Energy-Efficient Garage Door Buying Guide
When the frigid weather sets in, many homeowners look for ways to help control heating costs. While you can do many things to lower those utility bills, an often overlooked area of the home is the garage and the overhead door that stands between your family and the outside elements.
This article explains how energy efficiency for garage doors is measured and how your unique situation determines the amount of insulation needed. Besides investing in a brand-new door, you should have a professional examine your residential garage door for issues such as poor insulation, worn or missing weatherstripping and higher long-term heating and cooling costs. If you need a replacement, we offer plenty of energy-saving garage doors for your selection.
How Do You Measure Garage Door Efficiency With R-Value?
Most of us know that insulation is essential to keeping our garages and homes more energy-efficient. However, you may not realize that insulation is not a “one size fits all” solution, especially when it comes to Omaha residential garage doors. There are many issues to consider, from thermal resistance factors to appropriate R-values, and each will directly impact just how must energy efficiency can be expected.
What Is the R-Value?
The R-value is an industry standard for measuring the thermal resistance of certain construction materials. This measurement takes into account thermal conductivity, which is the ability of cold or heat to pass through a wall. The higher the garage door R-value, the greater its insulating properties.
Most of the garage doors we offer have R-values ranging from 6.3 to 20.4, depending on these qualities of the product:
- Thickness: We provide a selection of garage doors that range from one-layer to five-layer construction to enhance energy efficiency.
- Material: Some materials, such as wood, are natural insulators, but others need an additional layer of insulation to be effective.
- Type of insulation: High-quality insulation materials can make your garage door more energy-efficient.
When Should I Increase My R-Value?
Knowing which R-value is best suited to your needs depends on a variety of things, including whether your garage is attached or detached. Invest in a garage door with a higher R-rating for garage insulation in the following conditions:
- You have an attached garage: An attached garage often has a door leading into the central part of the house. Energy-efficient garage doors can prevent heat from seeping through this entry so your home can be comfortable in harsh weather conditions.
- You want to lower your home’s energy costs: Since the garage makes up such a large portion of your house, its opening can bring in or release heat if it’s not energy-efficient. As a result, your HVAC system will have to work harder to maintain your house’s temperature. To save money on energy costs, get a garage door with a high R-value.
- You spend a lot of time in the garage: You might have a workshop or office in your garage that requires you to spend a lot of time in it. Even if you only use it to park your car each night, you probably want a comfortable place to step out and go into your house. A garage door with a high R-value can ensure you have a pleasant environment when you’re spending time in the garage or coming home from work.
Which R-Value Is Best for My Garage Door?
If you fall into one of the categories above and want to increase your home’s R-Value then it’s important to understand what R-Value is best for your garage.
- We recommend an R-Value of 0-6 for detached garages.
- We recommend an R-Value of 7-9 for an attached garage.
- We recommend an R-Value of 10-13 for heated garages.
- We recommend an R-Value of 14+ for a garage that’s used as a living space or shares a wall with a living space.
What Is the Most Energy-Efficient Garage Door Material?
If you want an energy-efficient garage door, you’ll want to select a design with energy-saving material. You can choose any door to complement your exterior property, but if it’s not energy-efficient, you’ll have to add a layer of insulation. Consider which insulation and material would work best for your property.
Energy-Efficient Garage Door Insulation Materials
Even if you choose a material that doesn’t have adequate insulation qualities, you could add layers of insulation to increase your door’s energy efficiency and durability. We offer the following insulation materials that make your garage door energy-efficient:
- Polyurethane: You can add a layer of energy-efficient Intellicore® polyurethane to your Clopay® residential garage door. The manufacturer injects a polyurethane foam between the door’s layers so it fills every crevice. As it expands, the foam bonds to the frame to enhance the door’s durability. Polyurethane also offers a high level of sound isolation and can help regulate the temperature if you live in a harsh climate and enter the house through the garage door.
- Polystyrene: Even though polyurethane insulation foam is much more energy-efficient than polystyrene, you can consider polystyrene if you’re on a tight budget. This material comes in rigid panels that the manufacturer inserts between the layers of the door or inside your single-layer product, with a vinyl back that holds it in place. If you have a budget-friendly single-layer garage door, you should invest in this type of insulation if you want a quieter door that lowers your monthly energy costs.
Energy-Efficient Garage Door Materials
The garage door material you choose depends on your local climate and your aesthetic preferences. As long as you have the right insulation for your selection, you can select any type of material for your garage door. Consider which of these materials would best complement your property:
- Steel: Insulated steel garage doors feature at least two metal layers with your choice of insulation placed in the center. You could also find a one-layer construction with a panel of padding on the back. Besides being energy efficient, steel is also resistant to warping, cracking and harsh effects from the elements. Keep in mind that steel can corrode in coastal climates without the proper treatment.
- Wood: Eco-friendly garage doors made from wood contain two layers of wood with your choice of insulation tucked inside. A wooden product gives your home a natural, luxurious appearance. If you live in a humid climate, wood could rot or warp from moisture damage, so you would need to treat it or invest in a moisture-resistant wood species.
- Composite: Wood composite panels often complement a steel garage door’s design because it looks like natural wood. Faux wood cladding offers a layer of insulation that can make your garage more comfortable in harsh weather conditions.
Carriage house garage doors tend to be the most energy-efficient because of their layers of various materials. We also offer some modern doors that can complement your home outside while providing a comfortable temperature inside. Browse the design brochure to determine whether you can get 2-inch Intellicore® polyurethane, 2-inch polystyrene or 1 3/8-inch polystyrene insulation. Besides your choice of polyurethane or polystyrene insulation, you can also get WINDCODE® reinforcement if you live in an area with heavy winds.
