If you like keeping busy in your garage, you know how indispensable NewAir garage heaters are when the weather turns cold. You probably also know about the downside: higher utility bills. These extra costs can be a real bear, especially when rates go up in winter, but they’re not inescapable. There are 7 ways to reduce your garage heater’s energy costs by making the space more energy efficient.
- Seal Doors. Connecting doors between your house and garage are a big energy drain. Warm air can escape through gaps in the frame or get pulled under the door. Install a threshold seal or put some weather stripping on the bottom rail. If there are leaks in the door jamb, seal them up with caulk.
- Insulate Your Garage Walls. Most garage walls are made from exterior siding, radiant sheathing, and plywood. They’ll keep out the wind, but they won’t trap heat. Install insulation between the joists or blow insulation foam into the drywall or exterior siding.
- Insulate Your Garage Door. Garage doors are normally made of aluminum or plywood, both bad insulators. You can replace them with an insulated garage door, but it’s normally cheaper to buy an insulation kit and seal it yourself. Insulation kits use bubble film and aluminumized surfaces to reflect radiant heat away from the door and back into your garage.
- Insulate Outlets and Light Switches. Outlets and light switches often contain gaps between the circuitry casing and the surrounding walls. They’re small, but significant when added together. Cover them up with foam gaskets or insulated outlet covers.
- Insulate the Windows. Because garages aren’t considered living spaces, garage windows are often made of thin, single pane glass. Heat can also escape through cracked or poorly sealed windowsills. The best solution is replacing your windows with double or triple pane glass. If that options too expensive, you can install thermal drapes or insulating film. Use a leak detection kit to check for cracks around your windows and seal them up with caulk.
- Caulk Cracks in the Walls and Floor. The gap between garage walls and garage floors are normally sealed with compressible foam. Over time, it can crack and create leaks. A thermal leak detector will help you find them. Seal them up with latex or silicone caulk.
- Insulate the Concrete Floor. Concrete is a terrible insulator. It absorbs heat and radiates it away. Since replacing garage floors is expensive, the best solution is to increase its thermal efficiency. Start by insulating the concrete foundation outside your garage, wherever it sticks up out of the ground, with foam board, cement board, or stucco. If your garage isn’t being used for car storage, lay down some plywood or insulation boards. Rugs and carpeting are also effective. In fact, placing a rug over concrete doubles its R-value.
Want to know more? Read our full-length article How to Reduce the Energy Costs of Your Garage Heater or leave a question in the comments.