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How To Keep A Shed Cool: 9 Practical Ways

Alright, so you have a shed. You happily create your little office space or a storage area. Spring slowly leaves with the sunlight of summer breaking through. You go to your shed on a warm summer day, and, WOW, you’re sweating like a horse. The heat is pouring in through the windows and the ceiling, roasting you in your now miserable workspace. Or maybe you keep a bunch of storage items in your shed. But every time you go in there, you’re attacked with intense heat and harsh chemical smells. The solution? That’s what this article is dedicated to. If you’re wondering how to keep a shed cool, this article is for you. There are many ways how you can keep your shed cool, and so we’ll explain some different methods here in this article. But before we do that, we need to establish some basic definitions of ventilation, since airflow (ventilation) is the main way how you can keep a shed cool. So the question, “How to keep a shed cool” hinges on these ventilation definitions.

exterior of shed for how to keep shed cool ideas

Some Definitions…

We’ll start from the ground up.

Ventilation – basically the process of taking out air that is diluted or polluted, and providing clean, fresh air from the outside. 

Active ventilation – essentially means what it sounds like; active ventilation uses an AC or fan or some external means to produce ventilation. 

Natural ventilation method – called passive ventilation: hot air rising is a good example of passive ventilation.

Wind ventilation – basically acts as a turbine to keep a place ventilated. 

How To Keep A Shed Cool Without Electricity

If you’re wondering how to cool down a shed without electricity, we’ve compiled a list of some of the main ways how to keep your shed cool.

1. Ventilation

Probably the most important answer to how to keep a shed cool is to simply have good and proper ventilation in your shed. Small cracks or openings of light in your shed will not do: you should have a system of ventilation that will be effective and efficient. Here are a couple of practical ways that you could ventilate your shed.

exterior of vent for how to keep a shed cool in the summer ideas article
exterior of a cupola for the will insulation keep my shed cool article
  • Open garage door
  • Install roof and/or wall vents
  • Install soffit and/or gable vents
  • Install grilles
  • Add a Cupola
  • Add a turbine to your roof

These are just a couple of ways that you could provide that needed ventilation for your shed. Try a couple of these options and you’ll notice a huge difference in the clean, fresh air in your shed. 

2. Glaze Windows & Awning

Glazed windows help keep the sunlight from penetrating your shed as much, which allows for an overall cooler temperature in your shed.

An awning is also a great idea since it provides shade from the sun’s rays, which obviously keeps the warmth of the sun from hitting your shed.

3. Water Cooling

Another way how you can cool down a shed is to spray it down with cool water. Although this may sound primitive, it’s a super practical way to have a shed temperature drop.

4. 2nd Roof

You may be thinking, “What does a second roof have to do with anything?” This is what we mean. Just put a roof over your shed roof. Think about it. It’s like putting your shed in the shade. This is another great way how you can keep a shed cool. 

5. Shed Insulation

interior of shed with insulation for how to keep your shed cool article

Photo Credit: ROCKWOOL

Insulation is a lifesaver if you’re wanting to cash in on energy savings. People often wonder, “Will insulation keep my shed cool?” Yes, those “will insulation keep my shed cool” worries can subside. Insulating your shed helps keep the temperature from rapidly fluctuating, which is great if you have cooled the shed down with an active ventilation system (e.g. an AC unit or Minisplit system). The cool air will then remain longer in the shed due to the insulation. 

6. Some More Options

There are plenty of other ways that you can ventilate your shed. Here’s a shortlist of other options that we compiled as well.

  • Add doors & windows
  • Use different skylight design
  • Tack on a radiant barrier
  • Cover the windows
  • Paint the shed with solar reflective paint

How To Keep A Shed Cool With Electricity

If you have electricity in your shed already, here are a couple of ways that you can keep your shed cool with electricity. 

1. Fans

Get some fans rolling in there and you’ll no longer wonder how to have your shed cooled down. Plus, the electric bill won’t be as high as some of the other options below. On the flip side, fans are a lot louder than an AC unit or Minisplit system.

exterior of an ac unit for how to keep a shed cool article

2. AC Unit or Minisplit System

An AC or Minisplit is another way how you can keep a shed cool with or without insulation. Plus, they’re quiet and effective. However, you might see a rise on the electric bill.

3. Powered Exhaust Fan

These would pull the heat out of your building, which could then be replaced by cooler air.

exterior of yellow shed for how to keep a metal shed cool ideas article

How Can I Keep My Shed Cool In The Summer?

