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Doc's Garage Ventilation System

  • Staff

    Since I've moved my main rigs out into my garage due to the noise, heat, and power requirements, I've run into a slight problem... heat buildup in the garage. Never fear, for I shall remedy this with shear quickness!

    Okay, the idea is simple. Get the heat out of the garage while still being able to maintain the security of my garage (i.e. door closed). I looked online for a "quick fix", but that only turned up results for over-priced fan systems that involved cutting holes into the walls/foundation, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, not going to happen. Time to improvise. I put one guideline in place: Nothing should be permanent. I'm not staying here forever, so the next owners may not like it and want to take it down. So with that in mind, you'll understand a little bit more as to why I decided on the placement of parts.

    Anyway, a quick trip to HomeDepot and I had everything I needed.

    Parts List

    • 2x Bathroom Ceiling Fans 50cfm/each (without lights) - $15/each
    • 2x 6" Duct Fans 250cfm/each - $19/each (via Amazon)
    • 2x 6" Centrifugal Fans - $35/each (via Amazon)
    • Retractable Extension Cord Reel - $15
    • 8ft Flexible Dryer Vent Hose - $7
    • 2x Outdoor Dryer Vent Covers - $4/each
    • Attic Thermostat - $24
    • 3x 9ft Replacement Appliance Cords - $7/each
    • Misc hardware/cable ties/wire nuts/etc... - $7

    Part 1 - Thermostat Assembly
    This assembly acts as an automatic switch based upon the temperature of the garage. It is adjustable between 60 oF and 110 oF. The way it works is that it doesn't turn the power on unless the temperature is above whatever it is set to. Currently, I have it set to 80 oF, which means that it won't turn on unless the temperature is 80 oF or higher. This thermostat is designed with a 5 - 7 oF low end shift, meaning it won't turn off until the temperature drops below the setting (80 oF) by 5 - 7 of (~75 oF).

    Completed Thermostat Assembly

    Part 2 - Retractable Extension Cord Reel
    This was the easiest way for me to get power onto the garage door and not prevent the door from opening and closing. Special bonus: It automatically pulls in the slack when the door is opened. This was very important for one reason: My wife parks her car in the garage and if something was to scratch, rub, or even look at her car wrong, I'd be in the dog house.
    Special note on this bad-boy: Almost all of these cord reels are ratcheted, meaning they have a small catch inside that prevents the cord from being pulled back in unless you give it a quick hard tug. I can't be tugging the cord everytime I open the garage door, so I opened it up and disabled the ratchet part. It is free moving now.
    Also, after installing this and attaching the other end to the garage door, I adjusted the ball-stop on the cord so that there was just a little slack in the line when the door was open.

    Retractable Extension Cord Reel

    Part 1 and Part 2 Installed

    Electrical Connection at Door

    Part 3 - Exhaust Vents
    I decided to go with the smaller dryer vent covers - one for size, and two for the movable flaps to keep rain out. Simple plastic covers that are fastened by 4 bolts. I used a holesaw to cut the 4-1/8" holes into the garage door panels. One in the top left and one in the top right.

    Outside Exhaust Vent

    Part 4 - Exhaust Fans
    Like I mentioned, these are bathroom vent fans. Because they already came in housings with a front grill, light weight, and fairly quiet, I was able to mount them directly onto one of the door hinge supports.
    Air movement wasn't enough, so I upgraded to two 6" in-line 250cfm fans.
    Failed to calculate that in-line duct fans require back pressure to work correctly... One 50cfm bathroom fan moved more air than these things combined. Ugh.
    For this type of setup, my only option is to go with centrifugal fans that don't suffer from the same back pressure issue of the in-line duct fans. You can see the difference in air movement in the exhaust pics below.
    I then, snaked the 9ft cords through the slots, tied them off and wired them up to the fans. Cut the flexible dryer vent hose and clamped them on. Project complete.

    Centrifugal fan assembly mounted - Intake side.
    Centrifugal fan assembly mounted - Exhaust side.

    (Current) Door Exhaust.

    (2nd Attempt) Door Exhaust.
    (2nd Attempt) Updated Fan Assembly Mounted

    (1st Attempt) Fan Assembly Mounted - Intake Side

    (1st Attempt) Fan Assembly Mounted - Exhaust Side

  • Staff

    Replaced 50cfm bathroom fans with 250cfm duct fans. Picture added.

  • Staff

    How much noise does this setup get you outside of your house?

    That much air flow, through such a small hole... sounds like it might be loud.

    Great write up, docs, and pics! Thanks Doc

  • Staff

    Thanks. I was concerned about noise levels too, but what I found is that it is no more than a slight hum. After about 5-7 feet away, you can't hear anything coming from it. I'm sure it's louder inside the garage, but my mini-Crypto Farm drowns it out... now that I think about it... the hum might be coming from the mini-Crypto Farm inside the garage and not the blower... hmmmm... I'll have to test this out the next time I have to shut the farm off. (If I can remember. LOL)

  • Staff

    You can post your YouTube video here

  • Staff

    Updated with Centrifugal Fan assemblies for better air flow.


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