When in comes to garage temperature, it seems to always be too hot or too cold. Most garages are built with the bare minimum amount of insulation and are constructed more with fire protection in mind than temperature.
If you are anything like me and had to deal with a smoldering hot garage this summer, looking into garage door insulation is a top priority before the winter cold sets in. After talking with a variety of contractors, I have the inside scoop on what the best way to insulate a garage is.
Garage Insulation Explained
Unlike the rest of your house, the garage is usually just a couple panels of drywall and some siding between the harsh elements and the inside. As the summer days heat up, there is little to dissipate the heat as it moves through from the outside, in.
Your home on the other hand has insulation in the walls. This insulation is rated with an “R” ranking. The higher the “R-XX” number, the more time it takes heat or cold to pass through the insulation. This
means that even on the hottest days or coldest months, the temperature outside will take longer to move inside depending on the insulation rating.
Since most of us want to live in a comfortable 78-degree house year round we rely on heating or cooling systems to regulate the inside temperature. In this case, we are both trying to keep the outside temperature our, and hold in our comfortable living temperature.
The garage is an often-overlooked section of the house because not much time is typically spent in there… possibly partly because it has such major temperature fluctuations. A major cause of heat or cold loss in the garage is the garage door. Most garage doors are sheet metal and have no insulation to speak of. So, no matter how insulated your garage walls may be, all the heat or cold will come straight in (or out) of the garage door.
Insulated Garage Doors
To prevent temperature fluctuations in the garage, there is insulation that can be installed to just about any garage door. These kits come with generic sized panels that can be fitted into the panels of your garage door.
If you are looking for a professional insulated garage door, there are options with R-18 rankings that come complete. These doors use a sandwich construction to enclose the insulation and reduce the airflow.
Keep in mind that simply upgrading the garage door is only a part of the battle against the elements.
Even with the best insulated garage door, you will lose massive amounts of heat/cold if your walls and windows are not insulated as well. Before investing heavy on the garage door, take a look at the big picture and analyze the weak points of the garage.
Spreading your money out between wall insulation and garage door insulation will give you much better thermal results than simply doing one or the other.
Getting Started With Insulated Garage Doors
If you are feeling good about your walls and windows insulative abilities than it is time to focus on the garage door. You can find kits online that make it pretty simple to install the insulation.
After talking with contractors, the main thing they caution is buying a cheap kit. The cheaper kits have poor adhesive and will cause the insulation to fall off the garage door when it is up.
Following the instructions and prepping the door correctly is very important. Make sure the door is free from dust or other materials. This will give you a better surface for the insulation adhesive to bond.
Happy installing and I hope this article helped provide you with guidance on installing garage door insulation.