As 2021 ends with reports of rising home heating costs, anything that will boost energy efficiency is a solid investment, including garage door insulation. Adding insulation to existing doors or installing a new insulated garage door to Madison WI area homes makes a dent in heating and cooling costs. The extremes in southern Wisconsin weather are challenges all year around. As garage doors took over as the No. 1 entry point to modern houses it also opened up homes to blasts of outside air – hot and humid or chilled and dry. New construction often includes insulating outside walls of attached garages but one of the largest surfaces – the door – is often overlooked. Walls between the garage and inside rooms are often left poorly insulated, too.
You’ll hear the term “R Value.” It’s the measurement of any insulating material’s ability to keep heat/cold in/out. The higher the R Value, the better the insulation. An insulated garage door’s R Value is measured by the insulating properties of the door itself plus the insulation material added to it. Every garage door design has some insulating ability. And every style benefits from additional protective material added to the inside.
Steel, aluminum, wood and composites are the top choices for garage doors. Each has its own insulating properties. Evaluate the door you have and consider the energy efficiency of any you’re looking at in the future. Saving money on monthly heating/cooling bills make sense, right?
Garage Door Insulation Applied To Material Options
What’s your best choice?
Steel garage doors are the most popular in both single- and double-car sizes. It’s durable and lightweight. Steel on its own provides little insulating value. Thicker panels have more than thinner ones, but neither has much to offer.
High-quality steel garage doors built in multiple layers with foam insulation between the layers is the best choice. Doors like this not only provide excellent insulating properties they also resist dents.
Aluminum garage doors are the second-most popular residential garage doors. They’re lightweight and offer contemporary looks. Unfortunately they are very poor insulators. Even with additional layers of foam applied they cannot match the R Values of steel doors. However, if you have an aluminum door, don’t hesitate to consider adding insulation to your garage door. A little is better than no help at all.
Wooden garage doors are in demand but because of cost they represent limited installations. They’re mostly chosen for style and good looks rather than performance. Buyers overlook that fact that wood is an excellent insulator so wooden garage doors are an excellent choice if you’re looking to boost energy efficiency plus style.
Composite wood-look garage doors are an excellent and popular alternative to real wood. They’re rugged and relatively maintenance-free. The composite overlays are often attached to steel doors so you get the benefit of steel performance with the look of wood. R Values are less than real wood but far better than steel alone.
None of the traditional materials for garage doors provides much insulation on their own. Providing an additional layer of protection is the key.
Insulated Garage Door Options
When it comes to insulating a garage door there are three common methods based on where a door is located and how it is used. They vary from no insulation at all because it isn’t necessary to heavy layers for optimum protection. Consider:
• Single-layer doors – where no insulation is need at all. Use on garages that are not attached to a home and not heated to cooled in any way.
• Double-layer doors – a basic garage door that with a single polystyrene layer applied on the inside of the door.
• Triple-layer doors – multiple, thicker layers of either foam or another insulating material or combination of more than one insulation type.
Polyurethane is considered the best insulator because it adds higher R Value without increasing the thickness of the layer on the inside of the door. Polyurethane is usually applied as a spray-on foam. The technique allows it to fill cracks and crevasses to provide protection adding sheets of foam can’t match. Polypropylene is another option but it isn’t as good. A 1 3/8-inch layer of has an R Value of 6.5. The same thickness in polyurethane has an R Value of 12.9. The bigger the number the better, right?
Does your garage door have windows? Glass isn’t a great insulator but modern door insulation can accommodate windows. Contemporary and carriage house style doors feature windows. To go along with your plan to boost energy efficiency by insulating the door make sure the windows are low-E, double- or triple-glazed glass. That reduces the heat transfer from the windows.
Learn From The Garage Door Insulation Pros
A well-insulated garage provides a comfortable workshop or recreational space, not just vehicle storage. The best insulation in walls and ceilings won’t do its job effectively if the largest side of the room is neglected. To keep the inside comfortable the garage door has to play its part. There’s a bonus to an energy-efficient, insulated garage door – it provides extra soundproofing, too.
If you’ve decided to upgrade your existing door or explore options for a new one, Northland Door Systems’ factory-trained, experienced technicians will make sure your new door and door opener is installed right. We represent only high quality garage door brands and the most advanced garage door opening systems in southern Wisconsin. When your older garage door needs work, take advantage of our extensive service area and decades of experience. Call or email Northland Door Systems at 608-251-3627 and let us introduce you to our selection of everything for garage doors from complete new installations to openers and the latest garage door insulation for your Madison WI home.