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If you’re in the market for a new garage door, you may be wondering about energy efficiency and trying to decipher what “R-value” means in relation to it all. Here’s the honest truth: energy efficiency isn’t something you can necessarily impact either way when it comes to garage doors, and R-values are often unreliable. However, this doesn’t mean a well-insulated, draft-free garage door is pointless—a good overhead door on an attached garage can keep both your garage and your home a little warmer than a non-insulated door.

Let’s break down what energy efficiency and R-values really mean for your garage door!

The Truth About R-Values

First of all, what is R-value? It’s a measure of the thermal resistance that is used in the building and construction industry. More specifically, it is the thermal resistance of heat flow. Garage door manufacturers use R-values to show the energy efficiency of a product. Window manufacturers use U-factors for measuring energy efficiency which are based on the whole window, not just a selected section of the window.

The R-value number used by garage door manufacturers is calculated based on the thickness of the insulation and its chemical properties. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation is. But R-values in the garage door industry are not always reliable, depending on the door and where the R-value is measured.

Some manufacturers measure the R-value from the thickest portion of one of the door panels, excluding the panel center portions and edges, the seams between panels, and the perimeter of the door. So, R-value really doesn’t tell you anything about potential air leakage as it relates to the whole door.

Tips to Help with Energy Efficiency

Your garage door is something you open and close frequently, and there isn’t much you can do about that. But, there are a few small things you can do to better insulate your garage door, making it as energy-efficient as possible. 

Check for Leaks, Sealing Any Cracks or Openings

Even if your garage door does have a high R-value, that doesn’t mean there aren’t leaks in your garage door or the walls around it. You should regularly check for drafts in your garage and seal any cracks that may be letting heat slip out of your garage. 

Weatherstripping comes with most new garage doors, but it can age over time and need to be replaced as well—especially if your door is older.

Garage doors can sometimes experience what is called thermal bowing. This means that your door might not be sealing properly along the top edge. Thermal bowing is easily corrected with some quick adjustments by an experienced technician.

Check the Energy Efficiency of the Garage Itself

No matter how well-insulated your garage door itself is, if there are leaks and inadequate sealing in any other part of your garage, the space won’t be energy-efficient. Make sure to check the spaces around all windows and doors in your garage, along with the walls and flooring to ensure everything is sealed properly. 

Call Amega with Your Energy Efficiency and R-Value Questions

We know this can get a bit confusing, and that’s why we’re here to help! At Amega, we’ve built our business on the trust of our customers. We’ll never sell you something you don’t need, and we’ll always walk you through each step of our process so you’re never left in the dark.

Reach out today to get started with an inspection, repair, or choose a new garage door and schedule an installation!