Mini Split provides just that. This 24,000 BTU, ductless mini-split unit is large enough to cool a four-car garage and efficient enough—with a 20.5 SEER energy savings rating—to do it without breaking the bank.
In addition to providing both cooling and heating capabilities, the DuctlessAire model features a host of convenient options. Its built-in diagnostics can self-diagnose any issues as they arise, and its Wi-Fi capability allows for smart-home integration.
While the DuctlessAire DA2421-H2 comes with everything needed for installation, hiring a professional installer or electrician to run a new circuit is necessary to do the job.
- Large capacity and highly efficient appliance
- Heats and cools
- 20.5 SEER rating
- Wi-Fi compatible operation
- Built-in diagnostics
- Requires professional installation
Most Quiet Air Conditioning
Olmo Alpic Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner/Heater
Air conditioning units can be noisy. But the Olmo Alpic Ductless Mini Split has been touted by many reviewers for its incredibly quiet operation. But don’t let the lower noise level fool you—this unit generates an impressive 18,000 BTUs—enough to cool the air in a three-car garage under most circumstances.
Considering the cooling and heating power of this unit and the price of this unit compared to similar models, the Olmo Alpic also provides great value. And with a SEER rating of 16.8, it’s also an energy-efficient choice as well. Other impressive features include self-defrost, self-diagnosis, sleep mode, fan delay mode and a five-year compressor warranty.
Ductless mini split air conditioners are permanent systems that require professional installation. The OLMA runs on 208-230V electricity. So, your garage may also need an electrician’s service before installation.
- Very quiet operation
- Strong cooling and heating for price
- Self-defrost and self-diagnosis
- 16.8 SEER rating
- Generous hose and wire lengths for installation
- 5-year compressor warranty
- Requires 208-230V wiring
- Professional installation is required
Best Portable Garage Air Conditioning
Black+Decker Portable Air Conditioner/Heater/Dehumidifier
It can be challenging to find a portable AC unit efficient enough to keep things cool for those with garages larger than single-car setups. The Black+Decker Portable Air Conditioner is a 14,000 BTU unit that will likely do the trick.
In addition to powerful air conditioning, this 4-in-1 unit also has heating, dehumidifying and fan capabilities. This portable system also features top-mounted touch controls with LED display and a remote control for convenient operation. The unit also includes a two-hose intake and exhaust design for higher efficiency.
Our only concerns with this appliance are its short one-year warranty and its high electrical draw of over 11 amps on a 110V circuit. Consider plugging it into a 20A circuit if one is available, or adding one to the garage to avoid tripped breakers.
- Multi-function and high power in a portable design
- Four operating modes with remote control
- Two-hose design for efficiency
- Includes window kit
- Only 1-year warranty
- High electrical amp draw
Best Window Garage Air Conditioning
Midea Window Air Conditioner
Older garages may not have a window compatible with a window air conditioner. However, if your garage does, a window AC unit like the Midea Window Air Conditioner can be a convenient and out-of-the-way method for keeping your garage cool.
We particularly like this model’s U-shaped design, which allows you to close the window farther than traditional window units and allows you to easily lift the window to help vent the garage. The Midea is available in 8,000, 10,000 and 12,000 BTU sizes, all of which include Wi-Fi compatibility, quiet operation, sleep mode and timer function.
- Unique U-shaped window design
- Available in three sizes
- Wi-Fi compatible
- Extremely quiet operation of 32 dB(A)
- Compatible window necessary for installation
Best Swamp Cooling Garage Conditioning
Cozzyben 3-in-1 Evaporative Cooler
For those living in warm and dry climates, a swamp cooler may be the best bet for keeping a garage cool on hot days. We particularly like this 3-in-1 evaporative cooler from Cozzyben as it provides an inexpensive solution for your garage cooling needs. In addition to cooling, the unit also serves as a fan and dehumidifier. Plus it’s remote-control and portable, wheeled design means you can put it anywhere that’s convenient.
The Cozzyben 3-in-1 cooling fan blows 2,100 CFM of air over an evaporator, which contains a 5.3-gallon water capacity and four reusable ice packs to increase the unit’s cooling power. The evaporative cooler can only run for around 10 hours before needing a water refill—but that should be just enough to keep the garage temperature down through the hottest part of the day.
- Uses air and water to cool instead of Freon
- Humidifies dry air for increased comfort
- Inexpensive and energy-efficient compared to an AC unit
- Remote controlled
- Requires refilling for proper functioning
What to Look for When Buying a Garage Air Conditioner
Conditioning air in your home may not seem as unusual as cooling your garage. However, choosing a garage air conditioning solution is easier than it might sound. First, determine whether spending the money on garage air conditioning is worth it for you. The best air conditioning method, or one of the best garage heaters, for that matter, won’t mean much to you if it’s not a necessity.
Another consideration is how well your garage is insulated. If it’s not well-insulated, consider investing in that first to avoid wasting money on a larger AC than your garage needs. After those qualifications, consider the following factors to choose the garage air conditioning solution that’s right for your home.
- Garage Size: Ensure the BTUs or cooling power is sufficient for the size of your garage. Single-car garages require a minimum of 6,000 BTUs. Two-car garages need at least 10,000 BTUs.
- Heating Option: Determine whether you would benefit from also having heating capabilities in addition to cooling.
- Installation: Consider the ease of installation or professional installation requirements and costs.
- Price: Ensure the pricing—including purchase, installation and operating costs—fit your budget.
- Portability: Choose portability if you plan to move the unit seasonally or around the garage for other uses (for example, from the workshop to the garage gym).
- Energy Efficiency: Look for efficiency to save on energy bills, and consider how often your AC will need to operate.
Why You Should Trust Us
I worked in residential construction, contracting, remodeling, maintenance, and home repair for 30 years. My passion is to help find the potential hidden in the walls of every home and to provide the information and tools needed to take control of home repairs and remodeling pursuits.
How We Found the Best Garage Air Conditioning Solutions
Our resident expert and author has spent over 30 years in the home repair and remodeling industries and understands the importance of choosing the appropriate home systems to achieve the desired results. After pouring over details of numerous garage air conditioning brands and products, each one was evaluated and ranked using a variety of metrics to measure the competitors’ effectiveness, economics and practicality.
People Also Ask
What type of air conditioner is best for a garage?
The best type of air conditioner for a garage depends on your goals and budget. For heating and cooling a garage, nothing beats a mini-split system. However, portable air conditioners are less expensive and easier to install, and some can also offer heating capabilities. Window air conditioners are increasing in efficiency, and new designs allow them to fit more window sizes.
What size air conditioner do I need for a 2 car garage?
A two-car garage requires at least 10,000 BTUs for air conditioning. However, the final number must consider how well the garage is insulated, the regional climate and average temperature and how often the garage’s interior air is exposed to hot outside air.
What is the cheapest way to air condition a garage?
The cheapest ways to air condition a garage are to insulate well, allow natural venting, open the garage door to vent hot air occasionally, run a garage fan or install a properly sized air conditioner that fits your budget.