How To Insulate Your Garage And Reduce Your Energy Bill
While the garage protects from weather elements like rain, snow and wind, an uninsulated garage is still at the mercy of temperature fluctuations throughout the seasons. It can be quite uncomfortable in the heat of summer or the coldest part of winter. An insulated garage offers many benefits for homeowners, including reducing that energy bill. This guide will walk you through everything you should know about insulating a garage, including the benefits of garage insulation and how to do it.
Should I Insulate A Detached Garage The Short Answer
In general, you should insulate your detached garage if it is located within IECC climate zone 4 or above, particularly if you plan to spend much time in the garage during cold weather months. You will also want to insulate a detached garage if you will be adding a heating or cooling system to the building, regardless of the climate zone. Photo: Building America Solution Center
Seal The Door Between The House And Garage
Cost: $10 and up for weatherstripping.
First thing is to make sure that there is weatherstripping installed around the entire door frame, and that it is intact, pliable, and seals out most of the air from the garage. You can use smoke to detect air leaks around the door, or an even easier way is to turn on the lights to the garage and turn them off on the inside portion of the door and see if any light comes through. Next, make sure that your threshold is sealing the bottom of the door properly. You can use a simple draft stopper if you do not want to go through the hassle of replacing the entire threshold. One last often overlooked project is to caulk the trim around the inside and outside portion of the door. Air can find a way through the inner construction of the door frame if this decorative trim is not sealed properly.
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How Do I Keep My Garage Warm In The Winter
If you tend to have mild winters, you can keep your garage at a comfortable temperature by simply insulating your garage door and windows, and weather-stripping exterior doors. You’ll likely still need to wear some layers while you work, but beefed up insulation will keep your garage much warmer than the outside.
Insulate The Outlets And Light Switches To The Garage
Cost: $5 for specialized outlet/switch foam gaskets.
It is important to seal all the tiny cracks in your garage, so that air cannot seep to the inside of your living space. Not only should you be concerned about the penetration of hot or cold garage air through the walls, but also the carbon monoxide which is present after a vehicle has either entered or left the garage. These fumes can find their way into the smallest spaces between the walls and then enter your home without you even knowing it.
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How To Insulate A Garage Floor
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It is safe to assume that the floor is uninsulated, and that it is solid concrete, laid on hardcore. Getting the garage to habitable standards means doing something with the floor, if only to comply with building regulations, but it is difficult to justify the cost of excavating the floor and relaying the concrete, merely to install insulation. A more practical option will be to place insulation on top of the floor and how thick that is will be affected by the ceiling height.
Optimum insulation thickness would be 100mm of rigid foam insulation, giving a U-value of 0.22W/m2K. Minimum ceiling height in habitable rooms would be 2.1m. It may be that there is insufficient ceiling height for 100mm of insulation, or that it presents problems elsewhere at door thresholds and the like. In which case install what is practically possible. Even insulating a floor with a 10mm insulation will make the floor feel warmer if not doing much to improve the U-value.
Pro Tips To Insulate A Garage
Our pals at BobVila.com have performed dozens of garage projects and have knowledge and experience with insulation. Heres what Taylor had to say:
- Address any moisture problem before insulating since water from a leaky roof or window will damage insulation.
- Seal all gaps around doors and windows to keep drafts out. If you take the time to insulate your garagedo it rightblock the drafts while you’re at it.”
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The Best Options For Garage Wall Insulation
If your garage has cavity walls, then opting for blown-in cavity wall insulation will offer an effective level of insulation. This process involves drilling a small hole within your wall and filling it with one of several types of insulation material. This is something that must be done by a professional, requiring experience and specialist equipment. Before filling your cavity walls as a method of garage insulation, you should first have your walls examined by a surveyor. Houses in certain areas are unsuitable for cavity wall insulation due to high rain levels, and damaged outer walls can have serious issues with condensation when insulated. If your cavity walls are unsuitable for insulation, you can insulate them much as you would a solid wall.
If your garage has solid walls, such as breeze blocks, your options will be internal or external garage insulation. For internal installation, constructing a stud wall around your garage with metal or timber frames can allow you to use traditional thermal insulation slabs and batts within the wall, snugly fitted between the studs. You can install thermal insulation boards on top of your stud wall, or insulated plasterboards.
