For anyone who likes to work out, having their own home or garage gym is the ultimate dream.
Not having to deal with membership fees, crowds, parking, and annoying gym-goers? That's the life!
There's just one major problem with garage gyms: They get HOT in the summer.
Garages are poorly insulated, often don't have windows or air conditioning, and can turn into mini sweat boxes.
To make your garage gym an enjoyable place to exercise, you've got to cool it down. So let's take a look at the best fans for garage gyms.
First, an overview if you're in a hurry:
Why it's important to cool your garage gym
There are a couple of big problems with most garages that make them unbearably hot in the summer, especially when the overhead doors are shut:
- Poorly insulated, especially if the doors are of cheap quality
- Very often not air conditioned
- Completely enclosed, blocking airflow
- No windows
- May collect heat from hot cars, hot water heaters, or other equipment.
Naturally, this does not make for a great workout environment.
But who cares, right? A little sweat never killed anyone.
(Well, not the killing part.)
According to Mayo Clinic, when your body heats up, blood circulation to the skin increases to keep you cool. That takes valuable bloodflow away from your muscles in the middle of your intense workout - the worst possible time!
This can lead to a boatload of problems:
- Excessive sweating during a hot workout can lead to dehydration and illness
- Heat cramps. If you've ever gone for a run in the summer heat, you're familiar with these painful cramps.
- Heat exhaustion - You can literally get sick and end up vomiting from the heat.
- Heat stroke. If your body temperature gets too high during a hot workout, you put yourself in serious danger and your body begins to take extreme measures to counteract the heat.
These are extreme examples. But if you work out for too long in the extreme heat and humidity of an enclosed garage, at the very least you can expect your performance to suffer greatly.
Better to be safe and take some cooling measures.
(A really nice air purifier is another important thing to consider for your home or garage gym.)
A few things to keep in mind when shopping for a garage gym fan:
Buying a fan or other cooling device for your garage gym should be a relatively simple process, but here are a few tips to keep in mind while you're looking for the right fit:
Size of your garage: Garage sizes are typically standardized. A 2-car garage, for example, is usually around 24 feet by 24 feet, for a total square footage of 576. An average 1-car garage is typically around half of that (surprise!) at around 264 square feet. Whether your garage gym is in a big or small space, you'll want a fan with enough power to cool the room down. Or, at the very least, consider whether you'll be able to plug the fan in near your workout area or be forced to install it all the way across the garage.
Humidity levels: In certain parts of the country and world, high humidity levels can make summer heat nearly unbearable. If that describes where you live, a basic fan might not be quite enough, and you should consider looking into a fan paired with a dehumidifier. If your humidity levels are low, but the air is still crazy hot, consider an evaporative cooler (see the last recommendation on my list) which blows warm air past a pad soaked in cool or iced water for a nice chilly breeze.
Duration & intensity of workouts: A heavy weightlifting session with lots of rest intervals is not quite the same as a 45-minute extreme HIIT workout in terms of body temperature and sweat levels. If you're going to be doing high-intensity workouts in your garage gym, you may consider combining multiple fans or cooling devices to really keep the temperature level in check.
Now let's dive into my actual recommendations for the best fans for garage gyms:
Best Simple/Basic Fan for Garage Gyms: Seville Classics UltraSlimline Tower Fan
Overview: Nothing fancy and no unnecessary bells and whistles here. The Seville is just a really great quality tower fan with the usual features: quiet operation, smooth and wide range of motion while oscillating, and enough power to keep your cool during your garage workout.
Why we like it: This is a really compact fan (only takes up <1 square foot of floor space) that pumps out some serious air. The remote gives you a lot of convenience to turn on, off, or change settings from across the room. This fan is probably best known for its super quiet operation, which won't break your focus during intense workouts!
Potential drawbacks: Some users complained of problems after a few years of operation, so it might not last forever. There are cheaper (though lower quality) tower fans available.
