Posted in: Guides
Published: 29 Dec 2021
With our changing environment and growing social responsibility towards the landscape that we live in, making eco-friendly choices where possible has become increasingly important. While most people have begun to embrace sustainability in their home, often the garage is not considered as a space for eco-conscious improvements. We'll show you how to make a difference in your garage by maximising lighting efficiency, adding insulation and educating yourself on responsible disposal of chemicals. Read on for our simple, sensible tips.
Above, Left: Fluorescent lights are 'out' but LED strip lights are a great alternative; Right: LED bulbs might cost more to start but will save you money all up
A well-lit garage is essential for most homeowners, so making the most of daylight rather than always requiring lights to be switched on is a good way to reduce electricity consumption. But having windows installed in your garage to add light isn't necessarily optimal seeing it's commonly used for valuable sports equipment, tools and vehicle storage - windows can be seen as an easy target for break-ins. Windows in the panelling of your sectional garage door, however, are less easy to break, are smaller and usually conspicuously positioned, making them undesirable as an entry point for burglars. When situated high up on the door, garage door windows have the ability to capture light for longer periods than low windows. Dominator's Sectional Garage doors with window options include Futura, Montana, Milano, Valero, Georgian and Somerset.
If you do have windows in your garage walls, keep them clean to allow light in when you want it and consider adding curtains for privacy at other times.
It goes without saying that you'll need artificial lighting in the garage for night-time use, but the type of lighting you choose is important for energy efficiency and therefore, sustainability. Fluorescent bulbs tend to use a lot of electricity. Try replacing them with energy-efficient bulbs such as LED. A quality LED produces the most light using the least electricity compared with other options and it lasts for years so will be cost-efficient in the long run.
Above: Dominator's graphite-infused insulation for garage doors
The garage is the largest door to your home. For that reason, it can be a huge contribution to heat loss and heat gain if it’s not properly insulated. While some houses have an insulated door separating the garage from the rest of the home, heating and cooling systems still have to work harder to keep the home at a comfortable temperature while the garage opens up to cold breezes in winter, and traps humid air in summer. A fully insulated garage will improve energy efficiency in a way that can be felt throughout the home.
By insulating your garage, you can make it a comfortable space to use year-round. If it's kept at a moderate temperature the garage can be a suitable space for a guest room, workout zone or hobby cave no matter what the weather is doing outside. Bonus points for saving on heating and cooling costs!
From a sustainability point of view, an insulated garage needs less energy to reduce heat transfer into and out of the garage itself and doesn't draw as much heat into and out of the rest of the home. That equates to eco-efficiency and less cost over time.
Dominator’s Insulated series of garage doors feature an advanced insulation product. It's different from typical insulation in that the EPS is infused with graphite to absorb infrared energy and reflect heat. The high-purity graphite particles infused into the cell structure give the insulation a reflective property and a distinctive dark grey colour. The acoustic qualities of our insulated series also provide a shield against noise entering and/or exiting your garage. What's more, an insulated garage door is quieter in its operation than an uninsulated garage door. Take a look at our insulated series here.
If you use your garage as a workshop or hobby space, chances are you're housing toxic substances that will one day need disposal. Paint, solvents, batteries, oils and fertilisers all have their uses, but when they've reached their use-by date, become contaminated or dried at the bottom of the container it can be tempting to throw the whole thing in the household rubbish bin and forget about it. Worse still, is emptying hazardous substances down the sink, or into drains and waterways.
With regard to safety and sustainability, we cannot stress enough how important it is to take responsibility for suitable storage, use and disposal of chemicals and toxic fluids, no matter who may have access to them. Read the label, search online and always dispose of chemicals properly, so as to not spread pollution into our oceans and drains.
Try these links for starters:
General recycling: https://www.recycle.co.nz/
Oil recycling: https://www.supercheapauto.co.nz/services/in-store-services/oil-recycling
Search: 'How to dispose of e-waste' for results local to your area.