External wall insulation can be a better choice for detached garage insulation. External wall insulation boards can be fitted around the walls of your garage, which is then rendered over to ensure weatherproofing. This will insulate your garage without costing any floor space.
Insulate The Surrounding Walls To The Garage
Cost: $1,000 and up for the standard two door garage.
Many older homes were not built with insulation in the walls of the garage. Many of these homes have only outside siding, radiant sheathing, and a layer of particle board protecting your garage walls from the elements. Insulating your garage walls is usually as easy as rolling the proper R-value insulation between your joists, or having it blown-in through a small hole in the drywall of the sides and ceilings of your garage.
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Cost Of A Garage Insulation Project
Okay, youve made it this far, and youre almost a garage insulation expert yourselfalmost.
Lets talk project costs.
Insulation projects can get expensive, especially if big upgrades are needed. But heres the good news: They are one of the best home improvement projects you can take on.
Not only can added insulation cut your monthly spend on energy waste, but it also could increase your home value, remember?
Air Sealing Before Garage Insulation
An uninsulated garage has lots of air gaps. So, in addition to properly insulating your floor, ceiling, walls, and doors, filling those air gaps is also necessary. If you fail to do that, your insulation wont make much of a difference.
You can seal those gaps before starting your garage insulation project. First, spot these gaps and then go around your garage with a can of spray foam insulation and fill the gaps and holes.
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Add Passive Solar Heating
Cost: $50 and up for a homemade unit.
One of today’s ultimate workshop conveniences in the wintertime is to have a heated garage. Attaining this with either a gas or electric heater is both expensive and carbon costly. However, if you can harness the heat from the sun, you can have your heat and not feel guilty about it. The labor involved in building such a unit is fairly straight forward as long as you have a few basic hand tools and craft experience.
How Can I Keep My Garage Cool
How to Cool Your Garage
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Insulating A Detached Garage
As a property owner, insulation is one of the easiest ways to generate ongoing savings. Every degree of heat you keep in a building is a degree you dont have to pay to generate!
In locales that experience at least a few months of cold weather every year, insulating homes and attached garages makes a lot of sense. But what about insulating detached garages?
In this article well dive into some of the most commonly asked questions around detached garage insulation, including:
- Should I insulate a detached garage?
- What is the best insulation for a detached garage?
- How can I insulate my detached garage cheaply?
- Can I insulate a prefab detached garage?
Caulk The Connection Between The Walls And Concrete Floor
Cost: $5 for a few tubes of caulking.
Many garages are not built using the proper compressible foam between the lower framing and concrete floor. What happens is over time this connection swells, shrinks, and moves, leaving spaces which will allow air from the outside to leak in. You can either use a foam sealant or a latex/silicone based caulk to seal this often overlooked area.
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Benefits Of Insulating A Garage
The goal of insulation is to insulate, or protect something with a heat- and sound-resistant material, the inside of the garage from the harshness of the world outside. Basically, it keeps it hot inside when its cold outside and cold inside when its hot outside. The key benefits include:
- Prevents air leakage
Getting The Job Done Right
Id hire Ramon again in a heartbeat, says Nicole Y. of Redlands, California. He showed up ON TIME with everything needed to get the job done. He did exactly what he said he would do, and the final cost matched his estimate. He even made sure to allow access to things like electrical outlets. His attention to detail is impressive and we are very happy with his work.
Find an insulation contractor in your area.
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S To Insulate Garage Walls
What Is The Best Warm
The best insulation for garages in sunny areas is double-bubble radiant barrier. Photo: GreenLeaf Roofing
If one of your main concerns is keeping your detached garage cool during hot summers, its important to guard against the radiant heat of the suns rays. That being said, youll still want to add a conductive insulation if you plan to have air conditioning or heat in your garage.
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Insulating Your Garage: The Basics
Its a popular misconception that insulating your garage will instantly add warmth to the area. The truth is that insulation slows down the transfer of heat through an insulated barrier.
One of the main reasons people choose to insulate a garage is because the garage is connected to the house. Due to heat transfer, the rooms that are connected to the garage wall will lose their heat quicker than others. This will increase heating bills and reduce comfort to those who are in the rooms that are connected.
If youre planning on using the garage as an extra room, insulating should be a key priority to make the occupants as comfortable as possible.
