I’ve been working out of my garage gym for the last two years right in the middle of the state of Georgia. And if there is anything that I’ve learned working out here in the summer, is that it is hot and it is humid.
More specifically, what I’ve learned from working out in a garage gym in Georgia is that the heat can be a challenge, but the humidity is the real adversary.
The humidity is not only what is going to make it tough to breathe because the air is so thick it feels like you can chew it, but humidity can wreak havoc on your gym equipment.
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Dehumidifier For a Garage Gym – Is it Necessary?
If you live in a humid environment, like the southeast United States, yes, you most certainly need a dehumidifier in your garage gym during the summer months.
If you live in Arizona, probably not, and this article is not really meant for you. But, if you live somewhere where you start sweating the moment you open your garage door once it hits June (and sometimes even May), buckle up, this one is for you.
There are a couple of reasons why a dehumidifier can be a game changer for your garage gym.
Reduce Garage Gym Condensation
I remember back in the college, our weight room was in the corner of the basketball gym’s practice court. There were two points of entry. A roll-up garage door going from the gym into the weight room and a small emergency exit door in the back of the room.
No windows. No AC. No ventilation other than opening those two doors. We had one fan that would be set up in the front corner of the room that was about as helpful as jumping into a pool of boiling water to cool off.
The condensation was so bad in that weight room that some afternoons in the summer the floor would be slick from the moisture and the plates would look like they were sweating.
Needless to say, our equipment was all in varying degrees of slightly rusted to completely covered in rust. Knowing what I know now, why we didn’t have multiple dehumidifiers running in that room 24/7 in the summer is beyond me.
A dehumidifier can help combat all that moisture caused by the humidity by literally sucking the moisture out of the room.
Keep Gym Equipment From Rusting
Most gym equipment is made of steel and will last you quite a long time if it’s taken care of. I’ve worked with squat racks and barbells that were old enough to drive a car that were still in great shape and used every day by dozens of athletes.
However, the one Achilles heel for most gym equipment is moisture. Moisture, especially when it’s allowed to accumulate and sit in a room, like your garage, can cause equipment to rust.
Once rust sets in, squat racks are super susceptible to chipping paint, barbells have their spin and rotation compromised and plates will start looking like trash.
Equipment rusting isn’t your only problem either.
Prevent Mold and Mildew From Forming
If you have rubber flooring mats, those mats are prone to begin collecting mold and mildew underneath them in humid conditions.
Horse stall mats, like the ones I have, have drainage channels underneath to help small amounts of liquid flow away from the mats. Remember, though, these are meant to be outside, in stables, with animals.
Those drainage channels can actually work against you in an enclosed, humid environment like a garage in Georgia in July. When moisture settles underneath your mats, the accumulation of mold and mildew can really build up.
If that happens, you could open yourself up to a whole host of issues, including the health hazards of breathing that stuff in.
All of this can be preventable though by having a dehumidifier set up and rolling in your garage gym through those humid months.
How Big of a Dehumidifier Do I Need For a Garage
To figure out how big of a dehumidifier you need, simply measure how big your garage is.
Most dehumidifiers measure their effectiveness in square feet, but some will also give you the effective cubic feet of the machine.
So, for example, I have a two car garage that is roughly 625 square feet, so anything larger than that should do the job.
Best Humidifier For a Garage Gym
Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you I bought 5 dehumidifiers and tested them all out, measured the results and then deduced which machine worked the best. I’m also not going to pretend like I did any of that either.
I did what most of us do. I went to Amazon and looked for the highest rated dehumidifier that would work for my space within my budget (which was $150).
What I ended up with was the Shinco SDL-1500 Sq.Ft Dehumidifier.
It’s rated at 1500 square feet which is more than enough to cover my garage gym. It’s highly rated, not just with this unit, but Shinco has an entire line of highly rated dehumidifiers which made me feel pretty confident.
It’s turned out to be a great investment for my garage gym. I keep it set at 45% humidity and let it roll 24/7. I empty the tank before each lift and then let it go back to doing its thing. It also has an auto shut-off feature that will turn the unit off if the reservoir fills up before I get a chance to empty it.
I’d highly recommend it to anyone else looking to get a humidifier for their garage gym.
Bottom line, if you live in a humid climate then you absolutely need a dehumidifier for those summer months.
With humidity, it’s not just about persevering through uncomfortable workouts, it’s about protecting your equipment and making sure your gym doesn’t become a haven for mold and mildew.
Considering many of us home gym owners have thousands of dollars of equipment in our garages (or basements or sheds), a $150 is a worthwhile investment into protecting all of that steel.