This post is the unedited version of an article I wrote for Fine HomeBuilding magazine which appeared in the December 2021/January 2022 issue. My original version was more focused on garage designs for heating dominated climates, FHB helped to make the article relatable to other climates. The link will bring you to the printed version. FHB304-ConditioninganAttachedGarage.pdf (finehomebuilding.com)
I consider the attached, heated garage a luxury item. I used to have one, it was nice not having to scrape ice or clean snow off my vehicles. Having a warm car when its below zero outside was also nice. But I was paying for that luxury, around $100 per month for energy costs in December, January, and February. There was also the added cost of the heating equipment and extra insulation needed when building the space. And lastly, there was always moisture in the space, both in liquid and vapor that needed to be dealt with.
Several of the posts on my blog were first published on the website Green Building Advisor. I’ve enjoyed writing for them, but my hope has been to get an article in their sister publication, Fine Homebuilding Magazine. In issue #304, December 2021/January 2022, that finally happened. Funny thing is, I didn’t get just one article published, I have two plus a tool review, oh, and I’m on the cover.
I have several blog postings dealing with attached, conditioned garages on the Northern Built website. It’s been my experience when testing new homes, the attached garages are not separated well enough from the home and often could use improved air sealing when conditioned, especially in my very cold climate.
I recently ran into this garage door seal which I have not seen before. It has the traditional outer seal that is attached to the side jamb of the door opening, common on all garage doors in my market, but this one has a second seal that is attached to the inner door framing along side the door track. I had a quick conversation with the installing company which they said the door is ordered two inches wider than the opening to accommodate the inner seal.
There is an additional seal attached to the top of the door to provide further air sealing.
I have yet to determine if this improved garage door seal is available through Clopay, the door manufacturer on this new home build, or if it is an aftermarket product, I will update this posting when I know. I have a final blower door test to conduct on this home in the near future. I plan on testing the garage separately to determine if the door seals do work, and how connected this garage is to the main home stay tuned.