Think about it. Your garage is a huge space, and even if you’re not actively heating it, it’s acting as an insulator between the cold outdoors and your comfy home. Take action before the major cold hits for the season and use these tips on how to make your garage keep heat, save energy, and reduce your bill.
Insulate, Insulate, Insulate
Your garage door is the connection between the outside world and your home, and even small drafts, holes, and lack of insulation sucks energy away from the house. To add insulation, you can either buy a kit and apply it to your current door, or just obtain a brand new insulated one. The kit is more affordable, but might not provide as much coverage and heat retention as a new door.
Up next is the walls. A majority of older homes did not get built with insulation in the garage walls. Luckily, adding some isn’t difficult and insulation can be bought at most hardware stores. Don’t forget to check light switches and outlets — they act as escape routes for warm air and can let massive amounts of energy out.
Finally, remember the ceiling. Warm air rises and could be rising right out from your furnace and into the chilly night, especially if you have a room above your garage. Bulking up insulation in between those rooms and the garage will tighten up the whole space and keep that well-earned heat contained.
Seal It Up
There’s a lot of ways energy can escape from your garage. Doors, windows, leaks, cracks, holes. Every nook and cranny can be an energy suck — but fixing it is as easy as caulk. Use caulk or a foam sealant to patch up the corners between the walls and the floor. Then make sure you seal up the areas between all the windows and doors, and pay particular attention that the door connecting the garage and the house is sealed as tightly as possible.
Cracks in your cement floor might not seem like a big deal, but they could be letting hundreds of dollars soak into the ground every year. You can seal up the cracks with epoxy or a sandable crack-filling compound, but don’t try and use the same caulk or foam you used on the walls, as that’ll shrink overtime on the concrete.
Go Green and Harness the Sun
Go figure: adding a solar panel to your garage will help its energy efficiency. Domestic solar panels can be bought for reasonable prices now, and give you a unique opportunity to power your lights and appliances completely off the grid. You can even use the solar panel to heat the space!
Switch Out Old Lights and Appliances
Just like your home, your garage lights and appliances are probably not as efficient as they could be. Simple switches from old incandescent light bulbs to LEDs can save you money every year, and trading that clunker of a mini-fridge for an Energy Star appliance will add even more to your savings. Of course, if you’re not ready to let go of those old appliances yet, you can always unplug them when they are not in use and still save some money on your bill.
Whether you’re a new home-owner with a brand new garage or a long time resident, there are plenty of simple and easy-to-implement fixes in your garage that can add up to huge savings, on your expenses and the environment.