It is common for homes to feature a room above the garage. These bonus rooms can help to create extra functional space without needing to expand into your yard. Despite the number of possible uses for the space, it isn’t without some drawbacks. Rooms over a garage can be an insulating challenge when it comes to heating and cooling. This is due to where they are situated. We hear many homeowners complaining about how their bonus rooms are either too hot or too cold. Often times this discourages homeowner from using their bonus room and rendering that additional space essentially useless.
Having an overly hot or cold bonus rooms is often the result of improper insulation. The warm or cold air from the garage and the adjoining rooms seep into the bonus room, making it difficult to maintain a specific temperature in that space. If you want consistently comfortable indoor temperatures in your bonus room, you need to properly insulate that room, the adjoining rooms, and the garage.
Most homeowners leave their unheated garages uninsulated, which is fine since they don’t need to maintain the temperature in that space anyway. If you have a bonus room, however, insulation becomes necessary even if you’re not heating your garage. The unconditioned air from your garage rises to the space above it, forcing your HVAC to work twice as hard to cool or heat the bonus room.
Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam is the best type of insulation material. Apart from offering the highest thermal resistance values, the insulating material also creates a solid barrier that blocks air and moisture gaps.
The downside to spray foam insulation is its cost. While it can be an expensive way to insulate an unheated garage, it can be an effective choice if you’re planning to convert your garage into a full-time living space, such as a home office or guest room.
Garage Ceiling Insulation
If your bonus room still gets overly hot or cold even with an insulated garage, then this might be a sign that your garage ceiling insulation needs to be updated.
Many building companies insulate garage ceilings using fiberglass batts, but this can leave gaps in between where air can pass through. If your garage uses fiberglass batt insulation, then we highly recommend replacing it with spray foam instead. Spray foam fills the entire ceiling gravity and closes off any gaps that allow airflow.
To save costs on spray foam insulation, you can have it installed in the gaps between the existing fiberglass batts instead of taking them all out and replacing them.
Make sure to hire a professional contractor, like Superior Insulation, to update your garage ceiling insulation because you’ll need to remove the ceiling drywall and redo it after installing the spray foam.
Bonus Room Insulation
So not only does the garage in to have proper insulation, but the bonus room itself. When insulating your bonus room, you’ll want to focus on three areas: the floor, the exterior walls, and the knee wall.
Floor Insulation: Pay extra attention to your bonus room’s floor insulation, especially if it’s not possible for you to insulate your garage ceiling with spray foam. Floor insulation is generally thinner than ceiling insulation, but it costs less to install and provides almost the same thermal resistance.
Exterior Wall Insulation: You can insulate the exterior wall of your bonus room as you would with any other room in your home since your goal here is just to reduce the amount of heat lost and gained by the said wall. The easiest way to insulate an exterior wall is to install the material on the inside of the wall. In order to do this properly you should consider investing in spray foam insulation, especially if you live in an area that experiences sweltering summers or freezing winters.
Knee Wall Insulation: Many homeowners will forget to insulate their attic knee walls, which still leads to an uncomfortably hot or cold bonus room. Knee walls are the short walls underneath sloped ceilings that separate the bonus room from the attic space above the garage. When these walls are left uninsulated, they will end up absorbing warmth from or releasing conditioned air to the outside through the attic. Not only does this make your bonus room uncomfortable, but it also increases your energy consumption and spending. You can also use spray foam for this insulation method.
Making smart decisions about your home can have a big effect on your utility bills and your comfort. Start the process by scheduling a free Energy Consultation with Superior Insulation Services a division of Superior Improvements Group.