Energy efficiency is on everyone’s mind. We strive to get those energy bills under control, but we miss out on an important part of our home. An energy efficient garage is something that we often do not consider when thinking of ways to improve our energy efficiency.
When you are doing an energy assessment of your home, you should be looking at how to create an energy efficient garage. You may not realize it, but you are losing a lot of heat and cooling through that garage. Here you will find ways to make your garage into an efficient space to keep costs under control.
What Are The Benefits of an Energy Efficient Garage?
Do you avoid your garage in the heat of the summer or the cold of the winter? You wouldn’t if you had an energy efficient garage. Making your garage energy efficient can mean using the space more often. It will be a much more comfortable environment to work on your cars, do a little crafting, even get your work out in.
Of course, usability is a great reason to consider making your garage more energy-efficient, but there is a more pressing reason to consider energy efficiency and your garage: money. Your garage can be a drain on your bank account. Energy bills are constantly on the rise. There is only one way to get those bills under control, and that is to use less energy.
If your garage is attached to your home but is not heated or cooled by your HVAC system, it can literally feel like outdoor refrigerators in the winter. Imagine how much heating and cooling the garage is wasting.
If you are selling a home, an energy efficient garage can be a great selling point. It can add value to the resale price of your home and make your home a more pleasant place to live in.
If you have no immediate plans of meeting with a home buyer to sell your home, then you can benefit from the reduction in costs to operate your home. Making an energy efficient garage is a smart move no matter how you look at it. You are a few simple steps away from enjoying lower monthly energy bills and feeling really good about your garage.
Declutter The Garage
Before you can make an energy efficient garage, you should declutter to see what you are starting with. Clutter does not help keep your garage energy efficient, but it helps make your garage more efficient in general.
Decluttering your garage will help to prevent pests from invading your garage and causing damage that can really affect your energy efficiency. Pests are well known for chewing through walls, wires and generally making a tremendous costly mess.
Save yourself some hard work and headaches by decluttering your garage and removing the habitats that encourage pest infestation. Once it’s clean, you will be able to gauge what you need to do to make it an energy efficient garage.
Most Garages Have Zero Insulation
One of the easiest ways to transform your garage into an energy efficient garage is to retrofit it with good quality insulation. You can add blown-in insulation to walls, ceilings, and garage doors. It may be a project that you want to hire a professional for. It can be a messy process if you do not have the right equipment.
Insulation is the quickest way to make your garage more energy efficient. Most garages are not heated or cooled by the home HVAC system. That means that they are just these large spaces that can stay cold in the winter or hot in the summer. Insulation will help keep the space more climate regulated and prevent heating and cooling from escaping the house through the walls, ceilings, and doors.
In addition to adding insulation to the walls and ceiling, you should consider new garage door installation services if your old doors are not insulated or Energy Star rated. Newer doors are built with energy conservation in mind. They come fully insulated. It may be easier to replace the doors than it is to try to outfit old doors with insulation.
Insulate Outlets and Light Switches
Outlets and light switches typically have no insulation behind them. They are just boxes with wires that suck the warmth right out of the space. Insulating light switches and outlets can help to put an end to energy losses.
All you need is a screwdriver to remove the faceplates. Simply line around the outlets and light switches with a little insulation and replace the covers. You can even buy foam inserts that are cut specifically to size for light switches and outlets at any home improvement store to make the job even easier.
Seal Out Drafts
Garages and sheds are not really built with energy efficiency in mind. They can both be very drafty places. You can change that by sealing out drafts. Walk around your garage and feel around the windows, doors, and even where the floor meets the wall to see if you feel any drafts. You can easily seal out drafts with some caulking. Sealing up areas will ensure that your garage becomes airtight and put it on the road to becoming an energy efficient garage.
You can also buy weather stripping kits at your local home improvement store that will get the job done. These peel and stick strips are super easy to use and do a good job cutting down on drafts.
Seal Cracks In the Floor
Many garages are built on a stone slab with no additional flooring. The floor can get really cold in the winter and emit that cold into the room. If the garage floor has cracks in it, that cold seeping in can be much worse. Sealing and repairing cracks in the floor can help to seal out the cold.
If you really want an energy efficient garage, you can beef up the floor by using cement paint or an epoxy coating. This additional layer of protection will improve the aesthetics of your garage while making it much more energy efficient. As a side note, the floors will be a lot easier to keep clean if they are coated.
Repairing the floor and using a floor coating is an easy project that you can do in one weekend. Of course, there are plenty of local contractors that can handle the project for you if you do not want to take it on as a DIY project.
Add Energy Efficient Windows
If you have windows in your garage, you may want to consider replacing them with energy-efficient windows. It is estimated that about 30% of energy losses is due to old windows and doors. Installing new windows is not something you should do on your own unless you have had the proper training.Making your garage an energy efficient garage by adding new windows can help to get your energy costs under control and make your entire home more energy-efficient.
It may sound strange to install solar panels in your garage, but can you imagine the energy savings that you will experience by not having to use electricity. Solar panels can be used to heat or cool your garage, power tools, lighting, and more. An energy-efficient garage that is self-sustaining can be a great addition to any home.
Solar panels pay for themselves in a very short period of time. If you choose to install solar panels for your garage, you can save money on your energy bill for your entire house. Solar panels are a great way to reduce your energy cost throughout the whole house.
If you have been on the fence about getting solar panels for your home, trying them out in your garage is a great way to get a feel for how good tapping into solar energy can be.
Check Out The Roof
If your roof is leaking in your garage, not only is the affecting energy efficiency, but it is also causing damage to the structure. Leaky roof repair can put an end to the problem and keep the damage from escalating.
A lot of heat and energy can be lost through a roof. If your roof is failing in your garage, it increases your energy costs. Having your roof repaired can help to stop the energy losses and will keep your property protected.
You can use the power of nature to make your garage an energy efficient garage. By giving some thought to where you plant trees and bushes, you can keep your garage cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
Trees provide shade from the sun’s heat and provide a break from cold winter winds. While the results may not be immediate if you start out with immature trees, you will realize more energy efficiency in a few years. It is also good for the environment to plant trees.
Energy Efficiency and Your Garage
It is typically a host of things that will really change the level of energy efficiency in the garage. Certainly, doing one thing is better than doing nothing, but you have to do most of the things mentioned if you want to see a noticeable change.
For example, retrofitting for insulation is great, but if you don’t address the drafts, the insulation will not make a big difference. You can insulate and address the drafts, but as long as those cracks in the floor remain, you are still fighting an uphill battle.
Making The Transition Easier
All it takes to create an energy-efficient garage is little planning. Depending on how motivated you are, you can get all the projects done to make your garage more energy efficient in a couple of weekends. Even adding solar panels to your garage can be done quickly.
If you do not have the time or money to throw yourself completely into making an energy-efficient garage and need to do things on a budget, make a list of things you can get done right away. Start with the least expensive ways to increase energy efficiency in your garage and work your way down the list.
Enlist help. Get the family involved. More hands-on-deck can mean the jobs get done faster. It is also a great way to get the kids involved in energy conservation. You would be surprised by how willing a child will be to turn off the light when they had to invest some sweat equity in making the house more energy-efficient. Ask friends to come over and help, then return the favor by helping them out with home improvement projects. If you can, pay someone to help.
If you can’t do everything on the list, do what you can. Some improvement is better than no improvement. You can have an energy efficient garage if you are willing to put the time and effort into treating your garage as part of your home.