For most homeowners, controlling their garage’s temperature is a challenge. Keeping a constant temperature in a room which has a door that opens several times a day, or is even left open for hours at a time, can be problematic. Constant temperature fluctuations have the potential to damage items such as tools, cars, or toys stored in the garage. Further, a poorly insulated garage can also wreak havoc on energy bills. Luckily, there are steps you can take to ensure a quasi-comfortable temperature in your garage.
Why Insulate the Garage?
There are many benefits to insulating a garage that may not come to mind right away. For example, energy conservation is a huge plus, as you’re able to maintain a more consistent temperature. In turn, you don’t have to overwork you’re A/C unit which can lower your energy bills. Further, insulation acts as a sound barrier. The extra buffer can keep noise from the street and the home contained. Are you someone who performs a lot of projects in their garage that require power tools? Insulation’s soundproofing feature will keep you in the good graces of your neighbors.
Areas to Insulate
There are three main areas within the garage that you should insulate. If you’re unable to insulate all three areas, at least take care of whichever ones you can. Insulating one area is better than none. If you’re interested in taking care of the other parts, considering investing in a professional service to help you reach those areas.
The overhead garage door is the main barrier to the outside and is often the thinnest part of the garage. Most doors consist of thin aluminum that heats and cools with the weather. As such, we strongly recommend getting some insulation, especially if the garage connects to the home and shares a wall. Insulating the garage door is the easiest and cheapest thing to do. You can purchase different kinds of “stick-on” insulation or kits that will have everything you need. Additionally, you can also purchase a new, pre-insulated door.
Many garages have an attic above them. This is a wide-open, drafty space that homeowners typically use for storage. But what many may not know is an uninsulated attic drains energy and money. On the same hand, if there is a bedroom above the garage and not an attic, the same concept applies. In this case, you would want to insulate the garage ceiling. Adding insulation to this area is a bit more challenging but isn’t impossible for DIYers. There are many professionals out there that would love to help you out if you aren’t confident tackling it yourself.
Insulating the walls is an easy process. You can purchase huge rolls of insulation in the exact width needed to fit in between studs. Assuming contractors used proper technique when building your garage, meaning they spaced out the studs correctly, the process is simple. All you have to do is unroll a piece of insulation long enough to stretch from the ceiling to the floor, staple, and repeat. However, before you choose any old insulation, you want to ensure you get one with the appropriate R-value for the garage’s climate. R-value refers to how well the insulation resists heat loss. The higher the value, the better it insulates. If you live in the north, you’ll want to get a higher R-value to better insulate the garage from the extremely cold winters.
For any homeowner looking to be more energy-efficient, insulation is a vital component. As we’ve covered, insulation prevents air from escaping areas such as stud cavities, attics or ceilings, and doors. By doing this, homeowners can save money on heating costs and utility bills. Before installing insulation in your home or hiring a professional to do so, it’s a good idea to understand the types of insulation and their benefits.
Types of Home Insulation
Foam boards are the cheapest and easiest way to insulate a garage door. Manufacturers typically make these boards from polystyrene—they’re extremely lightweight and strong enough to withstand extreme weather conditions and temperature swings. Foam boards come in large panels that you will need to cut down to size so they can fit snug to the door panels. A box cutter, tape measure, and some kind of adhesive is all you need to attach them.
Blanket Batts and Rolls
This kind of insulation is great for the DIYer and is the easiest to install. Its design allows it to fit in between studs on walls and in ceilings. They typically contain fiberglass, but versions consisting of cotton, mineral wool, and plastic fibers do exist. Fiberglass is a lung and skin irritant, so if you buy blanket batts and rolls, make sure to wear long sleeves and pants, as well as a dust mask during installation.
Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam is best suited to seal finished areas with drywall. Hard to reach or odd-shaped spaces are also perfect contenders for spray foam. The installation process includes spraying liquid polyurethane inside a wall where it will expand, harden into a solid, and seal any leaks. You can also use this method to reinforce preexisting insulation. We recommend hiring a professional to install spray foam insulation because it is a messy process. Plus, buying the necessary equipment may cost more than paying someone else to do it.
Blown-in insulation is very similar to spray foam insulation. The difference between the two resides in their make up. Blown-in insulation is a paper-like material that contains fiberglass or rock wool. There is also an eco-friendly version that consists of a reclaimed cellulose material such as recycled newspapers and cardboard. Like spray foam, installers will spray blown-in insulation into finished walls and hard to reach areas. This will augment the existing insulation, which leads to better results.
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