With all of the many garage door designs and materials available today, choosing the right combination can be a little complicated. Let us suggest one way of narrowing the choices: Focus only on doors that have good insulation (R) value. There are many reasons why. Here are some of the main advantages.
Most obvious is how you can save energy. But there are other things to consider as well:
FOUR MAIN ADVANTAGES OF AN INSULATED GARAGE DOOR
- Energy savings.
- Protection for your cars and storage.
- More durable, longer lasting door.
- Lower noise.
To learn how Raynor door selections compare on these factors, be sure to connect with an authorized Raynor dealer.
To expand on these advantages:
1. Warmer garage, warmer house!
This benefit applies primarily to attached garages of course, unless you have a free-standing garage that you are heating and cooling. An attached garage typically shares large wall areas of the home. With an insulated door that can help you moderate temperatures inside the garage, the direct transfer of extreme temps to and through those walls can be minimized.
Another benefit: Because it is such a great thermal barrier, an insulated garage door helps reduce the exchange of inside and outside air each time you use the passage door leading into the garage.
What's the difference?
Non-insulated doors (below left) have a single facing of steel or other panel material on the exterior side. An insulated door (below right) is constructed as a sandwich of two layers with polyurethane or polystyrene insulation between the layers. Insulated doors also typically have interlocking joint seals between each section to block outside air.
2. Protect your cars and everything you store in the garage.
Besides making it less of a cold shock when you step into your car next winter, an insulated garage door might actually play a big role in determining whether your car will start. As noted in this AccuWeather article, your car battery is much more prone to losing its charge in subzero conditions. Cold weather is notorious for sapping a certain amount of battery power. According to the article, car batteries perform their best in 30° to 90° F temperatures.
Other cold weather effects on your car include thickening of fluids that lubricate the engine, power steering and other functions. Tires also feel the effects, often looking flat, running harder and even tripping low pressure sensors if your car is so equipped.
But cars aren't the only things we keep in our garage. Run down your list; how many of those items you have in your garage now are negatively impacted by extreme temperatures and humidity? Certainly, anything made of paper (such as books) and fabric (clothing) really shouldn't be in a garage with high humidity. And on cold days, keeping a case of soda out there may not be such a good idea either. Same for paint and a host of other liquids.
Yet, if you can keep your garage closed and sealed effectively with a well insulated door, you may at least have a better chance of providing suitable storage space for a wide range of items.
3. More durable, longer lasting door performance.
The steel-foam-steel sandwich construction creates a much stronger door. With Raynor's exclusive process, polyurethane foam is injected between layers to expand and completely fill the cavity (no gaps), providing the best door strength as well as R-value. Polystyrene is another common insulating material.
A strong, insulated door also does a better job of resisting dents and looking new longer. Does your family play basketball in your driveway? Then certainly, an insulated door should be an even easier decision.
4. Lower noise
The door's insulation can dramatically reduce street noise. That is especially noticeable if you have a bedroom adjacent to or above the garage. But did you know that an insulated door also operates much quieter? Uninsulated doors can flex and tend to vibrate, amplifying the noise of the door as it moves up and down on its tracks.
Insulated doors are more rigid and naturally dampen that motion sound. They move smoothly and don't jump or vibrate on the tracks. For even quieter operation, consider Raynor’s optional EnduraCote™ system which includes powder coated tracks, springs and other components.
Other things to know when selecting insulated garage doors
As you may expect, thicker doors can have more insulation and thus higher R-value, though the specific insulation ratings vary by manufacturer. Raynor's 1-3/8" thick Aspen 138C Series doors are rated 13 R-value, roughly equivalent in insulating properties to that of fiberglass batt insulation commonly used in residential wall construction. Our 2" AP200 doors are 18 R-value.
The quality of weatherstripping around the door, including the bottom threshold strip, is also vital to a good seal. A properly installed and weather-stripped door should fit snugly at the top, sides and all along the floor. If you see light anywhere around a closed door when you look out from your garage, the door isn't doing all it can to repel outside weather as well as keep out insects and critters that would love to make your garage their shelter.
One other note is that not all garage door types can be ordered with insulation. Wood doors are in that category. As an option to wood with similar aesthetics, you might check into Raynor's Eden Coast steel insulated doors with composite simulated wood overlays. They look great and also stand up to weather far better than wood.
Of course, if you live in a moderate climate with less severe swings in temperature and humidity, you may not place such a high priority on insulation for your garage and garage door. As we say, there are many things to consider. Please take advantage of the professional advice your local Raynor dealer can offer.
KEEP YOUR DOOR LOOKING NEW AND WORKING GREAT
Check these maintenance tips.