How to Choose an Energy-Efficient Garage Door

When garage doors first became the norm, garage doors were thin, wooden, and needed to be open by hand. Today, garage doors are made from a variety of materials, can be opened with a smartphone, and are produced to match any architectural design.

Home during winter snow season

Another feature of today’s garage doors is the ability to help you save money. If the garage is attached to the home or was built with living areas above, the energy efficiency of your home could be compromised. 

The garage is a large open area, and when the door opens, can create a force that draws warm or cold air from the house. Even when the door is closed, a drafty garage can have a negative effect on the comfort of your home. This makes the air conditioner or furnace work that much harder, costing you money all along the way. 

Advantages of Energy-Efficient Garage Doors

By insulating the garage, and using insulated garage doors, homeowners take a proactive approach to making the home more efficient. Thicker, insulated doors are found on most openings that lead outside. This helps keep the home sealed up during adverse weather conditions.

Why wouldn’t that apply to the garage door, too? Making sure the rest of the home is properly sealed while neglecting the largest opening in the home means homeowners won’t be getting the energy savings they’re expecting. Fortunately, many new garage doors are built with energy efficiency in mind.

Many garage doors are made with certain R-values, a rating that indicates how much heat transference occurs through a window, wall insulation, or other barriers. The higher the R-value, the more energy-efficient the substance is. Per code, wall insulation usually has an R-value of R-13 to R-23. Attics or ceilings usually require R-values between R-30 and R-49.

Insulated garage doors can carry R-values ranging from R-6 up to R-20 and beyond. That means a garage door could have better insulation than the home itself! Of course, the highest-rated doors are reserved for those climates that reach extreme lows/highs.

In addition to sealing the home that much better, insulated garage doors help keep things comfortable if the area is used as a workspace or for storage. Of course, it also helps keep the cars from getting too cold in the most wintry environments.

A well-insulated door also means the garage will be quieter, too. Is that a concern if the garage is only used for it’s intended purpose of protecting the garage? Not really. But if the garage is being used as a man cave, hobby area, or other converted living space, it’s a nice feature to have.

how to convert your garage into a man cave

What to look for

Garage doors are equipped with a few types of insulation, although polyurethane insulation is the most common. Polyurethane foam can be injected into the cavity of the door panel to increase R-value or attached to the inside of the panel before the doors are put together. Additionally, the insulation properties of the materials being used should be taken into account.

For example, of the most commonly used materials, steel is the best insulator. Wood is a very good insulator as well but fiberglass is the least effective insulator. However, with an appropriate thermal-break system (how the cavity is filled with insulation), any material can be used as an effective insulation solution.

Looking to add some flair to your door? That could affect efficiency as well. If you add a few windows to a door section, that could change the overall R-value of the door. Other factors, such as how the spaces between the panels or the bottom of the garage door are. Of course, all of those values combined don’t mean a whole lot when the door is opened. 

Need help finding the garage door best-suited for your home? In addition to energy-efficiency, Ponderosa Garage Doors can recommend a variety of door options to improve the curb appeal of your home, increase longevity, and suggest the best garage door opener for your situation. 

In addition to installing or replacing garage doors, we’ve also been maintaining, servicing, and repairing doors in the Clark County area for more than 17 years. Is your door or opener not working as well as they should? Do you hear a loud squealing sound every time you open the door? Looking for an estimate on a new garage door? Contact Ponderosa Garage Doors today.