Is Insulating A Garage Worth the Money?
In cold or warm climates, it’s great to save money on energy bills, especially with excessive energy consumption by air conditioning and furnaces. Making a living space comfortable costs hundreds of dollars a month. Garages however, are a whole different animal. It’s not uncommon to find that insulating your garage may have not been the best idea, especially for your wallet. Even on days where it was cold, supplies and paint would be ruined, and that’s not all.
For instance, in a place like Colorado, the temperature would dip into the single digits. Keeping the heat from the car engine would be ideal to keep the warmth in the garage, just for a little comfort. The temperature kept above 32 degrees Fahrenheit would keep caulking tubes and paint from being destroyed from the cold.
Spending roughly $2,000 to insulate the walls, door and ceiling sounds like a good idea, but in the end, it’s not worth it. Besides the investment not making much of a difference, you would have to do additional work such as actively heating the garage with natural gas or electricity like you would inside a home to make the insulation noticeable.
Essential for Cold Climates
In cold climates, it will not make a difference to insulate your garage unless your garage is heated. Adding insulation doesn’t make the garage that much cooler or warmer if it isn’t already heated.
Insulation is suppose to slow down conduction of heat from the walls and ceiling to the outside. Heat isn’t generated by itself with insulation. Having insulation or not would still keep a cold garage the same temperature. Opening the garage door recycles air and traps new cold air until the door is open again. Even appliances such as refrigerators and freezers will not make the insulation worth it, besides a car engine, but even that will not last very long.
The walls that separate the main house from the garage can warm the garage by allowing heat in that passes through. However, this shouldn’t be the main reason the garage becomes heated. Insulation should be present in the walls that separate the garage to prevent heat from conducting into the garage from the house. If the garage is warm without a heater despite little to no insulation, it should be fixed immediately to retain as much heat as possible into the living space of the home where the heater is working to keep warm. You can save money in this type of situation by adding insulation.
Insulating in warm climates seems to be unnecessary. You will end up defeating the purpose of insulating if a hot car engine made the already warm garage, even warmer. If anything, you’d want to cool things off by opening the garage door.
Regarding cold climates, adding a heater and having insulation will make everything worthwhile. That way there will be heating and insulation will keep that heat in the garage. Money will be saved by having insulation done with a heater, as running the heater will cost money. The heater won’t have to be running all the time with insulation, which will cut costs.
Go Big or Go Home
To obtain that warm garage feeling, insulate the walls, ceiling and garage door while also adding a heater. Insulating the garage with batts of R-13 will cost about $400 depending on the size of your garage and the ceiling or garage door will roughly be $600. The pink Styrofoam seen at Home Depot can insulate the garage door to R-6 or so. If you spend a lot of your time in the garage, insulating the garage door may be in your best interest, but it may cost $1,500 to $2,000. Just doing the walls and ceiling will be cheaper, about $500 to $1000 less than insulting the garage door. As you can see, it’s a big price tag if you don’t spend a lot of your time in the garage anyway.
Before taking any of these steps, stop any cold-air from infiltrating into your garage. This can be done by putting new weather-stripping by the garage door as it closes near the ground. Make sure no air is coming around the frame from the door entrance on the outside. To fill gaps, use expanding foam. These small steps will save you time and money, as well as making a noticeable difference.