Energy-efficient garage doors on a well-insulated garage provide comfortable work spaces and reduce demand for heating and cooling in adjacent rooms. Insulating walls and ceilings comes up short when the largest surface in the room – the garage door – is neglected. Insulated garage doors expand useable space for Janesville WI homeowners.
Extreme temperatures are a signature of Southern Wisconsin and compromise energy bills. When the garage is attached to the home it is the largest access point for winter’s chill and summer’s heat. It’s the largest opening in the building and opens and closes several times every day.
Measure Impact of Energy-efficient Garage Doors
The first step toward efficiency is insulating an attached garage. An insulated door is a partial solution if outdoor walls are neglected. Building codes require insulation in the walls between the garage and inside rooms. Insulating all the walls creates a better buffer between the outside extremes and living space.
The value of insulation is measured as “R Value.” The R Value is the ability of a substance to keep heat/cold in/out. The higher the R Value, the better the insulation material. A garage door’s R Value includes the insulating qualities of the door itself plus the insulation material added to it. Every door has some insulating ability. Adding protection to the inside makes the big difference.
Choose Garage Door Material
The most popular garage doors either steel, aluminum, wood or composite wood. Each has its own insulating properties. Consider:
Steel Garage Doors – steel is the most common choice for residential garage doors. It is durable and lightweight. Steel, by itself, offers little insulation although lower grades (thicker) are a bit better than high-grade (thinner) steel. Multi-layered doors with insulation between the layers, is the best choice for added durability, dent resistance and energy efficiency.
Aluminum Garage Doors – aluminum doors offer a modern look but are lightweight and poor insulators. Even with additional layers of insulation they seldom match their steel competitors for R Value.
Wooden Garage Doors – wooden garage doors are high-end additions adding style to the home design. Often selected for looks rather than performance, wood is an excellent insulator. A wooden door is a good choice.
Composite Wood Garage Doors – an alternative to real wood, composites are durable and require little maintenance. As an overlay on a steel interior they combine the performance of steel with the appearance of wood. Insulation value is less than wood but more than steel.
Insulation for Energy-efficient Garage Doors
None of the traditional materials for garage doors provides much insulation. An additional layer of protection is warranted. Creating a more energy-efficient door is as easy as adding a layer of insulation to the inside of the door. Polystyrene or polyurethane foam is the most common garage door insulator. The thicker the foam the higher the R Value.
As a general rule, consider:
- A 1 3/8-inch polystyrene foam panel has an R Value of 6.5 while a slightly thinner, 1 5/16-inch panel of the same material has an R Value of 6.3.
Polyurethane is a better insulator because it adds higher R Value without increasing the thickness of the inside layer. It adds little weight to the door. Polyurethane is usually applied as a spray-on foam filling cracks and crevasses to provide protection foam sheets can’t reach. Compare the two options. The 1 3/8-inch polystyrene mentioned above has an R Value of 6.5. The same thickness in polyurethane foam has an R Value of 12.9.
Garage door insulation options include three choices:
- Single-layer doors – no added insulation at all. Best for garages not attached to your home with no heating or cooling.
- Double-layer doors – usually including a single polystyrene application on the inside.
- Triple-layer doors – thicker layers of either foam insulating material or a combination.
Garage door installation professional point out even the best insulated door doesn’t do its job with big gaps between it and wall. Top-quality, well-fitting hardware, seals and weather-stripping is required. Professional installation is important for a proper fit.
Many modern and carriage house style garage doors include windows. Do they impact the energy efficiency of the door? Windows can be a weak spot. If your garage door has windows, choose double- or triple-glazed, low-emissivity (Low E) coatings on each window to reduce heat transfer.
Depend Upon Professionals
The trained professionals at Country Door Systems provide timely service for all garage doors and accessories. Call them and take advantage of the area’s widest selection of garage doors and in-stock supplies.
Call Country Door Systems at 608-752-9537 for garage door choices, electronic door openers and accessories. Look to us for professional assistance with all your garage door concerns and make plans to include energy-efficient garage doors in your Janesville WI home.