If you have an attached garage, it's important to make sure it's energy-efficient. Most people think of their garage as an outdoor structure, even when it's attached to the house. However, unless it's an energy-efficient space, it could be draining out a lot of warm air in the winter and cool air in the summer from your home. Take a look at 10 ways you can make your garage more energy-efficient and cut down your yearly energy costs.
1. Insulate the Garage Walls
In most homes, both old and new construction, the garage walls are not insulated. Typically, there's only exterior wood or siding, radiant sheathing, and a layer of particle board between the elements and the garage. By adding a layer of proper R-value insulation between the joists, or using blown-in insulation through the drywall, you can create a more energy-efficient garage.
2. Caulk Between the Garage Wall and Floor
Over time, the joint between the garage walls and concrete floor usually swells or shrinks as your house settles, creating air flow from outside. By applying a simple bead of latex, silicone or foam sealant between the garage walls and concrete floor, you can prevent loss of warm and cool air.
3. Seal Floor Cracks
Most garage floors are poured concrete which doesn't provide much insulation. However, if the concrete floor has developed cracks from settling or the weight of your cars, outside air can pass through these cracks. Sealing the cracks with a good concrete sealant will prevent air flow.
4. Insulate Your Garage Door
If your garage door isn't properly insulated, it's easy for cold or hot outside air to enter your garage., especially if the door is made of thin aluminum. There are two ways to fix this: buy an insulation kit for your existing door, or buy a new energy-efficient garage door to protect your garage.
5. Seal the Door from the Garage to the House
If you have a door that leads into your house from your garage, air leaks can develop around the door and threshold. To prevent this, install weather-stripping around the door frame, and a new threshold or a draft stopper. Caulk the trim around the inside and outside of the door to create a proper seal.
6. Change Your Garage Lighting
If you're using conventional incandescent light bulbs in your garage, change them to either CFL or LED lights for better energy-efficiency. A LED light bulb uses 12 watts of electricity and a CFL bulb uses 15 watts to create the same amount of light output (lumens) as a conventional 60 watt bulb.
7. Insulate Light Switches and Electrical Outlets
Insulate light switches and outlets with foam gaskets. Even the smallest cracks can allow cold and hot air into your house. They can also allow dangerous carbon monoxide fumes that build up from your car's exhaust system to enter your home.
8. Install Energy-Efficient Windows
If you have old windows in your garage, switch them out for new energy-efficient windows that will prevent air leaks and save money on yearly energy costs. Older-style windows can cost you hundreds of dollars more each year in your heating and cooling bills.
9. Install Solar Heating
If you spend time or have a workshop in your garage, installing solar panels for heating and cooling will make your garage and workspace more comfortable and energy-efficient year-round.
10. Organize Your Garage
A cluttered garage can prevent proper air flow and creating uneven temperatures. By simply organizing your garage space, you can generate more energy-efficiency. If you need more storage space, consider an outdoor shed.