If you are considering purchasing a new garage door, we recommend you give some thought to having a door with built in insulation installed on your garage. There are various levels of insulation including radiant barriers offered by major garage door manufacturers and, depending on your climate, you can gain considerable energy savings by buying a well insulated garage door. It will also make the time spent in your garage much more pleasant in the hot and cold seasons.
Remember a 16 x 8 foot garage door represents 128 square feet of area allowing thermal transmittance or heat loss (known as the U-factor). This unit of measure is the inverse or reciprocal of the R value which most folks are familiar with. U-factor represents heat loss, and the R-value represents resistance to heat loss. Before we get too technical here, just be aware that a hundred square feet of single pane glass in your house during a zero degree outside temperature can produce around 7,000 BTU’s per hour of heat loss. Using an average cost of energy, that’s around $50 a month you could be paying for those 100 square feet of windows. One layer of steel in a garage door isn’t going to give you much more insulating properties than single pane glass. Of course your garage isn’t normally a climate controlled space, so your cost savings would not be comparable. It will, at the least, make your garage a much more comfortable space to work in and provide noise dampening when opening and closing your garage door.
What about a Garage Door Insulation Kit?
What if you already have an uninsulated garage door that looks and works fine? There are ways you can insulate your existing garage door yourself. A number of garage door insulation kits are available locally as well as online. These kits usually consist of a radiant barrier material (very helpful in hot climates) coupled with an insulating material. The cost will average between $125.00 to $85.00 for a double garage door. Be sure to check out the reviews, if you can, to see what previous do-it-yourselfers have to say about these particular products. You can purchase polyurethane foam board with radiant facing material in 4’ x 8’ sheets and cut and fit them yourself to your garage door panels. This will save you some money, but it will take more of your time. If you decide on this option, it is advisable to have an expert on insulating materials to help you with your selection and installation procedures.
Most of the kits advertise a time to install of around 1 to 3 hours. Just remember that an insulation kit will never provide the same insulating values and performance of a factory insulated door. Many of the kits are made up of materials that can add a lot of weight to your door as well, putting a load on your door opening components. Some consist of loose materials, and the fastening systems don’t always work they way they were intended. Always be sure to check out the kits before you buy them and read the customer reviews where available.