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Insulating Garage Doors

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R-Values for Garage Doors

Shopping for a garage door can be confusing, with all the weights, types and energy efficiency ratings. It’s just a garage.  How important is the “R-value” energy efficiency rating, anyway?

The answer to that is – it depends.

How important is the insulation in your garage door?

Garage doors are rated by R-values, which basically measures how well your garage door retains heat. Uninsulated doors have little to no R rating. Insulated doors have R ratings that vary depending on the thickness and the quality of its insulation.

There are two types of common garage door insulation:

  1. Polycystene, which is created in sheets, and sandwiched between the front and inside layer of metal in the door panels. This type of insulation is usually featured in more economical door options. It is good, but the construction method leaves small cracks and crevices where the insulation doesn’t go, allowing for air pockets.
  1. Polyurethane, which is foam insulation that is blown in between the two layers of metal. This is generally thicker, more effective, and seals the door completely.

With this in mind, what numbers should you be looking for when it comes to R ratings?

Most insulated garage doors will have an R rating between 12 and 18, with the higher ratings usually being better.

Cost associated with R-value

Prices for insulated garage doors usually increase along with the R rating. It is also important to remember that the flanges along the sides and bottom of the doors play a big part in the heat that escapes your garage. So don’t neglect to consider this, as well.

How much should you pay for your insulated door? This, of course, depends on the design that best fits your house value and neighborhood standards. But primarily, it depends on how your garage will be used.

To heat or not to heat…

Is your garage just for your cars and outdoor equipment, and not considered a real working room in your home? Then having an unheated garage with a low-insulation door may be the right option for your family.

On the other hand, is your garage fully heated, and home to your favorite workshop or temperature-controlled storage space? Then a highly insulated door may be a solid investment for you. A well-insulated door also has the advantage of standing up to wind and hail much better, without the rattling and bending you see from lower quality doors.

For more information about Midwest Garage’s insulated door options, contact us today.