Overall, insulated garage doors are a much better option than their standard counterparts. Although the garage door prices are subject to a number of things, they are more expensive. No doubt. But they are totally worth it. We are not here to argue in favor of energy efficient garage doors but since it’s brought up, here’s why they are a better option.
- They save energy; they save you money
- They keep the indoors warm but also protect during the summer
- They are very durable
- Their operation is quiet
- They better protect your belongings and car
- They offer thermal and also, noise insulation
Now, if you have decided to get steel garage doors and wondering whether to get them insulated or not, there are a few things you should know. So, here we go.
If you want steel garage doors, get them insulated
As a material, steel is cold. It’s not a natural insulator. And so, you don’t get the same energy efficiency you would get if chose wood garage doors. Non-insulated steel doors are best for detached garages. For the ordinary attached residential garage doors, you need to be sure they don’t compromise the energy efficiency of your home. Even if the climate is mild in your location, remember that energy efficient steel doors provide thermal insulation all year around. You don’t get cold in the winter or warm in the summer. And so, you enjoy a better environment and have a better control over your energy expenses.
Not all insulated garage doors are the same
If you are planning an insulated garage door installation, be extra careful. Not all garage doors are insulated the same way. Which things to consider before you get an insulated steel garage door?
Double & triple layer
A standard insulated garage door is double layered. That includes the steel exterior panel and the insulation. For even higher energy efficiency, prefer steel + insulation + steel – that’s a triple layer door.
Garage doors are insulated with either polyurethane or polystyrene. Here’s what you should know about these insulation types.
- Polystyrene is used for the insulation of most garage doors. It comes in the form of a panel and sandwiched between the two door panels. Or it is placed at the back of a single layer steel garage door to make it energy efficient. It certainly increases the door’s energy efficiency but not as much as its counterpart: polyurethane.
- Polyurethane is injected between the steel door panels and so, it expands and fills the space entirely, maximizing the door’s energy efficiency. Another benefit of polyurethane is that it bonds with the frame of the door, making it stronger and thus, more resistant to dents too.
The R-Value importance
The R-Value shows the thermal efficiency of a product. Depending on the insulation of the garage door, the R-Value is actually a number which shows the transmission of heat. The larger the number, the slower the heat transmission. This simply means that high R-Valued energy efficient garage doors keep the cold or heat out effectively. Of course, the garage door material and thickness also affect the R-Value. But the insulation is the main determinant. To get an idea, an R-20 insulated garage door will reduce cold or heat leaks by approx. 97% compared to R-8 doors that will have an around 90% reduction.
The U-Factor works in the opposite direction of the R-Value. While the higher the R-Value the better, the U-Factor should be low. This shows the heat flow through the material.
If you don’t come across the U-Factor when you are shopping for an energy efficient garage door, don’t be alarmed. Not all manufacturers use this measurement. But it’s vital that you pay attention to the R-Value. And get it high if you get steel garage doors.