During the peaks of winter and summer, utility bills tend to spike heavily. Your garage is likely a huge contributor to those bills, but it does not have to be! Increasing garage energy efficiency should be one of the first steps to drastically diminish your energy consumption.
Your garage is an extension of your home and can be treated similarly to any other room. An inefficient garage practically takes in cold or hot air and that penetrates the surrounding living space, affecting not only the temperature, but also the energy efficiency. The benefits of increasing your garage’s energy efficiency are not just in temperature and bills. You will also be adding value to your home and keeping whatever is stored in your garage better protected.
Here are a few ideas you might use to keep your garage energy efficient:
1. Take Care of Those Cracks in the Floor
Cement is not the greatest insulation, but if it has cracks in it, it is even worse. Cold air can seep into your garage through cracks in the flooring, and that can make your garage quite cold in the winter. If your garage is attached to your home, this will affect adjacent rooms, too. This may mean you have to work harder to heat those rooms. If water somehow makes its way into the cracks, it can freeze and expand, which will cause all sorts of other troubles.
Sealing the floor cracks to keep out extreme temperatures and help keep the garage temperature fairly regular. Once the cracks are sealed, you might consider adding some flooring or mats to the garage, which will both help with insulation and with preventing future cracks.
2. Don’t Forget About the Lighting
It does have a higher up-front cost, but energy-efficient garage lighting can last far longer than standard lighting and consume far less energy. Especially if you spend significant time in your garage, this can be an upgrade that provides huge savings. It is relatively easy to do and also relatively easy to overlook!
3. The Door Itself Can Be Efficient
Consider customizing them to ensure they’re both attractive for curb appeal and energy efficient. For example, adding windows to your doors allows more light into your garage which reduces the need for internal lighting, On the other hand, windows can lower the insulation of the door. Consider what is right for you!
Some garage door materials are better insulators than others. Some garage door openers are more energy efficient than others. These are all considerations that it is easy to not think about when replacing or upgrading your door, but considering them now could save you a lot in the long run.
4. Seals Around All the Doors in the Garage
Ensuring the seal around your doors is in optimal condition. This will help keep your garage interior insulated and dry. Over time, the sealing around the door or under the door can start to swell, shrink, or move, leaving room for outside air to sneak inside. Occasionally check to make sure there is a proper seal. But while you are checking the door to the outside, remember the door between the garage and the rest of your house! Obviously that door won’t have nearly the same seal, but if it is in good shape and well-insulated, it can go a long way towards keeping the garage temperature in the garage.
5. Insulate Your Garage Walls
Some homes, especially older ones, were not built with garage insulation in the walls of the garage. Many only have siding, radiant sheathing, and a layer of particle board between the inside and outside of your garage. Insulating your garage walls is usually as easy as rolling the proper R-value insulation between your joists, or having it blown-in through a small hole in the drywall of the sides and ceilings of your garage.
These are just a few of the ways that you can keep your garage as energy efficient as possible. Make you home as appealing, comfortable, and cost-effective as possible. Your garage door is one part (a huge part!) of this whole system.