When you make eco-friendly home improvements, you actually save money in the long run and help the planet. There is a hype about energy efficient garage doors because they are actually very big in terms of size and thus can easily let cold and hot air moving in and out. So, one thing to remember is that an insulated garage door is ideal not only in cold but also in warm climates. We understand that it’s very difficult to choose a new door let alone an insulated one. There is so much to consider before you actually buy that it might get really confusing. So, let us help.
Why choose energy efficient garage doors?
- You save energy and thus money.
Don’t forget that garages attached to homes can influence the temperature inside the house due to the large size of the door. With an insulated overhead garage door, you can control the temperatures indoors since air (hot or cold) doesn’t escape or come in.
- By saving energy, you do your part as an environmentalist.
- Equipment and other items you keep in the garage are protected.
- The car functions better and lasts longer when it is parked in ‘room’ temperatures.
- Proper insulation in the garage allows you to use the space for any activity (gym, playroom, office etc.)
- With insulation, the door becomes soundproof too.
- Insulated doors are stronger and operate quieter.
How to choose the best insulated garage door
Energy efficient garage doors are usually double or triple layered. With two layers, manufacturers often use polystyrene insulation. With three layers, they also use polyurethane insulation. No doubt that three-layer doors are more durable and provide higher energy efficiency since they sandwich the insulation between two panels.
The question is: which insulation type to choose?
- Polystyrene has good thermal performance but covers only parts of the door’s cavities.
- Polyurethane is considered a much better insulation because it is distributed evenly among the panels and adheres to their skin. In other words, this insulation type covers the entire cavity and hence offers better R-values.
So, what’s the hype about R-value?
The R-value defines the thermal performance of a certain material. It shows the thermal resistance of a product, in our case of the garage door. And so it depends on the properties of insulation types. As a rule of thumb, the higher the R-value the higher the insulation. But don’t take that for granted since an R-20 door will give you 6% better insulation than an R-8 door. In other words, the energy efficiency is not doubled or tripled as the number increases. It’s just higher.
The U-factor & garage door windows
While the R-value must be high, the U-factor must be low. This is another value, which shows the thermal efficiency of a product. But it’s good to be as low as 0.30, for example. When it comes to garage door windows, you should also ask about the thermal resistance of both the glass and frame.
3 more tips for enhanced garage door energy efficiency
As far as materials are concerned, steel garage doors are the best options. But you can also choose aluminum or composite doors. No matter which door, material, and thermal values you choose, keep in mind the following tips to make sure the garage is well insulated:
- Add quality weatherstripping and replace the seals when they are damaged.
- Make sure garage door installation is done correctly.
- The door must close well and should be no gaps at the side, top, or bottom.