High utility bills are a common issue for many households. When people get high electricity bills for a couple of months in a row, they usually think that it’s due to inefficient appliances, lighting fixtures, or boilers, or poor insulation, which is true, in most cases, but many fail to take the their garage into consideration, which can have a great impact on a home’s energy efficiency.
Garages are often overlooked when thinking about energy efficiency, but they actually drain a lot of energy, mostly because a garage’s door is opened and closed numerous times over the course of each day, and because homeowners fail to insulate their garages properly, so they are oftentimes the main reason for rising energy costs. But, the following tips might help you improve your garage’s energy efficiency and lower your electric bills.
Insulate Your Garage Door
Poorly insulated garage doors are among the main causes of low efficiency. If you feel that you are spending too much money on electricity, one of the first things you should do is check your garage’s door and see if it’s insulated well. If it’s not insulated correctly, you can either buy a new door that is insulated properly, which is obviously the easier, but a considerably more expensive solution, or you can insulate your current door on your own, which costs much less. All you have to do is buy an insulation kit, that you can get for as little as $50 – $60, and apply the radiant barrier sheets on the inside of your door. Also, look for air leaks around the door, and if you find some, seal them with some weatherstripping.
Insulate the Walls
To do this, you will need an R-value insulation, which should be put between a garage’s joists, or blown into the drywall. This will provide great thermal insulation, which many garage walls, especially in homes that were built a couple of decades ago, don’t have.
Check the Windows
Another thing that can affect the energy efficiency of your garage is old windows that don’t provide any insulation whatsoever. That’s why you should either replace your old windows with ones that are Energy Star certified, but they can be a bit expensive, and if you want a cheaper solution, you can apply insulation strips to the existing windows, which can do a good job of keeping the cold air out and the warm air in.
Get More Efficient Light Bulbs
Garage lighting is another huge energy drainer. Most homeowners don’t think that the light bulbs in their garage consume a lot of energy, but regular bulbs are pretty inefficient and may increase your energy bill significantly. That’s why you should replace your old bulbs with LED or CFL lights, that need much less electricity than incandescent bulbs.
Install Solar Panels
This is arguably the most expensive solution for making your garage more energy efficient, but it’s definitely the most effective one. If you install solar panels, you won’t depend on electricity to warm up your garage, and you will save a lot of money in the long run.
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Jordan Perch is an automotive fanatic and “car tech” expert. He is full-time contributor to DMV.com, a collaborative community for US drivers.