Our inventory includes the following energy-efficient garage doors:
- CANYON RIDGE® collection LIMITED EDITION series: The CANYON RIDGE® collection LIMITED EDITION series features a five-layer, energy-efficient carriage house door with Intellicore® insulation along with a steel base. Faux wood cladding and overlays provide additional insulation and the appearance of natural wood. Besides considering the energy efficiency, you can also select the base color and pattern, hardware and style of windows.
- CANYON RIDGE® collection ULTRA-GRAIN® series: The garage doors in the CANYON RIDGE® collection ULTRA-GRAIN® series include four-layer construction with durable steel and wood composite overlays. You can also cover the steel base with an Ultra-Grain® finish that gives it the look of natural wood. Complete your custom-made product by choosing complementary hardware and windows.
- CANYON RIDGE® collection MODERN series: The CANYON RIDGE® collection MODERN series features doors with four-layer construction, including durable wood composite, steel and Intellicore® insulation panels. The R-values of this door range from 6.3 to 20.4. This series complements a contemporary or modern home in contrast to the traditional look of the other garage doors in the CANYON RIDGE® collection. For a mixed material appearance, you can also get aluminum inlays.
- COACHMAN® collection: If you want a garage door with the perfect combination of aesthetic appeal and practicality, consider the COACHMAN® collection. The products of this collection feature a low-maintenance, long-lasting steel door with the appearance of natural wood. Its four-layer construction is durable and energy-efficient while also enhancing the visual quality of your home. You can select from various design options for the panels, composite wood overlay pattern, factory-finish colors, hardware and windows.
- GALLERY® collection: The garage doors in the GALLERY® collection feature traditional raised steel panels that you can customize to provide enough thickness for your property, depending on the climate. Besides choosing insulation, you can also design the color, window and hardware of your door.
- The MODERN STEEL™ collection: The MODERN STEEL™ collection has custom options for its layered steel construction depending on your desired level of insulation to complement your contemporary home’s style. You can also get energy-efficient windows to bring natural light into your garage.
Do Insulated Garage Doors Save Energy?
An insulated garage door saves energy and lowers the cost of your monthly utility bill. However, you should consider more than the material and layers of insulation. Even with a high-efficiency, well-insulated Omaha garage door, your garage can’t save energy if other repair issues need addressing. If you want an energy-efficient garage, you should also:
- Insulate the walls of your garage to reduce heat loss.
- Regularly inspect and repair gaps between the sections or joints of a door or frame.
- Replace worn weatherstripping on the bottom of the overhead door and around the perimeter.
- Use quality weatherstripping and siding materials designed to remain flexible in all kinds of weather and temperatures.
- Invest in a smart garage door opener connected to your phone to help you close the door, even after you’ve left the house.
- Make sure a professional garage door technician installs your unit securely and correctly.
- Order energy-efficient windows to go along with your garage door.
- Install high-quality hardware — including the track, frame and rollers — so your door rolls into place and doesn’t leak air when it operates.
Is an Energy-Efficient Garage Door Worth It?
Even though an insulated garage door has a higher upfront cost, you’ll save money in other ways. Here are some of the reasons why you should invest in an energy-saving garage door:
- Increase your property value: If you plan on selling your property, an energy-efficient residential garage door can add value to your home. Potential homebuyers enjoy an energy-efficient house because it means they’ll save money while they live in it. Besides having an aesthetic appeal, a brand-new component to your property will make your living space more valuable.
- Reduce heat loss through your garage: If you have an attached garage, it shares a wall with one of your interior rooms. Any energy lost in your garage could affect the temperature of the whole house. Even if your garage isn’t insulated, an energy-efficient garage door controls the transfer of heat.
- Better sound isolation: Besides keeping in heat, well-insulated garage doors can also block sound. You can have privacy in your home without disturbing your neighbors, and you can sleep better at night without hearing the noise from outside. An insulated door also operates quieter, so you don’t have to disturb the whole house when you run it.
- Save money on utility costs: When you’re able to control the transfer of heat into and out of your garage, your HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain your home’s temperature to save money on your monthly utility bill.
- Protect your car battery: When you come home, you store your vehicle in the garage to protect it from possible weather damage. When the temperature in your garage is too hot or cold, it could damage your car’s battery and reduce its lifespan. If you invest in an insulated garage door, you can keep your vehicle running for a longer time.
- Keep your home comfortable: When the inside air is the same as the outside, it can get stuffy in the summer and frigid in the winter. Instead of piling blankets on to stay warm, you can invest in an insulated garage door to help maintain a comfortable atmosphere throughout your living space.
- Protect your door from weather and intruder damage: Garage doors with insulation are typically more reliable and durable than ones without it. If you live in a climate with harsh weather conditions, you may want an insulated garage door to protect your valuables from hurricanes, blizzards or floods. You could also repel intruders who try to break in through the weak spots of your door.
- Make better use of your garage: If you use your garage for more than just storing your vehicle or entering the house, you should have an insulated garage door to provide a pleasant environment while you work.
Browse Our Selection of Energy-Saving Garage Doors
The experts at AAA Garage Door, Inc. can quickly assess how much you could save in energy costs by inspecting your existing overhead door. Whether you need simple repairs or are looking to install a new, energy-efficient overhead garage door, we can help. Contact us online or call us today at 402-727-0789 to request an estimate.