How to Create an Energy-Efficient Garage?

You wouldn’t let a water pipe leak year after year and drain your bank, so why let the natural gaps in your garage door leak cold and hot air into your home? With the rising cost of living, spending a little upfront to make your garage energy efficient can lead to lasting savings. Don’t waste your money on heating or cooling the outdoors, read on to learn how to make your garage more energy efficient with basic items from your home as well as more extensive solutions to maximize savings in the long run! North Shore has been in the business for decades, so we know the perfect hacks to transform your garage!

Why is an Energy Efficient Garage Important?

Even when a garage door is shut, outside air can seep inside through the natural gaps between the door and jamb as well as entryway garage walls and windows. If you’ve ever felt a breeze coming from the bottom of a closed door or window, you’ve experienced this infiltration firsthand. With only the entry wall of most homes being insulated, it’s no wonder that the temperature of a garage can fall within 10 degrees of outside temperatures in the cold and rise as much as 18 degrees in the heat.

Since most homes don't have heating/AC running in the garage, those extreme temperatures leak into the house you’re paying to keep either warm or cool. Your energy bill will inevitably increase from the strain of bringing your house to an ideal temperature to counteract the air sneaking in from the garage. The colder or warmer the garage, the colder or warmer the rooms that border it. By making your garage energy efficient, you’re addressing these problem areas so your garage can stay closer to the temperature you want without raising your utility bills to get it there! Not to mention, saving energy has the added benefit of reducing your carbon footprint and helping the environment.

What are Different Ways to Seal Your Garage from the Cold?

By sealing your garage, you can block outside temperatures from seeping into your home. While the task may seem daunting, there are several options you can take depending on your budget. Be it a DIY setup with items around the house or full-on renovation, every little bit of protection helps!

Wall Insulation

If your garage is finished with drywall, insulation will probably have to be blown in by a professional. However, if the garage is constructed with bare studs and plywood, you can install rolled insulation with a staple hammer and a few other supplies. You'll want to get paper-backing ("faced") rolled insulation with an R-value ("retention") of 15.


A garage has at least two doors: the main garage door that acts as an entryway between your garage and the outdoors, and the passage door. The main garage door is the biggest moving object in your house so there's a great deal of air exchange with the outside. Air leakage happens on all sides of the door, but you can easily seal these problem points with weatherstripping and bottom seals. See the chart below for just how effective these seals are at stopping air leaks!

The best weatherstripping for the main garage door’s top and sides is a vinyl stop molding seal. The coiled duraseal North Shore carries is an attractive option that looks like real wood and comes in white, grey, black, sandstone, and almond. Its coiled structure means the cost of shipping is far cheaper than other seals and ensures the product arrives without damage. Duraseal is DIY-friendly, so you can install it quickly to keep out encroaching temperatures.

The EZ Zip seal is ideal for the bottom of garage doors and has the added advantage of not needing a retainer to install! It functions as a two-in-one bottom seal and retainer and comes coiled so it is affordable to ship and arrives without damage. Our handy EZ Zip seal kits include everything needed for installation, so homeowners can seal their vulnerable garage points with ease.

If extreme weather is common in your neck of the woods, consider a more heavy-duty seal like the EPDM Tri-Fin Polar Seal for maximum energy efficiency. Designed to withstand winter’s worst, it remains pliable in extreme temperatures from -60 to over 200 degrees Fahrenheit. The Tri-Fin rubber seal can also hold up in glacial areas with its rubber thermal break that functions as a gasket beneath the retainer and creates a tight seal. Although EPDM seals have a higher price tag, the durability of their specialized rubber is unmatched.

Passenger doors can be sealed by using passenger door sweeps. North Shore carries several types that are built with a top-quality vinyl seal. They are affordable and come in mill, white, and brown to match your existing door or frame color. You can quickly install each kit using household tools plus the included matching screws that easily fasten to the pre-punched aluminum retainer. The door sweep kits also feature pre-punched retainers so you don't have to drill any additional holes.


Garages usually have one window. To check if the air is leaking in from the outside, your best bet is to slowly run a wisp of tissue around the frame to see if it flutters from air infiltration. If it does, silicone/acrylic caulk is ideal to seal off the airflow. Silicone is flexible in the cold and acrylic stands up well to the direct sunlight. If you have a more versatile budget, consider installing energy-efficient windows made from materials like fiberglass, which can be up to 15% more efficient than vinyl windows at keeping the outside air out.

Garage Door

A shut garage door can still affect the temperature inside. Most overhead doors are made of aluminum which can transfer a small amount of the cold into your garage. Buying a polyurethane-insulated garage door is a great way to combat this disadvantage, but if you don’t want to commit to a new door you can opt for external insulation such as peel-and-stick products.

How to Beat the Heat from Infiltrating Your Garage

While winter’s chill is the more common reason for making your garage energy efficient, warmer climates bring their own garage concerns. Heat and the accompanying humidity can affect items stored in the garage such as car components, electrical wiring, and even appliances like your fridge.

Much like with cool air, heat leeches into your garage through natural cracks first and from there enters your house through the passage door. Unlike cold air, warm air can rise and turn the attic or any other living space into an oven.

Managing the heat is your best option to save energy and keep your property safe. Providing adequate ventilation is a great method and far more practical than air conditioning. Roof vent turbines are a great option that are mounted on the roof and operate via the process of heat transfer. Their fans are self-propelled by the rising heat, which makes them a green option and an inexpensive solution to beat the heat.

Reflective or vinyl garage door insulation materials are great DIY projects to increase energy efficiency as well. A foil-backed reflective layer of insulation will work in all weather with the added bonus of stifling the noise from year-round landscaping in hot climates, loud neighbors, and other disturbances. Vinyl garage door insulation is great for year-round temperature concerns but requires more effort to install. Both insulation types work well as a self-regulating mechanism for the garage’s temperature. As with cold weather, wall and ceiling insulation gives your garage some extra backbone to stand up to the weather outside of your residential garage and tells it to stay out.

If your garage is already insulated and used as a craft space or workshop, a simple AC wall unit can work if your garage is small enough. A fan can also lower the temperature by a few degrees, but that's better on a timer for simple storage/carport garages.

Finally, if your garage is disorganized in a warm climate, you have a hot mess—literally. It's a monster-sized chore for many of us, but organizing can do a lot to increase airflow which cools things down a bit. And everyone likes a clean garage.

Keep Your Garage’s Equipment Updated

While a sealed garage uses less energy to keep it at an ideal temperature, the equipment in your garage can consume excessive power that needlessly raises your electrical bill. Garage door openers can run for years, but many older models are not made to conserve energy the way newer openers do. In addition to their energy-saving capabilities, newer openers also boast many impressive features such as Wifi capabilities. Check out North Shore’s range of residential openers designed for any style of garage to see the best openers on the market!

Clean Energy Improves Efficiency, Too!

If you're ready to max out your efficiency, solar panels have a sizable investment up-front but are relatively easy to install and increase your capacity to further reduce energy costs.

Keep Your Garage Going With Replacement Parts From North Shore Commercial Door!

Lastly, it’s important to keep your garage door in operation to lower its energy usage. The last thing you need is your opener using more power than needed to open a malfunctioning door! At North Shore, we carry thousands of hard-to-locate hinges, fasteners, and more. And when your 16-year-old leaves the garage door open for 3 hours in the dead of winter, there's a Smartphone wifi-enabled device for you to close it from work.

Still Curious About Energy Efficiency?

Please ask! Our in-house experts can help you with your questions on all things Energy-related as well as top garage brands on the market. Get in touch with our support crew: