Garage doors have evolved over decades. From using wood, to steel, fiberglass to vinyl, and now to various composite materials, you can find all types of garage door styles to meet your needs. According to builder expert Bob Vila, there are many types of garage doors including: carriage, sliding, roll-up, and (most common) sectional. Today, you can custom-design your garage doors to match the look of your home. Windows and other architectural elements can be added. You are now also able to open-and-close your garage door with a smart phone as well as with a garage door opener. With all of these options, probably the most important choice to make is whether or not to install insulated or non-insulated garage doors.
Insulated Garage Doors
Insulated garage doors are an excellent choice especially if your goal is to keep the interior of your garage warm and/or cool. There are various levels of insulation. According to Overheaddoor.com, insulation quality is determined by
an R-value and a U-value.
The R-value measures thermal efficiency or how well the door keeps the cold outside and the warmth inside of the garage. High R-values equal top thermal efficiency. This is what you are looking for.
In contrast, the U-value measures how much heat is lost through any type of construction material including a garage door. Here you want a low U-value. A low U-value indicates that the material is a quality insulator.
Why Choose Insulated Garage Doors?
Why choose to install insulated garage doors? There are several good reasons:
- If you use your garage for more than storing a car and tools, such as doing woodworking or as a play area, insulated garage doors will keep the garage warm in colder weather. Also, if you air-condition your garage, insulated garage doors will keep it cool in hot weather.
- If the activity you do in your garage is noisy, such as practicing with a band or loud sawing of wood, then insulated garage doors aid in sound dampening.
Non-insulated Garage Doors
Can you get away with installing non-insulated garage doors? This depends on several factors. If you live in a temperate environment where the temperature stays relatively the same all year long, the non-insulated garage door will work for you. In addition, if you use your garage for storing your car, gardening implements and other tools, non-insulated garage doors are a possibility. However, if you are located in an area of the world that has wide swings in temperature from very cold to very hot, and/or if you use the garage for various activities other than storage, the non-insulated garage door is not a good option.
Can you add insulation to a non-insulated garage door? Yes, you can! According to Houselogic.com, there are three types of insulation that you can add:
- Reflection insulation is available in rolls and as rigid sheets. Aluminum foil has been added to one or both sides of the roll or sheet.
- Batt insulation has fiberglass adhered to foil or paper. It is extremely cost effective.
- Foam board insulation is comprised of very thin panels typically made from polystyrene.
You can install any of these types of insulation to your non-insulated garage door. The insulation is attached to the inside of the garage door. In addition, you can purchase an insulation kit with all of the items needed to make your garage door insulated. Caution needs to be heeded as adding insulation to a garage door also adds weight. More weight may make the door harder to open and close – both manually and electronically. As a result, some amount of garage door repair may be required to make opening and closing the doors easier.
Keep Your Garage Doors In Top Shape
Garage doors should be taken care of and checked on a regular basis. This is true for both insulated and non-insulated garage doors, but especially for insulated garage doors to ensure that you are getting the maximum amount of energy efficiency. Garaga.com offers several maintenance tips to keep your garage doors in top shape:
- Watch and listen every time you use your garage door. You are looking and listening for jerky motions (either upward or downward), uneven movement, noisy springs, cables, pulleys, and other garage door elements.
- Daily use of a garage door often results in the loosening of its various components. Check to make sure that rollers, screws, and bolts, etc. are tight and in good working order.
- Make sure that those parts of your garage door that require lubrication are greased accordingly.
- Check the weather stripping to ensure that it is not cracked or worn. Old weather stripping allows water to seep into your garage and does not give you a good seal to keep the temperature within the garage at the level you desire.
- At least once a year, have a professional garage installer and repairer check to make sure that your garage doors are working as expected.
Garage doors kept in good repair, with or without insulation, should last for many years.