Keeping Your Garage Warm – What to Look for in Garage Door Insulation

With the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos facing off in Super 50 this Sunday,  it has made me start thinking about how many people utilize their garages to host parties or to serve as the “man-cave” of the home.

When there is a chill in the air is your garage warm?

Winter is in full swing and  you may have concerns about the insulation of your garage doors. A well-insulated garage door will help to maintain the temperature in your garage and offer a noise-reducing sound barrier from the sounds outside It can also help to increase the comfort of any rooms located above your garage.

Insulated Garage Doors – What to Consider

When considering the insulating ability of a garage door, you need to think about things like how well your garage door is sealed with regard to its framing and seals on the sides and bottom. A quality installation of the door seals by professionals is critical in providing optimum performance of an insulated garage door. R-Value and types of insulation are two more things to take into consideration, along with the overall thickness of the entire garage door. Polystyrene and Polyurethane are commonly used as insulation. Polyurethane has a higher R-Value than Polystyrene (even extruded polystyrene). There are also garage doors where the insulation has been blown in place, providing a higher R-Value than sandwich insulated garage doors.

R-value and the garage door industry

R-Value is the thermal resistance to heat flow which is typically applicable to a particular material or composite thickness. In easier terms – it is a measurement of a doors insulating capabilities. It is a number that is used by garage door salesmen that some people are concerned about when they are shopping for garage doors. The truth is that there are other things more important than R-Value because of the way the garage door industry arrives at the R-Value number.

You see, when it comes to reporting R-Values, the garage door industry is years behind the window industry. Many years ago, the window industry realized their reputation was being damaged by misleading R-Value and U-factor (the inverse of R-value) claims. To address these problems, industry leaders developed a method for testing and reporting the insulating abilities of windows that is standardized. This method accurately measures the entire window – not just a portion of the window, to determine its insulating abilities.

It is true that garage doors present a few more challenges than do windows when it comes to measuring their insulating abilities due to their nature. Many garage door manufacturers measure the R-Value of only the center panel of a garage door or they measure at the thickest part of the door. I came across an article about energy-efficient garage doors a few years ago that does an excellent job of explaining the inconsistencies in the garage door industry as far as R-Value measurements and reporting. It also discusses the various types of insulation materials used. I highly recommend you read it if R-Values are a concern to you.

The key to staying warm in your garage

Everything I have studied and read from experts says that the key to staying warm in your garage has a lot less to do with R-Values than it does with the overall installation of your garage door with regards to door seal, the concrete being level and the framing of the door opening as well as exposure to the elements. It is important you purchase the largest moving door on your home from a dealer with a proven track record and whom you trust. Beyond that:

Use common sense when you shop for a garage door

Know that manufacturers might be calculating the R-Values they advertise based on the thickest part of one section of a door – even if the rest of the door is only 1/2″ thick. Common sense dictates that a door like that should have a lesser R-Value than a 2″ thick overall door, right? Think about overall thickness of the door, what it is insulated with and what it is made of as far as wood, steel or fiberglass.

Have your new garage door professionally installed

If you are shopping for a new garage door, visit our showroom and see first-hand, the variety of quality CHI Garage Doors and LiftMaster® Garage Door Openers we offer. Once your purchase is made, your new garage door will be professionally installed to ensure your garage will be as safe from the elements as possible.

Replace old or worn garage door seal

If you are not in the market for a new garage door, but feel your door’s insulating efficiency could be improved with new door seal along the top, sides or bottom – give us a call. Fall is a great time to do minor home improvement projects like this and we have plenty of door seal in stock in various colors.

Install an insulation kit

If your garage door is not insulated, let us install an insulation kit for you, or we can also sell you a kit that you can install yourself.

Last but not least – Enjoy your garage, your friends and your family!

Having fun is important! Garages of today have become multi-purpose rooms for many homes and places where happy memories are built. Enjoy family and friends in the comfort of a warm garage with the tips we have provided and call Amega Doors if you have any questions or need assistance of any kind with your garage door or opener.

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Amega Garage Door & Opener, Inc., Garage Doors & Openers, Des Moines, IA