HVAC units are essential components of any room that you plan on spending a significant amount of time in, especially during the hot summer months. Therefore, selecting the correct HVAC is a decision not to be taken lightly. So how do you conclude which HVAC unit is best for your garage?
Here are a few tips to help you choose a garage HVAC unit:
- Check the dimensions of your garage.
- Consider your budget.
- Factor in the solar orientation of your garage.
- Assess your garage insulation.
- Ensure the HVAC matches your energy efficiency needs.
Keep reading this piece for a detailed guide on choosing the right HVAC system for your garage. We’ll go over all the crucial points mentioned above. By the end of this piece, you’ll be able to make an informed choice of which HVAC system is best for your garage.
1. Check the Dimensions of Your Garage
When figuring out which HVAC unit to get for your garage, you must first figure out how much space you want to cool down. For instance, installing an enormous HVAC is a waste of money if you have a rather small garage — larger units cost more to purchase and install.
On top of this, the more powerful your HVAC unit is, the more energy is required to operate the system. When your home consumes more energy, you’ll get higher energy bills. Therefore, choosing an HVAC system that isn’t excessively powerful is essential.
At the same time, choosing an HVAC unit that’s too small for your garage may lead to problems. If your air conditioner is too weak, it’ll take a lot of time to cool down or heat up your garage. Your garage may only cool in spots, and your air conditioner will likely be working overtime, accelerating wear.
Therefore you must choose an HVAC unit that’s the right size for your garage. To do this, you must take accurate measurements first. You’ll need to measure the length and width of the whole space.
Once you have these measurements, it’s time to break out your calculator. You need to multiply the length of your room by the width. Then you need to multiply this number by 25BTU. BTU is the measurement of the HVAC unit’s ability to cool a room. The higher the BTU rating on a system, the more space the HVAC unit can cool.
For example, if you have a garage that’s 10 feet (3.05 m) long and 10 feet (3.05 m) wide. The space is 100 square feet (9.29 sq. m). 100 multiplied by 25 is 2500. Therefore you’ll need at least 2,500 BTU on your HVAC unit to cool a space of this size.
Read: Why HVAC Is Important
2. Consider Your Budget
Whenever you want to invest in home improvements, you must consider your budget first. Investing in an HVAC unit for your garage is no exception. Ensuring that you choose an HVAC unit within your budget is essential as overpaying or cheaping out could leave you disappointed.
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If you’re on a tight budget, it’s worth exploring the cheaper options. If you splurge on a top-of-the-range model, it could result in a high purchase and installation fee. In contrast, if you’re not on a budget for your new HVAC unit, you should avoid cheaper models as their performance or efficiency will likely falter in comparison with high-end units.
To protect yourself financially and to ensure that you’re happy with your new HVAC unit, it’s worth figuring out how much you’ll need for the unit. After all, an HVAC unit can cost anywhere from $300 at the low-end to well over $4,000 for the best of the best. So, figure out how much you’re willing to spend.
3. Factor in the Solar Orientation of Your Garage
Another crucial aspect to consider when choosing an HVAC system for your garage is the position of the garage in relation to the sun. If a room receives a lot of direct sunlight, it’ll undoubtedly become warmer than a room that doesn’t receive as much sunlight.
Therefore, a south-facing garage or a garage that receives plenty of direct sunlight will require a more powerful HVAC unit to cool the room effectively. The opposite is true in winter. Therefore, you may have to purchase an HVAC unit with some extra BTU to ensure that the system can effectively cool down and heat up your garage.
In contrast, a garage that receives very little direct sunlight won’t require a powerful HVAC unit. Since the garage will be cool, less BTU is required from the HVAC unit. An HVAC unit with a lower BTU will also run cheaper than a more powerful option.
4. Assess Your Garage Insulation
Whenever you assess your heating or cooling requirements in a room or property, you must assess the insulation. Insulation is an essential component of how much energy is required to maintain a specific temperature in a room. Well-insulated rooms need less energy to heat or cool.
When your garage has poor insulation, the cool air released from an HVAC unit will quickly escape outside. Meanwhile, warm air from outdoors will seep into your garage and raise the temperature. Your HVAC system will then have to work overtime to ensure that your garage remains cool.
In contrast, a garage with plenty of high-quality insulation will be able to hold the cool air inside and keep the warm air outside. This will reduce the power needed from your HVAC unit and how long the system will need to run throughout the day.
Even if your garage has poor insulation, it’s cost-effective in the long run to invest in insulation. The added insulation will pay for itself in energy bills over time. If insulating your garage isn’t an option right now, you should purchase a more powerful HVAC unit to secure effective cooling in your garage.
Read: Does HVAC Use Gas?
5. Ensure the HVAC Matches Your Energy Efficiency Needs
Not all homeowners are concerned about energy efficiency. At the same time, others are determined to reduce their energy consumption for various reasons. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that different people will have different priorities regarding energy efficiency for their new HVAC unit.
If you’re concerned about climate change and wish to reduce the amount of energy you consume from fossil fuels, you’ll likely be eager to purchase an HVAC unit that scores high in efficiency. Similarly, if you’re determined to keep your utility bills low, an efficient HVAC unit is a great way to do so.
However, energy-efficient HVAC units are typically the more modern designs available. As a result, they tend to come at a higher price tag, making them far too expensive for many people to buy, especially since an HVAC unit will typically last about 15 to 20 years.
For example, you could purchase an inefficient HVAC system for $300 and pay a little extra on your utility expenses, depending on your usage. Or, you could spend $4,000 on a highly efficient model but make a proportion of the extra money back in savings on your energy bills.
It’s worth noting that not all expensive HVAC systems are super-efficient, and not all cheap HVAC units are inefficient, although this is usually the case.
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Getting an HVAC unit for your garage is easy if you know what to look for. You should assess your budget, check the dimensions of your garage, and then go from there.
Here’s what you need to do before choosing an HVAC unit for your garage:
- Estimate the size of your garage by floor area.
- Using floor area, calculate BTU required from the HVAC unit.
- Designate funds for your new HVAC unit.
- Consider factors that influence room temperature, like sunlight.
- Inspect the quality of the insulation in your garage.
- If possible, look for an energy-efficient model.