Creating an Energy Efficient Garage
A man in England recently found 109 US dollars (85£) in change inside his couch. Rummaging behind the cushions for a lost guitar pick, he discovered a pot-of-gold he'd been making unknown deposits in for years. Like that hungry couch, hot or cold air is fighting to get into your garage and it can nickel-and-dime a small fortune out of you and your family with larger home heating and AC energy bills.
As both a leader and innovator in garage supplies and technology, North Shore Commercial Door has products such as weather seal, draft-catchers and thresholds; Smart-phone operable devices and 60+ brands of repair and replacement parts—especially hardwares to keep that garage door in operation. However, there are also steps you can take today to create a more energy efficient garage. Stuff in your garage, basement and even junk drawer can be used to keep your house and the planet more comfortable, and put a lot of coinsback in your pocket.
Only the entry wall of most houses is insulated so the garage is within 10 degrees of outside temperature (unless you're in a hot climate. If that's the case, see section below).
Since most homes don't have heating/AC running into the garage, the bigger energy bill comes from pushing more heat into the house to counteract the cold air sneaking in from the garage.
The colder the garage, the colder the rooms right next to the garage.
Cracks and gaps are in the garage and entryway walls (check inside and outside), where the floor and wall meet as well as the doors and windows. Doors are the tricky part because they're always being used.
Step-by-Step to Seal Your Garage
- wall insulation: if your garage is finished with drywall, insulation will probably have to be blown-in. However, if its bare studs and plywood, you can install rolled insulation with a staple hammer and a few other supplies. You'll be looking for paper-backing ("faced") rolled insulation. An R ("retention") value of 15 is suitable for a garage.
- doors: your garage has at least two doors: garage door and the passage door. That garage door is the biggest moving thing in your house so there's a lot of air exchange with the outside. Garage door thresholds can be installed directly into the floor and will keep out the winter air and the summer pests. Weather-stripping for the sides and bottom of the garage door makes big difference as well. In addition to blocking out the heat they are flexible enough to maintain contact with the door. They are installed on the sides or doorjambs and they lock out the little and big drafts. Cold air nicks your energy bill the most at your passage door. Simple brush-guard or draft-catchers, with up to 7 inch bristles, halt the cold air that slithers in under the door.
- Windows: garages usually have one window. Yor best bet is to slowly run a wisp of tissue around the frame to see if anything makes it flutter. If it does, silicone/acrylic caulk is ideal: silicone is flexy in the cold and acrylic stands up well to the direct sunlight.
- Easily-Forgettable Stuff: the garage door itself can affect temperature just standing still. Most are made of aluminum which can transfer a small amount of the cold into your garage. Buying a poly-urethane insulated garaged door is an option but external insulation can be as simple as peel-andstick. Finally, hardware and hinges, literally the nuts-andbolts of the garage door, can allow small drafts in. They are also critical to effective operation since most residential garage doors are rolling or pivot panels. Cold weather and salt in northern climates can damage them so take a good look at those too.
Warmer climates have their own garage concerns. Anyone filling up the SUV with the kids for a pool trip knows that just opening the entry door is brutal. Heat, and the accompanying humidity, can affect stuff in the garage: car components, electrical wiring and even appliances like that old-school drink fridge.
Like cold air, that heat can leech into the garage through cracks and then into the house through the passage door. Unlike cold air, hot air can rise and turn the attic into a kiln. If the garage has not attic, any room above the garage during the heat will get noticeably warmer as well.
Moving your garage out from the sun is ideal, but both the sun and your garage are quite large. So managing the heat is better. Ventilation is effective and more practical than running HVAC into the garage. The turbine, chef's-hat spinning vents are one option. They mount on the roof and the induction/heat transfer self-propels the fan. It's a very green option as well since the hot air rises by itself.
Reflective or vinyl garage door insulation is a good Saturday project solution. Foil-backed garage door insulation works in all weather but will also soften the growl from year-round landscaping in hot climates, sounds from loud neighbors and other noise. Vinyl garage door insulation is great for year-round temperature concerns but is a little more effort to install. Both insulation types work well as a self-regulating mechanism for the garage temperature. As with cold weather, wall and ceiling insulation gives your garage some extra backbone to stand up to the weather outside and tell it to stay out.
If your garage is already insulated and used as a craft space or workshop, a simple A/C wall unit works well since most garages are not huge. A fan can lower the temperature a few ticks, but that's better on a timer for simple storage/carport garages.
Finally, if your garage is disorganized in a warm climate, you literally have a hot mess. It's a monster-sized chore for many of us, but organizing can do a lot to increase air-flow which cools things down a bit. And everyone likes a clean garage.
You can get really creative in how to increase the energy efficiency of your garage. Some people grow root vegetables and other plants starting in the spring to ADD resources rather than only conserving energy. If you're ready to max out your efficiency, solar panels have a sizable investment up-front, but are actually a reasonable assembly and install for a DIY-er.
Once the heat or cold gets into garage the next stop is in the house. Keeping the outside outside and secure the climate in your garage with weather seal, and in your house with passage/entry door kits—including brush seals. Double up the blocking power with door/panel insulation kits.
Lower your output by keeping that garage door in operation. Find thousands of hard-to-locate hinges, fasteners, and more. And when your 16-year-old leaves the garage door open for 3 hours in January or August there's a Smart-phone wifi-enabled device for you to close it from work.
The big concern is the comfort and look of your house. The Great Lakes Region, where North Shore Commercial Door is based, knows a thing or two about harsh winters. But we also have customers nationwide and especially throughout Florida, Texas, the Southeast and even California. So, hot or cold, we know your garage is the first room you see getting home. If the garage is energy efficient and tidy it can spur you towards more and greener projects in your home. As always, NorthShore Commercial Door has the parts and the people to take your garage from a breezy afterthought to an investment and even a bonus room for your house.
These everyday tips along North Shore Commercial Door being just a tap or click away, will keep the garage, your First Place, energy-efficient and comfortable.
To see more helpful content like this article look here. Tap or click back again soon for new DIY, Lifestyle Articles, How-To's and more from North Shore Commercial Door! (Next up, we'll be dealing with fixing and programming your garage door transmitter/remote.)