Whenever you buy a home, you get a home inspection, which will generally check to make sure that the building is fully insulated.
This makes sure that during the summer, the cold air stays inside and the hot air stays out, and that the reverse is true during the winter. You wouldn’t let the living space in your home go without proper insulation, so why isn’t the same true of your garage?
It is important to make sure the garage ceiling is insulated, especially if there is a living space located above the garage. Many builders will skip this important step during construction, in order to save money, and because the area is often left unfinished. Without insulation however, the area above your garage will be subject to outdoor temperatures.
It will feel icy cold in the winter and blazing hot in the summer, and an enormous amount of energy will be wasted while your thermostat attempts to compensate for this. The most common way to insulate a garage ceiling is to use fiberglass pads. You can install these by stapling them between the joints of the ceiling. Some DIY experts also recommend covering the fiberglass pads with a layer of copper or sheathing, for extra insulation. This step is not absolutely necessary, but it will definitely keep the hot or cold air (depending on the season) from escaping.
Insulating Garage Walls
In many modern houses, a garage is usually attached to a house. The walls that separate the garage from the living area need to be insulated, air sealed, and finished with fire-resistant drywall. Just as insulating your garage ceiling will help regulate the temperature of the above living-space, insulating the walls attaching the garage to the house will help regulate the rooms which share a wall with the garage.
If you are unsure if your garage walls have this vital insulation, a professional energy consultant can inspect the walls using a special infrared camera. If the energy consultant discovers that there is no insulation, don’t stress. It is possible to blow new insulation into the wall though holes drilled into the drywall, as opposed to having to totally strip the drywall from the garage. It is important that the garage is sealed air tight, not only for energy efficiency but also for protection against carbon monoxide and exhaust fumes from cars.
Exterior Door Inside The Garage
It is important that you make sure that both the external garage door and the door which connects the garage to your living space are well insulated. Most garage doors are metal, and this means that it is very easy for hot and cold air to be lost through them. If you want to dramatically reduce your energy bills, this is a crucial step. Weather-stripping the bottom of both of these doors is easy to do yourself, and it will prevent air from circulating underneath the doors. Polystyrene and foam insulation are the easiest and most efficient forms of insulation to install on your garage door.
In most places, the building codes call for the door to be fire-rated. To find out if your door is fire-rated, you can look for a fire-rated label located on the door. These labels are usually located on the hinge-side, top, or bottom of the door. They will say either UL (Underwriters Laboratories) or WH (Warnock Hersey) if they are fire-rated. Make sure you’re looking for labels that might have been painted over, too.