Is It a Good Idea to Crack Open Your Garage Door? | Garage Door Doctor
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Is It a Good Idea to Crack Open Your Garage Door To Keep Your Garage Cool in the Summer?

by | Jun 17, 2022

During the summer in Indianapolis, the temperature inside your garage can rise quickly. This high heat can lead to multiple inconveniences that make it worthwhile to try and keep your garage cool. One easy and obvious way to quickly cool your garage is to open its main door. Although this method is what many homeowners turn to, it’s important to ask if this method actually makes sense. To help keep your garage more comfortable this summer, the professionals at Garage Door Doctor offer their thoughts on this heat-busting technique.

How Hot Can It Get?

As a general rule of thumb, you can expect your garage to get about 20 degrees hotter than the ambient air temperature. Although this difference isn’t as significant as the difference between the interior and exterior of a car, it is enough of a difference to cause problems. Plus, if you bring a sun-warmed car into your garage, the heat from the car will radiate into the surrounding air, increasing the temperature of the air even more. Without any breeze or ventilation, it’s easy to see why working in a garage on a hot summer day can quickly get uncomfortable.

Potential Heat-Related Problems

Beyond simply being unpleasant, a hot garage can cause other problems. The heat in an attached garage is likely to find its way inside your home even if your access door is well-insulated. Over time, this can greatly increase the utilization of your air conditioner, resulting in increased energy usage and excess wear and tear on your HVAC system. Another problem with excess heat accumulation is that it makes the environment dangerous for pets. If you need to allow your dog to stretch their legs while you’re inside, you may choose to let them run around in your garage. Unfortunately, if your garage isn’t well-ventilated, the garage may be too hot for your pet, resulting in heat-related illnesses. High heat can also damage certain items that you may have stored in your garage.

Releasing the Heat

When people consider cracking the garage door, they do it to release the heat in their garage before it has a chance to accumulate. Unfortunately, a cracked garage door will not do much to keep your garage cool. The main reason it doesn’t do much good is that the gap between the garage door and the driveway will be low to the ground. However, since heat rises, the heat in your garage largely accumulates above this level, meaning that very little heat will have a chance to escape. If the wind is blowing just right, there is a small chance that some cooler outside air could find its way inside your garage. In general, though, cracking your garage door is an ineffective way to keep it cool in the summer.

Risks of Leaving the Door Open

Since cracking the door only a little bit isn’t an effective way to ventilate your garage, you may instead opt to leave your garage door open completely. Although this approach will help your garage stay cooler, there are some drawbacks to using this option. The biggest problem is that leaving your garage door open makes it vulnerable to intruders. Someone can easily come in and steal tools or other belongings in your garage if you step away for even a moment.

If your garage is connected to your house, an intruder may also be able to gain easy access to the rest of your home if you leave your garage door open. Plus, an open garage door allows bugs and small animals to come into your garage, potentially creating a dangerous situation. Finally, if it should start to rain, water can get inside your garage, causing damage to tools and other items.

Using Ventilation

While Garage Door Doctor can’t recommend leaving your garage door open to keep your garage cool, we can recommend some alternative ventilation methods. Rather than opening the main door, you can open one or more windows in your garage to improve ventilation. To further increase ventilation, you can place a box fan in each window to help draw in cool air and expel hot air. You can also install a ceiling fan in your garage to help move the air so that it feels cooler on your skin. If your garage has roof access, you can install an attic fan to draw the hot air up and out of your garage.

Adding Air Conditioning

If you like to spend a lot of time in your garage, a great long-term solution is to add a ductless mini-split air conditioner to transform your garage into the ultimate hangout. Before you install an air conditioner, though, Garage Door Doctor highly recommends that you insulate the walls and ceiling in your garage so the cool air doesn’t immediately escape. Although this is the most expensive solution, it’s also the option that helps create new ways to use your garage. A garage with air conditioning essentially becomes an extension of your home, providing a great place for large family get-togethers or family game nights. Plus, you can use a ductless mini-split system to keep your garage warm in the winter, providing year-round comfort for you and your family.

Insulated Garage Door

Although it won’t solve all your problems, an insulated garage door from Garage Door Doctor can do a lot to help keep your garage cooler. This is especially important if your garage gets direct sunlight at any point during the day. If your garage door isn’t insulated, the sun’s thermal energy will transfer directly into your garage. However, with an insulated garage door, the inside of the door will be significantly cooler than the outside, meaning that less thermal energy will transfer to the interior of your garage. If you’re planning on adding insulation to the walls and ceiling of your garage, an insulated garage door is a must-have add-on. Otherwise, you’ll be left with what is essentially a gaping hole in your insulation coverage, meaning that it will be much more difficult to keep your garage comfortable.

If an Open Garage Door Is the Only Option

There may be circumstances when you have no choice but to leave your garage door fully open to provide ventilation. While it’s not ideal, there are some steps you can take to overcome some of the risks of an open garage door. To keep out bugs and small animals, you can install a screen over your garage door opening that you can put in place when your garage door is open. This allows you to get full ventilation without worrying about unwanted visitors getting into your garage. For unwanted visitors of the human variety, you can put a motion-activated camera in place and focus it on the garage door opening. This will alert you immediately if anyone tries to enter without your permission.

Keeping You Safe and Comfortable

At Garage Door Doctor, we work hard to keep our customers safe and comfortable. That’s why we offer garage door installation and repair, garage door spring repair, garage door opener installation and repair, and much more. Since our founding more than 10 years ago, we’ve been working hard to exceed our customers’ expectations. That’s why we’re accredited by the Better Business Bureau and receive five-star customer reviews all the time. To learn more about improving the comfort of your garage, contact us at Garage Door Doctor today.