Yea, that’s a great question because that’s when the heat really sets in. The important part is to not let the heat sit in your shed; otherwise, your shed might rot due to condensation. As far as how to keep your shed cool in the summer, feel free to use any of the above methods to ventilate your shed and keep your shed cool. 

How Do You Cool & Heat A Shed? 

Well, we just covered how to keep a shed cool. But to heat a shed, you might need to install a stove or heater. Some other ways would be by allowing more sunlight in or installing a heated floor system. 

Should I Put A Vent In My Shed?

Yes, you should put a vent in your shed. Here’s a list of reasons why:

  • Take out smelly air
  • Lack of ventilation can damage breathing or eyes
  • Replaces “bad” air with “good” air
  • Lack of ventilation can cause mildew rot or mold spore growth
  • Alleviates intense heat
exterior of red shed for how to cool down a shed ideas article

How Do You Control A Shed Temperature?

You can better control how to keep your shed cool by insulating your shed, placing your shed in the shade, or even using a misting system to cool off your building. To keep your shed heated, a radiator, tube heaters, etc. would do the job. Or just install a Minisplit system that kills both birds with one stone. 

Can I Air Condition My Shed?

The answer is a resounding, yes you can air condition your shed. Of course, that might require a DIY install project and higher electric bills, but air conditioning is a perfect way how you can keep your shed cool, especially in the summer. 

Where Should I Put The Vents In My Shed?

Great question. You should strategically place the vents for your shed so that you can maximize ventilation and keep your shed cooled down. Here are 4 common, effective places to place the shed vents.

Wall Vent 

Wall vents should be kept close to ground level, allowing the cooler air (that doesn’t rise as quickly) to enter your shed. 

Ridge Vent

Ridge vents run along the peak of the roof and help keep a “passive” ventilation system in place by allowing air to escape through the peak (highest point of the building). 

Soffit Vent

A soffit vent is another roof-style vent that can keep the attic of your shed cool. They’re placed on the underside of the eave of the roof.

Gable Vents

A gable vent can be found underneath the two ends of the ridge vent on the front and back walls of the shed. 

Do I Need To Vent An Insulated Shed?

Yes, it’s a good idea to vent an insulated shed. One reason is that insulation in your shed doesn’t help keep the air moving; it contains or retains heat or cold. So, you should vent an insulated shed just like you would vent any other regular shed.

interior of shed where man is installing insulation for ways how to keep a shed cool article

Photo Credit: Plasticine House

How Do You Insulate A Shed Roof?

You can insulate a shed roof by placing insulation under the roof deck and in between the rafters, thereby filling the rafter cavities. You could learn more about the shed roof insulation process here

What Are The Costs To Keep A Shed Cool?

The question, “What are the costs to keep a shed cool” all depends on what your plans are for how to keep your shed cool. Here are a couple of prices from your local hardware store that should give you a rough estimate on how much you could spend to cool down your shed.

Wall Vent$35
Ridge Vent$80-$100
Soffit Vent$15
Gable Vent$30-$130
AC Unit$200-$250
Minisplit System$1,000-$2,000

Here’s a look at some of what you could additionally spend on electricity every month.

Type of Cooling SystemElectrical Cost/Month
Wall, Ridge, Soffit Vents$0
AC UnitAdditional 11%-50% to Electric Bill

If you’re a DIY person who has some basic construction experience, great! You don’t need to worry about installation costs. But if you are the type of person that would prefer to make sure that the installation job is done right, then here are some installation costs to consider.

Item InstalledInstallation Cost
Ridge Vent$300-$600
Soffit Vent$250-$650
Gable Vent$100-$500
AC Unit$150-500
Mini Split Systemsee costs here

Lots of numbers, right? Well, just plug in the numbers that you want for your shed from the lists above, and BOOM! We’ll spit out an estimate for you!

exterior of shed with orange door for how to keep shed cool ideas article

Wrapping It Up…

Well, that’s a wrap on how to keep a shed cool. We hope that these different ideas helped you figure out how you can practically keep your shed in good condition while also keeping your shed cool in the summer. 

But before you keep a shed cool, you need a shed to keep cool, right? Sheds Unlimited is a family-owned business that has been delivering sheds for 30+ years. If you’re interested in purchasing a shed, our storage sheds have been delivered to hundreds of happy customers over the decades; what’s even better is that they’re customizable with many different options and colors. And of course, if you have any questions, just talk to us!

We also have a 3D Shed Designer where you can add a roof ridge vent, gable vent (or some other wall vent), and vented soffits, all with the click of the mouse!

Happy shed cooling!

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