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Choosing a Garage Door for Thermal Efficiency​​

Written Near Say and published on

While many of us strive to make our homes more energy-efficient, few of us give much thought to energy-efficient garage doors. A good eco-friendly garage door, however, can make our lives as homeowners easier: It will help maintain a comfortable temperature and lower our energy bills. That is because — assuming your garage is part of your house — a poorly insulated garage door can cause your heated or cooled air to escape. For this reason, it is essential to invest in an energy-efficient garage door with proper insulation.

If your garage doubles as a workshop and you regularly use a heater or air conditioner, insulating this area is even more critical. If your regional climate features extreme hot and cold temperatures, a garage with good insulation will keep your car cool during hot months and warm during cold months, cutting down the energy needed to keep the space a comfortable temperature.

How to Choose an Energy-Efficient Garage Door

When updating your home to be more energy efficient, don’t overlook the garage door. Modern doors are designed to stop heat loss and air filtration. When connected to the rest of the home, they can also reduce energy usage and improve overall interior comfort. The below guide will help determine which features of energy efficient doors will be the most beneficial to your home.

What R-Value Does Your Garage Door Need?

The R-value is the doors thermal resistance measurement, or how well it resists heat transfer. A higher R-value indicates the door has a lower heat transfer rate, which means that less heat escapes during winter or enters during summer. Usually, this value is dependent on the material, thickness, density, and type of insulation.

If the garage is attached to the home and already has insulation, a garage door with an R-value of at least 10 would be ideal. If you live in a region with frigid winters or hot and humid summers, an R-value of 16 will better protect the interior from the extreme temperatures. If the space is regularly used, a higher rating will also maximize room comfort.

Which Garage Door Material Will Provide the Right Level of Insulation?

While the R-value can increase or decrease depending on several factors, here is what you can typically expect from the main material options.

  • Steel: One of the most affordable and durable options, steel is ideal for most climates. The multi-layers allow for the installation of extra insulation.
  • Aluminum: This material is lighter than steel but also more prone to denting and more expensive. While it is rust-resistant, it is not a very good insulator. It’s better suited to warmer coastal areas than those with longer, intense winters.
  • Fiberglass: Another lightweight material available in a variety of style options, fiberglass is more expensive than insulated steel doors and may be prone to cracking or breaking in cold climates. However, you can remove these risks by selecting a composite fiberglass door with a steel core.
  • Wood: This is one of the most expensive and high-maintenance door options. It provides a classic look and will increase your curb appeal, but the R-value can be lower than other options. Wood is not a great insulator, but when it is layered with insulation, it can compete with steel.

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