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Greening the Garage

When it comes to reducing our carbon footprint, often the first thing we think of to do is modify our travel accommodations by getting a hybrid vehicle, car pooling, or driving less. Next we tend to think in terms of the energy we spend in our homes. It only makes sense, then, that another fabulous idea for go going green would be a combination of the two topics - remodeling the space within our home where our automobile lives. Having a garage that is as green as your home is important for many reasons and is fairly simple to accomplish.

One of the simplest things you can do to green your garage may also be the most important. Carbon monoxide is a large problem as well as several other household chemicals that people tend to store in the garage. If you have ductwork running through the garage, carrying forced air into your home, check to make sure all of the joints are properly sealed. If not, they could be ingesting chemicals and fumes from your garage and releasing them into the air you’re breathing in your house.

Another way to eliminate chemicals, fumes and other air impurities from traveling from the garage into the house is to install an exhaust fan in the garage.

It’s fairly common knowledge that the best way to save money on energy bills is to ensure that your house is properly sealed and insulated, therefore keeping all of your bought and paid for air conditioning and heating inside your home. The same goes for garages. By ensuring the doors and windows are properly sealed and that the garage is amply insulated, you will be able to keep your garage at a more comfortable temperature, and therefore use less energy. A warmer garage means less time warming up the car and wasting gasoline to go nowhere. It also means no cold drafts escaping into the house from the garage and that the hot water heater won’t have to work so hard (if the garage is where you store it).

Speaking of hot water heaters: if the garage is, in fact, where your hot water heater is stored and you don’t have a heating system in the garage, consider buying your appliance a parka! Insulated jackets are simple to install and can help keep water heaters working more efficiently in cold weather.

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