Top 7 Methods for Enhancing the Energy Efficiency of Your Garage

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Discover ways to boost your energy efficiency!
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Typically, garages are the least energy efficient spaces in a home, but it doesn’t have to be this way!

Many individuals view their garage as an exterior area rather than an extension of their home. However, attached garages should be treated like any other room inside the house. The more energy efficient your garage is, the lower your home’s carbon footprint will be. An inefficient garage draws in cold air during the winter and hot air during the summer, which then penetrates through the walls and ceiling into the surrounding living spaces, reducing the overall efficiency of the home. But, there are ways to improve this.

7: Insulate the Walls Surrounding the Garage

Cost: $1,000 or more for a standard two-door garage.

Many older homes (and even some newer ones) were not built with insulation in the garage walls. These homes often have only outside siding, radiant sheathing, and a layer of particle board protecting the garage walls from the elements. Insulating your garage walls is usually as simple as rolling the proper R-value insulation between the joists or having it blown in through a small hole in the drywall of the sides and ceilings of your garage.

6: Fill the Connection Between the Walls and Concrete Floor With Caulk

Cost: $5 for a few tubes of caulking.

Several garages lack the proper compressible foam between the lower framing and concrete floor. As a result, this connection swells, shrinks, and moves over time, leaving spaces that allow air from the outside to leak in. You can use a foam sealant or a latex/silicone based caulk to seal this often overlooked area.

5: Seal the Door Between the House and Garage

Cost: $10 and up for weatherstripping.

First, ensure that there is weatherstripping installed around the entire door frame and that it is intact, pliable, and seals out most of the air from the garage. You can use smoke to detect air leaks around the door or turn on the garage lights and turn them off on the inside portion of the door to see if any light comes through. Next, make sure that your threshold is sealing the bottom of the door properly. If you do not want to replace the entire threshold, you can use a simple draft stopper. Finally, caulk the trim around the inside and outside portion of the door, as air can permeate through the inner construction of the door frame if this decorative trim is not sealed correctly.

4: Insulate the Garage Door

Cost: $50 to over $1,000.

Even if the walls of your garage are insulated properly, some home builders may not purchase an insulated garage door due to the added expense. This can negate the purpose of wall insulation as a thin layer of aluminum can transfer heat and cold from the outside to the inside. You can either buy a new insulated door for a few hundred dollars or purchase an insulation kit for a fraction of the cost. These kits use thin sheets of double-bubble radiant insulation that are applied to the inside of the garage door to radiate heat away from the door in summer and keep heat in during winter. Foam board insulation can also be used for the same purpose.

3: Seal Outlets and Light Switches in the Garage

Cost: $5 for foam gaskets for specialized outlets/switches.

Sealing all the tiny cracks in your garage is important so that air cannot enter your living space. You should not only be concerned about hot or cold garage air penetrating the walls but also carbon monoxide, which is present after a vehicle enters or exits the garage. These fumes can enter your home through the smallest spaces between the walls without you even realizing it.

2: Add Passive Solar Heating

Cost: $50 and up for a homemade unit.

Having a heated garage is one of the ultimate conveniences during winter. However, using a gas or electric heater is expensive and harmful to the environment. Harnessing the sun’s heat is an eco-friendly option. Building a passive solar heating unit is easy if you have basic hand tools and craft experience.

1: Seal Cracks in the Garage Cement Floor

Cost: $5 for a tube of concrete sealant.

Poured cement is not the best insulation, and cracks compromise its surface, making it worse. Cold air and gases from the ground can pass through small cracks into your garage. If you add water to these cracks, as in a snowstorm, it can freeze and expand below the cement, causing upheaval and shifting. If the concrete slab shifts too much, the floor will become uneven, compromising the garage door’s ability to seal when closed.

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FAQ

1. How can insulation help improve the energy efficiency of my garage?

Insulation is a great way to improve the energy efficiency of your garage. By insulating your garage walls and ceiling, you can reduce heat loss during the winter and prevent excessive heat from entering during the summer. This can help reduce your energy bills and make your garage more comfortable to work in. You can choose from a variety of insulation materials, including fiberglass batts, foam boards, and blown-in insulation. Make sure to seal any gaps or cracks in your garage walls or ceiling before installing insulation to ensure maximum efficiency.

2. Can weatherstripping help reduce energy use in my garage?

Yes, weatherstripping is an effective way to reduce energy use in your garage. By sealing gaps around your garage door and windows, you can prevent drafts that can cause heat loss or gain. This can help improve the overall energy efficiency of your garage and make it more comfortable to work in. You can choose from a variety of weatherstripping materials, including adhesive-backed foam tape, door sweeps, and threshold seals.

3. How can I improve the lighting in my garage to save energy?

Replacing traditional light bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs is a great way to improve the lighting in your garage while reducing energy use. LED bulbs use up to 80% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last up to 25 times longer. You can also install motion-sensing lights or timers to reduce energy use when the garage is not in use.

4. Can I save energy by using a programmable thermostat in my garage?

Yes, using a programmable thermostat in your garage can help you save energy and money. You can set the temperature to automatically adjust based on your schedule and reduce energy use when you are not using the garage. This can help reduce your energy bills and make your garage more comfortable to work in.

5. How can I improve the ventilation in my garage to save energy?

Improving ventilation in your garage can help reduce moisture and prevent mold growth, as well as improve air quality. One way to improve ventilation is to install a roof vent or exhaust fan to help remove hot air during the summer. You can also install an air exchange system that brings fresh air into the garage while removing stale air. This can help reduce energy use and improve the overall comfort of your garage.

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