How To Cool a Garage With a Fan the Right Way

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Nobody likes a hot garage, but thankfully, there are quite a few solutions to keep garages cool. One of those solutions is simple and cost-effective: use a fan. 

Contrary to what you may think, cooling a garage with a fan isn’t as simple as plugging in the fan, turning it on, and enjoying the cooler air.

You’ll need to have the correct type of fan(s) for your garage, place them strategically, and understand how to move cool air in and push hot air out of your garage. 

Let’s look at the steps to cooling your garage with a fan. Don’t worry – it’ll be a breeze!

Choosing the Right Fans to Cool Your Garage

If you’ve got a sweltering garage and want to cool it down with a fan, you first need to know your fans. As you’d probably imagine, there are different types. Those fans provide various methods of cooling when it comes to garages. 

There are three main types of fans used to cool garages:

Wall-Mountable Fans


Wall-mountable fans are just like their name implies: they’re fans mounted to the wall. These fans typically oscillate from side to side to move air horizontally through a garage. 

While wall-mountable fans are a more permanent fixture, they can still be positioned and set up to control the airflow strategically.

Ceiling-Mountable Fans


Ceiling-mountable fans are also like their name implies. They’re mounted on a garage ceiling and move air directly underneath them. 

A garage ceiling fan is just like the ones you may have in your home – they have long, horizontal blades that move around to circulate air. 

Garage ceiling fans ensure hot air isn’t trapped at the top of the garage, but they can’t be positioned and moved to control the airflow. 

Floor-Standing Fans


Floor fans come in all shapes, sizes, and heights, but they all operate roughly the same way. 

They are free-standing fan units that can be moved around to different areas. Like wall-mountable fans, floor-standing fans move air horizontally through a garage.

Floor-standing fans are the easiest type of fan to use to cool down a garage. They are comparatively inexpensive and can easily be moved and positioned to achieve the best air circulation. 

Garage Layout

Before you can cool your garage down with a fan – whether wall-mountable, ceiling-mountable, or floor-standing – you also need to know your garage.

Consider your garage’s features and layout – does it have an overhead door? Does it have a back door or any other entrances/exits? Does it have any windows? If it has windows, can those windows open?

The features and layout of your garage will determine how you need to position and space your fan(s) for optimum cooling

How to Cool a Garage with No Windows

Remember, every garage is different. This section describes how to place your fans if your garage has a large overhead door and no windows.

This method works best with two floor-standing fans, but you can achieve similar effects with one floor-standing fan or one to two wall-mounted fans. 

Most people think that to cool down your garage, you need to position a fan at the back of the garage to push the hot air out, but actually, the opposite is true.

Position Your Fan(s): Fan #1

To cool off a garage with an overhead door and no windows, you’ll want to position your fan right in front of the open overhead door, off to either side. Make sure your fan is facing so that air blows into the garage. 

Next, you should angle the fan so it’s somewhat facing the center of the garage.

This applies to both a wall-mounted fan and a floor-standing fan.

Position Your Fan(s): Fan #2

This method also works if you’ve got an extra fan lying around or want to increase airflow with multiple fans. Take the second fan and position it on the direct opposite side of the first fan. However, you want to ensure your second fan is facing to blow the air out of the garage.  

Again, the positioning is the same whether you’re using wall-mounted or floor-standing fans.

If you can adjust the height of either fan, adjust your first fan (blowing air into the garage) to aim lower than the second fan (blowing air out of the garage). 

When the second fan is positioned higher, it catches the hot air as it rises and pulls it out of the garage.

How to Cool a Garage with Windows

If your garage has both an overhead door and a window (or several), you need to make some adjustments. However, the basic principle is the same as the method outlined above. 

Make sure the windows in your garage can actually open. You’ll want to refer to the first cooling method if they can’t.  

The idea is still the same – you want to bring cool air in and push hot air out. 

To properly position your fan(s), look at the layout of your windows in relation to your overhead door. If the windows are on the back wall (opposite the garage door), you’ll need a different setup than if they were on the side walls. 

Position Your Fan(s): Fan #1

Your first fan should again be the fan that brings cold air into the garage. For this cooling method, you might position the fan in the same place as the above method. However, you might not. 

Consider where the shadiest and coolest part of your garage is. That’s where your first (or only, if you’re only using one fan) fan should be positioned. 

When placing a fan on either side of the overhead door, angle it to blow air towards the open window(s). Choose whichever side of your garage is shadier/cooler.

If your garage has windows at the back, position your first fan at the front of your garage on whichever side is shadier/cooler. Then, angle it to push airflow directly towards the rear windows.

Position Your Fan(s): Fan #2

This method will still work with only one fan, but if you want to implement it with two, that’s even better. 

Your second fan should be positioned in front of the window or other opening so that it can pull hot air out of the garage. 

If you have windows at the back of the garage, position the fan facing outside at the front of your garage, forcing air to circulate outside. 

Again, if you can make the second fan higher than the first fan, do so. It’ll push out more hot air as the hot air rises. 

Other Ways to Keep Your Garage Cool

Fans are a quick, simple, and relatively inexpensive way to cool your garage. However, if it’s not already cool outside, your fans can only help keep your garage cool if they are in use.

Here are some other garage cooling ideas for when you’re not using fans.

Cooling OptionPortable or Permanent?Benefits
Window or wall AC UnitPermanent – Long-lastingEasily cools off smaller garages; lasts a long time
InsulationPermanent – Long-lasting Keeps cold (or hot) air in the garage for longer
Portable Air ConditionerPortableEasily cools off garages without needing a permanent installation
DehumidifierPortableRemoving humidity can make conditions more comfortable and easier to cool 
Attic VentsPermanent – Long-lastingAllow hot air to escape through the attic when it rises

If you want better cooling than a garage fan can give you, the next step is to look at air conditioning.

But can you really cool your garage with a portable air conditioner? I’ve already tackled that question, and you can find the answer by clicking on the link above.

I also discuss whether you should air condition your garage in the first place. Either way, you’ll get some great info to help point you in the right direction.

Check out my ultimate buyer’s guide article if you’re shopping for a garage fan. It’s full of everything you need to know to get the best garage fan without spending a fortune!

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Tim Wells

Tim Wells, the founder of Garage Transformed, has been featured in dozens of home renovation publications, including, Home Stratosphere, House Digest, Livingetc, and SFGate. Since 2018, he has helped over two million people transform their everyday garages into something they can be proud of. He lives in Central Florida with his wife and bulldog.

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