Whether they're spaces where you hang out or just store things, you can make small modifications to your garage and basement to make them more energy efficient.
- An extra appliance, such as a refrigerator or freezer, in your basement or garage can add more than $100 to your energy bills every year.
- Thick, durable weather-stripping around garage doors will help seal off a common area of energy leakage.
- Fiberglass duct wrap is good for insulating the inside of garage doors to prevent heat loss.
- Keep your garage door closed if the garage is attached to your house. Make sure the bottom edge of the door is weather stripped and sealed tightly.
- Remove one of the light bulbs from your garage door opener.
- Remove both light bulbs from your garage door opener and replace the wall light switch in the garage with a motion sensor control with an over-ride switch.
- If you have an extra refrigerator or freezer in the garage or basement, sell it or just unplug it for big energy savings.
- Insulate your water heater, as well as ducts and hot water pipes that pass through unheated areas like the garage, basement and attic. Use duct wrap insulation or batts and duct tape. Start with one or two and do others as you can.
- Use four-foot fluorescent fixtures with reflective backing and electronic ballasts for your basement, workroom and garage.
- You can save about eight percent of your energy costs by insulating the floor over any unheated spaces such as garages and basements.
- If you have an unfinished basement or crawlspace, check for leaks by looking for spider webs. If there is a web, there is a draft. A large amount of heat is also lost from an un-insulated basement.
- Add insulation to basement walls. If your basement is unheated, determine whether there is insulation under the living area flooring. In most areas of the country, R-25 is the recommended minimum level of insulation. The insulation at the top of the foundation wall and first floor perimeter should have an R-Value of 19 or greater.
- Replace frequently used incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights.