Don’t overlook your garage when it comes to energy matters. The garage is a part of your home, so it contributes to your electric bills. Reduce your energy usage and carbon footprint by making just a few modifications and creating an energy efficient garage.
Don’t place a portable air conditioner and heater in your garage or else you’ll be racking up your electric bill. Solar panels are a cost-effective way to reduce energy inside your home, as they gather and store energy from the sun and convert it into electricity. The electricity is disbursed not only in your garage but throughout the whole house, as well. If it’s a cool day, solar panels can provide light and heat in your garage. On days when you want the temperature lowered, cover the solar panels to keep the sun out.
If insulation is lacking in your garage, the hot and cold air circulates back and forth from the garage to your home through shared walls. When this happens, it becomes difficult to control the temperature inside your home, and you’ll find yourself constantly adjusting the thermostat. When it’s easy for thermal energy to flow through the walls of your home, then contaminants spread, which reduces the air quality. You can choose from a variety of insulation and installation methods to help combat this issue. Be sure you insulate the electrical outlets and light switches, too! Small areas may compare in size to the rest of your space, but thermal energy can seep through them as well.
Believe it or not, the type of windows your garage has can affect your energy. Storm and energy-efficient windows will prevent air and moisture from getting inside your garage. Every so often, replace the caulking and weather stripping on the panes of the windows. This helps avoid the loss of thermal energy.
Garage floors are typically made out of cement, which can crack with temperature change. When moisture gets into the cracks, it expands underneath and can make it hard to close your garage door completely. If getting your garage floors redone isn’t in your budget, you can seal the cracks with concrete caulk. Adding rugs and mats to the garage floor can also help maintain the temperature.
One of the best things you can do to go green is to switch your light bulbs to LED lights. LED light bulbs don’t require as much energy to run, making them last longer than standard lighting. An additional way to reduce your carbon footprint is by setting a light timer that you program to turn off at certain times.
If you keep older appliances — such as refrigerators, freezers, washers, or dryers — in your garage, then it’s time for an upgrade! Older appliances take more money to operate, and it can actually be cheaper to invest in new energy equipment. If you would rather keep them for now, consider unplugging them to save money on your power bills.
Thresholds give your garage easy access to unwanted cold and hot air. Make sure the doors in your garage are thoroughly sealed with stripping and a barrier. You’ll need to replace the seals periodically to maintain good condition.