Atlas AC Repair, LLC

Best Garage Air Conditioner in 2022

Garage air conditioner Types

Garage AC System Average Cost
  • Garage Mini-Split System: $3,900
  • Garage Window AC Unit: $400
  • Garage Central Air System: $6,000

Quick Overview of the different Garage AC units

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A quick and easy way for a homeowner to add more functional square feet to their home is by converting the garage to an air-conditioned space. There are a few different ways to get the job done but the question is, what is the right solution for you?

Let’s start with mini-split systems. Garage mini-splits are overwhelmingly the most popular solution for homeowners. The reason is, it is the most inexpensive solution that is guaranteed to keep up with the summer heat.

A window AC unit is the most cost-effective, but this solution has some issues. This solution will only work if you gut the garage, add wall and ceiling insulation, then put in a new window for it to sit in. 

Lastly and most uncommon, there is the traditional central air system. This solution fits when your existing central AC system is old and needs to be replaced already. When you replace the system, all that needs to be done is to increase the current tonnage by 0.5 tons then run a duct vent into the garage. 

Garage Mini-Split Application

One of the primary reasons most homeowners choose to use a mini-split for their garage is because it’s a silver bullet solution. Mini-splits have a long useful life, it both heats and cools, it is easy to install and maintain, it’s very energy efficient, and most of all, you can count on it to properly heat and cool your garage. 

  • When a mini-split does air conditioner not make a lot of sense is when you are not planning to live in the home much longer. You might want to look into a window air conditioner unit first so you don’t overspend on a long-term solution.
  • The following scenario would be if you already plan to replace your existing central heating and cooling system. It is far cheaper to run another vent to the garage and slightly increase the system’s tonnage.
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Cost to install a garage mini-split

Mini-Split SizeEquipment CostLabor CostTotal
9,000 BTU (400 Sq. Ft)$1,600$1,220$2,820
12,000 BTU (550 Sq. Ft)$1,700$1,220$2,920
18,000 BTU (800 Sq. Ft)$2,300$1,220$3,520
24,000 BTU (1,100 Sq. Ft)$2,500$1,220$3,720
36,000 BTU (1,600 Sq. Ft)$3,000$1,220$4,220

Best mini-split brands for a garage

It only takes a few minutes of research to realize there are a lot of options when it comes to mini-split air conditioner brands. But the big question is, “Which one is right for me?” There are a lot of brands that come and go, and the last thing you want is to purchase a mini-split that is soon pulled from the market place making difficult warranty claims and future repairs. I recommend using a well-known brand, and this will help guarantee you are getting quality equipment along with the support and replacement parts needed for future maintenance.

Here are the 3 brands we typically recommend to our customers. These are great brands that you can count on and will be able to handle anything you throw at them.

  • Daikin
  • Mitsubishi
  • LG
Carrier AC unit and furnace

Window air conditioner Unit For a Garage

The Right Application for a Window Unit

A window unit is by far the most inexpensive solution but isn’t always practical for a garage. Ideally, if you want to go this route, you need a window already in the garage or if you are looking to do a major remodel, including adding a window. 

  • If you currently don’t have a window in your garage for the air conditioner unit to sit in, then a window unit will probably not going to be a good solution for you. By the time you have a handyman install a new window for the air conditioner unit to sit in, your cost will run as much if not higher than a mini-split.
  • In the scenario you are looking to remodel the garage and add insulation, a window unit might be a good option to keep costs down. Before the new insulation is put in the wall are stripped down to the studs. At this stage, a window can be framed in fairly inexpensively.
  • Another area that window units underperform is in winter. You can purchase a window unit that has electric heat but it doesn’t heat near as well as it cools. A lot of time you will need to get another space heater to help warm the garage. You will also need a 220v outlet for the air conditioner unit to plug into for the heating. If you are looking for a good solution that will heat and cool, a window unit might not be the best option.
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Cost of a window air conditioner unit

Window Unit SizeAC OnlyAC & Heating (220V)
6,000 BTU (250 Sq. Ft)$260$450
8,000 BTU (350 Sq. Ft)$350$580
10,000 BTU (450 Sq. Ft)$350$600
12,000 BTU (550 Sq. Ft)$400$600
15,000 BTU (650 Sq. Ft)$450$700
18,000 BTU (750 Sq. Ft)$620$750

Best Window air conditioner Unit brands for a garage

Window units are a well-developed technology making it easy to find a lot of good brands. We normally use Toshiba for our customers because they are one of the most reliable units on the market. A cheaper solution, but still a good option, is the Frigidaire brand. Regardless of who you use, make sure you read through the reviews and make sure everything checks out. Here are the brands we typically use for window units and spot cools for our customers.

  • Toshiba
  • LG
  • GE

If you happen to be interested in learning more about an AC compressor cost or the cost to install a central air conditioner, take a look at these articles. You can also learn more about new AC unit cost, new furnace cost, or the best air conditioner brands on the market by checking out these blogs. If you’re just needing an AC repair Austin, give us a call, and we can help.