Another important aspect of insulating your garage is the added security which it will give you. By adding insulation into spaces where potential intruders may have the ability to gain entry youre protecting your valuable assets and your home. Insulation will become a second wall and without the ability to gain access into an area, the thieves will eventually get bored and move on.
Choosing The Right Insulation
Before learning how to insulate a garage door, its important to know about insulation R-values. R-value measures the effectiveness of a type of insulation. Typically, a higher R-value means better climate control and better energy efficiency for your home. Insulation R-values vary based on the type, thickness and density of the insulation material. The total R-value of your insulated areas can increase as you stack layers of insulation.
A high R-value for your DIY garage door insulation will keep your garage warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. High R-value insulation, however, is often more expensive than low R-value insulation. To best insulate your garage and stay within budget, choose your insulation type based on the type of garage and garage door you have.
Follow these tips to choose the right insulation for your garage door:
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How To Insulate Your Garage Walls With Spray
Follow these steps for insulating your garage with foam insulation:
- Measure and cut a piece of foam insulation that is large enough to cover walls, ceiling, and floor.
- Make sure it fits tightly in place without any gaps or holes.
- Use spray adhesive on all edges, then press firmly into place once you have it where you want it.
- Use a staple gun to secure all corners.
After the insulation is installed, keep the garage doors and windows closed, when possible.
This helps keep your garage warm during the winter months and prevent dust from getting into newly insulated areas of the garage.
Use weather stripping along the bottom of your door to keep out drafts and cold air. This will help you save money on heating costs, especially if its attached under an outer wooden frame that helps seal up any gaps around the outside of the door. You can also use foam insulation on the outside of your door to keep air from seeping in.
If you have windows in your garage, make sure theyre covered with plastic or some insulation material. Left uncovered on cold nights or hot summer days, it can be a prime way for outside air to get in. Plastic helps prevent moisture buildup as well as insulate against the harsh winter weather.
Things To Keep In Mind
If you are installing the insulation yourself, take the time to do the process methodically to ensure it is done correctly. Starting by moving everything away from the walls and work in sections this may prove helpful. Begin at the smaller corners and go back over the larger spots. If you are using fiberglass, cut it to size and stuff it between your rafters. Should the cuts be too small, you can nail in the pieces or staple them to keep them in place.
At this point, you would look for any smaller spots you may have missed or could not fill. You can fill these in with the foam. Dont forget to insulate the ceiling and the door. The garage door might need to be adjusted if too much weight has been added in the process. Another option is replacing your door with one that has already been insulated.
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What Is The Best Overall Detached Garage Insulation
In most cases, the best insulation for a detached garage is fiberglass batts or rolls. Photo: Norboard
Classic fiberglass rolls/batts are probably still the most common form of detached garage insulation, and theres a reason why. They hit that sweet spot of being both easy to install and cost-effective. Plus, they boast a relatively good R-value per inch.
Can I Add Insulation To My Garage
To save on energy costs, most people strive to insulate their homes effectively. However, many homeowners do not even consider the benefits of insulating a garage. The type and amount of insulation for a garage depend on how the garage is used and if the garage is attached to the house or stands alone. The short answer to this question is that you caninsulate your garage. Read on to learn more below.
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Tools And Materials Needed
Tools will vary based on the type of insulation chosen to install, but the tools are the general ones you will need for fiberglass installation. Other than these, you may need more specialized tools, such as a blowing machine, mask, and safety glasses for cellulose insulation, or a sprayer, rubber gloves, overalls, and respirator if installing spray foam.
When To Insulate Your Garage
Does your garage need insulation? The answer depends on several factors of your specific living situation. For example, it may not make sense to insulate a detached garage, unless you often use it as a workspace and want to keep it comfortable year-round. However, there are many reasons you may want to insulate your attached garage, especially if you use it as an extended living space or workshop. Insulating your garage can even benefit other interior living spaces that adjoin the garage because the garage offers a barrier to the outside and can increase your homes overall energy efficiency.
Its also a good idea to insulate your garage if you have pipes running through it that could freeze in winter, or if you store delicate items, power tools and electronics in your garage. If youre wondering how much to insulate a garage, read on for more tips on insulating garage walls, ceilings, doors and more.
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