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Cool Ways to Control the Temperature in Your Man Cave or She Shed

If you’ve been looking into building your own man cave or she shed in your backyard, you might be wondering how to keep the temperature comfortable inside year-round. On average, these structures are only 48 square feet in size, which makes them far too small for typical methods of heating and cooling. Full-fledged HVAC systems are both cost-prohibitive and overpowered for a man cave or she shed, so smaller, more economical methods need to be considered. To help you nail down the perfect setup for keeping your personal backyard getaway cozy 365 days a year, here are some of the coolest ways to control the temperature in your man cave or she shed.

Considerations for Keeping She Sheds and Man Caves Comfortable

Keeping your private little space in your backyard comfortable varies depending on numerous factors. The type of climate you live in, amount and type of insulation installed, and how many windows you have are all leading factors that will impact which methods make the most sense.


Is your she shed or man cave located in an area that’s extremely hot in the summer or cold in the winter, or both? Depending on the type of climate you need to compensate for, you may want to choose more powerful options like a wall AC unit over economical solutions like fans, opening the windows, or roof ventilators. For heating, tiny wood burning stoves are effective for colder climates, but keep in mind the amount of space they take up along with storing the wood.


The next biggest factor when it comes to maintaining comfort in a small space is the type of insulation used and the amount of insulation used. Will there be an attic space that’s filled with insulation? What about insulation on the walls? The higher the R-value of the insulation used, the less energy you’ll need to use in order to keep the temperature under control.

Sun and Wind Exposure

Wind exposure can make it far more difficult to stay warm in your she shed all winter long, but it can be a huge help in the summertime when you’re trying to ventilate the space. Sun exposure can help heat the space in the winter by orienting the windows of the building to take on solar gain during the winter but less so in the summer. This takes some planning with a solar path chart to know where the sun will be shining at different times of the year, but can prove well worth the effort by utilizing nature for temperature modulation rather than electricity.


Beyond proper insulation for the climate you live in, the types of ventilation you have in place will influence how easy it is to control the temperature in your man cave. The more windows, the better you can ventilate heat in the summer. But the flip side of having more windows is more solar gain, which can make it harder to keep the temperature low if the shed is in direct sunlight all day. Roof ventilation is one solid choice for keeping the space comfortable in the summer without taking on too much sunlight.

Power Supply

Having a sufficient power supply comes down to amperage and number of outlets inside the space. For example, a wall AC unit needs its own power outlet and circuit to prevent tripping breakers when other high-draw appliances are being used. Coffee makers, power tools, and hair dryers all pull too many amps to also run a wall AC unit on the same circuit. So if you plan on needing electric temperature control methods while also using other types of appliances, keep this in mind.

Temperature Control Ideas for Man Caves and She Sheds

Once you’ve created a list of the factors you have to contend with for keeping your small space comfortable, it’s time to weigh the merits and drawbacks of the available solutions. Here are five great ways to heat and cool your man cave or she shed.

Portable AC Units

An easy way to keep a she shed cool in the summer is placing a portable AC unit near a window or vent, plugging it into the wall, and setting the thermostat. One drawback to this method of cooling is you don’t get heating functionality for the winter. Another is that they do take up space, which is already at a premium when you only have 48 square feet to work with. Typically, these units cost a little more than window AC units due to their portability.

Through the Wall AC Units

If you need to both cool and heat your man cave all year long, a wall air conditioner is ideal. These units don’t take up any of your floor space, and they’re typically less costly than portable air conditioners that only serve cooling functions. The main drawback to wall AC units is that they consume a considerable amount of power compared with fans or wood burning stoves. Of course, for spaces this small, simply adding insulation can dramatically reduce the energy needed to control the temperature inside.

Wood Burning Stoves

If your man cave is more off-grid or in an area with high energy prices, one alternative for staying cozy in the wintertime is installing a wood burning stove. These come in a wide range of sizes so you can perfect the amount of heat output for the space and climate. Although high-end stoves with automatic controls and larger capacities can be more costly than a wall AC unit with heat, being able to use wood can save you the cost of running electric to the shed along with continuing energy bills. Just remember, heating with wood is a lot of work.

Natural Heating and Cooling

When you prefer to go au-naturale for your heating and cooling, some foresight when designing and placing the shed on your property can provide a surprising level of comfort. Orienting the building to deliver more sun exposure through the windows in the winter than the summer is one first step. Adding ventilation in the roof and windows that don’t receive direct sunlight help to keep things cool in the summer. There are also plenty of battery-powered fan options on the market for those hotter days.

Balancing Cost with Comfort

All of these ideas for controlling the temp in your man cave or she shed require a balance between cost and comfort. Depending on where you live, some options will be more sensible than others. We hope we’ve helped you better understand the ways you can enjoy your backyard man cave or she shed without breaking the bank!


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