Eco-Living Magazine

Save Money and Energy in Your Garage and Basement

Posted on the 17 November 2011 by T_mackinnon @tedmackinnon

garage 300x187 Save Money and Energy in Your Garage and Basement

A garage is just a place where you store things or hang out with your friends now and again, right? A basement is a dingy area where you store the Christmas decorations each year, right?

Regardless of whether or not these statements are true, there are minor changes you can make in these areas that will save energy in your home and keep a few extra bucks in your pocket at the same time:

  • Own an extra freezer or mini-fridge in one of these areas? It might sound like a good idea; however, each additional appliance, no matter how small, will tack on an additional $100 onto your energy bill in a year.
  • Sell that secondary refrigerator or freezer if that ship has already sailed! Or at least unplug it.
  • Use durable, thick weather stripping to seal up the seam around your garage door. This area can let in more drafts than any other area of your home.
  • Prevent heat loss by insulating the interior of your garage door with fiberglass duct wrap.
  • Make sure the garage doors are closed at all times if your garage is attached to your home. Also, make sure the bottom edge is sealed tightly and properly with weather stripping.
  • Remove extra light bulbs in your garage door or its opener if it has more than one.
  • Consider removing all of the bulbs from your opener and swap the wall switch with one that is motion activated and has an override switch.
  • Make sure your hot water pipes (the ones that pass through any unheated areas like the attic, basement, or garage), ducts, and water heater are thoroughly insulated. If you can’t afford to do it all at once, start with the hot water pipes and do the rest as you are able.
  • Use fluorescent fixtures (four-foot) that have a reflective backing as well as electronic ballasts in your garage, workroom, and basement.
  • Insulate floors that are above unheated locations such as a basement or garage. This will save you nearly 10 percent on your energy bill.
  • Inspect your crawlspace or unfinished basement for leaks. As a rule, if you’ve got spider webs, then you have drafts. An uninsulated basement is a major drain on energy and can raise your heating bill by 8 percent.
  • Insulate your basement walls. Furthermore, if your basement is not heated, check to see if there is insulation in the flooring of your living area. Most areas of theUnited Statesrecommend R-25 as the minimum insulation level.
  • Replace all incandescent light bulbs with energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs.

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