Building a “Green” Garage with Energy-Conserving Products
If you’re thinking about building a new garage or have already hired an experienced builder like Sussel, congrats! You have a great opportunity to create the garage you’ve always dreamed of. While you’re getting started, one of the first things you’ll discuss with your garage builder is how to create the exterior appearance you desire with a variety of building materials. There are a lot of great brands on the market to choose from, and you’re sure to find products that suit your taste and budget. But before you pick an exterior brand for its durability or appearance, there’s another thing you may want to consider: products that can help you build a “green” or energy-efficient garage.
The Benefits of Building an Energy-Efficient Garage
The benefits of building an energy-efficient garage are very similar to the benefits of building an energy-efficient home. Here are a few of the biggest advantages:
- Save money on energy bills.
If your garage is attached to your home, its temperature impacts the temperature of all adjoining spaces, forcing your home’s heating and cooling systems to work harder. An energy-efficient garage can help keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, saving you money on your utility bills.
If your garage is not attached to your home, and you plan to add air conditioning and/or heat, you’ll want it to be energy-efficient for the same reason—to make it less expensive to heat and cool.
Finally, if your garage is not attached to your home and you don’t plan to add air conditioning and/or heat, well then you’ll lose our next benefit, which is better comfort and functionality.
- Improve comfort and functionality.
During a bitter Minnesota winter when you’re leaving for work in the morning, would you rather step into a freezing cold garage and then get in a freezing cold car, or enjoy a more comfortable transition from your home to your vehicle?
An energy-efficient garage provides a more comfortable garage experience year-round, which can improve your quality of life while providing a better storage environment for your vehicles, too.
Comfortable garages offer an additional benefit: they become usable spaces. Imagine being able to spend time in your garage 12 months of the year for workshop or craft projects, band practice, gatherings with family and friends, dog training, doing laundry—the possibilities are endless.
- Increase market value.
Even if you’re not thinking of selling your home today, you might some day down the road. An energy-efficient garage is a major selling point that can help add substantial market value to your property.
Energy-Conserving Products for Garages
As consumers become more energy conscious, manufacturers of building materials are following suit. Make sure to ask your builder about brands of insulation, roofing, siding, windows, and garage doors that can help improve the energy efficiency of your new garage.
Not many people realize how much the temperature of an attached garage can impact the temperature inside their home. A garage that is not insulated will suck heat out of adjoining rooms in the winter and radiate heat into adjoining rooms in the summer. This means your heating and cooling systems have to work harder to regulate temperatures, resulting in higher utility bills.
There are a few different insulation options that can help you build an energy-efficient garage. Each type of insulation has an R-value per inch, which is a measure of resistance to heat transfer. The bigger the number, the more effective the insulation. The type of insulation that’s best for your garage depends on a variety of factors, including the structure of your garage and your energy-efficiency goals. Consult with your garage builder about which type of insulation makes the most sense for your garage.
Along with insulating your garage roof, there are roofing materials that can help boost the energy-efficiency of your garage. For example: Owens Corning, one of the leading shingle manufacturers in America, sells a line of shingles with granules that reflect solar energy. This helps keep your roof cooler and decreases the amount of heat transferred to the interior of your garage (and the amount of heating or cooling needed to keep it comfortable).
Like insulation, the energy efficiency of siding is measured in R-value. Types of siding that typically have the highest R-value include wood, fiber cement, and vinyl. If you really want to increase your energy savings, consider insulated siding, which has an extra layer of insulation on the back.
Windows have come a long way when it comes to energy efficiency. Today, brands like Andersen Windows and Marvin make energy-efficient windows with multiple window glass panes, which help prevent air from entering or escaping your garage. Other characteristics of energy-efficient windows include quality window frames, Low-e glass coatings, window gas fills, and window spacers.
- Insulated Garage Doors
Choosing an insulated garage door can pay off big time when it comes to energy savings. Studies show that installing an insulated garage door (as opposed to a non-insulated one) can reduce heat loss through your garage by over 70 percent.
Even if you don’t plan to build a heated garage, installing an insulated garage door is a smart choice. Insulated garage doors can keep your garage warmer by as much as 20 degrees during a cold Minnesota winter; plus, they help reduce noise and are less susceptible to dents and dings.
Opting for energy-efficient LED lights over traditional incandescent bulbs is one of the easiest ways to make a garage more energy efficient. Bonus for Minnesotans: LEDs work much better in cold weather.
If you’re trying to live a greener lifestyle or simply want to save money on your energy bills and enjoy a comfortable garage, it’s worth investing in materials that can make your garage energy efficient. At Sussel Garages, we only work with the highest quality building materials in the industry, and work with a wide variety of suppliers to ensure our customers get exactly the garage they desire. For more information about our services or to get a free estimate, please contact our team today!