Energy Efficiency | 5 Ways To Green Your Garage

If you are trying to live a greener lifestyle, don't forget about your garage. There are changes you can make that will help you save money and make your garage more environmentally friendly. If you have an attached garage, it's an outlet for energy loss and allowing fumes into the home. Your garage may already be mirroring a storage room, turning it into a health hazard. Here are some changes that will reduce hazards in your garage while reducing your carbon footprint on the earth.

1. Swap out your lights

If you still have large incandescent garage lights, you are consuming way more energy than necessary.  Swapping out your garage lights for fluorescent or CFL bulbs will give you a greener garage. Fluorescent lights use up to 35% less energy and last 10 times longer than their incandescent counterpart. If you want to use even less energy, you can opt for CFLs. They use about 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs, and last almost as long as fluorescent lights.

2. Choose energy efficient doors

Many garage doors are flimsy and uninsulated. These, or if you have a broken garage door, makes your garage freezing in the winter time and hot in the summer time. When you open the door from your home to the garage, the hot or cold air comes rushing in and you waste energy. If you air conditioner or heater kicks on every time you open that door, it's probably time to upgrade to something better. Check the R-value to make sure you buy something that significantly increases your energy efficiency. Here are some other things you can do to help:

  • Install or replace broken weather stripping
  • Seal cracks in the door if you don't buy a new one
  • Have maintenance performed on the opener to keep it moving quickly and efficiently
  • Caulk around your garage and garage door windows

3. Introduce a ventilation fan

Install a ventilation fan in your garage. The fumes that build up from chemicals and starting your vehicle are hazardous to your health and the environment. A ventilation fan will circulate the air and properly diffuse the dangerous fumes.

4. Safely handle hazardous materials

Numerous individuals store dangerous materials in their garage that they never utilize, which represent a danger of spills, off-gassing, and harming pets and kids. Paints, substance solvents and petroleum-based items are among the top risks to physical health. If you store pesticides, auto fluids, and other dangerous chemicals, here some safety and handling tips:

  • Keep ice-melt and other similar materials locked up in cabinets and out of reach. It can make pets violently ill.
  • Another chemical that is very dangerous to animals is antifreeze. It smells sweet so animals may be compelled to drink it. It only takes a tablespoon to kill a cat and five to kill a dog. Keep it up high and in a locked cabinet as well.
  • If you have a shed, use the shed for chemicals instead of the garage.

5. Better walls & windows

Often people will skip insulated on garage walls because they don't want to bear the initial cost of the insulation. Many people may think it isn't important because they don't really care about the temperature of their garage, not considering how much it will impact the temperature of their home when the door opens and closes. Insulating the walls that make up your garage will make your garage and the rest of your home more energy efficient. Don't forget to upgrade garage windows as well if they aren't energy efficient windows.

Going green will save you money while reducing your carbon footprint. Change to an energy efficient garage door and lights. Keep your chemicals out of reach and have proper ventilation in your garage. Make sure your garage has proper insulation and windows just like the rest of your home.