No homeowner gets excited for the winter season’s higher energy bills. Even more troublesome is when those bills seemingly increase more and more with each passing month. If this is the situation you’re experiencing, you’ve probably already tried to determine the “problem” areas of your home where you could be wasting energy.
Maybe you tried replacing your windows and doors with more energy-efficient varieties. You may have also just replaced your heating system to a top-of-the-line model which boasts a high AFUE. And maybe you have even tried making it clear to everyone in your home how important it is to turn off lights, computers, phone chargers, gaming systems, etc. when they’re not in use.
After all these energy-saving changes, why is your energy bill still getting more expensive each month? The problem could be your garage.
Heat loss and your garage
Many homeowners may be surprised to hear that their garage could be responsible for their skyrocketing energy bills. An attached garage that isn’t properly insulated can allow significant heat loss during the winter. This can largely be a result of the type of garage door installed. If the style you have doesn’t have a decent R-value (see below), a portion of the heat generated by your family’s furnace could be escaping through this often-overlooked area of your home.
What is R-value?
Essentially, R-value is a measure of thermal resistance. The higher its R-value, the better something is at keeping heat and cold from passing through it. If you have an old garage door, the odds are likely that it is not nearly as efficient as newer models at keeping warm air inside and brisk air out during winter.
Is it time to replace your garage door?
It may be time to consider a garage door replacement if it hasn’t been in place for quite some time. The general recommendation is to replace the door every 15-30 years. You will want to seek the assistance of a garage door installer to help you with choosing a replacement. The garage door professional will work with you and your budget to determine what will be the best choice based on the R-value specifications for insulating this area of your home, as well as what design will match with the rest of your home’s exterior.
Should I install a new window in my garage?
You should also consider adding a window with exceptional insulating qualities to your garage. During the winter, it will let in natural light and help to keep things warm and comfortable when you’re entering or exiting your vehicle.
During the summer, this natural light also means you don’t have to waste any energy by turning lights on in your garage to see when you’re taking the trash out or getting things you may have stored there — like your lawnmower, garden hose, and so on.
Regular garage door maintenance
As with other areas of your home, the garage has components that need some TLC to keep things running smoothly. A professional will be able to ensure that your door opener is working as efficiently as possible by checking its motor. When there’s a problem with your opener, it may use more energy than usual to open and close your garage when you’re leaving or coming back home. And in turn, this could be raising your energy bills. Also, when it comes to adjusting or working on garage door springs — these can be extremely dangerous and should be left to a professional.
Finally, lower energy bills are in your foreseeable future!
With a newly installed, better-insulated garage door in place, warm air from your home won’t escape so easily, which will help prevent your heating system from working overtime to try and keep your family warm and comfortable. And of course, this means less expensive energy bills from month to month!