Insulating your garage depends on a couple of different possibilities. So before carrying on with the decision of whether or not you should insulate your garage here in Colorado, consider the following questions:
- Is your garage attached to your home?
- Is your attached garage under a finished room?
- Do you use your garage for activities including:
- Mechanic work
- Any other activities
If the answer to any one of these questions is yes, then you may want to consider adding some insulation to your garage. We will get into specifics later, but to put it simply: if you have a finished space of your house above the garage, you should think about insulating the ceiling of your garage.
Additionally, if you do not have a finished space above the garage, you should consider insulating the garage’s exterior walls (the ones that line the inside of your home).
Lastly, if you use your garage for recreational purposes (like the ones outlined above), you may want to consider insulating the interior and exterior walls. Insulating both would allow for year-round temperature control (interior) and temporary control while working (exterior).
Garage Insulation Challenges
People encounter many challenges when trying to decide whether or not to insulate their garage and rightfully so: garage insulation can be an exact science. Some of the challenges insulating garages stem from:
- Garages in Denver are rarely finished with the amount of attention that is paid to the rest of your home. Because of this, a garage almost never has a quality air barrier like the rest of your home.
- Garages are usually built or placed upon concrete slabs that are rarely insulated underneath. Insulating a garage by trenching around it and installing edge insulation is usually ineffective, very challenging, and extremely expensive. Because of this, the slab tends to be a huge cause of lost energy and heat within the space.
- Garages (even when connected to the home) are rarely connected to the duct system of the home. Because of this, the garage doesn’t experience the same treatment as the rest of the home.
- Because most garage doors are uninsulated, it makes it nearly impossible to air seal and insulate the space. Some preventative measures like foam board insulation can be taken to try and seal as much of the space as possible, but are usually not completely effective.
Should I Insulate My Garage Walls or Ceilings?
Whether or not you choose to insulate the walls, ceilings, or both in your garage depends on what you plan to use the space for. For example, if you plan on using the space solely for storage; such as for things like your car, tools, and others, insulating the outside walls may not make the most sense.
However, if there is a finished space above your garage, or if you plan on using the space for hobbies like workshopping or mechanic work, you may want to consider insulation along the exterior, ceiling, and interior walls. Bedrooms over the garage need insulation in the floor-boarding above the garage because they are heated and cooled.
If your garage is not below a finished space but borders a wall of the home, the same steps should be carefully considered. The same basic insulation challenges come into play, so your solution would be to insulate the wall that borders both the garage and the home. Due to CO2 concerns, this wall needs to be carefully and precisely sealed.
Should I Insulate My Garage Door?
The garage door is without question the largest opening to the inside of your home. Conventional, uninsulated garage doors are usually weak and allow air to pass through regularly. During the cold, Colorado winters, this can be very problematic. The good news is, insulated your garage door is easy and has no aesthetic downfalls. Benefits of insulating your garage door include:
- Increased warmth and comfort within the garage space.
- Thermal boundary becomes strengthened. This improves the overall insulation of your entire home.
- Provides more comfortable parking temperatures for your vehicles.
- Sound barrier. If you use your garage for work, it will be less noisy outside of your garage for your neighbors.
- The noise of the track when the door is raised and lowered may be reduced.
- The ability for climate controlled storage.
- Keeps pests from getting into your garage and nesting.
Just like anything, there are some cons that come with insulating your garage door. Problems with garage door insulation occur as time goes by and the panels installed on the garage door become worn. As your garage door is repeatedly opened and closed, the foam is subjected to treatment that insulation throughout the rest of your home is not. Insulation can also make your garage door heavier, which can also contribute to it wearing down. In short, insulating your garage door can be accompanied by the following issues:
- Flaking and fraying
- May need semi-regular repair and replacement
- Adds weight to the door which can cause springs to weaken
The real question becomes: How effective is garage door insulation?
The impact that garage door insulation can have is significant. By insulating your garage door, you can increase the temperature of your garage by 20 degrees compared to the temperature outside. On days where it is 10 degrees outside, this can be a significant difference. During freezing days in Colorado, garage door insulation can assist in reducing your home’s energy consumption and lower your heating costs.
Commonly Asked Questions About Garage Insulation
What is insulation R-value and what are the benefits?
R-value (resistance value) is a measurement of thermal efficiency. A higher R-value for your garage means that it is better insulated.
How much energy can I save with garage insulation?
Because garages are not usually conditioned living spaces, there are more gaps and cracks that allow air leakage. This makes your garage the least energy efficient part of your home. Adding insulation to your garage can help you save money on energy. By moderating the temperature of your garage, you will reduce the amount of energy that is required to heat the rest of your home.
Are Insulated garage doors more durable?
Yes, in fact, insulating your garage door can make it more durable. Garage doors that are not insulated are subject to dents from cars and other abuse over time. Insulating your garage door will protect it from everyday wear and tear.
Will an insulated garage door protect my car from freezing conditions?
Insulating your garage door will help protect your vehicle from freezing temperatures. Cold weather can affect your car in the following ways:
- Shorter battery life
- Thickened fluids
- Lower tire pressure
- Damaged or unreliable spark plugs and wiring
Insulating your garage can help protect your car from encountering these issues.
Denver-Based, Garage Insulation Company
Ultimately, insulating and sealing a garage to cater to your needs can be a challenging task. At REenergizeCO, we are here to answer all of your questions when it comes to insulating your garage based on what you use it for. Start enjoying your garage more!