Why is my bonus room so cold in the winter?

February 22, 2022

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Bonus rooms have become a popular feature of new residential construction to help maximize the square footage in a home. A bonus room is added usable space designed into the roof structure that is typically built over an attached garage. You might use this room for anything from a bedroom to an office, home gym, playroom, or storage space.

Although they’re an inexpensive way to build extra space, bonus rooms can be plagued with noticeable swings in temperature—either too hot or too cold. Because of this, your family doesn’t want to spend time there and the added square footage that you thought was a bonus has turned into a burden.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to maintain a comfortable temperature in the room through every season.

Upgrade the insulation in your garage ceiling

The problem with rooms above a garage is that they're in direct contact with the garage that's likely unheated. The garage below is opened multiple times a day allowing the cold air to rise through the floor and into the room above. Adding insulation to the garage ceiling is a great place to start—they're normally unfinished so you can work without tearing anything down. Spray foam insulation has the benefits of both air sealing and high R­-value. Together these features help maintain a consistent temperature whether it's the hot summer weather or the extremely cold winter.


Seal the leaks

Even if your garage ceiling is already insulated, it might not be adequately sealed. If your garage ceilings are insulated with fiberglass batts, the cold air can still pass through the gaps. Air leakage reduces the effectiveness of insulation's performance and creates uncomfortable drafts. In addition to having a high R-value, spray foam creates an airtight barrier that eliminates paths for air flow. If you're not ready to install spray foam insulation, additional air sealing with caulk or foam around the cracks and seams on your garage also goes a long way to making the room above more comfortable. Another approach is making sure to caulk around the windows in your bonus room to cut off any drafts coming in.


Benefits of Spray Foam Insulation in Your Garage

Besides offering the best thermal protection and air-sealing features, spray foam has many great benefits that can improve your building enclosure.

Cleaner air: The air barrier created by spray foam insulation also helps to minimize exterior elements from entering your room. Pollutants and allergens have a much more difficult time entering your space, improving the air quality.

Reduction in noise: Spray foam has sound dampening properties to help reduce the amount of sound that is transmitted from the outside–which plays a big part of making a room feel comfortable.

Long lasting comfort: Spray foam insulation retains its R-values over time, and won’t compress, sag or settle.

Energy savings: Spray foam provides an air-tight insulating layer between your bonus room and the unconditioned garage to help reduce your energy bills.

Why Insulthane Extreme for the Garage Ceiling

  • High R-value of 6.03 per inch @ 4 inches
  • Expands into the cavity to prevent air leaks
  • Tested air barrier material
  • Low GWP (Global Warming Potential) of 1
  • Installed by trained and certified professionals
  • Formulated and made in Canada

For more information and to find a trained spray foam contractor, get in touch with a specialist

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