In a recent post I mentioned one of the perks of this new house was that I was finally able to upsize into a 3-car garage. It’s been great being able to drive the SLC without having to pull the S5 out, lower the lift, drive the SLC off, then park the S5 back into the garage. It also makes getting away in the mornings quicker. I’ve been taking to rolling out between 5-6AM on the weekends to hit a round of the twisties before the family gets up for the day. Not having to shuffle cars means I can make a quicker get away without disturbing my neighbors (for too long anyway, this thing is loud)!
It seems to be a common thing here that garages come partially insulated and without ventilation. That makes for a particularly hot garage, especially when you park a hot car inside. Apparently we get temps in the 90s throughout July and I was really beginning to get tired of the hotbox that is the garage. If I had to do any real wrenching in here I’d be swimming in my own sweat. So – I decided I needed to put some effort into making this garage a little more pleasant to work inside.
With the garage going to full insulation mode that means the hotbox effect is going to be even worse when I park a hot car inside. To help combat the heat in the summers and the cold in the winters, I purchased a 24k BTU MrCool DIY mini split air conditioner/heat pump system. This is a really neat system – it comes fully charged and it’s about as DIY as you can possibly get when it comes to AC systems. The interior unit is light enough and simple enough to install solo. The exterior condenser unit is a bit heavier and requires a 2-person lift to get it into place. Otherwise, some simple line set routing and a few wires later and you’ve got a really kick-ass system for the garage!
This 24k unit is recommended for a ~1000 sqft room; my garage measures about 660 sqft but with the high ceilings I figured the extra capacity was needed – I’m glad I sprang for the 24k unit! With the fan on high, the throw is about 20′ (my garage measures ~30′ across), so it doesn’t quite have enough oomph to push cold air across all 3 parking bays. To help circulate air I installed a 20″ oscillating fan. Between the mini split and 20″ fan, I’ve got all the airflow and cooling I need to keep things pleasant in the garage.
A funny thing happened while I was having work done in the garage. I needed to park the cars outside so folks could do the insulation/drywall/etc. I parked the SLC on the driveway and my phone kept buzzing while I was at work, telling me something was tripping my security cameras. Turns out I was getting a lot of drive-bys from people who’d noticed the SLC from the main road (we’re the last house on the end of an interior cul-de-sac, no reason to come down here unless you live here).
Then I came across this photo on one of the local Facebook “car spotting” pages:
Seems the car caught more than a few eyes that day!