Simple ways to make sure your garage isn’t costing you money on utility bills

Simple ways to make sure your garage isn’t costing you money on utility bills

Originally published on SFGate Website via Brandpoint Newspaper

wood garage door

Wooden Car Garage

As ever-increasing home energy bills continue to plague Americans, homeowners are look for cost-effect ways to reduce their heating and cooling costs.  If your house has not been properly insulated, you may be paying more than you should to heat or cool it.

Nearly all modern homes have insulation throughout the living spaces, but garages commonly get overlooked.  Because the garage is the last barrier between your home and the outdoors, it’s important to ensure the insulation is adequate.  You can do a few simple things to make sure your garage is insulated properly.

First, it’s important to ensure that the door leading from your home to the garage is sealed properly.  If air leaks through the cracks around the door, it’s nearly as problematic as leaving the door wide open.  Weather-stripping kits are available to insulate the edges of your door.  Some are made to just go along the bottom of the door, and some fit around the edges to prevent any air leaks.

Other areas to consider when checking your garage’s energy efficiency are the ceiling and the garage door threshold.  If there is a room above your garage, it may be beneficial to bolster the insulation in the garage’s ceiling to help keep the living space above it comfortable.  For the threshold, installing a rubber seal-strip on the floor where the garage door closes helps prevent air leaks, and keeps out insects and rodents.

That said, one of the most important areas to examine is the garage door itself.  While installing a pre-insulated garage door can cost up to a thousand dollars or more, and requires a skilled contractor, there is a simple and inexpensive DIY solution to insulate your garage – garage door insulation kits.

Home owners can easily insulate their existing garage doors with these kits, which are readily available in leading home improvement stores or online.  These affordable and easy-to-use kits are made to fit standard garage door sizes and can be cut to fit non-standard sizes.  With pre-packaged insulation, do -it-yourselfers can insulate their garage door in less than an hour, at a cost of less than $100.  Kits use energy-efficient expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation panels – a rigid white foam that trims easily, is durable, offers excellent long-term insulation, and gives your garage a professionally finished look.

“Whether in the garage door, or any other part of the home, EPS is a durable high-performance insulation,” says Insulfoam insulation expert, Ram Mayilvahanan.  “It has minimal long-term moisture absorption, and dries quickly, so works well anywhere from the foundation to the roof.”

Homeowners do not need technical skills to install garage door insulation.  Simply cut the insulation panels to size with a knife and straightedge, and flex the panels into place between the garage door’s horizontal rails.  The panels remain firmly in place without the use of messy glues or awkward tape.  A simple how-to-video show the step-by-step process.

During fall and winter, the insulation helps keep heat inside the garage so that the furnace does not work as hard and use as much energy.  In the summer, the insulation helps keep the sun’s heat at bay so the garage can stay cool.  Insulating your garage also helps reduce interior noise and can earn federal tax credits as an energy-efficient upgrade (check your local energy guides for more information).


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