Best Ceiling Fan for Garage Gyms: Air King 9718 Ceiling Fan
Overview: If you're looking for some SERIOUS air, look no further than this beast of a ceiling fan. It packs 1/6th of a horsepower and is meant for big industrial spaces, so it should handle cooling your garage gym with ease. Construction here is super durable and this fan should last you a very long time.
Why we like it: This thing pushes serious air, and will have no trouble keeping you cool. The angle of the fan is adjustable, as is the speed, for full customization. It's ceiling mounted, but comes with a standard power cord if you don't want to or can't hardwire it. Plus, it looks manly as hell and would be a perfect fit for a heavy-duty garage gym.
Potential drawbacks: Ceiling mounting will take some work (and ceiling space). Doesn't oscillate.
Best Cold Air Fan for Garage Gym: Honeywell Indoor Portable Evaporative Cooler
Overview: Here's something a little different: If your garage is SUPER hot and pushing around hot air doesn't help, consider an evaporative cooler like this one from Honeywell. It uses technology that blows warm air past a pad soaked in cold water for a much cooler fan experience. It simulates an air conditioner without the need for ventilation.
Why we like it: Talk about refreshing. If a hot breeze isn't getting the job done, the Honeywell will push a gentle burst of cool air in your direction, which is sure to keep you cool. You can add ice to the water basin to really chill things down (some reviewers note this can cool the air by 15-20 degrees). It's not an air conditioner, but used properly, it can be extremely effective.
Potential Drawbacks: Will work best in close proximity to workout space and probably can't cool an entire garage. Most expensive option on this list. Won't work well in high humidity climates.
If your home garage gym is too hot in the summer, you've got plenty of options for cooling it down. You can crack the doors, use a tower or free-standing fan, install a ceiling fan, plug in a dehumidifier, or use an evaporative cooler. Or combine multiple of these options to keep things really cool!
Find out what works for you based on a) the size of your garage b) the temperature and humidity in your region and c) your budget.
For my tastes, I'd probably install the super powerful and durable Air King ceiling fan (Amazon link) for a long-lasting option and extreme air flow.
Hope this helped!
Gym Fan FAQ
Are industrial fans good for home gyms?
They definitely can be! Industrial fans can crank out a ton of air (the Air King fan mentioned above has a little bit of that industrial vibe to it), but you might not need such a huge and constant gust during your workout. Too much air might actually be a little distracting while you're trying to focus on your exercise.
What's a good temperature to keep a gym at? What's the best workout temperature?
Too cold and your muscles will have trouble getting loose. Too hot and, well, obvious issues with sweating and heat exhaustion come into play.
It's commonly recommended you shoot to keep your gym at around 65-68 degrees Fahrenheit if at all possible.
It's tough to measure the exact temperature achieved when a fan is blowing, but use that as a rough guideline.
What's the best ceiling fan for a home gym?
I really love the Air King fan linked above for garages, but if you're setting up a gym inside your house, pretty much any ceiling fan will do.
I really like models that come with a remote, personally, because you can keep it on-hand while you're working out if you need to adjust the airflow.
What if my gym is just too hot and the fan doesn't help?
If you've got a workout set up in your garage, and you live in an extraordinary hot part of the country during summer, it's possible the garage will be just too hot to use sometimes.
A strong blast of air from a fan can really help, but it might not be able to overcome 100+ degree temperatures.
Your best bets are to workout in the early morning or at night, when the air is a bit cooler. If you can't do that, see if you can modify your workout for inside (bodyweight movements and dumbbells, perhaps?) or just join a commercial gym for the summer.
Don't put yourself at risk working out when it's too hot!
How to cool down after a hot workout
It's really important you take the time to properly cool your body down after working out in a hot garage or home gym.
A few things you should always remember to do:
- Do some cool down work, like gentle walking on the treadmill, to slowly bring your heart rate down
- Stretch your muscles to avoid cramps
- Hydrate! Drink some cold water
- Get out of your sweaty clothes
- Rinse off in the shower relatively soon after your workout ends
Don't forget to take a look at my favorite fan, the Air King, over on Amazon.