What Is an Insulated Garage Door?
An insulated garage door is exactly as it sounds — it’s a garage door with built-in insulation.
Insulated garage doors differ from traditional garage doors because the insulation helps trap air and prevent heat transfer between your garage and the outside elements. This means you won’t lose as much energy to the outdoors, your garage will stay cooler in summer and warmer in winter, and you’ll have better noise control.
Usually, garage doors have an energy-saving core with insulation material sandwiched between two metal panels. The garage door will also have rubber weather stripping to help reduce airflow and keep out pests.
Now that you know what garage door insulation is — let’s dive into the five top benefits.
Benefits of Garage Door Insulation
1. More Energy Efficient Than Traditional Garage Doors
As we said, insulation helps keep energy in, meaning your home won’t lose as much heat or cool air. This means you’ll use less energy and save money on utilities. Additionally, insulation is an eco-friendly solution since you’re using fewer resources and producing less waste.
For example, with an insulated garage door, you’ll have more control over the temperature in your space. This means you won’t have to keep your heating or cooling system running longer than necessary to maintain a comfortable temperature.
2. Better Storage Space
Insulating your garage door can give you extra storage space in your home. This is because insulated doors are much thicker than non-insulated doors and create additional space along the walls of your garage.
You can store items on shelves without worrying about them taking up too much room or cluttering the area. You also won’t have to worry about cold temperatures affecting stored items like tools and paint supplies.
3. More Durable and Easier To Maintain
Garage door insulation also makes it easier to maintain your door in the long run.
Because the panels are thicker, they are less prone to dents or scratches due to external forces like wind. Insulated panels also hold up better against weather conditions because of materials that won’t succumb to extreme heat or cold easily.
Insulated doors also protect against moisture, pests, and other external factors that can damage your door over time. This means you won’t have to replace or repair your garage door as frequently as with non-insulated doors.
4. Less Noise, More Comfortable Home
Insulated doors also help prevent outside noises from entering your home by acting as a barrier between your house and the outside world.
This makes for a quieter environment inside the home where you can relax without being disturbed by external noises.
Further, an insulated garage door helps prevent heat loss in winter while keeping cool air in during summer months — making for both energy efficiency and a more comfortable living environment overall!
5. Lower Costs in the Long Term
Insulating your garage door isn’t just good for improving comfort levels — it can also help save money in the long run!
The money saved on energy bills means you’ll have more funds available to allocate toward other investments or home renovations.
Plus, the added durability of an insulated door means fewer repair and replacement costs over time. Insulating your garage door can be an excellent long-term investment.
Is Your Garage Door the ‘Weakest Link?’
If your garage is well insulated but you’re dealing with a drafty garage door, it’s time to replace it with a door that will do the job right. A properly insulated garage door will regulate the temperature inside your garage. Just like insulating your home, an insulated garage door will help keep extreme heat and cold outside where it belongs.
If you live in an area with extreme weather, your garage door should be strongly insulated. Thankfully, manufacturers use a rating system called ‘R-value’ to tell consumers how much insulation their doors provide.
In the construction industry, a term called “R-value” is frequently used to rate the “effectiveness of insulation in stopping heat flow opposite of conductance.”
For example, the average building will have an R-value of 20. By installing fiberglass insulation, this rating can be improved to 35.
- R-value fluctuates – Due to the different methods used between manufacturers, the R-value of a garage door won’t be absolute, although it will be fairly accurate. If you’re looking at a garage door rated R-18 and you find another company offering a similar door rated R-20, don’t just blindly make the purchase thinking you’re getting a better deal. Both doors might provide the same level of insulation. Find out what materials the doors are constructed from and make your decision based on all the facts.
How Garage Doors Are Insulated
Most garage doors are insulated with layers of polystyrene, also known as Styrofoam, which comes in varying densities. The denser the material, the more insulation it provides.
The highest rated garage doors use polyurethane sandwiched between layers of steel. Polyurethane is like liquid Styrofoam in a spray can. It can be easily sprayed into cracks and used to seal doors and windows. Since it’s liquid, it fills the space quickly and fully.
Polyurethane is superior insulation. According to a 2005 National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) study, polyurethane insulation reduced air leakage by up to 83%, and reduced energy consumption by up to 40%.
Manufacturers also increase the thickness of a door to increase insulation, although even a three-inch thick door won’t beat a thinner door insulated with polyurethane.
Garage Doors with Windows
An insulated garage door is great, but what about adding windows? Regular windows greatly reduce the R-value of your door, and insulated windows are expensive. It’s nice to see out of your garage, but consider what you’ll be sacrificing.
If you tend to get snowed in, having a garage door with windows might not be the best option unless you can easily afford insulated windows. On the other hand, if you live in a mild climate where you can open your garage door in the winter without freezing, windows can add some charm to your home.
Consider More Than R-value When Buying a New Door
All garage doors have an R-value, and although you want a door with a higher value, there are other factors to consider, such as construction. The weatherstripping, bottom seal, and sealing joints between the panels should all be considered when selecting your garage door.
How often do you open your garage door?
You could have the highest rated garage door in the world, but an open garage door has an R-value of zero. This is why it’s important to select your door based on more than just R-value.
If you don’t open your garage door very often, you’ll benefit most from a garage door with a high R-value. Since your garage door will be closed most of the time, you’ll reap the full benefits of its R-value. Your closed garage door essentially becomes a wall.
If, however, you open your garage door often or leave it open for extended periods of time while you do shop work, then R-value won’t be as significant for you. It’s important, but remember that the R-value only applies to a closed door.
Insulated garage doors help you save on energy costs $$
Unless you turned your garage into a spare bedroom, you probably didn’t install a heater vent inside. Even so, the heat from your home can escape into the garage and get sucked right out through a poorly insulated garage door. This energy loss can keep your heater on for extended periods of time. The inside temperature won’t reach the thermostat setting to trigger the automatic shut off.
The amount of heat escaping through your garage may not be enough to make a significant impact each month, but will add up over time. The key to saving on energy costs is to reduce your energy waste everywhere you can because it does add up. Consider that saving just $10/month on your energy bill saves $120/year. That money could be used for a home repair, taking your family out to eat, or paying off debt.
Want To Learn More?
We carry a full line of insulated residential garage doors in various materials. Our best selling collection is our Thermacore® Collection. Thermacore® Collection steel garage doors feature premium insulation construction and design which provides maximum thermal efficiency and reduced air infiltration for your garage space.
To find out more about how an insulated garage door can protect your car and your belongings, and reduce your energy bill, contact us today. We’ll put you in touch with one of our local experts right away. We offer virtual and in-home sales estimates at your convenience.