Once I purchased my first home, I realized that I needed to do my part in caring for my home appliances. In addition to reading the user manuals for my kitchen appliances and state-of-the-art plumbing system, I realized that I also needed to do a little research about HVAC. Because I had no experience with HVAC systems, I called out a professional to teach me a thing or two. It was fascinating to talk with him, and I was able to take notes about all kinds of important topics, such as maintenance, troubleshooting, and even shopping for a new system. This blog is all about understanding HVAC guidelines.
Temperatures inside residential garages can reach well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months, making them unbearable places for work or leisure. In addition, the hotter the garage, the more your living spaces are exposed to radiant heat, which makes your air conditioning work harder and more costly to operate. One way to reduce the heat load inside your garage is to add door vents to permit fresh air to circulate and keep the ambient air somewhat cooler. Below is how you can add ventilation to your garage at a low cost:
Tools and materials
1. Purchase vent registers - Vent registers are manufactured in a variety of grille configurations to permit airflow to directed into specific directions. For garage door applications, you will need to purchase one-way registers; these can be positioned so the grille louvers are aligned downward, thus preventing rain from intruding into the openings.
When planning the number of vent registers to install in your garage door, the width of the door will determine the ideal amount of vents. For a two-car garage door, install three vents on both the front and back sides of the door. For a single-car garage door, one or two vents on each side of the door is sufficient. For example, on a two-car garage door you will need to purchase and install a total of six vent registers, three on each side.
2. Decide on vent register placement - For best air circulation, place the vent registers at the bottom of the door on the lowest row of panels. This will permit cooler air to flow through the vents and fill the space vacated by the rising warmer air inside the garage. Space the vent registers evenly across the bottom of the door, and center each register in a flat space on the garage door; for aesthetic reasons, avoid placing registers on transition areas or creases in the sheet metal.
3. Lay out and cut vent register locations - Once you have decided where to install the vent registers, lay out 10-inch by 6-inch rectangles using a ruler and draw cutting lines with a thin-point magic marker. Next, drill a 1-inch diameter through the panel inside the middle of the rectangles using an electric drill and spade bit. For insulated doors, drill all the way through the foam insulation and through the opposite steel panel.
After drilling the hole, insert the tips of a pair of tin snips into the openings and cut along the lines that were drawn. If the door is insulated, cut out the insulation flush to the edge of the lines using a utility knife; use the tin snips to cut out matching rectangles on the opposite sheet metal panel. This will create continuous 10-by-6 rectangles that penetrate through the entire garage door.
4. Install and adjust vent registers in the openings - After you have cut out all the vent register openings in your garage door, insert the vent registers into the exterior side of the openings and attach them directly to the sheet metal panels using self-tapping sheet metal screws. Each register will be attached at the corners, and be careful not to damage the panel or strip the screw holes when installing the registers. In addition, don't forget to orient the registers inside the openings so the grille louvers are facing downward. For the inside of the door, install vent registers opposite of each exterior vent register; once again, be sure to position the louvers so they are also facing downward.
Once you have installed the vent, adjust the registers using the attached slider to permit maximum airflow in the summer and close the registers completely during the winter months to prevent cold air intrusion.
For more tips and options for ventilating and cooling your garage space, talk with local air conditioning contractors in the area.