Green Up Your Garage: Eco-Friendly Options For Your Garage

From carrying reusable shopping bags to composting and upcycling old building materials into new home décor, there are many ways to go green in your life. Of course, your home should also be part of your eco-friendly lifestyle, but you may not place enough focus on your garage. While not a part of your home's actual square footage, your garage is a prominent area for energy loss and toxic chemicals. Thankfully, going green in your garage is possible. Using this guide, your garage will be energy efficient, clean, and safe.

Insulate for Energy Efficiency

Heating and cooling utilizes 48 percent of your home's overall energy usage. Unfortunately, a great deal of conditioned air escapes through your garage doors. This increases the amount of energy necessary to heat and cool your home. Here are a few ways to reduce lost air and conserve energy:

  • Door Seal – Visit your local hardware store to purchase a door seal to install on the floor of your garage.  Constructed out of rubber or vinyl, the seals prevent conditioned air from escaping. In addition, the door threshold seals keep out unwanted pests, moisture, and debris.
  • Door Insulation – Insulating the actual door with your garage door installation is also an effective way to conserve energy. Not only is door insulation beneficial for energy loss and protecting the environment, but it also serves as a sound barrier, preventing noise from outside your garage. To insulate your garage door, complete the following steps:
  1. Measure the width and height of your interior garage door panel.
  2. Purchase ½-inch thick sheets of reflective foil insulation. Reflective foil sheets are lightweight, flexible, and easy to install. While many owners opt for spray foam, it can be too heavy for a garage door that regularly opens and closes. The reflective foil is a more effective option.
  3. Cut the reflective foil to the size of your garage door using scissors.
  4. Mount the sheet of foil to the garage door panel using aluminum tape. Tuck the corners of your foil sheets under hardware and into the door frame.
  5. Use a utility knife to trim away excess foil.

Using a threshold seal and insulation on your garage door will conserve energy and reduce your monthly heating and cooling costs.

Protect your Air Quality

You do not need a lot of time to park your vehicle or store your sporting goods inside the garage, so you probably spend little time inside the space. Considering the amount of toxic chemicals that float around, improving the indoor air quality of your garage should also be a priority if you want to go green.

Although invisible and difficult to smell, carbon monoxide may be an issue inside your garage. With an estimated 400 Americans dying from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning each year, protecting the quality of air inside your garage be key to saving your family's life. Here are a few tips to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Vehicles – Do not start your vehicle while parked inside the garage. If you do park inside the space, open the garage before starting the ignition.
  • Equipment – Lawnmowers, weed eaters, and other gas-powered equipment should also not be started inside your garage. Be sure to open the garage door completely before use.
  • Storage – Store paints, pesticides, and other chemicals properly inside your garage. Be sure their containers have tight lids and are out of the reach of children and pests. In addition, clean up any spills inside your garage to reduce the poison risk.
  • Monitor – Carbon monoxide monitors are inexpensive, but the protection they offer is priceless. Install one in your garage and one inside your home.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, headaches, confusion, nausea, vomiting, breathing difficulty, and chest pain. By using these simple tips, you can protect the air inside your garage.

Many homeowners choose to focus their green initiatives inside their home, but placing effort on your garage is also helpful. Using these tips to go green in the garage, you can reduce energy usage and improve your air quality.