As the media continually reports about dwindling natural resources, homeowners and business owners have made their buildings more energy efficient. This change has allowed individuals to cut back on energy consumption and preserve the natural resources left on the earth.
You, like many other homeowners, have decided to do your part in conserving energy. You’ve chosen to make your home more energy efficient. But before you call your contractor to begin renovations and upgrades, you need to remember one key location in your home: your garage. After all, what’s the point in making the main part of your home energy efficient if your garage is energy unfriendly?
Below, we offer several tips to help you transform your garage and make it more energy efficient. Read on to learn what you can do to maximize your energy-saving efforts as you renovate your home.
- Install a New, Insulated Garage Door
Older garage doors were made of easy-to-gather materials. Unfortunately, many of these aren’t energy efficient on their own. If you can’t add insulation to your current garage door, opt for a new door that has insulation preinstalled.
You want a garage door that has an R-value of 13 to 17.5%. This value means that the door is better able to insulate your garage, which, in turn, prevents air from leaking in and out of the door.
- Add Insulation to the Walls and Floors
You’ll also want to add insulation to your garage floors and walls. Many older garages were also built with easily accessible materials, and many contractors didn’t use insulation as they built the structure. Again, choose insulation with a higher R-value to protect your garage from air leaks.
Not sure which insulation will work best? Talk to a garage expert or a contractor. These professionals work regularly with high-quality materials and can make a recommendation.
- Switch Out Lights and Electrical Fixtures
As you renovate your garage, remember to replace old light bulbs with more energy-efficient ones. Also, change out the light switches, outlets, and other electrical fixtures for new ones. Older wiring and electrical fixtures can use more energy than necessary. Additionally, they pose fire and electrocution hazards.
Before your electrician installs the new switches and outlets, have him or her insulate these components as well. Air can leak through the tiniest of cracks, such as those in and around these fixtures. Insulation further prevents air from leaking into and out of your garage and home.
- Fill in Cracks and Holes
Take a look at your walls and doors. Do you see any cracks or holes? Use caulking to fill in these openings. If you have large cracks or holes in your garage floor, use a foam filler to cover the damage. Or, you can replace the floor entirely.
You should also place weather stripping underneath the garage door and any other service doors that lead into the garage. The weather stripping can prevent air, water, insects, and other materials from getting into and damaging your garage and home.
- Protect Your Flooring
If you have a plain concrete floor in your garage, chances are it isn’t well protected. Although concrete is sturdy, constant fluctuations in temperature, as well as water exposure, can cause the concrete to crack. To protect your flooring and make your garage more energy efficient, cover the flooring with rugs, carpet, or another similar material.
If you only use your garage to park your car, simply fill the cracks with insulating foam each time they appear.
- Dispose of Old Appliances
Many homeowners have a chest freezer or extra fridge in their garages. But if these appliances are too old and don’t run efficiently, they’ll use more energy to work as best as they can. To reduce your home’s overall energy consumption, replace the old appliances throughout your home-including the ones in your garage. Opt for ENERGY STAR-approved models for extra savings.
- Consider Solar Energy
If you truly want to go the extra mile and make your home more sustainable, consider adding solar panels to the roof of your garage. These panels can produce the energy you need to heat and light your home and garage.
And if you produce more energy than you consume, the government may even pay you to use that surplus energy.
- Maintain the Garage Door
One of the best ways to keep your garage energy efficient is to maintain your garage door. If it’s broken, have a garage door technician fix it. Make sure each component works seamlessly. Check the insulation and replace it if necessary. Replace the weather stripping if it becomes too worn or damaged. Taking these small steps not only extends the life of your garage door but also allows the space to continuously use energy efficiently.
As you work to make your home more energy efficient, remember to take care of your garage as well. Contact AAA Garage Doors to make repairs on your garage door and to maintain the device after you’ve transformed your garage. Also, get in touch with contractors and other professionals who can help with other parts of the upgrade process.