Do I Need to Insulate the Attic Area Over My Garage?

Homeowners are always looking to save money on heating and cooling costs. Insulating the attic above a home is one step to ensure these costs are kept low, but what about the attic over a garage? Would adding insulation there affect heating and cooling costs?

Effects of Insulating the Garage Attic

The general answer to the question of whether insulating a garage attic will lower energy costs is no, at least not appreciably. Since your home’s heating and cooling system usually does not extend into the garage, insulating this area does little to change the cost of running the system. Insulating the attic above the garage will help keep temperatures in the garage a bit more stable, but it won’t have any appreciable effect on energy bills.

When You Should Insulate the Garage

If your home’s HVAC system does extend into the garage, then the attic above it should be insulated as it would for any other room of the house. This will serve the same function of keeping hot or cold air inside the garage as it does for the rest of the house.

A garage attic also should be insulated is if there is an air-conditioned room above the garage. The insulation will keep the naturally hot or cold air in the garage and the artificially warmed or cooled air in the room above it.

If someone spends a lot of time in the garage, insulating it may improve their comfort, even if it doesn’t lower any bills. Homeowners also should insulate a garage completely, including in the attic above it, if they plan on turning the garage into another air-conditioned room.

Instead of Insulating the Garage Attic

There are better ways to spend your money on garage improvements that may help lower your energy bills.

  • Insulating adjoining walls. It isn’t important to insulate the ceiling between the attic and the garage because those areas are not affected by a home’s heating and cooling system. It is important to insulate any walls that separate the garage from air-conditioned rooms in the house. If these walls are not insulated, the temperature of the garage can affect the rooms and make the house’s heating and cooling system work harder to compensate.
  • Weatherize and seal. Protecting your garage and the valuable things inside it makes sense and can save money in the long run. Install a storm door between the garage and the house to protect your home against the elements, and seal any gaps that may allow wind or rain into the garage.

Insulating the attic above a garage that is not connected to an HVAC system has no appreciable effect on home energy bills. It can make the garage more comfortable, but there are better ways to spend money in the garage that will help lower your energy bills.

To find out more about how to save on heating and cooling costs, contact Cardinal Heating & Air Conditioning today.