Garages don’t usually have ductwork as they are not required to have ventilation. However, you may want to use yours for reasons other than just parking your car. Wondering then how you can install an AC duct vent to your garage? We consulted professionals in this field, and they provided the information below.
You can add an AC duct vent in your garage by following these basic steps:
- Locate and mark the spot for your vent.
- Cut the duct and insulation.
- Install the vent.
Continue reading to discover how easy it is to add a vent onto the AC duct in your garage. We'll also tackle the pros and cons of adding ventilation in your garage as well as the costs involved.
Adding An AC Duct Vent To Your Garage
Do you want to turn your garage into a kids' playroom, a home office, a man cave, or even a woman cave? If your garage has an AC duct extended from the main house into your garage, then you can add a vent to it.
First, you will need to gather all your materials and working tools, which include:
- A vent
- Metal shears
- Work gloves
- Dust mask
Before you begin working, you need to be safe. Wear your goggles, dust mask, and work gloves. Now let's go through the steps together:
1. Locate And Mark The Spot For Your Vent
There is a protrusion on the backside of the vent, which is the damper. Place this protrusion on a piece of cardboard and draw around this area. It should reveal the shape of a rectangle.
Cut around the marked area on the cardboard, and place it on the spot you want the vent to be. Draw around the cut-out cardboard.
This is the spot you will install the vent.
Click here to see this vent (can be installed on an AC duct) on Amazon.
2. Cut The Duct And Insulation
Cut out the marked area on the AC duct with a pair of shears. Afterward, cut out the insulation that is inside. Be sure to determine the type of insulation so that you can take the necessary precaution.
Remember some types of insulation can be quite harmful like fiberglass. It can cut you and cause respiratory problems if inhaled. Others are made from asbestos, which can also be harmful.
Check out this pair of metal shears on Amazon.
3. Install The Vent
Place your vent on the duct, and mark the point you will drill the holes for inserting the screws. There'll be a screw located on the width of each side of the vent. Drill the holes. Align the holes on the vent to the holes on the duct, and secure the screws.
And voila, your vent is fixed!
This is a cordless power drill that is on Amazon.
The video below shows how to add a vent to an AC duct in the basement. You can use the same procedure to install a vent in the AC duct in your garage:
Factors To Consider When Adding A Vent To Your AC Duct
There are two main factors to consider before adding a vent to the AC duct in your garage. It's important to evaluate if your garage is ready for another vent or not. Below is a discussion on each one:
Tonnage Of The HVAC Unit
Does the HVAC system in the house have enough power to vent into your garage? That is the first question you need to answer before proceeding with your project.
A new vent will take away some of the power from the other vents in your home. If the HVAC units do not have enough tonnage, the conditioning of the rest of your home may not be sufficient.
The tonnage is measured by the BTU, and hence you need to find out or calculate the BTU for the AC system in your home and the garage. You may want to consult a professional to help you with this.
If the AC system has enough power to share with your garage, then you can go ahead and add a vent.
Cost Of An Extra HVAC Unit
As explained in the previous paragraph, the overall efficiency of the HVAC system may go down if it has insufficient tonnage to cater for an extra room which is your garage in this case.
Your energy bills are likely to go higher unless you add more tonnage that is adequate for the whole house, including the garage.
This means you will have to pay more for an additional AC unit. So, you have to make a clear decision on what you will be using the garage for and how long. Using it as an office and then reverting to parking your car after a few weeks or months will not be worthwhile.
The Pros And Cons Of Adding A Vent To The AC Duct In Your Garage
As you know by now, most garages don't need an HVAC unit, unless you want to convert it for other uses and not necessarily to park your car.
Adding a vent to an AC duct means that you will be ventilating your garage.
Therefore, we shall look at the advantages and disadvantages of ventilating your garage by adding a vent, so we'll know if it is worthwhile or a waste of your money.
The benefits of garage ventilation include:
You’ll benefit immensely during the summer because your garage will be cool, especially if you intend to spend a lot of time there.
Equally, you will enjoy a warm area during the winter.
Harmful Toxins Are Reduced
Generally, any stale or hot air will be neutralized and carried away from the garage and your home. Similarly, you will enjoy fresh air, even though you store paint or chemicals in the garage.
Hot or cold air in the garage can move to the rest of your home, making it uncomfortable for the residents.
But with a vent, the temperatures will be comfortable enough for everyone in the home.
The air in your attic is affected by the temperatures in the garage. If there’s no ventilation and the garage gets too hot, the same will happen to your attic.
But, with ventilation, you’ll enjoy a cool attic in summer, just as you will in the garage.
Here's one disadvantage of an added vent:
Increased Energy Bills
As mentioned earlier in this post, you are at risk of paying higher electric bills if the HVAC system in the main house does not have enough power to add ventilation to your garage. The solution is to add the power as mentioned above.
The Cost Of Adding A Vent
Adding a vent to existing ductwork costs between $250 and $1,000. However, it depends on how easy it will be to access the duct and the materials you will use to insert the vent.
There will be extra costs if you intend to add an HVAC unit in your home to match the power needed to ventilate your garage. It depends on the square footage of the room in question.
For example, a 400 square foot garage requires a 5-ton air conditioner, which would cost close to $1,980 for a single unit and around $3,690 for the total installation.
Garages don’t necessarily need ventilation. If you want to use it for purposes other than parking your car, you may consider adding a vent to the duct in your garage.
But, before you add one, it would be a good idea to find out if the current HVAC is powerful enough for an additional vent in another room like the garage. And, if it is not, you may opt to add an AC unit.
The pros of adding ventilation to your garage are more than the cons. However, this is applicable if you have other plans for the garage, such as turning it into another room, and you will be spending a considerable amount of time there.
Would you like to know how to make your garage more comfortable? Then click on the links below to access our related posts that show you where in the garage the insulation and furnace should be installed:
Which Way Should Insulation Face In Garage?